(In)fertility update

We finished fertility testing. If you don’t want to read the details about my reproductive system, feel free to stop reading here. 🙂 The results are both not hopeful and hopeful. They found three things about me that are “worthy of note” but only one of those things seems it could explain my recurrent miscarriages.

  1. I have a genetic mutation that makes me prone to clots. This clotting gene may have explained my subchorionic hemorrhage I had at 11 weeks gestation with Cami when I almost miscarried her. However, our fertility specialist said that there is no evidence that this gene increases the risk of miscarriages. In fact, apparently 70% of Mexicans have this gene but they don’t have higher incidence of miscarriage in their population. The potential treatment for this concern is to go on heparin shots while pregnant, but as the specialist pointed out, if I had started bleeding, I wouldn’t have stopped bleeding due to the heparin and probably would’ve miscarried Cami for sure. He says heparin shots are not indicated given that I am a “heterozygote carrier” of the gene and not a “homozygote carrier.”
  2. I have an underactive thyroid. My numbers fall within “normal” range but it’s not a range they want to see for someone trying to get pregnant. So they initiated me on thyroid medication and want to monitor my numbers and will give us the “green light” to try to get pregnant after my numbers are in a healthy range. So even though they want to make my thyroid more active, apparently hypothyroidism isn’t associated with miscarriages either. It’s just dangerous for the baby if I don’t have a good functioning thyroid. Although my internet searching does say there is a link between hypothyroidism and miscarriage…who to believe? The omniscient internet or our sub-specialist? Either way, treatment for my hypothyroidism is helpful and puts my mind more at ease about trying to get pregnant again, knowing my thyroid levels are in a better range.
  3. Now to the reason our specialist thinks I keep miscarrying: my egg quality. Doctors can’t directly measure egg quality. They can only measure egg quantity but they know that egg quantity is correlated with quality. As our doctor said, “When you get to the bottom of the barrel, the apples aren’t the greatest.” There are four categories of egg quality: excellent, good, fair, and reduced. I am in the “fair” category. Our doctor thinks that my miscarriages might be a result of “bad eggs” or as he puts it, “You might have flipped tails three times in a row.” He thinks it’s possible for us to get a good pregnancy from trying naturally, and sustain the pregnancy because maybe some of my eggs that are left are decent eggs. But he says, given my age (approaching “advanced maternal age”) and the quality of my eggs, we need to “be aggressive.” The doctor recommends that if we don’t get a sustainable pregnancy ourselves in three months, we need to start “moving up the ladder” of more aggressive interventions, ending potentially with at least one round of IVF.

How do I feel about all this? There needs to be a word that articulates: between hopeful and not hopeful. I feel both hopeful and not hopeful. I feel like we got some answers and that there is reason to hope, but I also feel that we didn’t get a complete picture of what is going on. For example, does my egg quality explain why I miscarry at exactly six weeks gestation? (I didn’t tell our doctor that I actually had a fourth chemical pregnancy that miscarried at 6 weeks at the end of April…so is it possible to flip tails four times in a row?). And these results don’t explain the autoimmune response I have when I get pregnant (swelling fingers that resembles rheumatoid arthritis). I asked our doctor about that and he said that in pregnancy the immune system if extremely suppressed, so if I have an early stage autoimmune disorder, symptoms could be manifest at that time because the immune system isn’t up to speed to hold the symptoms at bay. That does make sense to me and while it seems to me  that a weird autoimmune response is  related to my miscarriages, the doctor doesn’t necessarily think so. It’s hard when I’ve been tested for a couple autoimmune disorders and they all come back as negative. I’m not complaining, I don’t want a diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder. But I would like to know what is going on with my body in that regard and know if there is something that can be done.  The biggest suspect for an autoimmune disorder that I could have is Hashimoto’s disease. When they were looking at my thyroid nodule, my ENT said that my thyroid looks like it has Hashimotos but the test came back negative. My swelling fingers and “lower register” voice, as well as fatigue and low thyroid numbers all fit that profile. Ugh, I’m getting bugged writing about all these medical concerns, let alone imagining how your eyes must be glazing over to read all this! Anyway, it’s a mystery yet to be solved. Maybe one day we’ll figure it out. The fertility doctor said that Hashimotos complicates pregnancy in that the thyroid needs to be monitored more closely as thyroid levels can change more rapidly and inconsistently, but I still wouldn’t need to be monitored more than once a month.

