Posts tagged Pregnancy Loss
Pregnancy After Loss

A miscarriage is a scar that never fully fades; no matter how much time goes by, a shadow of that loss always lingers. This time of year I revisit that loss, because every October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

This year my reflection is a little different, as we now have our rainbow baby.

{For those who don’t know a rainbow baby is a baby conceived after a pregnancy or infant loss- in order for the “rainbow” to appear there has to be a storm.}

“April Showers Bring May Flowers.”

I’ll never forget that moment. A couple of days before an extremely important event in April 2016 (being the matron in my sisters wedding) I sat in the bathroom in tears, shattered because I knew all the signs- I was having a miscarriage, again!

I don’t know if I thought I was superwoman or what, but I do know that God gave me supernatural strength to push through. I don’t know if it was the little glimmer of hope I was holding on to, or just the fact that with the previous losses I’d built my faith so much I couldn’t even dare to let this miscarriage overwhelm me. Not at this time. Not now.

I still participated in the wedding, & tried to go on like everything was ok. Although, I did almost faint. (I had been taking pain meds around the clock, & before the ceremony I forgot to eat. Not the best combination when you’re actively miscarrying.) I felt so bad & embarrassed, although there was nothing I could do to control the situation.

To make matters worst, Noah wasn’t there to console me because he was on call that weekend. (He gave me a huge FaceTime air hug from almost 200 miles away.) It was sorta like I had built an emotional immunity to the toll miscarriage can have on you at that point. 

Upon returning home I went to visit my doctor to make sure the miscarriage was complete, although I knew after the wedding it was.

That moment stayed with me, I didn’t really have time to grieve, I told myself I had grieved enough. In the coming days I tried not to think about it. I guess it helped. I’m not sure.

A few days after my doctors appointment while talking to my other sister, she encouraged me to get a journal and to begin to speak life over my womb & my next pregnancy. That was truly a word from God!! 

As fate would have it, a few months prior I picked up the perfect journal (because it matched my home decor & I can’t resist a good deal in Target, but - I had no intention to actually use it.)

Pregnancy Loss Journal - LegallyMed

On the cover it read: “Anything is Possible!” How perfect?!? God knew before I did that I was suppose to purchase THAT journal. The journal had a purpose, God had a plan for it besides sitting on my table all along. I love how he used her to encourage me to utilize the journal in that way. {Praise Break, I LOVEEEE GOD!} He never cease to amaze me, he cares about the smallest of details!

In the coming weeks it became so therapeutic to just grieve and write to my future baby.

A little over a month after the miscarriage we were going to celebrate our anniversary. (May 2016) 

Initially we planned a trip to Mexico however, when we learned that we were expecting, we canceled. Mexico was highly advised against for pregnant women at the time because of the Zika Virus. So Noah and I decided to visit my birthplace, New York instead.

Unfortunately, by the time of our anniversary that Baby was no longer baking in my oven.

Despite knowing we could have been relaxing on a beach instead we had a great time in New York. Laughing around the city, staring at Times Square from our hotel room, & just enjoying one another. 

Before we left for the trip, I wrote a journal entry about how we hoped to receive the best anniversary gift; a baby, while on vacation.

A few weeks after returning home, again on Fathers Day, we learned we were expecting!!! God granted our desire :)

I wish I could say it was all JOY but I’d be lying. It took a while for me to learn how to truly be excited.

For me, losing multiple pregnancies was difficult. But what was surprisingly harder, in some ways, was being pregnant again after those losses.

This pregnancy was the most stressful, constantly worrying about movement. I checked his heartbeat on my home doppler at least 2x per day, I always felt guilty for complaining about morning sickness which I endured EVERYDAY OF MY PREGNANCY FOR 39 WEEKS. (The struggle was real y’all!) But in a way it was reassuring, if I was still sick- I was still pregnant. Or at least that’s what I told myself. 

Truth is birthing Ian after a very long, dark, & raw period of trying to conceive was a bit of healing mixed with grief.

However, that journey truly helped to cement my faith.

When he was born the connection I felt to him was indescribable. I could finally breath again! No more being anxious, no more uncertainty!

Which was true, he was here & he was perfect. But the devil was still busy- & God was still testing me.

Less than 48 hours after being home with Ian, we had to re-admit him to the hospital. That fear & anxiety tried to consume me again. But God, My Husband, & Family encouraged me through our short hospital stay.

