I know things have been quiet for a while, several months to be exact. But as you’ll see below, there are reasons!
I had been raving for months about my weight loss journey, staying motivated, and staying positive. Then poof. I saw a shooting star, and my world – quite literally – changed.
Rob and I started TTC #2 in 2017, maybe 8 months after Jayden was born. We wanted kids close in age, and figured-hey, it only took 5 months the first time. This will be no big deal!
By March 2018, we found out I was once again dealing with insulin resistance and diabetes. I was put on Metformin and a specialized diet that same month, and literally 2 weeks later-BAM. Pregnant.
From the beginning I did not feel right about the pregnancy. I had this dread, I guess you could call it, and unexplainable anxiety-more than just normal pregnancy worries. As many are aware from my previous blogs, I ended up miscarrying the DAY OF my first OB appointment. I was crushed.
Mentally and physically it took a while for me to heal. It also did not help that my dog and my grandmother- whom I was very close with- passed away in front of me- days apart in June.
I hit rock bottom. I gained weight. I was not motivated. I was negative and wallowing in self pity-which is all ok and normal for some whom experience grief, no matter the cause. But I let it continue for to long.
In July we were accepted into Boston IVF, and scheduled our first appointment for the beginning of August. This spurred some positivity, enough to snap me back to reality and make me realize, for my family AND myself, that I needed to change my life for the better.
The sad cold reality was that I needed to move on. That sounds harsh, I get it. But though I will always remember my MC, obsessing over it and being depressed over it was effecting my life on a daily basis. I needed to change my views. And that I did.
The journey begins.
Our first fertility appointment was pretty uneventful. We discussed my history, Rob’s history, my pregnancy with Jayden, and the testing that we would do. The Dr. was all business. She wasn’t “warm and fuzzy”. This scared me at first, but looking back that was what I needed. A teammate on our side, ready to figure shit out, not hold our hands and tell us it would be OK.
Also around this time, I began boxing-a regimen that literally changed my life. I cannot say enough good things about boxing. It has truly changed my perspective on my body, my goals, and my overall views on life. My trainer has pushed me, driven me up a wall, and lifted me up when I fell down-multiple times. I have shared laughs and tears with him. Even better, I got some friends involved, and being on the same journey as them has kept me motivated to succeed in my goals. Sure, I still have anxiety – but boxing classes and personal training have changed me for the better.
These all seem positive, right?
They are-don’t get me wrong. But good times don’t last forever, and sometimes we need to weather a storm or two to make us understand how much of a miracle life truly is.
Test after test after test.
In September we got even more good news, we would start testing.
Due to my high risk pregnancy with Jayden, we had to see an MFM Dr. and get tested, all 3 of us, with genetics.
Our results came back – not as I had hoped – but manageable.
Rob of course, and Jayden, were genetically and medically sound.
I, on the other hand, came back positive for a blood clotting disorder, which would be #2 (I was already diagnosed with a different one in June), and as a carrier for a sometimes fatal medical condition. The good news on these? Rob wasn’t a carrier for the second, sometimes fatal, condition – meaning our chances of having a baby with it were no longer 1 in 4. This was GREAT news!
In addition, I had PCOS and severe insulin resistance and diabetes. The MFM Dr. told me to start insulin – like yesterday.
Being my stubborn self, I refused. I wanted to make these medical issues better on my own, through the gym and diet. So I tried – harder than I have ever tried. I even gave up fruit for a long time (thanks Japhet!) – my FAVORITE food. I was committed.
In October we decided to do IVF. Our chances of conceiving with this method were much higher. So we began the process.
The good news, and bad.
The good news was, we could start in November. 6th to be exact. I was so excited. I took all the required courses, filled out all the paperwork. I was dreaming of my future with my family of 4.
At the end of October I was starting to get even more excited. It was only a week away-so close to being in reach!
Then I was asked when I was due. You heard that right, due. With a baby. How insensitive can a person be. Not to mention, I have LOST weight, and this was from a woman at the gym, who wasn’t in the best shape. I pushed through the gym class, and cried to my trainer. My gym girls had my back. My trainer had my back. My friends all had my back. I was mad at this woman. How could she dull my shine just a week before I was to start on this amazing journey of giving Jayden a brother or sister? Thinking back, maybe she saw what was about to come. Maybe she was a medium. A psychic? Who the hell knows.
I put my anger aside and tried to focus on the positive-my upcoming journey through IVF.
Then November came, and knocked me flat on my ass.
My shooting star.
In November, I literally saw a shooting star. I called Rob immediately and he told me to make a wish. I had never been serious about these things, but I said what the hell.
My wish? That I could get pregnant before IVF started.
Of course, I was excited to start IVF. But if my body could just work right and I could get pregnant before we started, that would be so amazing. I obviously didn’t think my wish would come true.
Until it did.
A series of unexpected events.
A series of unexpected events seems to always rattle the mind and body. After seeing a shooting star, the following day I had a “hunch” I was pregnant. Maybe it was a spiritual awakening, maybe it was fate. Whatever it was, that star changed my life. That star led me to my second greatest gift I have ever received, and at the time-I didn’t even believe in it (the wishing on a star thing).
Now, I have gotten these before – these hunches – but this was different. I FELT it. I FELT pregnant. In my body, mind, and spirit.
