Category Archives: Kate

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A Turning Point

In mid February, I found out I was pregnant again. After I took the test, a wave of excitement and fear washed over me. I didn’t fully believe it at first. When I told my husband, he was so excited. The glow of his smile warmed my heart. One of the first things I said was, “Don’t get too excited. We know what can go wrong. I need to take another test to make sure.”  I feel badly that one of my first reactions after sharing the news with him was a negative reaction. Thankfully, he is so understanding of how I feel.

I took another test that night and it was positive. The next day I called the doctor’s office. I wanted to be proactive and know what my steps were considering my history. They measured my hCG and progesterone levels. Everything was rising! Those first few weeks were scary. In the back of my mind, I was convinced something was going to go wrong. I hate that I felt that way, but I couldn’t help myself. Week 5 (a week after I found out I was pregnant), I woke up feeling different. I couldn’t fully explain it, but I just felt strange. I convinced myself that I was going to miscarry. I called the doctor that afternoon, explaining that I felt different. I noticed my chest wasn’t as tender. That was one of the warning signs from my 2nd miscarriage. The nurse explained that symptoms would wax and wane with pregnancy. While I understood, I wasn’t totally convinced. I work in a doctor’s office, so I had the lab draw my blood and test my HcG and progesterone.

My hCG was fine, but my progesterone had dropped since the week prior! I was frantic. I had read that a simple reason for miscarriages could be progesterone issues. Once again, I called the doctor’s office. The nurse asked why I had my progesterone level checked because they typically do not follow it after the first workup. I said I figured it would be good to check since I had no definitive reason for my miscarriages and I had read low progesterone does cause them. She told me they don’t often treat for low progesterone, but taking a supplement wouldn’t hurt, so she prescribed me progesterone 200mg. I was instructed to take it until week 12.

As I write this, I am in my fifteenth week of pregnancy. I’ve completed the first trimester and I’m just five weeks away from the halfway point.  This new territory is exciting, even the morning sickness and nausea. I remembered these feelings from the first time I got pregnant. Each morning, just like the first time, I woke up feeling so nauseous and it carried on through much of the day. I have never been happier to feel sick! The nausea has eased up as I have entered the 2nd trimester. I have a little belly showing and my appetite has increased. I have had 3 ultrasounds since mid February. My little one is growing right on schedule! I’m so glad I was proactive. Who knows, it could have been the low progesterone the first two times.

I have thought about how I would feel once I got pregnant again. I thought my fears and sadness would instantly disappear and I would be back on cloud 9. While I am SO excited and hopeful, good ol’ grief is still hanging around. It is easier now to focus on what WILL be rather than what COULD have been. But the feelings do conflict from time to time. As I have said before, it’s like I want to move on, but I don’t want myself to forget at the same time. I try to take it one day at a time now, treating each day my baby grows as a blessing. I am aware of what can go wrong, but I am trying to focus on what is going right each day.

One thing that has struck me since telling people of my pregnancy is, people often ask if this is my first and I respond yes. But it isn’t my first. This is my third pregnancy. What if I were to tell them, well, no this is my third pregnancy, my first two were miscarriages. How would they react? I feel strong enough to write about my journey, why is it often a struggle to talk about it out loud? Maybe speaking about it out loud makes it more real and upsetting. I am still working on that part of the process.

Being the month of Mother’s Day, I feel as though I have been extra emotional. I think about last Mother’s Day when I was still getting over my first miscarriage and my second one was soon to come, and now this year I’m in my second trimester. I think about all the current mothers, those are who are still longing to be mothers, those who have lost babies, and those who are pregnant. I pray for all these women and I hope we find solace in sharing our stories and leaning on one another. We are stronger together.

My hope for this little one growing inside me now is that he or she will continue to provide me peace with my feelings, as I continue to be a warm, loving place for he or she to grow for the remainder of the pregnancy. 

Category : Kate , Volunteer Bloggers


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Moving on with fear

The end of this month my second pregnancy would have been due. As the month approached, I tried to keep the thought in the back of my mind by continuing to focus on what IS and not what COULD have been, but it gets tiring trying to pretend something isn’t weighing on your mind. Especially when everyone around you is moving on with life, but parts of you still feel stuck in the past. As much support as I have been given, this journey is still isolating. 

I feel badly that I don’t know the exact due date of this one. I estimated it would be the end of April. It was such a whirlwind when everything happened. I found out I was pregnant and then five days later I miscarried. I didn’t even have enough time to process it. Am I a bad person for not knowing the exact due date? I fear that I am. It’s a tough thing to try to move on and grow, but at the same time remind yourself not to forget. I could never forget what happened, but sometimes I fear that moving on is being irreverent to my little ones that could have been. I keep them in my heart always, but they slip more frequently from my mind. It’s a weird combination of feelings. Feelings that I seem to understand more clearly the more I write about them. 

While I am feeling better with each passing month, I still harbor fear. A fear of never fulfilling my goal of having my own family. A fear that I could have handled my feelings better. Will this fear follow me around forever? Will I ever be able to go back to being the girl who believes in the best? Who is the new person I have become who lets the fear control her? This is one thing that bothers me most about my losses. I let fear overtake me. I let fear decide my mood and my decisions. Looking back on that year, I am disappointed in myself for not being stronger. My family and friends tell me how strong I have been, but I don’t believe them. I am still learning how to be confident in my strength and own my experiences.

