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why my miscarriage was exactly what I needed..

Welp, this is definitely not something I thought I would ever utter. Not even under the most strange of circumstances, but now that my miscarriage is behind me and life has resumed back to normal (okay, it’s better than normal!) I have to admit that I needed to have the miscarriage.

For the last few years, I have been grateful and pretty perplexed as to why and how I was able to have such an easy go at pregnancy with Analeigh. We are talking, first try conception, very minimal complications that all resolved themselves, an avoided induction and a healthy baby girl that came 6 days early, on her own in 6 hours!  How did I get to be so blessed? Why have most of my friends and all of my sisters had miscarriages and complications? but not me?

When we got pregnant this last time, it was not as type A planned out at Analeigh was. It was more of a “let’s take our chances” situation and let’s just say Tim is a member of the elite one shot wonder club. Two weeks later… positive test. Another week later, slow death by morning sickness.. It all seemed so familiar and so normal for a healthy pregnancy. We began our planning and dreaming… and I imagined my life to become completely different as I became a mother of two.

Fast forward to our 5th anniversary, 10 weeks into the pregnancy, finding out that there was no embryo and that I likely was having a molar pregnancy or a blighted ovum.. it was rough to hear all of that, but to be honest.. I just kind of felt like it was my turn to take that hard road. Avoiding it until now was great, but now it was time to join the ranks of moms who have experienced loss. I found peace in knowing I wasn’t the first and won’t be the last mom to deal with this, and with the fact that I had knowledge and experience that would help me through the physical part of it.

Having a natural miscarriage at home was the most intense and craziest thing that I have ever experienced. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am strong and that God is with me. There was a lot of doubt trying to creep in during the experience, but I prayed through it and God answered my prayers to not need to go to the hospital. I am so grateful for that hard day and for how we chose to let it play out. Two weeks of waiting for it to happen and three hours of labor later… it was over and it was time to start moving on.

One of the very first decisions I made after finding out about the blighted ovum (what it wound up being) was that I didn’t want to become pregnant again anytime soon. The desire to be pregnant and have another baby fled from me like a bat out of hell. I was so ill during the 10 weeks before the miscarriage, I could barely function and when I was functioning, I was saying over and over again “ugh, blegh, ick. I feel so gross, i’m nauseated, I feel like trash.” It was awful. I was not prepared to deal with that again, not even if I did get a baby out of the deal.

The next huge realization was that maybe I didn’t even want another baby. (gasp!) I think the whole idea of it seemed right and perfect (and everyone else seemed to want more kids) but when I was seeing my life in 9 months and how much everything was going to change… it was intense and a little scary. I don’t have it all together, and there are days that I miss being a woman with a job and a life outside of motherhood. Why add to what we already have? (My husband is nodding, he has been saying this since before Ana was even born.) I think it is innate in women to want to procreate and mother, not matter the cost or the hardship or the battle. We are built to do it and who was I to fight that? Right? ugh… so wrong. I am open the the idea that one day we might get pregnant again and that maybe some day when we are all a little older and life is a little different that we might WANT another baby. But right now, content is the word of my life.

You see, having a miscarriage isn’t shameful. It isn’t something that was anyone’s fault. And it certainly isn’t something I will keep quiet about.

So many people have already asked me how I am feeling during the pregnancy (which leads me to wonder if the 10 lbs I have lost since then has been credited to morning sickness and not the endless hours of the elliptical and at hot yoga) but regardless, telling someone that you had a miscarriage is not as hard as it seems. The reactions are always so sorrowful and I wind up feeling like I need to give THEM a hug. But at least I can talk about it and not want to cry. That in itself is a blessing.

Since the miscarriage, I joined Anytime Fitness and lost 10 lbs doing cardio and strength training with a close friend who also experienced a miscarriage (we were due the same week.) And it is so nice to have someone who is right there with me through this. We are running a 5k on Mother’s Day, which I just realized was so ironic, and so perfect.

I also started doing Bikram Yoga at Full Circle Yoga and that is the most awesome workout for both mind and body – and before the miscarriage I don’t know if I would have been mentally tough enough to stick out 90 minutes of 99+ degree temps and holding poses that I have not done in a while.

