He Knew

I feel like I’ve been holding my breath for the last 2 1/2 weeks. Praying and hoping things that are completely out of my control are going well. I am ashamed to admit that there have been times I’ve completely convinced myself things will end as they did last pregnancy. My husband doesn’t want to talk about it much. We both are still very cautious. He went to my last counseling session with me so that we could somewhat create a plan on how to proceed in our different ways but still be there for each other. This is just as hard on him. About a week after this session, I received a card in the mail from my counselor. One side with a personal note and the other side with something I really want to share with all of you. 

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Is there any way to look at this other than she is a Godsend? All along this journey, all I’ve wanted is understanding and validation. 

“And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

This has always been one of my favorite verses in all times but especially times like these. He did not leave me. He lead me to make that phone call and schedule help for myself. He was with me. And He will continue to be with for no matter what this journey throws at me. And He knew that I needed this on the day I received this. It melts my heart. 

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WOW….. I couldn’t believe it when I read that. We have discussed a lot about my fears and reluctance to engage in a future pregnancy the way I see others engaging (stupid Facebook, we know that’s all a ruse anyway). How I feel that I’m being “cheated”. And I am trying to protect myself. I don’t think these are feelings that are uncommon in miscarriage and pregnancy after miscarriage. But it’s true, it’s become quite painful to remain in these ways. And when I let hope creep in a bit, it’s nice. I hope you are able to let hope find a place in your mind. Even if it’s just one thought or for a second. And if you are feeling like you need support, please don’t hesitate to talk to someone. Sometimes an outside perspective makes all the difference. Sometimes you need a cheerleader. 

I have my first appointment with the doctor this Thursday. There will be an ultrasound so we will have some answers. I’ll be 7 weeks at this appointment, so I’m hoping we will see a heartbeat and I’ll be able to open my present I posted about a while ago. (The books I received in the mail the day after my miscarriage.) I do have some symptoms but otherwise feel normal. I’ve already made it further in this pregnancy without complications than my last pregnancy. But the biggest comfort is knowing that I have prayers and positive thoughts from so many. 

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Stronger

I’m at 7 DPO and I think my progesterone has been trying to ruin my life!!!! Not really but my mood has been down the last few days. I’ve been having “Why Days”. Why me? Why can’t it be easy? Why did we wait so long? Why can’t I just move on? Why am I allowing this to affect my marriage? But last night while watching the Biggest Loser, a contestant said something that clicked for me. They showed his story. His wife was diagnosed with cancer after two months of marriage. She basically fought cancer their entire marriage and eventually she lost her battle. He discussed how, indeed, his story has been tough but then he said, “You have to be stronger than your story.” WOW!!!! Isn’t that exactly what life is about? There probably isn’t a person out there who hasn’t faced something tough. Some of us face things that are more tough than others but we all have hardships. We all struggle. And we all rise up and are stronger than our story or whatever crappy hand we were dealt. And when you don’t think you have it, you somehow find that strength. 

I pray that my blog friends who are facing a failed IVF, IUI, or cycle or a loss (whether it was your first or 10th) can hold on through this pain. You are strong. And you will find a way to be stronger than your story. Thinking of all of you 🙂

One Giant Leap and Positive OPK

I don’t know if I’ve expressed on this blog how the issues with my husband’s family were weighing on me and affecting my marriage. I got some good advice over the weekend which made me decide that I needed to move forward on this. It was such good advice that I’m going to share it here. This was from a wife of one of my husband’s friends. We have never really had much in common and it’s always been superficial conversations between us. But this weekend we went to visit and I think it was a God-send that we did. Here are the high points:

  • I can’t control the sperm count, I can’t control my fertility and uterus but I can control the stress that this conflict has been causing both me and my husband. Not to mention my marriage. 
  • While they are totally wrong and should be the ones to make the big or first move, I have to be the bigger person because they aren’t emotionally equipped to handle these types of situations. I shouldn’t have to but I’m stronger in this area that I can do it. 
  • Maybe I was put in this family to help them become better at dealing with these issues and also to bridge the gap that their lack of communication creates in the family. (ie. My husband didn’t know his did was having surgery until the day before. His mom thought he was mad and then his dad told him. etc) And maybe I was put in this family to become stronger.

