This Time, Then

Last year, today, was one of the happiest days of my life. Jason and I were on a mini-vacation in the mountains of Tennessee, and we found out that we were pregnant. It was a complete shock to us both. We’d already been trying for a few years, to no avail. After being diagnosed with PCOS and working hard to do all of the practical things that I could to take better care of my body, it finally happened. Every early pregnancy discomfort was the greatest joy I had ever experienced. The nausea, sore boobs, my food aversions (particularly chocolate and eggs), the tiredness, all of it. Beautiful.

Today, I am sad. I am mourning. I’m empty handed and heavy hearted. This is where I am, today. I have been pregnant twice after this loss. The second’s due date was my birthday this year. There really is no way to full describe how much this hurts, especially after such a long journey. I’m having such a difficult time emotionally because I’m trying to find healthy ways of protecting my heart, but still be in a society filled with big bellies and babies, to not allow bitterness to interfere with the parts of my heart that is so incredibly happy for the blessings of others. This balance is very difficult to maintain, without completely ignoring my own feelings and needs. Some people may never understand the plight of a woman or family that is dealing with fertility issues, and that is perfectly okay. If you’re a person that doesn’t understand and you really care to, ask. Ask how you can help. Ask if you can pray.

No matter how far in time i’m removed from these memories, it will still have a prick in my heart. They were lives that I prayed so hard for, that I would have moved mountains to have. Yet today, I sit here, empty handed and heavy hearted, holding the onesie we purchased in Gatlinburg to remind us of the day we found out that we would finally be parents.

The good thing is, there is a tomorrow. Tomorrow doesn’t make it hurt any less, but it provides me with hope for the future. Jason and I have been incredibly blessed with people that love and support us, from all walks of life. We know that we will hold our children one day. We are in grateful anticipation for the first ultrasound, hearing the heartbeat, and watching that first breath. I look forward to the day that I can tell them about all of the people that prayed, contributed, and anticipated their arrival with us.

But, for today, I will sit here, empty handed and heavy hearted for the 3 precious beings that I am so tenderly missing.

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Four Months, Lost Twice

Image Source
Image Source

Part of me tried to figure out if there was a better time to post this. There isn’t. The last few months have been the hardest few months I’ve experienced in a very long time.

On December 5th, I found out I was pregnant. On January 10th, I started miscarrying. On January 17th, I had a d & c.

D&C 01/17/14

My heart broke. Again. This was my second pregnancy loss in 4 months. I was just starting to ‘be okay’ from the loss of my last pregnancy. I don’t have enough words to describe the deep sadness that I feel. However, I am not hopeless. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I’m okay. But I’ve decided that I’m going to find freedom in being where I am, where and when I need to.

There really isn’t anything that anyone can say to take away my pain. There are no perfect words to soothe the heart that experiences loss. But, I am so incredibly blessed to have family and friends that love and support me with tears, cards, text messages, flowers, and lots of candy…and I mean the good candy.

If you know anyone that has or is experiencing loss, *PLEASE* don’t do or say things like this:
-“At least…”
-“Don’t Worry…”
-“It was meant to be…”
– Don’t compare experiences because grief is different for everyone.
– If you have kids, go extremely light on the kid talk.
– If you have kids, don’t make a habit of complaining about being tired, not using the bathroom alone, posting those “tags about pregnancy” on Facebook when you know you have friends or family members who have experienced the loss of a child. It hurt deeper than you know.
– Don’t get mad if we don’t hold your babies or go to your baby showers.

If you really want to try, DO these things:
– Ask how we are doing without trying to fix it.
– If you’re not sure what to do, ask.
– If you are looking for something to say, try these: I’m sorry this happened; I love you; I’m here.
– Do understand if we can’t attend you baby showers or kid parties.

The most beautiful thing that a few of my pregnant friends and friends with pregnant family members did was tell me before they made it public. They didn’t have to do this, but it meant the world to me.

One day, I will post a picture of my beautiful child that I will share with you as a testament of hope. Until then, I will continue living because that it all I can do. I will live well until the one that my heart longs for comes into my life.

Footprints On My Heart

Baby Footprints Heart

Sigh…here it goes. I’ve been dreading this post for a few weeks now. Posting this now isn’t my attempt at trying to get this over with, but it’s me trying to heal as the days pass and I continue to both remember and be reminded.

