Recently, I had a very important appointment with my OBGYN. In the past I have had a variety of good appointments, and a variety of traumatic appointments at my OB’s office. However, this time was different, and surprisingly I had a very positive experience.
I made the appointment with my OB to discuss family planning and how to be a healthier me. It had been over a year since I had suffered my second miscarriage. So this appointment wasn’t a follow up physical and mental health appointment, nor was this appointment a pregnancy appointment. This appointment was just a let’s sit down and talk about how to be healthy appointment.
At this appointment my doctor seemed happy to see me. She was impressed that I graduated college, have a full time job as a teacher, have become more active and lost 20lbs in the last year, and that I have found ways to better manage my stress.
Throughout the appointment we discussed family planning and trying to concieve. My husband and I aren’t actively trying to concieve but rather, allowing it to happen if it does, and not preventing it if it does. We also discussed adoption and how this is the first avenue we plan to pursue.
In the end my doctor was very positive and hopeful that someday I could have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. But for now she is 100% supportive of my decision in getting healthy and working towards a child filled future.
Some things my doctor encouraged me to do as we plan for a family, include the following…
1. Start taking prenatal vitamins daily
2. Start taking my anxiety meds daily
3. Have my thyroid levels checked and managed regularly,
4. Continue to be active daily.
5. Strive for a better BMI, by starting with small goals, such as losing 10 lbs.
I can’t believe it’s almost November. Friends, where did October go? This month has been quite a struggle in getting myself motivated to write. When I get stumped, discouraged and tired; I often try to envision how I will feel once my memoir is complete. Writing a book is not easy. It can be a daunting task that I want to constantly give up on. But, I don’t dare give up because I’ve come so far and know I’m meant to do this.
Lately, I’ve just had a variety of really high highs and really low lows when it comes to my emotions, my grief and my goals. It’s exhausting. I try to look at the positive. I have a great job teaching kids everyday. I recently got named teacher of the month, which is also exciting. My husband and I are very busy, but are in a really good place. I love and adore my fur baby Rocky and things are going well for us financially as we pay off our debts.
When you put it that way, life is great and I shouldn’t be complaining. That’s when I feel a high. I feel like I can do this and it’s going to be okay. Then I think about the holidays… Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. I’m not pregnant. I don’t have a foster baby and I don’t have any living children. I see friends my age having babies, celebrating birthdays, and holidays with their families. I think about the women who have been trying for 3+ years without any luck, and fear that one day will be me. I hear moms all the time complain about lack of sleep from their infant, tantrums from their toddler, and distant learning experiences from their adolescents…. while all the while I too wish I could be sharing the same experiences.
Thinking about all of this puts me in a very low low. I get to the point where I don’t want to see anyone. I want to hide away in my apartment and forget all the moms pregnant with quarantine babies, and the parents getting their kids ready for Halloween. I want to forget it all because at times it is so hard to deal with.
So you see, I’m not making a ton of progress on my writing because of the emotional grieving tornado I am currently facing. Writing sometimes helps, but sometimes it brings up emotions and memories I’m not quite ready to relive again. I’m not giving up. Not at all. But I am taking my time with this as I continue striving forward with my goals and try not to fear for what the future might hold.
If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ve heard a little bit about my family. I have parents, a grandma, aunts and uncles, friends who are like siblings, a faithful husband, a little fur baby named Rocky, angel babies and many other family members up in Heaven.
I am 25 and my husband is 24. I graduated with a Bachelors degree in Child and Family Development, and he is graduating with his Bachelors this semester. We don’t have a ton of debt, but a fair amount we’d like to pay off in a decent amount of time. I work full time as a teacher, and my husband works in politics. This is our life. This is our family, so that begs the question… “What’s next for us?”
In the last two years we have had two miscarriages, pursued a trying to concieve journey and dealt with numerous health problems. However, that hasn’t stopped us from chasing what we truly want… and that is to expand our family and raise children.
Charles and I have had numerous discussions about TTC, IVF, surrogacy, adoption and the possibility of living a child free life. The conversations have sometimes been productive, but in other ways been very draining. Having all of our options on the table, made us realize what option would be best for us at this stage in life. We have decided to pursue adoption.
Our 2 Year Plan
Start planning and prepping for adoption while also no longer preventing and or accepting if a healthy pregnancy happens.
Begin praying, researching, and discussing adoption, and what form of adoption we wish to pursue.
Begin paying off debts, saving and fundraising for adoption costs.
Move to a two bedroom apartment, town house or home more suitable for a child.
Pick an adoption agency
Complete a home study.
