Category Archives: Tracy

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When you find a little sense of peace

For at least a week or more, I walked around unaware that my baby stopped growing with no signs of complication. At my scheduled ultrasound, my baby’s heartbeat was not detected. I recall my clinical diagnosis was “spontaneous abortion.” The word “spontaneous” removes blame and reasoning. I left the office feeling void and heartbroken. It left me with a sense of searching. Not sure what I was looking for, but hoping once I came across it, it would give me some peace.

A few weeks later, I came across TTH and this community has been a beacon in a dark, confusing time. The personal stories I read each Tuesday continue to rebuild me and repurpose me. The resources and testimonials helped me reconcile my feelings. I look forward to TTH Tuesdays even after two years since that dreaded day.

A month ago,  TTH posted a NY Times article titled “The Japanese Art of Grieving a Miscarriage.” It spoke of how the Japanese culture embraces miscarriage and provides communal and spiritual spaces to memorialize it. Up until then, I kept my first sonogram on my work desk, but after I read the article, a sense of clarity came over me. Immediately I started to search online for a symbol that encompassed my little angel. Nothing really caught my eye or spoke to me. The next morning I walked into my oldest son’s preschool and in the lobby was a lost and found table, and immediately I saw this little angel figurine that was as if it was designed just for me. I decided to search for it online and apparently the brand is discontinued. The next day I asked the front desk if the figurine was not claimed if I could have it and she gave it to me. I was so happy. And now beside my sonogram, a little angel sits next to it.

For some it will be a figurine or tattoo or garden that brings a sense of reverence to represent a time of loss. But it will come. Maybe not tomorrow, but keep searching.

 

Category : Tracy , Volunteer Bloggers


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Living My Best Life Now

I am very transparent when I share my experience about having a miscarriage. I want to share. I want to bring light to it so others do not feel alone. I believe that creating a support system is essential in one’s life to help us when the life storms are beating us down. But it just hit me today that I am good with sharing, which is a form of healing, but I do not know how to self sooth.

Last year my husband’s uncle passed away. It was the third death of a family member within two years. We decided to join a grieving support group at our church. Actually, I signed us up and told my husband when and where. My intentions were to help him with his grieving process because he has experienced loss most of his life and he is a very sensitive man. Again, me helping someone else. In that meeting I expressed my concerns for my husband’s well being. When it was his turn to talk, he brought up our miscarriage. It took me aback. At that point I had my second son and I realized that I never took a time out in this game of life. I am always on the move, but feeling like I am going nowhere.

But now it is all catching up with me. The anxiety laundry pile is getting higher and higher. The emotional baggage on my mind and heart are wearing me down. And it’s not the daily routine, but it’s like an internal conflict of past emotions and experiences that I have bottled up inside of me. I want to move forward in my life and seize opportunities to better myself and my family and yet there are emotional chains keeping me from living my best life for me and my family. I need help and I made the first steps to get it. Whether you decide to join a support group or speak to a therapist, it is never too late to ask for help. Live your best life now.

 

 

Category : Tracy , Volunteer Bloggers


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Trust My Choice

At my 10 week appointment, I learned that my fetus stopped growing. It was the second ultrasound so I was not expecting this. I did not feel different. I felt very pregnant. But to know that life ended and I didn’t even know is heartbreaking. I asked her what I should do. She said I can come back in a week and possibly my body would naturally remove the fetus, however if not, then I can schedule a D&C or take medication to induce the miscarriage.

I had choices. Not the choices I had hoped for walking into that appointment, but choices that made me in control of this terrible situation. It allowed me the opportunity to navigate what steps were right for me. When the specialist gave my husband and I some space to talk, my husband immediately told me its my decision and he supports me. He has always been my biggest cheerleader and he trusts me. In my decision making, he was not a deterrent but my supporter. In this current political climate, I am angry and scared where the discourse is heading. Conflicting definitions and perceptions are clouding reality. In my scenario, should a political policy interfere with my choice?

