I just don’t have the energy..

No, this isn’t some post about pregnancy energy…I refuse to complain about this pregnancy, because every moment, every single second,  is an absolute miracle.

This is a post about not having the energy for anger, resentment, and frustration.

I’m beginning to wonder if anyone in my life truly understands the toll infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss takes on a person. Going though infertility or losing even one baby, no matter how far along you were, is a terribly painful and emotionally-traumatizing experience. I honestly don’t even know how to explain the pain that comes and often wish I could somehow put it into words.

When someone tells me that miscarriage is a ‘nature’s way of sorting things out’ I often want to say to them, “And imagine if your child wasn’t here.. Imagine you had to live without them.” Most parents cannot even imagine a life without their child.. they just can’t. While I’ve had do that four times. Yes, I realize because it’s been said to me, that most don’t even consider my miscarriages to be babies. But I did and they were my babies. And honestly, even before I got those two pink lines I had my future planned with them.

It’s ironic though, because now that I’m pregnant and made it past the ‘danger zone’ everyone thinks that I’m perfectly okay. Most people in my life think I have no worries or that my worries aren’t justified (yes, that’s been said to me too).

Maybe I’m crazy, or as my therapist and I discussed it’s a form of post-traumatic stress, but getting pregnant does not ‘fix’ everything.

I’m pretty good for the most part.. I’ve really been trying and putting my energy into this.  I’ve allowed my husband to buy and set-up a crib.  I’ve accepted gifts and used items from friends and officially have baby items in the house.  I’ve taken bump pictures. I’ve parked in the ‘expecting mothers’ spot for the very first time yesterday (yes, I may have cried in my car for a bit that I actually get to do that), and I even talk about Nora to others.  I’ve allowed people to celebrate her with me. I’m even talking about how different our lives will be in April because that’s when she’ll be here. These are all huge steps, but there is still anxiety.

When I use the bathroom, I still check the toilet paper for spotting every.single.time. I have nightmares…to the point that Tony cannot physically wake me up because I’m crying so hard in my sleep. I haven’t had these types of nightmares since I was a kid, when I saw a Freddy Krueger movie once. Every cramp or muscle pulling..which is sometimes multiple times a day.. I worry and my mind automatically goes to the worst place possible. And this pregnancy makes me think of the babies I did not get to experience kick and I did not feel grow. I also know that in just a few short days, I would have had a 2 year old… I remember those dates. I simply just cannot forget.

My point isn’t about my anxiety, I am happy I get to experience pregnancy anxiety vs. the heartbreak of a miscarriage this time. I’m ironically okay with the anxiety because that means she’s still with me. It’s such a strange balance, but *this* anxiety is something I am happy to have. But my point isn’t about anxiety or how people don’t understand it’s really about self-care.. (I’m getting there, I promise).

I am doing everything I can possibly do to make sure Nora is safe, restraining my fears because I know there are just some things that are beyond my control. It’s faith that has been getting me through those fears.. But I know how quickly something bad can happen and it is taking all my energy to remain calm, push away the fear, put myself and family first, and make Nora my top priority. I am celebrating her and I am enjoying every moment I get to carry her. And I am excited to meet her. I came across this quote and it’s perfect- I’m putting all my energy into not being afraid and loving her fiercely..

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It’s making me realize that there is absolutely no room for anger anymore. I’ve spent so long through the course of infertility being angry, holding grudges, and being bitter because of the pain infertility has caused, I just don’t have the energy to both celebrate Nora and be angry at others, so of course Nora comes first.

It’s not that I’ve forgotten how much someone has hurt me, but I’m just ready to let things go.

I want to enjoy this pregnancy and this exciting time with Nora. I don’t have time to waste on fighting with the family or being angry about something that’s happened in the past. There is just simply not enough space in my brain or heart for that.

Life is just too short.. I’ve learned that setting boundaries isn’t selfish at all. And for me, right now it’s about Nora. So I’m just done with anger, frustration, and resentment that I’ve been holding onto. I’m just done with it.

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New Doctors, Anatomy Scan, Halfway There

New Doctors 

While it was terrifying switching practices at 18wks, I had my first appointment at my new practice and I must say that I’m thrilled I switched. My first appointment was an intake exam with the nurse to get my history 2 weeks ago. Due to her infertility history (which I won’t share here), we were instantly connected and I felt immediately at ease. The appointment was quick, but it was a good introduction for what to expect from this practice.

Then, last week, I met with one of the doctors in the new practice. There are 5 total and I’ll meet with each of them before I deliver and one of them will deliver Nora (praying for that moment). The doctor walked in and she was young, very beautiful, and her bedside manner was so genuine. She was prepared and read my files before she walked through the door.  I loved her immediately.