Begin working with an agency, and have faith that we will be matched with the child that we are meant to have. ❤️
So this is our plan. As of right now we are on step one. It is not going to be easy and not something we are taking lightly. We both have a huge heart for adoption and honestly are open to whatever the Lord has in store.
We would both truly love everyone’s thoughts and prayers as we begin this long journey of preparing for parenthood as we pursue the option of adoption.
A longing to be a mom is something I have had for a very long time. I’ve struggled the last couple years with anxiety, depression, hypothyroidism, possible endometriosis and recurrent pregnancy losses. It has been challenging to say the least.
Recently, Charles suggested that I create a vision board… something that displays my many hopes and dreams of being a mom, whether it’s through pregnancy, IVF, surrogacy or adoption.
Today I spent at least three hours creating my vision board. I found it very therapeutic to create an art project that in many ways encompasses the desires of my heart.
This vision board now holds a gentle reminder to keep the faith. Somehow and some way I feel called to be a mom. I believe someday Charles and I will make amazing parents. I don’t know how or when, but I know we will one day raise children of our own.
So for now I am going to focus on my vision, keep the faith God has given me, and hope that there is goodness coming. Good things come to those who wait. ❤️
What’s my why? What’s the reason I get up everyday? What’s the reason I go to work and teach my preschoolers Monday through Friday? What’s the reason I spend hours writing my books, writing blog posts, and making a point to help others who are struggling. Why do I do what I do? What’s my why?
I get up everyday to help others. It’s what I’m meant to do. It’s my purpose. But often times, I forget about myself. I forget that I need to be taken care of too. I forget that as much as I open my heart to so many children, mommas and people, that I usually forget about my own heart and that it too needs to be nurtured.
Many years ago I developed a passion, a divine destiny, and longing to work with children. Throughout the years I have studied, and learned how to love, teach and admire each individual child that enters my life. Each child has their challenges, their own strengths, and their own story. And though I don’t always know how long each child will be in my life, it is my job as a teacher and as a person to show them love because that is the best gift I can give them.
My job can be so incredibly rewarding. I have built long lasting relationships with families, children I have taught, coworkers and other fellow teachers. Many of these people have seen me at my best and my worst. All of these people hold a special place in my heart.
Through my job as a teacher and as someone who loves kids, it can be very rewarding. It can also be very challenging.
Working with children is no easy task. It can be exhausting and emotionally draining. My patience is tested daily and sometimes hourly. I am constantly making decisions, considering choices, choosing my words, and considering how my actions can best teach and set a positive example for my kiddos. It’s not easy, but certainly not impossible.
Teaching has always emotionally affected me, as I am taking care of someone else’s kids when I so desperately desire to have my own. After suffering two miscarriages and reentering the education field, I am even more aware and emotionally affected by the reminder that I still don’t have my own healthy children.
I’m not going to sugar coat it. It sucks. It really really sucks. It’s not fair. It hurts. It’s hard. But I deal with it. Somehow I find the strength to get through it. Everyday, I ask the question, why?Why don’t I have kids yet? Why did we have to lose two babies? Why have we had to go through this? I wish I knew the answers, but I don’t think I ever will.
Through a lot of time, reflection, and healing I have seen how much of my grief, and frustration was turned into something good and used to help others. I started a blog. I’ve shared my story in person and in a magazine. I wrote a children’s book. I have connected with many women around the world who have gone through the same thing. My grief did not happen in vain, it was used to help others.
So you see, the reason I get up everyday to teach children, write blog posts, and bond with other women, is because it’s my purpose in life. It’s what I was made to do. Because of what I have went through, I am able to love and appreciate the children in my life probably more than I ever would have if I hadn’t experienced what I have. Without going through the trauma and loss I did, I wouldn’t have started a blog. I wouldn’t have felt so inspired to write and share my story. Without the bad things happening in my life, I wouldn’t appreciate the good things.
I do what I do because I love and want to help people.
I want to help moms, women, children and families. I want to help all of you. I want to support you, encourage you, guide you and strengthen you. I want to be there for you. That also means I need to be there for myself. I need to take care of me and be kind to myself while I also help others.
Again, it’s not always easy…. and it still really hurts that I am not a mom to babies here on earth. But I take it day by day, and know that my work on this earth is not going unnoticed. I love you all and I am here if you need anything. That is why I do this.
Pregnancy announcements… something that is supposed to be happy can hurt so badly.
