I am going to post this and then ignore all of my notifications for the day. I am kidding, but I’m putting myself out there and it feels like posting naked pictures on the internet. I share a lot of my home, kids, and life and I usually keep it light, sarcastic and happy, but I also want to share the real stuff when I think it can be helpful and relatable.
Back in October I wrote up a whole post and made a mood board for my baby boy’s nursery. I thought I was going to knock out this room in 6 weeks with a bunch of other DIY/home bloggers. I love the challenge and I was excited to get this nursery done long before I did with my other two babies (I have done it the last 4-6 weeks of my pregnancy due to outside circumstances- moving and travel). I have hesitated writing this post or opening up publicly for numerous reasons, mostly for my own self preservation and denial. After another blogger friend of mine opened up with her struggles with miscarriage and infertility and other complications she has suffered over the last year I decided to do the same. She made me feel less alone. If she did that for me, maybe there is a friend here, who too, is going through something similar and feels isolated and in her own head.
After years (7 to be exact) of deciding whether or not we wanted to grow our family, if it was the right time, and if it was even possible, we decided last December, that we would try for another baby. Both of my other pregnancies have been during some of the craziest times of our lives and we thought it would be really great to have a less stressful one. My husband had just got a new job/promotion which ended up confirming our location for the foreseeable future and I had decided to end my hair styling career and pursue my passions (this). Seemed like great timing. Obviously you all know what the following year brought-joke is on us.
I found out I was pregnant The day before Father’s Day and I seriously couldn’t believe it. I have had some women’s issues the last handful of years to be short and wasn’t positive this was in the cards. I was so excited to share with my family. I was going to have the best most relaxed pregnancy I could, even amidst the pandemic and homeschooling/virtual teaching/assisting my kids.
The next two months were a ride. I have a history of light spotting when pregnant but I started bleeding and then ended up passing blood clots. Every week I was at the office for emergency appointments thinking I was losing the baby. Luckily I didn’t. I had a good month of nothing eventful and then I got a call after an ultrasound. I am typically an eternal optimist/ in denial when I get bad news, so when my doctor told me that she thought something was wrong with the growth of my baby and possibly something else with my placenta I told her my other kids weren’t big and maybe my due date was off a little. I tried to negotiate with her how I didn’t need to see the specialist. She let me ramble and then told me again she compared all three babies and studied the images and she was sorry but I was going to the specialist and she already had the appointment. Faaaackkkk! That’s what I said when I hung up.
I thought of every single scenario from they are dead wrong to the worst. Looking back I tried to protect myself by coming to a complete stop on everything. I quit planning his room, I didn’t buy anything, I wouldn’t do my registry or open any boxes that I may have to return. I felt like if I prepared myself for the worst or as if it might not be happening, then it would hurt less if something did happen. I didn’t want to be naive or look stupid (I know- to myself! lol sounds really stupid putting that in writing). I also was so bonked out thinking of having to tell my kids. They were so invested at this point. I didn’t tell anyone but Drew until we knew there was something to worry about.
I went to the fetal specialist and they did scans and asked me 400 times if I had any genetic trackers or markers that came back abnormal (I didn’t luckily) and I was diagnosed with interuterine fetal growth restriction. It’s pretty broad and there can be a zillion reasons why someone has it. We ruled out a number of reasons it’s not but they told me we probably won’t ever know why. I did have high blood pressure at the beginning of my pregnancy, which wasn’t shocking giving the state of the world, added responsibilities and having miscarriage scares weekly. The IUGR was my biggest concern at the time, hoping that he grows steadily, even if he doesn’t “catch up” into the normal or average range for size. I started seeing the specialist weekly for ultrasounds and appointments. I loved that they were extremely upfront and gave me real answers. No sugar coating with these people. As crazy as that sounds, it made me feel better knowing best and worst cases straight from their mouths. They told me exactly what they would do if A B or C happened.
The scary part of this diagnosis isn’t the baby might be small, the scary part is we don’t know why. Now that I am 4-5 months deep on this process we have found out more clues and information. Put simply-my placenta sucks. If you have ever been pregnant or had a bad placenta, you know that’s not good. I had placenta previa (the placenta was literally sitting over my cervix like a bowl under my baby’s head barely attached )and was high risk with my first pregnancy and looking back, so I am thankful I was so naive and never hit the google search bar. I didn’t know back then what it feels like to hold your own child in your arms and the ridiculous amount of love you have for this baby. It never really hit me what it would feel like to possibly lose that until after she was born. Ignorance is bliss.
