Wednesday, January 27, 2016

One Track

I have a one track mind. I pick up projects and pursue them sometimes obsessively, until one day I up and walk away from it all. I have done this more than once with blogs I've started. Terrible, I know. But this time, I did it for one of the best reasons. 

If you hadn't guessed it already, not too long after my last post here, I discovered I was pregnant. I felt very protective in those first weeks and months and just couldn't find the words. When I finally did, I put them somewhere else: in my new blog. You can read it here:

I think a part of the reason I didn't want to write about my pregnancy here is that I knew a lot of my fellow TTC after loss ladies read this blog and I didn't want to cause hurt by being one of those people who suddenly flipped from the trials of the two week window and OPKs to someone who could talk of nothing but their pregnancy, then floated off into the the "rainbow" sunset. Though I was always happy for those mamas who got what they so desired, it stung too, because I wanted so badly to know how it felt to bring home a baby after so much pain. 

I have been thinking that I may combine all of my blogspot blogs into one to keep it all together, but that seems like a task for when I have more time and/or energy (will I ever?). For now, I would be tickled if you felt like following me over at my new blog. And if not, thank you so much for joining me here on my grief and TTC journeys. 

Sending out lots of light and love to you all. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Riding the Wave

Sometimes I look at photos of my very pregnant friends and feel a particular kind of sadness. I mourn Haven, I mourn because our second baby never grew enough to round out my body, I mourn the innocence of pregnancy that is lost forever. Lately, I also grieve because I feel I may never get to feel that joy again. It was pure magic when Haven rolled and kicked inside me. I would laugh when she got the hiccups or tickled my cervix with her hand that was always at her cheek. My heart hurts when I think that I may never experience any of it again.

We wanted a big family; we'd talked so many times about having four kids. We even had names at one point! Neither of us could have imagined that we would be at this stage of life without living children and unsure whether we even can. 

It is a very strange thing to be a parent but not be able to participate in conversations about how to handle teething or diapers or the spacing I plan to have between my kids (hearing that particular conversation especially hurts). I don't know how it feels to have Haven's arms around my neck or to hear her say, "mama." I do have love in common with other parents, but that is about it. When Haven died, I immediately felt an otherness from other parents and other people in general. I wish I could say that the feeling goes away, but it doesn't. I have learned to cope better, but there are situations where I stand awkwardly at the sidelines feeling utterly useless.

Grief is close to the surface this week as we start to get our hopes up for yet another month. I'm riding the wave as I have learned to do. It gets harder and harder to keep trying. 

Friday, August 07, 2015

Here Comes the Sun

I have been preparing my heart to accept the idea that we may never have living biological children. To be clear, there is no actual reason to believe that we won't; I am 30 and healthy and all of the tests that the doctor was willing to do before the one-year-of-trying mark came back normal. For me to be sane and enjoy life, I need to be able to accept the possibility that I may never conceive again. It is pretty hard for me to believe in happy endings when our daughter has been in the ground for 18 months and our second chance baby, our Grace, was gone before we got to know him or her. This is our seventh cycle trying to conceive and we weren't exactly careful for the three cycles before that. Why would we easily conceive twice, then struggle, unless something was off?

Lately, I have a love-hate relationship with the baby loss community. On the one hand, I think it is important to have connections to people who know how you are feeling, but on the other, it seems that most of those communities have only half the story in common with me now. As much as I celebrate each new "rainbow" pregnancy or healthy newborn "rainbow," I am not anywhere near knowing what it feels like to find comfort in the warmth of a new life. I used to feel so encouraged and hopeful when I read those stories, but now I feel bitterness and loneliness as I think again and again, "why not us?" I try not to be resentful when the well-meaning rainbow mommies reassure me that my time will come. Though no one likes to talk about it, for many parents the rainbow baby never does come. I have met some absolutely wonderful friends and acquaintances online over the past 18 months, but I find myself withdrawing from that world to try and protect my heart.

I accidentally came across a wonderful blog today called Losing Lucy and Finding Hope (click the text to visit). The author, Bethany, and her husband have been through stillbirth, two miscarriages, and adoption loss and just welcomed their "rainbow baby" in July at long last. I wept as I read post after post; her story and all of the scripture verses she shared along the way touched something in me that I have been trying to squelch. Hope. Though I am a long way from being able to believe in a happy ending for us, it helped to read her stories because I realized that she must have felt how I am feeling at so many points along their journey.

What is hope, anyway? These days, I'm trying not to be so specific with my hope. My heart believes that, one day, we will have a chance to parent children, however it is God chooses to bring them to us. When Haven died, I thought that my redemption as a mother, a wife, and a woman would only come through successfully bringing home another baby, but I don't know now if that is where our lives are headed. I surely do hope so, but I am trying to keep my heart open for the other possibilities that God may have in mind for us.

