Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

A Perfect Moment

If you have ever been pregnant after a loss, you know that it’s a long, terrifying game of waiting while trying not to lose your mind. You hope so hard you feel like your heart will break, but you also expect the worst at every turn. This is what the last seven weeks have looked like for me.

But every once in awhile I stop. I had one of those moments today. I was sitting on the porch listening to music and eating. I felt the warm air and closed my eyes and let myself be happy. It was a perfect moment. A moment that I let myself soak in the sun and the blessings around me. A moment that I let myself be thankful for the life around me and the life inside me. A moment where I didn’t dwell on the past or worry about the future and just enjoyed that very moment.

That perfect moment.

2 Comments »

Our First Two Scans

Our first appointment was at a high risk Ob at 6wks 2 days. At this point I had experienced some nausea and I had no spotting. I feel like the spotting part is important because I have spotted with every other pregnancy. When we went in to the ultrasound, I knew exactly what to look for. This was my third 6wk ultrasound and I immediately watched for a heartbeat. And it was there. Baby was measuring 6wks 1 day. All of my other ultrasounds have measured behind by a week or so. The heartbeat was 113 and they assured me that the heart had only started beating the day before so anything over 100 was great. Then we met with a genetic counselor who told us how great everything looked. She went through each previous pregnancy with us and even asked me if I had any weird gut feelings about what happened. I know we each have them–you had sex right before the miscarriage or you took your pills a few hours after you usually do, etc. She then suggested that I take fish oil because it acts as a natural blood thinner and I’m allergic to aspirin, and she went over possible next steps. She talked about more tests we could possibly run if this pregnancy doesn’t work out as well as all of our testing options for this pregnancy. She smiled the whole time and talked about how everything looked great–taking great care to address any little thing that might worry me as a RPLer (such as the baby measuring one day behind, which I logically know is ok but the assurance was still nice).

Then we had the longest two weeks of my life. The nausea worsened and the spotting never came. When we returned at 8wks 2 days, I fully expected to hear bad news. I expected them to say that the baby hadn’t grown and the heartbeat had stopped. When she started the ultrasound, I was confused because I had never seen an 8wk baby on the ultrasound before. It looked so different from our last appointment. She told us that is was measuring right on time with a heartbeat of 173, and she gushed about how great everything looked. I would like to say that we immediately started celebrating/cheering/crying, but we literally just stared at her. We kept asking, “Really?” We were not prepared for good news and had no idea how to process it. The doctor came in, told us that everything looked perfect and told us to come back in four weeks for an NT scan. He also told us to go ahead and move to regular care because we don’t need a high risk Ob, but many offices don’t have the capabilities for an NT scan so we were welcome to come back there for our scan.

I’m still in shock. We both are. When we’ve told family or close friends, they have erupted into celebration and are so excited, but it still hasn’t quite sunk in for us yet. We are excited, and we’re making tentative plans, but after continual losses, it is so bizarre for things to go right. I literally feel like I am reprogramming my brain right now because it is no longer programmed for things going right. I keep telling myself that it will be easier after the next scan, but I think I will probably struggle with this feeling the whole pregnancy because the pain and scars of loss don’t just leave you. They are part of you. And you know what? That’s ok. That’s part of my story–it’s not my whole story but it is part of my story. Remembering what we lost makes this so much more precious, even if our joy is no longer blind.

9 more sleeps.

2 Comments »

Coming Out

I’ll just come out and say it: I’m pregnant. To be exact, I’m 10 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I’ve avoided posting about it for two reasons. First, there were some other things that I wanted to write about first. Also, there are a couple of people who know me in real life that know about this blog and I wasn’t ready for that yet. That being said, if you know me in real life, please keep this news under wraps and let me announce when I’m ready. You are welcome to talk to me about it, but just don’t talk to others about it.

But I ultimately decided to break the silence because I really need this community. I have wonderful family and a few friends who know and are so supportive, but they don’t understand like you do. They’ve never been in the trenches of loss.

