Saturday, May 31, 2014

Get Up Now

Happy Saturday, folks! 

It's a gorgeous day here~ 70s and sunny, blue skies with Toy Story white fluffy clouds.
It's the last day of May. HOW is that possible?  I can't believe it. June is just within reach, and that means summer is just around the corner. It also means the school year is rapidly coming to an end. One of the best classes I have had in a while, and I'm sad to let them go soon. It's a bittersweet feeling. .... I swear each year goes by faster than the one before.  I'm semi sad about that as well and I've never been good with goodbyes. I'm usually a crying mess for at least a short period of time on the last day of school with the kids, and this will definitely be one of those years. 

Speaking of goodbyes and bittersweet moments, I found out yesterday that my assigned nurse at our fertility clinic is leaving. I happened to see her yesterday morning to go over something with her, and she hugged me before I left. I'm all about hugs and often hug the medical assistants who take my blood (haha, weird that I'm so loving to the girls who jab me with needles on a weekly basis, but they're great!). I wondered what it was for, but I'm such a hugger by nature, and I hugged her after she gave me the methotrexate injection a few weeks ago, so it wasn't totally out of character. She emailed me with my results update yesterday and in the email mentioned it was her last day. I was SO bummed, that I almost started crying reading it (we all know I'm an emotional sap) and I was slightly more fixated on that than the main reason she emailed me. It really sucks. I am forever grateful to the entire staff that we've worked with over this past year at the office we go to. They really are wonderful people and have made our visits comfortable, exciting, and bearable. They've supported us in many ways~ phone calls, emails, hugs. I'm really sad and bummed to see our RN go, but happy for her to start a new chapter and adventure. I was happy she asked me to keep her updated, and hopefully we will have good news to share sooner than later. So, if she's reading this, I wanted to give a shout out to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for all that you've done for us. I loved working with you. Sorry for my annoying email rants, worries, and questions. You were amazing and I'm so thankful to have been reporting to you while you were there. Good luck!! :)  

Ok, back to the meat of the post. So, I'm sitting here on the couch, listening to music, and trying to muster some motivation to be productive today. I used to be big on To Do lists, but can't seem to get one going today. I figure as long as I do something, it will be worth while. So far, did one load of laundry, and believe it or not that is a lot for me on a Saturday morning before noon. Ha! There's a lot I need to do, a lot I want to do, and a lot that goes in the middle. I have about 6 hours til Scott is home, so in theory I should be accomplishing a lot. Laundry, cleaning up/organizing, finding a home for my new clothes, school stuff, and a workout is on my list. I should do a whole post for workout motivation... but the amount of time I would throw into it, I would be done with a whole T25 workout... I'm not happy with my current state of self image, so need to get my butt in gear and tone up. Sitting here blogging certainly doesn't make that happen. haha :) 

So I guess the purpose of this post is to document that it's been a good week. It's a good day. It's going to be a good weekend... and it's going to be a great summer. One of my absolute fav songs at the moment is On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons. Every single time I hear it, no matter how I was feeling prior, it puts me in an instant good mood. I've heard it a few times in the last 24 hours, so decided to post the lyrics as kind of a motto for how I'm hoping the summer and the next few months or so will play out. It has a lot of positivity in it. I included a video with the lyrics so you can hear it and read/sing along at the same time. 

It has a great message. It's upbeat. It's positive and happy. So therefore, I love it. <3

Some fav lyrics in particular...

"I take it in but don’t look down

‘Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
Waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay
Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay
Take you with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child
I’m on top of the world.

And I know it’s hard when you’re falling down
And it’s a long way up when you hit the ground
Get up now, get up, get up now."

I feel like the whole message is about celebrating the wonderful things in your life. Celebrate when you're feeling on top of the world, tell your loved ones that you love them, don't take things or time for granted, and get back up when you're feeling down. It's hard when you're falling down, and it's a long way up when you hit the ground, but get up dammit. Don't stay there forever. Negativity won't pick you back up, only positive things will...

So get up now, get up, 
                           get up now. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Chin Up, Buttercup

I decided I needed to write a more positive post. I've been feeling down for too long and need to pick myself back up. Part of it is because of the meds I was on- a lot of things were restricted for the last 2 weeks. A lot of things that are normal stress relievers, and I couldn't do any. Therefore, I felt pretty bummed, stressed, and semi depressed at times. I would get through the day at school, come home exhausted and feeling Blah, and just lay on the couch or sleep a lot. Not fun. It's not me. (Sorry, Scott). 
But now 2 weeks are up and I refuse to be a prisoner to negativity and feeling blah. 

Yes, we've been experiencing a roller coaster of emotions, but I need to stop being blah about it and keep moving forward. There is SOOO much to be thankful for and I need to focus on that. 
One fear I have in being totally open about our journey is that I will turn so many people away from us for being honest. I don't want my honesty to come across as me playing the victim and looking for sympathy or pity. Deciding to start the blog was initially my way of getting it all out there to sort out my emotions and deal with the confusing and complicated things we were experiencing. It also was a very easy way to update family and friends on what's going on (rather than sending mass emails out to people who might not care (you're choosing whether or not you want to read these). And also, if we can help just one other couple on their journey, then I would feel a sense of paying back to those who helped me by posting their experiences and journeys. 

Everyone's journey and story in life is different and we should never judge another without knowing what it's truly like to walk in their shoes. We ALL have struggles in life. They'll vary in how they look, but we all have some stress in our lives that we are dealing with. Ghosts from the past, financial problems, drug addiction, mental illness, relationship problems, work stress, friends/family stress, health problems, a rocky marriage, a combination of these, or something else entirely. Each and every one of us has at least 1 thing that is difficult to go through. Often I've heard some quote along the lines that if we were all in s giant circle and threw our problems out into the open to see what everyone secretly deals with, we'd all go scrambling to regain our own problems, rather than swapping with someone else. Everyone struggles. 

You thought this post wasn't supposed to be negative, right? I'm getting there. :) My point is, everyone struggles with something. Some struggle openly, some keep it private. Just because we are being open about our infertility struggles, it doesn't mean I'm undermining problems that others have. It also doesn't mean that is the only thing we struggle with. Don't judge others by what you see. Chances are, you're only seeing one small piece of the puzzle. So have a little compassion for others. 

I realize that, compared to others, our struggle may be small potatoes. This isn't a life or death health scare. It's not a financial issue (not yet at least!) of losing our house or possessions over. Neither of us are unemployed (Now that Scott got hired by a new company! Yay!!). So, yes, it's one big thing in our life right now and it consumes my mind for most of the day, I am fully aware that we are extremely lucky otherwise. This is in no way a bragging post, but I wanted to list some things I'm thankful for, so that maybe it helps us all realize the wonderful things we have present in our lives. Sometimes they are easily clouded by our struggles, but at the end of the day, there is always someone worse off than you. 

These are a few of my favorite things (or things to be thankful for), in no particular order...

