This is far from my comfort zone of “normal blog topics”, and it’s taken me awhile to hit the “post” button on this particular blog. I LOVE sharing my life with all of you through television and social media, but I’ve always kept the super personal aspects between me and my family. However, recently Tim and I went through a hard situation and the more I thought about it, even though it’s easier to keep quiet and move on, I realized that sharing my experience might help others who are dealing with something similar. So here we go…
Let me start by saying our road to growing a family has not been the easiest. I know there are a lot of people who are reading this and are struggling to grow their family, so if that’s you, I want to tell you that there are others on the same challenging path and you’re not on your own. This topic is something that people often hide (myself included) because it can be uncomfortable/embarrassing/sad/frustrating/isolating and so many more emotions that make us feel vulnerable and unwilling to open up. People who haven’t dealt with this don’t always know how to react or what to say so sometimes it’s easier to just brush it under the rug. But today I decided to do my part to normalize it. It’s SO hard to go through but so many women do it every single day so I’m speaking up and hoping my voice can reach someone who finds comfort in knowing THIS IS NORMAL. WE ARE NORMAL. YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS. WE CAN GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER.
Our struggles began three years ago when we were ready for a baby and after a year of trying, we realized it wasn’t happening on our own and decided to go see a fertility specialist. After months and months of doctor’s appointments, blood tests, and monitoring, I found out that I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – you can google it if you want more information) and that getting pregnant naturally might never happen for us. So we started fertility treatments and after a failed attempt and adjusting the medications, we eventually got pregnant with Leni through the method of IUI (Intrauterine Insemination combined with Femera and Ovidrel). It’s basically the step you try before IVF so it’s less invasive and intense, but still pretty high maintenance and required me to take months off from traveling/working so I could be available for all of the appointments.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen my 439849823 posts about her and know that Leni joined us nine months later on January 12, 2017 (the best day of our lives), after a very successful pregnancy. God made us work for it, but delivered the most beautiful, sassy, hilarious baby I could ever dream of. However, looking back, the journey to get to that day was stressful, exhausting, hard on our marriage, hard on my body, and there were many nights I would cry myself to sleep wondering if I’d ever be able to have a baby. In high school, I was voted “First to Get Married and Have Children” because everyone knew it was my dream to have a family. Although it took me a few years to find Tim because he was hiding from me in North Carolina (we only met when I was 25), having babies was a lifelong goal of mine, so the idea of my body not allowing it was heartbreaking. I remember feeling alone going through fertility treatments and sometimes I still do when I think about doing it over again. At the time I didn’t know ANYONE who had ever dealt with infertility so I honestly felt like my world was ending and my body was giving up on me and Tim. Since going through it, I’ve learned that sooooo many people deal with infertility and have similar experiences. So the more people talk about it, the less stigma associated with the topic of pregnancy and infertility and the more comfort we can all have in knowing this is REAL LIFE, and it’s not always picture-perfect like society (and social media) makes it out to be.
Fast forward to last month when I was in Canada visiting my family…I was heading to my friend’s wedding, and I knew there would be plenty of wine and drinks consumed and just to be safe, I took a pregnancy test. Tim and I had talked about trying for Baby #2 at some point this year but we never really made a decision and I didn’t have any expectations, because I was basically told I’d never get pregnant naturally, so I almost fainted when I saw the result. I seriously started hyperventilating all by myself in the bathroom. The test was POSITIVE!!!! No fertility drugs. No blood tests or monitoring or sterile doctor’s offices. I was PREGNANT naturally and it did not feel like real life. I FaceTimed Tim (who was home in North Carolina) immediately and even though he was in a room with some of our friends, I showed him the test and everyone started celebrating. I kept thinking that this was God’s way of giving us an easier journey the second time around since the first time was so challenging.
Well, it turns out I was wrong. I misread God’s game plan and this wasn’t the “big break” we were hoping for in the pregnancy department. Before we even had time to let the news sink in, I started to cramp and then I started to bleed, and it got progressively worse. Since I was in Canada, I didn’t have access to my normal doctor in North Carolina or my insurance plan or anything remotely comforting, so I had to spend the night in the ER to do blood tests and be monitored to see what was happening. I tried to keep a positive attitude and hope for the best, but after hours and hours of sitting in the hospital chair waiting, the doctor called me to her room and told me I was having a miscarriage. My heart broke. I was completely crushed.
I’ve had so many mixed emotions over having a miscarriage. I’ve wondered, is it because I’m so busy? Is my hectic schedule too stressful for me to keep a healthy pregnancy? Did I bring this on myself? If I would’ve stayed home and not traveled so much, would I still be pregnant? A million thoughts have crossed my mind, but I try so hard to stifle the negative thoughts and focus on the future. It doesn’t all make sense right now, but what I do know is that God has a plan for our family and this pregnancy wasn’t meant to be. I remind myself that 20% of women have a miscarriage in their lives. That number is HUGE. So if you think of every woman you know, 1 in 5 of them could be experiencing the same heartbreak at some point.
As I’m writing this, I still haven’t told many people about what happened. The only people who know are Tim, my parents, and two of my close friends. As I’ve mentioned, this topic is so hard for me to talk about (if you’re a close friend of mine, I apologize for telling you this in a blog post!). I don’t know if there’s ever an appropriate time for an “I just had a miscarriage” group text with all your friends, so I just kept it quiet. I’m not one to dwell on negative things or look for sympathy, so the only way I felt comfortable sharing this very personal experience is knowing that I have a platform that reaches so many people and someone out there might need this story in their life today. Someone might read this and see hope and support as they continue battling whatever journey they’re on, whether it be infertility or something else.
So that’s my story. Whether you had the easiest pregnancy or whether you’re still trying to conceive, there are people in the same boat. I look at Leni every day and thank God that I was able to have her, and hopefully someday down the road she’ll get a sibling to play with, whether through fertility treatments or naturally. God has a plan for all of us. So wherever you are on your journey, have faith that it’s where you’re meant to be.