Category Archives: Kate

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Welcome, Zachary Jr.

Amidst the uncertainty and fear in the world today, we welcomed a new beacon of hope on May 28th. Our son, Zachary Jr., pushed his way into this world on May 28, 2020 at 1:14pm. 

We arrived at Lankenau hospital Wednesday night so I could be induced. We entered through the Emergency Department because we arrived late. We were screened for any coronavirus symptoms and then we were ushered through empty back hallways to the labor and delivery unit. The atmosphere was quiet and sort of eerie. It was so different from when we were there for my daughter’s birth just nineteen months before. 

Once we were checked in and set up in our room, the troubles of the outside world seemed to melt away. We felt so safe and comfortable. The previous few months were shrouded with anxiety. I had put aside my excitement and let the fear of the pandemic overtake me. Being in the hospital calmed me. I had made it. The baby, me, and my husband were safe and healthy. We were here to complete our mission of meeting our new addition.

The following day at 1:14pm our son was born. People had asked me a lot if I was nervous about having the baby during the pandemic. My answer was, “My plan is to get in there, pop this baby out, and get right back home.” And that is exactly what we did.

When my daughter was born, she had a short NICU stay, so we spent 6 days in the hospital. This birth was the complete opposite. We were in and out in 42 hours. Thankfully, everything went exactly as planned. For the past couple years, things going “exactly as planned” wasn’t something I was used to. After two miscarriages and a health scare with my daughter, my husband and I were accustomed to things not going perfectly.

My son is one month old now and I still can’t believe how smoothly it all went. I spent so much time and energy worrying about what it would be like and worrying about catching the coronavirus. I had seen so many reports on the news about pregnant women getting the virus, having emergency c-sections, and being quarantined from their newborns. I worried about bringing him home and how our families would react to us not wanting anyone coming over. Everyone has understood and everyone has agreed to our precautions.

Baby Zach has met both sets of grandparents safely in person and the rest of the family has met him through the window. It’s not the picture perfect introduction that we were accustomed to, but not nearly as stressful as I made it out to be in my head. Looking back, I wish I had spent less time worrying and more time enjoying the last few months of my pregnancy, but hindsight is 20/20.

Category : Kate , Volunteer Bloggers


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Certainty in an uncertain time

I am in my 3rd trimester with baby number 2. Things were going so well, I actually allowed myself to feel certain that everything would be okay. I am a stay at home mom and have been busy with my ever growing toddler who has suddenly developed preferences and quite a little attitude when things don’t go her way. Keeping busy with her has allowed me to keep my mind off of the ever looming thoughts of “what could go wrong” that I became so accustomed to after having two losses.

In February, I got the flu. I went to the doctor to get it confirmed. I thought that would be the one hiccup for this pregnancy. I was down and out for about 2 weeks but recovered just fine. My toddler had some sort of little virus for about a week at the same time as me. She tested negative for the flu thankfully, but what a week that was. Being sick with the flu while taking care of a sick toddler….I wouldn’t wish that scenario on my worst enemy!

Once March began, life decided to throw some uncertainty at me and the rest of the world. I am pregnant during a pandemic. I never imagined that would happen. Every time I turn on the news things seem to get worse. I have heard the hospitals around us are starting to fill up with coronavirus patients (even the one where I will be delivering) and I am due to give birth in 9 weeks, give or take a week. I have multiple family members in the medical field who I worry about daily, three of whom are in my immediate family (my dad and two of my brothers). And of course there isn’t enough data to show if the virus is particularly dangerous for pregnant women. Classic, not enough data for a subject in women’s health. I guess we should all be use to that.

Now how am I supposed to make myself believe certain things will be okay when the entire world is in a state of uncertainty?

I am trying even harder than usual to focus on the positives. I am grateful that I have already been a stay at home mom, so I was mentally ready for the quarantine period that they keep extending. I am putting extra focus into my daughter and really trying to emulate her carefree attitude. She is a joy and hardly ever gives us trouble. She is our rainbow baby and I am relishing in that fact. She is our sunshine every day in this gloomy time. My husband is able to work from home, so we aren’t being affected badly financially for the time being. With the elimination of his commute, he is able to spend more time with our daughter than he would during a normal week. And this pregnancy has gone smoothly thus far. Every time I feel this baby kick I am reminded that this new baby is another rainbow for us and for our families. This new baby will help maintain the light that my daughter currently provides. We’ll be going from coronavirus quarantine to newborn quarantine. I am grateful my hospital is currently allowing at least one person to be with me during delivery. I have seen on the news that in NY some hospitals were saying you wouldn’t be allowed to have anyone. I hope that changes for the women about to give birth soon. I can’t imagine going through delivery without my husband.

