The Birth Date

It was a girl. It was never confirmed, but I just knew it was a girl. My symptoms were vastly different from my pregnancy with Beau and I could sense that my body was carrying someone different, someone special. I craved Mcdonald’s french fries with an unmatched intensity. I pictured all of the little trips we would take to get french fries when I would remind her that this was all I wanted to eat while she was growing inside of me. The headaches were relentless and I assured myself that this was just the beginning of what it would feel like to raise a daughter. The fatigue was draining me and I imagined my daughter growing more beautiful and strong with each mid afternoon nap I spent slumped on the couch. The brevity of our time together was insignificant to the eternal bond that was conceived the moment I got two faint lines on a pregnancy test.

Even though my daughter is gone, she still lives inside of me. She introduced me to a completely different version of myself. There was me before her and me after her. As much as I miss the old care free me, this new me has a profound understanding of life. I have discovered truths about myself that I never would of obtained had I not been reduced to my most vulnerable state.

I have established a devout connection to the spiritual world which is a gift in itself. Not only do I connect with the baby I lost, but I’ve also connected with my future baby who I believe is a boy. I have found peace in the trenches of my grief. My daughter has reminded me that the turmoil of my life after loss was not a punishment but a lesson to be learned. I’ve been instructed to focus not on what my daughter took away from me, but what she gave me in return.

My gratitude for the child I do have on this earth has only been magnified by the loss of our daughter. The support groups I’ve been led into due to our unfortunate circumstances have taught me that I am not the worst off. There are so many women who do not have any children on this earth and have been desperately trying for years. There are women who are missing both of their fallopian tubes and have no chance of conception other than undergoing invasive IVF. There are women who have no trouble conceiving, but for some reason cannot carry a baby to term. This world of infertility and pregnancy loss that I have begrudgingly been invited to has shown me how truly blessed I really am. I feel lucky to be able to look at it from the inside out.

My daughter taught me to listen to my body and follow my intuition . She implanted in my fallopian tube and as much as she desired to continue growing she knew that her and I would have no chance of survival if she stayed. She didn’t trigger a physical response as I hardly had any of the tell tale warning signs, but she did engage my intuitiveness. Despite my desire to carry out a normal pregnancy and to be pretend like everything was okay, I was constantly distracted by this nagging premonition. I became convinced that something was wrong despite every medical professional telling me that I was okay. My persistence and intuition is what saved my life. My daughter threatened my life just as soon as she saved it.

May 7 used to be the due date and now it has quickly become the birth date. Tomorrow my daughter would be 1 years old. It’s going to be a rainy day, I know that would of throughly pissed me off if I had a party planned. It always rains when you have a party. There would of been bouquets of pink balloons and rows of streamers cast throughout. It would of been a princess party. I probably would of rented a castle bounce house. This is special because Beau has a winter birthday and we’ve never had the opportunity to do something like that. I would probably hire someone to come dressed up as her favorite princess and everyone would be sent home with goody bags filled with glitter. She would be toddling around in a little tutu with a crown hanging out of her mouth that should really be on her head. I imagine her with little blonde pig tails with the elastics surrendering to the softness of her hair as they fall out. I picture a majestic birthday cake with soft pink frosting and chocolate as rich as my daughter’s brown eyes. I can see Beau attempting to help his sister blow out her birthday candle and a sibling quarrel ensuing shortly after. I picture us all surrounding her high chair leaning in for a family picture. I picture us so happy, so complete.

Happy Birthday to the little girl that I know so well, yet, I never got to meet. Thank you for the lessons and the truths you have instilled in me. I am a better person because of you. I used to think that you took life away from me, but you have really given life back to me.

Until we meet again.

A Letter to my Son

From the broken version of your mom.

I’m sorry.

I haven’t been the best mom. Because my trauma not only took something away from me, but it also took me away from you. After our loss, I became a shell of myself threatening to crumble beneath the weight of each day. You didn’t realize this because I was physically present, but my body was really just a vessel harboring an invasive melancholy. There were so many moments during those first few months that I was there, but I wasn’t really there. And I’m sorry for my absence.

I’m sorry for all the times you proudly presented a block tower to me and I was too consumed in the trenches of my grief to give you the praise you were seeking. I’m sorry for all of the happy moments that I let pass me by because I felt like I wasn’t entitled to joy. There were sunsets and car rides and tender good night kisses that felt like moments I should cherish, but somehow I couldn’t bring myself to.

