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Our real life horror story

WARNING: Do not read if you get grossed out easily. This may also be triggering for those who have experienced loss or have had traumatic pregnancy experiences.

I’ve been bleeding for four weeks now; I’ve had 7 ultrasounds. In some ways, I’ve almost gotten desensitized to the large gushes of blood or color changes that prompt immediate ultrasounds and doctor’s visits. But I don’t think there was any way to be prepared for the real life horror film we lived this morning.

I woke up a little after 6:30 and started washing my face. Immediately I felt several gushes that were quite different. I sat down on the toilet to find that I’d bled through the bottom half of all my clothes, down my leg and onto my foot. And worst of all, there was a giant clot in my pad. 

I flung the door open and screamed for Seth to wake up. I said, “Something came out! Can you come in here?” He came running in and we both stared at a sea of red. “Is that one of our babies?” I asked. He was pretty still and gently grabbed my shoulder and said, “It’s so big.” He didn’t think it was our babies and hoped it was just the hemorrhage passing. Just in case, Seth went to get a paper towel and a ziplock bag to save it for the doctor. In that short time, I passed 3 more clots. I couldn’t see them because the toilet water was so red but they felt as big as the first one. 

I continued to sit there on the toilet, terrified to stand up because of what else might fall out. So I sat there as we called the doctor’s after hours emergency line. My hands were trembling and covered in blood as I explained what happened and he took down the message to have a doctor call me. To say aloud that I passed four tissues as big as baseballs, was horrifying. Seth just collapsed face first on our bed, still within listening distance. The doctor on call advised us to see if we could get an ultrasound first thing when the office opened an hour later or else go to the ER to check the babies and monitor my blood loss.

We scrambled to get out of the house. Seth woke up Jaclyn and took her to Mom and Dad’s while I quickly got cleaned up. I packed an extra set of clothes in case I bled through mine again. I brought a towel to sit on in the car. Apparently this is how I need to live for this season.

The ultrasound experience was a little different. I was relieved to see both babies as it confirmed that I did not bleed one of them out. But then the seconds felt like an eternity while we waited to find their heartbeats. They were both doing great! As we moved back to the waiting room for the appointment with the nurse practitioner, we were feeling a bit more encouraged. 

Until all of a sudden I started having terrible stomach pain, I sweated through all my clothes, and I was very woozy even while sitting down. I asked Seth to walk me to the bathroom and as soon as I stood up, my vision got dark and fuzzy and I was terribly weak. A nurse quickly ran to my other side and they got me to a bathroom. Seth really couldn’t leave my side for fear of me fully collapsing. When we opened the door, three nurses were waiting with a wheelchair and got me into a room to lie down.

I felt pretty terrible as I laid on the table. Soon the door opened and we were surprised to see my doctor and the nurse practitioner walk in; I should’ve known something wasn’t okay then. My doctor shared that there are now two large hemorrhages; they’re unsure if it’s the same one that broke in half or if there is a new one. Both are bigger than the measurements from yesterday, almost double. I’m pretty sure I dropped the F bomb at that point because how was there still so much in there when so much fell out of me just hours before?

The doctor shared that she is more concerned now that the hemorrhages are growing so quickly and it could be really bad for our babes. There’s a chance that there won’t be enough room for them to grow or that the babies will lose connection with my uterus until the placentas are fully formed, which is pretty soon. 

We confirmed that there’s no way for them to remove the hemorrhages. They shared that there’s literally nothing to do but wait and monitor. However, they wanted to do some labs and monitor me from the blood loss and almost fainting. So I was admitted to the hospital for several hours. In that time, the power completely went out so we we’re just chilling in the dark for a bit. Eventually we learned all my labs came back fine. I’m not anemic. I didn’t need blood. I did need some fluids though. We were able to come home early afternoon.

So here we are. Neither of us have processed the emotional aspect of the news we learned today. One of my friends described it perfectly as agonizing anxiety that we’re walking through. It’s literally just a waiting game for the next gush of blood or passing of tissue or bleeding through my clothes and almost fainting. Then more waiting to find out if our twins are going to make it. We are determined not to lose 2 more babies. And we have zero control over any of it.