*SCOTT MICHAEL RICCI.... This guy. He simply amazes me. He is the best, ever. Scott has a heart of gold and is one of the most caring people I know. He helps out the people he loves 10000000% and would do anything for them. He is a great listener (despite me accusing him otherwise at times), excellent advice giver, and is so sweet when it counts the most. He can cheer me up or make me feel better when I truly need it the most. He can make me laugh at the times I'm the most depressed, and always tries to get me to smile. He's seen me at my absolute worst (many times) and yet is there whole-heartedly to pick me back up. He's an amazing friend and husband, and I know without a doubt that he will be one of the best dads in the world some day. I'm so so so incredibly lucky to have married a truly wonderful guy. Love you!! <3 

*Amazingly supportive family & friends... Without you all, we wouldn't be where we are. We wouldn't be able to cope with any of this, probably wouldn't be posting anything publicly (in fear of people knowing), and just wouldn't be able to be so positive. Our immediate families have been a huge huge support factor in all of this, as well as our extended family, and of course our friends. Thank you all. Whether you ask us occasionally how things are going, or are too afraid to bring it up and ask, we know you all care for us. It's the everyday actions, the interactions, and overall picture that we look at. We know you care and we appreciate it so much. Thank you for not judging us for going public with this, thank you for not talking negatively about our journey, thank you for asking every once in a while how things are, thank you for checking in, thank you for showing you care in ways other than asking how things are (I know it's hard for some~ you don't know whether to bring it up or not, and that's fine. We know you care, actions speak louder than words). It's your choice and it's okay. We are comfortable with either because we know deep down who cares and who doesn't, so whether you ask or not how things are going, it's okay. I know you care. If you are afraid to ask, but are wondering, I promise it's ok to ask us. Sometimes we like to be asked because it lets us know you aren't sick of hearing about it and it's a safe place to talk openly about it. 

Ok, that part got confusing to word! Sorry! Moving on. :)

*Unsupportive friends people... Sounds weird, I know. But, I'm just as thankful for these people because they've shown us who and what is truly important in our life. They've shown us that they truly just don't care about us or our journey, so neither should we continue to try for them. They've shown me to stop wasting my time and to not care what people think. Thanks for freeing up space in my heart and mind, so I can focus on those who truly do care. You've shown me what's important in my life, and worrying about petty things is just not worth it when we're up against bigger struggles. Life is too short to be anything but happy in areas you can control. 

*Nieces & nephews... I put plural because I consider the kids of my really close friends to be my nieces and nephews, just as much as my brother's children.  My friends' little ones call me "Aunt" too, so why not. Family is not always just blood relation. It's who is closest in your heart. I'm so thankful for these little ones because they show you what pure happiness is. They're made happy by the simplest things in life and they're all just so much fun to be around!! (I wish some weren't a plane ride away but that's life... I'm just thankful to have them in my life). <3

*Getting paid to do what I love... I love my job. Sure there are aspects that drive me crazy at times, but that's any job. I love working with 5 & 6 year-olds every day. I love getting to act like a kid at times and not getting laughed at for it. I love teaching little ones to read and write. I love seeing the amazing ways a child can learn, grow, mature, and change from September to June. I love being a part of Kindergarten. I love teaching in the room I went to Kindergarten in. I love being creative. I love working Monday through Friday. I love having weekends, holidays, and summers off. I love teaching. I love my job. 

*My car... It gets me places. It's a pretty color. It stores a lot. It's a Honda. I just love it. :) 

*The beautiful area in which we live... The Hudson Valley area of New York (just about an hour north of NYC), is truly amazing. I was born and raised here, and it took me a long long time to truly appreciate it for its worth. I can't really describe it but it's just so scenic and beautiful. There are so many picturesque up and down the river that are gorgeous. There are so many mountains to hike, so many picnic spots by the river, so many pretty sunsets, so much to do, amazing AMAZING wineries, state parks, etc. It's just beautiful.... however, winters can be wicked here! 

*A roof over our heads... This is our 2nd home, and who knows where the next few years will take us, but I'm thankful that we are currently in a situation where we have a roof over our heads, a warm house, a comfy bed, running water, doors and windows that lock, etc. Going along with that are daily essentials, and things we all often take for granted: food, water, clothes, shoes on my feet, etc. I often am amazed at how it's possible that I sit here with all these things easily within reach while others around the world dream of having just 1 of these things. It really puts things into perspective real fast.

*4 seasons that are very different where we live. Each season is truly, 100% that season, here in NY. Winters are harsh, bitter, cold, and get TONS of snow. As much as I hate the winter, snowfall is so so pretty and curling up on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate is just so fun. Spring here is usually pretty chilly, and wet, but it's my favorite. Everything starts to bloom, and even though the pollen here gets awful for a bit, it's so beautiful to see all the pretty colors blooming on trees and flowers. The sound of spring peepers and birds outside is so comforting and calming. A perfect spring day here is 70 and sunny, and it's one of the best things ever. Summers get pretty hot at times, but it's also a break from school and a time to recharge those teaching batteries. It's a time to relax, read new books, sleep in, vacation, and lay by a pool. Fall is depressing in some ways because it means summer is over and winter is coming, but it also means the leaves change color (another beautiful sight up here!), sweater weather arrives, and Starbucks comes out with their Pumpkin Spice latte!!! It's also my birthday, and it's just a fun time. 

*Sunshine... Sunshine makes me happy, end of story. I'm totally one of those people who is sad in the winter, or on rainy days. Sunshine equals happiness for me. :) 

*Rain.... Even though rainy days make me tired and gloomy, "No rain, no rainbows!!"

*Our struggles in life, no matter what they are. This may sound weird as well, because these are the things that try to rip you apart from the insides. These are the things that make you cry your eyes out at night, and consume your mind and fears. However, these are the things that make you stronger. These are the things that make you learn in life, make you a better person, make you believe in hope and that things will get better. These are the things that mold you into the person you are meant to be. These are the things that prepare you to deal with future struggles, because there are sure to be many more. 

*Chocolate... need I say more, really?

*Health. As far as we know, in the current moment, we are both fairly healthy. Yes we have things to work on, or things we have to deal with. But, overall, we are both in good health standing at the moment. It could be way worse and I'm glad we are currently okay. 

*Music... I find multiple meanings in songs, and I pull quotes from them often. I can't sing or play an instrument (or really dance) to save my life, but I LOVE listening to all kinds of music. Depending on my mood, I will listen to 20 different types of music. It pumps me up, lets me think, lets me cry, and just kind of makes my day go round. Different moods pull different styles of music, and different music pulls different moods. I'm thankful to pull a lot of life wisdom and advice from songs. I'm constantly writing down song lyrics as little life lessons, mood boosters, signs from above, etc. 

Some current favs...

The Good Life~ One Republic "When you're happy like a fool, let it take you over.. When everything is out, you gotta take it in. Ohh, this has gotta be the good life, good life, good life..."

Be Okay~ Oh Honey "Can't complain about much these days, I believe we'll be okay..."

On Top of the World~ Imagine Dragons 

*Zumba... By stumbling across a Zumba class 4 years ago, it introduced me to many wonderful people and opportunities. It boosted my confidence, gave me some rhythm, and got me in shape. It's become my favorite go-to exercise because it's exercise in disguise. I need to get back on the exercise wagon now that my 2 weeks are up, but it's really one of the best ways for me to lose a few pounds, stay in shape, relieve stress, boost my mood, and be social. 
I'm sure there are plenty of things I am forgetting. In fact, I know there are. But you get the point. No matter how we struggle in life, it's important to look on the bright side and count our blessings, because we all have so many. It's so easy to get caught up in the sadness, depression, and negativity that our challenges and struggles bring. But without looking for the silver linings, your challenges will consume you and defeat you. We all have so many things to be thankful for, on a daily basis. Even on your darkest days, there's something or someone to be thankful for. Instead of listing what's going wrong, or who is against you, think of what's going right, and who is on your side supporting you. It helps to put things in perspective every once in a while and helps boost your mood as well. You can't overcome obstacles if you're always in the darkness.... It'll suck you right in unless you try to walk towards the bright side. 

