I think it’s important to start this post by saying that I am extremely grateful.
I’m thankful for the roof over our heads, food on the table (thank goodness for seamless), and warm clothes to layer with on walks to and from a job that I genuinely work hard at and love. There are many out there who have it worse than we ever will, and I’ve never known what a true struggle to survive is really like. And, on the days that I’m not feeling as appreciative, I have a husband who snaps me back into reality and reminds me that we’re making it.
I’m incredibly blessed with his support, and his optimism and positive outlook on where life continues to take us amazes me day after day. Not only are we living in one of the hardest-to-make-it cities in America, but we’re thriving. God continues to surprise us with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and all we can do is follow His plan. Whatever it is.
I’m not writing to complain, expect sympathy, or even prompt messages or comments in return. In true blogger and oversharing fashion, I’m putting our continued journey out there in hopes of helping others realize that they’re not alone. I’ve sure felt that way plenty of times, and it’s not an easy place to be.
On the same note, thank you to our family, friends, and all of you for your constant prayers, hugs (even if they’re virtual), and support. I couldn’t do what I do or include our personal stories here without it. I love you all so much. <3
It’s been a long time, friends. I’ve missed you, but I can also say that the break from posting everything that life has thrown us over the last few months in this space as well as on social media has been needed and very much appreciated.
Those who have been following our story for a while already know that Scott and I have had anything but an easy road in our five and a half years of marriage. Two unexpected job lay-offs, two moves across the country, and two miscarriages later, here we are.
I guess I should back up a bit …
Thanksgiving came early for us this year in the form of two positive pregnancy tests.
Almost a full calendar year after our first positive pregnancy test and almost two full calendar years after we starting actively trying to grow our family, we thought we finally succeeded. I instantly felt a baby growing inside of me and all of the symptoms that come along with it.
seeing Aladdin on Broadway at seven weeks
My heart rate skyrocketed on a simple walk uphill or trip up the stairs to the point of needing breaks, so I listened to my body immediately and took the last of my workouts that first week after finding out. To be completely honest, I haven’t worked out since.
Our first (8-week) appointment finally came on November 29th, about one month after we found out. It was my first time visiting a new OB/GYN in Midtown, and I felt very comfortable with her and our conversations leading up to the ultrasound. Scott was with me, and I had flashbacks of the bad news we had received the last time we were in this situation as soon as she turned down the lights.
Sure enough, our hopeful eyes turned teary when the doctor uttered the dreadful words that nobody ever wants to hear, “I’m so sorry.” She went through every angle and showed us how the pregnancy sac was empty. I was pregnant, but yet no embryo had formed. Most of you reading this know that you should be able to see the baby by eight weeks, pick up a flickering heart beat, and even hear one. When none of those things surfaced, we were told that I had most likely experienced a missed miscarriage.
The doctor went on to explain that she was very concerned, and prepared me for what my body might naturally go through over the next week or so. Just to be sure, and because my cycles have been all over the place – meaning I could have ovulated later than expected – we made an appointment for the following week to monitor any growth and make a decision on what to do next.
Scott and I rode the train Uptown on December 6th in hopes that the slightest percentage that the doctor suggested a fetus might develop actually happened. She got right down to business when we arrived and started the ultrasound as soon as we answered if we wanted to look together or only hear the results from her. Curious in nature, we agreed to look together, and what we saw was totally unexpected. The tiniest little bean and flicker of a heartbeat appeared and shocked us all.
We knew we weren’t anywhere near out of the woods, and that close monitoring needed to happen in the near future, but we left with smiles on our faces and a glimmer of hope.
Our baby was there.
Fast forward to a week and a half later, I found myself on the train again, days before I was supposed to be, after the doctor advised me to come in for a RhoGAM shot since I had experienced light spotting on-and-off for a few days. Before the shot (which costs $150 a pop, by the way), we needed to see what was going on through an ultrasound. This time I was alone, but still wanted to look together with the doctor. Our baby and the pregnancy sac completely disappeared. Again, I was shocked.
Our baby was nothing.
Instead of having a D&C like last time, the doctor suggested scheduling a MVA procedure in-office for the following day (December 15th), and noted that I would be awake the entire time. MVA stands for manual vacuum aspiration, so you can imagine how unpleasant that experience was while conscious. I was numb, but I wasn’t numb to what was going on … it was a lot to digest.
(While taking photos for our holiday cards this year, we shot pictures for an announcement as well. We were only about seven weeks along, but it felt right.)
Pregnancy is so strange to me. It’s also especially unfair.
One couple could conceive the first month of trying, have a perfectly healthy and positive experience, keep up their normal day-to-day routines including workouts and eats, and glow the entire time. Another could spend years and years battling fertility treatments, need to cut off all physical activity, go on bed rest, get poked and prodded at, spend an obscene amount of money on extra appointments, ultrasounds, blood work, and procedures, only to end up with a baby that doesn’t survive the pregnancy.
Why is it such a different experience for so many women and families to go through?
It just doesn’t seem real.
I’ve been at a crossroads with what to do with this blog, and it just doesn’t seem like the time to put on a happy face and produce the killer content I picture Life In Leggings to house. I’ve never been one to fake my feelings, and hope that reading this also proves as a reminder that life isn’t always as perfect as it can be portrayed to be over social media and blogs. It just isn’t.
The good news out of all of this is that, in the long run, I plan to stick around. My job is more demanding than ever as we gear up to open the studio next month (!!!), so I’m checking in when I can and feel like writing. Last night was one of those times, which led to typing up this post to share with you today. One day, I picture myself keeping up with it all and checking in on a regular basis again. I hope you’ll stick around, too.
The great news is that I can continue to learn from this process and am really happy with our choice of doctor who is determined to get to the bottom of what is going on and help us have a successful pregnancy. (Locals, if you’d like a recommendation that justifies our hour commute into the City and back, I’d be happy to let you know her contact information.)
As we get ready to celebrate another Christmas on our own, a part from our families, I’m okay with the idea of staying in pajamas and watching Christmas movies while we Skype with family members throughout the day.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from going through this twice now, it’s that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. If any of you reading this can relate to our struggles (although, I really hope you can’t), keep your heads up and your faith strong. Allow yourself to have good days and bad days, because it’s part of the healing process. Right now, I’m recovering both physically and mentally the best that I can. I’m blessed with an amazing support system, and continue to pray that 2017 will be our year.
Thank you for reading, and again, for your devoted support. <3