Pregnancy after loss

On my birthday this year, my period came back, and I was ecstatic for this gift my body gave to me. Weird, I know. But this meant we could start trying to get pregnant again after our third and most never ending miscarriage. A few weeks passed, and I followed my OB’s directions like clockwork. I took a pregnancy test as soon as I could according to the directions and at the faintest sight of two lines, I began taking progesterone. We found out I was pregnant at 3 weeks and 4 days. I hadn’t even missed my next period yet. I had four days of pure bliss and excitement until I scheduled my ultrasounds. Then panic set in and reigned for four weeks.

I can’t explain the worry, fear, and dreaded anticipation I had of losing this new baby. We were already in a difficult month of 2 due dates that passed with no babies and then my Mamaw passed away. Honestly, the way I told my parents that I’m pregnant was, “No I can’t be a pallbearer at Mamaw’s funeral because I’m already pregnant again.”  What a sad, lame pregnancy announcement. I had also learned in previous bloodwork that I have the MTHFR mutation and need a different kind of prenatal vitamin that has metabolized folate. The process of understanding that and researching what I should be taking was a big stressor. 

After having three meltdowns at work one Friday afternoon, I decided to call my OB to ask what my options were for mental health. I had already been seeing my therapist weekly or biweekly, so the next step they suggested was to be evaluated by a psychiatrist. 

The meeting with the psychiatrist provided lots of options to help me feel better. She shared that I was in a long period of adjustment with severe anxiety, mild depression, and PTSD from the other losses. We discussed frequency of continued therapy, returning to EMDR therapy for my PTSD, and medicine. I was really struggling to decide which direction would be best for my mental health and protect this new little life inside of me.

I wasn’t convinced that I would feel better without medicine. I woke up each morning and could feel the unhappiness in my bones. I really wanted to get back into EMDR, but I was at a pause until I made a decision about medicine. Since both alter your brain chemicals, it’s not best practice to begin meds and EMDR at the same time. 

Finally, I just decided to wait on everything. Adjustment disorders are temporary, and we had a couple more weeks until the ultrasound, so I decided to invest in a natural calming supplement, L-Theanine, and hold off on everything else until we had some answers about our new little babe.

After what felt like an eternity, it was finally the morning of our 7 week ultrasound. With our history of loss, they would let us come in as early as 6 weeks, but there’s a good chance the baby wouldn’t be seen yet, so no need for potential unnecessary stress. 

As I watched the nurse do a pregnancy test on my urine, my mind transported me back to my second loss where my body was no longer pregnant by the time I got to the doctor’s office only hours after I started bleeding. I made her look at pictures of my positive test to prove I wasn’t crazy.

As we sat in the ultrasound waiting room, my mind went to our first pregnancy where we were so blissfully ignorant of the possibility of loss. We didn’t even understand that we were looking at an empty gestational sac on the screen until they verbally told us there was no baby.

Then my mind jumped to last November when again, there was no baby and then 2 days later the baby appeared, and then a week later, the baby had never developed a heartbeat.

I’m pretty sure I don’t breath while we wait. There have been so many awful memories in that waiting room and they all come rushing back to me each time we’re there. We’ve seen nearly all of the ultrasound technicians. By the time we’re in the room ready for the nurse to return, I’m in almost full blown panic attack with my arms over my head so I can breath and not throw up.

But this time, with no warning at all, she told us we’re having twins! Seth and I just looked at each other in shock and disbelief, and I asked her if she was kidding. Then I scream-sobbed, as I usually do, but this time in joy and thankfulness. I was so loud, I’m pretty sure the whole waiting room heard me. I’m not sure how long I cried, but by the time I looked up, I realized I hadn’t looked at the babies at all and told her she would have to show them to me again.

