How long the bleeding can last
I miscarried Mother's day weekend and the bleeding continued for six and a half more weeks. According to my multiple google searches, 2 weeks is "normal" but it may last longer than that. For me it did, and I didn't know if it was ever going to stop. After a month I stopped going into the doctor's office (more on that below), but I felt like my body was healing in it's own time. If I had been cramping or in any pain I definitely would have talked to a healthcare professional. Luckily, the bleeding stopped and I was finally able to not be constantly reminded of what I had lost.
- What it feels like to get weekly blood tests
This is the reason I stopped seeing my doctor. I had my blood drawn at my first appointment where my doctor told me while looking at my ultrasound, "I don't see anything in there." I had it drawn again a couple days later and my hCG levels weren't dropping very quickly. So my doctor asked that I come in again the next week for a shot to resolve any possible ectopic pregnancy and allow them to take another blood draw. This continued for three weeks. With massive bruises on each arm and anxiety over going in again, I made the best decision for my mental and emotional health to stop getting my blood drawn. So glad I made that decision. Again, if I had been in pain at all I would have continued to seek professional help. It should also be noted that I just stopped receiving all the lab bills for those blood draws.
- My grief doesn't look like someone else's, and that's okay
I consider myself a pretty optimistic person, and so my brain often doesn't want to open up about hurt, pain, sorrow, loss. I never want to bum people out. But it doesn't mean I don't feel all of those things. Sharing a little bit about how I've felt and what I've learned from my experience is how I'm able to move forward in a positive way. Sometimes I feel like that might make me seem fake or less authentic, but everyone grieves differently. Having an optimistic perspective that my experience can help someone else is how I'm coping with my loss, and that's true to who I am right now. And however you grieve, that's okay too!!
- Talking about it brings out emotions and allows you to stay on top of them
I felt burdened by what I was going through and opening up to my mom and sisters almost a month later was so healing for me. Sharing my experience here on the blog was hard for me, but also allowed me to understand just how many women go through something like what I experienced. It's given me so much understanding of how important it is to not judge others. You never know what they may be going through or what struggles they've faced in the past. I almost didn't share anything at all because I didn't want people to feel like they had to cheer me up or that I was seeking attention from my situation. But I'm glad I followed my heart felt feelings to post anyway because it's brought me closer to my family, friends, and complete strangers. It's also brought me closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I'm so grateful for that.
- The grief and worry don't stop after the bleeding does
Luckily my reproductive cycle seems to be normalizing itself four months later, but the grief and worry still occur from time to time. When I see pregnant bellies, pregnancy announcements that have the same due date month our baby would have, gender reveals, regretting flying to California while pregnant, imagining what I'd look like right now if I hadn't miscarried, anytime I think I might be pregnant again but the test is negative, not working out as hard because I think I might be pregnant, wondering what's wrong with my body, etc; You get the idea. I still think about it all the time. I don't know if I'll ever forget about it, because it's the first time I've ever had a personal experience shake me so hard.
I am not alone
I was OVERWHELMED TO TEARS because of all of the women who had experienced something similar and reached out to me with love and understanding. It somehow broke my heart and mended it simultaneously to know so many had been where I was. Not to mention the countless empathetic, loving messages from friends, family, and strangers who were grieving with me even though they didn't know what I was feeling. THANK YOU. Every comment, thought and prayer meant so much to me and I felt so loved by all of you. I also know that my loving Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, had their arms wrapped around me through this trial. The spirit has comforted me and reaffirmed to me that I will have the opportunity to see my angel baby again someday.
An increased love and compassion for others
I think that sometimes heartbreak happens so more love can fit inside it before it's patched back up again. My heart has been opened and my mind is more aware of everyone who might be secretly suffering. If you're going through a miscarriage right now, I'm so sorry. No matter how common it is or how far along you were, the loss is still a loss. The pain is both physical, and emotional. The hormone levels dropping inside you still affect your mental health. See a health professional, and also listen to what you think your body needs to recover. Nothing you did caused this to happen, but from what I've experienced that doesn't stop the regret or paranoia. So just give yourself grace and time. Allow yourself to feel sad, mad, worried or guilty. Reach out to others often, when you feel like you need support. You will be surprised how many others have been through a similar struggle in silence. Please realize that you are not broken. You are strong. You are perfectly you. And you are loved.
*WARNING: TRIGGER POST*
Contains details of a miscarriage.
This is the photo we took on our Anniversary while in San Francisco to announce our pregnancy. We didn't know we would lose our angel upon our return, let alone on Mother's Day.