Although our journey to a baby is a crummy one and is taking way longer than we ever anticipated, and taking everything we've got.... it's part of our journey, I can't change it, and I have so many things I'm currently taking for granted that are going right in my life. I have to focus on that. We all have a lot to smile about. There's always, always, always something to be thankful for. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

"Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
Blue birds fly
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Dreams really do come true ooh oh

Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me"

Someday, somewhere, somehow.... our dream will come true. We'll be a family. We'll be parents. We'll have a baby (or babies). We'll be complete. <3 Til then, I'll keep dreaming, and wishing, and hoping, and praying. :) 

Somewhere Over the Rainbow is one of my favorite songs, especially the version by Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole (see video below~ you can play as background music while you read... haha!). We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon (almost 7 years ago!! I wanna go back so badly!), and I've always had a soft spot for this song. We played it as part of our wedding slideshow too. We had a rainbow on our wedding day, and it's just a beautiful song. This isn't the official music video but this one has rainbows and pretty scenes all throughout, so it was more fitting for this post. Enjoy!

I've been thinking a lot lately about our loss, and all the insane emotions that come with it. I've also been daydreaming a lot about our rainbow baby and pulling inspiration and silver linings, life lessons, and positivity from experiencing an early miscarriage.

I still fall apart from time to time. Sometimes I don't even realize what causes it and I'm just plain sad or tired. I think some of that this week is because I can't exercise for another week (due to the methotrexate injection). Thankfully I didn't have any side effects from that, and I got word Friday that my levels are finally starting to go down. I think it'll take quite some time for them to balance out to 0, but at least it's on the right path. I'm so incredibly thankful that if I was meant to lose this pregnancy, that it happened when it did. I couldn't bare to lose it later on, or to not even know I had lost it. It downright sucks, but if it was meant to be, I will accept that fully someday. I'm working on it, and getting there.

So, what is a rainbow baby?? Urban Dictionary explains it pretty perfectly...

"A "rainbow baby" is a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth. In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.

The storm (pregnancy loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colorful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery."

This was a good explanation, too! 

 "There is a rainbow of hope at the end of every storm."

In talking to a coworker this week who has experienced a loss and now has 2 kids, she put it all in perspective for me. She's very religious and like me, believes that everything has a time and happens for a reason. She has been through this too and said she really believes that in a sense this loss is a blessing because now that soul will look after and protect our next child, and she really has a strong belief in that. Another close friend went through the same thing and swears that her child is looked after by their angel baby as well.

Similarly, my cousin Brittany sent me a text on Mother's Day (this year and last~ she's so sweet and is seriously a rock star!!) about what great parents we will make, and about our little one in Heaven. She is the best little cousin (even though she's not so little anymore!) and has become such a great friend, I'm so thankful for my family~ immediate and extended. They've all become such a great support, whether I'm mentioning you specifically or not, thank you. <3

Thanks, Britt!! LOVE YOU!! <3 <3
No rain, no rainbows... You can't have a rainbow without a bit of rain. You can't stand up tall and proud if you've never been hurt or known what being at the bottom feels like. Fall down 7 times, get up 8. It's all part of our journey and is molding us into the people we are meant to be, into the parents we are meant to be, of the baby we are meant to have. It's just a little speed bump and we will get past it, and it will make us stronger. I joked to Scott yesterday (during one of my emotional meltdowns), that it doesn't feel like a speed bump. It feels more like moguls, for crying out loud! Did I mention that neither of us are skiers?? Yea, makes it more challenging! haha ;)

Ok, so in all honesty, I really do know in my heart that it's for the best and our time will come. I do know that. What I don't know is WHY it has to happen to so many of us. WHY it has to happen multiple times to some people (some very loving and deserving people by the way~ some ttc sisters and some in real life folks). WHY some try for years and years to get pregnant and still nothing? I know for a fact, hands down, without a doubt, that all of those wonderful women will make amazing moms!! So WHY must they endure so much and wait so so long? It's just not fair. I wish there was a certainty to it all and it was just a matter of when. I know so many deserving mamas out there, and we are not getting any younger! (Despite what people say~ yes I'm "only 30"; yes I may "have time on my side".... but in the same sense, I wanted to be a fun young mom by 30. I know it's fine to have kids in your 30s, and Scott and I are so young-hearted, but still~ I want it to happen soon dammit!)

One more quick rant.... I was recently asked how things are going and if there are any babies yet. I know they meant well and I debated writing this because I feel bad, but it still did kind of make me shake my head. Now, this wasn't a bad question if it was in a text, email, or phone convo. But it was in person. I didn't think I had really gained that much weight (other than a few pounds from eating junk to drown my sorrows). I politely answered "no, not yet, still trying but having difficulty". There were kids around so I didn't want to get specific and talk about the miscarriage. Then I was asked if I had been on the pill a long time. I answered yes, and heard an explanation of how that could be causing trouble (I never thought of that!!.... total sarcasm here) and explained that yes although that could sometimes cause difficulty, it wasn't that. We are working with a fertility clinic and my husband is infertile, so we are going about things in a different route. And that it'll happen eventually. That was kind of it.

Again, I know people mean well, but it has become a pet peeve when some people deliver their thoughts and suggestions as if this must be the cause of your problems. Don't stress. Don't think about it too much. Don't try so hard. Try harder. Do it more often. Eat healthier. Stop overthinking. Take your temp and check when you ovulate, it'll work.... No. Trying to conceive does come down to a science, and at times these other things work and were the magic trick for other people... but none of it will be the fix for us. None of it. At all. The only way for us to conceive is with a bunch of fertility meds and donor sperm with a perfectly timed, and totally unromantic, somewhat embarrassing, procedure. That's it. That's the only way a baby is being made in this uterus, folks. So thanks for the advice, but no thanks.

I know I'm a bit bitter on this whole thing, but I think that's to be expected. Scott joked about what I would be like when I'm pregnant and my emotions/hormones are more out of whack than now, but I just cried some more and said I'll gladly take it in because it will mean there's a baby growing in there. Right now I'm feeling crazy and on an emotional roller coaster but there's NO baby in there. Nothing good out of this emotional wreck, so it sucks. I know I will probably eat my words and someday will be a cranky mess pregnant or after giving birth, but for right now I just want that experience so badly. Right now the pain and grief is for nothing. Just patiently waiting for my numbers to go down, for the pregnancy hormone to completely vanish from my body, and to be done with this. Good news~ as of Friday, it did start to go down.... I may have already written that, so if so, oops!! Sorry! But even though it's declining, it'll still take a while to reach zero and completely rebalance. So until then, I think I'm just going to be thrown for loops until we can start up again. Hopefully over the summer when I'm more relaxed and don't have to rush to work right after morning monitoring appointments... instead I can rush to the mall for some retail therapy, or to Megan's for some pool time!

I promise I'm okay overall. Most days I carry myself well and am distracted. Many/most people at school still have no idea (or so I think). Most days I do not cry and have a pity party. Just when I'm tired, cranky, haven't worked out in a while, can't drink a glass of wine to help, when I'm home alone, or when something randomly reminds me of what happened. Yesterday I had the same meal I had the day I found out we were pregnant and I immediately regretted ordering it for the reminder... oops. Stupid, but it crossed my mind. Hearing people in a restaurant talk about their crazy pregnancy food cravings. Hearing a certain song. Seeing pregnant characters on my fav TV shows. Finding out people are pregnant without even trying, or on their first try, or unplanned/unwanted. Hearing the kids at school ask if I have kids, why don't I have kids, or reminding each other I don't have kids. They're 5 and 6, they're sweet and mean well, and they have the biggest hearts, but I always think to myself "thanks for the reminder". I'm around kids 5days a week, I see them getting picked up by their moms after school daily. It's all around me. I can't avoid it. I just have to react to it in a healthy way, and mostly I do.