For this post, I wanted to give you a quick overview of how things are going, and then I plan on writing a few posts about different moments in the last couple of months. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but everything has been going really well. I have had two perfect ultrasounds (one at 6 wks 2 days and another at 8 wks 2 days), and my doctor was positively giddy about how everything looked. I’m taking prenatals, prometrium, metanx (for mthfr mutation), and fish oil (a natural blood thinner because of my aspirin allergy), and this particular cocktail seems to be working. My next ultrasound is at 12 wks 2 days on June 9th. Waiting for that appointment has been the longest, most torturous wait of my life, but we are down to 11 sleeps at this point.

We are hopeful. Every once in awhile the panic starts to creep up, but this whole experience has been  much different from my other pregnancies. So we are nervous (read: terrified), but hopeful. Maybe the sixth time’s the charm.

Check back for some posts about the process thus far.

13 Comments »

Never Regret Love

Looking back at my blog, I realize that I didn’t post about my pregnancy. Not really. And I feel like none of you truly got a picture of what those four weeks (BFP to final ultrasound) looked like. So I’m going to try to show you.

As I’ve said multiple times, this pregnancy was different. I abandoned the typical infertile plan of trying not to get my hopes up or get too attached because it will hurt too much if things don’t work out. From the beginning, I truly believed that Tup would make it. I think I even had more hope than I did with my first pregnancy, even if I wasn’t nearly as naive about what could happen. I talked to Tup. I placed my hand protectively over my stomach. I made plans in my head.

One of my strongest memories is watering the garden one day. Hubby carried up five gallon buckets of water, and I took a small container and watered each little sprout. I marveled in the fact that I was surrounded by growth. I thought about how I was nurturing these tiny plants while my body nurtured little Tup. I told Tup all about the different vegetables we are growing and promised that next year, I would make baby food out of fresh veggies. I imagined working in the garden next summer with a baby strapped to my chest. I imagined working in the garden two years from now with an eager yet unhelpful toddler. I basked in the moment. The perfect moment.

As much pain as I am in, I am so thankful that I chose to believe in Tup. I am so thankful that I just jumped headfirst into attaching to my child. I am so thankful because I have no regrets. I told Tup that I loved him every day. Hubby kissed my belly goodnight every night. I did everything I could possibly do to not only keep myself rested and healthy, but to make sure that the very short time that Tup spent in this world, he was loved with a love so strong that it makes my heart hurt.

My heart is breaking, and it hurts so much I almost can’t stand it. But I know that pain is from love. And I can never regret love.

9 Comments »

Counting the Blessings

My mind is in a million places right now. I’m worried about the baby–even more worried than I was before the ultrasound which I didn’t think was possible. Now that I’ve seen our little one up on that screen, I want so badly for him or her to grow up to be big and strong and healthy. In order to keep my sanity, I’ve decided to make a list of the blessings:

  • We saw a heartbeat. Our child is living inside of me right now and has a beating heart. Hubby got a little upset with me last night because I was so busy worrying that I never really stopped to be amazed and grateful for that tiny beating miracle, and he was right. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.
  • Even if the baby is measuring behind my calculations, this pregnancy has lasted longer than any of my other ones.
  • There is still plenty of room for hope. Thank you for all of the encouraging stories. I did venture into Google only to find more stories of healthy babies who had a shaky start like ours. Yes, the statistics might be against us at this point and we usually fall on the negative side of those statistics when it comes to pregnancy, but there is hope. And I’m going to hold on to that hope for as long as I can.
  • I found out on Wednesday that I am being offered an assistantship to the grad school program I’m entering in the fall. This includes full tuition (even for summer classes), a sizable stipend ($8,500 the first year),  health insurance coverage, and some major resume-building experience. This is a huge answer to prayer and I am so excited about it. Maybe hubby was right. Maybe all of the good things will happen at once. It also makes me think that this pregnancy is going to work out because I’ve always said that we will get pregnant when it is least convenient and the baby is due the second day of spring semester which is pretty darn inconvenient.

