Grief & Rainbows

On year ago today, I opened my heart up to the world when I wrote about my miscarriage. I let myself be vulnerable. It was the hardest, yet best thing I could have done. No one wants to open themselves up to judgement and scrutiny, and the dreaded, “she’s doing it for pity” comments. But the amount of people I have been able to connect with through “The Worst Girl Gang Ever” has helped me on my journey to healing. And although that journey is never done, it helps to have people on your side.

Everyone tells you that grief isn’t linear. And it’s true. It’s not. You’re fine one day, one month, and the next you’re not. Grief doesn’t get smaller as time goes on, we just grow around it.

The grief is always there – sometimes hiding in the background, sometimes at the foreground – and it never goes away. The smallest thing can bring you right back to the moment you realized that you will never be the same again: the scent of a candle you had burning, the pair of leggings you find while cleaning that you had hiding in the back of the closet, or having to go to Walgreens for pads because you can’t use your cup. It could be because of the day or time of year, or for no real reason at all.

Yesterday I felt like I got hit with a ton of bricks. Not only is it October and it is Miscarriage & Infant Loss Awareness Month, but I started my first period postpartum. The cramps and the back pain coupled with the red took me right back to the moment in Dec 2020 where I knew what was happening, but didn’t want to believe it. The physical and emotional pain is one I will never forget. I brought myself back to the present. Remy was on the floor (in his lounger) all cozy after our bedtime bath ritual. He was smiling up at me as I tried to hold in the tears. I left the bathroom, walked out to sit on the couch with Remy and hugged him tight and started crying. It’s impossible to not think about what could have been. I know how truly lucky I am that we have Remy, but my heart will always wonder what if.

At times, it’s hard to find a place in the infertility community. I’ve experienced a miscarriage and been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, yet I now hold a rainbow baby in my arms. I get stuck between “be grateful for a healthy baby” and “my heart hurts for the one we lost.” I know it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Both of these feelings can exist simultaneously. Yet I find myself trying to justify why I shouldn’t “still” be grieving. The last almost 9 weeks of Remy’s life I have been so preoccupied that I hadn’t thought of much of anything else. But as we settle into a routine, my mind is a bit more clear which leaves space for the emotion hurt buried in my mind. Whenever I have to ride that emotional rollercoaster, I try and give myself grace, even though I am really bad at it. One step at a time. I’ve learned to let myself feel what I need to feel and not hold back: cry if I need to cry and laugh if I need to laugh. There isn’t a wrong emotion, but you have to learn to process them.

I’m not the same person I was last October. And I’m even more different than the person from October 2020. And let’s not even start to try and diagnose the girl from October 2019. I hate to admit that this journey has made me a more empathetic person. I almost feel guilty that I didn’t have as much empathy before. I thought I did, but maybe I didn’t. I have learned more about patience. I’ve learned to sit and listen instead of just dishing out unwanted advice.

I’ll always be a work in progress.


For you, our rainbow baby:

I am forever grateful for the privilege of being your Momma. Your smile lights up my entire day. I would never have asked for the pain and grief of infertility and loss. But without it, I would not have you. I love you, Remy.


In remembrance of our Angel Baby:

“Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
You were bigger than the whole sky
You were more than just a short time
And I’ve got a lot to pine about
I’ve got a lot to live without
I’m never gonna meet
What could’ve been, would’ve been
What should’ve been you
What could’ve been, would’ve been you”

-Taylor Swift, Bigger Than The Whole Sky

(Photos from Dec 2020)


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Musings of a Lost Book

I always said I was going to write a book. Even as a child, I was writing stories, albeit poorly written, but written nonetheless. “I’m going to publish a book before I’m 30,” I would always exclaim, so proudly as if I had already written it, as though I shoved it into the back corner of my closet without anyone knowing. I started and forgotten about so many ideas that culminated in my mind. The lost pages of writings from a naïve girl who had yet to experience the world, but tried so hard to understand the complexity of it. It’s hard to write when you hadn’t experienced much. The years went by, and while I wrote here and there, I never tried to sit down and write a book. Ideas were always swirling around in my head, but it was more a journalistic style of writing that I could muster up the energy and time to do, hence the entire reason behind this blog. I did not feel worthy enough to be able to write a book… so I just never tried. Even now, I rarely publish anything to this blog that I planned to. My over-analyzing and over-critical mind keeps me from putting anything out there. Nothing is ever good enough. I second guess all my ideas and story arcs, so the characters sit unwritten in drafts waiting to come to life with a story.