I know I am not alone when I say that pregnancy announcements are hard to handle, especially if you have suffered a loss or you struggle to get pregnant. In many ways you want to be happy for the people who have announced they are expecting…. but at the same time you also want to scream “It’s not fair! Why can’t that be me?!”
For me personally, there are a lot of factors that go into how I feel when I see a pregnancy announcement. If I see an announcement from someone who I know has struggled with fertility or suffered a loss, I am immediately happy for them because I know what they’ve gone through. However, if I see someone having their 5th kid with no problems, I’m not as ecstatic as I could be. Is that right? No, probably not… but it’s how I feel.
It also depends on when they announce. Holidays, my previous due dates and loss dates are very hard for me. Therefore, if someone announces around that time, I am not usually in a good headspace to congratulate them.
I really don’t have any sort of magic trick to make pregnancy announcements not hurt because after suffering a loss or infertility, they almost all hurt in some way. I guess my advice would be to ride the wave. Feel what you need to feel. I certainly wouldn’t lash out at the people who are announcing because they really didn’t do anything wrong. But I would say it is healthy to get your thoughts out in a journal or to a close friend.
Pregnancy announcements are not easy. But it’s just one of those things we can’t control. So I encourage you to ride the wave of grief and get through it somehow.
No, this is not a pregnancy announcement or a trying to conceive announcement. This isn’t an announcement at all, but rather a vision for new opportunities. I love having friends and family who know me. I love having these people in my life who take the time to listen and care for my needs and desires as a person and as a woman.
Recently, one of my best friends gave me a gift. At first when I received the gift, I didn’t know how to feel or what to think. My friend Reaghan gave me a planner, but not just any planner. She gave me a Mommy To Be planner. This planner is specifically for expectant moms who want to organize and prepare for their baby’s arrival.
Now, I didn’t ask for this gift, and frankly I was a little shocked to have received it. After my first miscarriage, I knew I would eventually want to try and have another baby. But after experiencing a second miscarriage, I’m not really sure how I feel. I’ve had two pregnancies that ended with surgery, and trauma. I don’t know if I can bare another loss. I don’t know if my heart can take it. It scares me.
However, even though I’m not sure if I could handle another pregnancy, I am sure of something. I want to be mom. I believe I will be a mom somehow and in someway. Whether it’s through foster care, adoption, pregnancy, surrogacy, or ministry… I believe it’s what God has called me to do.
I think that’s why Reaghan gave me this gift. Not because she thinks I’m trying to get pregnant, and not because she didn’t know what to get me, but because she knows me. She knows I want to be a mom and she knew just what to give me in this time in my life, when I simply don’t know what the next step is. She is a true friend. ❤️
In the beginning of September, I had a really strange feeling. Everything was coming together, I was moody, but in a good place. Charles and I started our semester on August 28th. I reflected back to the last time I started a semester, and I found out I was pregnant. It would be nice to be pregnant again, but I wasn’t in a rush. I was in my last two semesters of school, so I was okay with a few months of trying.
I was expecting to get my period around September 7th. Through the first week of school though, I kinda felt pregnant, or had really bad PMS. I really wasn’t stressed since senioritis had officially kicked in. I was just grouchy. Around September 4th, on my Daddy’s birthday food was not settling well on my tummy. I felt hot, uncomfortable and just in a bad mood.
It reminded me of when I was pregnant, but since I wasn’t late for my period… I blamed it on PMS.
On September 5th, I got sick. I ate some Greek nachos with Charles for dinner and threw up. At that point, I knew I was pregnant again. I tried telling Charles but he didn’t think so. That night we took a trip to the dollar store to get some home pregnancy tests. I took the first test that night and it was a big fat negative. I knew it probably wasn’t that accurate because it was in the evening and I wasn’t late for my period.
The next morning when I woke up, I took another pregnancy test. Negative. Maybe I wasn’t pregnant. Just bad PMS this month for some reason. I told myself if I didn’t get my period by tomorrow, I would take the last test I had. Through out the day at school, smells were not appealing, I knew this was another pregnancy symptom, but I told myself I was crazy. That evening I brushed my teeth, and had a gagging fit.
Maybe I was pregnant.
The morning of the 7th, my period didn’t come. I took another test when I first got up. Negative. Hmm… this was getting exhausting. No period. I felt really yucky and three negative pregnancy tests. Charles and I talked and he didn’t think I was pregnant… but he also didn’t think I was the last time either. Something told me I was. I was listening to my body and even though all the tests said no, I knew I was. Charles and I went out and bought the more expensive pregnancy tests. These were the tests you take 5 days before your missed period.