My first thought is that it was a COMPLETELY different experience. I felt like for the first time since leaving my RE, I could finally relax a bit. I could finally trust my doctor. She was even one step ahead of me, which is so important to me.

It’s ironic though, because within minutes of her looking at my file she said she was referring me to Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM). She justified her reasoning- PCOS, thyroid issues, and my recurrent pregnancy loss history. Her opinion was that I still have things that could interfere with this pregnancy, especially in the 3rd trimester.

She also said that the extra monitoring is important with my history and she said, “This is the baby you need to bring home and I’m going to do everything to make sure that happens.” I’m not just a number. I could already tell she cared about me and my baby. 

Anatomy Scan

So today, I had my first appointment with MFM, which happened to be my anatomy scan.

I picked Tony up from school at about 11:30, we went to lunch for soup and salad at the Olive Garden, and we arrived at our appointment at 1:15pm. I will admit I was a nervous wreck..it was bad. I cried a few times over basic conversation. I knew it was because the anatomy scan is one of the most important ultrasounds and past ultrasounds have been a source of pain for me.

We arrived early, met with a genetic counselor, where we went over my entire history. This part of the appointment was about a half an hour.

Then they put me in the US room and checked my blood pressure. Probably not the best thing for someone who has a RPL background and feels a tremendous of anxiety before each ultrasound. It was insanely high, so much so that she joked about admitting me until I explained my situation to her and asked her to come back after the ultrasound. While I may seem calm and okay, my blood pressure proved otherwise.

I knew I’d be having an abdominal ultrasound, but this is something most people take for granted. I’ve had very few of these and it’s a huge deal for me.  At 12 wks they did a transvaginal, I think because she was afraid with my history to attempt an abdominal. What if they didn’t see the baby?? This time though, it was an abdominal without any question. They weren’t worried.

I could see Nora right away moving around on the ultrasound. The tech made several comments about how uncooperative she was, but to me that just meant that she is strong. She is able to fight back and move her body well. All great signs. The tech checked the heart, the brain, the bones, the and the abdomen, and clicked away at her measurements.

I then waited for the doctor to come in and his first words were, “Congratulations, you have a healthy baby girl!” I immediately teared up.. what amazing words to hear. A healthy baby girl.. words I was scared I’d never hear.

He then sat down and started doing the ultrasound himself. While he was clicking away though, he explained each thing they look for and showed me why Nora was on track. We left with a handful of pictures, smiles on our faces, and tears in our eyes. We are so thankful.

Friday the 13th has always been a good day for us and today that continued to be true.

I added a new tab on my blog of US pictures (I won’t post them right here), so if you’re in a good place and want to check them out, you can click here

Switching Doctors at 18wks

If there is anything I’ve learned about infertility, specifically recurrent pregnancy loss, is that you have to be your own advocate. I’m drafting a post about that now.. Hopefully it’ll be finished soon.

I’ve had to do a lot of advocating for myself and this pregnancy is no different. The longer I am pregnant, the more I feel the need to advocate for myself because it’s not just about me. It’s also for Nora.

Previously I had blood work for my thyroid, in mid-September. My thyroid was normal, but I still had this feeling I should probably see an endocrinologist. I brushed it off wondering if I was being overly paranoid. My practice wouldn’t write the referral, told me only my primary care physician could give me a referral, and they reassured me they could handle my thyroid. I already demanded they test it every 4 wks instead of every trimester, which they agreed. I trusted that yes, thyroid is something they could handle. Besides I’d know the results each time and they have 15? doctors at the practice, certainly someone would understand thyroid.

Well, after blood work two weeks ago (on a Monday), I got a call from a nurse at my practice telling me my thyroid was elevated and I’d need an endocrinologist. Again, they refused the referral. I knew I should have trusted my instincts. This is something I could have taken care of weeks ago, but instead I was reassured it was something they could monitor.

So in a panic, I called my RE’s office (the ones that have been monitoring my thyroid for over 2 years) and left a message. I then called my primary care physician and luckily for me they had an appointment in 15 minutes and I was only 10 minutes away. No, I wasn’t showered and I was still in my PJ’s, but I rushed out the door.

My doctor reassured me that my levels were okay, confirmed that my OB *can* write a referral but just didn’t feel like dealing with it, and he would write the referral. He actually put it in as stat and I had an appointment that Friday, only a few days later.

In the meantime my RE called back and also agreed to write a referral as well. His nurse was a little upset that they cannot even monitor thyroid or write a referral. It’s nice to know though, even now that I’ve been released, I’m not just a number to them. They were still willing to help me.

I met with the endocrinologist and she was lovely. She sent me for more blood work, reviewed my file and then said, “Why are you not seeing a high risk doctor?” When I asked her to elaborate and she said, “You have a history of recurrent loss, you had unexplained bleeding at 7wks, you have PCOS, you’ve been proven to have insulin resistance, and you’re hypothyroid,” she continued to say, “You are at an increased risk for gestation diabetes and preterm labor.”