Near the end of last year, Matthew and I felt prompted to start planning for a third child. In January I was finally able to schedule an appointment with an OBGYN to get my IUD removed. In the past my pregnancies have been quickly conceived with close to no complications. February came and I had a period. March came and I had another period.
I remember having the thought that I was going to miscarry for some reason, but it had never happened before so I completely dismissed the thought.
That's when we decided to try an ovulation test kit. The beginning of April I started peeing in a cup every day to test if I was ovulating. I kept getting negative after negative. Some faint lines, but on an ovulation test that still means negative. The end of April was drawing near and I wasn't having a period, but I still wasn't testing positive for ovulation.
Then suddenly I got my first strong positive ovulation test on April 30th, again on May 1st, and again on the 2nd. It seemed so bizarre, but we took advantage of it anyway. Without my knowledge, Matthew did a second test from my sample cup on the 2nd. But not with an ovulation test, with a pregnancy test! That's when he told me that I was pregnant. He knelt down, announced it to me and kissed my belly in the sweetest way. I was in shock and overjoyed at the same time because we were about to go on a vacation to celebrate our anniversary! The timing couldn't have been more perfect.
I changed my period tracking app to pregnancy mode, and there was a digital image of a 5 week old fetus that appeared on the screen. I still couldn't believe it was real!
When we arrived in SF I started spotting. At first it seemed fine, like implantation bleeding, but I had a feeling something might be wrong. It stopped the next day and so I didn't worry about it very much. On our anniversary we took the 'bumps ahead' photo. What I didn't know at the time was the irony that photo would have just a week later. The women taking the photo congratulated us and they were elated by our upcoming announcement. I was starting to accept and believe that this was really happening!
We got home on the 8th, and the next morning I started bleeding again. But this time it wasn't light and it definitely didn't seem normal. I just kept bleeding. The 10th, 11th, 12th, and on Mother's Day I watched as clots and strings of blood left my body. Every time I went to the bathroom I was terrified that I would somehow see a 6+ week old fetus on the pad lining my underwear.
Throughout the day, I felt depressed and yet comforted. As if in my mind I knew this was going to happen, but my heart still wouldn't accept it. The lessons in church were so incredibly special and applicable to me that day. I couldn't stop sobbing.
Yesterday Matthew gave me a priesthood blessing and he said that I would be comforted through this loss. As a definite statement, not a question. I had scheduled a doctors appointment for Tuesday, so even though it felt final I held on to a fraction of hope that maybe I'd hear a little heartbeat in there, still beating.
Today I watched the doctor do the ultrasound. The screen was dark and I saw my empty uterus. It confirmed all of my feelings and fears. To have that excitement start and end in such a short span of time. It's impossible to explain how heavy the loss felt on my heart in that moment. And yet, somehow I feel okay. I feel like God prepared my mind for this all along.
I lost an angel on Mother's Day.
I don't know why this happened. Why my husband was prompted to do a pregnancy test, and why it was over before I really accepted it. But I do know that God has a plan for me. This loss is a part of His plan and it's a part of my story now.
I'll see you again one day, my angel baby.
It's that time of year again, where I get to ponder and reread the words shared by the prophets. Though I do not get a lot out of listening to the live addresses, two toddlers...you know what I mean? I thoroughly enjoy listening in the weeks following while I read, underline and highlight the revelation given by inspired women and priesthood leaders of the LDS church. April of last year was the first year I decided to create and offer my free general conference printables! That was how my blog really started to take off! I have loved getting messages from you about how you are utilizing my printables to share with those around you!! It's wonderful how faith can bring us together from all places around the world.
I made a little more than usual this year, but there are too many good ones!!! Plus, I had wayyyy too much fun with the Adobe Sketch app to make these watercolor effects. Creativity has always been such a good way for me to express my faith. Writing and artistic design have helped me stay in touch with my personal spirituality through out the years, and I believe that's because my creative mind is one of my God given gifts. It allows me to slow down and appreciate the beauty in the world around me. I can't always speak the way I feel, but I can through artful expression.
I create for myself. It helps me share my faith and testimony, and I pray that it can uplift someone along the way.
Going into conference weekend, I always try to have questions in my mind that I can receive revelation for. I've yet to come away with them unanswered, whether by the words of the prophets or whisperings of the spirit. The biggest take away for me this conference was how my unique and divine nature is important in my Heavenly Father's eternal plan. And that His plan is better than my own. Sometimes I get so caught up in the things I want to accomplish or overcome, that I forget to ask what His plan is for me. If there is one thing I've learned in my life thus far, it's that His plan is ALWAYS BETTER than the one I have for myself.
