Sunday, February 18, 2018

Dealing with Loss and Feeling Thankful

22 weeks. 22 weeks with our 4th boy. #teamblueuterus I really only make boys <3 And that's okay with me, because for years I didn't think we could have children, I didn't think that we would ever be parents. I turned angry, bitter, sad, confused, depressed, and angry again, all the while being happy for my friends that were having babies, but also feeling so much guilt because I wanted my own. I wished that was me being pregnant. I wanted to have not have had lost babies, I wanted to be happy and joyful for my friends with no underlying sadness and bitterness. I remember planning a baby shower for my best friend and crying so hard on the way to it that I had to stop at another friend's house and borrow their make up to cover up the blotches of red all over my face, because I am not a pretty crier. Nope. No way.

It's the weirdest feeling to walk into your OBGYN and feel like you want to cry because ladies are happy and pregnant there. I wished the doctors had created a separate waiting room for people like me so we didn't have to see all of the happy moms to be. How horrible of a person am I? This compounded the guilt. Compounded the shame. What did I do wrong to lose 4 babies? Why couldn't I carry a baby to term? Was it the time I worked out at the gym and then had a miscarriage the next day? Was it the time I went to the Marine Corps ball and had a glass of wine without knowing I was pregnant and then lost that baby? Was it that I wasn't eating right? I wasn't healthy enough? I didn't exercise enough or I exercised too much? Did I have too much stress and work too many long hours and had an inhospitable uterus? What was wrong with ME? What DID I DO WRONG?

Testing, treatments, medicine....all tried and nothing worked. Nothing could be found wrong with me or my hubby. I prayed for a baby every night. I would go to sleep praying for a baby and then be angry with God when I didn't get one and my friends did.

Enough was enough. My sister in law has also had losses and has taught me so much about mindset and how to truly love. She had an ectopic pregnancy, had to have surgery, and when I talked to her about it, she said that she was sad, but when she woke up the next morning she decided to praise God anyways. Praise God anyways...this struck something with me. God gives, God takes away, and we are to bless His name through it all. He doesn't say when it's easy, or when everything is perfect. We are to praise his name without ceasing.

So I took action. I got myself into counseling. I also had my hubby and I do marriage counseling too. I decided that if God wasn't going to give me what I thought I needed and wanted then I was going to be the best me I could be so that He could show me what I was really supposed to do and be. That if it wasn't in His plans for us to have babies, then I wanted to figure out what His plan really was for me, because I'm sure it would be amazing if I would allow Him to show me, use me, and grow me.

We got pregnant without fertility treatments, randomly and I was shocked. After 5 years, multiple miscarriages, one day I felt a little off and decided to take a pregnancy test in the bathroom of McDonalds because I didn't want to wait to get home. It was positive. And I was cautiously excited. My hubby and I hugged and couldn't believe it. And then one day I woke up and started spotting. I felt my heart sink. I went to the ER because anytime I spot I need the Rhogam shot since I have a negative blood type, and they did blood work and told me my levels were low. The next morning I miscarried another baby. My heart hurt so badly. But I knew that there was a plan, I refused to become bitter again. My doctor was following my levels and doing blood work every single day to make sure I passed the baby naturally. And although things were happening like they should, he saw a spike after about a month. He didn't understand what was going on. In one Ultrasound, he thought I might have a tumor or something more serious because he was seeing something odd. Low and behold, it wasn't a tumor, it was a baby. Another baby growing inside of me.

So much confusion and so many different thoughts. I was happy, but I was nervous. What if we lost this baby too? What if I had to have the "So sorry, I'm praying for you" from friends and family yet again??? Maybe this sounds crazy to you? Maybe this sounds like a way you shouldn't feel as someone who experienced loss and is now given this amazing gift? That's how I felt too. Why was I feeling like this? Why did I feel sad and stressed and nervous, yet also excited and happy? But things were different this time. My levels seemed to be rising, not dropping. My doctor seemed excited for me. And a shout out to that amazing doctor, Dr. Acromite from the Naval Hospital in Pensacola who was with me through all of it; was loving and caring and listened. He talked to Steve and involved him and was on top of testing and when we did go into labor at 37.5 weeks (or so they thought because there was no real way to track other than ultrasound) he left his son's baseball championship game and delivered our precious gift at 12:52 am and was with me through it all. Definitely find a doctor who is what you need! He will ALWAYS hold a special place in our hearts.

When Oliver was 7 months old, we got pregnant again! Without medicine, without fertility treatments; completely natural.  And we lost that baby too. I remember it being different, because I had Oliver. I couldn't lay in bed and cry; I didn't want to let myself be angry and let anger overcome me. I also decided to talk about it. I talked to my friends, I talked about it on social media. I shared bits and pieces of my heart. I wrote about it in Oliver's baby book, because I wanted him to know later and read my heart. I also wanted him to know that bad things happen in life sometimes and that his mom chose to praise God, that she made mistakes and got angry, and had hardship, but she chose to see love and see the good in things. I switched my thinking to feeling thankful for what I had instead of for what I was lacking. I know to some of you who may be struggling right now with a  loss, and don't have another little one to help ease the pain, this may seem hard, but I really feel like it helps with bitterness and it helps to not allow your mind to go into dark places. Your mind is such a powerful weapon, realizing that you have control of that weapon and can use it to strengthen yourself, or to completely disable yourself is sobering. We are the only person who has control of our mind.

