The rainbow after the storm

The rainbow after the storm

March is Pregnancy After Loss Awareness Month! March is the perfect month for this because it represents fresh beginnings and brighter days. This month, we acknowledge and support women who have experienced pregnancy loss but are now trying to conceive or are pregnant with their rainbow baby.

Pregnancy after miscarriage is harder than I imagined it would be. The last 7 months have been full of fear and hope simultaneously in the strangest way. I have prayed more than I ever have in my entire life. I have worried and prayed and worried some more. I told myself that with each “milestone” of this pregnancy that I would feel better and it would be easier. But, even after passing the first ultrasound, after making it to the 24 week mark where baby is considered “viable,” and even after overcoming a low lying placenta and hearing that baby is healthy and head down and ready to go… there’s still a sliver of fear that trickles in every now and then that makes you doubt that these dreams will come to fruition.

At the same time, I’m excited and anxious and happy. There are so many “what if’s” and I have to constantly remind myself that everything is okay. But the joy is one that makes your heart so full it could literally explode.

Pregnancy after loss is so different from the other three “normal” pregnancies I’ve had. This time you notice every kick. This time you are scared to death when you arrive for a check up at the ob and you’re on top of the world when you leave the office with a good report. This pregnancy is buying all the baby things with all the hope but you say a prayer beside your new bassinet that you’ll actually get to meet this baby. This entire experience has been a balance between joy and grief.

Pregnancy after loss is still grieving the baby you lost while learning to fall in love with a little rainbow. There’s a feeling of guilt that will overcome you every time you begin to complain about your back hurting at 34 weeks or when you’re throwing up for the 21st day in a row, you tell yourself you’re being ungrateful because deep down you know that things could be so much worse. When none of your clothes fit and you can’t sleep at night because you’re so uncomfortable, you remind yourself that this could all be over in an instant.

There’s also an awareness you have when you’re talking about being pregnant or planning for the new baby. While I want to be excited and share everything, I am cautious because I know there could be someone present or listening who is struggling with infertility or who just lost their own baby. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. It has happened to women all around you. Miscarriage has taught me to be sensitive to those statistics.

If you just found out you’re expecting a rainbow, or you’re trying to conceive, or you are grieving a loss, there is hope. This month we remember the storms we’ve been through. We accept the difficulties we are experiencing and we talk about it. We spread awareness about this almost taboo topic and we continue to support each other in an effort to understand that not one of us is alone in this journey.

“In the world of pregnancy after loss there is a story of hope about a precious new life, and it’s the story of the rainbow baby. It is based on the understanding that the beauty of the rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. The clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides hope and promise of new life ahead.”

Pregnancy After Loss Awareness Month

Xoxo,

MK

Miscarriage Grief Doesn’t Just Go Away

Miscarriage Grief Doesn’t Just Go Away

It’s been one whole year since we sat in that ultrasound room waiting to see a little bean and hear a strong heartbeat. After just recovering from a chemical pregnancy just a month before, I truly was not expecting to hear the words, “I’m so sorry. There is no heartbeat.” I don’t think anything can prepare you for how you feel in that moment. Sadness, shock, guilt, confusion. You can’t even comprehend the next steps, much less process all of your feelings.

You had a baby. You were pregnant. Then you weren’t. It was over that quick. And your life was forever changed.

What you once knew about being pregnant is gone. All of those butterflies, and excited feelings, the immediate planning, and eagerness to share… becomes nonexistent. Because from now on, you have lost a child. Your baby died. From the moment they told you, your experience with pregnancy has completely changed. In the days ahead, doubt and worry will have a new meaning. This kind of loss truly changes you. After losing a baby, you start to live in fear of losing everything else around you.

Pregnancy after miscarriage has allowed me to be happy while hurting, and healing all at the same time. It has still allowed me to feel excited, happy, and so grateful, especially the further along we get! But in the back of my mind, there are always the “what ifs” and knowing what could happen. Thoughts that might would have skimmed my mind the first time I was pregnant, now consume me. What if our baby dies? Am I doing something wrong? Maybe I shouldn’t do this, or that. Have I felt the baby move enough? The internal questions are endless and constant. Pregnancy after miscarriage has been a strange mixture of feeling hope again and feeling completely terrified that something could go wrong.