Another favorite life lesson...

In life, things happen to us. But in the end, it's our reactions that matter. We can't change the event, but we can choose what we do with it. You can choose to be negative and fall down and stay there, never seeing hope, and letting it define you.... OR, you can choose to be positive, learn from it, let it make you stronger, find a silver lining, and move on from it as a better person having gone through it.

I choose positivity, silver linings, strength, hope, and happiness.

What do you choose?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Another Unexpected Speed Bump

By this point, you'd think Scott & I would be used to setbacks and speed bumps. Bad news, unexpected news, curveballs, they're all one in the same. But no matter how many difficulties you go through in life, they just keep coming and don't really get any easier. This week was no different.

As I posted last week, I truly was accepting the fact that I miscarried and lost the baby. It is completely heartbreaking and devastating, but I'm thankful that it happened so early on and I really think it helped me to process and accept it faster. I was able to wrap my head around what happened, why it may have happened, and found comfort in the fact that it is so common- although completely cruel. 

I told a few people at work and I was beginning to accept it and be okay with it each day. Certain songs on the radio would make me cry and I would have sudden moments of unexplained sadness but I know that's to be expected and is all part of the healing process. I know I can't ignore these feelings and it's not healthy to push them down. Part of healing and moving on is accepting it and letting myself feel the emotions that come with difficulties. But I was doing all of that and was proud of myself for accepting it, working through it, blogging to get it all out, and exercising daily. I was proud of myself for doing 1 hard core workout each day for a full week~ Zumba and an interval/circuit class at the gym, T25 at home~ I felt good. Then Wednesday happened and threw a huge curveball in everything, knocking me down right back to where I was 2 weeks ago. 

After our appointment with the Dr. who confirmed I had miscarried, he said I would have blood tests weekly to check my hormones. Ideally, the pregnancy hormone would drop over time and when it reaches 0, we can start up again. I was certain I had passed everything on my own, there was no sac on the scan, and I felt fine, so naturally I thought we were good to go and numbers would decrease each week. Nope.

 I had a voicemail from my nurse Wednesday after school, and I checked it quickly before heading to a faculty meeting. I had no doubt that they'd be going down, and was just curious what she would report with numbers. To my complete shock, the message said that my numbers actually went up, which is what we don't want. I immediately lost it, crying and in a complete fog/full of confusion. How would this be possible? The thought of the baby actually making it, or another one being present didn't even cross my mind because my numbers were too low for this to even be possible. In my mind, this only meant one thing~ possible ectopic pregnancy (an embryo implanting somewhere other than the uterus- typically in one of the tubes, but could be anywhere). I called the nurse back and she was just as confused and surprised as I was. I asked if it could be ectopic and she said it *could* be but they weren't really sure. In looking up symptoms of an ectopic, I didn't fit any of them really. Numbers increase with it, yes, but usually they sky rocket and mine were just kind of slowly rising. Also they say you might be in extreme pain and that wasn't the case either. She said I needed to come back Friday to recheck my levels and also get extra blood drawn to test my liver function and a few other things. If they were still elevated or continuing to rise, I would need to come back that afternoon for an injection of methotrexate. 

I somehow managed to make it through the faculty meeting (which was longer than usual, as we were scheduled to stay from 3:30 to 5:00 this week~ go figure!). I drove home in a fog and texted Scott when I got home~ he was at work and I didn't want to bother him with something I couldn't really explain 100% and couldn't do anything about in the meantime. I also naturally started Googling methotrexate, ectopic pregnancies, reasons why HCG levels might rise other than pregnancy, etc etc. I know Google can be a very dangerous thing and I know not to take everything for face value that you read on the Internet. I also know it's an incredibly stupid thing when you're an emotional wreck because results will most likely scare you to death about things not true.... but I can't help it and it's often my go to when I don't have experts to talk to. 

Search results for methotrexate had me in tears. I was reading that it's a super serious drug used for cancer patients undergoing chemo, it's not a drug to be messed with, it has very serious risks and side effects, etc. I also read that you have to wait 3 months before trying to conceive after having the drug. Obviously this made me even more emotional and I was just completely losing it. I didn't want to tell our parents or broadcast it because I couldn't wrap my head around what was happening.

I didn't know if I actually needed it. 
I didn't know if my blood test was a fluke or not. 
I didn't know if I could handle waiting another 3 months after all we've been through. 
I didn't know what the drug would do to me. 
I feared having a tube rupture before Friday if it was indeed ectopic. 

I couldn't stop wondering why in the world this was happening to us. I had accepted our loss and started to move on. I now felt like I was being punished for handling it so well. "Oh, look, Stace is handling this all to well with her happy shiny positivity... let's go change that." I had wrapped my head around everything and now it was all being shaken up again. I didn't have answers. I didn't know what was happening or why. I couldn't answer anyone else's questions because I didn't have my own. I was an emotional wreck. I cried easily... very easily. I came home Thursday and took an almost 3-hour nap, barely ate anything, and cried myself to sleep until Scott came home, when I fell apart again. It was a rough rough day. I just wanted answers and wanted it all to be over so I could pick up the pieces and move on again. 

Friday came and I drove out to the clinic again for blood work, then was on the edge of my seat all afternoon waiting for the results call. Luckily we got out of work early (staff work day) at 2, and the call came at like 1:57. My numbers went up again. I needed to come get the injection. Thankfully, I was able to come home and get Scott so he could drive and be with me. I was an emotional, crying mess the entire drive out there, and even in the waiting room. I checked in and saw our patient coordinator behind the desk. She asked if I was okay, and normally I would automatically say "yea" even if I wasn't. This time, I wasn't even able to hold back and just said "nope" and started crying again. I felt so bad because I didn't want to be mean and felt like I even surprised her by my reaction. Oops. 

We got called back right away, and I'm glad it was my nurse on duty that day, so she could do it for herself. She gave me 2 information packets~ one was a consent to sign for the injection and to read all the possible risks and side effects, the other was aftercare info for home. I couldn't think or see straight and was just literally crying nonstop. While she went to prep the meds, our Dr. came in to check if I was okay. In asking if it was indeed ectopic, she said we couldn't really know. Nothing showed up on an ultrasound they did, I wasn't showing signs, but because of my numbers, we had to treat it as if it was for precautionary reasons. The shot would take the place of a D&C or other surgeries needed sometimes after miscarriages. In  most cases, the shot does the same thing. It targets rapidly dividing cells (in my case, pregnancy cells) and breaks them apart, so that whatever is left over in my system will stop and disappear. I told her my fear of waiting another 3 months on top of it (mad at my body for not just passing it all on its own), but she said that wasn't the case, and to stop Googling. hehe ;) (Enter Scott with an "I told ya so.") She said we just need to wait for the levels to reach 0, and we can go from there. She also said it shouldn't hurt our chances of conceiving again in the future either, so all of this gave me renewed hope immediately. All of that was a huge huge relief. 

Now all I had to do was face the injection... which was actually divided into 2 injections. Ick. We all know how much I hate needles. I've gotten good at blood draws. I got through 2 injections before IUI, but these were bigger needles and going into the muscle in my hip/butt area. Ouuuuuch! I was beyond nervous but my nurse is literally a rock star and I barely felt a thing for each. When she said "just a little pinch", it literally was just that. The Novocain shot before getting a cavity filled is literally worse than these were, combined. I thanked her a million times and was so happy it didn't hurt like hell. 