Thank you for continuing to pursue my praise and affection in the form of play-doh sculptures that look like “turds” and matchbox cars arranged in careful rows. These small expressions of yourself are what generated some of my first smiles after our loss. Your actions were purely driven by your desire for my approval. You wanted nothing more than to see me smile and you were willing to do whatever it took. Thank you for reminding me that I was worthy of being happy.

I’m sorry for ignoring you. I’m sorry for hiding behind my phone and seeking comfort from strangers online rather than leaning into you for love and support. It just felt like no one could possibly understand my pain more than the people who have gone through it themselves. So I immersed myself into all of the support groups and forums just hoping that somehow this virtual community held the key to putting me back together again. I’m sorry for all of the bedtime stories that were read half heartedly and all of the movies that you were left to laugh at alone. I’m sorry for all of the pictures that were colored hastily and games that were broken up by periods of being absorbed into my phone.

Thank you extracting me from the depths of online support groups and google rabbit holes. Your demand for my attention was all that could rescue me from the vortex that is the internet. Thank you for telling me to put down my phone and play with the green dinosaur. Nothing could give me a reality check quite like hearing the pure and innocence in your little voice pleading with me to spend time with you. Thank you for saving me from myself.

I’m sorry for taking my anger out on you. There was so much anger festering inside of me; a cocktail of hormones and anguish. The baby that was taken out of me along with my fallopian tube was replaced by a dark void. That void quickly erupted with rage. You were never the source of my anger, but a lot of times you ended up on the receiving end. I’m not proud of the times I lost my temper over mild defiances such as splashing water out of the tub or refusing to get dressed. It’s these moments where the guilt dwells. I’ll never forgive myself for misplacing my emotions so erratically. You probably won’t remember my outbursts and episodes of rage, but I will. And I’m sorry, because you were never the cause of my pain.

Thank you for all of the tender “I love you”’s and unwarranted hugs. It doesn’t seem possible that a child your age could possess the emotional aptitude to understand that I needed love the most when I deserved it the least. Your sweet gestures of affection were always offered in the most meaningful way. It’s almost as if you could sense when my heart was aching. Your little hands warmly wrapped around my arm and wet kisses planted on my nose are medicinal. You sustained me through one of hardest periods of my life.

I’m sorry for wishing my life away. I’m sorry for allowing intrusive thoughts to take over my brain and feed me lies. I’m sorry for ever considering that your life would be better without me in it. It’s embarrassing to admit that I ever entertained such grotesque concepts. I’m sorry that I ever contemplated leaving you without a mother.

Thank you for reminding me of how very loved and needed I am. Thank you for constantly fulfilling my purpose as a mother. On my darkest days you pulled me into the light and assured me that I belong here. You reinforced my worth as well as my place in this world. Thank you.

I’m sorry for my longing of another child. I bear guilt because my desire to grow our family feels as if it negates the perfect family I have right in front of me. It feels like I’ve put my life on hold for a child that isn’t even here. From canceled vacations to major lifestyle changes, everything I do seems to revolve around having another baby. I’m sorry for looking in the rear view of our 3 row SUV and feeling disdain for the fact that it doesn’t have more car seats in it. I’m sorry for feeling emptiness on occasions that should bring joy because I’m distracted by the fact that someone is missing. I’m sorry for dismissing your questions about babies and hiding the dolls that you got for christmas because my heart can’t stand to see you so affectionate and loving on them. It’s been a battle navigating between my grief of the child we lost and the struggle of trying to conceive another. It’s been pain on top of pain and I’m so very fragile. I’m sorry that my triggers have dictated how we live our life.

Thank you for making me a mother. Thank you for being the only thing that could possibly make our hardships a little more bearable. Our loss and the struggle that ensued has deepened my love and appreciation for you beyond measurement. I believe that those who know loss find a profound gratitude in life that is only attained through their unimaginable pain. Your presence is truly a gift and a miracle that I will never take for granted. The toys that inundate the living room and the small muddy footprints that track through our kitchen are reminders of how lucky I am to have a little one who inhabits our home and our lives. Thank you for being here.

I never could of anticipated the anguish injected into my life by an ectopic pregnancy. It reduced me to the most vulnerable version of myself. I didn’t recognize who I was, but you still did. You saw through the trauma that painted me into a stranger. You could see my smile beneath the layers of pain and you knew just how to turn the corners of my mouth up like the turn of a key. You forgave me for my unwarranted outbursts of anger and almost always reciprocated my ugly behavior with underserved affection. Your patience and grace are so well beyond your years that I’m certain you’ve experienced a million lifetimes. Thank you for never giving up on me and for loving me unconditionally as I put myself back together. I wouldn’t be who I am without you.