I called Rob and he laughed. Not meanly, but I have said this many times before and my “hunches” are NEVER right.
So I went home, and POAS-something MANY women do, and overdo, when TTC.
I expected nothing. I learned long ago, sometimes expecting something can lead to disappointment. So I peed, and waited.
Within 2 minutes I saw it. The FAINTEST line I had ever seen. I took another, thinking it was faulty. Same result. I was confused, excited, and scared. Was it real? Would I miscarry? I was 6 days before my expected period. I have never – I repeat – never gotten a positive THIS far away. I was scared of having a chemical, which I had had several times, the most recent in September.
Rob came home, and saw the line too. He has a hard time seeing faints, so him seeing it solidified things for me. We were pregnant, 6 days before my period and 6 days before the start of IVF. What in the actual fuck.
Over the weekend I obviously POAS’d like 50 more times. The line was getting darker. But I contained my excitement. I was so fearful of heartbreak again.
“Relaxing” and “staying positive” aren’t things that come easy to someone with anxiety who has had previous losses. Every cramp, sting, feeling in general, made me terrified I was loosing it. In fact, I checked the toilet paper every bathroom break. It was pathetic. I wanted this SO bad, why couldn’t I be happy?
Over the weekend I started to bleed. It wasn’t a red, heavy bleed, but brown and more like spotting. Instantly I told my self this was it. I was loosing it. Monday came, and I was to go into Boston IVF for my first number draw. I was still spotting, but went anyway. I expected the worst.
Later that afternoon I got the call. My numbers were good, and the bleeding was more than likely implantation (which I have never had). They wanted me to come back Wednesday for a re-draw to ensure the numbers were rising.
So I went. And my numbers rose. GREAT!
Then I was told to come back by the following Wednesday. A whole week. I was even more anxious. The wait seemed like forever. I already had the spotting scare, which stopped after 3 days thankfully. How could I wait a week to find out if this was really progressing?
Somehow, I made it through that week. Then my world was turned upside down.
Preparing for another miscarriage.
Wednesday came, and there was no good news. The doctor called and instantly I knew something was wrong. “I’m sorry” she said, “your numbers didn’t rise how they should have”. She was kind, but I knew to expect the worst. A numbers rise from 132 to 333 in 7 days isn’t good. I knew that. She told me what to expect, and emphasized the symptoms of ectopic. She scheduled me to come in the following week for another draw-I assumed to ensure I was dropping with my HCG levels.
I spent the week mentally preparing. I threw myself multiple pity party’s. Why me? I asked myself this a dozen times. I even told close friends and family who knew that I was loosing it. I guess, when you have miscarried and this sort of thing happens, you mentally prepare and convince yourself the worst so you don’t get hurt? I felt like if I convinced myself that this was it, that it was over, that I wouldn’t be as heartbroken. Unless you miscarry, you never truly know the heartbreak of it. So maybe this was my coping mechanism. I mean, the numbers weren’t viable, the doctor even said that. So why be positive?
Several people told me to take a step back and just wait for the draw. But in protecting my fragile emotional state, I just couldn’t. I needed to tell myself to expect the worst so I didn’t hit rock bottom again. I couldn’t go there. I just couldn’t. My friends and family were supportive, but they were also frustrated that I was so negative when I didn’t even officially miscarry or get my last draw done yet. Looking back, I understand their mindset-but I needed to cope, and this was how I did it.
Miracles do happen.
I went to my last draw expecting the worst, only to get the best.
My numbers went from 333 to 1960. The doctor couldn’t explain it. She was dumbfounded.
What’s even better? I went in at 5w6d for an early scan. Baby actually had a heartbeat! The doctor was again surprised. No one could explain what happened. I was measuring 2 days behind, but by 8w5d I had caught up and was right on time.
My attitude started to change when I got that third draw. I was still anxious. Still fearful of miscarrying. But I started praying. Daily. I prayed to God that this baby would make it. I stopped saying this was it, I was going to loose it. After all, we had already been through so much in such a short time, and this baby was still holding on strong.
This is my miracle baby, and I am just now finally starting to feel the love and excitement I longed to feel when I first found out I was pregnant.
I wished on that star, and my wish came true. I think back to all the signs; the star, the woman at the gym, the hunch, the numbers not viable – then viable, the baby catching up. It has been a roller coaster, but with a little faith I am getting through. I still have faith, and I still pray. Because miracles do happen.
Its taken me much longer this time (with Jayden I did it end of 1st trimester) to feel comfortable announcing to the world that little Avery Rose will be coming in July, but my faith is strong.
I know we still have a ways to go, and anything can happen. I know this wont be easy, between the issues in the beginning and being high risk. But I want to enjoy this journey through all the ups and downs. I don’t want to be scared anymore.
I am now into 2nd trimester and baby Avery has passed her hardest trimester and all testing done throughout (NT). So I will keep praying and have faith. She will be so worth it. My rainbow baby, my little miracle.
*Special thanks to all who have helped me in this tumultuous yet wonderful journey, from my gym girls, friends, my best friend LS, my parents and Rob, and those who helped me with my ongoing anxiety struggles (DV, SW, etc). You all have made this so much better for me, even in times of struggle. Thank you for being there, I truly appreciate it.