For the most part, I’ve been able to ride out my blissful shock. However days after our ultrasound, I started bleeding and cramping… a lot. I was convinced we’d lost both of them.  I was home by myself and called the doctor in a panic. They called me in for an emergency ultrasound and Mom drove me down while Seth left work to meet me there. I cried while waiting for mom but then became a robot because I knew what was coming. In my mind, I was already trying to plan out when we would have a D&C and how much work I would miss for physical and emotional recovery. Seth wept quietly in the waiting room. 

Thankfully, the babies were great. We saw their heartbeats and they looked perfect. In the ultrasound we saw that I have a 3 centimeter long sub chorionic hemorrhage, which isn’t too abnormal in many pregnancies. There’s not much to do except my body passes it or absorbs it. 

I thought I knew what was coming that day, but I was wrong. It is so easy to panic after loss. And now, there’s two precious little lives to worry about. My therapist encouraged me to hold on to the truth that I know until we learn more at next appointments. Our truth is that at our last ultrasound, everyone was alive and healthy. So I’m clinging to that for now.

February

My heart has been achy in anticipation for the month of February. It’s also as if my body can sense the calendar and has started grieving all over again.

February 3, our little nugget, our first baby, would’ve been 2 years old. We felt like that would be our first son. That same day, Jaclyn will be 20 months old.

February 14 is our little beanbag’s due date, our third baby. I would’ve been almost 38 weeks pregnant now. We would’ve had a new nursery ready and would know if Jaclyn would have a little brother or sister.

February is the month we can start trying again after my most recent miscarriage in November. That feels like a lifetime ago. It’s weird to think that my body is freshly recovered from all the crazy trauma of that loss.

February is also the month that Seth and I will celebrate 5 years of marriage. Goodness the highs and lows we’ve had together so far.

February is a short month and will be full of a variety of emotions. I’ll just cling to the truths I know and believe.

Promises by Maverick City Music

There was Jesus by Zach Williams

Battle Belongs by Phil Wickham

Enough

I’ve been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember. I’m the first born, so some of it comes naturally. I think it then evolved into me trying to control anything I could when life’s circumstances felt like they were out of control. What an exhausting lifestyle.

I started 2022 caring for Jaclyn by myself and working remotely as Seth quarantined with covid and then again as my dad tested positive for covid the following week. I have so much pride in my roles as a mother and a coordinator at work, so naturally, I want to give my all to both. But I physically couldn’t.

I couldn’t make myself wake up any earlier than 5:00 am to work before Jaclyn woke up after another restless night sleeping on the couch. I sometimes couldn’t actively participate in zoom meetings because Jaclyn was in full toddler mode… whatever that meant in the moment. I couldn’t cook dinner every night because Jaclyn wanted me to hold her or play with her instead after having only half of my attention all day. I could only do what I could do. And it was enough.
I’ve never been one to choose a word for the new year, but if I was, I would choose ENOUGH for this year. My efforts are enough. I am enough. Enough with perfectionism and the desire to control every little thing.

My therapist asked me what it means to me for my efforts to be enough. When it comes to Jaclyn, I want her to be able to think about the day and say, “This was such a fun day with Mommy.” When it comes to work, I want my team to have what they need to do their work.

I’ve found it’s easier to feel like my efforts are enough as I reflect on the day rather than in the moment. So my therapy homework this week is to change my modals when I’m talking to myself. Change my shoulds to coulds. Instead of, “I should wake up earlier to get started on my emails” change my language to “I could wake up earlier…” or I could sleep and get a little more rest. Both are good options and it’s my choice. The word should puts more unnecessary pressure on myself.

I didn’t really believe simply changing some words could make a difference. But it surely did. I talked myself out of a near anxiety attack in the middle of Kroger last weekend with it.

My boss always says, “Words matter.” I’ve always known that in regards to how you speak to other people, but I’m a little slow on realizing that it matters with my own self talk as well. Better late than never though. I’m thankful and excited to learn and practice this more so I can pass it along to my little sweet pea as she she watches her Mommy learn to care for herself better.