The evening of September 7th, I took the test. I wanted to wait until the next morning so it was more accurate, but Charles wanted answers now. I went into the bathroom and took my 4th pregnancy test in a week. It wasn’t negative… but it wasn’t positive either. There was nothing! No test line and no control line. It was a defective test. I was so frustrated. I then took the other test out of the box and tested again. No line! I was so upset! These were supposed to be the good tests and they were both defective. This was a cruel joke.
The next day, Charles and I picked up two more dollar store pregnancy tests. This was it. I was frustrated, tired and so confused. My body was telling me one thing, but these tests were either broken or telling me something else. If they were negative and I got my period I would be okay. I’d be mad because I spent so much money on tests, but I’d be okay.
The morning of the 9th I started work from home. My boss ordered me lunch and I had a pretty chill day. I didn’t feel good especially after I ate. After I was finished with work I took a three hour nap. When I woke up, I couldn’t take it anymore. If I wasn’t pregnant, there was something really wrong with me. Even though it was the evening, I took another test. I watched the test the whole three minutes. By two minutes, I swore my eyes were deceiving me.
Did I see two lines? It was faint, but there was something there. I knew it!
The morning of September 10th, I took another pregnancy test. Two lines! The second line was slightly darker than the night before. My nephew was having surgery that morning and Charles and I planned to go visit him. Since my OB was in the same hospital, I decided to call and get my pregnancy confirmed that morning. After visiting with my nephew I got my blood work done. Now I just had to wait to know for sure.
Within 24 hours I got my results. I was pregnant! My HCG levels were in the 60’s. Because I’ve already had one miscarriage, my doctor’s office wanted to check my levels in 48 hours to make sure they doubled. By Friday I had my second set of results. I was really nervous. I prayed so hard they would double. When I checked my results online I immediately had peace… they more than doubled. My HCG levels were at 150! I knew then that everything would be okay.
I was pregnant for a second time. I found out exactly one week before Mackenzie’s due date. It’s like this baby was sent from her. After everything Charles and I have gone through, we decided to give this baby a nickname right away. We nicknamed him Chase because we were chasing our rainbow. We were excited again. We were nervous again. But both of us knew that whatever happens, we would get through it together.
1. Grief & Mercy Blog Q & A: I Am Answering All Your Questions About Miscarriage, Grief, Healing, Recovery and My Personal Experience
I really enjoyed writing this post. On Instagram a few weeks prior to writing this post, I asked women who have suffered a loss, if they had any questions that they would like me to answer. I truly enjoyed answering all your questions as well as sharing my own experience.
2. My First BIG Opportunity as a Blogger
This post was fun to write because this was my big break. I had no idea when first starting my blog I would be asked to share my story in a magazine and eventually work for that company. It’s honestly another example of the great big plan that God has for me, that I couldn’t see at my very lowest point.
3. Mother’s Day Part 1, 2 and 3
My Mother’s Day posts were pretty popular. I enjoyed writing these posts because I was able to reflect my first Mother’s Day weekend as an Angel Mommy. I divided this post into 3 parts because I didn’t want to overwhelm my readers and honestly each post had a specific purpose. Part 1 was more about strengthening my marriage. Part 2 was about grief and advocacy and Part 3 was about peace and comfort.
4. National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day October 15th
To be honest, before suffering a loss… I had no idea there was a whole month dedicated to Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness. This year, I have looked at the month of October completely differently. This is the month that we remember all the babies gone too soon. I loved writing this post, as I yet again was able to advocate for women who have suffered a loss.
5. The Things to Say and Do After a Woman Has Had a Miscarriage
This post is all about things to say and do after a woman has had a miscarriage. After suffering a loss myself, I realized truly how many people don’t know what to say or how to comfort someone after a loss. I felt it was truly important to write this post so more and more people know how to help an Angel Mommy in her grief.
6. The Decision to Try Again
Writing this post felt like I had reached a moment of peace. I had peace in knowing what had happen, happen for a reason. I also had peace at whatever would happen next.
7. The Best Thing My Husband Ever Told Me After My Miscarriage
This post is one of my personal favorites as, not only does it have one of my favorite engagement photos, but it also allowed me a place to publicly thank my husband for being my rock. Though we have had our ups and downs, Charles has truly been amazing through our loss.
8. A Breakthrough in Counseling and Finding Acceptance
My Breakthrough, a moment I knew I would hit eventually…. when I realized that I had come to a place where I would one day want to try again. I share my Breakthrough in Counseling with all of you to not only break the stigma of counseling, but to also show that with a lot of time and work, healing does happen.
