August 3rd was a day that I had been dreading for a long, long time.
It was my husband and I’s “should have been” due date, and I was an emotional mess leading up to it. Scott was scheduled off from work, so we planned to not have any plans and to see how we felt as the day unfolded. After spending the morning in our pajamas, we decided to get out and treat ourselves to lunch and a movie, followed by a walk through the park with ice cream.
Everyone deals with the loss of a miscarriage differently, and there isn’t a right or wrong way to grieve or time to move on. Journaling and sharing our journey has helped me personally, so I felt compelled to share an update of where we are six months later.
Dealing with a “should have been” due date is really hard. Like unimaginably hard. It’s not something that I was ever prepared to deal with, and I don’t wish the pain, both physically and mentally, on anyone reading this.
It probably sounds crazy or overdramatic to some, but to me, this date will stand out similarly to the birthday of a deceased family member or loved one. And, in some ways, it’s almost worse.
Instead of thinking back to all of the memories I shared with them, I can’t help but to wonder what our baby would have been like. What did he or she look like? What kind of person would they have grown up to be? Would they have been mellow and observant like me or outspoken and adventurous like Scott?
Most of all, I can’t help but to wonder the same question every single day …
What would my life be like right now if our baby was here with us today?
The “what if”s are constant.
We are strong in our faith and know that God has a plan for us. We know that bringing our baby into our lives and then whisking him or her away into His arms instead of ours is also a part of that plan. We don’t know why it happened, and we probably never will, so all we can do is trust that there is a plan for us, and that our family will grow when it’s supposed to.
That said, living day-to-day like nothing happened is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Besides actually going through the miscarriage, the D&C, and the recovery, moving on to a new definition of life afterwards often feels like my own version of The Twilight Zone.
To those of you who are newer to the blog, I’ve always been open about the struggles that Scott and I have been through, all of which have happened in the five years that we have been married. Of course there are things about our lives that I wish could change, but please don’t think that I don’t feel extremely grateful for where we are and how much we have overcome, either. This post explains most of our journey, and it was published three months before we got pregnant.
In a nutshell, we had our lives completely figured out. Then life happened. Scott losing his job (twice) literally uprooted our entire lives and plans. There are still some days where my mind wanders off into “what if” that never happened, too. But, that’s another post for another time.
Due to everything that has happened and craving a fresh start, we decided to take a leap of faith and move to Brooklyn just four months ago. We live in a beautiful apartment in one of the most desired neighborhoods in New York City, but there are still days where I blink and forget how we even got here.
What is this life that I’m living right now?
I currently spend my days applying and interviewing for jobs all over the city. It takes more motivation to blog than ever before, and I have lost a lot of drive for things I used to love creating and sharing in this space like new recipes and beauty tutorials. In a sense, I feel like that creative side of me is on vacation somewhere, and I can only hope that it will return soon.
I am so thankful for my love for fitness. With so many things out of my control, lacing up my sneakers and getting a good sweat through a workout or run is something I can. It feels amazing. Since we are still trying, I’m not planning on training for a long distance race or pushing myself to extreme physical limits these days, but I do what feels good for me, and that makes me happy.
I feel very grateful to be living blocks away from the biggest park in Brooklyn, and I spend a lot of time there. Sometimes I’ll go for a run, but most times I just go to walk. I walk with Roadie for hours and often sit under a tree and enjoy the fresh air while listening to a podcast.
Lately, I’ve been turning to the Daily Audio Bible, and when I’m feeling down about losing the baby, I listen to some kind of TTC support series. Beat Infertility has a lot of great episodes on staying sane during the process, and I enjoyed this one when I took an extra long walk on August 3rd.
I have a feeling that things will change when my days get busier, but I’m going to keep it real and say that life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine these days. I miss my friends back home, I miss my family, and most of all, I miss a normal sense of what life is, or was. I am enjoying living in New York, but I guess I just crave a bit of normalcy.
