Category Archives: Pregnancy loss

Continuing the Conversation

I want to keep sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet this year, so here are three new posts to share.

‘Why I kept quiet about my infertility for five years’

Kayleigh Evans and her husband had been trying to get pregnant for three years when she decided to record small video blogs in secret. After a full five years of waiting, she finally got pregnant with their two month old son. And now she has created a compilation of these videos to share with others what it’s like to go through infertility.

7 Tips for Keeping Your Relationship Strong When Dealing With Infertility

Some really good insight into keeping your relationship healthy when you are dealing with either infertility or pregnancy loss. A lot of it is on different ways communication can help and hurt.

Woman shocked by friend’s incredibly ‘cruel’ comment after her miscarriage

This was an article about an anonymous post on Reddit. Unfortunately, this kind of conversation happens so much more often than most people realize. But I wanted to share it so that anyone who experiences things like this know that they aren’t alone (and anyone who says things like this might stop saying it).

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

Six years

Dates are important to me. I keep a running list of anniversaries in my Google Calendar. It’s the easiest way to keep track of them for me. I just set it on repeat and have it never end. We have the usual suspects – wedding anniversary and birthdays, but I also have the day we bought our house and the day we got our first car together. And then there are the other anniversaries. The ones that are connected to my pregnancy loss.

Two of those anniversaries happen this month. And this week, my calendar reminded me of one. The very first time I saw a positive pregnancy test. The pregnancy that ended in an early miscarriage. I remember where I was and what I felt as that small little square turned into a plus sign. I remember looking at it over and over again, just making sure I wasn’t seeing things.

After I had the miscarriage, so many women told me their own stories. These memories remind about how strong these women are. Most of them carry their stories silently for years. How isolating it can feel! I remember how this spurred me on to write more openly about my own experiences. I wanted to help others not feel alone and remind them that they are full of God-given worth and value.

All of this started in March of 2013, 6 years ago. I had no idea, staring at that little plus sign, just what was in store for me. Through every up and down, I’m so thankful for God, my family, and this community who have walked with me every step of the way.

Continuing the Conversation

I want to keep sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet this year, so here are three new posts to share.

How Infertility and Depression Made Me Reconsider My Parenting Dream

This is a beautiful, personal article about the reasons why Stephanie Auteri decided not having another child after dealing with over three years of infertility, an IUI, and finally having her little girl. Following the birth of her daughter, her depression became unmanageable without medication. It is well written and a reminder that we all have the right to respect for our family decisions.

Do you silently worry that your miscarriage was your fault?

Another really great post. I think every woman goes through this line of thinking after a miscarriage. I know I did. Some of the questions that this author listed were the same ones I asked myself. And it doesn’t help that there are so many different opinions on what a healthy pregnancy should look like (outside of the advice of my doctor, that is). This article has some good, helpful insight.

Pregnancy After Miscarriage: Why I Can’t Shake the Fear of Another Pregnancy Loss

Oh my goodness, this seems to be the week for articles to come out that hit so close to home. The first sentence of this article actually articulates the feelings I had at 8 months. And it was so much easier to write about it or do a video instead of talking about it in person. It’s why I didn’t have a baby shower before he was born. So, so good. Please read!

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

3 Lessons I Learned From Change

I am not a big fan of change. Even good changes can stress me out. But change is inevitable in life. Change is growth. But my natural response to change is to either resist, avoid, or deny that it is even happening or try to control that change through organizing, planning, and scheduling.

In America, it is highly valued to be able to react quickly, think on your feet, and be flexible (meaning embracing change and moving on without problems). But I’ve come to realize that this is not one of my strengths. If anything change in my life has taught me three things.

I need processing time to organize my new normal. This may be a bit over-analytical, but every change, big or small, creates a slightly (or hugely) new normal. Whether it’s getting up or going to bed at a different time or sleeping in a new place. Whether it’s a new friendship or the fading of an old friendship. I realize that I need to take time to grieve what is changing and let it go to move into my new normal. Depending on what it is, that time could be a few minutes to a few months. But giving myself space and grace to process it really helps me in the long run.