But here’s the thing. I don’t really think I’m high risk at this point. In the first trimester? Yes. I was high risk in the first trimester, but everything now seems to be going well.

Although, she did validate that I should be getting better care than I’m getting, I still don’t think I really need a high risk doctor at this point.  She told me she was referring me to a high risk doctor anyway because at least then they can decide if I need to see them or not. At least they will be able to review my care and give me a recommendation.

She called me back personally (which says a lot about a doctor) and told me she made a call to them. However, I discovered that the high risk doctor does not accept referrals from endocrinologists, they will only accept referrals from OBGYNs.

Again, this was not a major blow because I don’t really think I’m high risk at this point, but I’m not happy with my current practice. Monitoring and adjusting thyroid meds *should* be something they can do. I don’t feel like I’m getting the best possible care and I see someone new every time I go in and have to explain my entire history. I do feel like I’m just a number and that’s not okay.

While I know things are completely different now that I’m considered ‘normal’, I still think I need to be my own advocate and make sure I’m getting the best possible care.

So after talking a nurse at the high risk practice, I’ve decided to switch practices based on her recommendation. I’m going with a smaller practice that only has 5 doctors. Everyone that I’ve spoken to has also had a good experience.  My first appointment with them is on Thursday with a nurse, and then I meet with a doctor on the follow Monday.

I’m looking forward to my appointment on Thursday and really hope it goes well.

An exhausting week..

It’s been a long week… And I’m exhausted, but it really has nothing to do with pregnancy whatsoever. The whole family is exhausted.

My husband and his younger brother teach together (in the same department). They are always together and over the years have become really close. When they’re not teaching, they are working to restore their dad’s Camaro or hanging out in our garage working on their own projects.

So last Thursday, was a tough day for my husband, Tony. His little brother was found outside at school unconscious after having a seizure (although we didn’t know it was a seizure at the time). After regaining consciousness, he was taken to the hospital by ambulance, where the testing began.

His catscan came back abnormal showing a mass on his frontal lobe. The MRI confirmed he had a tumor that needed to be removed. High blood pressure runs in the family, if he had any reason to pass out, we thought it was because of that.  Never in a million years would we have thought he’d be needing brain surgery. We thought, *maybe* he would need some blood pressure medication and he’d be on his way.

He spent sometime in the trauma neuro where they monitored him for any seizure activity. He was then moved to a regular room while he awaited surgery. It is honestly amazing to see their family pull together in a time like this. We all visited, made dinners, and took turns going in to spend time with him. The school they work at has also been amazing too. The cards, letters, visits, and support has been so helpful.

On Sunday night, my SIL planned a family dinner and that’s where we were able to celebrate that Tony and I are having a baby girl. Their oldest brother (who works at the hospital) found a storage/utility room to use and they set up tables and chairs, the food, and even decorated. It wasn’t ideal for a reveal, but I couldn’t think of a better place. We were all together and everyone really had a very nice time. The pictures are here. Send me an email or message if you’d like the password.

Wednesday was a tough day.. That’s when they took Tony’s younger brother to surgery. We saw him before surgery and his family was able to spend a little more time with him.  We were all there to support him and he’s loved by so many people. We waited hours staring at the surgery update screen. His aunt brought in homemade chicken pot pie, and we spent time talking and reading magazines.

Finally my MIL’s pager went off (I think we waited close to 4-5 hours) and we were able to see the doctor. He explained that they were able to remove approximately 90% of the tumor and answered all of our questions.

Tony’s younger brother is strong and surgery went well. He spent Wednesday night in the trauma neuro again for monitoring and then was by Thursday was transferred to a regular room.  When we saw him Thursday night, he was up out of bed, in his regular clothes (he hates those hospital gowns) and making conversation with all of us. Today he is home resting and recovering. To think he had brain surgery less than 48 hours ago and he’s home already is crazy, although we are thankful.

They wouldn’t tell us what his future recovery will look like until the tumor is biopsied. We should get those results back in 7-10 days.

But our family could continue to use some prayers. We are praying for a benign result and hoping for a fast recovery. Your prayers and positive thoughts are very much appreciated.


We learned a few short weeks ago that I am currently carrying our little girl. We found out through chromosomal testing as we won’t have the anatomy scan for another 4 weeks.

While having a healthy baby is all we want, knowing we are having a little girl is so amazing. We are parents to a daughter and we named her Nora. That’s always been our girl name. Nora means light and we think it’s perfect. Her middle name is Lane and we just love the way Nora Lane sounds together.

The decision to share her name and the fact that she’s a girl is partly out of fear and mostly out of the need to celebrate.