So that’s all I’ve got. And it’s a lot. Yesterday, I started calling the baby “Tup” which is an abbreviation of our last name. I tried to think of a nickname earlier, but nothing seemed right until now. I think the problem was I felt no real connection and couldn’t call the baby by a name, but now that we’ve formally met, it just feels right.

The bottom line is I’m choosing to believe that Tup will be ok. I’m choosing faith, hope, and love.

8 Comments »

Ultrasound Day

Well, I made it to ultrasound day. Honestly, I’m having a really hard time wrapping my head around that fact. Today I am 6wk6d pregnant, and I miscarried on 5w1d with my longest pregnancy so even making it to ultrasound day feels like a miracle.

I still have light, brown spotting, but there has been no cramping and I haven’t seen any red since that scary morning last week. I’m guessing that means either this pregnancy is perfectly normal, and I’m just one of those women who spot in first trimester, or this pregnancy has been doomed from the start and is only being sustained by my progesterone supplements. Either way, we’ll find out today.

I have been going back and forth between being so excited I can’t stand it and playing out worse-case-scenarios in my head. Yesterday the excitement was much stronger, but I would say that today is 50/50.

I’m spending my morning trying to stay busy and praying that we see a baby in the correct place, measuring on time, with a strong heartbeat. Some benign explanation for the spotting would be nice, too, but I’m not greedy.

I would appreciate extra prayers, good vibes, and thoughts around 3:45 EST. Four and a half more hours.

9 Comments »

Thank You and an Update

Thank you so much for all of the lovely comments last week. I feel so supported and loved by all of you, and I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate your prayers. Please keep them coming. Just as a warning, this will be a pregnancy-heavy post, so feel free to skip it if you can’t handle it right now.

I’ve got a lot on my mind that I want to share, so I’m going to go with bullets so I don’t have to think as hard about making this post flow:

  • I’ll start by saying that I’m still pregnant, which is a pretty big deal for me. I had already miscarried by this point with my first two pregnancies, and once Saturday rolls around, it will be the longest I have ever been pregnant.
  • Symptoms are coming and going, but the one that has caught me by surprise and required the most adjustment is the insomnia. I’m a good sleeper who usually goes to bed early and sleeps until my alarm (and then hits the snooze button a few times). I’m also usually good about going back to sleep if I am woken up, but this has changed. Ever since 8 or 9 dpo, I wake up around 4:30 (a solid two hours before my alarm) every morning, and I will lay in bed awake for at least an hour if I wake up for any reason during the night. It’s a bit annoying, but I’m starting to adjust to it and try to take that time to pray, take deep breaths, and enjoy the fact that I am pregnant.
  • I called the birth center on Monday to get a refill on my progesterone. I really, really didn’t want to call yet, but I had to have my pills! I got to speak to the midwife directly, and we discussed my decision to forgo betas because I find them incredibly stressful and they won’t save my baby. She was totally cool with it but said that I could come get a blood draw at any time if I change my mind. We also scheduled an ultrasound for later this month so we can check the dates of the pregnancy and see the heartbeat. I will be 6w6d.
  • I’ve done a fairly good job of staying calm and not panicking, but the fear still bubbles up at times when my temp isn’t as high as I would like it to be or my symptoms subside for awhile. I talked myself down from the crazy ledge this morning by taking another test. The test line showed up immediately–before the pee even got to the control line, and then it got super dark.  So that was encouraging. I figure you have to be pretty darn pregnant to get that kind of result from a dollar store cheapy.

I guess that’s all for now. Just holding on to faith, hope, and love!

 

7 Comments »

What a Difference a Year Makes

Almost a year ago (it will be a year on Tuesday) I woke up full of excitement and apprehension. I went into the bathroom and peed on a stick, and a few minutes later, I saw my first positive pregnancy test. I immediately ran into the bedroom and told hubby. There was so much joy, excitement, and laughter. We immediately called our families and celebrated the fact that our 9 month long journey of trying to get pregnant was over and we were finally going to be parents. As you all know, that joy ended in blood, pain, and sadness only a few days later.