Twenty came and went like the wind through the trees on a stormy day: there one moment and gone the next. It would rustle up some ideas sometimes, but then it would fall to the ground, wilt, and die. Winter set in and everything became shades of white and grey: dingy with the dirt from yesterday’s gossip. Alcohol clouded my judgement, yet created some of the most entangled lines of poetry that I would not remember writing. The crutch of a drink in my hand opened up my soul to a world of possibilities that I never knew existed. I traveled into the dark areas of my mind that created both monsters and lovers. Sip by sip the letters formed words on a white screen, shaping the players to tell a story, but muddling reality and fantasy to where the two were indistinguishable. Alcohol served its purpose by tapping into the creativeness I needed, and couldn’t find without it.

And then thirty hit me like a hurricane, ripping out the tree that thought it was strong, but its roots too inept to hold on. The time passed slowly, yet so quickly, and I had no book to show for it. The life challenges nearly drowned me, but once the storm settled, the book sank to the bottom and became locked up in my subconscious, kept hidden from the scrutiny of the modern era of over-sharing and harsh opinions from key-board warriors who knew nothing about me, except the persona I portrayed online. It wasn’t a lie. It just wasn’t the full truth: a half truth. A delicate balance must be portrayed online: be open and honest, but not too much or you’re an over-sharer looking for pity; be confident, but not so much so that you seem arrogant and attention seeking; be mysterious and captivating to lure people in, but don’t be a ghost who posts nothing and bores their followers.

I discovered battered forgotten boxes in my mother’s basement recently. Pages and pages of stories and poetry and school papers kept carefully stacked between binders reminded me of how often I used to write. I sat on the floor, not comfortably since my pregnant belly felt like it could not possibly expand any more, and opened one of the boxes. The crinkling sound of the stiffened binder flooded my mind of the days when I would spend hours creating characters and a back story, only to abandon the idea a month later. With each page I turned, the dust collected over the years made the paper smell like an old book. A library of thoughts and dreams meticulously chosen to design a narrative in which the actors submit to my musings.

For now, the musings of a lost book will be kept sealed within the author. And although it may not be a pipeline dream anymore, the voices will sleep within the musty pages, hoping to be woken up one day. And maybe, just maybe, small increments will be revealed through poetry in an effort to piece together the twisted stories of us.

4 Weeks With You

I’m still expecting someone to come knocking on my door to thank me for babysitting their kid, and take this perfect little boy from me. The parents would have their arms wide open because they missed their child. We’d hand him over and wave goodbye as we would watch them back out of the driveway, and wonder when the next time we could see him again.

It still feels surreal to hold him in my arms. He’s ours. He’s earthside. I’m Mom. And we aren’t babysitting. No one is coming to get him. He’s here to stay. And it’s an overwhelming amount of emotions and happiness.

His skin is so soft, and his hair perfectly covers his head. The blue in his eyes matches the blue in mine. And the rest of him is Ian’s clone. His lips always seem to have some leftover milk on them as he squeaks and coos as he peacefully sleeps. He’s so warm and snuggly, and I never want to put him down.

I’ve learned so much in 4 weeks… From postpartum essentials and recovery to cloth diapering to different baby cries to pumping and formula to baby bath time and to introducing dogs and babies. I’m learning to be kind and gentle with myself as I embrace a new journey in life. I’m learning to communicate better and hold my boundaries. I’m learning that parenthood has a learning curve, and it’s ok to not be ok, and it’s ok to ask for help.

Our journey is just beginning. It’ll be full of ups and downs. We’ll make mistakes we will one day look back on to laugh at. We’ll create memories that will make our hearts soar with happiness. Our ideas and thoughts on parenthood will forever be evolving as we learn and grow together. There’s so much to look forward to, and I’m so excited to be at this point in life: with my amazing husband, crazy dog, and our perfect little rainbow. 💙🌈

Happy 4 weeks, baby boy. I love you so much.

