When I started this blog, and thought of starting this blog, if it were going to be anything I wanted it to be honest. As much as I want to dose you with constant love and positivity, that is just not our current reality. My hope is that one day it will be, and all the heartache I express here will one day turn into joy and gratitude.
Today has been a hard day. After miscarriage number one I was in a really bad place mentally. I had heard of people having depression but had no clue what that actually entailed. I've always had an anxious mind and likely worried more than most, but always felt generally optimistic and excited for the future. That all changed in what felt like overnight. I went from this person who was SO excited for the future and this next step... to feelings of "what is the point of all of this?" and feelings of inadequacy, and just point blank not wanting to get out of bed. The fear, the pain, the worry, it was crippling me. My anxiety was the worst it had ever been, I would cry daily. I had no desire to even try to get up and get out and better myself. This lasted a few months, my wedding and work season picked back up and it felt like I had no choice but to get back at it. Honestly, it was probably a good thing looking back because it forced me to get some "normalcy" back in my daily life. And then I went through this rollercoaster of emotions where I found myself constantly upset because life was just going on. But wait, didn't anyone see what I just lost? Did you forget? Hi I'm still here and I'm still hurting. It was like everyone just expected me to be back to ole me. I was still dying inside daily and hanging on by a thread. All while everyone around me is getting on with their happy life.
When we conceived again in September it felt like FINALLY. We started our journey in October, we were tired and ready and I just felt relieved. When we lost number two I think I was just in shock and disbelief. I was hysterical that day, and exhausted the couple days following - but again, we had plans that following weekend and life just had to go on. With the second miscarriage I felt a little less emotional and more OKAY whats going on and what are we going to do to fix it. I'm an extremely emotional person, but there's a large rational side to me, and I think that kicked it. I made an appointment immediately with my OB to start the process of researching what is next. Although my OB felt sure it was "a fluke" both times she still suggested running a recurrent miscarriage blood panel just to be sure we could rule any possibilities out. I am so grateful she did, because had she not we would likely have had a third miscarriage without treatment.
I will go into more detail about what they found, but I'd like to wait until our appointment with the high risk pregnancy doctor on the 24th to do so. But in short, they found a genetic mutation and a blood clotting disorder. Initially, I sobbed. I thought "this is the end, we will never carry a healthy baby to term, this is the end of us having our biological child." But a phone conversation with my OB that week assured me that this is actually only the beginning, that now we have answers, and treatable issues at hand, we can move forward with making this work for us. This conversation was in late October. We are now almost 3 months from that phone call and I'm not sure I know more than I did then. When we got that information we decided to "stop trying" until we were able to see all of our specialists to make sure there was a great plan in place for us to get and stay pregnant. After an appointment in December with a hematologist that confirmed their suspicions, we were given the go ahead to try again for baby. After our second miscarriage and taking 3 months off from worrying about ovulation and "trying" I felt slightly relieved. It felt like exactly what Nick and I both needed, a break from the crazy, and just an opportunity to rest. I was able to move from all hope is lost and I can't get out of bed, to our doctors have this and our plan could work. I started feeling overall better mentally. At least not horrible depression that was affecting me in more ways than I even realized. I certainly still cried. I cried on thanksgiving because I just couldn't imagine saying what I was thankful for in a room full of people without bursting into tears, I cried on christmas because our baby was not there to wear their pajamas, I cried at pregnancy announcements, social media ads, the list goes on. But in my mind, the future looked better than it had overall and I was trying to take that as a win.
Since we got our results, I've been on and off google, forums, support groups and calling all troops to give me any and all information they could. The issues I have I've found can be controversial and quite honestly sound like trial and error to get women to the point where they are holding pregnancies. I wanted to be knowledgeable about what we were facing and be able to advocate for myself, but I am fearful this research only just shuddered my bones and brought on more fear and anxiety. One day I will wake up and say "the next pregnancy is it! Our rainbow baby is right around the corner!" And other days I will wake up with worry that crushes my entire being, fearful we will have several more miscarriages before they find the right treatment, possible still birth or late term miscarriages, fear this will never ever happen for us, fear this will take years of draining our spirits and I will fall back to that dark place of awful anxiety.
After a long day of worry today, I've come to the conclusion that I need to let go. I need to put faith in my doctors, keep my mind busy with positive things, and stay focused. Most things in life, if you want it, with handwork, it is achievable. I've always viewed things as goals I will eventually attain by working hard and doing my best. Well, I've learned no matter how hard I work, this one is out of my hands. And that is MADDENING to me. I just keep thinking, I will do anything, I will put in the time, I will work as hard as it takes -- But hard work won't fix this. I can't fix this. Nick can't fix this. My friends can't fix this. My family can't fix this. We are just here.
And that is where patience, peace, and perseverance come into play.
As hopeful as I am trying to be, I know this could still take time. I am begging for patience in this hard time for our family. And in this time of waiting I am hoping for peace. Hoping that we will one day have peace and understanding of this circumstance we've found ourselves in. I want peace with our diagnosis. I want to find peace and happiness to extend to our friends and families that have been so lucky to be able to start their families. I am hopeful they will find patience with us in this time of uncertainty and hurting. And I am hoping that in the end, we have persevered through it all.
A ton of Mama's who struggled for their littles have reached out to me over the last year and a couple things have stuck out to me and brought a sense of comfort. One Mama that went through years of infertility and 3 IVF treatments later said to me "there is always a plan b, if plan a doesn't work, move to plan b." This truth stuck in my head... there is always another option. And that realization brings me comfort.
Another Mama sent me the sweetest note in the mail and it said "mamas that fought for their babies have an undeniable fierce love and appreciation for their family." She promised me the fight is worth it and not to give up. This note brought me to tears. It reminds me not to lose sight of what we are working so hard for.
One day this blog will be a lot different, it will be full of baby photos and nursery plans and all of the things we've learned as parents. But until then, I cannot thank you enough for your constant love and support. The kind words, the notes, the texts, the comments, they get me by day by day and bring us hope for the future. The support makes time move faster and fills our hearts with positivity. So, thank you for following our journey and listening to my heart.
XOX - Ashley