Skip to main content

Pregnancy Loss Awareness - Our Story

A year ago today, I shared on Facebook that we had experienced two pregnancy losses, and were struggling with infertility. At that time, we were mourning the recent loss of our 2nd baby, and I was really having a hard time. Through sharing our losses and our struggle, I have found incredible strength.


Pregnancy loss is the hardest thing I have ever had to experience.

The first day I saw two pink lines on a test (April 17th, 2015), I became a mother. At that moment, I pictured our future with that baby. I pictured telling all of our family and friends, I pictured my belly growing. I pictured the first time we would get to hold that baby. I wondered what we should name him or her. I wondered whether their hair would be brown or red and their eyes blue or green. Once we learned the due date, I planned the next 8 months and I thought about how pregnant I would be at each of the weddings and family events we had coming up. I wondered what kind of personality our baby would have, and thought about how much that baby would be loved. I loved him or her so much already, from the moment those lines turned pink.

All of those hopes and dreams came crashing down two weeks later as I was rushed into emergency surgery to remove my fallopian tube that the baby was stuck in. I remember not being able to breathe when the ER doctor told me I had an ectopic pregnancy that had ruptured and I was bleeding internally. My heart hurt so much in that moment, knowing the baby I loved so much would never get to be here on earth with us. It hurt so much that I thought I was having a heart attack (as did the doctors). That day took me a long time to recover from. I don’t know that you truly ever recover from a pregnancy loss, but it does get easier with time (and therapy). I hoped and prayed we would never go through that situation again. I mean, one pregnancy loss is enough to take you down.

And then, 15 months later, we were pregnant again. Even with our previous experience being what it was, I still hoped and believed that things would work out. Was I scared? Of course I was. But I thought this one was our precious miracle. I was very cautiously optimistic. We made it through so many milestones with that baby, had shared the news with most, and were picking out cribs and discussing names. And then on September 7th, 2016, at 9 ½ weeks, we heard the words that no parent should ever have to hear “There is no more heartbeat”. Talk about soul-crushing. How could this happen again? We literally had just told our family. Now we were not only broken-hearted ourselves, but we had to break the hearts of so many we loved by telling them our devastating news. I didn’t think I’d make it. I sat and cried and said “I can’t do this. I can’t do it again. I can’t deal with another loss.”  

4 months later, we were pregnant again. And this time I was totally cynical. Pregnancy loss changes you, and each time we experienced one it changed me more. I told my mom “I’m pregnant, but don’t get excited. I don’t think it’s going to work.” How terrible is that? At that point we knew way too much about what my numbers should be, how dark the line should be, and that I was a couple days late to be receiving a positive test. So I pretended it wasn’t even true. I hoped, and at times I planned. And of course I loved the baby that I was carrying and wanted it more than anything. But I also knew I needed to set my expectations so I wasn’t heartbroken again. As if I could “lessen” the pain and disappointment by acting like I wasn’t excited about the pregnancy. Two weeks later, January 24th, 2017, our doctor called with his sad voice on (I know that voice well by now). The pregnancy wasn’t viable, and we were losing our 3rd baby.

That week I started typing, and I began to share all of the details of our story. Every ugly detail, and all of the heartbreak. It was like the words just poured out of me. As I posted my first blog post, I was so nervous. I asked Reid to review my first post and asked him several times “are you sure? Should we share this? Are you really okay with this?” His response was “will it help you? If so, then yes.” And I hit post.  

Pregnancy Loss is terrible. It is completely heartbreaking. It is gut-wrenching. It can make even the most optimistic person lose all hope. It makes you feel so alone. And it can feel like your entire world is crashing down around you. It changes you as a person. I don’t even think I’m describing it completely. If you’ve never been through it, I don’t know that there’s any way to help you understand – and honestly I don’t know that I want to. I hope you never have to go through it. If you have dealt with a pregnancy loss, I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss. My heart hurts for you.

Sharing our pregnancy losses was probably the single best thing we have done throughout this process. The number of people that have reached out and shared their story, told us that they’re praying for us, sent cards, and have simply shown that they are behind us, is unreal. I feel so humbled by it every day. It’s like we have an army of people fighting this battle with us.  

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. And today is the day we remember those babies and their parents who grieve them. From 7-8 p.m. tonight, grieving parents across the world will be lighting candles to remember their babies. We will be lighting 3 for our sweet angel babies.   

If you know someone who has dealt with a pregnancy loss, please let them know you’re thinking of them. People who have experienced the loss of a child – baby or not – are the strongest people I know, because they still get up and get out of bed every day.

"There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child that never comes." - David Platt

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Story of our First Potential Living Donor

I am so excited to share the story of our first potential living donor with you. The conversations with this guy, and the selflessness of his offer, have touched our hearts in so many ways.
In January of this year, I woke up to a Facebook message from a high school friend, Desmond Parker. And I laid in bed crying as I read it. He couldn’t sleep the night before and decided to re-activate his Facebook account. The first thing he saw in his timeline was a blog post that I’d written with an update on Reid’s health. And something in him said “I need to help”. He spent the next hour or so researching living donor transplants before messaging me, and he “couldn’t find a reason why NOT to do it.” His message said that he wanted to be tested to see if he was a match for my husband.
Y’all, I hadn’t talked to this guy in several years. He had never met my husband. He felt no obligation to us other than we had a need, and he wanted to help (cue the tears). Dez checked all of the boxes on pape…

Our "secret" Frozen Embryo Transfer

So, we did this thing. Almost two weeks ago we went in for a “secret” embryo transfer. We thought, “how cool would it be if we could surprise our friends and family with good news?!” so we didn’t share publicly about this transfer. Although, if I’m being completely honest, that wasn’t the only reason we didn’t share. I was also trying to protect our hearts, and keep us all focused on Reid’s transplant journey.
On August 1st, we transferred one of our day-6 “good fair fair” embryos. We had weeks of prep leading up to the transfer, which included oral estrogen and a new nightly injection of progesterone in oil (PIO). We remained “cautiously optimistic.” And until this past Monday, I really believed that it had worked and we were pregnant. All of my hormone levels had been right in range and my progesterone was higher than it had ever been before. This was it. But it wasn’t.
Our official “beta” (blood test to confirm pregnancy) wasn’t set until Wednesday, the 15th (today, if you’re read…

Our Current Situation

It’s been quite a while since I’ve given a general update on us. If you’ve been following our Facebook or Instagram pages, then you know that our final embryo transfer took and we are pregnant with twins! We are thrilled, and so far everything has looked great as we are a little over 17 weeks today.
While we are so grateful for the two miracles growing inside of me, I would be lying if I said we don’t have some added stress. And I’m not just talking about the regular stress of having a baby, or the extra stress of having two at once. There’s always this looming question of “what will happen with Reid’s health?” Over the last several weeks that stress has intensified as we get closer to “crunch time”.
Last week we went to Reid’s 3-month check in with the Houston transplant team. As I sat in the waiting room and took my typical picture of my “expect miracles” shirt, I saw my bump. And the reality hit me even harder, that we are bringing twins into this world and my husband is still fi…