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It's not a bad life, just a bad thing

Updated: Jul 20, 2020

I've wrote this "blog post" probably 20 times. I've deleted it every time, closed my computer and said "I just can't right now". Here I am though - because I don't want anyone to feel like they are alone. It's kind of a lengthy post but, writing the words is part of my healing. If you would like to skip the "backstory" I would suggest the end of the blog :) TW: Pregnancy/Miscarriage

I should be posting our pregnancy announcement this week. Actually the remainder amazon orders for my super cute pinterest-ish/instagram blog post just arrived. But, no one prepares you for this part.

"I'm concerned because I can't find your baby's heartbeat"

For years my friends would ask when we would have a baby and we would just politely say we weren't ready. Truth be told I probably would have had Juan's babies VERY shortly after I met him because I just love him so much. However, my husband and I were trying to created the best environment for our future children both financially, and in terms of a "family home" and even socially with who would be apart of our "village". On top of Juan and I trying to create and plan this life out I had "girl issues" that I really needed to look into. When I was 18 I was diagnosed with PCOS and for years each doctor told me having a baby would probably be harder for me and that I should start sooner rather than later. It always haunted me the idea of not being able to have a baby. Around November/December of 2019 we decided that 2020 would be the year for our baby. Here we are pretending we can plan everything out the way we want. Juan and I both proactively started testing in order to better our chances and try to have an early understanding of where we fell in the chances of conceiving naturally.

****I want to advocate for young girls diagnosed with PCOS to get a second opinion because as we began our testing my new doctor discovered that my cysts were not actually poly cyst but actually hemorrhagic cysts that tend to pop/seap out fluid and that's what has been causing my pain all this time. I've probably been to at least 5 "new doctors" from the time I was 18 and never once did anyone "double check" my diagnosis.****

I started prenatals, and some over the counter supplements for ovary health that my doctor suggested and we would just have to wait it out. Months passed and I was really discouraged, which is silly I know because I have dear friends who have been on their journey for several years. At the beginning of May my friend found out she was pregnant and I continued to feel discouraged because I felt like everyone around me was on their second or third baby and my body wasn't cooperating. I cried to my husband because I felt like I was doing everything right - I was tracking my cycles, I was taking the best supplements, I cut out all the "bad things" - even wine.

I had looked forward to the things we had coming up though and knew they would relax my mind a bit. I continued with the plans to launch my blog and that was both exciting and scary for me. Fast forward two weeks later and I just had an overwhelming feeling to take a pregnancy test. I obviously had them in bulk. There was the faintest line, barely able to see it. It seemed impossible to me. There was literally no way this was happening to me, now!

I had always had this grand idea of how I would tell Juan but I was so confused on what I was seeing I just asked him to check it. That led to me taking 4 more test and begging his mom to come read them all LOL! I was technically only 3 weeks when I found out and it was right before the announcement for my blog launch. I was constantly thinking there is no way I can keep this to myself for so many weeks. I felt great in the beginning - for the first 3 weeks I didn't have any morning sickness and I wasn't overly tired. I found a doctor closer to our house that would see you at 6 weeks, which now in hindsight I think switching to this doctor was a God thing for sure.

We went to our 6 week apt, and honestly let us take a moment to understand the situation surrounding pregnant women right now. In Florida our government officials decided it was a great idea to open bars in the middle of a pandemic but still women's healthcare rights are undervalued. Throughout this whole process I had to be alone. Partners of any sort are not allowed in sonograms or any appointments and in some parts of our country they are not allowed in delivery rooms and mothers have to wear masks while giving birth. If they test positive for Covid - their babies are taken away. But, please continue to drink your lemon drops. (I am not an anti-masker by any means, I wish people would just do what we need to do for this to be over) In what is suppose to be the most exciting time for couples, women are forced to experience this alone. I'll get off my soapbox now.

Getting the news

There's my tiny baby, so sweet and snuggled in there. Juan and I were convinced from day one that our baby was a boy, so I will often refer to the baby as he/him. Even though Juan couldn't be with me, I saw my baby's heart beat. Everything looked great, my doctor complemented everything. He said his heartbeat was strong. He sent me for blood work and scheduled my 10 week apt. I did my blood work at 8 weeks, and everything came back normal. My levels were rising correctly and it appeared everything looked normal. My 10 week appointment came and Juan and my mother in law sat in the car awaiting my facetime. My sweet doctor came in and tried the first ultrasound - a handheld one. "Baby is still really small at this point and sometimes hard to see". They bring the second machine in "it's still kind of hard to see, so we will do the internal ultrasound."

I started to get concerned as they started the internal ultrasound because he said nothing. My doctor just stared at the screen like he couldn't find words. "I'm concerned because I can't find the baby's heartbeat". Those are really the only words I'll remember I'm sure because the shock of it all was so overwhelming. I just remember my husband on the phone crying and my doctor saying I had to go somewhere else to get a tissue measurement ultrasound so that we can remove the baby surgically. Everything was in slow motion but it all happened so fast. Take my baby? Surgery? No heartbeat? But, I saw his heartbeat.

When I got to the car, I couldn't look at Juan all I could do was say I was sorry - Over and over and over. Less than 24 hours prior we picked out a stroller and Juan was researching murals for the nursery. He just held me as I apologized probably a thousand times. No one prepares you for this part. No one prepares you to be a mom one day and not the next. We went to the second appointment later that day to confirm what we already knew and again I had to go into this appointment alone. The nurse actually chuckled when I asked if my husband could go with me. I don't think anyone should have to do this alone.