Thank you.

Hope Less Full

It’s been almost a year and I’m still waiting for this nightmare to end. I joined the support groups and started therapy, but nothing will extinguish the grief that lives inside of me. The good days outweigh the bad, but the bad days take weeks. Just when I’ve overcome one of my triggers, a new one erupts. Today, someone came into work with flowers and my heart sank because after our loss my kitchen counter was inundated with arrangements of flowers conveying sympathy.

Although I’m open about our struggles and wear my trauma like body armor, it doesn’t stop people from asking when I will have another child or telling me that my son needs a playmate. This hurts more than anything because it’s what drives my desire to have another child the most. I want to hear my kids giggle under the covers before bedtime and watch them argue in the backseat of the car from the rear view . I want Beau to have someone to play with while his parents are busy being boring adults. I want to leave our son with a family when we are no longer around. I want him to share our legacy and carry on our traditions with his siblings. The guilt of failing to provide my son with a counterpart tugs at me daily and it’s slowly tearing me apart.

Every month is a roller coaster of emotions. The excitement of ovulation is immediately followed by the suspense and unease of the two week wait. I’ve held onto hope nearly every cycle, only for it to be decimated by a negative test or the sight of period blood. After a year and half of trying to conceive with a devastating loss in between I am exhausted. I am hopeless. I feel broken.

My body is struggling to do what it was biologically designed to do. My maternal instincts are aching as my mind and spirit are so ready for this baby, but my body is not in sync. I’m trying to have patience and to give my body grace, as it is still healing. It went through a trauma and lost not one, but two pieces of itself in the process. I was sleeping during surgery so I have no recollection, but my body was fully awake and aware. My body had to feel and accept every part of my baby being taken out of me along with my left fallopian tube. It wasn’t able to engage in survival mode to protect us at all costs. My body had no choice but to surrender to the surgical instruments that infiltrated its space and took pieces of it that it would never get back.

My mind and body are mourning the loss of our baby separately. My mind sees the pictures that they took during surgery and the scars on my belly that reside as evidence, but my body is still coming down from this unexpected assault. It connected with our baby before we even got those two promising lines. It gave our baby a home and a space to grow before we had anything to do it with it. Ironically, an embryo can not survive in the fallopian tube, so it almost feels as though my body betrayed us by allowing our baby to stay in a space that it wouldn’t live for long. This is the part that my mind doesn’t comprehend. Why? Why did my body let this happen? Our situation is the most unfortunate example of wrong place at the wrong time. Why couldn’t my body push the little embryo into my uterus where it would be safe? We would be holding our child by now, if only that embryo moved a few centimeters. That’s what makes up the difference of who I was before and who I am now….a few centimeters.

That question of why continues to eat me alive and it’s nearly consumed me. How do I know it won’t happen again? How can I trust my body to keep our baby safe next time? A lot of times there is no reason as to why a women will have an ectopic pregnancy.

There are risk factors such as previous abdominal surgery, certain STD’s, and scar tissue. My ectopic was deemed bad luck. I’m grateful that that the reason for my ectopic doesn’t appear to be because of my fertility, but bad luck isn’t concrete, it’s not something I can work with or mold into a reason as to why.

My husband and I have decided that we are ready to take the next step which is to have an HSG performed. An HSG is a test that uses a saline solution and x ray technology to look inside your uterine cavity and insure that your tubes are open and that there are no blockages. This test can be uncomfortable and a lot of times it is not covered by insurance. We did not take this decision lightly as it feels as though we are admitting defeat. We are at a point where we are ready for some answers, but we aren’t prepared to hear bad news. Last time we were at the hospital, we left with two broken hearts. We have been conditioned to associate bad news with that particular setting and it feels like we’ll be walking into a dark piece of our past when we go to our appointment. The hope is that my remaining tube is open, free and clear and that we just need to be a little more patient for our rainbow baby. If my one and only tube is blocked, we will have no other option than IVF.

We ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we undergo this test. It will be undoubtedly triggering to be back in the same hospital almost a year later. Please pray that we get good news and that our hopes may be fulfilled again.

May 7

Don’t lose hope,
when the sun goes down
the stars come out

April was like a thin blanket sheltering me from a cold reality that is May. It’s funny how intangible May was over 9 months ago when I got a positive pregnancy test. Now as I stand at the edge of this dreadful month, I’m reminded of how fast time goes by even when your world has stopped.

