Monthly Archives: August 2018

My Body, Part 2

Well my last post was kinda dark, angry and negative; so I felt like I needed a follow up post that was more positive. Make sure you ready My Body, Part 1 before this!

With body trust out the window, lets focus on hope. Hope, the only thing stronger than fear. The feeling that what is wanted can be had. Wishing is the fantasy that everything is going to turn out OK. Hoping is actually showing up for the hard work.

hope-1-2                      hope

I did some research and was surprised to find out that the topic of hope has actually been well studied. Jerome Groopman, (link at bottom of post), a writer at The New Yorker who is focused on medicine and biology, did a lot of digging. His research showed that there are two mental states associated with hope–belief that something can happen and expectation that it will. Those states have an impact on our nervous system, setting off a chain reaction that makes our improvement and recovery more likely. It literally makes us feel better to have hope–ever seen a happy hopeless person?

Now that we know how hope can help us, how do we hope in our bodies?

  • Keep your own personal identity–be YOU. TTC after loss often feels like we are a changing as a person, like we have donned a completely different persona. Don’t lose yourself in your desire to have another child. Your child will need you–not this alternate personality you are subconsciously creating.
  • Stay social! Understand you are not alone. Go to support groups, talk to your doctor’s office social worker, take this journey with a friend that has experienced the same thing. If none of that is your style, try blogging like me–create your own community.
  • Regain your control. Often in this journey I feel like I have lost the power to take an active role in my pregnancy. Set yourself some goals, or if you need something–advocate for it! Monitor your own health by tracking your blood pressures (you can buy an at home cuff), how much water you are drinking, how much weight you are gaining, etc…
  • Actively try to understand what is going on. Become a pregnancy expert! Is the doctor spouting terms you don’t understand? Write them down and look them up later–build that vocabulary! Figure out how to understand an ultrasound, what part of that baby blob is a leg? The more you understand it, the less you will be afraid of it.

I don’t think any of us TTC PAL moms will ever get rid of fear, but we can have hope–a single thread of hope is a very powerful thing. ❤




My Body, Part 1

This was a very difficult post to write, and it’s kinda dark–I had a hard time putting it into actual words and was angry the entire time I wrote it. This is also a 2 part post, so see the next post after you are done reading this one.

Everyone says you have to learn to trust your body again after stillbirth or miscarriage. Naturally, my first thought when writing this post was to define what trust was in terms of a woman and her body. I found this definition:

“The act of placing confidence in someone or something else.” 

At first I thought I nailed it. Placing confidence in someone translates for us as placing confidence in ourselves. But, the second part of the definition stopped me in my tracks. “Or something else.” Something else? Then it hit me–I see my body as “something else.”

I don’t see my body and I as one. I feel detached, like it’s just something I’m stuck with. As if it’s just the vessel that carries me, my psyche, my soul–whatever you want to call it–around. A defective, useless vessel. If my body was a car, I would trade it in, take it to the junkyard, get a refund. I realize I view my body and I as two separate things. It’s just what physically carries me around. I don’t want this body–it let me down. Not once, but twice; and I sure as hell don’t trust it to not let me down a third time.

I feel like my body didn’t do its job. When I miscarried Riley (as much as it emotionally hurt), at least I could think “my body knew there was something wrong, so it just shut it down.” Don’t get me started on my retort to my body that “Well, you should have known all the ingredients weren’t right and not have made the baby in the first place!”

But my body failed BIG TIME on Nyla.  Like, major FUBAR. A “your fired” kind of mistake. So how to I trust it again? Well guys–I don’t. I probably never will. But I’m stuck with it–it’s like a bad relationship, that ex you keep going back to. I can’t break up with it, divorce it, or pretend it doesn’t exist. I can’t even distance myself from it by moving out of state! I have no choice but to give it a nasty look and think “you better not fuck up AGAIN.”

So when it comes to trusting your body after loss–throw that shit out the window. It’s not gonna happen. So focus on your desire to have a child again over trust building. Drown out those feelings of distrust with thoughts of baby cuddles, laughs, and little outfits. Trust is gone, all we have left is hope.





So, quite obviously this is my family tree. I want to write about the characteristics that I hope will be passed on to BTB (baby to be) by the family. I have to say, this topic really made me think, and was pretty fun. I recommend doing it!

So, a quick rundown of the tree–Nick’s side can get pretty confusing! Nick’s parents are Len and Tracy (now divorced) and they had three boys together–Nick, Andrew, and Jake. Tracy remarried to Bill who had two daughters from a previous marriage–Jess and Casey, so they are Nick’s step-sisters. Nick’s dad also remarried and had two more kids–Jon and Katie,Nick’s half-siblings. I won’t even factor in all Nick’s cousins, there are too many to count and after 6 years I still can’t keep them straight! As for Nick’s grandparents, they have all passed on (before I met Nick) except Gloria.