Day 4 of National Infertility Awareness Week!

Thursday, Day 4 of National Infertility Awareness Week! #NIAW #infertilityis

Well this one is a doozy. There have been a few challenges that I’ve seen in the infertility community that said to look back on all the photos and videos you took to see where you started and where you are now. Lots of crying. And lots of negative tests. And a lot of alcohol.

Having a miscarriage definitely sent me down a spiral. And I’m reminded of that by the “memories” feature that pops up on Facebook, Instagram, and even snapchat. 😐👀 I couldn’t even put a number on the amount of times that I had a drink in my hand. And when I had a drink in my hand, justifying why I was drinking it. Or my “favorite,” “It’s 4:30pm on a Friday. By the time I’m done with work at 5pm, the alcohol will just have hit me.” I’m sorry what? //facepalm//

Mental health is sometimes overlooked. And that goes for any aspect of life. And it really needs to stop being shameful to talk about. I missed a few baby showers while dealing with infertility and a miscarriage. Sure, I used COVID or “I’m busy” as an excuse. But baby showers can be SO tough to go to when you’re going through a rough time. It’s ok to not go. It will be hard to not feel guilty, but your mental health is more important. Please remember “I cannot make it” is a perfectly valid and okay thing to say to something you cannot or don’t want to go to. No explanation needed.

And if you are on the receiving end of hearing “I cannot make it” to whatever shebang you’re hosting, don’t make them tell you why. Obviously we can’t just tell work “Sorry I can’t make it” haha, but when it comes to extracurricular activities/hobbies or parties, “I can’t” should just be the end of it. There are so many people who are struggling with mental health for one reason or another. And the anxiety of having to tell someone you can’t go to something is a lot sometimes. You don’t want to feel like a disappointment, yet you don’t want to deal with confrontation. It’s rough.

So let’s remember to be kind to each other, and kind to ourselves. Personally, it has been really hard not only learning my boundaries, but sticking to them and putting a foot down when needed.

I encourage everyone to take some time today, even if it’s only 5-10 minutes, to step away from what you’re doing, get some fresh air, treat yourself to that special latte you’ve been wanting, go for a walk, but just take a breath.

You got this.

(And if you wanna share what you did for yourself today, let me know. 🙂 I wanna hear about it. ❤)

#WeCanAll #NIAW2022 #NationalInfertilityAwarenessWeek #FertilityJourney #1in8 #1in4 #InfertilityAwareness #IUI

Day 3 of National Infertility Awareness Week!

Day 3 of National Infertility Awareness Week! #NIAW

Today was #RockYourOrange🧡

The last time I ran was March 17th. I wanted to try and slowly get back to running to see how my body would handle it. I was getting some pains after running. Talked to a few people (professionals, not the internet 😀), and made some changes to my routine. I really made sure to concentrate on a high cadence, and I did run-walk intervals. Interval running has never really been my favorite, but I did a half mile run then a minute walk, then half mile run, minute walk, ECT until I hit 2 miles. And I’m happy to report I’m not feeling the pain I was feeling before. Running definitely looks and feels different, but I’ll take what I can get.

I haven’t been able to participate in our Wednesday Breakfast Club runs, not only because I wasn’t running, but mostly bc of my nausea. I had a tiny bit this morning. Slightly there, but manageable. BUT it went away while running. Maaaaybe there’s something to that. 🧐🤔😳🤷🏽‍♀️

I was so grateful that my friends were so supportive on finding orange to wear! It was so sweet. I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart! 🧡🧡.

I’ve been asked since I’ve opened up about my miscarriage, infertility journey, and pregnancy after loss of just what you’re “supposed to say” to someone who is going through it. The truth is that every person is different in their needs while grieving. But done places to start that are really helpful:

-“I am so sorry. This is is so unfair.”

-“Thank you for trusting me and opening up to me. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.”

-“I am here to listen whenever you need.”

-“What you’re feeling is valid and I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this.”

Things you don’t want to say:

-“At least…” Followed by literally anything. I’ve seen “At least it was early” in regards to a miscarriage or “at least you’re young and you have time.” Or “at least you can sleep in.” At least nothing. Just don’t use it.