Only major drawbacks to the injection, for now, are no drinking or exercising for 2 solid weeks. I don't really mind the drinking one as I had really stopped anyway... but the exercise one made me mad. I had just done so so well, and now have to break for 2 weeks. Nothing outside of normal daily activity. Also can't take many medications and have to stop prenatal vitamins for the time being too. I always get into an exercise groove and then need to stop because of something like an injury, sickness, etc. Blah. Looking forward to getting back in after 2 weeks because it felt good and I was happy with myself, plus it was great stress relief. 

As we left the office, I was getting hugs from some of the nurses and I was instantly starting to feel more like myself. This was the closure I needed. I had the injection, I know what it's doing, and as long as it does it's job, we are good to go. I will continue to go for weekly blood checks of my levels and hope that they now start dropping, and we will be in good shape. So I'm praying for just that and we can put this all behind us. 

I can't wait to be done with all of the hiccups that come with fertility treatments. Just to name a few, here are some annoying things we go through:

-waking up at 5am & driving A LOT on days I need to go to the clinic. Morning monitoring is between 7 and 8 am, and the clinic is an hour from our house, and another hour to work. Work starts at 8:15, so I try to be there by 6:45 because it's first come, first serve and I need to be gone by 7:25 in order to just barely make it to work (it's actually 50 mins even). 

-so much driving. I got gas before the appt on Friday, and by the time I got to work, I had driven 95 miles. We did it twice on Friday too, and that didn't count the 20 miles from school to home. '

-multiple blood draws~ about 1-2 a week over the past few weeks, and 1 a week from now on. 

-Being glued to my phone between 12 and 2 on days I'm waiting on a call for blood test results. 

-internal ultrasounds. I hate those stupid tables, stirrups, and the damn ultrasound wand. Sometimes I hate being a girl. 

-fertility meds. Whether it be Clomid, Ovidrel injection before IUI, or now Methotrexate. Ugh. 

-all the mental stress, frustration, confusion, etc. It truly is an emotional roller coaster... the mack daddy of emotional roller coasters.

-the fact that only so many people truly get it. We've been fortunate to have an amazing support system and everyone tries so hard and means so well, and it's appreciated so so much. But at the end of the day, it's only 100% relatable if you've been in the same boat. 

That's it for now. No frilly pic quotes with this one. Just had to get it all out... actually I do have one that I'll close with, but it's not in pic form. Sorry I can't EVER seem to get my posts to be short enough to read within 5 mins~ I envy all my fellow blogger friends who can say all of this in just a few paragraphs. I always feel the need to write and retell every. single. detail.... for no reason. Oh well. Again, not offended if you don't read, I really started it all more for myself to get it out there. So for now, please pray that the injection works and my numbers go down over the next week, and that we don't have to wait another eternity to conceive and become parents. I now won't pray to get pregnant, but to actually have a live, healthy baby in our arms one day. 

"God gives us only what we can handle. Apparently God thinks I'm a bad-ass." ;) 

P.S... Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there! New moms, pregnant moms, angel moms, and those trying desperately to become moms. <3 xoxo

Thursday, May 1, 2014

"No Rain, No Rainbows".... Bent, but Not Broken

This is not the kind of post I ever thought I would write.... ever.  

The short version of the story (spoiler alert!!)...

Last week I was pregnant... but this week I am not. 

Last week, we were expecting our first baby... and this week it feels as though it was just a dream. Last week, we were jumping for joy and feeling on top of the world. This week, it was all taken away. I was very newly pregnant but had an early miscarriage and lost it. Even though it was very early, in our minds and hearts it's still a huge loss. Others may not agree but I still consider it a miscarriage because I was pregnant and now I'm not. I was 5 weeks 1 day when it started, and 5 weeks 3 days when it was confirmed by our fertility clinic. I had a miscarriage. I am 1 in 4. Add another depressing statistic to us. 1 in 8 for infertility. 1 in 4 for miscarriage. Why can't we be the 1 in ___ odds to win the lottery?? 

If you're just finding out for the first time while reading this, I promise you're not alone. I've only told a very very small circle of people this week. It was so early that I didn't want to announce it to the world yet, so most people are only finding out this way. I'm sorry you're not hearing it from me first personally (well, in a way you are), but I can't possibly call/text/email everyone I know to tell them this awkward and depressing news. This is the best and easiest way for me to do so. There's a lot of people I wanted to tell, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. I needed time to process this all on my own first and then I will be able to talk about it more and more as each day passes.

We are crushed. We are sad. We are angry. We are hurt. We cry at random times. But I've decided today that I'm bent, not broken. We will bounce back. We will try again. We will grow from this and we will come out stronger once again. Team Ricci has been through so much over the past 2.5 years and this is just another bump in the road that we will get through. It won't stop us. It is now a huge part of our journey and we will keep moving forward with determination, hope, and positivity. 

I'm not really sure how this post will turn out. I don't have any creative writing ideas with this one. No funny stories to make it all better (well, maybe 1 but it's too embarrassing to write so the only thing that made Scott and I laugh about this all weekend won't be appearing here, sorry. I'll keep it to ourselves.). No real plan... Just going with the flow. 

There's probably a million questions going around in your head (there are in mine, too, don't worry) and perhaps a few of them will be answered by the time I'm done writing this. Perhaps a few of them won't be either, but that's the way life goes. I have a ton of questions that will never be answered in all of this either. I apologize in advance for the very high likelihood that this post will be super confusing, full of grammatical and spelling errors, mistakes, out-of-sequence events, awkwardness, and whatever else seems weird about reading it. Again, just going with it. 

Why am I even writing a post about this in the first place?? First and foremost, I'm writing it for myself. I need to vent in order to grieve and process all of my mixed emotions. I need to write it all out to let it all out. It's also part of our journey and I don't want to ignore that. This loss is now forever a part of me and I don't want to pretend like it never happened. I've been open with our whole fertility journey up to this point and I don't want to leave out a really important (and huge) piece of the puzzle. I also can't gain support from others if they don't know I need it. I realize there will be some people who don't agree with me publicizing this, but it's honestly my personal decision and something I need to do for myself. I respect the fact that a lot of people keep quiet about miscarriages and loss, and I completely understand that. I don't and won't judge anyone for keeping quiet who has ever gone through this or something similar. I believe it all comes down to personal preference and what you need for you. For me, I both need and want to do this. Scott's on board and approves, so that's really all I need. 

Let me backtrack a bit and catch you up. My last post was mid-March, during the two week wait from our first IUI procedure. Those two weeks were brutal in terms of waiting but I was SO insanely positive it was like I immediately knew I was pregnant. Literally every day, there was some crazy insane sign that it worked. I saw a huge billboard outside the train window late that night that said "Today's the day.". Certain songs kept playing on the radio almost every time I was in the car ("Best Day of My Life" by American Authors, "On Top of the World" by Imagine Dragons, "All of Me" by John Legend.... you get the idea). I was having good physical symptoms too (swore I was feeling implantation cramps, felt like there was a happy and positive aura about me, one of my best friends and my dad both told me I was glowing and literally looked pregnant). So I thought it was a done deal.... until my period came. Not pregnant. It came 2 days before I was supposed to go in for my blood test. I was blindsided and heartbroken, but also thankful my body told me on my own before going for the test. I was crushed because I literally had myself SO convinced that I was pregnant. After all we'd been through, I thought it actually magically happened on the first try like so many other people I know. Nope. Just a cruel, cruel joke. I was so depressed for like a full 2 days, and then I bounced back up ready to take on round 2. 