I know you can spin a situation however you want to but these were really eye opening for me. So I took a GIANT, GIANT step and I had a talk with my sister-in-law. We spoke about my issues with her and both of our feelings about her pregnancy occurring close to my miscarriage (She didn’t want to be a reminder of what I lost and I didn’t want to be a reminder of what could go wrong). She agreed that she should have been more supportive and genuinely seemed remorseful. I felt validated and supported. She was interested in our infertility journey and my grief. I told her what I need from her and she agreed to word towards this. I also agreed to discussed my issues with her at the time rather than isolate myself. I gave her a gift for my niece. 

It’s like a weight has been lifted. I was brave despite being scared. I was strong despite feeling weak. I was the bigger person and it paid off. And I can already tell my husband is feeling less stressed. I’m not going to lie and say there won’t be hard times as I try to support her during the remainder of her pregnancy but I’m going to at least try and not isolate myself. 

And we had a clearly obvious positive OPK and a possible temperature shift. We decided to keep on trying and hoping and praying for the best. If not, we have answers that we can continue to work on.

6 Months and Answers Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the semen analysis. I can’t believe I am putting such personal information out on the internet but honestly, this is less scary than putting it out in my real life. Those people don’t get it. So I am looking forward to getting answers on this end, as well as the upcoming thyroid blood work follow-up. 

But more importantly, today is the 6 month anniversary of my miscarriage. WOW 6 months, it seems like 6 freaking years. 6 freaking lifetimes. But certainly not 6 months. And I certainly did not think that this battle with infertility would ensue following the miscarriage. I’m in tears (and not pretty tears) thinking about this time between now and the event that almost broke me. 

It made me question who I am as a person. Sunk my self-esteem and confidence. Made me question my faith. My marriage. My relationships overall. My mental health. My choices. Each day dragged on while this event ravaged my life. I can say that I’ve persevered but it has been the fight of my life.

Today, 6 months after I lost my sweet baby, I am strong. I am hopeful. I am finding peace. I am faithful. I have bad days but I have a talk with God and I move forward. I pray and pray. And when I start to have doubts, I pray some more. I know that God will see me through this. I know my husband will see my through this, even when I think our marriage has been pushed to it’s limits. I now know what it’s like to face grief head on. I now know who is really there to support me. I now know that I can make it through the worst times. I am strong. I am going to get through this. And I am going to be a momma some day. 

Strength comes in many forms. For me, this is what strength looks like. Trying to smile through the tears. And having faith through the tears. 

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I hope anyone reading this is able to find their strength, no matter what it looks like. And I continue to be so very thankful for the support I’ve received over the last 6 months. Thank you 🙂

Miscarriage

So I said I’d write a separate about my insomniac thoughts on miscarriage. 

This is the Merriam-Webster definition of what a miscarriage is.

mis·car·riage

noun \ˌmis-ˈker-ij, -ˈka-rij, ˈmis-ˌ\

medical : a condition in which a pregnancy ends too early and does not result in the birth of a live baby

 

That’s fine and all but really? 20 words is all we get? That’s not acceptable to me. 

Miscarriage is a physical and emotional experience. The physical part is usually pretty straightforward; the fetus leaves your body before viability. It’s the emotional part of a miscarriage that is hard to put into words. At least in a concise fashion. 

The physical part of my miscarriage was over July 19, 2013. The emotional part of my miscarriage is just down waning at 6 months later. I do know that I took my miscarriage pretty hard and maybe others don’t experience the emotional aspect for 6 months but I know a lot of women who do. 

There are approximately 180 days in 6 months. I probably think about my miscarriage 100 times a day at least. That’s close to 20,000 thoughts about this experience. That’s a significant number. It’s definitely more than you can put into 20 words. These thoughts have consisted of me questioning, trying to accept, questioning again, wondering what it would be like if I hadn’t miscarried, wondering why people can’t be supportive, why should I feel ashamed to tell people about this, why are people close to me acting like it didn’t happen, will I ever be a mom, what’s wrong with my body, what’s wrong with my mind, why am I being punished, do I have the strength, is this going to break my marriage, is this going to break me, why was I so unlucky, and you get the picture. You’ve been there. 