Shortly after our loss, I told myself that by the time the due date came around I would already be pregnant again or would at least be healed enough to combat the overwhelming grief of this milestone. And today, just days before our projected due date, I am neither of those things.

Because my trauma took a piece from me that I will never get back. My body has healed and my spirit is slowly recovering, but my baby is gone. A baby that showed so much promise, but was at the wrong place at the wrong time. I torture myself with the what if’s and the how comes. I had a perfectly healthy baby growing inside of my left fallopian tube, like a delicate flower fighting to defy a spring frost. There is no chance of survival if the baby does not implant in the uterus.

The brevity of my unborn baby’s time with us is what hurts the most, because I had a whole life planned out for them. I foolishly accepted that positive pregnancy test as a yes. I allowed it to fill my heart with the promise of dreams come true and happily ever after.

Instead, I find myself tethered to my grief. Even on my best days, I am reminded of my loss. Because my wound is still open and the world carries on. My baby was taken out of me along with my left fallopian tube and replaced with a trauma that infects me like a virus.

I will never be the same.

But that’s not a bad thing. The same trauma that haunts me, is the one that reminds me to be grateful for my healthy son. The scar on my lower abdomen that reveals where my fallopian tube was removed, is a coarse reminder that I still have one remaining tube and can still conceive naturally. And May 7. May 7 will eternally serve as a reminder of life’s fragility and to never take a day for granted.

May 7 was our projected due date. I ask that in honor of the baby we never got to meet, that you do a random act of kindness. It doesn’t have to be anything grand, but I would like there to be some happiness on a day that was supposed to be magical for us. As always, thank you for your love and support. Thank you for letting me use this as an outlet to heal. It means more than I could ever express.

The Other C Word

April is C section awareness month. I fully support there being a month dedicated to C section mamas because first of all, women are maternal goddesses, but also because there is such a negative stigma surrounding this method of child birth.

We are primed to believe that having a c section means you failed to deliver your baby the “natural” way. Because having your vagina expand to the size of a small cantaloupe and practically shitting out a human is totally natural, right? Although our bodies are designed to bare children and deliver them, nothing about child birth is freaking natural. You hear the term “natural birth” like it’s something we do everyday.

C sections are life saving for both millions of babies and mothers which is why it’s a shame that there is so much negativity surrounding this method of delivery. From the very beginning we are setting mothers up to believe that a c section should be an absolute last resort. In the maternity ward, C section is practically the other “C” word.

I was in labor with Beau for over 36 hours. I pushed for nearly 4 hours and his head didn’t even graze the gaping hole that was my vagina. (I’m telling you child birth is not natural). I could tell that my team of nurses as well as my family were becoming discouraged. We should of been making more progress. Beau’s heart rate was mimicking signs of distress and although it wasn’t anything that was deemed an emergency, I could tell that a decision needed to be made. With tears in my eyes, I reluctantly asked my doctor to do a C section. I wasn’t pressured into it and there wasn’t an apparent medical emergency. I just knew that I had done everything I could do deliver my son vaginally and it wasn’t happening. My doctor seemed relieved when I surrendered my idea of a “perfect, natural birth” and submitted to the C section.

The OR was bright and cold. My husband could not go in with me for the initial prep and my preconceived fears of having a C section were starting to invade my thoughts. My entire pregnancy I was led to believe that if you end up with a C section it means you failed at labor and delivery or that there was a significant emergency and you and your baby were in danger. What a terrible mentality to have when you’re about to undergo major surgery, never mind on what is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. My son wasn’t even born yet and I had already felt like I was crumbling beneath society’s standards of what constitutes the perfect mother. I felt defeated and like a failure as a woman and a mom.

The moment Beau was born I was transformed into a state of complete ecstasy. Nothing mattered more than Brandon, myself and our beautiful creation. My body began to shake uncontrollably as it suddenly no longer served as a precious vessel. I was shaking on the OR table for what felt like 20 minutes. It was a complete rush. I had just given birth and hormones were rapidly surging through my body as they navigated from a prenatal to postnatal state. Beau was delivered by means of a six inch incision on my lower abdomen, but he was born and I gave birth.

Just hours after delivery, my doctor came in the room and told us that the umbilical cord had been wrapped around Beau’s neck several times and that if I had continued to push, it would only have increased the chance of major complications. Of course this is something they can’t see while you are actively in labor, but I think my mind and body were sending me all the signals to go forward with a C section despite my reluctance. I saved my baby’s life by opting to do a C section. The whole time I was in the OR feeling like a complete failure, I was actually being the best mom I could be.