-“Just get drunk and go on vacation. It worked for (friend/relative.)” No. That was just luck it happened to someone you know. Infertility is a medical diagnosis.

-“Just stop trying and it’ll happen.” Again no. Infertility is a medical diagnosis.

-“You’re stressing to much.” Or “just relax.” This completely invalidates someone. And this has nothing to do with their struggles.

-Do NOT compare stories. “You had a miscarriage? My friend had 5.” No. One struggle that you think is “worse” than another does not invalidate someone who is going through something else. Do not compare.

-“You’re so strong. I don’t know how I would get through it if it was me.” This is a hard one because it’s always meant with the best intentions, but I want to scream, “I have no other choice!!” Most don’t want to be told this. We just want our feelings validated and for people to listen. We literally do not have a choice but to deal with it and it’s exhausting always pretending to be ok.

Some people need to be left alone. Others want to talk. Others want to just be distracted. You don’t have to guess what someone needs. It’s ok to ask, “how can I best support you?” Most people just want a nonjudgmental ear. They want to grieve and not be given advice (unless they specifically ask). They just want to be heard. A listening ear is some of the best support you can give someone.

It really needs to be noted that grief isn’t linear. Some days you feel like you have it together and others you just don’t. I saw a perfect image a while ago about this… “People think grief shrinks over time. But really, you just grow around your grief.” And this is true for any grief. It doesn’t just apply to infertility.

Getting pregnant after being diagnosed with infertility and/or a miscarriage died not “cure” you from the trauma of a miscarriage nor does it cure you from infertility. If after we have a healthy rainbow baby, and my husband and I want to have a second, we will need to go through a fertility clinic again. We aren’t cured because I’m currently pregnant. I’m not certainly not cured from the trauma and any prenatal anxiety.

By opening up and sharing my story, it helps to throw out the stigma. I’m growing around grief. It’ll be there. But by changing the conversation and helping being awareness to a very isolating and private experience, it helps me know that someone reading this may not feel alone.

#WeCanAll #NIAW2022 #NationalInfertilityAwarenessWeek #FertilityJourney #1in8 #1in4 #InfertilityAwareness #IUI

Day 2 of National Infertility Awareness Week!

Day 2 of National Infertility Awareness Week! #NIAW

It is no secret that having support from your family and close friends is helpful in your healing process. But what about when you’re not ready to open yet? Or you don’t think anyone you personally know has gone through infertility? Or even if you do know a friend to talk to, you feel like you’re going to hurt them by bringing up old feelings and “making” them talk about something they don’t want to? Then what?

I’ve been there. I don’t know how clear I can be on this, but that is of NO reflection of my family and friends. None. Sometimes it just takes time to open up. Even to your closest support group.

I found myself wandering around aimlessly on the internet. As much as I wanted to hate TikTok, I came across some accounts of women talking about their infertility struggles. And I felt like I could just be anonymous by sitting back and learning from them.

So I’d like to share those with you today. If you’re not ready to open up, that’s okay. You don’t have to. You don’t ever have to. But if you want to check out some other women who talk about infertility, please check them out:

Caitlyn O’Neal:

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZTdVSBwPc/

Tawa:

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZTdVSyEeH/

Samantha Linder:

https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdVSrXeP/

The Ponds:

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZTdVS6nQ9/

Laura Pyne:

https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdVSFtUn/

Jordyn Albright:

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZTdVS6wRN/

Last but not least, my fertility doctor has TikTok, too!

Dr. Allison Rodgers:

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZTdVSQd7b/

There are SOO many accounts out there that talk about infertility. If you follow one that you want me to check out, let me know! 🙂

#WeCanAll #NIAW2022 #NationalInfertilityAwarenessWeek #FertilityJourney #1in8 #1in4 #InfertilityAwareness #IUI

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week!

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week! #NIAW

There are so so many people who have experienced infertility… 7.4 million actually. 1 in 8 couples experience it. 1 in 4 couples has had a miscarriage. Someone you know, even if you don’t know what they’ve been through, I can almost guarantee that someone you know is struggling.

I’ve definitely tried to be as open about it as I can. I hope that I’ve been able to be a safe space for people who wanted to talk. I can’t tell you the people who have reached out to me – some I know and some I did not (thank you social media!).