It’s easy to spiral down the path of picturing what I would be doing if my job was to take care of a newborn day in and day out, so I keep reminding myself to focus on the present. It’s important to take everything one day at a time and enjoy what is happening right now in front of me.
The hardest pill to swallow right now is pursuing a life outside of working from home (which I’ve always planned on doing once we decided to start our family) and into a new direction in what could be a new career. I’ve been interviewing for jobs in social media and marketing since we moved here, but I’ve also been looking for full-time work in the fitness industry. I’ve had a lot of interest there, and I’m looking forward to getting an answer regarding a position that I’ve had five interviews with over the past few weeks. (Yes, five with the same company. This is real life, my friends.)
I’m in a spot where I feel very conflicted. Anyone who has visited the Park Slope area knows that it’s a place that is popular for couples to move to once they want to “settle down” and start a family in New York City. It seems like everyone here has a baby carrier, a stroller, a dog, a nanny, and sometimes all of the above.
It feels nice to be living in such a family-friendly area, but it’s also a constant reminder of what my life isn’t right now.
I have good days where I wake up and feel like attacking the day, and I have bad days where I don’t want to get out of bed at all. What I’ve realized after listening to podcasts, reading support forums, and on my own over the past six months is that this is normal.
It’s okay to have good days and bad days. It’s okay to have meltdowns. It’s okay if you want to disappear for a day if you don’t feel like sharing your life on the Internet or answering a phone call from a friend who wants to catch up. Your true friends will understand and (hopefully) be there when you feel more up to talking.
I have to admit that my pregnancy envy is at an all-time high. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I have had an obviously pregnant person stand right next to me in the last three barre classes I’ve taken (all at different studios). It’s hard not to feel like happy, healthy pregnancies are everywhere.
It’s been rough seeing pregnancy and birth announcements taking over my news feeds. As happy as I am for the couples experiencing the joy of bringing a new baby into their family, it always stops me in my tracks and makes me want to quickly scroll past it. Honestly, it sucks.
So, here’s what I do …
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned since our “should have been” due date, it’s that the world didn’t stop just because our baby didn’t arrive. My friends and friends of friends are going to continue to get pregnant (some more easily than others) and go on to live and share their lives. Of course, I congratulate them, but I don’t go out of my way to ask how things are going or to hear details of their pregnancy or about the days as a mom to a newborn.
As a friend, I feel bad because I want to be there for them during this new and exciting journey into parenthood! It’s obvious that some of my friends don’t know how to handle my struggles, either. It’s such an awkward position to be in, but I know that we’ll be able to resume normal conversations again down the road. I can only hope that they understand where I am coming from, and that they will be there as a friend when I’m ready to talk on a regular basis again.
When it comes to infertility, I can either accept it or dwell on it, and I’m doing my best to accept it. I am focusing on what our future looks like, and right now, that involves me getting a full-time job and seeing where the next year takes me. I am looking forward to new opportunities, and I plan to keep new content rolling out on the blog as much as I can.
Please don’t read this post for what it’s not. The purpose of sharing this update is not to gain sympathy or complain about a life that I yearn to have. I felt an urge to write out my thoughts and share them with you. Doing so helps me process what I’m going through, and I hope that it provides some insight as well as a virtual hug to those of you going through a similar struggle.
To answer a few questions that I often receive:
Yes, we are still trying. We are coming close to the two-year mark, and now that we are settled in to our new home, we plan on researching doctors and infertility specialists in the area to help guide us through our TTC journey. (Brooklyn/NYC residents: Any suggestions?) I have been using a Baby-Comp to chart my temperatures and ovulation patterns over the past few months, and I’m trying to ignore the surprises that my body has been throwing at me lately like symptoms of pregnancy and week-late periods. (Go body.)
Instead of obsessing over every little detail, I’m just trying to let go, let life happen, and let nature do it’s thing. Here’s hoping!
To anyone struggling with fertility issues or your own journey to conceive, you are anything but alone. Thank you for reading this post and also for your continuous support on this blog. <3