As I sit here typing this post, I can’t stop thinking about the fact that I should be sitting here pregnant. Right now, I should be about 9 weeks and 6 days pregnant with my first baby. Tomorrow would have been 10 days. Although I’ve been able to reintegrate into life after loss, I can’t help but feel like every day that passes is a reminder of how far I would have been.

On August 11, 2013, I had a thought. I said to myself, “Self, I think you are pregnant. Take a test.” So Myself said, “Ok,” and took a pregnancy test. After taking the test, I looked at it in the way that many women look at them…in every possible lighting and angle there is to look at it. I thought I saw a line but I wasn’t completely sure so I asked Jay and he said he thinks he saw one but he isn’t sure either. So after a few days passed, I took a First Response test at about 8 a.m. while we were away on vacation. I hadn’t even gotten a chance to put the test down before I saw the brightest positive on the side of Tennessee. My mouth dropped, my heart fluttered, and I was hungry. Cravings, blissful soreness, nausea, and sleep overcame me over the next few days. Those were some of the best days I’ve had. I remember throwing up and feeling a sense of joy overcome me for the reason of my regurgitation.

Shortly after we returned from our vacation, things started going south. I was bleeding, some of my symptoms began to disappear, and I was very afraid. Every day that passed felt like time itself tripled in length. I communicated with doctors who couldn’t tell me very much because it was so early on in my pregnancy. I had my HCG tested every other day and it seemed to be doing a tormenting dance, going up and then dropping. When I tried to make peace with a miscarriage, it went up again. The doctor concluded that my pregnancy is ectopic and they were worried because those can be very dangerous.

On September 5th at 1:30 p.m., I showed up at the doctors office distressed, tired, and defeated. I was 30 minutes late because I couldn’t make myself get off of the couch knowing that I was going to terminate my pregnancy. For 45 minutes, they tried to inject me and for 45 minutes, I cried.

I didn’t want that moment to be my last memory of my pregnancy so I purchased a little chest to place everything from that pocket of time (as Kara would say) to remind myself of God’s blessing of my pregnancy, that it really happened, and so I will never forget. Today, I still cry. I cry because I am sad. I am frustrated and heart broken. I cry when I think about how my little silver chest holds all of the hopes and dreams that my husband and I had for this life, for us as a family, and the future of what would have been our baby.

Though my heart is broken, I will continue to move forward because it is the only choice I have.

To Those Who’ve Loved & Lost

This specific blog post goes out to those TTC-ing after loss, had to give birth to your baby knowing that you’d only have a few precious moments with them, and to those that experienced the loss of a child.

My dear friends Kara and Andy had this experience and they are sharing their process in the most authentic way through their blog Journey to Baby. I hope that this post from there blog serves as a comfort or as a way to possibly put words to help with your process. If you get a moment, please check out their blog and bid them adieu.

Everlee.

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She was beautiful. She is my joy. Her tiny little life awakened love in me so deep it renders me breathless. We spent 5 long months together. She is the only person who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside. While every mother’s worst nightmare came true for us, I was still overwhelmed with joy and pride on the night of her birth. It was a strange feeling, like I had stepped outside of myself as I watched my family weep over her. I couldn’t really grasp in that moment why everyone was so sad. I wanted to shout, “But just look at her, she is perfect.” I waited so long to meet her and here she was in my arms. Obviously, it could go unsaid that I would have given my left arm to have waited even longer. Regardless, she is ours. Her little combinations of wonderful will never be repeated. She is a work of The Lord and we were amazed. She had Andy’s mouth and my nose. Her ears were marvelous in all their tiny folds. She had light blonde eyelashes and a dusting of the same on her head. We wondered about her hair since mine was jet black and Andy’s was blonde as a kid. She had long little legs and big feet. We laughed because her second toe was longer than her first, just like her dad. She was just under 10 inches and weighed not quite a pound. She was our tiny but perfect little girl. Sometimes, I’ll catch a glimpse of Andy and it takes my breathe away how much she looks like him. I’m so thankful for the hours we spent with her, but I could have held her forever. She isn’t a tragedy, she is our daughter. She continues to inspire me to dig deeper, be kinder, and to live in the moment. You truly never know how quickly things can change. She has brought so many amazing people into our lives and has given me a second family amongst my support group. She motivates me to help others and to share the hard stuff in life, too. I’d give anything to have her back, but until we are reunited in our restoration through Christ, I will remember her every detail. I will honor her with my tears and my laughter. I will be present. I will live with her in the deepest parts of my heart. She is my one and only, Everlee.