Truthfully, I was hurt more than anything because I felt helpless. I had tried everything to prevent him from needing to be re-admitted in those 2 days we were home. Seemingly nothing worked. {Frequently, breastfed babies have high bilirubin levels because the first few days of breastfeeding they’re not getting much milk, only colostrum. As a result they tend to have fewer wet diapers so their body is storing the bilirubin causing their levels to elevate. If levels get too high and it goes untreated it can cause brain damage.}

Ian’s levels got under control, we were able to go home, and he’s been perfectly fine ever since.

Which we had faith that he would be. As I said it is a “common” diagnosis in newborns, but it was still a nerve wrecking & sleepless experience.

God had to remind me during that stay that although I finally HAD HIM,  he let me borrow Ian, he has entrusted us to raise him- but Ian belongs to God first!!

Truly submitting to Christ in the area of motherhood and trusting God to direct Ian’s his life as he saw fit was a true relief. Despite the unknowns God is in control, not I.

No amount of “worrying” can change that.

Some women have rainbow babies and try to be air traffic controllers over their every move for years before they find peace in accepting they can not control every aspect of their child’s life.

Understanding that they have to fall, they will get hurt, but it will be ok,  brings peace.

Just as Christ allows us to endure certain situations to strengthen and grow our faith as adults, he does with babes. 

I’ve truly been able to relax & just savor every second of nurturing him. I thank God for allowing Noah and I to co-parent with him.

Reflecting on my healing in this journal that I have prepared and one day will pass on to Ian has taught me that there truly is Joy in the Mourning.

Every day, you’re able to breathe a little bit deeper. Every day, you’ll love your babies — all of them — just a little bit more, until one day, that love overtakes the pain.

The Pregnancy Announcement We Didn't Get To Make.

The announcement we didn't get to make.. 

I'm not writing this post to get sympathy, but rather to raise awareness... Today is Pregnancy Loss Day, it's time for us to #BreaktheSilence. 

First, let me start by saying this, since the moment we got married, as a matter of fact, when people learned of our wedding date, the questions began rolling in.. "Are you pregnant? When are y'all going to have kids? Ok it's time for another baby? What are y'all waiting for?" .. The list goes on & on..I just want to say this, on THAT [because I could write an entire note on it alone] - STOP asking about other people's reproductive life! You don't know the circumstances of their life or their journey, & if you are close enough to them... You don't have to ask because you already know. -----Thanks. 

                               Now back to the reason reason for this post. 

I've heard stories of women having miscarriages before. I heard the statistic of 1 in 4 ... but It never dawned on me that I would one day be that ONE in Four.

I mean I got pregnant at 14 without trying so surely I could get pregnant & have babies when I "wanted."

I never rationalized that for every pregnancy and birth announcement I saw via social media that there was one that failed, until now. It's ever real & apparent, & I want to open your eyes too. 

The thing about miscarriage is that so many women suffer in silence, they feel alone, and isolated from the world out of FEAR. Fear of judgement, fear of humiliation, & fear of feeling like a failure. 

I'm choosing to use this as an opportunity to start a conversation about something that's almost taboo. So that the ONE in four women like me, can feel "normal" & hopeful if or when they experience this. 

Fear is paralyzingly, someone once said its {False Evidence Appearing Real} & you can either continue in Fear or turn that fear into Faith & allow God to do a great work in you. When you focus on fear you'll always be a prisoner. But when you focus on Faith, nothing will keep you from what God has for you. The latter is what we've chosen & I pray this post inspires someone else to do the same! 

Whether you believe life begins at conception or once the embryo becomes a fetus, I'm not here for that debate. Every woman who has the opportunity to experience new life forming inside of her womb is a walking testament to a true Miracle. Period.

                                                        So Here's our Story: 

When we began "trying" we were ignorant to miscarriage... Not completely.. I mean my husband is a Doctor, he's seen it, diagnosed it, & treated it, many times.  We were just ignorant in thinking it couldn't or rather wouldn't happen to us. We like many others thought "trying to get pregnant" was the "Fun" part... Boy we were sadly mistaken. [Thats a whole other story] 

I mean we got pregnant our second month trying. But the month we didn't get pregnant was a roller coaster. I was a mess!! Symptom spotting and learning all these new words like: TTC, BBT, EWCM & the dreaded AF .. When AF came that month I was so sad, all my hopes came crashing down & all those symptoms were nothing! Well, Just normal PMS. 

