I am 1 in 3. 1 out of every 3 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. We lost a pregnancy in between the birth of Owen and Hunter. My pregnancy with Owen was so perfect and easy. He was healthy. I was healthy. I never had morning sickness or swelling. I was very fortunate! He was born in October and after we got over the newborn-shock/haze phase we decided we could not wait to give him a little brother or sister! We started trying as soon as my OB told us we could and left it up to God to bless us with another baby when he knew the time was right.
It was weird but I knew I was pregnant! I took the first test and saw a faint blue line. I waited and took a digital the next morning and sure enough, PREGNANT! We were overjoyed! We told our family and close friends (because we suck at secrets and patience and not sharing practically every bit of our lives with them!) and made our 8 week doctor appointment. At our 8 week appointment, she found the sac but no heartbeat. She was so re-assuring that it was a very real possibility that our timing was off and we were too early to see a developed heartbeat on the ultrasound. I love my OBGYN. She is a wonderful doctor and a wonderful person! She sent us down the hall for lab work and said we should come back in a week and we would know something more definitive at that point.
The next day on my way home from work, one of the nurses called me to tell me they did not like the numbers from my lab work. Everything seemed low. She called in a progesterone supplement prescription for me. She had the unpleasant job of explaining to me that if the pregnancy was viable, this would help it “stick” but that if it was not a viable pregnancy this would not save it. I remember rushing to pick up Cory and make it to the compounding pharmacy before they closed. Everything was such a blur. It felt like living in a dream.
After a week of supplements and agonizing waiting, we went back to the doctor only to have her tell us that we had miscarried, around the 8-9 week mark. Our baby never developed a heartbeat. Heartbreaking and devastated would be a severe understatement. I held it together all the way to the parking lot.
With the blessing of my doctor, I decided to miscarry naturally. It didn’t happen until about 3 weeks after we received our heartbreaking news. The physical and emotional pain was almost unbearable. It’s a pain that still re-surfaces all the time. It’s a pain that no one really talks about. I took one day off from work. One. Day. One day to deal with the gravity of our heartbreak and then it was back to business as usual. But it wasn’t really business as usual- not on the inside. What got me through it all though were Cory and Owen and the promise that God had a plan for our lives- for our little baby’s life.
A month later (just one!) we ended up pregnant again! It was exciting and terrifying. With our first two pregnancies the only outcome I could imagine was joy! But with this pregnancy I knew that the possibility of it ending in despair existed too. So I spent a lot of the pregnancy anxious and worried but also thankful! And our rainbow baby, Hunter Hart, was born on July 25, 2014.
It’s weird for me to write about. It’s sad and it hurts but it’s real and it’s a part of me and my family. I still don’t know what to do or say to someone who is facing the possibility of a miscarriage. There aren’t a lot of words that bring peace when you’re in the depth of those feelings. I tend to turn inwards. I hate anyone seeing me vulnerable but I’ve realized that letting go of what anyone else thinks and just feeling it is the only way to begin healing. There are times when I can think of it and not cry and there are times when it brings the tears from the depth of my soul. And both of those are okay.
Last week was National Breastfeeding Week…so I’m a little late to the party! Breastfeeding week has been going on for the past couple of years in my world! I’m so incredibly proud to say that I breastfed Owen for almost 8 months and Hunter for 2+ years. I’m also incredibly proud to say that when they were hungry- I would feed them, no matter where we happened to be. It’s not like I intentionally sought out public places to feed my babies (Okay- that might be a lie…I developed a breastfeeding bucket list with Hunter!) but I didn’t put anyone else’s comfort above my babies’ needs, because they are babies and everyone else should act like the adults they are.
I remember going to the beach when Owen was a little over a year old (his first time)! While Owen was playing and my husband and I were chasing him around, Cory struck up a conversation with the woman next to us who had a little girl a few months older than Owen. They were chatting away when the woman’s daughter runs up to her, tugs on her mom’s bathing suit, and out came the boob! Poor Cory- he didn’t know whether to look away to avoid getting in trouble with me, walk away to give the lady some privacy, or just ignore (or acknowledge) what was happening and go on with their conversation. He ended up casually wrapping up the conversation and walking back to where Owen and I were playing. Here’s the thing: I wanted to totally high five that lady and tell her how awesome I thought she was. I still regret not having a conversation with her in which I told her how much I admired her! She was doing something totally normal and natural and didn’t think twice about it! On another note- her daughter was also eating cherry tomatoes and I desperately wanted to know how she got her kid to eat such a healthy snack!
I never said anything to her. But she made an impact on me and made my breastfeeding journey with Hunter a little easier. I will say it’s never super comfortable to lift your shirt and expose your boob- even when it’s discreet and brief. I’ve always been more on the self conscious side but I decided that the needs of my children FAR outweigh any discomfort experienced by myself or any other person in our vicinity. I’m lucky that the state of Texas sees it the same way.
And only once have I experienced someone being nasty to me because I was breastfeeding in public. Of course he didn’t have the balls courage to come up to me and say anything, but he made sure I knew he was disgusted by me. And that was just fine- my kids never knew what was going on and I was surrounded by super supportive family so it was actually kind of fun to make weird faces back at him! I also decided how I would handle the situation if it ever arose again: I printed out little sheets stating the legislation that guaranteed my right to breastfeed any place I was legally allowed to be. I figured next time someone was appalled by what was happening, I would take a moment to educate them and let them know that I was protected by the law.
Oh and since I’ve officially progressed to the point of not giving two F’s if anyone opposes where I choose to feed my child, I decided it would be fun to make a list of all the cool places I’ve had the opportunity to be when one of my babies needed feeding:
BREASTFEEDING BUCKET LIST
- On the train at the San Antonio zoo
- The shark tank tunnel at the Downtown Houston Aquarium
- Hooter’s…Multiple times (because obviously!)
- Under the wing of a WWII era aircraft at Wings over Houston
- A crawfish festival (this is where the guy was appalled by my behavior…because there’s nothing like being offended by a woman feeding her child while other women walk around in bikini tops) Side note: I fully support women walking around in bikini tops! Go on girl!
- Driving down the highway (baby was buckled in, I was not. I do not recommend this but desperate times called for desperate measures)
- Houston zoo- an adorable momma monkey was doing it too!! Nature, yall!
Hunter may or may not be flicking off any haters! Also shout out to the best baby wearing wrap ever- Solly Baby! I loved baby wearing!