Soon after Haven died last February, we treated ourselves to iPhones. I immediately downloaded the Beatles song "Here Comes the Sun" as my ringtone, because it spoke to me of hope after such a heartbreaking winter. I feel now that we are coming out of a figurative winter and into the sun. I'm looking forward to what this "summer" will bring.
"Here comes the sun. Here comes the sun, and I say 'it's all right.'"
You know, I really think it will be all right.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Since I heard the words, "I'm sorry, there is no heartbeat" I have been a different person. I stared at the ultrasound screen that showed my completely still daughter and the Brandi I was ceased to exist. In the weeks and months that followed Haven's death, I was afraid to leave the house and have to face a world where I was an outsider, where I would have to answer questions. The whole summer came and went and I barely left my house or office at work. I was constantly afraid that someone would interpret a smile or laugh as a sign I no longer mourned my child; I was afraid to be happy. I was afraid my baby girl would be forgotten, that I would be forgotten. I honestly could not imagine that my life could ever improve or that I would ever be able to be more than the woman whose baby died.

Before I continue, let's establish one thing: I'll never be the same again. Burying your child will shake you to the core, shake your whole world, and you'll struggle to pick up the pieces. I was a pretty carefree person before those words tore my life apart, but now I carry a heavy weight in my heart. These are scars that will never completely fade. I'm twice a mom with twice-empty arms. No amount of time or yoga or even future children will change this. My self esteem will probably never fully recover, or my faith in people, or in my old perception of order in the world. My heart will always walk with a limp.


I've been working hard to free myself from the anxieties that weighed me down and I am starting to see that there is life after your child dies. There's life! And joy. And fun. Things aren't all sad days and gray skies forever (though I will viciously defend my right to a sad day when I need one!) Yes, life can grow bright again. You can make friends, grow relationships, and find new sparks with your love. I can't say I'm always content, but I can tell you I'm finding myself again.

I'm grateful. So very grateful. I can see the sunshine again.

Friday, June 19, 2015

At the Start

I've been thinking about endings and beginnings and how they are two sides of the same coin. I had an ending/beginning this week; I put in my resignation at work. I won't get into the whys here, but let's just say that I made the right decision and this is another step toward hope, health, and living life to the fullest. I certainly feel a sense of loss, as I established the job and put processes and materials in place that will now be inherited by someone else. It's hard to leave it all behind in favour of a fresh start, but I do feel excited at the thought of a new adventure. Things worked together financially at just the right time, so I do not have to rush into a new position just yet.

I did have another short cycle in May as predicted - only 23 days! But this cycle seems to be normal and I am grateful. With all the work upset we didn't try all that hard, so I'm not expecting anything this month. It was kind of nice to step away from it while we figured things out.

So I'm home. Sunshine is pouring through the window, one persistent bird has been singing for hours outside, and I've had a peaceful day reading articles, eating healthy food, and talking to friends.

I'm at the start of something new. I hope that it is also something good.


I always struggle to put into words how it feels when your child dies. It is life-sized whiplash. One day you are at the top, moving forward, your life is planned out, you know what is coming. You're suspended for a moment, but you don't even know it until it's over. Suddenly you snap back, you find yourself at the bottom, lower than you ever dreamed the bottom could be, and you stare and strain upward, trying to glimpse what you thought was your reality. Surely this isn't real? The denial takes months to lift, and even a year later, your mind has moments of stubbornness and refuses to believe.

Eventually you climb your way up, up, up, but you never reach the top. You can't. The top was for Before You and you will never be that person again. 

As I end cycle 4, feeling that it has also been unsuccessful, I am a little melancholy thinking of Before Me with her baby alive and kicking, her nursery set up, baby clothes hang-drying on the rack, the bassinet sitting smugly next to the bed. What I wouldn't give for an hour in her shoes, not a real care in the world.

Sunday, June 07, 2015


Sometimes I feel like it was all a dream, that it didn't happen. That I didn't give birth to a little girl who died. That I didn't miscarry just nine months later. That stuff happens to other people, after all. It feels like a story that belongs to someone else. 

We have been trying to get pregnant, but I somehow don't believe it's possible to get there again; a baby in my belly, looking forward to a certain future. Maybe that stuff just happens to other people too. My reality is a body that seems to be sick somehow, that is not getting pregnant. 

Some days I feel really at peace with it all. Others where I feel paralyzed by the fear of what could be wrong. I hate that our experiences have robbed me of my peace of mind. I worked hard to cultivate that trust in the world only to have it totally ripped away.

Weary, weary, weary. In all ways.