9. Making Peace with God
I was angry…. so incredibly anger. But through a lot of work, I was able to restore my faith and find peace in my heartache. In this post I not only discuss my faith but also about how I came to terms with my loss.
10. Redoing My Home Office
Redoing My Home office was a project I have been wanting to tackle for awhile. This past summer I was able to accomplish this goal. In this post I take you through the various changes and organization to make my home office.
11. Mackenzie’s Stepping Stone and Flower Garden
Creating Mackenzie’s garden was peaceful and unbearable. In this post I discuss the closure that was felt between my family and I as we created Mackenzie’s garden.
12. Reopening My Etsy Shop
Reopening my Etsy Shop was super exciting. I love creating and selling beautiful handmade baby items. Check out how I reopened my shop, and check out my shop link located on my main page and in this post.
13. Trying to Conceive (TTC) Lifestyle
Early morning workouts, prenatal vitamins and positive affirmations are many things I tried while beginning my trying to conceive lifestyle. Check out this post to read more about how I prepared my mind, heart and body for the future.
A Look Ahead…
Taking Pregnancy Tests is Exhausting
The title of this post is pretty self explanatory. Coming soon!
A Weekend Away to Honor My Due Date
A Weekend Away with the girls filled with laughter, coffee, cold mornings, woods, homemade pizza, Lake Michigan, and girl talk. Coming up soon!
Towards the end of summer, Charles and I started talking daily about kids and trying to conceive yet again. We stayed up some nights having long conversations about every possibility. What if we can’t get pregnant? What if we have another loss? What if I have to have surgery again? What if I have to go on bed rest? What I have an ectopic pregnancy? What if we have twins? How will we afford baby? When will we move to a bigger place? How will I take care of my mental health during pregnancy?….. Literally so many questions we would contemplate and ask each other daily. After many, many, many conversations we finally came to this conclusion. We can’t control everything. Anything can happen this next time around. So the real question was, can we as individuals handle it, and is our marriage strong enough to handle it.
We decided we wanted to start trying again at the end of summer, however we also agreed to keep each other accountable and not be obsessive about it. Our goal is to put our complete trust and faith in God, and what ever happens… happens. I decided to stop taking birth control at the end of July. I did this because I know birth control can stay in your system for awhile. It really wasn’t expecting to get pregnant again for at least a few more months. But we knew it was possible. We didn’t technically start trying yet in the sense that I wasn’t totally tracking my ovulation or anything, we just were no longer using protection.
During this time as well as all summer, I was doing everything I could to have a health trying conceive lifestyle. I wanted to be as healthy as I could for my next pregnancy. I made a lot of changes in my life including, limiting caffeine, faithfully taking my prenatal vitamins and thyroid medication; eating healthy such as healthy greens, working out regularly and teaching myself coping skills on how to better manage stress. With all these changes I knew I wasn’t going to be perfect, but also knew that making an effort wasn’t going to be for nothing.
One last thing I did at the start of our journey of trying to conceive was positive affirmations. I realized through friends and family that I have had quite a negative mindset since my last pregnancy. I am not very kind to myself and say things that should not be said to another human. I realized through reading books and talking to others that I needed to be kinder to myself, and I needed to have a positive mindset. For example; instead of saying things like “I will never be a mother.” I would say “I will be a mother someday soon, when God blesses me with another baby. Or “I’ll probably not be able to get pregnant or lose another baby.” AI would say “I am going to get pregnant and have a happy and healthy baby.”
It may sound silly but these positive affirmations were really useful in changing my mindset and giving myself hope. I was starting to get excited to pursue this journey of chasing our rainbow baby. Even though I didn’t know how long it would take or what the future would hold, I had faith that things were going to happen just the way they were supposed to happen.
In late June I went back to my endocrine doctor to have my thyroid rechecked. I was a bit nervous as I didn’t know if the thyroid meds were truly working. I had noticed some difference including my hair felt healthier. I had more energy and motivation to do things and my metabolism felt more on track.
I got some blood work done before my appointment the day before. I hoped and prayed things were getting better. When I went to my appointment, my doctor was very clinical, and my husband and I both did not like that. I get that doctors are run down but, common on and show a little compassion. My doctor read my results and told me I was completely normal. My thyroid levels were exactly where they should be, and she seemed some what surprised that they normalized so quickly.
I was over the moon happy. Finally I was starting to feel better and I knew that my failing thyroid and excess weight gain wasn’t totally my fault. My doctor also assured us that my thyroid levels were in the prime place for pregnancy. Meaning when we choose to try for a baby again, my thyroid should cooperate this time.