Later that day my doctor called to confirm that our baby's heart had stopped and that it appeared he had stopped growing two weeks prior. That's when the guilt set in - because how could I not know that something was wrong with my baby. Why didn't my body tell me something was wrong with him? What did I do wrong, I only drank half a cup of coffee a day. I only missed my prenatals a couple of days. I know I had awful morning sickness after week six but I drank a ton of water, I ate "good foods" - what did I do wrong. When I say my doctor was a god send, I truly believe it. He took 20 minutes out of his overly busy day to just speak to me over the phone, explain the entire surgery procedure, reassure me this wasn't me and that sometimes it just happens. He prayed with me, and for us and I felt thankful that I had listened to my heart and made a switch to him because I felt like whatever we faced going forward I/We were in good hands.

D&C Procedure

My D&C (Dilation and curettage) procedure wasn't able to be scheduled until that Friday, so I had to continue on "normal" knowing my sweet baby wasn't alive for an additional 4 days and that felt like torture, especially since I still had all of the hormones. My body still thought I was pregnant and everyday my morning sickness reminded me that pretty soon they would take my baby out of me. No one prepares you for this part. The next few days I thought my eyelids would fall off from how many times they had been rubbed. When I thought I couldn't cry anymore my heart found more ways to hurt. I had a panic attack in the middle of the night because I didn't want them to "throw my baby away". I know it sounds irrational, but I felt so sad that my baby had to go through that even though I knew he was already at peace I just felt an overwhelming sense of sadness.

The actual procedure was early that Friday morning, and again Juan wasn't allowed to even walk me in. He had to wait in the parking lot. It's isolating and scary because even though the actual procedure is only 20 minutes, it's still an actual surgical procedure, you're fully asleep and anything can happen really. Thankfully everything went "well", and I actually ended up waking up 10 minutes after they wheeled me into recovery. I didn't have any pain on Friday but I did have a reaction to the anesthesia which caused me to black out two times at home. The following days the pain would come and go, but I ended up with a blood clot that got stuck so it caused pretty bad pain for two days. I also ended up with an allergic reaction to the cleaning solutions they used around my hips. This isn't the case for most women - most women can return to work after a couple of days. Thankfully my work family is the most incredible group of people and we are so thankful that they were able to give me the time to fully recover.

Also, my husband is an actual angel walking this Earth. You wouldn't think that the loss of your baby could bring you to a new level of intimacy but this man continues to grieve with me and not separate from me. He didn't sleep for two days because he was checking my temperature and making sure that I was able to recover as fast as possible. Everyone deserves a Juan they really really do. And I didn't think I could ever love him more but my love for him is on a whole other level that I never knew existed.

Emotional Recovery

My/Our emotional recovery will obviously take longer than a week but we are thankful that we have the greatest village around us, a village that already loved our baby so much. For our friends that knew we had an appointment that day they all reached out to check on their baby's progress and were also hit with the devastating news. Our friends sent flowers, gift baskets, food, door-dash gift cards - they sent comfy pjs and warm socks and cooked my favorite meals. My sister in law never left my side. She fed me when I was still coming off anesthesia, she helped change my clothes, she cried with me, she validated my feelings of grief. My mother in law never left my side. She spent an hour on the phone with her sisters in Colombia just to perfect a recipe for a soup to help me recover faster, a soup to help with my blood loss. My friend's stopped by after clearing it with Juan just to hold my hand and love me and tell me I wasn't alone. They binged Grey's anatomy for hours just because. My God Mother drove from Orlando just to be there when I got out of surgery. She talked to our baby and rubbed my tummy and let him know how much Gram loved him. We all know our baby is in the arms of my momma and she's never going to put him down and for that thought I have peace. Juan and I couldn't have made it through the last two weeks without our people. I know that Juan and I are destined to have a family. I know that he is going to be the best soccer dad in all of the world. I know because he already is. All of our babies are lucky to have him as their dad.

My Takeaways

I know this will take time, and we will heal - my purpose for writing this novel was really to show anyone going through this that even though no one can prepare you for this but you aren't alone. This isn't talked about a lot, that's why it's easy to feel like it's something you did. It isn't your fault. You ARE allowed to feel. You ARE allowed to grieve. You ARE allowed to do it your way. A few days after my surgery I was trying to feel some sort of normalcy so I went to Target to buy wine. I stayed in the parking lot for 20 minutes listening to Lauren Daigle and crying because buying wine meant I wasn't pregnant anymore. I went home and hugged my husband instead. I've since gone and bought new bedding and a christmas scented candle just because it made my soul feel a little better.

I keep the verse Luke 1:45 on my phone "Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her." I keep this as a reminder that we got this far. We were able to get here and I should be thankful for that. I know I need to trust in his timing, and with his timing will come healing and plans for a greater purpose. Until then, I get to love my husband a little deeper and I get to appreciate my circle more than ever. I get to love my angel baby and know that he is safe and that his little body isn't suffering. I got to physically be a mom for 10 short weeks but in my heart we are always going to be his parents whether people got to ever see him or not - he was still our baby.

If you made it this far I really do applaud you because I've rambled long enough for a mini novel. If you're going through this and need someone to talk to I AM HERE for you!

P.S - If you have a friend going through a miscarriage it may be hard to know what to say, and sometimes you don't have to say anything. I would encourage you to stay away from saying "you can always try again". We know you mean well, but this is not the time. Thanks!

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