Please stop tip toeing around C sections like they actually are the “C word.” There is no shame in how you deliver your baby. You have a lifetime of mistakes and mom fails ahead of you, don’t let the happiest day of your life be anything less than that. Here’s to all my C section mama’s who heard their baby’s first cry in an operating room over the sound of monitors. Here’s to the moms who didn’t get to look at their baby’s face until it appeared from the other side of a sheet. Here’s to the moms who started their motherhood journey feeling like less of a mother because of how they delivered their baby. We are strong, we are brave and we have an awesome scar that we can one day tell our kids we carried them around like a kangaroo.

The Due Date

The due date is looming. I told myself that I wasn’t going to let this milestone set me back, but here I am plummeting back to the depths of my despair. A few months ago I could look at pregnant belly and pretend like it didn’t trigger my grief, but as the due date nears, I find pregnant bellies especially disheartening.

I torture myself by thinking that that’s what my belly should look like right now. It should be plump and round and I should be at the point in my pregnancy where getting out of bed makes me feel like a rotisserie chicken. I should be having a baby sprinkle and booking maternity photos. Brandon and I should be fighting over colors to paint the nursery and washing old bottles and sanitizing pump parts. We should be full of love and excitement in anticipation of our new addition, but instead we are trapped in this state of grief as we surrender our happiness to that dreaded due date.

I was so excited when I learned that we had a projected May due date. I was thrilled to not have to be super pregnant over the summer as well as to be able plan the best outdoor birthday parties. I loved that my kids would be two and half years apart and I imagined putting them on the bus and sending them off to homecoming together.

In the 7 short weeks that I was pregnant, I imagined a whole life for my baby and for our family. Although the pregnancy threatened to be unsuccessful even from the very first test I took, I still allowed myself to fall in love with this little life that Brandon and I created.

I’ve come so far with my healing and I truly do feel as if my heart and spirit are in a good place, which is why this wave of melancholy crashing over me has been especially defeating. I try to remind myself that healing is not linear, but it feels like everyone around me is convinced that I’ve moved on. It’s almost as if I have to give myself permission to be sad. On the 14th of every month, I’m painfully reminded that another month has passed since our loss. With each passing month, it feels like my window of time to grieve gets smaller. I know this isn’t true, but it’s an expectation I unfairly set for myself.

The trauma and the healing process that ensues, are a reflection of one another. How you endured your trauma and navigate your healing are experiences that are uniquely you. Brandon and I went through the same hardship, yet we are facing it differently. Some days are harder for me and easier for him, while others, like the due date, are days that take grip on both of our hearts and strangle them without mercy.

Be gentle with yourself and be kind to others. You truly don’t know when someone is having one of their hardest days.

I promise that I’ll get back to my quirky write ups about mom life. There is so much to divulge about toddlerhood and I miss writing about happier things. This is where my heart and soul are at currently and sharing my healing journey is crucial to my improvement. I appreciate you all for continuing to read and supporting me in this new season of my life. It was never my intention to write such heavy content on my blog, but it feels like it was meant to be. This is how I heal ❤️

Fly High Dragonfly

It’s been 4 months since my loss and the trauma still lives inside of me. The more I navigate through my healing process, the more I realize that I will never be the same. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think I’m becoming a better person because of it. I’ve started doing acupuncture as well as writing in a gratitude journal. I’ve never felt more connected to my higher self. Somehow my trauma has transformed me into the person I think I was always meant to be.

When your biggest fear comes true, it’s oddly a relief. Like okay, the worst possible thing I ever imagined happening to me has happened and yet, I survived, I’m here. You’re braver because of it. Your whole outlook on life evolves. I truly believe there’s magic in the universe that only becomes available to you after your life has been flipped upside down.

I consider myself a spiritual person. I’ve always been in tune with the universe and the messages it has to offer. The darkness and grief of my pregnancy loss has only deepened my intuition. I’ve noticed more signs from the universe than ever before and I think it’s played a crucial role in my healing process. On the days where I can barely muster the emotional fortitude to get out of bed, I’m reminded that everything will be okay and there is hope.

I’m making progress as I can see my trauma getting smaller in the rear view mirror of my soul. It’s starting to take up less space. I no longer feel suffocated by my grief. I’ve still been longing for closure though. I tried so hard to minimize my pain by pretending that I didn’t actually lose a baby. But the more I suppressed the truth, the more I hurt. The mass of cells that was removed from my body along with my Fallopian tube was a very longed for baby. It has a list of potential names and a projected May birthday. I didn’t want to think of a life for the baby that we lost because it made it too real. I also felt guilty for saying that I lost a baby, because others truly have lost their children, while my loss didn’t even have a heartbeat. I got buried in this unchartered realm of infant and pregnancy loss. I didn’t know how I was allowed to feel.