I need to adjust my expectations. I have a tendency to think in extremes. But facing change, there is always a balance. I can acknowledge the hard parts without idealizing the good that may also come with change. I can also open my eyes to the blessings in the midst of storms. When I lost my daughters, I knew that I would be entering into a new normal without them here. Looking for the good in everyday moments reminded me that this new normal would not be all bad. I would get stronger. I would have days in the future that I would be able to remember them and honor them. And I also knew that I would have face down, fetal position, ugly crying moments as well. And that all of these moments were going to be a part of this new normal, a balance that I could completely embrace without shame or naivete.

I need to recognize that the next change is coming. Heraclitus, the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, said: “Change is the only constant in life.” It’s really easy for me to get comfortable in my daily rhythms and routines. But remembering that change is going to happen again allows me to slow down and embrace today. Nothing that I’m experiencing today is forever. Just looking back through this blog, I see moments like saying goodbye to our Boxer or changing the flooring in our living room. Nothing really stays the same for very long. Plus, slowing down allows me to work in the processing time that I need. If I’ve filled my days with busyness, then I can get overwhelmed with unexpected change happens. So, I create margins ahead of time.

Slowing down and resisting the urge to fill up my calendar or try to be busy all the time is probably the biggest help for me when it comes to new changes in my life. To create that margin of rest and allow me to process and adjust. Of course, this is what has worked for me, what I’ve learned through the changes in my life. I don’t always react to change well, but each time is an opportunity for growth, so even if I completely mess up, I can walk away learning a little more about myself and the world around me.

Continuing the Conversation

I want to keep sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet this year, so here are three new posts to share.

New Book Explores the Unique Experience of Grieving Miscarriage as a Couple

Another book is coming out to help couples! The couple who wrote this particular book experienced both infertility and pregnancy loss, but also have four healthy boys, so their perspective is interesting. They are also Catholic so that plays into the book as well.

This particular article was written by a woman who experienced a miscarriage while her husband was out of town (and out of the country) on business. Such a good, honest article about the marital relationship around miscarriage.

What I Wish Others Knew About Secondary Infertility

Scary Mommy always has some pretty good articles about infertility and pregnancy loss. This one is Amira Posner’s journey having a child and then unexpectedly experiencing secondary infertility, IUDs and IVF. Great post.


From IVF to Miscarriages: 5 Ways We Can Talk About Infertility

This article was inspired by the recent book, Becoming, by Michelle Obama. It outlines ways that pregnancy loss and infertility need to become part of the open conversation and why. Really great article.

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

You’re Not Late

Waiting sucks. According to the New York Times in 2012, Americans wait 37 billion hours in line each year. In a world that values the quick and immediate, waiting just seems to be something abnormal.

I never thought I would have to wait for children.

There were so many things to grieve when I lost my daughters. One of those things was the fact that I had to wait. After my first miscarriage, I had to wait three months before trying again. Then I had to wait to get pregnant. After my first daughter’s stillbirth, I had to wait six months, and then again to get pregnant. And after my second daughter’s stillbirth, it was another six months, and again even longer to get pregnant.

All the while, others were getting pregnant and having healthy babies. I watched as the kids who were born around the same time as my daughters grow up. And I was still in the waiting place.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I started asking myself if it was too late. Should I have started trying to have kids sooner? Should I be looking at other options? Was there anything I could do to speed up this process of waiting?

But now I realize that God’s timing was perfect. It’s always perfect. And he’s never late. Everything that has happened to me has given me an insight and an understanding that I didn’t have before. In the waiting place, I wasn’t in stasis. I wasn’t frozen. I was learning and growing into the person I am today. Into the mom I am today.

Asking the what-ifs feels moot to me. Pointless. Because I am here now. And one of the biggest lessons I learned in the waiting place was to look and listen to what God was calling me to do while I wait. To express my faith and trust in Him, even in the darkest moments. To reach out to others and encourage them.

Maybe your life isn’t where you thought it would be right now. Maybe you are in a season of waiting. But you are not too late. You are not behind. You don’t have to catch up. You are right where you are supposed to be. Just take the next step, the next breath, and listen to where God may be leading you. Believe me, it will be worth the wait.

Continuing the Conversation

I want to keep sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet this year, so here are three new posts to share.

