Mamahood Styled


// miscarriage gratitude //

 we had our chemical pregnancy during our first round of ivf (that's when you get a positive on a pregnancy test at home but your pregnancy never progresses past that and you have an early miscarriage). Chemical pregnancies are extremely common and most women don't even know they are having them and just think they are having a heavier cycle that month. mine was the heaviest of my life and it felt like it would never end. we grieved SO hard for that loss. I mean, it was so so so hard. it also was our first ever IVF, we had banked so much on that very first cycle and were just SO sure it would work. it was most definitely a devastating time in our lives. and yet when i fill out paperwork at the doctor's office, i never know how to answer "number of pregnancies." does my chemical pregnancy count if it just was an embryo that barely attached? there was never a baby on an ultrasound, there was never the opportunity for a heartbeat.
this miscarriage felt way more legit because we got to see our itty bitty baby, we got to see the flicker of its heartbeat. and my miscarriage was SO different. did you know you actually go into labor?? i had NO idea- no one warned me. you actually have contractions, it's insane. but it wasn't as bad as i thought it would be. i passed some on a thursday, and the rest on friday. and then that was the worst of it. my doctor says my body must have absorbed most of it. i went in for a full exam one week post miscarriage and my hcg levels were at 63. the last time we had checked, they were in the thousands so i think we are on track. i have this very specific pain and my doctor thinks it can be a cyst that would take care of it on its own. later this week, i am supposed to go in for more blood work. i may wait until after oliver's birthday. the news could be good or bad and i don't want to depend on those results for my happiness. he is my happiness.

late last night, a girlfriend tagged other mamas and myself
in a social media post for mamas who are grieving a loss. i thought it was so sweet and was surprised to see my name in this handful of names. after grieving and being mad all weekend, this stopped me in my tracks. i am a grieving mom...i went back to sleep and woke up later and couldn't get this thought out of my head. i went back to the tagged post and looked at the other names tagged, wondering what their stories are. i clicked on the first name and my heart stopped. after a beautiful and uneventful pregnancy, her baby was born with a heart defect. at 6 months, he went in for a routine surgery, and had complications and passed away. just like that. her pictures went literally from a casual walk, to devastation. the second mama, her baby was born with its brain and skull underdeveloped. their baby girl died 6 hours after birth. the next mama had her little girl for two years before she passed away. the girlfriend who originally tagged me, her baby boy had complications and for months they fought for his life, until he went to Heaven. I felt like a joke. my story does not even begin to compare to the real grief these mamas have faced and face on a daily nonstop basis.

i truly feel that God intervened last night. i believe he took the steps to make me realize that yes, my situation is not ideal but it saved me from so much pain- pain that i would not be able to handle in the future. it gave me solace in believing that my baby was taken away so early because God is protecting us from the extreme grief that i would otherwise felt. i do question why we even got pregnant. perhaps it was to remind me that i am still capable. perhaps it was to remind me what it feels like. only He knows. and all my anger, albeit justified, started to melt away with last night's post. and instead, i am grateful.

i am grateful to have had the ability to get pregnant.
i am grateful for that secret experience to bring my husband and i closer together.
i am grateful to have been able to see our little tiny baby on the screen 1.5 times.
i am grateful to have miscarried naturally and not need a dreaded d&c.
i am grateful my miscarriage happened only while i was not at work.
i am grateful it wasn't as painful as i had read.
i am grateful that my levels started to go down (and hopefully will continue to do so).
i am grateful that i was numb and in denial for a few weeks because normally, i would be a depressed mess.
i am grateful that God showed me mercy and avoided additionally devastation if this pregnancy would have continued.

i spent the last couple of days begging God for a sign of whether or not we should try again. i begged for a clear sign to say yes. i begged for this desire to become a mother again to be taken away if it is not in our plan. and although, i don't think i have yet to receive one in either direction, i am grateful that i was shown how much worse my situation could be and helped start to bring my out of my anger.

i am frustrated. i am sad. my heart is weak. but i know we will be okay.

p.s. i think it goes without saying how grateful i am for my son and husband, right? ;) i write that because recently, i have felt very guilty. i would say "made feel guilty" but only i can control how someone makes me feel. i love and am obsessed with my son. not a day goes by that i don't thank God for the miracle of his life. and geoff, wow. my boys are my life. but i shouldn't be judged for wanting another baby. because if we weren't dealing with this aftermath of cancer, this monster of infertility that is robbing us of so much, well, i would be the average mom trying to grow her family. and no one tells a mama that she shouldn't have more than one child, right? no one tells a mother who has more than one child, and loses one, that at least she has the other(s), right?

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