On my side, it is pretty straightforward. My parents were only children, and my grandparents have all passed on (I only knew my grandmothers). My two younger brothers Thomas and Samuel also passed on before/at birth. My other brother John is the eldest sibling of the family.

So, now that any possible confusion has been straightened out, lets get down to what I hope is passed on! Lets start with Nick’s side.

As you can probably guess, our daughter Nyla was named after Nick’s grandmother on his dad’s side. I never got the privileged of meeting her as she had long since passed on when I entered the picture. From all that I hear she was an utterly amazing woman, and meant a lot to everyone right up until the day she died. That is why we named our daughter Nyla, it would be such gift for her to have grown up into half the woman Grandma Nyla was.

As I do know my husband’s grandmother Gloria well, I hope that our BTB is as caring and kind as she still is, well into her eighties. I wish that he or she will grow to have the love for their children as my father-in-law Len does. That they will be as smart and responsible as Nick’s mom Tracy, and have the sense of humor and fairness of his step-dad Bill.

I want our child to have the sensitivity and generosity of Nick’s younger brother Jake, and the confident and enthusiastic personality of his other brother Drew. I pray that he or she has the sincere love for animals just as much as my sister-in-law Jess. I don’t know much about Jess’s sister Casey, but as I get to know her I am sure she will have a trait I hope my BTB has! I dream that our baby has the bubbliness and creativity of the hub’s little sister Katie, and the knack for saving money like his youngest brother Jon.

As for my side of the family, my input is limited as I am estranged from my parents; all my grandparents have passed, and my brother is kinda off in his own world. But I’ll give it a try! I wish for our babe to have the hard-work ethic of my dad, and the cooking skills of my mother. I hope that he/she inherits the ambition and self-dicipline of my brother John.

So now–what do I hope they inherit from Nick and I?? My longing is that our BTB gets Nick’s loyalty, honesty, compassion, forgiveness and authenticity. I hope that he/she gets my desire to help people, courage to stand up for what is right, and my perseverance to succeed in life.

I want my child to be their own person, but these are some of the important traits I wish that they will have ❤

OBGYN Love <3

I think one of the most important things any pregnant or TTC woman can do is find an OB that they are comfortable with and trust. I will NEVER leave my OB–she has been with me through it all and even gave me her personal cell phone number when I was losing Nyla. She is an amazing listener, and I completely trust her advice.

We’ve all probably had some OBGYN’s that were okay, got the job done, but we didn’t love ’em. Before you are TTC or pregnant, all you really go for is your annual exam, so not loving your doctor isn’t that big of a deal. But once you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, it is one of the most important relationships you can have. That office will be like a second home to you.

I had been through my fair share of doc’s, but my primary doctor referred me to my current OBGYN when I was first pregnant with Riley. I hadn’t even had my first appointment with her before I miscarried. I cancelled the appointment because I thought I wasn’t gonna need it. Surprise, 6 weeks later I needed that appointment!

I remember when I met her for the first time. My first thought was that she didn’t look anything like her picture online. But, any doubts I had were quickly dispelled by her real care and open personality.  After the first visit, I mostly saw her NP–who was also amazing. She was down to earth, and pegged my anxiety and need to be in control the second she walked into the room.

Unfortunately, neither of them were in the office when when I had the devastating ultrasound at 21 weeks. But once Nick and I had made the decision to let Nyla go to heaven early, I met with my doc to talk it all out.

She cried for me. My OB who had no doubt seen many of these tragedies before cried for me. She sobbed with me, hugged me, and she told me it wasn’t fair. She listened, comforted me, and promised me I would get through the next few days.

When I met with her for my follow up visit after the hospital; she made me feel not judged, cared for, and understood. Her office is warm and comforting, not sterile and cold. She sat with me and we talked for a long while, cried some more and hugged some more. She told me she could feel Nyla’s presence in the room–something most people would probably think was weird or unprofessional. I felt so comforted, I knew she could sense her. I felt more at peace and knew that Nyla would never leave me.

I will stay with this office for all my pregnancies–I receive amazing care from all the medical staff.

Ladies, do yourself a HUGE favor and find a doctor that you can relate to and trust as completely as I do. It will make a world of difference if God forbid, anything ever goes wrong. ❤



Flying and Pregnancy

So my hubby’s brother is getting married–in Hawaii. The wedding is in January, and hopefully by that time I will be pregnant–about 5 months if I get pregnant this cycle.