Luckily my state of mini depression happened over the weekend (maybe Mother Nature isn't completely evil after all~ she did save me from turning my world upside down while at work. The weekend was maybe a blessing in disguise). By Monday I was back at the clinic ready to go for round 2. Full speed ahead. The first monitoring appointment was with my favorite Dr. and even though I burst into tears when he asked how I was, he assured me that everything went well with cycle #1. I responded well to all the meds, our donor sample had really great numbers/stats, etc. He assured me that things went as well as they could have, and it's really only a matter of time and we'll get there. I secretly adore this particular Dr. because he has the best bedside manner and is so comforting and positive. I completely recognize how weird this sounds given the type of Dr. he is, but I do not mean it in an inappropriate way whatsoever~ I swear. All I'm saying is after talking to this Dr. you just feel more positive and optimistic about the next steps. So I left cycle number 1 in the past and moved on to cycle 2 with high yet realistic hopes. 

Cycle 2 was different from cycle 1 in almost every possible way. With cycle 1, my Dr did both monitoring appointments and the procedure (just by luck, depending on the day and the schedule of the office). Cycle 2, it was our fav Dr for 1 monitoring and the IUI procedure, as well as a diff Dr we met for the first time with the second monitoring. In cycle 1, I took my temp every day and charted it, which caused a lot of stress and anxiety each morning for both me and Scott as to what my temp was. Cycle 2, I threw the thermometer in my nightstand drawer and haven't touched it since. In cycle 1, I was on Clomid for days 5-9, but for cycle 2 I was on it days 3-7. Cycle 1, the school nurse gave me my trigger shot, but cycle 2 I did it MYSELF!!! (Talk about feeling strong and empowered!! This is a fun story for a separate post.... I'm so proud of myself). Cycle 1 I felt 1000000% positive and optimistic, cycle 2 I felt more even keel and realistic. Cycle 1 didn't work, cycle 2 did. 

I kept notes on all symptoms I was feeling for the two week wait for each cycle. After cycle 1 failed, I wanted to do the same thing for cycle 2 and cross reference. This way, if I was seeing a pattern, I didn't want to get too excited. The way I felt after cycle 2 was so different. I didn't have a happy positive glow. I didn't get all these crazy signs. I didn't think it worked. Then one day, about 9 days after the IUI, I woke up and felt like I was getting sick. I felt slightly nauseous, but honestly didn't think pregnancy. It was humid out so the windows were open, and the bathroom was hot after I showered, so I felt like I was overheated. I went to work but as the day went on, I felt weaker and weaker. I didn't have a fever but was freezing all day at school and had no energy to do anything. By the time I got home, I was in tears and complaining of a headache, achy body, and having hot/cold flashes. Scott was home and immediately thought I was pregnant because he had never seen me this bad. I honestly felt like I was getting the flu or something. I took a half day the next day for a Dr appt and also had acupuncture. By then I was starting to feel better, but still not myself. It really felt like I was fighting something off, like a virus, but it never really came. By Wednesday I was much better but still not 100%, until I got home. We had a mini spring break (lost most of it due to using all our snow days, plus 3), so perhaps I was feeling better because it was now a 4 day weekend?! ;) That afternoon, I started spotting as if my period was coming soon... but it was way too early. I wasn't expecting it for another 3-4 days and I never spot that early. Maybe 1-2 days early, but never 3-4. This was my first and only inclination that maybe, just maybe, it worked?? An embryo can implant anywhere between 6 and 12 days past ovulation, and this was day 11. I was starting to gain a glimmer of hope, but over the next 2 days I wasn't sure because signs of early pregnancy also mimic signs of getting your period. Yet another cruel Mother Nature joke... Guys really do have it easier sometimes!! 

Fast forward to blood test day... the longest day of my life. I went in at 7am for blood work and the call didn't come until 1:15. Longest 6+ hours.. of. my. life.... Woa, talk about brutal. I was pretty much a ball of nerves all day until the phone call came. I'll never forget it. Scott and I were sitting on the couch, anticipating the call (between 12 and 2 they say!). Our nurse said hi, asked how I was, and said that my blood results looked really good. I remember pausing and saying, in shock, "...does that mean what I think it means???!!", to which she replied "...Yup, you're pregnant!!". I think I shouted with joy, Scott and I both started crying, and then the nurse talked specifics with me. When they do a pregnancy blood test, it basically measures how much of the pregnancy hormone is in your system. When the embryo attaches itself to your uterus, it starts producing and releasing the hormone. It rises over time and typically doubles every 2-3 days. Anything over 25 is considered pregnant, or so she said. My level was 30, which was on the low side... however, my test was at only 13 days post IUI. Usually they test 14-16 days past. I don't know why they scheduled me early this time but they did. So, given that it was a day early, they were actually happy with the 30. This was Friday and I was set to go back on Monday to check the level again, which should double if all was good. My level Monday ended up being 75, so it was a good rise (more than double). I went back again Wednesday and it jumped again to 153 (another double), so they said I was good to go for scheduling my first ultrasound scan at 5 and a half weeks, to check for the gestational sac. 

Here I go jumping around again... back to finding out. We were overjoyed, thrilled, SHOCKED, so excited, and just in complete bliss on cloud 9. We couldn't believe it. Scott instantly glowed in the fact that he knew before I did that I was pregnant. We believe my little spell of being sick earlier in the week was a sign of my body trying to say "what the heck is going on in here?!". I think it was trying to fight off some unknown substance, thinking it was a virus, when it was just the little embryo trying to snuggle in and attach itself. I guess I'll never know, but it sure was interesting to say the least. 

Naturally, we told the grand news to our parents that weekend. In any other new pregnancy, people wait a lot longer than a few hours or days to share the happy news. But keep in mind we told the world when we started our first IUI cycle. When it failed, we told many people who we see or talk to on a regular basis. That meant a lot of people knew when cycle 2 started. So those people figured out when we would be finding out results from cycle 2 and examining whether or not I was in a great mood or a crummy mood. And when it's me we're talking about, I wear my heart and emotions on my sleeve... on my face... in my walk... in my voice.. in my presence. So hiding it was not really an option. I'm an awful liar and wouldn't have been able to act as if I was upset that my period had come again. I honestly hadn't thought about what I would do if it was positive. So, we told our parents pretty much ASAP. I called my grandma immediately. She's our only living grandparent and I decided a while ago that she would be the first to know. She lives in Florida and I don't see her much; she's not getting any younger; so naturally I wanted her to be the first to know. 

Being Easter weekend, I themed Easter reveals around sharing the news with some of the grandparents. We surprised Scott's parents first, the following day, with an Easter basket and eggs with hidden messages inside each. Together it spelled out "you are going to be grandparents". We also gave them an Easter card from the little jellybean (even though it was just the size of a poppyseed). I called my mom next and FaceTimed with her, getting her opinion on two bibs for a friend having a baby soon. The bibs were both grandma-themed, and it took her a minute to get what I was really saying. My dad came over early on Easter to help me dye eggs (we said Scott hates doing them bc it's "childish" hehe... really, he loves doing it!) and I pre-wrote messages on them to reveal "Hi Pop!", "we're pregnant" after dyed. The rest said "Baby Ricci due in December". We also told Uncle Brian and Uncle Mark that week too, with a cute little onesie that said "Uncle's No. 1 cutie".  All of them were very fun reveals and I have pics of a lot of them to keep and cherish forever. It was a lot of fun and I was so excited to take part in a fun holiday baby announcement for family, yet the whole time I was so so nervous of jinxing things because it was so early. 