The Ebb and Flow of 2021

Most New Year’s Eves, there’s so much build up and excitement about what the new year will bring, how it will be different this time. Yet, here I am at bedtime on January 1, 2022, and I’ve somehow finally realized that life just ebbs and flows. Last night, I was excited and hopeful for 2021 to come to a close. Today, I nursed my 18 month old through her first busted, bloody lip, and Seth tested positive for COVID… again. I’m starting the year quarantined from the love of my life in our own home, that is until it comes for me too. Life just is what it is, and as much as we try to control it, the more out of control it feels. But then, other days are good and filled with friends and family who bring joy, love, and laughter. 2021 as a whole followed this flow.

2021 brought so much joy and pride as a mama. I made my goal of feeding Jaclyn breastmilk through her first six months of life; exclusive pumping was exhausting. I completed my photo project of weekly Wednesday photos- A Year in the Life of Jackie Chan Hope Pierce. Seth and I survived sleep training part two, and our girl goes to bed wide awake every night now with no trouble. I found a children’s book about hemangiomas for Jaclyn as she gets bigger.

Jaclyn has grown so fast and so beautifully. I have videos that document her first time pulling to stand up, waving, crawling, walking, finally saying mama (even though I was at work when it happened). She knows and loves all animals. She says thank you after you help her with something. Jaclyn is just the greatest gift.

2021 has also brought worry and heartache as a mama. Jaclyn has had multiple specialist appointments for her hemangiomas since she has one on her head and one in her nose. We’ve seen a pediatric dermatologist multiple times and tried several types of medicine to help it stop growing. She went to a pediatric ENT and had a scope go down both nostrils as far as her esophagus to see if the hemangioma in her nose was blocking her airway, but thankfully it was not!

A couple months later, Jaclyn had some seizure-like episodes that prompted an MRI with sedation and and EEG. Everything about those moments were terrifying, but again, we’re thankful that all test results came back normal, and she’s had no other incidents since.

In June, we were expecting Jaclyn’s little brother or sister, but just days after the positive pregnancy test, I miscarried our second baby. It’s called a chemical pregnancy. The test wasn’t even positive anymore by the time I got to the OBGYN.

In November, we gained our third angel baby girl. This loss was quite a doozy. No baby in the 8-week ultrasound. Two days later, the baby appeared. A week later, the baby hadn’t grown and still didn’t have a heartbeat. D & C. Lots of grieving. A month later, still positive on pregnancy tests. More bloodwork and ultrasounds. A second D&C that found scar tissue from when Jaclyn was born that had never healed and some recent pregnancy tissue that was stuck to it. Everything was cleared out with a camera this time.

During all of this, genetic testing was done and learned that I’m a carrier for Tay Sach’s disease, which is deadly for most small children. I had a full day of panic and horror worrying that Jaclyn had it until Seth got home and confirmed from his 23 and Me test that he is not a carrier.

2021 confirmed that God gave me the best partner I could’ve ever asked for. Seth is so thoughtful and creative when he celebrates me. My birthday and Christmas gifts are hidden around the house with clues- scavenger hunt style. My first Mother’s Day was absolute perfection as he and Jaclyn made me a homemade book telling me how great I am. My Christmas gift this year was this beautiful necklace with the birthstones of all our babies; I believe it’s the most special gift I’ve ever been given.

Seth has cooked more this year as I’ve been too stressed, tired, or sad to do so. And it’s been a hilarious, yet delicious experience for all of us.

He is the best dad.

In 2021, COVID was still affecting all the things. We finally celebrated the Boyd family Christmas on January 10 after we all recovered from COVID. I was very thankful to receive both vaccines and the booster this year.

There was a brief time between April and July when we thought we’d beaten COVID…

But we did not, and somehow some folks still don’t believe that. So I closed out the year changing Jaclyn’s pediatrician because I shouldn’t have to ask her doctor to put on a mask when COVID cases are the highest they’ve ever been.

2021 brought more professional growth. I completed a full year of Adult Education NTI after coming back from maternity leave. I had more professional challenges than I’ve ever experienced and was coached beautifully through it all. With the help of my team, I was able to transition our ESL program back to in-person classes while maintaining live, virtual classes.