Experiencing miscarriage has helped me learn to find and focus on the certainties in an otherwise uncertain situation. I am certain that my husband and I will do everything we can to keep my daughter and new baby safe. I am certain my hospital and the brave staff members will do everything they can to ensure a safe delivery. I am certain that we will bring this new baby home to a happy, positive environment in this crazy uncertain time.

(Kids started putting rainbow pictures in their windows in the UK and US as a symbol of hope of better days ahead. Some families in my neighborhood did it the other day. My featured image is the rainbow we posted on our storm door.)

Category : Kate , Volunteer Bloggers


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It’s Not Your Fault

“It’s not your fault.”

I remember that is what most people said to me when I revealed to them I had miscarried. My doctor was the first one to say it. It seems like a good thing to say and it is true. It isn’t our faults. Somehow, our bodies know to take control over a situation that isn’t going to work out.

It’s a good thing to say, doesn’t mean it’s easy to believe. I have blogged before about fault in miscarriage because I feel as though I still struggle with it. How can one not think it’s their fault? When something bad happens, we feel the need to find the source. In this case, I was the one carrying the babies, so, therefore, it’s my fault. It seems to make sense, but it’s the easy way out. 

A friend of mine recently sent me a Thought Catalog blog post regarding trauma. It starts out with “what happened to you is not your fault.” It details how we all have bad things happen to us, things that we never asked for or wanted. We are not to take responsibility for the loss, but we need to take responsibility for how we heal.

We are not responsible for what our bodies decide is good for us. As easy as it is to allow ourselves to slip into our grief and hide from the world, we need to take responsibility for our grief.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard it put that way, “healing is your responsibility. ” We have little control in terms of pregnancy. Yes, we make the decision to get pregnant. Sure, we eat well and take care of ourselves to ensure the baby is healthy, but overall, our bodies decide what will happen. Nature takes over. We surrender ourselves to chance. When these bad things happen though, we do have control over how we process it. Accepting this control and embracing this new understanding of what can happen can actually be a form of a gift. Sounds absurd to refer to a traumatic event as a gift. When my daughter was born, she was in the NICU for three days because she was exhibiting seizures. I blogged about this in a previous post. The seizures were caused by a stroke they think occurred at the time of delivery. She is doing very well now and has had no serious side effects, but 15 months later I am still blaming myself. Even though the doctor said, “It’s not your fault. It just happened.” I still struggle with placing blame on myself. 

When a traumatic event such as a miscarriage or any type of pregnancy loss occurs, we are faced with a decision to retreat or come out stronger. In an uncontrollable situation, the control we can take is over our journey of grief. It takes a lot of strength and inner peace to begin to accept our losses or bumps in the road as gifts. They are learning experiences that hopefully will make us better people. Isn’t that why God gives us challenges…so we can prove to ourselves that we can get back up and move forward?

Category : Kate , Volunteer Bloggers


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The season of hope

The holiday season is a time to celebrate and be grateful. It’s a time to hold loved ones a little closer. Experiencing a holiday after a loss can be unbearable. I remember the Christmas after I had my second loss. My nieces and nephews surrounded me at Christmas dinner. As happy as I was to be with them, I couldn’t help my heart from aching. I could have had a baby at that dinner or I could have been pregnant. I can remember sneaking away from everyone to cry alone. I really distanced myself from my family that holiday and I regret that. I regret not allowing myself to be open about how I was feeling with those I held closest. I let my own sadness and guilt keep me from the comfort of my family. It can be so hard to want to be jolly when your whole spirit feels like it’s been stepped on, but it’s so important to try and lean on those who love you. It makes the holiday season easier.

This year I am particularly grateful for my rainbow baby, Lucy. I am grateful for my husband, who has been steadily by my side through our journey. I am grateful for my new pregnancy. This is my fourth pregnancy. I am sixteen weeks pregnant and so far everything is progressing okay. As it progresses, I try to focus on being grateful for what I have gained without forgetting what I have lost.

I pray for those experiencing loss this season. I pray you have people who will allow you to wear your heart on your sleeve. I pray that you can find the strength to keep moving forward.

Just allow yourself to be submerged in the spirit of the season. It’s the season of hope, love, and the prospect of new beginnings.

Category : Kate , Volunteer Bloggers


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Aware

Sometimes I wonder if it’s better to be ignorant to what can go wrong (ignorance is bliss) or if it’s better to be aware of the pitfalls.