I guess in a lot of ways the miscarriage gave me mental toughness, as well as the realization of how much I was taking for granted. I was over a healthy weight and not doing anything about it. It snapped me back into giving a crap about my body and what I put in it as well as how I use it to keep myself alive for the many years to come that I need to be here for Tim and Analeigh.

There are some recent developments that I cannot wait to tell you about that also would have never happened if I was still pregnant.

But that exciting news is for another blog post… so stay tuned!

 

xoxo,

 

allie

James 1:2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 

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out of the darkness.. into the light…

Two weeks ago – I snapped out of it.

I stopped wallowing in the pit of having a miscarriage.

Although, I felt strong throughout the entire process, I was still grieving the loss of what I thought my life was going to be for the last two and a half months and it was showing – I was eating like crap, sleeping like crap and I felt like crap. ( not to mention the neverending 4 week long miscarriage and all that it entails)

but two weeks ago.. it stopped, and I decided there was no more excuses for letting myself stay in that pit.

I went to Anytime Fitness in Belpre, I got a membership. (LOVE this gym, check it out)

I downloaded My Fitness Pal app on my phone and set it to 1500 calories a day.

and I prayed.. a lot.

I joined a Beth Moore bible study on Wisdoms at my church, and also joined one on Ruth at the church were my MOPS group meets.

I started taking Ana to weekly open gym at Gymniks Gymnastics on Friday mornings.

I recommitted my life to staying involved, and staying engaged with other people.

I bought tickets to take Ana to the circus and to see veggietales. I went and saw Third Day in concert and bought tickets to see Hillsong in August.

I decided there will be no more obsessing about if, when, why or how we will procreate again.

I accepted that if God’s plan is for Analeigh to be an only child, than His will be done.

Did I mention, I prayed, a lot?

I decided to loose 25 pounds and get stronger, physically and mentally.

After two weeks, I am already down 7. And it feels AMAZING.

I have more energy and feel more alive than I have in a long time.

And it’s all because I had a miscarriage.

 

Everything happens for a reason.

 

xoxo,

 

allie

 

also, we celebrated Easter. My favorite holiday because that is the day we brought Ana home from the hospital and straight to Easter dinner.. and every year we celebrate with an Easter nap at gramma and grampas… and this year’s nap had even more significance for me. I am so grateful.

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13 weeks…

I would have been 13 weeks pregnant, when I finally had my miscarriage. By my estimation, I was about 9.5 when my body started to realize there was no embryo- but a blighted ovum instead.  But, it took 3.5 more weeks for my body to expel the miscarriage. Lucky 13.. and on International Women’s Day too boot. If that is not irony I don’t know what is.

Week 13 is the first week of the 2nd trimester. I cannot believe that it took that long for everything to happen. I honestly thought that as sick as I was, that I was in the clear and would have a baby brother or sister for Ana in no time.

Honestly, I thought it was a boy and that we would name him Josiah.

That kinda hurts to say that out loud like that.. but I had trouble sleeping and I would wake up, go pee.. and think Josiah. This baby is Josiah.

I looked it up and Josiah means the fire of God. Which considering the circumstances, I feel like kind of fits.

I am having a weird time dealing with this whole ordeal.. for one because I feel like it has been going on FOREVER. It’s been a month since I started spotting, three weeks since the ultrasound, two weeks of what I thought miscarriage bleeding might be like and a week since the actual labor and miscarriage.. and I am still bleeding and cramping.

It is like it won’t ever end.

Also, I think I am having a weird time because I understand that there’s nothing to be guilty about… nothing to beat myself up over…

I even see the silver lining.. like going to Jamaica later this year with my best friend Natalia and having 4 nights at an all-inclusive resort and not being 7 months pregnant while doing it. (after shooting three weddings in one week)… I was a bit nervous about all of that to begin with.

I see that I got to take back on my clients that I had to let go when I found out I was expecting… and that I will get to go to their weddings and be there for them.

I see that my life isn’t going to drastically change (well, I do feel changed.. but not in the same way we were planning for)

But at the same time, I feel like I am grieving the excitement and anticipation.