I had more interaction with students this year. I met with students via Zoom to help them prepare for their posttest. One particular student was on her 30-minute lunch break and spent every minute of it practicing with me. She shared that she had to pass the test so she can start GED classes and then go to college. I also had the privilege of facilitating a student-led training for our staff. These students worked with me for a month and a half to create a shared training about their cultures.

Despite the pandemic, I still had the opportunity to create and present several trainings. I shared a Cultural Competency in the Workplace training with our team. I stepped in last minute to present at the virtual COABE conference about our Family Learning virtual pilot. And I was honored that NCFL asked me to lead my first webinar about How to Support Multi-Language Parent Facilitation.

Finally, in October, I accepted a new job in Adult Education; for the first time in my career, I’m not exclusively working with ESL. Now I am a Coordinator, Special Projects of ABE and ESL. I will oversee both the ABE / GED and ESL programs. I’ve only held the position for a couple of months so far, but it’s been an exciting and challenging change that I’m grateful for.

2021 was another year to remember. It was a tough year, but this reflection is important because there was still so much good.

Triggers

I went to the eye doctor today and ended up spiraling with confusing PTSD. I was sitting in the exam room waiting for the doctor, and I kept expecting her to come in with bad news about the baby. However, I was completely aware that I was at the eye doctor and that there is no baby. But my body didn’t care. It was in full anxiety-mode, and I was terribly sad.

During the intake, they asked if my medical history had changed. I said yes, that I’d had a D & C. She said, “We have the one from 2019. Was there another?” I answered, “I had one on Monday, and I had one on November 9.”

Monday. I had surgery on Monday. And today is Thursday. And I’ve worked the last three days and now I’m at the eye doctor and it’s like none of it even happened. But it did. I thought I’d be better emotionally this time because the initial grief of it all has passed, but simply being at a doctor’s office triggered me terribly.

Then the eye doctor comes in and asks, “How’s the family? How are the kids?” Plural. She didn’t mean anything by it. But my heart was grieving and I was trying to convince my body that I wasn’t at the OB receiving bad news, and all I could think is that we have one, single living child.

And then I cried the whole way home. I was not prepared for today.

The Loss That Never Ends

I’m still “pregnant.”

Oct. 27- 8 week ultrasound with a yolk sac and no baby
Oct. 29- Follow up ultrasound and a baby appeared.
Nov. 5- Follow up ultrasound. Baby hadn’t grown and had no heartbeat.
Nov. 9- D & C
Nov. 23- Post op appointment and positive pregnancy test
Dec. 7- Another very positive pregnancy test
Dec. 8- Ultrasound to check for residual tissue and hCG bloodwork
Dec. 10- hCG bloodwork
Dec. 17- hCG bloodwork
Dec. 20- D & C #2

It’s been almost six weeks since my D&C and tomorrow morning, I’ll have another one where they’ll go in with a scope to look around my uterus.

At my post op appointment, I tested positive for pregnancy. Two weeks later (one month post op), there were still two bright red lines. I was brought in for an ultrasound to see if there was any residual tissue. The ultrasound showed many blood vessels clumped together in my uterus that is not typical unless you’re pregnant. No actual leftover tissue was found.

That day, I learned that when I had Jaclyn, they tested the placenta. The results showed that a tiny piece of the placenta had grown into / was stuck in my uterine wall. Something called placenta accreta. It obviously passed because I knew nothing of it.

The theory now is that my uterus has a natural tendency to absorb things. This baby didn’t have placenta but perhaps whatever was growing is stuck in my uterine wall now.

My two options were to do regular bloodwork to see if my hCG levels (pregnancy hormone) decrease and let it all pass on its own or do another D & C procedure with a scope to check out the uterine wall.

My hCG levels are going down. 313 to 242 to 104, but not pregnant is 0-5. I’m still a long way off. I don’t want to be fake pregnant anymore. My hormones are all over and affecting many areas of life. My deductible is met. There really isn’t an ideal choice here, but ultimately I decided to continue with the procedure again. This scope is a common exploration for folks who have the accreta history and who have had recurring loss. Plus, regardless of if they’re able to remove anything else, I’ll know we did all we could to try to get closure.