A lot has happened in the year since that first BFP. A lot of terrible things: miscarriages, Crohn’s, and feelings of hopelessness. Also a lot of wonderful things: growth, a new support system, and love.

Tuesday morning I woke up with a sense of peace and certainty. I went into the bathroom and peed on a stick, and a few minutes later, I saw a faint second line. I continued my normal morning routine and told hubby right before I left. We exchanged a knowing look and a shy smile and then left to go to work as usual. Needless to say, it was a much different experience from my first BFP.

Tuesday was 11 DPO, and I got a squinter on my DG cheapy. I tested again yesterday on another DG test and got a much darker line. So far, this whole experience has been so different from my other three pregnancies. With the exception of a few moments where panic started to bubble up, I’ve been calm. I’ve also been positive, removing the word “if” from my vocabulary. Only a week ago, I prayed so earnestly for God to grant me some peace and to calm the storm inside of me, and my prayers have been answered ten-fold. I honestly believe this will be our take-home baby–our miracle child that will show the world that God can bring beauty from ashes and grant a child to a couple who had all but given up. I am hanging on to faith, hope, and love and trusting that they will get us through the next eight months. I am trusting God to protect this child. I am trusting this child to fight for life. In an expression of self kindness, I am trusting my body to nurture this child. And I’m not ending this with a statement about how I reserve the right to change my mind and freak out–when my trust runs out, I will pray for more and it will be given to me.

Instead of super excited phone calls to family, hubby and I spent the last two days asking close friends to be in prayer. We covet the prayers of those who love us, and I consider this community to be included in that group. Please, be in prayer for us and our child. Please pray for life.

22 Comments »

Lies I Tell Myself

Over the past month or two, our small group at church has been studying James. A few weeks ago, we talked about James 3 and the tongue. We talked about the devastating power that our tongues have and how this power for evil includes not only the words we speak, but also our internal dialogue. This discussion made me much more aware of the things I tell myself, and I’ve begun to realize how hurtful some of those lies are. Here are some of the lies I tell myself about my fertility:

  • I hit the jackpot with my husband, and I used up all of my life blessings with him. He is so wonderful that I don’t deserve any more blessings. 
  • I somehow jinxed myself earlier in life by claiming that I didn’t want children. It wasn’t until I experienced some serious emotional healing and self discovery that I found my deep desire and calling to be a mother, but it was too late.
  • I’ve had a lot of hard stuff happen in my life, and I’ve begun to believe that is just the way it will always be for me–as soon as I recover from one life disaster, another will follow in its stead. That’s just the way my life will always be, and it can never change.
  • I always imagine my womb as an angry, hostile, barren place. In my mind’s eye, it’s grey and dusty and full of cobwebs, and it is a hateful place that rejects life.
  • I did something to cause my losses. Whether it was from a physical shortcoming or from being a person who doesn’t deserve children, those losses are my fault.

I’m working very hard now to change the language I use when I speak to myself. I’m learning to be kind to myself and not place blame where it does not belong. And when I am to blame, I am learning to treat myself with grace, understanding that we are all broken, and if my God can forgive me, I can forgive myself. I’m also learning to trust hope. This can be so hard to do–as a friend of mine said, hope is heavy because it is an anchor.

I think that all of us could benefit from this. We have  to change our internal dialogue. We have to stop beating ourselves up. We have to stop prophesying disaster over ourselves. We have to start treating ourselves with grace. If we can’t do it for ourselves, we have to do it for our future children. I challenge each of you–pay attention to your internal dialogue over the next week, and make it a point to be kind. All of those wonderful, encouraging things you post on each other’s walls? Say those to yourself, and see what a difference it makes.

4 Comments »

Waiting

If you can’t tell from my lack of posts, I’ve been struggling with this space lately. I’ve felt a definite shift on my reader, and I’m not sure where I fit in. Most of the women I follow are now pregnant or officially moving on to some form of adoption. The ones who don’t fit into either of those categories are like me: posting sporadically and sometimes half-heartedly.