Recently I’ve taken a hold of my emotions and have given myself permission to feel however I need to. Once I opened myself up I find the closure I was looking for.

A week before my emergency surgery, we were in New Hampshire celebrating our anniversary. I was still in limbo with my pregnancy as we didn’t have answers as to why I was bleeding so heavily despite my increasing HCG levels. We decided that while we on our trip we were going to celebrate the pregnancy and think positive. Up until that point we had been keeping our guard up to protect ourselves from the worst possible outcome.

We were canoeing down the Saco river and Beau lovingly grazed my belly with his tiny hand and locked eyes with me knowingly. It was almost as if he was telling me that he knew there was something going on. I savored the moment and let it linger for awhile. Shortly after, a dragonfly came buzzing by. It landed on Beau’s hat and remained there. I fumbled to get my phone and as soon as I found it, the dragonfly was gone. Despite not getting the picture, I knew it was something I would never forget. I felt grateful for our encounter and I accepted it as a good omen. Just moments later, the dragonfly returned, once again landing on Beau’s hat. This time it stuck around much longer. It stayed with us for so long that I was able to get all the pictures I desired. It gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling, like everything was going to be okay.

Truthfully, I forgot about the dragonfly. It was a cool experience, but bared no relevance in my current life, until a couple of days ago.

Last week, I got back from acupuncture and I was almost in a sedative state. I was deep in my thoughts doing a lot of processing, when suddenly I remembered the dragonfly. Some light went off in my head that told me the dragonfly was the baby I lost. I did a little research just to inquire what dragonflies are supposed to symbolize. To my surprise, some people believe that dragonflies are an omen of death and can represent a visit from a deceased love one. Having contact with a dragonfly is a spiritual connection to the afterlife.
The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life. As if all this wasn’t making enough sense, much of the symbolism of dragonflies is derived from their short life cycle. Most dragonflies will only live 6 months from their larvae state to a mature adult. I am deeply convinced that the dragonfly fly we encountered just days before my surgery was our baby saying hello and goodbye and letting us know that everything will be okay.

Tis the season

The holiday season is upon us. It’s the time of cheesy Christmas sweaters, cookie swaps and pregnancy announcements. I mean what better time to announce wonderful news to the world than on Christmas?

I remember last Christmas we had just started trying for baby number 2. Seeing everyone share their ultrasound pictures and beautiful bumps filled me with a sense of joy and dread. I had no reason to worry that I wouldn’t one day soon also get to share my exciting news, but part of me couldn’t help but to feel like seeing all of these announcements one after the other somehow made me a failure. It was overwhelming.

I started to reflect on my own life and wonder if all of my happy, exciting news had expired. I had no reason to feel this way. We literally had just started trying. I guess even then, I was fragile. I think we all are in a way. Somehow other people’s accomplishments force us to take a real hard look at ourselves. It doesn’t help that everyone seems to be accomplishing the one thing I wasn’t.

This year will be hard and I am bracing myself for it. I think my natural instinct is to be jealous and resentful of other’s happiness. Why do they have what I don’t? I have been conscious about retraining my brain and putting myself back together into a better version of myself. I want to be happy for people and I don’t want it to be fake or forced. I want to feel genuine excitement for them to my core. If I’m anything less than sincere, than its not who I want to be.

It’s been over 3 months since our loss and my husband and I still silently grief. He is a manager at Target and he said that every time he sees a pregnant woman in the baby section his heart caves in. I told him that I know the feeling, but he can’t let jealously or anger strangle his kind spirit. I reminded him that we don’t know her story or how many pregnancy tests she peed on and specialists she saw before she finally got those two pink lines. We don’t know if that baby in her womb has birth defects or some other life changing condition. We don’t know if she’s happily pregnant or supported by her family. All we see is that coveted bump.

Before our loss, I would pray every night for the baby that would complete our family. I’m not religious, but I consider myself a spiritual person. After a while, I started projecting my wishes onto other women that I knew were trying to conceive. I still prayed for my own family, but it felt good to include others that I knew were hoping and wishing for the same thing I was. After our loss, I just couldn’t muster the energy to pray for other’s happiness. I felt so angry and defeated by the universe. For weeks I would lay my head on my pillow and go to bed without so much as an amen. I’ve been seeing an acupuncturist and she has helped to realign my spirit. She reminded me that I need to put out good energy to attract the good. Some days are still very challenging, but I am finding it easier to whole heartedly hope for other’s success. Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what happened to me, there’s always someone who can use the prayers more than I do.

