Our Crosses To Bare

We All Have A Story…

This post has been rolling around in my head ever since I shared a video on my Facebook Blog Page about a mother who decided to share pictures of her stillborn baby.

A series of events happened over the course of the week or two after I saw this video that even further drove my thoughts on the topic of not only stillbirth but of this notion of nature not always “getting it right”. The events included a few friends suffering early miscarriages (which I am no stranger to) and then having the privilege of having two very intimate conversations with mother’s in my circle who have lost babies after 20 weeks gestation. Listening to their stories felt like I was given sacred privileged information and I was now a gate keeper of a tiny sliver of their hearts.

At 32, my Facebook newsfeed and Instagram is heavily populated by pregnancy and birth announcements. Which I truly do enjoy; but being the pessimistic, nervous Nelly that I am- I can’t help but think sometimes how is it that EVERY pregnancy announcement always is followed by a healthy mom and baby? Its not that I want things to go wrong for anyone, but the statistics do not add up in my scientific brain. The tragic inevitable truth is that nature is not without it’s flaws and does not always get it right. A pregnancy does not always equal a smiling mom and baby…or a baby at all… yet we seldom hear or see these stories.

If you don’t know me in person- I am a talker (I can’t help it!!!). I’ve mentioned this in previous posts but I have a hard time understanding privacy. Not that I can’t understand it- I get it- it’s just very opposite of who I am. In the early days of my child bearing journey when things weren’t going smoothly, I definitely felt shame, embarrassment, and hesitancy to speak on a “taboo” topic- but I felt inclined to share my journey anyway. This is my human experience and my experiences make me human. Not only that but I WANTED to talk about-  it was therapeutic – I didn’t want to carry around the sadness alone. I think this is why I ask the “inappropriate” questions that you’re not supposed to ask women when it comes to childbearing. Because I guess I feel deep down women want to be asked and want to talk about their journeys and loss and perceived failures but feel afraid to. (And for those women that have crossed my path and really do just want to keep their privacy- I apologize if I’ve ever offended you :-X).

We All Have A Story…

Mine goes a little like this… Moving around a lot as a kid, I craved stability in my adult life and settled down early. I bought a house, got married to a good man, and started trying for a baby all before the age of 27. In hindsight, this was probably a bit rushed, but I really do have no regrets. I suffered my first miscarriage in early 2013 followed by two more over the next 9 months. My darling Mazzie girl is a clomid (fertility drug) baby. Breastfeeding had a rough start with us hitting basically every roadblock we could but I pushed through and came out the other side enlightened with a newfound passion. I had a stereotypical vaginal birth in a hospital with an epidural for my first daughter. My second pregnancy came easy without the help of fertility treatments but was an uncomfortable one that plagued me with terrible morning sickness. I had an unmedicated and somewhat traumatic vaginal home birth followed by severe Post Partum Depression/OCD. I breastfed my first daughter through pregnancy and tandem nursed until she was two years and 9 months old and am currently still nursing my second (that’s over THREE years of breastfeeding!!). This is MY story. Although I had trauma, I also had triumphs and I’m realizing every woman’s story is not so different from mine although the events may not be the same.

I know women who in their mid 30’s have the fertility of a 16 year old and can pop out babies like it’s nothing but for whatever reason couldn’t breastfeed. I know women who have trouble staying pregnant but give birth like a BOSS and handle the post partum phase like a breeze. I know women who are young, vibrant, and healthy yet are devastated and heartbroken by unexplained infertility. I know women who have amazing pregnancies and take to breastfeeding like they are Amazonian Goddesses yet have complicated births.

We are all unique and while our experiences share so much similarity, no two are the same. I try to remember behind every pregnancy and birth announcement; there is a woman, there is a family, there is a story. Sometimes women lose babies that they have already carved out a place for in their hearts, sometimes women will dream of seeing that little cross on a pregnancy test for years and may not ever see it. Sometimes women posing in pictures with their newborn babies smiling are truly suffering inside and do not tell a soul.

I never want to stop celebrating our triumphs, but I also don’t want to be naive to the pain and suffering it sometimes takes to get there. Some day we may find out the answers to the very many questions we have. Like how can a mother survive the loss of a child and what purpose does it serve? Maybe it’s not for us to know, or maybe there really isn’t a good answer. But I do know how a sunny warm day feels after a week of rain, or how the warm embrace of my husband feels after a day of disagreements. How can we appreciate the rainbow if we’ve never even seen the storm?

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Santa BABY…

I’m sorry it has taken me so long to post- but now you know why! Surprise!  Baby #2 is cooking!

IMG_6898

Holy whirlwind, where to begin.