So, who knows what the future holds for us? We are going to go ahead and keep trying. If I miscarry again, the doctor wants me to get a D&C so they can collect the tissue and see if there are chromosomal abnormalities present that explain the miscarriages. He doesn’t think that’s likely though, since we’ve had three healthy babies.

What a guessing game this all is! Who knew that at 34 (I still feel young), I’d be looking at the edge of my fertility? I never thought I’d be in this place, considering significant medical interventions to help us have another baby, while also not knowing if those interventions will even help! As our doctor said, “We’ve gotten good at getting people pregnant, we aren’t nearly as good at keeping people pregnant.”

Taking deep breaths and continuing into the journey…wherever it leads us!

PS Chad’s swimmers passed with flying colors!

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Cami is 3!

img_4801Despite my efforts to continue to pretend she’s a baby, Cami has completely grown into a little girl. It’s bittersweet to see her grow up! I miss my little squishy baby, but I also delight in the little person she is today.

Last night I read the post I wrote for her two-year old birthday. A lot has changed in a year. The biggest change, I think, has been Cami’s vocabulary! Last year we were a little worried she was verbally delayed. We aren’t worried at all anymore. She is speaking in complete sentences now. Some of my favorite things that she says, that I don’t want to forget include:

Cami is very independent: “My do it.”

She tells us the same story over and over again”Pon a time, big horsey by us. Big horsey eat an apple. Horsey got hurt.”

She sings I am a child of God a LOT but only these words, “Child of God, Child of God, Child of God, Child of God” in a very tone deaf, but cute way.

She’s incredibly loving, “I love you too much!”

She can count to three…and anything higher will just be a repeat of 1-2-3. For example, if she’s counting the stairs she’s climbing, “1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3!”

She’s the Defender in the family. If an argument is going on between anyone, she’ll advocate for the one she perceives is being picked on. “Mom, you be nice to my sister!” Or sometimes, she is the one being picked on, “Hailee, you be nice to me!”

Sometimes Cami just screams…at the top of her lungs, to express her frustration. We’re still working on teaching her to use her words.

Cami is friendly and loves to make friends, “She’s my friend” “Mimi my best friend” “Oey my best friend” “Hailee my best friend” but beware if you take something she is playing with! A serious fit will ensue!  A fit that sometimes includes hitting, but she is getting a lot better at this as she knows hitting is NOT ok, and will now mostly just angrily swat the air.

img_8805Developmentally we feel Cami is right on track. She isn’t potty trained yet, but that isn’t her fault. We have tried two separate times to potty train her and with some success. The problem has been that each time she has quickly developed a UTI in the process. This last potty training attempt was very scary for us because she got a fever of 104+ and doctors were beginning to wonder if she had a kidney infection. Our pediatrician sent us to get images of her kidneys with ultrasound. Overall her kidneys look fine. There is a tiny bit of fluid in one of her kidneys but it is so minimal that our doctor said the “fluid is not exciting” and he’s not worried about it. Her urine has “debris” in it, and we don’t know what that is about, but right now our doctor isn’t worried about that either. In a few weeks we will try potty training again. We feel some urgency about this as we hope to get Cami into preschool this year but most preschools require that kids be potty trained. The start of the school year is rapidly approaching! What is different with Cami than Hailee regarding potty training is that while Cami is developmentally and intellectually ready to be potty trained, she just doesn’t WANT to. I don’t blame her though because each time she starts using the toilet, her “bum is hurting” from a UTI. So, we’ll see how this goes. If it wasn’t for the approaching school year, I wouldn’t worry about it for awhile. Maybe we can find somewhere she can attend school and not be 100% potty trained. We’ll figure it out.

Cami finally likes being read to, which I love! We will read two to three books before naptime and bedtime.

img_4805Cami still sleeps with us every night. That was a battle we gave up on this last year…but also no longer wanted to fight. We love snuggling her! Even if it means poorer sleep for all of us. We did solve the problem of her falling asleep in her own bed. She falls asleep in her own bed just fine. It’s just VERY predictable that every night between 10:30pm and 2:30am, she will wake up and wander into our room. We will pull her into bed with us for the rest of the night at that point…and we kind of love it. In fact, many nights we end up with both girls in bed with us as Hailee has been having nightmares lately. It gets a bit crowded when that happens but we are a snuggly family and we love it!

Overall Cami is just doing great. She is growing big! She is happy, playful, loving and feisty. We love our rainbow and are so grateful that we have had her in our home and arms these last three years!

