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.

PSA

If you’re a woman of child bearing age, chances are you’ve been asked if you have kids or plan to have kids. It’s an inquiry that might appear to be innocuous, but could render serious emotional trauma. What you perceive as small talk, could actually be the catalyst to someone’s breaking point.

Sometimes you wake up in a good state of mind, ready to take on the day and all it takes is one mild remark to send you spiraling. And you try to rationalize. That person was just trying to be friendly, they didn’t mean any harm. But the truth is, is that even if that person was just striking up causal conversation, it doesn’t make it hurt any less. What they assume is casual conversation, you accept as a threat to your emotional stability.

It rings in your ears as a reminder that your uterus is still empty despite all of the vitamins you’ve been taking and tips and tricks you’ve implemented in order to achieve pregnancy.

It drives into your heart like a knife, almost mimicking that same feeling of defeat that you experience month after month at the sight of blood.

Or what if you know you can’t have biological kids because you had a hysterectomy due to your crippling endometriosis. Do you let them in on this personal information or do you just nod and smile like you do every other time you are confronted with this stifling question.

Maybe it makes you feel inadequate because you don’t want to have kids, yet society puts all of this pressure on you to fit a certain mold. Are you less of a woman because you don’t want to reproduce?

Or how about the woman who just experienced a miscarriage. The woman who is no longer pregnant, but still feels pregnant because of all of the hormones coursing through her. She still instinctively places her hand to her belly because her body hasn’t quite caught up with her mind and soul. She still feels pregnant, even though she isn’t. That question will surely send her spiraling. If you were to ask a week ago, her insides would be beaming. She wouldn’t admit to being pregnant because it would be far too early to tell anyone, but at least this time she could confidently respond with her generic, “we’ll have kids in due time.”

I underwent laparoscopic surgery on Monday which resulted in the loss of a very longed for pregnancy in addition to my left Fallopian tube. I haven’t even finished my prescription of pain meds and I’ve already been harassed about when I will another baby. The person who struck up this conversation does not know that today was my first day back at work after two weeks of hell. He does not know that I am still passing residual tissue from my surgery or that I’m still experiencing morning sickness because my body hasn’t caught up with itself. He doesn’t know that it took every ounce of courage for me to get out of bed and face the world today. He has no idea that we’ve been trying to get pregnant for months and that highly anticipated positive pregnancy test resulted in the worst heartbreak of my life. He has no idea what I’m going through. Can I blame him for asking? Is it unfair of me to hope that the universe could spare me from that dreaded question while I heal?

You have no idea what a person is battling. And while I know we can’t expect the world to be keen on our sensitivities and triggers, we can try to spread awareness. This is me spreading awareness. Think before you speak. Read the room. You truly do not know the weight of your words. Use them to spread the good, not the bad.

My miscarriage story

Trigger Warning! This article may contain sensitive material. If you are easily provoked by content regarding miscarriage, I would proceed with caution. I want to share my story in hopes of helping others as well as myself. My healing process begins with shared experiences and connections. Thank you for your love and support during this difficult time.

A little over a month ago I started bleeding. This would come as no surprise as I was due for my period. The bleeding remained subdued for a couple of days which is uncharacteristic for my cycle. I decided to take a pregnancy test even though I knew that I would be disappointed when that lonely solo line showed up yet again to taunt me. I sat on the toilet prepared to add another negative pregnancy test to my batch of hopefuls that I’ve collected throughout the months. When I examined the test, I was in disbelief as two beautiful pink lines stared back at me. I didn’t have to shine at light on the test or analyze it from a million different angles, this test was a clear positive.

The next morning, I woke up to a lot of blood. Blood was in my pad and filling the toilet every time I went to the bathroom. I was devastated. It was was inevitable that I was miscarrying. There was no way there was a baby in there anymore.

I called my doctor to make her aware of my situation and she advised me to do blood work. I went for three separate blood draws and each time my HCG levels rose appropriately. I was ambivalent. How could I be bleeding and pregnant?