Every time we announced it, my next line was "it's super early though, so I'm really scared of losing it". Again, most people do NOT announce so early. At this point I was just barely 4 weeks (2 weeks since conception, but it starts with day 1 of your period, so 2 weeks are really freebies). Most people do not announce until they've passed 12 weeks safely. But since so many people knew when IUI was, we couldn't hide it so decided to share it. Even though I was nervous of losing it, I didn't actually think that I would. 

This quickly became the happiest week of our lives. I kept putting my hand on my lower belly instinctively, as a comfort and connection to the little seed growing inside. Scott kept doing the same and would give me the cutest and most loving glance. He'd call me Baby Mama and just hug me with the sweetest smile. We were both soooooo insanely happy. I started downloading pregnancy apps on my phone, started dusting off and reading pregnancy books that have been sitting and waiting for me to open them, and started planning out how our empty little spare room would look as a baby nursery. I ordered new dad books for Scott and started stalking Pinterest with baby announcement photo ideas to hang onto. 

With each new blood test, I was so extremely anxious for the results. I had such a nervous feeling that my numbers were too low. I would glance back at numbers posted on Instagram of other TTC girls and mine were wayyyyy lower. My nurse kept assuring me that it was the rise they were concerned about, not the numbers themselves, but I just couldn't ignore it. I really felt like it was just too low of a number each time, even though it was doubling as hoped. I was almost mad in a sense that I even knew the numbers because knowing too much can sometimes be a disadvantage. "Normal" couples who don't need a fertility clinic for assistance can just pee on a stick, wait 3 mins, and see their fate in the result of a home pregnancy test. Positive or negative. A simple black and white YES or NO. Nothing more. Pregnant is pregnant, go on your merry way. But not for me. I had a number attached, and it was a low number. I got so upset and hung up on my numbers that I wished I could just be normal, pee on a stick, see "Pregnant" and stop there. So finally I peed on a stick, saw "Pregnant", jumped for joy, cried for joy, took a few cute pics and tried to feel "normal" like my other friends who only knew based off that one home test. I have to say it made it feel more official and more fun. 

Fast forward a few days and it's now last Friday. Weird thing is that the home test suddenly said nothing in the window (yup, I kept it... and it had previously said "Pregnant" for a good 3 days)... blank screen, nada. I was sad and said "wow, that's kind of depressing, it's gone just like that". That night, we were flying to Disney to surprise my dad for his 60th birthday, so I was all packed and ready to go straight from school. During the day at school, I started spotting brown (sorry, TMI alert), but there was A LOT of it. I felt like I was getting my period, but the nurse assured me that spotting was normal for the first few weeks, especially brown. If it turns bright red, I should contact them immediately, but brown was fine. I certainly didn't feel fine. I felt like something was wrong and was very on-edge all afternoon. I was trying to text Scott about it at lunch and must have looked flustered because a coworker sitting across from me picked up on it immediately as I was frantically pecking at the buttons on my phone to tell Scott I was trying so hard to hold it together and not lose hope. Busted. Oops. But I held my cool and said I was ok, just focusing on something. I'm such a bad liar. By the time Scott got me after school, I was a nervous wreck~ I just had a gut feeling that something wasn't right. But everything the nurse told me was trying to keep us sane, and Scott was so so optimistic and not giving in to my craziness at all. But no matter what I read or what I was told, I couldn't shake the feeling that something was not right. 

I realize this is incredibly long so I want to try and breeze through the Disney part, as that's not important to this post. Maybe I'll save it for another. Long story short, we surprised Dad in Disney. My brother and his family were there and my dad knew he'd see them, but didn't know Scott & I would show up. So it was a really wonderful little family reunion and we had a great time hanging out with Mark, Stacie, and the kids. It was much needed family time and I'm thankful we got to have a great weekend with them, despite the turmoil happening within my uterus. 

Late Friday night there was a little bit of blood, and I immediately fell apart. Like sobbing, runny nose, snot-faced, gut-wrenching, won't stop tears. It was bad. I think that's the first sign I really knew something was bad. But Scott was sooooo good. He kept strong the whole time and kept telling me not to worry, let's see what the morning brings. By the morning, it was long gone and back to brown, an okay sign according to many. Even knowing this, and happy it wasn't red, I stilllll was just not at peace with it. We met up with the family group at Universal Studios and I sat out most rides (actually all but 1) because of warnings for expectant mothers. Even though I had a bad feeling about the outcome, I had to still act as if I were pregnant.... Innocent until proven guilty, pregnant until proven not. This was hard for the thrill-ride enthusiast in me, but I knew it was for a good cause and didn't mind. I just wish I didn't feel so uneasy about whatever was happening in my uterus. Even knowing brown is ok (apparently brown means old blood, and could just mean the embryo is settling in deeper), I just couldn't wrap my head around the WHY so much and WHERE is it all coming from, or WHEN will it stop. Looking back now, I totally and completely knew all was not right with the world (the world being my new baby in my belly). 

Fast forward to Sunday morning... I convinced Scott to go to Magic Kingdom with me to take cute pics on Main Street in front of the castle. This was our only Disney park day and it was for Epcot, but MK is my fav just for the magic feeling you get while walking around and I really really wanted to be there for the little bean and to get the happy pregnant feelings back. I have to say it totally worked and I loved being there for the good hour that we were there. But a few hours later, while walking around Epcot, my world came crashing down. I went to the bathroom and saw blood... red blood... and enough of it to worry. Did I mention the bathroom was soooo far from where we had been, and where Scott still was? It was probably the length of a football field away (may not seem like that far, but when you can't think straight and just want to bawl your eyes out, then have to walk that distance back, through a crowd of excited Disney-goers, while holding it together... it's not an easy task) and felt like an eternity to get back. I had texted Scott from the bathroom stall saying we needed to leave ASAP. Scott and I had been with my dad and nephews at the time, so I tried to whisper to my dad what was going on and we booked it back to the hotel room (pretty far walk). The whole time, Scott was telling me to breathe, held my hand, rubbed my back, and just tried to keep me calm. As much as I wanted to be positive, I knew my world was ending. I knew the baby wasn't sticking around much longer. Why me? Why here? Why now? Another cruel joke. Let's take away the baby while at the happiest place on earth... Oh, it's your favorite vacation spot?? Nope not anymore. (Hopefully that will change again soon).

As I'm sobbing and laying down with Scott in the hotel room, we called the emergency number for our clinic and they paged the on call nurse, who called back within 10-15 mins. I couldn't even speak because I was sure my world was crashing down, and Scott talked to the nurse and gave her all the specifics of what I was experiencing. She asked if I was having severe cramps and made it sound like it was a good thing that I wasn't, so Scott held onto that as his saving grace. It basically felt like I had my period~ I had cramps but pretty mild/moderate on and off. She said that my scan for Thursday should be pushed up to Tuesday when we'd be back in town, so they could check out what was going on. I was already missing a day of school Monday for being away, so had to call in sick for Tuesday and head to the Dr. I'm barely out of work, so when I'm out for 2 days in a row, the whole building notices and everyone was asking how I was upon my return yesterday (ick). I had to brush it off as if I got sick over the weekend and left it at that. (Although now you all know the truth for those of you from work that follow this). 

The nurse also said to take it easy. It's important to note that we had been walking around A LOT, and in the high heat, all day for 2 days, so Scott thought that might have something to do with it. We couldn't abandon all plans for the next day completely (I had to eat at some point and wasn't missing the big birthday dinner!), so Scott wheeled me around in a wheelchair for a good 24 hours until we headed home. I was sooo embarrassed at first (people stared at me because I looked fine, even though really not walking did make it a bit better and made me feel better too) but finally realized it was nice to be pushed around. Plus, my youngest nephew kept wanting free rides on the wheelchair so sat on my lap and Scott got a nice workout pushing us both up and down hills! 