(I want to warn you, I wrote most of this post in the first trimester when my spirits were at their lowest. I re-read it in the second trimester and edited it a bit but it still has a very “woe is me” undertone. I almost didn’t post this (it was almost embarrassing to read !) but decided that if I had/have these thoughts and feelings, someone else probably has too! Enjoy!)

Let’s see, I (we) are excited and extremely GRATEFUL to have another little bundle on the way and especially without the help of modern medicine this time around but also slightly apprehensive! Don’t get me wrong, we were actively “trying” and wanted another little one, but even though it was planned, I think a part of the magic about pregnancy is that all the planning in the world will not stop the news from knocking you off balance a little.

When we conceived our daughter, we were desperately waiting for a child  and wanted her so badly. We had been through 3 losses, a year of trying, and a slew of fertility tests when we finally had a pregnancy that stuck. I welcomed and wanted every bit of pregnancy. If someone would have said to me, “Tara, you just have to live in this 1 foot by 1 foot cell and eat nothing but oatmeal for 9 months and then you’ll have a baby” I would have happily obliged. And boy, did she change my life forever. But this time was completely different, I had just gained some freedom with nursing and the shackles of infancy had been unlocked now that my daughter was a toddler. It is kind of scary to think that I will enter the labor intensive “baby period” all over again. And although we always knew we wanted another baby, it just seemed so far off in the future for some reason. I did not feel that pressure to be pregnant right away like I did the first time. And instantly, things had changed. Things I didn’t foresee or think about when thinking of being pregnant again came into play. The morning sickness and lack of energy, but also the biggest one being the change in my nursing relationship.

(more…)

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The Storm

I, like any girl growing up in the millennium, was on birth control on and off since my teenage years. You name a birth control pill brand; I was probably on it at one point. Including the depot prevera shot, and the NuVa ring. Getting pregnant was probably my BIGGEST fear along as it was all of my girlfriends during our teen and college years. NOTHING was more terrifying. However, I still always had this tiny little fear in the back of my mind that I would not be able to have children. Maybe because of how strong my desire was to have children, the reality of there being problems was also frightfully in perspective.

We got married in August when I was 26 and a half and thought I was ahead of the fertility game. None of my friends were having babies, or even talking about having babies. But I hesitantly went off the pill to just “see what happens”. My Husband wasn’t yet thinking seriously about children, and I think this kind of scared him. So… where was this “28 day cycle” that every woman had? I think my first cycle was 46 days, and many negative pregnancy tests later. But still…I told myself, I was just on birth control for the last 10 years.. I had to give my body some time to adjust, right, right?! Four months later… long irregular cycle after long irregular cycle… and no positive pregnancy test. All of the fear throughout highschool and college amounted to nothing. What happened to “it only took one time” and “the pull and pray method never works!” pfft. I was discouraged and worried. I started to do some research about menstrual cycles, ovulation, luteal phases. I basically could have a degree in Gynecology at this point I researched so much. I started to chart my temperatures and bought ovulation tests.  Ovulation tests! How exciting! First month… negative after negative ovulation test- until Cycle day 18- positive! So we dutifully had sex. Still, I did not think I would get pregnant. I think every woman who is fresh in their TTC (Trying to Conceive) journey never REALLY believes it’s going to happen. Fourteen days later and I was waiting for my period. When my period was a day late I didn’t really give it to much thought and took a pregnancy test basically “for fun”.

(more…)

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Rain Brings Beautiful Rainbows

 I couldn’t help myself; I called my mom and told her. We actually told a lot of people. At this point, we were very blasé about the whole thing. We weren’t exactly announcing “Hey we’re pregnant!!” It was more of a “please say a prayer and cross your fingers” announcement. Our families and close friends knew the journey we were on. That’s another character flaw of mine – or maybe an advantage? I am inappropriately transparent. I don’t understand secrets or privacy. And talking about my losses was therapeutic for me. I was ashamed of it, yes. I felt inadequate, a failure as a woman like many women who go through infertility or pregnancy loss feel, but it went against my pure nature not to talk about it.

My first blood draw- HCG and progesterone look good! Second blood draw- progesterone has dropped to 8.3 (very low). Here started the paranoia. Like many things with Recurrent Miscarriage, progesterone isn’t that well understood yet. Different doctors have different opinions and it isn’t known if an unhealthy pregnancy causes low progesterone by signaling to your body “Hey something’s not right here” or if you lose healthy pregnancies because your progesterone levels aren’t sufficient. You need progesterone to maintain the lining of your womb and therefore the pregnancy. There is research to back up both cases and doctors have seen both scenarios many times.

(more…)

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Santa BABY…

Santa BABY…

I’m sorry it has taken me so long to post- but now you know why! Surprise!  Baby #2 is cooking!

