On loss…and moving on.

I have never really shared anything overly personal on my blog. I’ve made that decision for a few reasons – this is supposed to be a place about creativity, paper crafting, stamping – in essence, something fun that we all love. I am going to put my trust in my dear readers now that our connection goes beyond inks & stamps. For those of you who feel this is an inappropriate place to share this news, I’m truly sorry to offend. For those friends who feel they should have received an email or call from me, trust me, I wish I could – this is just easier for now and I hope you can accept my sincere apologies.

For some reason I have a strong need to share the story of my last 48 hours. I’m not sure why. It is NOT for pity – that is a major disclaimer if you choose to read any further – I appreciate your kind wishes, but I don’t want this to turn into an awkward plea for pity or a post full of ‘woe is me’ feelings. At the end of this I hope I find myself somewhere positive – and leave you feeling the same way.

The backstory: we have been struggling with secondary infertility for the last year. We are blessed to have our 2 1/2 year old, Jacob, who keeps our life busy, exciting and full of love. I honestly feel so lucky. But, we want another child. I think secondary infertility is a tough predicament – you don’t feel as entitled to the suffering of someone who has yet to have their first child, but you can’t help but struggle with all the negative, frustrating and despairing emotions of infertility because your desire for a 2nd child is just as strong as your desire was for your 1st child. I want Jacob to be a big brother. I grew up in a big family – I want the same for us. I want a baby (or babies) – pure and simple.

Over the last year we have undergone fertility treatments – shots every day to encourage ovulation, lots of time in the doctors office and a surgery in March of this year. Miraculously, and without any medical help, I fell pregnant in May. We were shocked – as was my doctor – but, it seemed the surgery was a success and the pregnancy was looking good. Having polycystic ovaries placed me in high risk for the first 12 weeks and I was terrified, to say the least. I had a very unsettled feeling the entire time – as do most women in their 1st trimester. Pregnancy is a scary time – it is totally out of your hands – which is hard to accept.

I took care of myself – exercised, took all the meds that might help keep baby safe – and the 12 week scan arrived (after what felt like an eternity) with no issues. We had a wonderful little baby, growing and healthy. A massive weight was lifted after that scan, I felt I could finally take a deep breath. The first 12 weeks were behind me. I was still overwhelmingly exhausted and nauseous, but hopeful that the end of that was in sight and the bliss of the 2nd trimester was about to begin. I began filling up my online shopping carts with cute new maternity clothes and we started thinking about how to change the apartment to accommodate for number 2.

Over the last week I was having very, very minor spotting and some cramps, which I read was totally normal. But, thanks to a cold and needing some advice regarding medicine, I decided to phone my doctor, when I casually mentioned the spotting. He didn’t think much of it, but had me come in a week early for my 16 week scan to check everything. When I drove to his office yesterday I knew something was wrong. My intuition may have been there for longer, but it was masked heavily behind the raging pregnancy hormones that were giving me a growing bump, pushing me to organize frantically and cook freezer meals for weeks on end (not complaining about that now!).

When I arrived at the office, a scan showed a baby with no heartbeat – at 15 weeks pregnant, this came as quite a shock to everyone. In a state of disbelief and total despair I waited for my husband and arrangements were quickly being made for my hospital visit for the hasty removal of the baby. Luckily, my body was functioning normally, so I can’t blame myself or my polycystic ovaries and that gives me hope for when we try again. But the last 24 hours have been a haze of total heartache. I have always known, intellectually, that miscarriage is a terrible thing – but, knowing first hand, at 15 weeks no less – I can say for certain it is awful.

And whilst everyone keeps saying one day at a time, it is impossible not to think of the next steps. For today – and this may change by next week or next month – I want to start trying again as soon as possible. And I wish as soon as possible could be tomorrow. We will have to wait an agonizing 6 weeks- 2 months before we can even consider trying. And that is only trying. There could be months of failed cycles, another miscarriage – of course, anything is possible. And if we are lucky right away, will I find the strength to endure another 1st trimester? The exhaustion (which is so much harder when you are chasing around a toddler), the nausea, the painful wait until the first scan? And how will I ever relax? Will I get to breath the sigh of relief at 12 weeks, when in fact I now know, anything can happen.