Currently, twice a week, I see a specialist tocheck the blood flow to the placenta, to the brain and through the umbilical cord, making sure there is adequate blood flow. The mind boggling part for me mentally is that I’ve always had the mindset that the longer we keep him in the womb the better and in this scenario, its not that way. My placenta is showing signs of restricting blood flow. That’s the crappy part. We just hope it doesn’t completely restrict. At this point, today at least, the best option is to keep him in and monitor it, but that can change at any time. (Basically I have my hair clean and a some concealer on at every appointment just in case.) Delivering him early wouldn’t be the end of the world, modern medicine is crazy- it’s hoping my placenta doesn’t bail on us before that.
I know people are going through so much right now. I am not naive enough to think that my life is any harder than theirs. It’s not. I am damn lucky. I actually feel good-I always do pregnant, I am NOT on bedrest (been there-don’t want to do that again) I have an amazing husband and 2 other children, and I have a team of doctors and nurses watching out for me. Even with all the support and care in the world, I still struggle sometimes, and that’s what I really wanted to tell you. I am human and I do go to places in my mind I shouldn’t and I sometimes have a good cry about it. There are no guarantees, no one can tell me the outcome and I can only distract myself and carry on like normal so much and for so long. I have a few friends who have been through something similar and having their ear the last few weeks has been amazing. They also will probably lose my number in the near future.
As a semi-recovering people pleaser, I do want to say I’m not asking for sympathy or anyone to tell me everything is going to be okay. I’ve had my come to Jesus with every scenario. I started seeing a therapist, because this isn’t an easy thing to share with people, especially when you first are processing. I needed to say the things I was thinking-the real fears I was having without someone trying to minimize the situation or my feelings. I tend to put my feelings aside to not make others uncomfortable and try to get over things quickly. I think a lot of women do this. This time I decided I wasn’t going to do that to myself. I am allowed to be pissed, scared, sad, feel sorry for myself, grieve, and prepare for all outcomes. I can take space for this. Day to day I don’t feel all of these things but when I do, I let myself and that has been extremely helpful overall.
If you noticed me falling off the face of the earth for a minute, that’s why. I was so overwhelmed with adding this piece to my life. I felt super isolated, which I wasn’t, it just felt that way. I have an extremely supportive husband and friends, but it’s hard not to internalize a lot of feelings and thoughts when you have to go through something that doesn’t just go away in a few days or weeks. Keeping face for my kids in the beginning was hard, but we have told them the minimum. I have had to get admitted to the hospital a few times and I don’t want to freak them out in those situations.
I hadn’t told a lot of people until recently, but I appreciate the friends and family who have checked in on me and helped me. I don’t want to be a drain on them, which I’m sure I have been at times. I will definitely be a better friend in the future. If this has taught me anything, it’s that I really have some great people that have swooped in to help, and I have actually accepted that help. I even had a friend take my girls on Christmas Eve morning when I had an appointment. Who does that?
As I sit here writing this I’m dropping tears on my keyboard. I am so grateful for all of you, for supporting me, encouraging me, letting me share my projects and life with you. You didn’t even know you nooooooooo nooooooooo were getting me through one of the most stressful times of my life. DIY and creating have always been my outlet, but lately its what gets me out of bed in the morning.
I have never wished a pregnancy away and I don’t want to do that now either, but there will be the biggest relief when I get to the other side of this. I have a month or less to go and I finally ripped the tags off some outfits and ordered everything I have been putting off for months. I cracked his baby book and started putting stuff in a bag for the hospital. I cleaned out his nursery aka my former home decor hoarders den. Sounds silly, but this was a huge corner I had to turn mentally. It gave me a better mindset and I am getting excited again.
Amidst all of the highs and lows and stress, I am allowing myself to be happy, be excited and be positive. I hope you know if you are going through something big or small, you are NOT alone. Reach out to someone. If you get a poor response, reach out to someone else. This year hasn’t been for the faint of heart, and remember you never know what someone else is going through. Check in on your friends, it might mean more than you think.
Because I’m superstitious I have to say there will be a part two to this post and there will be a baby in his finished nursery. He might not be a brand new baby with a turn key bedroom but both things will happen and I can’t wait to share!