I am grieving the loss of my home birth we were planning for September.

I am grieving the loss of my second chance to do things the way I didn’t do them with Analeigh.. like nursing from the get-go and co-sleeping without ‘first time mom’ guilt.

I am grieving the loss of the fear of having two children, if that makes any sense at all. It was a stress that I was looking forward to, and was completely frightened by at the same time.

I am struggling to figure out an appropriate way to move on… and I am hoping that when the bleeding and cramping subsides completely, I can come up with something..

but for now, I am stuck in miscarriage purgatory and I just want it to be over.

 

xoxo,

 

 

allie

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my miscarriage.

The following is a no-holding-back version of what happened Friday March 8th, when I had my miscarriage. Please be aware that I am open about the process and if that bothers you, don’t read on.  If you are an information junkie, or just care about what has happened to me in the last month or two… read on..

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When I decided to let the miscarriage pass naturally, I prayed that God would allow it to happen when I was home and that it wouldn’t happen during the bridal show.. a peace came over me about it and I knew that He would answer that prayer. We made it through the bridal show.

So, now I have been praying for three weeks.. for some sort of sign of when this miscarriage would end.

I have been slowly having it for about two weeks now.. but didn’t know if it would eventually just stop… or if there would be some kind of climax to it… really I had no clue what to expect and all the people I talked to had a ton of ranging answers for how they happen.

Well, today I got my second answered prayer.

Around noon, I felt a lot of pressure and pain in my stomach that felt pretty much like strong gas pains.. it was long lasting.. and then I realized it was coming and going..

I was laying in Ana’s room watching some CreativeLive on my computer while Ana watched the Lorax on the iPad.. we were being lazy because I didn’t feel great.

Around 12:30 I realized the pain was rhythmic, and peaking.. like a contraction. It was changing from pressure to straight up labor contractions.

At 1pm, I was having a hard time with them.. it was hurting pretty bad and it was sharp and impossible to ignore. I started to time the cramps to see if there was a pattern, and immediately found there was and that it was getting more frequent and intense. I found that timing them helped me cope, because I could see that they were peaking and coming to an end.. I was having 1 minute – 1:30 contractions, then 2 minute breaks.

Ana was just rolling with it as I was on hands and knees in her bed.. rocking back and forth. Then it happened…

I passed a golf ball sized clot.

I text Tim about it… he is concerned… but I don’t think he knew if I was in real pain or needed him..

Then another… and one more… and he asks if I want him..

at first I said no.. then another and the contractions are on top of each other now..

and I say “F it! I need you”

At this point, the contractions are lasting longer than the breaks and Analeigh is asking for me to come back to bed, as I have moved to the bathroom.. it was already an hour past usual nap time.. and I am trying to remain cool for her.. and luckily, shes easy going and is being a sweetheart..

I am texting with Angy, my midwife and I ask how much blood is too much blood.. because at this point, I am getting a little concerned with the amount I am loosing. She said it should last about 30 minutes.. I have already been bleeding for at least 45 now.. but I assume that means I am nearing the end..

Tim makes it home and gives me a glass of water, and a kiss and I tell him I am getting in the shower.. while he goes and puts Ana down for a nap.

holy moly. this is intense.

the water pouring down on me is immediately helping… I totally understand hydrotherapy as a pain relief in labor now. and if I ever do become brave enough to try to have another baby.. I will need a larger hot water tank for showering while I do it.

I get my phone (yes while still in the shower) and turn on pandora to my praise station.. like I had planned to when I was in labor.. and it helps so much. i am singing softly and letting the water hit me.. and massaging my uterus and praying.

The contractions seem to grow more painful and long.. and I start to think… “okay. all the stuff inside my uterus needs to come out, the contractions are doing that..” and it helps to cope to know that it is pain with a purpose and that it is doing its job.. and finally.. I wonder how much I am dilated or if I would even dilate at all in this process?

My doula training and being around so many births have left me with a few skills and a whole lot of “i’m comfortable with my body” so I check my cervix. I would say I am about 3 cm dilated.. which is a bit like… wow. Our bodies are amazing.

