Making positives in negative spaces

This has been a post that I have been debating about writing for the past year. Its one of those things that will always have a place in my mind and my heart, and I guess it has taken this long for me to realize that maybe there is someone out there who might need to hear my story. But more importantly, it has taken this long for me to feel positively about it.

Last July (2013), I found out that I was pregnant. After months of trying- we were completely overjoyed to find out that it was finally our turn! With a due date to look forward to in March 2014, I felt like things were FINALLY going my way after obsessing over the months that nothing was happening. Plus, taking my career so seriously as a wedding photographer- our ‘trying’ window had to coincide with wedding season…which added an extra pressure to sprint to the win. So when I didn’t get pregnant right away, I started to obsess.

With my new embryo on board- I was thrilled, but I feel like there was always something a little ‘off’ about it. Besides tender boobs and some cramping, I really had almost zero symptoms of ‘being pregnant’. I think that coming from a place of pessimistic obsession and checking ‘getting pregnant’ off my list- looking back, I am not sure I was really in right place to take on motherhood. I actually felt anger and jealousy of nearly everyone on my Facebook feed that were popping up as (seemingly effortlessly) pregnant all over the place. And, I WAS pregnant. I got what I wanted, and I was still spiteful and jealous. I wasn’t myself.

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August 14, 2013

 

During our months of trying, I actually started a One Line a Day Journal which I feel was my saving grace to keeping myself honest. Essentially, the way the journal works is for you to make a small journal entry (5 lines or so) a day, each page is it’s own day. When you get to the end of your year, you repeat the days that you had written on previously the year before. When we were trying to get pregnant, I would jot my disappointment with the idea that by the time I was writing in those future slots- I would have my child, and think of my impatience as silly.

On August 15th 2013 I made an entry- “I don’t even feel pregnant anymore. It is like it was all a dream…” and on August 21st, I started bleeding.

During all of this, I needed a little more than a line- so I typed a document on my computer,

here are the writings:

_____________________________________

 

8.23.13

After a spat of bleedings, yesterday Matt and I went into the doctor to see what could be wrong with our baby. Since the nurse asked my blood type over the phone before scheduling my rush appointment, I knew there was something seriously wrong. According to my pregnancy tracker, I was 9 weeks pregnant the day I started bleeding. 

Sitting in the doctors office with my husband, we were snickering about the horrible maroon-floral chints decor of the waiting room and Matt even made a comment about all of the “fat chicks” referring all of the big-bellied expecting ladies waiting for their checkups, he always knows how to make me smile. Laughing lightly in the moment, even though my heart was heavy and my eyes were still filled with tears. 

They brought us in for our internal ultrasound. It felt unfortunate that this is how we would see our baby for the first time, premature of our appointment we were joyfully awaiting to come the following Monday. This was different, this wasn’t how I’d hope it would go. Holding Matt’s hand tightly, I couldn’t help but look away from the screen. My occasional peek lead to me seeing a tiny little baby outline. After we both stared at the still little outline, Matt says “What exactly are we looking at here?” When our tech replied, “Well, that is a baby- but it doesn’t look like we have a heartbeat today.”

With tears streaming down my face, I feel like I just sort of left the room mentally. She explained that the baby was only 6.5 weeks developed, which means it probably passed about 2.5 weeks ago. This wasn’t how I would have hoped I’d see our first baby for the first time. 

As I sobbed in Matt’s arms about the baby we never really knew, but wanted for so long- he was strong, strong for me. Which almost made it worse, because I know how badly he wants to be a daddy. 

After receiving a prescription to make the “passing” of the fetus go by quicker, I am waiting…waiting in horrible pain for my little angel to leave my body. I am so scared of what I will see and I can’t wait for it to be over. 

During all of this, I feel so blessed to have such an amazing partner. Not everyone is so strong and supportive. He is positive that when it actually happens to us for real, it will be better than ever. And I love him for that. 

8.25.13

Day 4 since we found out our little one doesn’t have a heartbeat. It has been absolute torment thinking about when it will leave my body. I am in pure agony physically and emotionally. Yesterday I was working shooting a wedding, I feel blessed that it didn’t happen then- but living on the edge as to when this will be surprising me is awful. I can’t wait for all of this to be over and for us to be able to go on living our lives that we love. Today I have had non-stop sharp cramping and bleeding, maybe this will be the time? I hope. 