After my miscarriages, I became aware of what can go wrong during a pregnancy. I learned the hard way why women often wait to share their news until they are ten weeks. The first time I got pregnant I told my immediate family right away. I ended up having a blighted ovum and had to tell everyone the sad news. In retrospect, I don’t regret sharing my joy with my loved ones so quickly. It was hard at the time, though, to bear the bad news. I initially felt like I disappointed everyone, but over time I was able to work through that thinking. I’ve shared the news immediately with all three of my pregnancies. With my second and third however, I did learn to proceed with caution, but overall I couldn’t let fear overtake my eagerness.

Growing up, pregnancy was presented to me as easy. You decide to have a family and then you have one. At least that’s how I understood it from what mothers in my family told me. My own mom had five kids and all her pregnancies were normal. But I didn’t find out until I was older that she had a miscarriage before she had my younger brother. Many women I know never shared their miscarriage stories with me, until I became aware of it through my own experience. I guess that’s when you become more aware of things, when they happen to you.

I think society presents pregnancy as if it is easy. As exciting, life changing, and miraculous as pregnancy is, it can also be a scary, mysterious journey. We have to throw caution to the wind and trust that things will go right. I am grateful I was able to find the support I needed both through family and this website when I experienced my losses. I know there are many, many women over decades who experienced loss and never had the chance to talk about it or vent with others who went through the same thing.

My husband and I are blessed to have our rainbow baby, Lucy. She’s going to turn one in a couple of weeks. We have talked a lot about trying for another. The prospect of going down the pregnancy journey again is daunting now that I am aware of what can go wrong. Seeing my baby grow and learn inspires me to be stronger than my fear. She inspires me to embrace this awareness that I have and use it to be proactive in my healthcare for future pregnancies. If I allowed my fear to stop me, I may have never had her.

During this month of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, I hold my two losses and my rainbow baby close in my heart. I promise to never forget where I began and I promise to never take for granted what I have gained through my loss. I promise to continue to promote awareness of those who experience loss. I most especially pray for those currently experiencing loss and those having difficulty conceiving. You will overcome your obstacles. Don’t be afraid to make others aware of how you feel. Don’t hide. You should not be ashamed of what you’re going through. It’s not a group you want to be part of, but now that you are, embrace your new awareness and take comfort that there are many others who are aware too.

Category : Kate , Volunteer Bloggers


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Nature

A couple weeks ago, I visited Glacier National Park in Montana with my husband’s family. I had been stressing a lot leading up to the trip about how my 10 month old would handle the flights and being away from home for a whole week. The first couple days were tough getting her oriented to the cabin and the two hour time difference.

One afternoon when everyone was out hiking, I was sitting outside on the deck while my baby napped and my husband watched TV. I let the quiet breeze wash over me. I basked in the warm sunlight. I let my ears focus on the peaceful stream of water trickling in the creek down the hill. 

When life seems to turn upside down and make your head spin, getting away and being at peace with nature can be a powerful remedy. It doesn’t have to be a big trip to a national park. It can be a walk around the neighborhood or a walk through a local park. To be able to sit and embrace the beauty of nature is such a blessing that we often take for granted. During our stay, we were able to do some hikes and see beautiful mountains and waterfalls. A walk through the woods can be a rejuvenating experience if you open yourself up to it and let nature heal you.

I came home refreshed and ready to face my every day routine head on.

Category : Kate , Volunteer Bloggers


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Number of Pregnancies

“Number of pregnancies”

“Number of live births”

I had to fill out a new patient medical history form the other day at the doctor’s office. Those two prompts made my heart sink. I clutched my belly. My miscarriages surged to the forefront of my mind. I have a healthy baby girl now, why am I letting this affect me this way? I realized nothing can ever make me forget where I started. Moments like this trigger me and my heart and mind go right back to those events.

I have to put extra energy into maintaining my happy attitude. I am so grateful for my baby girl and that she is doing so well. I sometimes feel guilty that I still let myself feel defeated. Why do I feel guilty for having feelings? I have my rainbow baby and I can’t let my past get me down. I need to be strong for her.

But then again, I need to show her the importance of embracing life and dealing with feelings. I overthink about what others will think of me. What does she know? She has her baby now. I have to continue to try to not be affected by what others think. I am still learning to embrace all of what has happened.

Three pregnancies, one live birth, all in about two years. Writing about everything continues to be so helpful. It’s so important to take time to step back and evaluate where I started, where I am, and where I am going. 

I am always learning. I am learning how to cope, learning how to grow, learning how to be the best mother I can be to the baby I have, while also never forgetting the two that could have been.

Category : Kate , Volunteer Bloggers


Welcome!

If you’ve come to this blog, it likely means you have suffered a pregnancy loss of some type. We are so sorry you have found yourself here, but hope the stories of life after loss can help you on your road to healing and recovery. Remember, we are all in this together!

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