(here comes more oversharing)

I also feel that there is something large stuck in the opening of my cervix.

I know this is why my body is contracting so hard.. it needs to come out and with the amount of blood I am loosing, there really isn’t much longer that I am going to feel safe being home, laboring alone in my shower..

I push some… and I keep checking myself to see if its helping..

and finally the water gets cold.. so I hop out and sit on the toilet and I pray more.. it’s all I can think to do.

and then, BAM. it comes out. and it is a tiny placenta. about the size of a baseball.. but very obviously a placenta. (again, thanks to my history of birth photography and doula training)

My head is spinning as I return to reality and understand what was happening… almost immediately the contractions let up and the bleeding slows way down compared to what it was.. and then Tim appears.

Ana is asleep. The miscarriage is over. I am alive, a bit light headed but ok.

Tim starts to ask if he should go back to work or stay home and we decide that he should just go back. I guess I really should have let him stay with me because I got light headed after he left, but I ate and drank and felt better. Took a floradix iron supplement and a vitamin and a pain relief pill and rested until Ana got up.

In the evening I had a friend watch Ana while I went to dinner with a friend who recently had a miscarriage and now has a young baby and we just ate, drank and talked about highly inappropriate things.. and I am sure whoever could hear was grossed out.. but after the day I had.. I didn’t care.

I went to bed that night feeling a sense of pride, in my body and in my God. Knowing that I needed to let things happen this way or it would never have felt real to me, or over to me.

I also went to bed a bit overwhelmed by the fact that I felt like I had a baby today.. but there was no baby at all. And a bit shocked at how much like labor it was for me, and how painful.

All in all. I am so grateful for my faith in God, for a supportive midwife who believed in any decision I made and in my husband and his workplace for swiftly allowing him to come home in my crisis moment.

xoxo,

 

allie

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one week removed…

Well it’s been a week since we found out that I have a non-viable pregnancy in my body. After more testing, it is looking like it is just a blighted ovum, and not molar. Praise the Lord.

I decided against the D&C and have been waiting it out. Lots of cramping, but nothing incredibly painful. Not a lot else has happened.. I don’t know if my body is just taking care of it in it’s own way, or if I will have a more full blown miscarriage. Time will tell.

I have my hCg drawn and it was in the 30,000 range, then 48 hours later it had dropped 8000 units.. so that was a relief and in about a week I will have another draw to see if it is back to zero.

Aside from feeling a little detached from the real world and not having much motivation, I have really been ok. I have been trying to have plans everyday and get out and see people, even if it is awkward for me sometimes to have to tell people that I am not pregnant, when I had just told them I was the week before.. I know that for me, it is better to have to say that then to not have told anyone anything and to have to deal with it alone with no support.

Tonight we are setting up for our largest marketing push of the year, the Great Bridal Event at the Elite sport center. and to say my heart is in it, would be a lie. I am trying to get excited.. I know we will have a lot of fun. I talked Tim into coming with me and working it, because he has really done all the work in dreaming up and building our display while I sit back and pray it all works out.. He is an amazing husband and a talented artist. I would have been out of luck and looked like a fool without his help on this. (thank you honey, a million times, for doing all the things I should have been doing while I was coping)

I certainly feel like this experience has changed me, and my family, for the better. I have seen my husband be completely selfless and on the verge of taking a job that would take him away from us, a lot… because it felt like the only answer to financially making it when I was going to be pregnant and then raising a new baby and a toddler. And then, swiftly, he turned down a very significant raise when the miscarriage was discovered and there was so much unknown about how much I would need him during it for physical and emotional support.. as well as just being here for his family daily, saying, “money isn’t happiness”. I think I swooned and fell even more in love with him.

He isn’t taking the job, thanks to the amazing staff of MedExpress for allowing us to change our plans, and allowing Tim to keep his job. We certainly feel touched by an angel that we figured it all out before it was too late. I want to hug and kiss the staff at Parkersburg MedExpress for being so kind while we were there getting the blood draws done, and for helping me to see how loved and appreciated Tim really is there.. It changed our entire future..

xoxo,

 

allie

Our reason for so much… Ana.

 

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