My experience has stripped me to the most vulnerable version of myself and forced me to put myself back together again. I don’t know if I’ve ever done more self reflection or soul searching. It’s not success that brings out the truth in people, but adversity. I’ve learned so much about myself as well as my husband. I’ve learned that life is delicate and so are emotions. I’ve learned that my happiness shouldn’t be measured by other’s success. I’ve learned that everyone has a story and whether they choose to only divulge the highlights does not mean that they didn’t struggle to get their happy ending.

So to all of you who may be dreading Facebook or holiday get togethers as we near Christmas, please remember that it’s okay to be sad for you and happy for them. Life isn’t easy on any of us. Keep your spirit up and your heart pure.

Nobody will tell you

It’s been over just a month since my surgery. No body told me that even though my pregnancy was terminated, I would still feel pregnant. I would still wake up with morning sickness and instinctively place my hand on my belly. Nobody warned me about the constant emails I would get reminding me to make a baby registry and to take my prenatal. Nobody told me that I would have good days, that would suddenly turn into bad days because something would trigger me and force me to face my grief. Nobody told me how scary it would be to take a pregnancy test 2 weeks post op to make sure my HCG levels were going down. I’ve never found such comfort in a negative pregnancy test before.

Nobody told me how quickly my body would recover, while the rest of me struggled to catch up. I ovulated 3 weeks after my surgery. I know this because I was monitoring my ovulation with OPKs. Although, it seems that trying to conceive again should be the furthest thing from my mind, its the only way I know how to move on. After months and months of disappointment and negative tests, the only way I know how to move on is to keep moving forward.

My longing for another child has only gotten deeper since our loss. The void in my heart is piercing. The desire to conceive again can be felt from the inside out. My baby was ripped out of my body without warning and I can feel it on a physiological level. My body didn’t get to finish the job it was intended for and it is so eager to try again. Nobody will tell you that. Nobody will tell you how you will mourn for your loss, but also for your body’s. Pregnancy unites you to your body on a spiritual and emotional level, but losing a pregnancy will connect you even more.

Some women will resent their body or feel as if it failed them. I on the other hand, feel like I failed my body. Sometimes I feel as if I started trying to conceive before my body was ready. I weaned Beau from breastfeeding because I thought it would improve our chances of getting pregnant. During the weaning process, my body spiraled from the hormones. It was like postpartum all over again. Instead of trying to add more hormones to the mix, I should of given my body the time it needed to level out and heal after such an emotional time.

Nobody will tell you how much you will blame yourself and contemplate the what if’s. You’ll try to take responsibility for something that was completely out of your hands. But sometimes the only thing that can bring you comfort, is knowing that you had some control over the situation. So you start taking a different vitamin or alter your work out regimen in hopes that you can produce a better outcome.

Nobody will tell you how the little things like driving down the road will make you sad. Because the car you’re driving is your mom car and when you bought that car with the 3 rows, your intention was to fill it with kids. Tears fill your eyes as you watch your son play by myself in the rear view and your heart aches that you’ll be able to give him a sibling to fight with in the back seat. You just crave that chaos that you always imagined your life with. You never once doubted that you would get what you always dreamed of, until this moment.

Nobody will tell you how much you will contemplate the future of your family. You start to wonder if you should sell your baby swing as well as the tote of new born clothes you tucked away with the promise of another life. You start to look at your one living child with an unprecedented intensity. You start to wonder if this will be your only kid and if that’s the case, you have to make his life count more than ever. Your anxiety begins to peak because you don’t want anything to happen your one baby ever. Simple things like leaving your kid home when you go to work will become crippling because what if something happens to him while you’re gone? His life becomes more important than you ever imagined.

Miscarriage and pregnancy loss are hardships that are not often talked about, because such pain and grief is hard to articulate. It’s almost impossible to put into words how hollow you feel after a loss. And because no one is talking about it, you often wonder if your pain is valid. You have nothing to compare your situation to and it quickly becomes isolating. I can’t take the pain away or make things magically better, but I can assure you that you are not alone and anything you feel is normal and real. Don’t suffer alone.

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. This used to be something that would come across my newsfeed that I would acknowledge with a heart reaction and continue to scroll. I would try my best to empathize with the people that were dealing with this type of loss, but there was no way I could understand the magnitude of their grief. That is until now. Now I am one of those woman who makes up the statistic 1 in 4. That’s right, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. But that’s the thing, I didn’t have a miscarriage.