I keep thinking about how I will deal with it when it happens, but I guess it is something I won’t know til it happens. I think I would like to bury our baby somewhere in our yard. 

Whenever I look out at our gardens, I think about when I first planted. It felt like the plants would never grow even though I was nurturing them relentlessly. As soon as I knew it, I got so busy with life that I left everything alone. Now all of our plants are so large and bountiful I can’t believe how quickly it seems they grew when it felt like they started at a standstill…. One day I will have my healthy baby, and it will seem like no time at all, even though we got a slow start. So, I think I will plant our little seedling in our yard to remind me how much we loved our little baby even though it wasn’t ready to be on this earth. 

8.26.13

Today I started cramping with the sharpest most horrendous pain I have ever experienced. After a couple of hours of barely bearing it, I finally gave in and called my doctor.  I was honestly worried that my neighbors might call the cops since I couldn’t stop screaming. I was praying for anything to make it stop. 

My mom went to pick up a prescription my doctor called in for the pain. By the time she arrived, I was laying on the bathroom floor nearly passed out from the amount of blood I lost and my body felt exhausted from the pain of the contractions. I have honestly never felt worse in my life, and my poor mother had to see me like that on her birthday. 

With the pain meds in my system, I was finally able to relax have some dinner that Matt made for me. Shortly after, the baby finally passed. I wrapped it in some fabric from our wedding and put it in a small box. Matt dug a hole under our purple locust and we buried our little dream. Honestly, I just feel relief…relief of this nightmare. We are ready for the future.

_____________________________________

After not seeing those for a year- I am, of course, sobbing my face off, but I am SO glad that I wrote it down. It was such an important time in Matt and my relationship and in our lives.

After another failed (very early) pregnancy later that November, I realized it just wasn’t our year- and it was time to start trying again in February. The time between felt long and sad. I felt jealousy towards anyone experiencing the life they chose, since my planned path was NOT going the way that I thought it would. Yet, I was feeling guilty for feeling anything. Especially after seeing a friend lose her baby before 30 weeks around the same time as my first miscarriage. Why did I have a right to feel anger? My experience is nothing compared to others’! My journal kept me honest…and the blank years to come kept me hopeful.

After what I could easily say, was the most difficult year of my life- I decided that it was okay to let myself be happy again. I was allowed to feel happy for other people, and I was allowed to let it go and start over.

A few days after I got to witness the birth of my best friend’s baby boy, I found out that I was pregnant. And I knew right away that it was different. Of course I was scared (and still am, every day) that something would happen to my little miracle- but I felt happy.

25weeks

August 16, 2014

Now that I am sitting here typing all this nearly a year later, looking out the window at our purple locust that has grown HUGE and I am feeling my baby boy kick me from inside. Already 14 inches and 2 lbs at 25 weeks, I feel blessed every day that I am able to be a happier mama for him- now that I know why everything happened the way it did.

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This is OUR time.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Making positives in negative spaces

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I’m so happy for you and Matt. Congrats on your little boy. Your family is in my prayers 💙

  2. I’m super proud of you for posting this, Nichole. I know that what you went through was so aweful and I hated that you has to watch me be pregnant after that happened. Thank you for being such a good friend, and I’m so happy for you and Matt! Monk is going to be so loved… What a lucky little baby he is to have you guys for parents. I can’t wait to come along for the ride!
    Love you

  3. So…I am bawling over here, like I’m sure everyone that has read your honesty and pain has. I went through 3 miscarriages before I had Roxie, the last one at 11 weeks. Your situation sound SO familiar and I relate to it in many ways through my experience. I was told or asked many unhelpful/disrespectful things from “It probably wasn’t an actual embryo anyway” to doctors eluding to the idea that perhaps I just imagined the pregnancy then trying to covertly subject me to a mental health examination. I know it all feels like TMI, so we are scared of sharing but it is empowering to share and feel the relief of not being alone. Thank you for sharing this. I know what you mean by it being so hard, but if it benefits others, it makes it easier to handle somehow.

    Hugs,
    Aubrey

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story Aubrey. I think it is important for people who are going through the struggle to know there is light at the end of the tunnel (obviously, with your beautiful little girl)! Nothing can compare to the individual sorrow one feels in their own situation, but when you do get your rainbow- you appreciate it more than you ever possibly thought you could.

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