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Here is an interview I had with Cami about herself for her birthday:

Favorite toy: Barbie and my little ponies

Favorite fruit: mangoes, strawberries, peaches, and watermelon

Favorite TV show: Sofia the First

Favorite thing to eat for lunch: Pizza

Favorite outfit: Lularoe dresses

Favorite game: hide and seek and tea party and potions

Favorite snack: carrots and dippy

Favorite animal: piggy and camel (that’s what she said!)

Favorite song: Child of God

Favorite book: Where’s baby’s belly button

Best friend: Mom, Dad, Mimi and Baba, and Hailee, and “Oey”

Favorite thing to do outside: ride scooter, tea parties, and pool

Favorite drink: milk

Take to bed with you: Sippy, garmy, binky and books

Favorite thing to eat for breakfast: “paincakes”

What do you want to be when you grow up: Want to go have a tea party

 

 

 

Goodbye to BYU

FullSizeRender(9)As I mentioned before, my personal theme for the year is “bravery.” This week, I made another brave move by quitting the job I’ve had for the last four years at BYU’s Counseling and Psychological Services. This is a decision I’d been ruminating about for over a year and was a very difficult one to make.

BYU holds such a special place in my heart. In so many ways, it is home to me. According to my math, I’ve spent 13 years of my life at BYU (undergrad, grad school, internship, and working)!

The counseling center was a haven to me after we lost Charlie. I knew then that I wasn’t emotionally equipped to return to work at Center for Change where I had worked with an eating disorder inpatient population, but I also knew I needed to return to work as I was going into a really dark, unhealthy place and needed to get out of my head.

BYU reached out to me as they were looking for someone part-time and it was a perfect fit. It felt so great to be somewhere where I didn’t have to feel so broken, and felt like I was contributing in meaningful ways. The BYU students were great to work with and I became good friends with many of my colleagues.

As the years passed by, I was also able to develop professionally. I created and co-led an experiential eating disorder group; I trained my colleagues in how to run this type of group and now there are three of these groups running throughout the year; I started a mindful eating group with a colleague and a dietitian; I led training on how to work with clients struggling with eating disorders, and I got to teach some new classes I’ve never taught before.

IMG_2826(1)Over time however, my professional development slowed and there were frustrating circumstances about our workplace that were unresolvable. The main frustration was that for eight months of the year, I could only meet with my clients about once a month. This obviously wasn’t conducive to effective therapy or helping my clients overcome eating disorder and body image concerns! Given that it is my passion to be a competent therapist for treating eating disorders, it no longer felt like a good fit. Plus, I have recovered significantly in terms of my emotional reserves and feel ready to work more in depth with the eating disorder population again.

Over a year ago, my really good friend started a private practice in Pleasant Grove and asked me to join her. Like I said, I took over a year to consider this move as I love BYU and also felt loyal to them for all they have done for me. But after much thought and consideration, Chad and I decided leaving was the best move for me.

(PS, regarding the professor position I interviewed for in March…I didn’t get it. I was a bit bummed to not have that opportunity, but that interview and exploration process confirmed and solidified thoughts that it was time to change jobs).

This is a really brave step for me as I have never quit a job before! And BYU was comfortable and pretty easy (high functioning students make great clients). But I want to feel passionate and competent and I know moving to an environment where I can see my clients more regularly is the right move. Plus, I am so excited to work with one of my favorite people and build a practice with a great reputation! I also feel like there are so many cool adventures we can create together in this practice (body image and self-compassion retreat in the mountains, for example!) I am thrilled to work with one of my best friends who also happens to be one of the most competent therapists I know.

I also am exploring picking up groups for Center for Change in addition to working in private practice, but this is up in the air right now. Groups are my biggest passion and I must lead them! If I can’t work it out with CFC to run groups, I’ll be recruiting clients for a private practice group!

Another thing that feels good about this move is the flexibility and lifestyle. I am looking forward to not working Fridays anymore and possibly only working two days a week! Since we’ve been struggling with so many miscarriages, I have re-recognized how precious my time is with my kids! Cami starts preschool this year! I want to suck up as much time with them as possible and private practice will allow me to do that!

I was super sad to say goodbye to some of my favorite clients this week, but I mostly feel happy and excited to start this new adventure! So farewell BYU! God be with you until we meet again! 🙂

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Spy birthday party!