I know that I am His daughter and that He has a plan for me. Never forget you are a child of God, and He has a plan for you. Listen/watch/read the Prophet's addresses at LDS.org or for more information on what I believe go to Mormon.org
Click on the image you want to download (8x10) - save and print to your hearts content!
I love you all, and I'm so grateful for the tribe I've found through my blogging journey. I hope you're having a wonderful week!
The bishop of our ward issued a three week study challenge to all of the ward members. It's purpose is to increase our personal conversion and testimony. We have been taking it slow, but it's been such a blessing to us. One of the resources we were asked to study was a talk given by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf called, Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth from the October 2014 LDS General Conference.
He tells us how we can receive truth and light in our lives, in addition to how we can lose it. I want to share an excerpt that I found especially profound and made me reflect on my own quest for truth and light.
"The more we incline our hearts and minds toward God, the more heavenly light distills upon our souls. And each time we willingly and earnestly seek that light, we indicate to God our readiness to receive more light. Gradually, things that before seemed hazy, dark, and remote become clear, bright, and familiar to us.
By the same token, if we remove ourselves from the light of the gospel, our own light begins to dim—not in a day or a week but gradually over time—until we look back and can’t quite understand why we had ever believed the gospel was true. Our previous knowledge might even seem foolish to us because what once was so clear has again become blurred, hazy, and distant."
I found such insight in his words. I made these prints to be a reminder to me. I hope I can continue to seek out truth and light. I'm so grateful for the light of the gospel and the happiness it brings to my life. I hope you enjoy these prints and that they will help you to remember how one step into the light will always leads to more light.
Life has been so crazy this month! I cannot even believe how much has happened. So this post will be a little different than usual. It's basically a word vomit of everything that's happened this month. On the 7th we celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary! It's crazy how much has happened in our relationship in those years. We reminisced and had a very fun night together.
The following Monday, Matthew called me from work. He had something important to tell me and assured me that it was not a joke. Prosper was letting their whole devision go. Hundreds of people would no longer have jobs, including my husband.
Months prior to this, Matthew had been feeling discontent with his current position at Prosper and started looking for other job opportunities. At the time he didn't really understand why he felt this way, but now we know it was the spirit prompting him to prepare for this shocking news.
He had two promising interviews with Alliance Health in South Jordan before this happened, and we both felt the final interview would entail him obtaining work with them. Prosper would continue to pay him as if he were a regular employee until July 5th or he found new employment. So Matthew has been home for three weeks, while being paid his normal salary, and will receive one months severance after getting a new job. (Hence the reason we decided to take a spontaneous vacation to Cali/Disneyland last week. Because, why not?!)
After the final interview with Alliance, and some counter negotiation, Matthew accepted an offer to work for them! We both felt that commuting was no longer an option and needed to start looking more seriously for homes in that area. We looked all day for two days, and found a town home in Herriman that we LOVED! So we made an offer.
That meant we needed to sell our house, and fast! We listed it the following Thursday. We had 4 showings on Friday and a full price offer that night, within 24 hours. We accepted that offer on Saturday and we've been hoping everything follows through ever since. We're waiting on the appraisal now, and once we hear back about that we'll really be doing this. The closing date is June 16th. We'll be handing over the keys from our first home, and moving to a brand new one in a place we know hardly anything about.
It's exciting, and completely terrifying at the same time. I know the Lord's hand is in our lives because we have been guided to prepare for this change and things are smoothly falling into place. I know that whatever ends up happening with our home situation will be the right thing for our family at this time. That knowledge helps me feel less afraid to leave the comfort that Layton has been for us.
I don't know if our parents will ever forgive us for moving one hour away, but I'm so grateful they are saddened by the distance growing between us. It shows how much they care for us and our boys. They have been such an amazing support to us, and it'll be hard to leave them. That spontaneous lunches and shopping trips with my mom won't be happening. Turner won't be able to stop by Grammy and Papa's randomly to play. Date nights will be more sparse without Auntie Autumn close by. We'll be leaving a bunch of wonderful neighbors and friends we've grown to love. It makes me so sad to think of it at all.
Leaving comfort is really hard for me. Making new friends is terrifying. Learning how to navigate around a new place is scary. It's the reason I didn't go away to college or move out of my parent's house before I got married. This will be one of the hardest change I've experienced in my life thus far. That probably sounds so stupid to some people, but it's true!
That's also why I know it will help me grow in the biggest way as well. It will push me out of my comfort zone completely. I'm so grateful I don't have to do it alone. I'll be with my people. My husband and my two beautiful boys. And I'll have my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, to rely on through all of it.