I’ve decided to participate in the awareness this week. There’s a #NIAW challenge to do something every day. Day 1 is #ThisIsMyStory.

Because I’m not some famous content creator, I think everyone who actually follows me on here pretty much knows me in real life and knows my story. But in case anyone just randomly comes across this: I’ve had a miscarriage, then ended up at a fertility clinic, after a crap ton of tests, had a medicated cycle with an IUI and it was successful. And our little rainbow is healthy and kicking along (literally now 🙂 ), and we are due early Sept thank you to Fertility Centers of Illinois and Dr. Allison Rodgers .

If anyone feels comfortable sharing their story, please do. Whether it’s your own story, or someone you know going through it.

Please know you are not alone. Together we can change the conversation. And change the narrative. ❤

#WeCanAll #NIAW2022 #NationalInfertilityAwarenessWeek #FertilityJourney #1in8 #1in4 #InfertilityAwareness #IUI

36 Minutes

Getting older always has a certain nostalgia that comes with it. Birthdays come and birthdays go. They seem to sneak up quicker and quicker year after year. I think to myself, “It’s April already?” Every. Single. Year. It’s as though after a couple of decades on this Earth I still don’t have a concept of time. Time seems so relative. The days drag on, but the weeks fly by, and all of a sudden, I’m another year older, hopefully a little more wiser, but definitely a lot more sarcastic. I always try to think back on the year that I’ve had and reflect on that.

But this year was hard to that.

Last year, I ran 35 miles for my 35th birthday. When we had found out I was pregnant Dec 2020, I wanted to announce it after a long run because, how typical of me right? I had it all planned out in my head. I had a route with a shape as a clue. I had plans of what to wear, which was “something with baby feet on my shirt, or a ‘running for two’ saying.” I wanted to try and be cool like Taylor Swift and drop some secret Easter egg hints for the few days leading up to my race. I knew I would have been visibly showing at that point, but with COVID, I wasn’t really seeing much of anyone anyway, so keeping the pregnancy as a surprise would have been easy.

And then I miscarried.

That birthday run was the most mentally challenging run I have ever done. Yes, it would have been mentally challenging either way, as 35 miles is no small feat, but I was also carrying that heaviness with me that I was no longer pregnant. That heaviness almost caused me to give up multiple times. It’s hard to describe, you know? That pain that you feel in your body because you know something is missing. Someone is missing. It’s just lost. Forever. Knowing you can never get that back is a grief that is unfair. And it never goes away. It just becomes a new normal. The grief will always come in waves. Healing isn’t linear. I thought I was doing okay the first half of my run. But the closer and closer I had got to the end of that 35 miles, the harder it was to hold it together.

The first thing I said after finishing that run was, “I’m not running 36 miles next year. 3.6 miles sounds like a better plan.”

Well, on April 4th, 2022, my 36th birthday, I did not run that 3.6 miles. I did however have time to sit with my feelings and emotions. I’ve looked back at just how much has changed since April 4th, 2021. I quit drinking (323 days ago), I changed my last name, Ian sold his house, we adopted Lampo, we went through fertility testing, we found out Ian’s next job is in Virginia, we had an IUI done, and we found out it was successful… and that only brings us to New Years.

The amount of roller-coaster loops and highs and lows that we’ve been through just really feels like a bit of whiplash. I’ve had people ask me, “How’s it going?” or “how is pregnancy?” Or just wanting some updates. They’ve been hard to answer. How do you say, “Well this birthday I should have a baby in my arms” without sounding like you’re not grateful to be pregnant? How do you say, “I hate being pregnant” when you’ve wanted nothing more than to grow your family, and you’re so excited to have a baby, but the being pregnant part is awful? How do you respond to people who say, “Enjoy this birthday before baby comes” or “This is your last birthday before you become a mother” without responding with something rude or sarcastic about how you are a mother, even though your child isn’t earth side.