I wanted to be excited, but I didn’t know how to. Even as the bleeding began to subside, I couldn’t help but to think that something wasn’t right. My doctor assured me that bleeding in early pregnancy is not uncommon and it could be implantation bleeding or just an irritated cervix. I began to convince myself that this was normal and that everything was going to be okay. The more reassurance I received, the deeper my joy and excitement grew. I finally allowed myself to celebrate this pregnancy.

I began to think of ways to announce our exciting news. I looked up the tentative due date and already started brainstorming cute Halloween costumes that would emphasize my growing belly. I was in disbelief that it was actually happening. I was thrilled to be able to experience pregnancy again as well as to give Beau a sibling. It felt unreal. My dreams were once again becoming a reality.

I continued to spot throughout those first couple of weeks. It wasn’t as alarming to me as I had experienced similar spotting when I was pregnant with Beau. It wasn’t until we got back from our anniversary trip to New Hampshire that my worries and doubt began to emerge again. I was still spotting, but it had evolved to this very distinguished brown color. A color that I’ve never seen my body produce before. It was almost as if my body was sending me warning signals. I started to feel mild pain on my left side, which is not unusual for me as I am prone to cysts, but when accompanied with that disturbing brown bodily fluid, I knew that something was not right.

As much as I wanted to continue to live in this state of bliss, sending Brandon on McDonald’s runs to fetch me more French fries, taking first belly pictures and imagining my complete family of 4, I knew I had to snap back to reality and get help.

I made an appointment for an early ultrasound. I would be 6 weeks and 2 days. My hopeful heart prayed that my instincts were wrong and there would be at least the start of a baby thriving in my uterus, but my mind forbid me from letting my guard down again. I was prepared for the worst. Either I was experiencing a missed miscarriage or worst case scenario an ectopic pregnancy.

I ended up in the emergency room the day before my appointment because the pain on my left side became way too disconcerting. I was so afraid of an ectopic pregnancy rupturing my tube and putting my life at risk. Ectopic pregnancies are a leading cause of prenatal deaths in young women. We sat at the emergency room for hours and still remained in limbo. My blood work showed that my hormones were still rising, but the ultrasound showed no evidence of a baby in my uterus. They couldn’t detect anything in my tubes either, so once again it became a wait and see.

The next day, I went to my appointment with my regular doctor and I’ll never forget the look on her face when she detected a 2 cm fetus in my left tube as well as a concerning amount of free fluid. Not only was my tube threatening to rupture at any time, but I was already bleeding internally. She urged me to go to the ER and get surgery. This was my worst nightmare come true. My fertility was being compromised at the price of my life.

As I laid there in that hospital bed I felt numb. All I ever wanted was to complete my family and to give Beau a sibling. It’s my calling to be a mom and I have so much love left to give to another child. I was torn between, this procedure will save your life and this procedure is taking life away from you. I didn’t just lose my tube, I lost my baby.

I laid on the operating room table looking up at that piercing bright light, remembering that the last time I was in an OR I was delivering my son. Life is cruel with irony sometimes.

I feel heavy, like there’s a ton of lead coursing through my veins, rendering me useless. I can’t seem to peel myself out of bed. I feel like I’m missing something and someone. I may not have been pregnant for long, but that little life inside of me made itself known. I was nauseas, tired and suffered from some of the most unbearable headaches. That little life already had a list of potential names and a tentative May birthday. I had already calculated the age gap between Beau and his sibling. I thought about whether we would be in our new house yet and how sleeping arrangements would go if we were still in our current home. I don’t care how far along I wasn’t, I was still pregnant and it still hurts. My maternal instincts are aching. It’s a mom’s job to do everything in her power to protect her babies.

So here’s to trying again when I feel psychically and mentally prepared to do so. Those two pink lines will never bring me the same sense of excitement they once did. Now those lines bare the weight of worry and the unknown. This experience has robbed me of the magic of pregnancy. I’m afraid. I’m afraid to get pregnant again and to lose my other tube. I only have one tube left, there’s no room for error. I never thought I would be one of those people longing for their rainbow baby, but here I am, just aching to carry one more child to complete our family.

Ladies, please be diligent if you are experiencing something in pregnancy that doesn’t feel right to you. Listen to your body and trust your instincts. It could save your life.