This was the letter I wrote to Oliver in his baby journal when I found out I lost another baby from miscarriage. 

Being a military family, we move a lot. We found out we had orders to move from Florida to North Carolina and I was still in the process of getting my levels checked and going to the hospital every 3 days to make sure they were going down. Well, they weren't going down. They were going up. The doctor did an ultrasound and found some "re-growth" where they thought my body wasn't releasing the baby like it should. They suggested a D&C, but I declined for the time being. I mean, we were moving on Monday, and it was Thursday! So I had to move to North Carolina and quickly switch over all of my Tricare (insurance) info to get more testing done immediately to see what was going on. I had another ultrasound once we moved and the technician thought she saw a gestational sac! What?!? This entire time moving, I thought I wasn't pregnant and was maybe going to have to have a procedure done but now they are saying I'm pregnant over a month after my miscarriage?! And Harrison was born at a whopping 9lbs 3 oz later on October 29th. Being high risk the entire time, and the doctors having really no idea what happened or why it happened and having no way to even tell me a due date, except through measuring him on ultrasound.

Then when Harry was a year old I took an old pregnancy test I had lying around at my house for fun and it was positive.....that's another story all together how that happened LOL But Simon was my only baby that I have ever had without having a miscarriage first and having a real due date to go by. You can imagine my shock and fear the entire time thinking I was going to miscarry at some point. But I didn't. He was born 1 day after his due date, with 1 push and no tearing and weighed in at the toddler size of 10lbs 6 oz.

After Simon, I had another miscarriage; the week before my husband left for a year long deployment. I was in the hospital alone because we had no one to watch the children, and Steve couldn't bring them into the ER. (Living in California and having all of your family in Maryland is sometimes difficult when you need a quick sitter.) I was hemorrhaging pretty badly. But you know what, I cried, of course. I even posted a picture on Facebook, because I want to remember where I was and where I'm going. I want to remember that God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever. I will eternally be grateful for where He has brought me from, and I know that He is able to do the same thing for you, if you can allow your hard walls to be broken down. God so desires to get to your heart and mold it into something so beautiful.

My actual Facebook post: When you aren't having the greatest day but your husband takes 1 boy to school, and 1 boy to work with him, so you get to cuddle on the couch and get kisses from a are so thankful for what you have and what you've been given. Your Name is a strong and mighty tower. Your Name is a shelter like no other. Psalm 73:26 “...God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

We are now pregnant with our 4th boy. That seems crazy to even say that. 4 boys....Yes, I know I will have my hands full! So all of the same emotions crept back in when I found out. Basically I didn't want coffee one day and I knew I was pregnant. Because I's coffee.... There was no cute wrapped test in a wrapped box over a dinner of baby carrots, and baby peas, (Full House reference) there was a call to my husband at work.

Me: Are you busy? Do you have a minute?
Husband: Sure, what's up
Me: Um, So I'm pregnant
Husband: Um....okay
Me: So.... I just wanted to let you know
Husband: Okay, so make a doctor's appointment. I can try to get off work to watch the kids

Yep. Nothing fancy. And that's okay because extra fancy doesn't mean extra loved. This little baby is so loved. I cry every time I get an ultrasound because I can't believe how blessed we are that we have been given this amazing gift. Will it be hard? Oh yes. Is it worth it. Absolutely

So I share this LONG post. I share to help you beautiful friend, going through something similar. To know that you are not alone. So that you know I have been there too. I know what your heart is feeling like and how you think it's broken and will never be put back together. I share so you know that you are 1 in 4. You are not alone and by reaching out to someone and sharing your heart you are growing your heart because you are allowing people in. People that can help heal it and turn it into something even more beautiful than what it was before. Anger is okay, all of the emotions are okay. They are real and healthy. But don't allow bitterness to steal your joy. Don't let it rob you from experiencing all the beauty that this world has to offer. So sweet friend, I cannot guarantee you will never experience loss, or that you will have the baby you so badly want tomorrow, but I can tell you that you can experience true joy in living every day, and that you can have the most beautiful heart anyone has ever experienced in the process. And people will see that beauty. They will flock to you, because they will want what you have. Be sad, grieve, be angry, then make your heart beautiful; I promise you won't regret it.


  1. I love this so much Amy!! Thank you for sharing your heart. I know this will surely help someone who is struggling. Maybe someday I will muster up the courage to share my story too. I will never forgot our phone call to each other when we told each other we were pregnant with our first babies. I was so nervous to tell you because you had just miscarriaged. And you were nervous to tell me because of my previous miscarriages. So I finally called you and said “Amy I’m pregnant” and then you said “I’m pregnant too”. We cried and cried!! God was and is sooo good!!

    1. I will never forget that call either!!!!! It was so special!!! Your mom kept sayin I think she will be okay, I think you should tell her! And then I knew why! But you were such a huge part of my healing and I love you for that so much!!!