IMG_6898

Holy whirlwind, where to begin.

(I want to warn you, I wrote most of this post in the first trimester when my spirits were at their lowest. I re-read it in the second trimester and edited it a bit but it still has a very “woe is me” undertone. I almost didn’t post this (it was almost embarrassing to read !) but decided that if I had/have these thoughts and feelings, someone else probably has too! Enjoy!)

Let’s see, I (we) are excited and extremely GRATEFUL to have another little bundle on the way and especially without the help of modern medicine this time around but also slightly apprehensive! Don’t get me wrong, we were actively “trying” and wanted another little one, but even though it was planned, I think a part of the magic about pregnancy is that all the planning in the world will not stop the news from knocking you off balance a little.

When we conceived our daughter, we were desperately waiting for a child  and wanted her so badly. We had been through 3 losses, a year of trying, and a slew of fertility tests when we finally had a pregnancy that stuck. I welcomed and wanted every bit of pregnancy. If someone would have said to me, “Tara, you just have to live in this 1 foot by 1 foot cell and eat nothing but oatmeal for 9 months and then you’ll have a baby” I would have happily obliged. And boy, did she change my life forever. But this time was completely different, I had just gained some freedom with nursing and the shackles of infancy had been unlocked now that my daughter was a toddler. It is kind of scary to think that I will enter the labor intensive “baby period” all over again. And although we always knew we wanted another baby, it just seemed so far off in the future for some reason. I did not feel that pressure to be pregnant right away like I did the first time. And instantly, things had changed. Things I didn’t foresee or think about when thinking of being pregnant again came into play. The morning sickness and lack of energy, but also the biggest one being the change in my nursing relationship.

(more…)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Storm

The Storm

I, like any girl growing up in the millennium, was on birth control on and off since my teenage years. You name a birth control pill brand; I was probably on it at one point. Including the depot prevera shot, and the NuVa ring. Getting pregnant was probably my BIGGEST fear along as it was all of my girlfriends during our teen and college years. NOTHING was more terrifying. However, I still always had this tiny little fear in the back of my mind that I would not be able to have children. Maybe because of how strong my desire was to have children, the reality of there being problems was also frightfully in perspective.

We got married in August when I was 26 and a half and thought I was ahead of the fertility game. None of my friends were having babies, or even talking about having babies. But I hesitantly went off the pill to just “see what happens”. My Husband wasn’t yet thinking seriously about children, and I think this kind of scared him. So… where was this “28 day cycle” that every woman had? I think my first cycle was 46 days, and many negative pregnancy tests later. But still…I told myself, I was just on birth control for the last 10 years.. I had to give my body some time to adjust, right, right?! Four months later… long irregular cycle after long irregular cycle… and no positive pregnancy test. All of the fear throughout highschool and college amounted to nothing. What happened to “it only took one time” and “the pull and pray method never works!” pfft. I was discouraged and worried. I started to do some research about menstrual cycles, ovulation, luteal phases. I basically could have a degree in Gynecology at this point I researched so much. I started to chart my temperatures and bought ovulation tests.  Ovulation tests! How exciting! First month… negative after negative ovulation test- until Cycle day 18- positive! So we dutifully had sex. Still, I did not think I would get pregnant. I think every woman who is fresh in their TTC (Trying to Conceive) journey never REALLY believes it’s going to happen. Fourteen days later and I was waiting for my period. When my period was a day late I didn’t really give it to much thought and took a pregnancy test basically “for fun”.

(more…)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Rain Brings Beautiful Rainbows

Rain Brings Beautiful Rainbows

 I couldn’t help myself; I called my mom and told her. We actually told a lot of people. At this point, we were very blasé about the whole thing. We weren’t exactly announcing “Hey we’re pregnant!!” It was more of a “please say a prayer and cross your fingers” announcement. Our families and close friends knew the journey we were on. That’s another character flaw of mine – or maybe an advantage? I am inappropriately transparent. I don’t understand secrets or privacy. And talking about my losses was therapeutic for me. I was ashamed of it, yes. I felt inadequate, a failure as a woman like many women who go through infertility or pregnancy loss feel, but it went against my pure nature not to talk about it.

My first blood draw- HCG and progesterone look good! Second blood draw- progesterone has dropped to 8.3 (very low). Here started the paranoia. Like many things with Recurrent Miscarriage, progesterone isn’t that well understood yet. Different doctors have different opinions and it isn’t known if an unhealthy pregnancy causes low progesterone by signaling to your body “Hey something’s not right here” or if you lose healthy pregnancies because your progesterone levels aren’t sufficient. You need progesterone to maintain the lining of your womb and therefore the pregnancy. There is research to back up both cases and doctors have seen both scenarios many times.

(more…)

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