I experienced an ectopic pregnancy. Many people have never even heard of this term, for one because it is so rare and also because miscarriage and pregnancy loss in general are practically forbidden topics in today’s society. There is so much shame surrounding miscarriage and pregnancy loss and because these matters aren’t talked about, it often leaves people uneducated. We need to have these conversations. Not only will it spread awareness, but it will also spare women the shame of talking about their experiences.

In honor of pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, I’m going to share some facts and shed some light on ectopic pregnancies. An ectopic is a pregnancy in which the fertilized eggs implants outside of the uterus. The most common type of ectopic occurs in the Fallopian tube. Although, the fertilized egg may grow outside of the uterus, it cannot survive. If left to grow, it may damage nearby organs and cause life threatening loss of blood.

Ectopic pregnancies are rare as only 1 in 50 or 2% of pregnancies are deemed ectopic in the United States. Although some women may experience pain or bleeding, there are not always pressing symptoms. I myself had been bleeding since I got a positive pregnancy test, but because bleeding is a also a common symptom of early pregnancy my doctor wasn’t concerned. My HCG levels were rising appropriately which further led my doctor to believe that I was experiencing a healthy pregnancy. Other symptoms that women might experience are extreme one sided abdominal or pelvic pain as well as a shooting sensation at the tip of their shoulder. I experienced the shoulder pain the day my pregnancy was ruled ectopic. I was also feeling very light headed and dizzy, which are not as common, but still symptoms of a possible ectopic.

I didn’t seek care because of my symptoms though. I went to the emergency room because I knew in my gut that something wasn’t right. My bleeding hadn’t subsided for over two weeks and it evolved into this very discerning brown color. It was as if my body was sending me warning signals. It is so imperative that you listen to your body and advocate for yourself. No body, not even a highly reputable, educated doctor knows your body better than you.

By the time my ectopic pregnancy was detected I was beginning to bleed internally. One of my doctors suggested doing the methotrexate shot, because it didn’t appear as though my tube had ruptured. My other doctor urged that we take a more aggressive approach because even though my tube had not ruptured, they detected free fluid in my pelvis and it needed to be addressed right away. The methotrexate shot is basically a form of chemotherapy that will kill the cells and stop them from continuing to divide. The thing is, is the shot does not work immediately and could take multiple doses to be successful. If the shot does not work quickly enough, the pregnancy could continue to grow and ultimately result in a ruptured tube as well as fatal consequences. If an ectopic is discovered early enough, the shot is the best form of treatment as it doesn’t entail invasive surgery or the loss of a Fallopian tube. With that being said, if you get the shot, you have to wait at least 12 weeks before you can try to conceive again. The chemotherapy from the shot depletes your body of all of its nutrients, including folate which is vital to ensuring the proper growth and health of a fetus. It is imperative that you allow your body time to be replenished with all of the important nutrients it needs to sustain a pregnancy. The shot may be less invasive, but it surely takes a toll on your body.

I ultimately ended up with the surgery. Most of the time the procedure conducted to treat an ectopic pregnancy is called laparoscopic surgery. It is a technique in which short, narrow tubes including a camera are inserted into the abdomen through small incisions. The surgeon was able to treat and remove the ectopic pregnancy as well as my left Fallopian tube without cutting me wide open. In some cases, a bigger incision may need to be made, but it is not common.

The recovery time from surgery varies from person to person, but most people tend to feel better after about two weeks. I’m nearly 3 weeks post op and I still feel slight tenderness near my boo boos as Beau refers to them, but I am no longer bleeding and my most recent pregnancy test has come up negative. My body is slowly beginning to recover and heal, although I’m emotionally still catching up.

The prognosis for being able to conceive again is good. Despite what some people are led to believe, losing a tube does not cut your fertility in half. Your remaining Fallopian tube has the ability to catch the egg from ovary on the tubeless side. Many women who experience an ectopic pregnancy go on to carry full term babies.

I started my blog to talk about the things that others are too afraid or ashamed to talk about. Lately, it seems as if I am fulfilling my purpose more than ever. Part of me wonders if I was put through this trauma, because I’m brave enough to talk about it. I hope that my story helps others to heal and possibly saves a life. I know that some choose to process and grieve their trauma privately and I respect that. I want to be the voice of reason and hope that every woman, no matter how they navigate their loss, can cling to. No one should have to go through this alone.