Hailee, our sunshine, turned 7 last week! She is such a fun age! Usually planning a birthday party feels a bit overwhelming and the last two years we’ve had destination birthday parties after I learned the stress of home birthday parties with Hailee’s fourth birthday party. But I think, like the pain of childbirth, you forget after a couple years and it seems like a good idea to plan a home birthday party again.

I worked really hard to pull off an intricate and awesome birthday party for Hailee this week! When I first talked to Hailee about what she wanted for her birthday party, she identified that her favorite things to do are obstacle courses, scavenger hunts, and basically anything active. After ruminating about a variety of themes: adventure party, or cowgirl theme, or camping theme, I finally came up with the SPY THEME! It was perfect and Hailee loved the idea!

IMG_2823(1)I absolutely must give a shout out to my partner in crime: the social media website, Pintrest. I am so glad I live in the age of Pintrest! I got 95% of the ideas for this party from this site!

We started the party with a “cadet check-in” station. Check-in was where the only hiccups of the party occurred. It was during check-ins that some random, older boy, showed up to the party with his little sister. He wasn’t invited and the mom didn’t ask me if he could stay…he just walked right in and joined the party. I was bit miffed but it actually worked out ok and the kid ended up being decently nice. But seriously people?! Invites have names on them for a reason! As part of check-ins, the kids had to choose spy agent names from a list of adjectives and nouns (like stealthy marshmallow and dark unicorn) and make a name tag for themselves. I had a “lie detector” hand scanner ap on our ipad that I used to scan about half of the kids to make sure they were all honest and qualified for spy training. I didn’t scan all the kids as chaos quickly threatened to ensue with the already-scanned-kids starting to running amok and we quickly needed to get the kids onto the next part of the adventure: spy school.

Spy school included an obstacle course, target shooting, and a grenade toss challenge. The grenade toss was a great way to cool the kids down on this hot summer day!

After all the kids graduated spy school and got their graduation certificates, they went on a “mission” to find stolen treasure and the bad guy who stole it!  In the process of this mission they had to navigate a lazer maze, find and deactivate some bombs, and solve a puzzle to know who the bad guys was!

IMG_2821IMG_2822(1)IMG_2812Once they knew who the bad guy was, they had to find him and capture him! I then gave the kids “interrogation tools” to get him to reveal where he had hidden their goody bags. The kids loved dousing Chad in silly string and Chad was a great sport. After he told them where they could find the goody bags and the kids released the prisoner, we celebrated Hailee’s birthday with cake and presents.

IMG_2672While we waited for parents to pick up the guests, a lively water fight ensued with water guns the kids found in their goody bags. Hailee said the water fight was her favorite part! Oh the irony that her favorite part of the party was the impromptu, unplanned part! But oh well, I think the party was an absolute success!

IMG_2819I totally gave myself a pat on the back for this well-planned and executed party! It was stressful and barely controlled chaos, but everyone had a great time and it’s a party for the books! We had important help from our nanny, Zoe and her husband, Ryan. Zoe decorated Hailee’s cake in an awesome spy theme! And Zoe and Ryan helped set up and facilitate the different activities so that everything ran smoothly! That evening we were all happily exhausted! I’m not sure this party can be topped!

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Identities

IMG_1041Last week I went to NYC for the annual American Group Psychotherapy Association conference. As I’ve shared on this blog before, this conference is a highlight of my year; every single year.

This year my experience at the conference exceeded my own expectations and hopes and I had some really powerful experiences and gained some important insights about myself.

One of the reasons I believe this year’s conference was so important for me, was because it was an opportunity for a break from my identity as a mom. And more specifically, a mom who has lost a child and a mom who currently experiences fertility problems. Motherhood so easily becomes an identity that subsumes the other parts of me that are also important. I’m not saying motherhood shouldn’t often take center stage as it’s a demanding role and an incredibly important role. But it’s certainly not all of me. And it doesn’t fulfill all of the parts of me. And when motherhood also feels so loaded to me with loss and pain, it is so incredibly relieving to be in an environment, where for just a week, I can reconnect with other parts of myself. Parts that too often go neglected.  Parts of me that are outside of my identity of being a mother, wife, and psychologist; the three roles that consume my life right now. Connecting with those other parts was a great way to celebrate my birthday!

IMG_1060Beyond reconnecting with different parts of my identity and personality, I also really valued connecting with others. AGPA is “all about” connection, given it’s hundreds of group psychotherapists merging to commune with each other and learn from each other. The connections with both new faces as well as old friends, was incredibly valuable and rejuvenating for me. It was also through these connections that I had powerful experiences and gleaned new insights into myself.