A lot of women are concerned with flying when pregnant. Of course every individual woman should ask their OB, which I fully intend to do when I am pregnant. But the general guidelines are pretty sensible.

Generally speaking if you have a healthy pregnancy, your OB and the airline will have no qualms about you flying before 36 weeks. Some airlines might require a letter from your OB, or the purchase of travel insurance.

While flying, avoid gassy foods or carbonated drinks as once you are in the air it can cause discomfort. But do remain hydrated (even tho it will make you pee more!) Make sure that you are stretching your legs, flexing your feet and ankles, and if possible to walk up and down the isle. It also might be wise to invest in a pair of compression stockings to help avoid blood clots. However, that is the only piece of tight clothing you should wear. Keep everything else loose and comfortable.

Of course, make sure you are aware of the nearest medical facilities at your lay-overs and at your destination. Better safe than sorry ladies!

While I am not looking forward to flying while pregnant (especially since I don’t do well on planes in the first place!), it will be pretty awesome to take my baby to Hawaii. I can’t wait to take bump pics next to a coconut tree and wear a bikini without feeling fat–because hey! I’m pregnant so I’m large and in charge! ❤


Pregnancy Preparations after Loss

There is a whole laundry list of things to do when you are trying to get pregnant–and your OB will hand you another folder of them when you visit. But what about PAL? How do you prepare for that??

I think the first thing to do is accept your emotions. No matter what time you start trying (right after loss, or father down the road), it is going to be emotional. I went thru a whole range of emotions and I waited a year and a half before I was willing to try again. Some emotions that PAL moms might experience are sadness, anxiety, anger, detachment, guilt, and fear.

Some moms find it helpful to have a “pre-conception” appointment with their OB. That way the couple can bring all their fears and/or concerns to the table and have them addressed by a medical professional. Any bloodwork or scans can be done at that time to reassure the couple. At that visit, couples can also ask for recommendations for therapists, Doulas, and any local pre-conception classes. This visit is a great time to talk about your risks for more miscarriages or stillbirths. Ask if this pregnancy will be considered “high-risk”, and if you need more bloodwork or more frequent check-ups. Don’t be afraid to write down all your questions and the answers. That way if you forget, you have something to look back at for a reference.

If you are TTC, it is also important to eat right, sleep, take vitamins and exercise.  Not only will this make you feel better, but your body will be in the best shape possible for a baby. It can be a good idea to take up yoga or meditation to help with your stress level. Make sure you start taking a prenatal vitamin to build up all the levels in your body. Exercise is great for weight management, cardiovascular health, and can help with any depression you may be feeling. As for eating right, stock your diet with protein, fruits/veggies, and whole grains. Don’t forget to stay hydrated as well! Sleep is also very important, so if you are having trouble, talk to your doctor to find a pregnancy safe sleep supplement.

Start cutting out unhealthy/not-allowed-during-pregnancy habits as well. Get a head start on smoking cessation, stop drinking alcohol, and start to limit your caffeine. Talk to your doctor about what medications are safe for pregnancy, and which ones you cannot take. This is always best to do in advance in case you have to try alternatives. Always easier to find out now that you don’t tolerate a certain substitution then when you are out of time because you are pregnant. This is especially important with mental health medications–not something you want to be changing overnight.

Let’s be honest though ladies. No matter how much we try to prepare we will never have it as easy as those first time moms. The ones who never have been touched by sadness or fear, or even think of the possibility that after 9 months of this hard work, there will be no baby to hold. PAL’s, do what you need to do to get through and enjoy this pregnancy. Remember your mantra! “Today my mind will focus on hope over fear”


TTC day 7. I have been kinda of irritable and frustrated over the past few days, I’m wondering if it has anything to do with my hormones now that I am off birth control and past shark week #1. I also had a anxiety attack last night that got bad enough I took a Xanax. Whatever the reason, I am hoping it goes away soon.

Excitement meter: 5

Scared Shit-less meter:2




Small Comforts

When Riley died, I had nothing to remember my baby by besides a date as I was only 5 weeks along. With Nyla, I had so much more–baby blanket, hospital bands, a tiny pink crocheted hat. But nothing that I was able to have with my on a daily basis once I returned to work.

Since Nyla was so tiny, we had her cremated and her ashes are in a small urn. While at the funeral parlor, I saw a necklace that was able to hold a small amount of cremains (cremated remains) so that a person could have their loved one near at all times. My mother-in-law was kind enough to buy it for me, and I wear it everyday.

I am so attached to this necklace. It means so much to me to have Nyla with me everyday. ❤