It’s hard. It’s so hard. Because the last thing I want is for people to ever tiptoe around me. I never want that. I hear a lot, “I don’t want to say the wrong thing.” But the truth is, neither do I. I don’t want to say the wrong thing. I don’t want every response to “how are you” to be something negative. “i’m sick of being pregnant,” “I’m nauseous again. I thought the second trimester was supposed to be better?” “I’m pretty tired of all these headaches.” “I hate that I can’t run. In fact, I feel a little depressed about it.” “I’m just trying to make it to the next appointment when I can see baby again to know they are okay.”

It’s a constant struggle for me, too. Where is that line of just being fully raw and transparent and honest that if stepped over becomes someone who is a whiner and complainer and a pessimist? When does someone’s bravery turn into “she just wants attention?”

Sorting out these feelings and emotions can be consuming. I’m in a pregnancy after loss group. And what I’ve learned is that I’m not alone. The anxiety of a pregnancy after loss is just… it’s just out of this world. It’s hard to fully encapsulate everything that you’re feeling. It’s even hard to sort out on paper. One minute I’m terrified to go to the bathroom because I have slight pressure, and the next I’m ready to look up bassinets. One minute I can’t stop crying because I’m not at viability week yet and I’m just waiting for something to go wrong, and the next I’m thinking if our child will have my eyes or Ian’s.

The one thing I’ve learned in my group is that most of us have not enjoyed our pregnancies very much. “You’ll feel better in the second trimester” just feels like a joke. I’m 18 weeks and feeling worse than my first trimester. But I’m learning that it’s okay to not enjoy being pregnant. Our bodies are literally growing another human. It’s not supposed to be easy. Our organs are rearranging themselves to make more room for the baby. The round ligament and back pain is horrendous. (Thank you child for your head being at my back.) while I know growing a baby means putting on some weight, that doesn’t make it easier. Gaining weight is hard, even when it’s supposed to happen. I have a visible bump now, so I no longer fit comfortably in my jeans or leggings that aren’t high-waisted. My skin is dry and itchy. I’m getting headaches what feels like every other day. i feel guilty because I don’t have the energy to give Lampo the attention and time that he deserves. I’m more tired than I ever have been. My emotions are ALL over the place. And I’m just absolutely sick of being nauseous. Every. Single. Day. I’ve already joked with Ian and said, “if we had a buttload of money, our second child would be through a surrogate. I’m not incubating the second one.”

Pregnancy is hard. I’ve felt so guilty for hating being pregnant. But the group I’m in is really good at reminding each other that you don’t have to enjoy being pregnant to be an amazing parents. I have to remind myself of this often.

So for my birthday this year, I decided that I’d be open and honest about how I was feeling, even if it’s just another negative update, because really, my goal with sharing isn’t for pity. I don’t want it. I just want one more person to feel less alone if they are in the worst girl gang ever with infertility and/or pregnancy after loss. And also, to finally start back with my at home workouts. I KNOW the benefits squats and lunges and such have. I’ve had my doctor’s okay since week 9.

April 4th, 2022 I spent doing 36 minutes of a workout and stretching for my 36th birthday.

And I was happy with that.

Workout: It’s pregnancy friendly, but anyone can do this, especially if you are looking for a low-impact, no jumping leg workout.

LEG DAY | 30-Minute Lower Body Workout For Women (Pregnancy Workout)

(and this should go without saying, but because there are trolls on the internet, please make sure to get your doctor’s okay if you’re pregnant. Everyone is different. And also, if you feel like telling a pregnant person they shouldn’t be working out, and you’re not their friend or doctor, just kindly keep it to yourself, thankyouverymuch. )

Rainbow After The Storm

1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage.

1 in 8 couples are dealing with infertility.

1 in 3 people experience PTSD after miscarriage/loss.

40-50% suffer from depression and anxiety.

Getting pregnant after loss doesn’t heal you.

Getting pregnant doesn’t replace the baby you lost.

I’ve had so many people reach out to me over the last year and a half. Some some experienced miscarriage 30 years ago, some had a pregnancy after loss and traumatic birth experience also 30 years ago. It’s not something you ever forget. It’s not something you ever get over. I’ve also spoken to numerous people who are currently TTC and dealing with infertility. It’s not talked about enough how much of an emotional roller coaster it is. Going through infertility and fertility treatments is hard. Feeling like you’re in limbo is hard. I will always be here if anyone needs to talk. Getting pregnant doesn’t make any of those feelings go away.