Waking up Monday morning, I hoped things would have gotten better from Sunday, and even our group was asking me about it, hoping for the same. In fact, just the opposite happened, and things were getting worse. More blood. More red. More fear. More sadness. More certainty that things were probably not ok. 

When we finally got to go home, I had never been so happy to leave Disney... who knew I would EVER feel that way!!  I am always soooo sad to leave there, but this time I just wanted to be home in my own bathroom, bed, house, etc. I wanted answers and closure for whatever was happening. Waking up Tuesday morning was hard because as much as I wanted answers, I didn't want the baby to be gone. I didn't want to lose the feeling of knowing I was pregnant and going to be a mama soon. 

We got to the clinic and we were the only ones there. My favorite nurse was there that day for the blood draw and instantly asked how I was and had a big hug ready for me when I started crying and said I was scared. To our surprise, our fav Dr happened to be there that day, too (not normaly his day in this location). We couldn't have asked for better staff to be there for us. We went in for the ultrasound and the Dr explained that although blood is usually cause for concern, it's not always an end-all bad sign, so he would see what's up. He said he would be looking for the gestational sac, which would look like a small black dot. I laid back, held Scott's hand tightly, and just stared at his face to watch for reactions (he could see the ultrasound screen but I couldn't). The Dr kept poking around, trying to find something, and I just knew it was taking too long. Sure enough, there was nothing there, and he had to deliver the awful news that the baby was gone and I had indeed miscarried and lost it. My uterus was now completely empty and the blood I was losing was most likely from losing the baby. He felt so bad and was trying to say all the right things to comfort us. Even though I knew it in my heart, hearing it is a different story and just leaves you feeling empty and lonely, and sad. Very very sad. The Dr said it was most likely a chemical pregnancy, meaning egg and sperm fertilized and attached, releasing the pregnancy hormone, but it just didn't stick for whatever reason. A lot of times it's a chromosomal defect, or something is just not of good quality with the embryo, something is just not right and your body tries to get rid of it. Lots of people could have the same early miscarriage that I did at 5 weeks and never know because it's just like your period being a full week late. Only difference is I knew because we were monitoring every step so closely so we knew that's why it took so long. An embryo did indeed attach, but then let go all too soon. 

The nurse told us to take as much time in the room as we needed, and naturally we both lost it and couldn't stop crying for a good 5-10 minutes. I didn't cry as much as you would think, because I had been mentally preparing myself for the worst all weekend (rather than fully focusing on making fun memories with family like I should have been, and would have rather been). The nurse gave me so many hugs that morning (she's my fav!) and just kept saying our positive attitude would help us next time. Before he left the room, I asked the Dr when we could start again and he was happy with my outlook as well. He said (as did my Dr, who called today to check on me) that the good thing is conception happened, so that is something to celebrate. That means things are working properly for now and that's good news. It worked on the second try and so we've come a little further each time. Baby steps. Hopefully it'll stick in the next few tries.

Needless to say, this weekend was extremely difficult. Tuesday was extremely difficult. It sucks big time and is really really depressing. It's not fair. We've already been through so much difficulty and heartbreak, that it doesn't seem fair to keep kicking us when we are down, or just starting to get up. But it happened. I keep crying at random times for the most random things. But yet I also have closure from Tuesday's scan and talk with the Dr, so we can only move onward and upward from here.  I don't see any other option. I don't want to dwell on it because then I can't move forward fully. I will forever be grateful for the experience of feeling pregnant and happy for about a week and I can't wait for the chance to experience that again. I would have been due on December 27th, so now everything Christmas will probably make me cry. Walking by the Christmas store at Disney made me burst into tears because I wanted to buy an ornament and take a pic in there this weekend too, but couldn't bring myself to do it and now I'm glad I didn't. I was all set and excited to be taking off the rest of the school year after Christmas break, and was so thrilled with the perfect timing. But, ha, joke is on me and I'll now be there until at least February and probably later. 

We have to take time off before starting again because we have to keep checking my hormone levels weekly and wait until they balance out again. So that will take some time. I'm taking the break to workout again and eat healthier, to get fit and stronger for the next try. It's also great stress relief to be working out and using all the emotions to fuel my workouts. I did Zumba last night and T25 tonight, and it was easier than in the past. Anger and sadness definitely motivated me to push further each night.


I've also decided to NOT tell anyone when we get the green light to start up again. It will be easier for me if people don't ask, and if people don't know we're even going. If people know we're going, I feel obligated to tell them the results, or try to avoid them so my body language doesn't give it away. Telling people we were pregnant and then telling them we lost it a week later was too much and I can't do it again. I want this to just be between me and Scott, and if people know when the procedure is, they know when to ask me how I'm feeling and what's happening. It's too much and I can't do another early announcement. I didn't like doing it the first time and I refuse to do it again. So I know I said this before when we started, but unless I have another miscarriage (Please, Lord, don't do that to us), I won't be updating/announcing until we are pregnant AND reach the safety zone of 12 weeks. That combination could take a really long time, so please be patient with us. I know so many of you out there care about us, pray for us, and support us. We are so thankful for that and I ask that you respect this as well. This was just too hard telling close loved ones and then yanking it away a week later. I want to do it right next time and wait, unless we have another loss and I need more support. Please pray for us to get through this and to have healthy and positive results in the future. 

I'll make a few separate posts perhaps on different side stories that branch off of this. How we're coping, etc, but nothing about the status of what's to come other than that we have to take a break for now until they clear us to start again, whenever that may be. 

It sucks and we are really miserable over this, but I'm also gearing up to move ahead pretty quickly I think. I had time to prepare and knew what my body was trying to tell me. I've already started finding silver linings in all of this to help me cope and being back to work is a good distraction. Scott started training for his new job yesterday (yup, got a new job~ YAYYYYY!!!!), so it's the start of a new chapter for us. This is another puzzle to the bigger picture for us and it's a stepping stone that is forever a part of us and our story. I think it will give me strength to keep going and I hope we will get a bit closer each time. 

It's now 3 hours after I started this, and I have to get to bed. I don't even have time to go back and edit or proof-read this, but it is what it is. I'll write more this weekend of a few other things on my mind as well as some missing pieces, because I know there are some. I knew this would be a long post but I honestly didn't intend it to be this long... oops. I don't know how to tell a story with just the important parts because they're all important to me. 

On a good note, I'm not even crying as I write this. In a weird way though, I hope this doesn't come across as me having no feeling or no heart. I just think I've gotten most of the bulk of the sadness out already and it's almost a full week from knowing in my heart that I lost the baby. I've known officially for 2 days but knew deep down when things started to feel different last Friday. Closure does wonders and I finally have that. Nothing I can do but hope and keep moving forward, so that's what I have to do, while keeping this little jellybean (poppyseed) forever in my heart. 

Thanks for sticking with me this long. Hugs are appreciated... just try not to make me cry if you see me in person. I hate crying in front of people, especially in public. Once the waterworks start, I can't reign them in easily. This was so easy for me because it's written. Texts and emails are good. I do well with them. :) If you have been through this and have any advice, we would greatly appreciate it. All I ask is that you please don't feel bad for us or pity us. This is in no way a pity post. I just wanted to be up front and honest, and update before rumors fly that I'm pregnant. I want to avoid questions and glances over the next few months, so knowing nothing is there nor possible for a while again will help with that. 

Off to bed. Sweet dreams <3 

Stace <3