I had no clue how common miscarriages were until it happened to me and I shared our story. Most women grieve silently. And I can see why… You feel broken. You feel not good enough, fragile, and completely heartbroken. You feel like your body has failed you. You feel the most lonely that you could ever feel. It is so very painful. Miscarriage is so unfair.

We have had a rough time. We have experienced heartache that no one should have to experience. We lost a baby. And that is not something to be compared to anyone else’s losses, anyone else’s grief, or anyone else’s struggle to move on. I had to come to terms with the fact that yes, there are other people who have experienced horrible tragedies, but I needed to accept that our grief is real too. That is harder than you think.

Our story is one that we will continue to tell. Not because we want people to know, but because I know how reading stories like this can help comfort you if you’re going through it. Now, one year later to the day, I still feel that grief. I still wish I could have seen that baby’s squishy face. I still wonder ALL of the things… what she would have looked like, what her first word would have been, whether she would have sucked her thumb, and the list goes on. I grieve for the entire life we had planned for that baby. All of the firsts, the lasts, and the in between.

Miscarriage isn’t something you can just “get over” and anyone going through it deserves for that to be acknowledged. To those of you who have been through it or are going through it right now, I see you. I have felt your pain. Although there isn’t a rule book on grief and how long it takes to move on or how you are supposed to feel… one thing has been certain for me… and that is it’s okay to feel how you’re feeling. There will be hope again.

Xoxo,

MK

Read our full miscarriage story here: https://maryfaison.com/2019/02/17/our-miscarriage-story/

Pregnancy After Miscarriage

This pregnancy has been a whirlwind of emotions so far. I will be 19 weeks this week and after losing our last baby at 9 weeks, I am still extremely nervous every day.


Every time I go to the bathroom, I can’t help but look for the one thing that has the potential to change everything… blood. Every time I feel any kind of pain, it sends off alarms in my head. Every minute of every day, I have to try not to think about what could go wrong.


Am I drinking enough water? I forgot to take my prenatals. Maybe I’m sleeping the wrong way. I’m not eating healthy enough…. All of these thoughts that I have this time around because I’ve experienced how quickly babies can be taken away.


It‘s hard to see the future when the future has been ripped away from you before. It’s hard to imagine I’ll actually give birth this time or that we’re actually having a baby. Some days it still doesn’t feel real, even when I’m looking at this growing belly or putting on my maternity pants. Who would have thought that buying onesies and tiny hats would be scary?


I’m terrified. Nothing is promised and theres no guarantee I’ll be pregnant.. even tomorrow.


Looking back on when I was pregnant with my first 3 kids, I honestly feel like I took those pregnancies for granted. That I.. got lucky.. that we made it through those 9 months that I realize now are so fragile and delicate. There are so many babies and mamas that aren’t that lucky. And I had no clue until it happened to me.


So many people have said to me, things like.. I knew it would happen for you! Or… I’m so happy you’re pregnant! All things we want to hear, but in the back of my mind, I’m thinking… when will we ever feel like we’re “in the clear” this time?


Don’t worry, there are plenty of moments where I am SO excited! We are thinking of baby names, asking about family names for inspiration, and we’ve even started buying a few baby things. We’re looking at car seats and I am planning on where to put the crib, and what new furniture to buy.


Every. single. moment. I am grateful.

Even with the worrying, I am thankful, and I won’t stop praying, praying, praying that our rainbow will be here this Spring, plump and healthy with all ten fingers and all ten toes! This holiday season we have so much to be thankful for and I will continue to pray for all of those other mamas out there who are pregnant and battling their own fears… and for those mamas who are still hopeful and trying.


Xoxo,

MK

I Still Think of You

I think about you often. Some days, what happened feels so far away. We’ve been so busy with summer, vacationing, boating… all good things that bring me happiness and time with my family. Somehow I keep going.

But other days, you feel so close. Like you were here just hours earlier. Like I was just so sick yesterday. Planning and dreaming. Those are the moments it comes flooding back… the joy, the hope, the pain, the tears, the emptiness I feel inside.

There will always be something missing. Because we had a miscarriage.