I had an amazing week last week. I want to keep searching for ways to attend to these other important pieces of my identity as I also navigate those important roles of motherhood, wifedom, and therapist. Is wifedom a thing? Sounds like it should be!

Anyway, I think finding ways to integrate more of ALL of me into my daily life will help me not feel so dependent on AGPA as an annual “Anna emotional splurge.”  I don’t know how I’ll do that, but I want to begin by owning those pieces of my identity instead of trying to squelch them, ignore them, pretend they don’t exist, or feel guilty about them when they emerge. I’m going to look for ways that all of Anna can come out and play!

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Job interview

To extend this theme of bravery in 2016, I am being brave in taking steps to explore my career options. Doing so has been on my radar for about a year. I feel like I’m in a position where I want to evaluate my longer term career goals and how to achieve those goals. Doing so would likely necessitate a change in employment from my current job, which I love, but isn’t fulfilling me professionally.

Last week I interviewed for a professional track position within the BYU psychology department.

This was a job position that I initially dismissed because the posting is for full time. But my friend and dissertation chair, Jared Warren, spent a lot of time trying to convince me to at least apply for the job. This pressure accumulated after Jared invited me to present a case conference to the current clinical psychology PhD students, where after my presentation, Patrick Steffen and Chad Jensen (the training director and a professor) approached me and invited me to lunch. There, Jared, Patrick and Chad wined and dined me (minus the wine) and convinced me to apply for the position, positing that it might be possible for the position to become a part-time position.

So I decided I’d go for it.

IMG_1374I didn’t know, after I applied, that the interview process would be so intense! The interviews took place over three days. During that time I met with several faculty both in the psychology department as well as the clinical psychology department. I also met with grad students, taught a class that was observed by professors, and gave a case conference presentation. Beyond that I had interviews with the Dean of the psychology department, Dean of the College of Family Home and Social Sciences, Associate Vice President of the University, and a General Authority of the LDS Church!

I was assigned Elder Zeballos from Chile, for my GA interview and Chad was invited to attend. I have heard several horror stories of GA interviews being very sexist and shaming toward working women. I attended this interview prepared to come away with my own horror story. Much to my honest AMAZEMENT, Elder Zeballos was incredibly supportive. The interview was intense and involved me bearing my testimony, and answering very pointed questions about how I would teach certain gospel principles.

My favorite parts of the interview came from Chad. Elder Zeballos asked Chad how he felt I would be a good role model and Chad shared that he married me because I was smart, ambitious, and want to help people. He even got teary as he talked about me! In response to another question about Chad’s support of me, Chad told Elder Zeballos that he would “consider it a failure if I didn’t support Anna in her dreams.” My heart GUSHED hearing these things from Chad. It made me fall in love with him all over again!

I was also astounded by the final comment Elder Zeballos shared. I had asked him what they were looking for in faculty they want to hire at BYU and Elder Zeballos said, “We need more couples like you. We need couples like you who are role models and show how two people can pursue graduate schools and careers, while also prioritizing their families and their marriage. It is obvious you two love each other. I know it isn’t easy but you are making it work. We  need youth of the church to see that.” I honestly had to pick my jaw up from the floor! Elder Zeballos was the OPPOSITE of sexist! He was really supportive of our mutual goals and family circumstance! When Chad and I left the interview, I turned to Chad and said, “Wow, I can still be Mormon!”

IMG_1379That experience was a very important experience of feeling valued and wanted by my faith and community. That hasn’t always been the case and isn’t the case for many working LDS mothers. As Jared Warren said, I “won the lottery for a GA interview!”

Overall the interview process to be a professor in the psychology department was intense but also felt valuable. This was the first serious job interview I’ve ever had, outside of internship interviews in graduate school.

I don’t know if I’ll be offered the job, or even if I’ll take it if it’s offered to me. But I feel proud of myself for going through a grueling evaluation process. And it feels very flattering to be considered for the position!

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I am in the process of evaluating my career goals and exploring how I want to pursue those goals. I am also taking into consideration my children and their needs in this process. I hope this summer to make a transition. I’ll keep posting as this process unfolds!

 

Bravery

My theme for the year, 2016, is “Bravery.” I will explain one of the reasons I chose this theme in this post. Other reasons I chose this theme, I will disclose at another time.

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do. The first step is giving ourselves permission to show up.” -Brene Brown, The Daring Way.

I continue to wrestle with how much of my story, my experiences, my life and thoughts, I should share in a public forum. It’s always a vulnerable experience to click “publish” after writing a post.