Pregnancy announcements are difficult for those in the TTC community. Please give yourself some grace if you need to take time to process or give yourself space. I love you, and will understand.

But here’s a summary of our fertility journey since October. It’s hard to summarize what we’ve been through since the miscarriage, and then 15 months of an emotion of roller coaster of constant disappointment every month, and then two months of poking and prodding at the fertility center before we had a medicated cycle .

It’s 4 minutes. You’re warned. I always said I would try and post the good, the bad and the ugly.

Thank you so much to our family and friends who have been the most amazing support system I could ever ask for.

#RainbowBaby

We went through the Fertility Center of Illinois, and had Dr Allison Rodgers.

Searching For The Rainbow

I miss her. The girl I used to be last October. The person I was before the sadness would consume most of my days, leaving me to over analyze everything. 

We're still the same person. 
Just.
Different.

She's me. I am her. But along the way, our lives disconnected and plucked out the simpleness and innocence with complexity and experience.  We're layered together, but the bright colors that once sparkled around us slowly faded into black and white. 

She had a lightness about her, and she didn't even realize it. She could dance around in the golden moonlight in her bare feet, blackened from walking down the street without shoes, with a strong drink in one hand and her cell phone in the other. Capturing every smile and every wink she'd send to her future husband. She'd listen to the waves collide against the rocks. 

She could run through the summer rain and feel its warmness bounce off her skin, flushed from the two glasses of her favorite red wine. Gravity wasn't pulling her down quite as hard then. She would twirl around in the kitchen in her red dress listening to the crackle of dinner cooking on the stove and her favorite songs playing in the background, and she didn't think twice about tomorrow.

She could look to the future a lot more hopeful than she does now.  I don't want to tell her that it's hard to imagine anymore. I don't want to tell her that she ended up slipping on the rocks and fell straight into heartache and can't find her way out. That it's sometimes hard to breathe. Her friends and family have never left her, and have been her support system, yet she feels isolated. She feels trapped.  

I don't want her to know just how jaded she's going to feel. Putting her whole heart and soul on the line for just a maybe. How tired she's going to feel. How exhausted she is from faking the smiles. But I need her to know: we're finding a strength we didn't know we had. And I really think we're going to get there. 

One day. 
Somehow. 
We'll get there. 
 
On December 21st, I miscarried at 7 weeks. I feel like a little piece of me left that day. I still logged into work. It was our anniversary. It was the week of Christmas. I didn't know what else to do.  What I do know is that grief isn't linear. It hits you when you least expect it. One day you're fine, and the next you're in bed crying knowing the exact age your baby should be. For as long as I can remember, I have always advocated for awareness around not asking women "when is it your turn?" or "When are you guys going to have a baby." I was always the first to tell people how inappropriate and invasive that question is. I just never would have thought I'd be advocating for myself.  

Michelle Obama said it best: "When we share our stories, we are reminded of the humanity within each other. And when we take the time to understand each other's stories, we become more forgiving, more empathetic, and more inclusive."  I can't pretend like I have it all together. I don't. Most days it's hard to get out of bed. The hard truth is that I stopped drinking because I fell into a very dark place of trying to hide behind the drunkenness to not feel anything. I didn't want to. The pain was too much. I didn't want to face the reality that something I had zero control over happened to me. And there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it. It changed my life.  Just as two pink lines change your life, having the two pink lines fade into one will forever change your life, too. And then month after month after month you hope to see two, yet you only get one. The rug gets ripped out from under you time and time again, but you keep getting back onto the emotional roller coaster. Holding onto that "what if this month is our month" feeling. 

I've built more relationships with people by being open about my struggles than I ever could have pretending like I had it all together. I don't share our story for sympathy. I share because someone is out there struggling. They might feel alone. I need them to know they are not not. I had a very hard time opening up about this, but it's just too much to handle sometimes. 

There's so much more I want to say on this topic, but for now I will just leave you with this: Be kind. Stop asking people what their "next step" is in their lives and start just asking people, "hey how are YOU." Right now. In this current phase of your life. And take the time to listen. Without judgement. Without unsolicited advice. Without trying to one-up them with a statement starting with "well, at least..." 

Just listen. 

-Megan