3 Things to Say (and Not to Say) to Friends Experiencing Infertility

An article from Marriage and Family Therapist Kelsey Chun. She gives some really good advice on what not to say to someone experiencing infertility. I like that she encourages us to tap into our empathy by connecting their grief with how we feel in the moments of grief in our life. I would place a caveat in some of her what to say advice because sometimes tapping into our empathy will tempt us to share our own experiences and sometimes that’s not always appropriate. But a good article.

You’re not alone: Women share powerful stories of infertility and pregnancy loss in this new book

This is exciting because it combines two of my passions – Opening up the Conversation on pregnancy loss and infertility and books. Ariel Ng, along with Caroline Starr and Allison McDonald Ace, started a new website called The 16 percent that interviews women who have experienced pregnancy complications which eventually launched this book, Through, Not Around. I love that title. It comes out this month (Feb 19th) and it’s one I will keep my eye out for.

Miscarriage shouldn’t be the ‘Voldemort’ of pregnancy — thanks Kelly O’Dwyer for naming it

The title of this article got my attention. Kelly O’Dwyer left her political position in Parliment, in part, due to a miscarriage that she experienced. It makes headlines because this, along with menstruation and breastfeeding are apparently traditionally taboo subjects. But she brings light to it by this public statement. And the fact that she compares it to Voldemort (That Which Shall Not Be Named) is simply perfect for my nerdy heart.

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

Continuing the Conversation

I want to keep sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet this year, so here are three new posts to share.

8 Ways to support a woman after she’s had a miscarriage

Post from a WordPress blog written by a Catholic priest, Fr Michael Rennier. It’s good advice and a great post to share with others.

Miscarriages are common. But at work, a culture of silence keeps women quiet

An interesting article from CNN about women in the workplace who have miscarriages. I was very lucky that I had such supportive and understanding bosses during all of my pregnancy loss, but it doesn’t seem to be the norm in most situations.

Recovering From Miscarriage: More Than Physical

Article from US News and World Report that discusses the emotional side of pregnancy loss. I like that the article encourages therapy as a way to process. I see a therapist and highly recommend it to anyone, but especially when navigating the grief of pregnancy loss.

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

Be Kind but Don’t Rewind

10 points to your house if you get the above reference (and 20 points if you get that and the second reference I just made).

Even though we have a beautiful, healthy baby boy in our home now, pregnancy loss is still prevalent in everyday interactions. People still ask questions that are pretty socially acceptable even if they still leave me feeling awkward.

My most recent interaction was a cashier at a drug store:

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

“Aww! What’s his name?”

“Sam”

“He has beautiful eyes. How old is he?”

“8 months”

Is he your first?”

…….

“Yes” (As in yes, he’s my first 8 month old)

At least the conversation ended there. In the grocery recently, I had two women tell me I needed to hurry up and give him a sibling. Even if I do talk about my daughters, people still insist I need to keep trying for more kids.

I’d like to think that it’s because my son is so adorable that they just want to see more like him in the world. But really I’m left dumbfounded as to how to respond.

And yet I know I’m not the only one who has these kinds of interactions on a daily basis. While situations may be different, the awkward feelings edged with grief, regret, or shame still feel the same. And while I will continue to emphasize how necessary it is to stop asking these questions, in the meantime, I’ve learned a process to get through it.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

Be Kind, But Don’t Rewind

  1. Be Kind. Always assume the motivations and intentions of the speaker are good, even if the words come across uneducated or lacking compassion. Even though there is so much more information on how to interact with one who is grieving, a lot of people still haven’t accessed that information yet. Keeping this in mind helps me to be kind with my response. And I will either calmly explain my reality or patiently move the conversation to a different topic or end it altogether.
  2. Don’t Rewind.  Leave the conversation right where it is. Don’t let the person’s comments or judgments carry into your day. This is so much easier said than done, I know. People’s words hold so much weight, especially when we are already feeling so much. But letting go isn’t giving in to the other person, but instead, it’s prioritizing your own health. It’s not selfish to continue doing what is best for yourself and your own journey. The Bible is full of people who faced the judgment of those around them, yet continued to prioritize the path God set out for them.

Of course, for me, it all comes back to God. The voices in this world are loud and opinionated. But the reality is that none of us have it all figured out. We don’t understand everything that happens, and we don’t have the answers to everything. But God sees the bigger picture. God has plans that are greater than anything we ever imagined. And when I’m feeling discouraged or words and questions sting, it is God’s truth that I don’t mind playing over and over again.