Do you feel like this major, significant life event is not given the credit it should have? To me it deserves more than 20 words. To me it changed my world. Changed me completely. Changed my marriage. Changed my relationships. 

I said in a previous post that I am now feeling like the miscarriage is in my past and that I’m not living it day-to-day. The tears don’t come as easily but they still come. The thoughts are less frequent but they are still there. Miscarriage will always be a part of who I am and now that I’m feeling stronger I hope that I can help others and help bring to light that this is a life event that shouldn’t be swept under the rug. We need to support people who have gone through this because it is life changing. 

I prayed for strength and God has made me stronger despite evil trying to break me. I hope that anyone else who has gone through miscarriage can recognize their strength to move forward.

Tis the Season…

I’m not quite to CD 1 but I know it’s coming. But at least I ovulated this cycle. I am hoping it will come in time for me to get the blood work done before leaving for Alabama.

Things have been stressful. I posted a while back about struggles with my in-laws. My sister-in-law announced her pregnancy the day I found out I was miscarrying. I needed my space to disconnect the two events. When I eventually reached out to her, I did not receive a response for more than 4 days and the excuse was a pregnancy symptom. I was extremely hurt and it was really the last straw with her. She’s the kind of person that gets a kick out of making others uncomfortable and she’s done things since I’ve known her that were hurtful but I didn’t say anything in order to keep the peace. This was too much for me and since then I’ve distanced myself from my husband’s family. There are so many other complicated issues but overall I felt I was part of this family and I did not feel supported as a family member during my worst time.

So here we are, in the holidays and it’s bound to cause stress. We will be traveling to my mother’s for Christmas; I can’t remember the last Christmas I had with my mom and with my time off, it was perfect timing for us to go see her. So Christmas at my in-law’s has been changed to accomadate us and is scheduled for New Year’s Eve. My initial reaction was to not go. I am not ready to face these people who hurt me so much. But as emotions have died down, I think I might go (depending on how the day goes) and pray I’m not a bawling mess. This has been, by far, one of the most difficult situations I’ve ever had to deal with. 

Overall, I’m doing okay. I wish this had been our cycle but I’ll move on to the next one. I feel like a positive pregnancy test is like a four leaf clover. Something I saw once and something I’ll probably never see again. But I hope I do. 

Why, People? Why!??

I’ll keep this negative part short because I have some awesome things going on in my life. 

Today I was at a school I am doing my practicum at and my supervisor was telling a teacher that I made a comment about not knowing what to do with the whole summer off. She said, “Well you can just have kids!!!” I know this teacher and know that she got pregnant right away with both of her children. I also know that her daughter was life-flighted after she was born due to complications. I also know that while she was pregnant with her daughter, she was extremely sensitive to a teacher who was in the process of trying to get pregnant. So I most certainly couldn’t be mad at her, she’s so very sweet. But it just isn’t that easy for everyone and I wish people would think about the things they say before it comes out. I wish I didn’t take things so sensitively but it is who I am and after almost 30 years, I don’t think it’s going to change. Although, while comments like that do bother me, it doesn’t feel like a kick to the gut anymore and I see that as progress. I’ll take it where I can get it. 

On to more positive things, I AM GRADUATING TOMORROW!!!! And then I have three weeks off. I bought some magazines and I have some books so I am ready! I am so very thankful for my education and my husband who has supported me through 3 degrees. And now I am thankful that I will be able to serve children because I love children more than anything. 

I am progressing every day. I really didn’t realize how much the progesterone was messing with my mood. I have been much more positive and enjoying life. I find myself smiling more everyday. I am at 5 days past ovulation and am trying to be both hopeful but also tell myself that it will be okay. If I do get my period, I will be able to get the testing my doctor ordered done before I leave for my mom’s. If I do get my period, we will be on our way to getting answers. If I do get my period, my due date won’t be at the beginning of a new school year with a new job. But I so very much want that positive pregnancy test. More than anything. But I can be patient. I can be patient. (If I keep telling myself that, maybe I’ll believe it.) 