The continuation of this loss is very isolating. When we learned our baby hadn’t grown and had no heartbeat, it was a shared loss. Now that the baby is gone, this is only related to my body, and I feel very lonely in trying to cope with it. I don’t know anyone else who’s gone through these little details. Emotionally, I feel terribly alone.

Throughout this never ending loss, we received my genetic test results back which initially caused more anxiety than relief as I am a carrier for Tay Sachs, a horrific children’s disease. Praise the Lord, Seth is not so Jaclyn and future babies are not at risk. I also learned that I’m mildly mthfr deficient, which could be a factor in our losses, so I’ll need to up my folic acid intake in future pregnancies.

There were also several moments of false hope, that there was still a baby. In my head and in my heart, it was our little pumpkin. One evening in particular I was convinced that maybe there was some miraculous mistake through it all, and I sobbed for 45 minutes. From the doctor, there was suspicion that it could be a new pregnancy as she looked more closely at the ultrasound.

I was crushed with each moment of hope that quickly came crashing down that there is still no baby. I’d worked really hard during our initial two weeks of waiting to not believe that our baby would be okay because I knew it would be harder if we got bad news. I didn’t anticipate needing to keep my guard up for the next month after the D&C. So my heart has been quite achy. There is no baby in there; I just need my body to realize it.

The Balance of Justice

In therapy today we looked at the balance of justice scale as we were talking about my tendency to go to the worst case scenario due to high anxiety. That instead of only considering “what if” this awful thing happens, I also consider “what if” this awful thing doesn’t happen. This is HARD.

I reflected in that moment to the exact time that the worst case scenario became a familiar tendency. After our home was broken into while we were sleeping 4 and a half years ago, I asked multiple police officers, “What if they come back?” “Statistics show they don’t come back.” I asked other friends and loved ones, “What if they come back?” “They won’t come back.” They came back 2 weeks later. And my mom and I ran.

Two years ago, we lost our first baby and we’re told 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss. Today, we’ve lost three.

The statistics have failed me in my safety and in my ability to grow my family. Of course the “what if” terrible things don’t happen more often than not. But significant ones have and they’ve changed my brain and my heart forever. And this is all just very hard.

My homework is to consider situations in the past when I was worried about the worst case scenario and it didn’t happen. Feel free to share any of your own examples to help me believe it.

Answers, Trauma, and Therapy

Jaclyn would’ve had a little sister.

The genetic testing returned last week in time for my post op appointment. Our baby died because of the Trisomy 16 chromosome which is incompatible with life. This particular test also shared an unexpected gender reveal that I’m still in shock over. In fact, I missed it completely until I got home and was reading over the paperwork better that evening.

We’ve never known this detail of our other babies. Knowing it now makes my heart ache even more. I really wanted another girl, so Jaclyn could have a sister close in age like me and Hannah. If you know me well, you know how much I love my little Herman and how I’d love for Jaclyn to have that relationship with a sibling.

My doctor feels hopeful with this result, that we were unlucky once again and that there is no inherent risk moving forward. That is an answer, but to be deemed unlucky three times feels stupid. The word fluke has become a trigger word to Seth. The answers don’t feel sufficient.

So I asked them to go ahead with some blood work. At this point, I’d just like any more peace of mind, clarity, or ruling out as possible. We’ve been given the green light to try again as soon as we’d like once my body gets back to its regular cycle. We shall see.

I started therapy this week with a woman who specializes in pregnancy loss and anxiety. It was only our intake session but I feel pretty hopeful. I hope to have more tangible support through grief and learn any coping skills that can snap me back into reality to be present in my day to day life. I hope to be able to work through and release the anxiety and worry that I hold every day. I hope to be able to overcome my PTSD again. I hope to not feel so broken.

Before we knew of our loss, I told Seth that I don’t know if I will ever not feel broken again. Even with as far as I’ve come since the burglaries, it broke me in a way that feels like I can’t fully come back from. I feel this to be even more true now as my PTSD from the burglaries has resurfaced since this third miscarriage. I don’t understand the details and nuances of the brain, but I can only guess that the brain can be triggered from any trauma and then reopen former trauma.