The experience I am going to share in this post feels particularly vulnerable and I’ve thought about my motivations behind wanting to publish it or not. And I decided I wanted to express it in a public way because of the quote I shared at the beginning of this post. In the last six months, I’ve had experiences I feel, perhaps not ready, but willing to talk about. These experiences are part of my story and giving voice to those experiences is one of the ways I practice self-compassion as well as a way I can “show up” in my life. Giving voice to these experiences also is a way for me to honor those experiences and validate my own reactions.

So without any more preamble, I will directly address what I am alluding to: Within the last six months, I have had three miscarriages.

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Trying for another child feels incredibly vulnerable and brave for us.

I know the last time I talked on the blog about planning our family, I believe I shared that we were in a “holding pattern” per-say, of “not deciding” whether to have more children. The tide slowly shifted as we worked through a lot of our reasons for not wanting to have more children. I also recognized that I don’t have all the time in the world to sit on the fence about this as I continue to just get older (turning 34 next month) and my girls continue to grow up.

In August, I expressed willingness to start trying for another baby but did not expect that within that same month, I would be pregnant! It took us 7 months to get pregnant with Cami so I was more than shocked when my period didn’t come as expected. However, a little over a week later, that pregnancy turned into a miscarriage. I noticed with the first miscarriage, I felt relieved. I had barely begun to wrap my head and heart around the idea of trying for another baby and felt overwhelmed that it would become a reality so soon. While I felt relief, I also felt increased awareness that I do want another baby.

So we kept trying.

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I won’t go into many details of the next two miscarriages. I’ll just say that even with the help of prescribed progesterone, both pregnancies were lost at six weeks.

This last one has been the hardest emotionally and physically. In many ways I’m really grateful I miscarried early, before I got too attached. But I did get attached to my little blastocycsts. I could feel my body react and change to their presence, preparing itself to grow a baby. And then I’d suddenly stop feeling those symptoms and within a couple days the bleeding would start.

I feel confused. I feel like something is wrong with my body that I would have three miscarriages in a row; especially when I was given added progesterone to support the most recent pregnancies. I’ve had a miscarriage before these three, but my body has been able to grow and sustain and give birth to three live babies…so what is different now? Will we figure out what is different/wrong? Will we be able to fix it? Will I be able to carry another pregnancy to term?

I feel sad. I feel like life just keeps reminding me that I don’t get to plan my life the way I want. I feel sad that I keep accumulating more losses. I feel tempted in moments to throw myself a well-deserved pity party. These miscarriages bring up my grief for Charlie and that is painful.

I feel upset. I feel upset that life continues to be unfair. The self-righteous part of me protests that we’ve already gone through more than any parent should be asked to go through so we deserve to have a continuous flow of blessings, when and how we want them! (Yes I hear how pretentious I sound) Or at worst, we shouldn’t have to keep feeling hurt and keep losing. While I am upset, and I believe those upset feelings are completely valid, I also know that I am blessed that I have been able to give birth to three babies that I have been able to cuddle and kiss. That’s three more than a lot of people get the opportunity to have.

I feel existential angst. These miscarriages trigger all my questions about God and whether He’s involved in our lives or not and if so, how much? Is He to blame for my miscarriages? Does He want us to have more kids? Is there any meaning in the miscarriages? Or should I refrain from giving God credit and recognize that something is going on with my body that we need to figure out? Should I pray and ask that we can get pregnant? Will that help at all? I have certainly learned through losing Charlie, that I can’t control God…but it also makes me hesitant to ask Him for anything. It feels too vulnerable. Why are we encouraged, as Christians, to express gratitude for anything positive in our lives and call them blessings from God, but refrain from blaming Him for bad things that happen? How to we reconcile that? It certainly causes me to have serious attachment issues and want to withdraw.

I also continue to feel hope. While three miscarriages in close succession has been pretty hard emotionally, I’m not down for the count. Not by a long shot. I actually feel like we’re at the beginning of another journey and we need to seek answers. We meet with my OB in a little over a week to discuss where to go from here. I imagine we’ll likely pursue seeing a fertility specialist at this point as well.

In the meantime, I’m trying to stay present in my life. I’m trying to appreciate more each moment with my girls, engage in those things I value, and practice mindfulness and self-compassion.
We’ll see how this journey progresses. While I know we won’t have a new little Packard in our arms this 2016, I am determined to make amazing memories and have great adventures this year!