Fear because we want people to know our baby. We are only ever guaranteed this moment.  Sometimes it seems like my other babies didn’t even exist to anyone but Tony and I.

I want our baby to have a name and people to know if the baby is a boy or a girl.   I have learned through this infertility struggle that there is no ‘safe’ point in pregnancy. I want people to know her.

But the main reason we are sharing the details of our baby is because we want to celebrate her. As uncomfortable as it is to share this with the world because the fear is always there, she doesn’t deserve to live in the shadow of my fear. She deserves to be celebrated by the friends and family that love her already.

Nora deserves the bump photos, the gender party, the nursery prepared. She deserves people to call her by name.  I always said that if I was lucky enough to get pregnant again, I would only purchase a car seat and a bassinet and I could get the rest after the baby is here because I was so scared. But the truth is, things change. Hope changes.

I’ve talked about this in depth with my therapist and what I’ve decided is that I cannot live in the future. I am only guaranteed right now. And how do I want to live in this moment? I want to live in happiness. Gratitude. Excitement.

My little girl is with me right now and that’s an absolutely beautiful gift and worth being celebrated, which we did tonight… I’ll update you on that later about the celebration with a password protected post, but it was still an absolutely wonderful celebration.

So, today we are telling the world about our little girl, Nora.



Beginning of the 2nd Trimester

“I can’t help but be scared, you know? Like maybe all of this is too good to be true..” I said to Tony yesterday while we were standing in the kitchen.

“Not me, I have faith that this is the baby we are bringing home” Tony said with such confidence in his voice.

The problem about RPL is you’re always waiting for the bad news to come. You know, that’s what you’re used to when dealing with infertility. One thing bad thing happening after another. When things are going well, like really well, it’s hard to enjoy. Your guard is always up.

But another side of me just feels like this time is different and every time I’m fearful, I decide to fight those feelings and focus on the positive. A lot happened over the last few weeks and as promised, I’m still going to update.

Harmony Results:
Our Harmony results came back and everything is very low risk for chromosomal abnormalities. We did find out what we are having, but are waiting until the 18th to share with our family. We will be sharing the name and the sex of the baby because we want people to know our child now. Our baby is growing and our baby deserves to have an identity and be celebrated.

2nd Trimester:
I’m actually 15 weeks tomorrow, which doesn’t feel real. I made it passed 14 weeks and no matter who you ask, that’s the second trimester. I’ve NEVER made it to the 2nd trimester.

Midwife Appointment: 

Last Monday I had another appointment. It went really well and we scheduled an early glucose test and another thyroid test for October 19th. Overall I’m happy with how they are monitoring everything and are honoring my requests. We heard the heartbeat, nice and strong at 162 and the nurse said my uterus is moving up like it should and the top is in the right spot.

In an effort to embrace this pregnancy and be more hopeful, I started a new Instagram account. My username is sbthomas_0531. If you request, know that I will be posting pregnancy updates, US pics, bumps, and of course every day-to-day things. https://instagram.com/sbthomas_0531/

Facebook Announcement: 
I even announced on Facebook, which I never thought I’d do. I always thought I would either announce when the baby was here or when I was so far along I couldn’t hide it anymore.  Except, I truly felt like this was another opportunity to bring attention to infertility. If something were to go wrong at this point, I will certainly need so much support.

With the announcement, I didn’t want to include a sugar-coated version. I didn’t want a cute little picture to announce because the reality is, there are too many people on my feed still struggling that wish for that picture. So this is the picture I included. FullSizeRender

And this was our actual (very long) announcement we posted to Facebook:

“Tony and I been struggling with infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss for just over 3 years. You might have seen my Facebook posts, read my infertility blog, or even liked the blog’s Facebook page. Many of you have even lived this pain with us. You’ve hoped when we hoped and you’ve cried when we cried. And there has been a lot of hope and certainly a lot of tears.

And today we have big news to share. We would like to share that we are expecting a baby in the very beginning of April 2016. We haven’t hid this pregnancy on my blog or FB page, but it’s time to actually announce.

We are praying this is the baby we get to hold in our arms and take home. So, at this moment, we are choosing to celebrate and share the joy with everyone. We are fully aware that there is no ‘safe’ point in pregnancy, but also know that this time has been completely different and continues to be very different. Chromosomal testing even came back very low-risk. So today, we are choosing to have Faith and share our joy.” 

There was a lot of support and I was grateful. I just kept repeating “Jinxes aren’t real.. Jinxes aren’t real” because honestly, announcing was still pretty scary even though so many people knew already.

I’m still taking it one day at a time. My goal is to let go of some of this fear and start really celebrating this pregnancy- talking about it more in my life, buying things that seem scary, taking more pictures, and trusting this process. It will take work, but I truly believe this baby deserves to be celebrated.