I’ve had a terrible time sleeping the past couple of weeks in fear that someone will break into our home and specifically get Jaclyn. I have difficulty falling asleep. I hear any tiny noise and fixate on it. I check her monitor countless times each night. I really just want her to sleep with us but then none of us would get any sleep.

Most of my anxiety now revolves around Jaclyn’s safety specifically. Every night I plead for the Lord to keep her happy, healthy, and safe. I’m terrified that she will get COVID again and that we’ll have no control of how it affects her. I know I take social distancing and masks to the extreme even after being vaccinated x3. We do not hang out with many folks due to vaccination status, consistent mask usage, etc. I am desperate to protect my girl.

This particular loss of our daughter has affected more than I realized, and it’s difficult to prioritize what to work through first.

I should know how to grieve by now

I keep thinking I should know how to grieve by now. But goodness, what a foolish thought. Tonight, I was anxious to turn off the lights because I knew I wouldn’t sleep. Instead I tried to lay there and cry quietly but my sobs overtook me. I’m not sure if I woke Seth up or if he hadn’t fallen asleep yet. I’m not sure, he might’ve been crying too. So we laid here in sad silence until this wave passed.

Tonight the word disappointed keeps coming to mind but it’s not the right word; it’s not strong enough to describe what I feel in my heart. We had so much excitement for this little babe. Jaclyn would be a big sister at 2 years old. We thought this one may be a girl too. We just really felt positive and hopeful this pregnancy, and this whole journey really blindsided us.

In the hardest moments, it feels like there’s nothing to look forward to now. I know that’s not true, but it’s hard to fight when grief hits. I told Seth we should decorate for Christmas this weekend because it’ll bring some extra happy into our home. Then we’ll have the whole holiday season ahead of us.

Yesterday, 24 hours post D & C, everything felt back to normal, and that devastated my soul. My maternity clothes are packed away. I asked Seth to throw out our family of four pumpkins from the front porch. The new shadow box is on the wall, and my new miscarriage jewelry has been ordered. I really haven’t been in pain or had much bleeding since my procedure. It feels like I should physically hurt more. I know that sounds weird, and I’m thankful for an easy recovery so far; it’s hard to explain. I guess I kept saying how I wanted closure but when I actually feel it, it breaks my heart.

One of my coping strategies is to talk it all out. After publicly sharing three miscarriages, I’ve mostly accepted that people mean well, they just don’t know what to say. What may be comforting to some folks, may not be helpful to others. Just some of my own thoughts below.

Everything happens for a reason. Not everyone believes this to be true 🙋‍♀️

-You’ve had a successful pregnancy, so there’s hope that you’ll have another one. True. And miscarriage is traumatic on your body, heart, and mind. It’s terrifying to think about more pregnancies right now.

-You’ll have another baby some day. This may or may not be true. And, babies aren’t interchangeable. We wanted THIS baby that we created.

Be thankful for your beautiful daughter. Well of course I am. I call her my tiny queen because I can’t think of any higher title on this earth. And again, babies aren’t interchangeable. We wanted THIS baby that we created.

Below are some of the more helpful responses to our losses.

I’m praying for you. And then pray, right then, where they can hear you or read the prayer.

-This sucks. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

-Let me feed you. When can I bring you a meal or send you a gift card? Seriously, I don’t know how we would’ve eaten these last two weeks had it not been for the generosity of friends and family.

-Let me cover you at work so you can take some time off. I was able to take this entire week off, and it has been such a gift.

-Several friends told me how strong and brave I was, and then the night of our D & C, Seth told me that I’m strong as an oak. Miscarriage makes you feel like your body failed you and your baby, like you’re weak and helpless. It is very comforting to be told that that isn’t true.

-Finally, I will never forget what Carrie Coaplen texted me. “I don’t know what else to say except the world needs more mommas like you.” That was the best response anyone has said to me in our three losses.

I really love being a mama.

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