Let's get personal, eh?
A big reason for creating this blog was to talk about REAL LIFE things...
Here we go. HI, I’m Lauren, I’m 28 and I am married to my amazing, supportive husband, Mitch. Mitch is also 28. We are motivated, active, creative, healthy individuals who love life! For the past 5 years we have worked our butts off to get where we are and won't settle for anything less than great. We are extremely goal oriented and push each other to be the very best versions of ourselves. I would have to say these past couple of years have been absolutely nothing short of perfect. Getting married, two beautiful dogs, adventurous vacations, and we have recently built a beautiful home that anyone, including us, would be thrilled to have. I’m not bloating or bragging, I promise you that. We are not those kind of people, but I will say that I’m incredibly proud of what we have accomplished and I won’t pretend to hide that. Never hide or hold back what you believe in!
So you’re probably thinking, okay, life is great - what is there to complain about? Well, your right! Life is great! Mitch and I always have known that we wanted a family. We thought a family was the next step in our beautifully blessed life. House, Marriage, dogs (there always has to be dogs), kids….. right? boda boom boda bang, easy as that? Well… no, not for us.
Real quick educational moment for those of you who are not familiar…Infertility is not only the inability to get pregnant, but to have carry, keep, then deliver a baby.
We started “trying” the whole if it happens it happens method, in April 2016. Mitch along with everyone else in my life assured me that it will happen when it’s meant to be. I trusted them, because I knew deep down that they were right. I had no idea the journey we were about to experience. Well… let’s fast forward because I could write a 500 page novel if I wanted to… but there we were March 31, 2017 (my dad's birthday) leaving the doctor's office and going in for a D&C because our 10 week old precious baby that just 2 days earlier was growing healthy, no longer had a heartbeat. This was our 3rd miscarriage in that short period of time. Three losses in one year...
So, what the heck is going on? I can get pregnant, but my body has a hard time staying pregnant? Getting that positive pregnancy test is the greatest, butterfly stomach feeling, just to have it ripped out of your hands. I've never felt so, totally, defeated.
REWIND! Let me give you a little more background. I was diagnosed with this stupid thing called Lupus (a crazy, stupid, annoying autoimmune disease) in college. Yes, I struggled with this for a couple of years, but have it pretty controlled and consider myself a very healthy person. Anyways, no one told me that my autoimmune disorder would impact my ability or inability to have children... At the end of the day, I don't even know if that really is what's causing my bad run with pregnancy.
Fast forward… So here we are with multiple miscarriages and at a total loss of what to do. After meeting with my OB and Reumatologist i was referred to a RE (reproductive endocrinologist). These doctors are miracle workers.
A place I never thought I would be, ever. My husband and I planning for years, emotionally, financially for this family, only to have all of this happen... We started seeing our specialist after my 2nd miscarriage. Anyways, my doctor is great. This place has instilled so much hope. Our doctor's office is filled with hope, inspiration, success, and most of all SUPPORT. It has given us a plan. I’m huge on plans. I am a big believer - In order to reach your goals, you have to have a plan. SO yes, we have a plan. A plan to get us the results we want.
Step 1: BE HEALTHY - I've had to make a lot of sacrifices during this time, but also have made some incredible changes to my body. Because this is so important to us, my body comes first. It is my OVEN; gotta keep it clean and running smooth ;). I've had to eliminate hot yoga (yoga friends; I didn't want to abandon you... and miss you dearly ), added weekly acupuncture, eliminated gluten, soy, processed foods/sugar, alcohol (aside from those every now & then glasses of wine) Then added herbs and some medications for auto-immune, and most importantly; SURROUND MYSELF WITH POSITIVITY AND PRAYER!!
Step 2: TESTS! Lot’s and lot’s of tests… let’s see if there is any other underlying condition or problem that is contributing to our issues. I had genetic testing, clotting testing, cameras in my uterus; so many tests to basically tell me everything is running properly. (Mitch's parts are working just fine too, FYI!!) This is incredible news; i'm not completely broken.
Steph 3: PATIENCE. What's that mean? I've never heard of that word... YEAH, i'm really bad at the whole patience thing.
My diagnosis is RPL (recurrent pregnancy loss). Yes, there is such a thing. My doctor ENSURED us that she will help us reach our goal. Along the way she has thrown out some really scary terms like IVF, IUI, and fertility terms that could literally create both an acronym vault & dictionary of their own. Because of this, these are options I think about daily. We have temporarily ruled out IVF and fertility treatment at this time; my body has as all the tools and potential; I CAN get pregnant. At this time we are just adjusting some medications and sticking with our plan. But if any of these come up in our plan, we are ready to take it on like donkey kong!
We have been through a roller coaster of emotions, opinions, theories, and “solutions.” I can tell you that I have felt every emotion under the sun… anger, envy, sadness, anxiety, confusion, happiness (yes happiness), and MOSTLY HOPE. Our story is just that, it’s our story, our journey. I haven’t been myself and I have been extremely distracted, but i’m doing the best I can. I’m dealing with it in my way. I have been told I’m strong, I’m brave, I am handling it better than they would. While all those things are great to hear, it’s not easy, and I will tell you it’s a lot harder to be strong than I ever thought, but I have no other option. I will admit, I have days that I cry, I yell, I second guess, and I am defeated. But those days are becoming more rare as I continue to trust in God's plan.
I can also tell you that I wouldn’t be “strong” without my husband. He keeps me going and trusting. I try to remember that he is also grieving, and It’s not only me. "WE GOT THIS."
To our Best Friends:
I am so happy for you, and I am your biggest supporter. I am happy for your baby, you pregnancy, your new job, your wedding, your promotion. I promise you this. I know you will never understand what I’m going through, and I know you also have your struggles. I promise, you have said all the right things, you have been the perfect friends, and I want to thank you for helping me get through this.
To my Mom:
Mom. I love you. Part of this struggle is so hard because I strive the be even half the Mom you are. I see the reward in your eyes when we succeed and the hurt when we fail. This isn’t your fault, please don’t be sad for me because I will get my happy ending, and I know you will be the best support.
To my Dad:
Dad, I love you. I know you struggle to find the right words, but you don’t have to say anything. You are the best and I know how much you care. All I need you to do is continue to love me as much as you always have.
To my in-laws:
THANK YOU FOR MAKING YOUR SON THE ABSOLUTE BEST. I really think you have no idea how incredible your little boy has become. THANK YOU.
To my Husband/Life Partner:
Oh husband… you are the best. The absolute greatest. I know you live to make me happy and your goal in life is to give me the world. I want you to know something though, you are my world. You are enough for me. You are all I need to be happy. I know it hasn’t seemed that way, I’m sorry I haven’t been myself. But I promise with every bone in my body, that is the absolute truth. I know it’s been just as hard for you. I love you more than you will ever know. You are my rock.
Lastly, To all of you who have gone through or are going through something similar:
WE ARE A SUPPORT COMMUNITY FOR EACH OTHER. You are strong. You are beautiful. There is nothing wrong with you, and you are not a failure. It’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to cry, and it’s okay to not understand why this is happening to you. Trust in God’s plan for you. LOOK TO GOD. No one will understand how you feel, and there is no right way to feel. Don’t be afraid to share your story, It’s beautiful. I know it stings every time someone announces a pregnancy, a baby is born, or you have to see someone loving on their child. I’m here for you and constantly thinking of you.
"She is clothed in strength and dignity & she laughs without fear of the future." Proverbs 31:25
Our journey has just begun - and I cannot wait to share our happy ending! More to come….