I recall some time ago when a woman could not get her medications filled because the pharmacist said that it was against his religion. Like me, the woman’s fetus had stopped growing. I remember hearing this on the news and becoming irate because that could have been me. The first few hours of finding out this dreaded truth are excruciating, piercing deep into one’s soul and testing one’s spiritual strength. In just a few seconds my entire life shifted directions. My husband knew that he was the first one to set the tone to either comfort or irritate. But if politicians have their way, someone that does not know me, my situation, my needs, my dreams and fears, can tell me what to do with my body. Take away my choices. Take away my integrity. Take away my right. Take away my voice.

The woman’s body is an extraordinary human vessel. Our bodies create and nurture life in the womb. We give birth and once our little one is in our arms, our breasts produce milk to nurse and the one innate ability that a baby can do for himself from birth is to suck. Ideally this is the perfect match. God gave woman all she needs to create and sustain life. And yet we are not free to own our own bodies. The woman’s body is a war zone. Constantly being mutilated by the world and man. In this country we fight so hard for the second amendment and not so much for reproductive and sexual health. Why do we fear the woman? Could you imagine if the woman had full rights to her own body? Could the world then be a better place?

Before my marriage, I never personalized these topics, but spoke hypothetically. Even though I have written about different aspects of women’s rights and identity, I felt exempt from this discourse because I felt protected in my own country. With the shift in mindset, the reality is my freedom is being attacked. It’s unfortunate that tragedy must occur to motivate many to action. I would never wish what I experienced on anyone, but I do hope that she is given the choice to choose what is best for her and not be judged.

Category : Tracy , Volunteer Bloggers


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Moving forward through the pain

On February 12th, I celebrated my second son’s 1st birthday. He brings so much joy into our lives. He loves to cuddle and give kisses. He is my little musician who loves to dance and play the piano. My heart is full and the long, hard road we travelled to get to this point was worth it all.

Once we married, my husband Anthony and I immediately tried to start our family. For us, it was not easy and after a year of trying, we sought help at a fertility clinic. It took two years and 8 treatment rounds before my 1st son was conceived. Because of my age, I was considered high risk and monitored very closely until I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Everyone told me that this pregnancy would open the flood gates for more children and my husband and I decided to not use birth control and let nature take its course. But after a year and half, I did not get pregnant. So back to the fertility clinic.

At this point in our lives, we moved and established care about another fertility clinic and this time the specialist wanted to treat the root of the problem, which is PCOS. Within 3 months, I found out I was pregnant. We were elated. We immediately told our family and friends. This was early December so this was an early Christmas present for us. Our first ultrasound was scheduled after the new year. I was about 7 weeks along. We heard her heartbeat and immediately my family of 3 was now a family of 4. I do recall the doctor commenting that the size of the embryo was smaller than expected and she adjusted my conception date. We scheduled my 10 week ultrasound and we left the office with the sonogram of our little one.

The next few weeks went great. I felt pregnant. The cravings for pickles resurfaced. I couldn’t keep my eyes open past 10pm. This experience was very familiar to me. I started planning our family vacation around the due date. I started thinking about my work schedule and maternity leave. I was already envisioning this little bundle of joy in my arms. My stepdad called me and told me that he had a dream of a little girl with long brown hair and similar features of my son and she was running towards him, calling “Grandpa!” This warmed my heart.

We arrived at the 10 week ultrasound appointment with no agenda other than to hear her heartbeat. When the doctor and nurse came in, we were all in good spirits. Anthony stood beside me holding my hand while I laid on the exam bed. The doctor started the exam and an image appeared on the screen, but she started to look worried as she moved the probe over my stomach.  She turned the screen away from us. Anthony quickly went to her side and asked what is wrong. She said that she couldn’t locate a heartbeat and asked the nurse to check the measurements.