I was talking with my husband the other night and I said how it’s crazy to think about what has happened to us and we made it through. We’re moving on and we’re trying again, even though, when we were in the midst of sadness, I thought I’d never get through it. I guess that is strength. I don’t know. That’s a hard concept to grasp and be okay with. I don’t know what’s going to happen and I need to be okay with that. It’s amazing to me how, as human beings, we encounter all sorts of sadness and tragedy in life and yet we carry on. We all instinctively know to tackle obstacles and attempt to overcome. 

I believe in time this fear that I am carrying with me will dissipate and I hope it will encourage me to be stronger. I think I can use this lingering fear as a motivator. Maybe having a healthy fear of the unknown can help us navigate the trying times in our lives and help us appreciate the good times even more.

Category : Kate , Volunteer Bloggers


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Keep Forging On

My Losses

“This is not a normal pregnancy.”

That was the last thing I expected to hear at my first ultrasound appointment for my first pregnancy on January 19, 2017. My husband and I were going in to see and hear our little one for the first time. Instead, we saw a dark, silent womb.

I found out I was pregnant two weeks before Christmas, what a wonderful gift. We shared the news with our immediate families soon after we found out. We were so excited, there was no reason to hide the life changing news. I didn’t need to wait that suggested ten weeks. I was sure I was going to be fine. For nine weeks, I experienced all the typical first trimester pregnancy symptoms. I felt awful and wonderful all at once! There was never any sign that something was wrong.

When the doctor was conducting the ultrasound, I could see her face change. She looked concerned. Instead of seeing our baby, we saw an empty womb. She said it was a blighted ovum, a form of miscarriage. The egg died, but my body continued on as if it were pregnant. I had never heard of such a thing. Why would my body do this to me? I was fooled by my own body.

My husband and I were devastated. The next day I went to the hospital for a D&C. The first thing I noticed when I woke up after the procedure was I didn’t feel the nausea anymore. I never thought I’d miss feeling sick to my stomach.

I struggled for many months after that day. I spent many hours crying, trying to grasp why such a thing would happen to me. I tried to understand why I didn’t see or feel any symptoms leading up to it. I punished myself for being so optimistic and thinking nothing bad would ever happen. With the help of my husband and my family I worked through these dark feelings that come along with miscarriage. I began to write about it and with that writing people I knew came forward about their own experiences. Putting my feelings into words helped me process them better. Knowing I wasn’t alone was such a comfort. With time, my husband and I were able to pick ourselves up and try again.

My second pregnancy was early August. I remember when I saw the positive test I felt excitement laced with fear. Just five days after the positive test, I began to bleed. At first I thought it was implantation bleeding, but as the day progressed the bleeding became heavier. I had a chemical pregnancy. This one felt different because it was a different kind of miscarriage. But I also felt something was going to go wrong before it even happened. Once again I began a journey of grief. I thought I’d take the 2nd one a bit easier since I had already started to learn how to cope, but it was still just as painful. Even more so physically this time. I passed large clots and experienced the worst cramps of my life.

Learning from Grief

February 16th was six months since my 2nd miscarriage. It was warmer outside, so I decided to go for a run around the neighborhood. I ran down the main street, which has a large hill. I got about a mile down and decided to turn back. As I began my ascent, I struggled. “I hate these hills. I am so out of shape,” I thought to myself. A few blocks up, I slowed down to a brisk walk. Another woman jogging up the street ran right past me. She turned to me and smiled and continued running. I smiled back and then thought to myself, “Oh hell no, I’m not letting her beat me.” I crossed the street and kept pace with her up the hill. I pumped my legs harder, steadied my breathing and kept repeating to myself that I could do it. I eventually passed her and beat her to my self imposed finish line (the street where I made my turn to home). As I ran downhill towards home, I reflected on what had just happened. I took it as a sign. That woman came out of nowhere. I didn’t see her jogging up when I was jogging down. Did God place her there as a wake up call? “Hey, quit feeling sorry for yourself. Look how far you’ve come. You can accomplish more than you know.” I took it as a sign that I can do whatever is thrown at me. I do have the strength. I do have the will power. 

After experiencing two miscarriages within a year and a half, I have had my fair share of defeating days. I think because of these sad occurrences I have learned a lot about myself and a lot about life. I have never really described myself as a strong person. I imagined myself breaking down in situations such as these, but here I am. I am a strong woman. I am still alive and I am sharing my story with the world. Every day I wake up I make a conscious decision to be happy, even though I have feelings of lingering sadness for my two losses. I try hard to focus on the blessings I do have. Each month, my husband and I muster the strength to keep working toward our goal of starting a family.

As much as I often wish I could turn back time and erase my miscarriages, I have learned to better embrace what life throws at me. This is part of my story now. I will continue to share it in an effort to help others know that they are not alone and that they can carry on. No matter how steep the hills get, we have to pick up ourselves up and keep forging on.

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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