But the second month it happened, it was the real deal, I was pregnant & so thrilled. I tried not to symptom spot or test early & it really helped ease my nerves and emotional stability that month. I was going to be a mommy again, 11 years later how awesome right?! 

Once I got confirmation from my doctor, I ran to the store to put together a "Surprise Annoucement" for my Husband to share the news with him. It was a few days after Father's Day & this was going to be his first child so I thought it was just perfect "timing." I had already purchased a few cute onesies because I mean.. We were trying & people get pregnant right away... 

He initially thought it was a late gift from his step son, so his reaction was prices less when he opened the box. A moment we will never forget. 

Just a few days after I told my Husband ... It happened, we were traveling to Charlotte to visit our Friends for the weekend. I had some light cramping that morning but I thought nothing of it. By the time we got settled into Charlotte  which is only a 2 hour drive from where we live, I began to spot & my heart just broke.. I knew, I knew in my spirit right then what was happening when I went to use the bathroom. I just didn't want to accept it. Something in my spirit told me, when the cramping started, but I chose to ignore that voice.. Thinking the enemy was just trying to scare me, & I couldn't let him win! But instead God was trying to use me, I just didn't understand how. 

We ran to the store to purchase pregnancy test because I wanted to ease my mind.. I needed to see the + on the test.. & I did. But again my Husband & I knew at that moment, it really meant nothing.. What was happening couldn't be stopped and a Pregnancy Test would still be + because my HCG would take time to drop low enough for the HPT to read negative. 

For the rest of that day I just laid in our hotel room and cried my self to sleep in my Husbands arms. 

We never got to see our friends... & once we returned home I went to the ED the following morning where they confirmed that my levels had gone down and there was no longer a viable pregnancy. 

My sweet Husband was working in the hospital that day so he brung me lunch as I just waited to be released. Because again with a miscarriage, there is nothing you can do but wait... There's no medication to stop it, or "special" procedure that doctors can preform to reverse it. So I waited it out... In a physical and literal sense. 

When I finally felt a little better I shared the news with my family & they were so encouraging, supportive, & most importantly - Prayer warriors. They wished they'd known sooner, but of course I thought.. We'd have a chance to "Announce" it to them and it would be so exciting for us all.. But that announcement never came..! 

They say that things get better the second time around, but for us the second time was even worst. I prayed so hard the first time that, it would be the last time.. But it wasn't. I mean I had heard of women going on to have successful pregnancies after miscarriage so I thought surely this would be the case for us. 

Just a few months later, there we were again.. This time I knew I was pregnant, I mean we were trying, right?! I had all the symptoms, but I refused to take a test because I didn't want to get a - . 

So I tried to wait as long as I could to find out. We celebrated my birthday, again In NC, this time in Raleigh & when we returned home. I was like ok, late Bday gift I'm ready for you!! 

We stopped at the store to buy a HPT & I took it as soon as we hit the door.

We waited in the room & went to look together, we were so shocked & excited to see "pregnant +"!!  My husband of course said "I knew it... You've had all the symptoms." ~Translation you've been soooo moody lol. ~ 

We immediately prayed, & tried not to get "too ahead of ourselves" because you know what happened last time.. But anyway... 

This time I wasn't waiting to tell my family, I realized the first time, I really needed them, from beginning to end on this journey, especially if anything were to happen.. I would need them again to be my support system, encouragement & Prayer warriors. I did not want to suffer in silence because I wanted to make the perfect "announcement." I just wanted to bask in the glory of each day, We were Pregnant! 

As soon as I got confirmation from my doctor via blood work, I called my mom, I told my sisters, my best friend, & even my son & again we ALL were extremely Happy!! 

The fear and reservations I had vanished & I was taking each day, each week, one step at a time. 

& then it happened, AGAIN... 

Exactly One Month ago Today. This time it was even more gut wrenching. 

The first couple of appointments everything seemed fine, HCG was doubling accordingly the symptoms were certainly there. The doctor wanted me to do an early ultrasound because of the previous miscarriage this time however, just to be sure everything was on track. 

While apprehensive, it was exciting... You mean I get to see this little miracle even sooner?! Yay!!! I prepared for the ultrasound and thought about it that entire week. That day I googled other 6W5D ultrasounds so I'd know what I should "expect" to see & when I got in the room and we only saw the SAC I knew instantly that something wasn't right... But I wanted to hold on to hope. 