This isn’t a post against pregnant infertile bloggers. I love you all. When I read happy posts about your pregnancies–heartbeats, movement, viability, acceptance–I literally do a little happy dance. I look forward to those posts, and I pray for you all and your little ones.  I talk about you in everyday life (“My friend Belle felt her baby move the other day, I’m so excited for her” “My friend Theresa is having twins and trying to avoid buying a minivan. I totally feel her–I hate minivans” “My friend Steph just found out she’s pregnant after five miscarriages. I really hope this is her take home baby”). I’m sure people wonder how I know so many pregnant women, but that is how I think of you in my mind and my heart–as my friends that I think about and hope for and celebrate with.

I also really enjoy reading the blogs of women who are going through the foster adoption process because I am learning so much. If we end up going down that path, I have a good idea of what to expect–not just the paperwork and classes but also the emotions. I truly appreciate you all for documenting the process for the rest of us who may be there one day.

I’ve spoken before about feeling stuck, and that feeling just won’t go away. I am grateful for the healing I have had in the months since my last mc, but I feel like something has to give. Hopefully, we will start actually TTC again this month because hubby is feeling significantly better (thank goodness!!!!!), and that will give me some forward motion. The thing is, I feel like our whole life is stuck on pause. I’m working at a  job I hate until I hear back from the Masters program I applied to because it seems silly to go job hunting if I’m going to be quitting to go to school in the fall anyway. But, to be completely honest, I really don’t know if I’m going to get in or not–the program only accepts sixteen students a year with an assistantship, so it is a fairly competitive program. Hubby has applied to be a professional fire fighter in our community after he finishes fire academy, but it will probably be months before we know anything. If he does get the job, he will be making quite a bit more money–which means even if I don’t get into school, I can still possibly quit my job and work somewhere part-time. Combine all of this uncertainty with the question of whether or not we will be able to have children, and I am left feeling stuck. Even our back-up plan of foster adoption is up in the air right now (if I don’t get into school, we will go ahead with the plan, but it will be on hold if I get into school).

I’m surprisingly more comfortable with all of this than I would have ever imagined myself capable of being, and maybe the hope that is filling my heart is a testament to the growth that I have experienced during the last year and a half of TTC. Being unsure of life and where it is heading, however, leaves me at a complete loss when it comes to this place. Everyone in this community seems to be either moving forward (pregnancies, adoptions, further treatments) or fading out, and I am feeling more and more like I am in the second group because I am sitting still. Waiting. As my good friend Rose says, I am a seed. I am waiting in the dark surrounded by pressure, but I have the assurance that at some point, my life will bloom–although I have no idea when that will be or what it will look like.

I guess for now I will just keep reading and when I feel the need, I will post. I promise to update you ladies of any motion in our lives…

12 Comments »

Bit of Earth Farm

Raising plants and animals in simple partnership with nature.

Laura Grace Weldon

Free Range Learning, Creative Living, Gentle Encouragement, Big Questions, Poetry, Occasional Drollery

The Crunchy Dungeon

Life with a Crunchy Wife

A Woman Like That

...I have been her kind.

Our Egg, Her Nest?

My journey to Motherhood through gestational surrogacy

Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm...

Stepping Stones

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm...

Sabine Daily

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

My Perfect Breakdown

-- Surviving. Living. Hoping. -- Recurrent Pregnancy Loss & Adoption

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

Recurrently Lost

My honest account of life with recurrent pregnancy loss

Caring for Crohn's & UC

Caring for a loved one with Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis

my german life:

an american girl in hamburg

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm...

Stories of a Son

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm...

Eighteenyears's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

IBDaily

The tales of a girl with unruly guts.

SocialJerk

Because writing about social work can be funny, too! (Sorry Precious)

No Air Radio

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm...

Growing Globe

"I am a pal of the world: I came from the wilderness." - Carl Sandburg

lamenting the lentil

unexplained infertility, twin pregnancy, and me

tales from the waiting room

Just another IF blog

The Moon on a Stick

Infertility and all that jazz.