I know I am lucky – this could have happened later in the pregnancy, or god forbid, after birth. Or later. Or I could have brought a baby into this world that would have struggled and life is hard enough. For those things I am truly thankful.

I know I need to take my time now to heal and move on. Lose the weight from a baby I didn’t have, get back to my work, my family, my life. But, I’m not quite ready. I’m sad and shocked.  I want to press fast forward to January or February when our baby would have been due, but instead I want to hear the heartbeats of 2 little babies in our 12 week scan. And, even as I type that, I can’t imagine possibly waiting that long for another 12 week scan – and that is best-case scenario.

So, here I am, asking into the abyss of the internet for something – I’m not sure what. Success stories? Prayers (I’d like twins – for those who pray)? Maybe I’m just writing for the blissful release that comes with having shared – having poured your heart onto paper (or a screen) in hopes that it will remove the pain from your soul and scatter it into millions of tiny fragments too small to even notice. Maybe I just needed to get it off my chest so I can nap.

I know things will be better – I know our hearts will heal. We’ll squeeze Jacob a little tighter and move on. We will try again, for as long as it takes – of this I am certain. Maybe we’ll get a dog. I believe in the power of positive thinking – if you truly believe something will happen and wish it into the universe – it will manifest itself. I think if I’m honest with myself, these last 2 years have not been my most positive. I hope to genuinely change that. I hope I can believe my next cycle will bring a healthy pregnancy, and then that will be so.

I have a lot of lovely projects to share, but I’m sure you’ll understand if things are a bit quiet around here. I appreciate all of my readers and my friends from this lovely world of card making, scrapbooking, blogging and life. Thanks for your ear.

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  1. says

    Thinking of you sweet girl. I’m so very sorry for your loss and heart ache. I hope the future holds hope and happiness, and new heartbeats xxx

  2. says

    So sorry to hear about your loss. Hug your little one tightly and know that you’re not alone. I had a miscarriage between my first and second, it was amazing to hear how many of my friends had experienced the same thing when it happened. It will get easier, and it will hurt at times you don’t expect it, but you’ll get through it.

  3. says

    I am sincerely so sorry for your loss. I cannot begin to imagine the heartbreak you and your family are enduring. I am glad you felt comfortable enough to share your story, for I’m sure this affects so many others and hopefully it helps others know they’re not alone as well. My thoughts are with you and your family. ♥

  4. Judy says

    Oh Rachel, I’m behind on my blog reading and I just saw your post. I know your hearts are breaking right now and nothing anyone will say can make your pain go away but hopefully knowing that others out here care about you and your loss will help you face your days ahead. My nephew and his wife tried for 10 years to have their first child. They tried everything and finally she was pregnant. She made it the same length of time as you and something went wrong and she lost her baby. They waited their length of time to try again and she ended up having two babies. To make it even more special, she had a boy and girl. She was able to carry both to the end of her pregnancy and both were born healthy. So don’t give up. Keeping a positive outlook truly does work so put away any negative thoughts and give thanks that you get to try again. There is hope. I pray you get your two heartbeats and are lucky enough to enjoy a full pregnancy with not problems. You’ll be in my thoughts.

  5. says

    Oh, Rachel… I am so sorry for your loss. Hopefully you’ve had time now to heal and get back to a ‘normal’ state of mind. I’ve just happened to visit your blog from Pinterest and read this post by accident… but wanted to leave a comment. Time will heal you! I’d had 3 losses before I had 2 healthy boys… I will never forget the mental pain and silent cries, but those memories are now tucked into a little chest in my heart… and when I hug my boys, I thank God… because I am lucky! I have 3 little angels sitting on the shelf so they can always be with us… I am healed… there is a reason for everything… in any case… take care, be happy… thanks for sharing!