I was 9 weeks pregnant when we found out that your little heart had stopped. That you had stopped growing. The week of my 32nd birthday I found out you had died. I had to have surgery so they could take you away from us.

My birthday will always.. pretty much.. suck. Not because of you but because I will miss you even more every year if that’s even possible.

Your brothers and sisters are growing up. Driving, middle school, dance classes, pre-k… we are all moving on but I still think of you.

The world keeps turning. The days go by. But I still think of you.

I think of how I would be preparing our home for you right about now. Nesting in full swing. Only a couple of months to go until we would meet you. I think of your chubby cheeks and baby smells. I wonder how fast you would roll over or begin crawling. I think of how cute you would look trying to be a ballerina like your big sisters. I imagine how much your brother would dislike you for coming in last, taking his stardom as the baby.

I think about what you would look like. Whether your hair would be red like your big brother’s. Or if it would be curly or straight. Would you have your daddy’s nose or my big brown eyes? Would you have my petite feet? Would you love the beach?

Whenever I see other pregnant bellies I think of you. I think of you when I photograph other families. I think of you every time I see a bird flying above me or a dragonfly lands on my foot. I still think of you.

You may be gone and we will never meet you here on this earth. But some day I’ll get to hold you in my arms. Until then, I will continue to share. I will write about you. I will always love you.

And for now, I will still think of you every day and there will always be something missing in my heart.

Xoxo,

MK

A Different Perspective

It’s been almost 3 months since we lost our baby. It’s been 3 months of going to work, shuffling between kids’ practices and games, doing diy projects at home, and basically anything else to stay busy.

The truth is when I’m not busy, I have to face the sadness of remembering that we lost our baby.

The moment you find out you’re pregnant is the moment you start thinking about your baby, talking to her, and planning. That’s why the moment you find out your baby has died, is the moment you feel like you have fallen through a trap door. One minute you are talking to her, the next is silence. The silence holds a heavy weight on your shoulders full of self-guilt.

So many women who have experienced a miscarriage or pregnancy loss feel like they can’t be sad because there is so much guilt. It’s easy to fall into believing that you shouldn’t be sad because other people have experienced worse losses farther along in pregnancy. It‘s natural to discredit your own experience. We tell ourselves that it’s not that bad. It’s natural to tell yourself that it’s okay, or that everything is fine.

Because everybody else needs you strong.

Everything is not fine and that’s okay.

It’s okay to live like you used to, but feel sadness in your heart while you do it.

It‘s okay to feel envious when you see your pregnant friend‘s pictures on social media.

It’s okay to feel anger when someone makes an inconsiderate comment to you by saying “you can try again” or “you’re crazy for wanting another child.”

Its okay to feel like like no one understands the emptiness you feel, or how heartbroken you are.

It’s okay to talk about it. To talk about your baby.

We didnt just have a miscarriage. We lost a baby. A baby that we loved for 8 1/2 weeks. A baby that we saw on the ultrasound screen but who didn’t have a heartbeat. A baby that was taken away out of me while I was sleeping. A baby that I don’t have a picture of. A baby that we will never get to hold, cuddle, feed, or bring home.

Women often choose to wait to announce their pregnancy until the second trimester because society tells us to or because of our own fears and insecurities. Maybe because it would be easier to not have to explain a pregnancy loss if it happened unexpectedly and just deal with it on your own.

Miscarriage should not be a taboo subject. Things happen to us. It‘s okay to talk about it. Life hits us out of nowhere and sometimes leaves us barely holding on. And just when you are feeling lost and hopeless, life gives you a glimmer of light. Through the darkness, you will have realizations that put things into a different perspective then maybe what they were before.

As much as I hate what happened, I find grace and joy in little things. When I hear Brady’s giggle, I stop and listen. When Heidi tells me she has a bad dream, I spend half the night in her bed streaming Netflix so she won’t think about it anymore. It’s the craziest thing- this realization that makes you really put things into a different perspective.

People often ask me… ”Will you try again?” I think God has a plan for us that we can’t see yet. Do we ever really see it until it happens? We will wait. We will love. We will appreciate all the little things while we cope with this grief.

And I will continue to share our story.

Xoxo,

MK