The ultrasound technician tried to be optimistic in saying "well it's still early so we may be able to see the baby next week," but again that small voice was preparing me, I knew it was the beginning of the end. 

I scheduled that appointment to be back in a week.. & told my husband about everything when I got home. Next week came but not before the spotting over the weekend. I was going into that appointment knowing the deal, & the only surprise I got was that my husband was there in the waiting room when I arrived to be along side me this time. 

She did the ultrasound & again, No Heartbeat.. I thought I'd cry, but I had prepared myself so I didn't. When she went out the room to get the doctor my husband looked at me and said "this is our testimony" and he was right. It was so reassuring to hear that because at this time the enemy was trying to have his way in saying my husband would be disappointed because right now I wasn't able to give him a baby. Thankfully I have a God fearing man who instead prayed with me and told me, it's til death do us part, when we took those vows we meant them, we already have one child, (his step child) & that I'm stuck with him no matter what!! { If you know my husband, he's a jokester so while it was a very sentimental time I couldn't help but laugh because of the way in which he said it.} God knew I needed him to be there & that his patients for once... Could wait ;) 

The doctor came in still not wanting to "say just yet" but instead, "come back in a week for another ultrasound."  That week came and she finally said the pregnancy wasn't progressing and I would miscarry naturally. 

I had already accepted it. My body went in "labor" or so it felt like labor for those 30 mins 4 days after that appointment. 

I sat in the bathroom letting Nature take its course. My husband would check on me every now and then & my son just gave me my space (he's super clingy, so giving someone space is a miracle by all means lol) & after ..... I felt a sense of peace, I was on the road to truly healing. God was cleansing & purifying me through the process and I was coming out victorious.  

Now I can truly empathize with other 1 in 4's and hope what I've endured can help someone else. 

                     A few important things I've gained from this experience 

        Trust God with ALL your heart! 

• Learn to trust God & be content with him & only him.. Walk by Faith as hard as it is, you don't just get hand outs from God.  You have to walk with him and TRUST him to do what he said he would do. 

        There's a time & season under the sun for everything. 

•Don't let anyone not even yourself instill fear in your heart because of What it may "look" like... That seed gets in your Spirit & in the way of you trusting God. This is your journey, your testimony, your story. Embrace it.  When you are walking according to Gods will, EVERYTHING IS WORKING TOGETHER FOR YOUR GOOD! & eventually you will be rewarded for your faithfulness.  

Some people ask "well how do you know this is Gods will or if I am in it?!" It's simple. The apostle Paul wrote "rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is Gods will for you" When you are praising instead of pity partying, you're growing, & learning, & sometimes that's what God wants to teach you the most through that test. 

         This is not the end. 

•It is not over!! "This sickness is not unto death but so that the son of God can be glorified through it." John 11:4 

Sometimes you feel like God made you a promise he didn't keep, & you get angry with God when things didn't go your way. That's when it's hard to keep worshiping. But my question is this, Can you worship while The Word is working?

What he started he will be faithful to complete until the day of Christ Jesus. Let it be well with you, the process is not always easy, but keep the Faith and until you see the manifestation know that it's not over. 

The devil would love for you to give up and be defeated. God created us with this very intentional purpose, to "multiply & subdue" the earth. The devil comes to steal, kill, & destroy, he wants nothing more but for you to quit. Don't let him WIN. This is only the end if you choose for it to be. We cannot control our circumstances but we can control our choices. Choose Victory over defeat. 

            The bigger the difficulty the greater the blessing. 

•God didn't promise you'd never suffer loss. But he did promise that he's the restorer of all things. Rest in his arms and in HIS promises. Focus on praise and you will find peace and happiness. Everything that has been taken away from you will be restored!! If you just ........ Wait upon the Lord. 

That's the season we are in .. WAITING .. Everyones waiting is different for some it may be IVF, Adoption, or even Surrogacy---But no matter the process remember to be content and rejoice every step of the way! Is it hard at times? Of Course! But it is also a blessing. Our marriage is stronger because of this. We haven't let multiple miscarriages put a wedge between our union because there's only room for God in that space.

We are in total contentment, & it's peaceful. We know God is in control. & what he's promised us, he will be faithful to complete & bless us with .. In Due Season!! He cannot lie :) 

"And let us not lose heart & grow weary & faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due TIME & at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen & relax our courage & Faint." - Galatians 6:9 💜