Just Keep Swimming

That’s what needs to happen! I think I may actually be ovulating this cycle? Time will tell. I did see my doctor and she was more than willing to start testing and the process of looking into what is going on. She also told me I really need to manage my stress. I KNOW, I KNOW but it’s hard. And to start thinking about the process starting over in September, after the miscarriage rather than a year ago. This is impossible but I’m trying. She also discontinued the progesterone and felt it may be contributing to depression. Now that I think about it, I’ve been on it for two weeks out of the month! And since my last cycle was anovulatory, I didn’t take it and I’m feeling much better. Hopefully I’m on my way to finding solid ground for longer than a day. We discussed options and this gave me something to look forward to. The CD3 labs will have to wait until another cycle because CD3 of this next cycle will be right around Christmas. I will be out of town and while she gave me a copy of the request, I think I’m going to just enjoy my trip to my mom’s and get started on this after the New Year. Of course I’m hoping for a lucky cycle this month but if not I know I have options going forward. Seeing the diagnosis of infertility was a blow to the gut though. Never thought I’d face that one but who does. 

In other news, the semester is winding down and I graduate in ONE WEEK!!! 🙂

Checking In

Things have been better. I’ve been feeling more hopeful and less depressed. Maybe I’m starting to come out of this fog. I have been keeping up with all the blogs I follow, your stories mean so much to me, as does your support. 

I’ve been thinking lately that up until this point in my life, I haven’t truly appreciate life and the moments that are important. Thus far in my life I’ve just been living to the next goal, checking events off my life to-do list but never really living in the moment. I always have my next move planned. Maybe it’s age or it’s the miscarriage and reality check from life but I want to look back and be able to say I lived in the moment. That I breathed in the life of each situation I was in. Good and bad because you have to take the good with the bad. I went to a concert with my husband and some friends over the weekend. At one point I just looked around, looked at my husband, took note at how amazingly lucky I am. For many reasons. I had so much to be thankful for that night, as I do every day. 

For the last 4 months, the negative thinking has been my norm. I caught myself last week trying to have a positive thought but the negative just pushed it out. It’s like I’m the opposite of how I used to be. I used to be able to push those negative thoughts out and focus on the positive, hence my blog’s name. Now it’s like my mind can’t have a positive thought. I know this is grief and I have to grieve however I need to but I think I’m ready to take control back. To be able to say, “Yeah I got shitted on by life but I have a lot of other great things in my life.” And I’m even becoming more hopeful about becoming pregnant again. Maybe there is a reason I didn’t get pregnant right after the miscarriage. Maybe I needed to grieve so I would be ready. I don’t know but I’m ready to find the silver linings in my life again.

This week I see my doctor and I’m hopeful I’ll get some answers about what’s going on. I think knowing either way will be good but also living in the moment some more will be the best thing because I know I’ll be okay no matter what happens if I just focus on the present. 

I Hope It’s Temporary

So every time I hear the song by Blake Shelton with the lyrics, “Are there pages where it hurts to look” I can only hope that I look back on this journey and it is just a few pages out of my life. For myself and for all of the strong, amazing women who share this journey (and more) with me.

This week has definitely been one I’d like to forget about. But forgetting my pain would only prolong my grief. I am proud of myself for being able to feel and experience grief.

In baby making news, I had an anovulatory cycle then a 14 day cycle. What in holy hell is going on with my B.O.D.Y.? Does it seriously hate me? We will see because my doctor agreed to have a fertility consult to see what the FIRETRUCK is going on. I am glad I will get answers but I never thought I would struggle with fertility. Scheduling this appointment today was bittersweet because I had to let go of being of “normal” fertility. That’s a tough pill to swallow. I have been pregnant once and I’m hoping that the miscarriage has just thrown my hormones off but after a year of actively trying, I’m scared it’s something more. I’m scared I’ll never hold my baby. I’m scared I’ll have to continue to watch the world move on without me while I’m reaching my hand out, hoping to get a ride. Hope is getting hard to hold onto but at this time in my life, it’s become about a choice. Today I choose to be hopeful. I hope you do too.