After a few minutes, she said the embryo stopped growing about two weeks ago. Before she continued, she gave us a few minutes to ourselves to reconcile this news. Immediately the tears began to flow and Anthony held me. I don’t recall any words between us. Just the tears. I had started building my life around this little being and the possibilities of her life were real and yet in an instant disappeared. When the doctor returned, she expressed her condolences and told us the next steps. We had a few choices neither one better than the other, but this was the only decision I had to be in control. Before we left the office, Anthony asked for the sonograms.

I have experienced bouts of depression  earlier in my life, which emotionally and spiritually paralyzed me. Flashes of the past of me curled up on the bathroom floor, balling my eyes out, scared me so before we left I told the doctor that I planed to continue with treatment. Soon after I went to my parents’ house and I told them there was no heartbeat. I did not know how else to describe it. Her heartbeat was our only lifeline. It was pumping our dreams into reality. It was fueling our desires of growing our family. My mother was very perplexed. She repeated over and over again that she didn’t understand. I remember leaving and my younger brother ran outside, without any words, he embraced me. A hug of disappointment. A hug of compassion.

My little sister arrived at my doorstep the next day and once we were in the kitchen, she couldn’t get any words out and started to cry. I hugged her. Actually I started to console her in that moment telling her we will be okay. Like me, she was hurting in our loss. Like me, my mother couldn’t comprehend this news. My loss did not just affect me, but all our loved ones. They too had started reconstructing their realities to include this new addition. I realize now that the best thing for me were the hugs and tears. I didn’t need or want any words. I know the typical words of comfort, but most times they feel empty when they come out.  No one really knows what to say when someone experiences a loss especially a miscarriage as if life lived only exists outside the womb. I heard her heartbeat. She lived.

I must have spent days Googling what could have went wrong. Maybe it was my self consciousness trying to find an answer that did not point the finger at me. It is so easy to blame myself, but I was not going to fall into that mental trap.  So I changed my search question, “How does one resume life after a loss?” We did not have a funeral. I never had the chance to hold my little girl in my arms. But I did have on thing, the sonogram. It is on my work desk alongside the pictures of my son and other loved ones. My husband keeps a copy in his wallet. I realized that I had changed. Something inside me shifted. My new normal includes two babies, one on earth and one in heaven. I knew that I had to embrace my loss to readjust my reality.

When I was ready, I reached out to a selected few I knew I could trust and shared my story and feelings so that my words could breathe back life into me. Surprisingly God led me to someone who experienced a miscarriage at the same time I did and she didn’t tell anyone. We confided in and encouraged each other and I felt a sense of resolve. Why do we do this? Stay locked within ourselves? Lonely in our pain when the truth is we are hurting.  There are many women stuck in this place of sorrow after a loss and this is not the time to blame yourself or lose hope. This is the time to lift each other up and push forward together because this is not the end of your story.

Many years prior, after several failed fertility rounds, Anthony held me and told me as long as he has me that is all that matters to him. And he is a man of his word. I trust him and know that God always finds favor with him. Anthony’s strength gives me the ability to love past my pain. He gave me a sense of security that we will get through this together. I remember Anthony’s grandmother said that funerals are not a place to reunite with loved ones. She is absolutely right. When we celebrate life together, intertwining our lives to inspire and encouraging one another, lifelines are created. And in those times of need, we can pick up the phone, send a text or email, or give a hug when times are difficult to handle on one’s own.

I was able to lean on the good times we created as a couple and a family, establishing traditions like annual family vacations, participating in the breast cancer walk, and game night with friends. Building into our family, into ourselves one day at time strengthens us, and prepares us for the unknown so you do not lose yourself in dark times. I did not want to self sabotage. I did not know why this happened to me, but I was hopeful to keep moving forward and see where the road would lead me and my family because my life masterpiece is still in progress. Today I am the mother of 2 sweet boys and I know their sister watches over them.

 

Category : Tracy , Volunteer Bloggers


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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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