styleberry BLOG » where pretty meets practical

Masthead header

loss and hope.

“shawna” he said, ever so gently, “how far along did you think you were?”

& that is when I knew something was wrong.

He spent a little more time studying the screen & then turned it around to face me. Everything else is a blur. I could feel my eyes welling with tears as I stared at the screen. I knew what I should have seen & it is not what I saw. I saw a white circle. With nothing in it. I was 7.5 weeks along & there should have been a nice little gummy bear & a beautiful little flicker. But there wasn’t.

I went to get dressed & we talked a little bit. He wanted me to come back in a week.

So I waited. I was too symptomatic to ignore it. Nausea. Hunger. Fatigue. Weight gain. I kept telling myself it was in my head, but I knew it wasn’t. I felt 100% pregnant. My body felt pregnant. But in my heart I knew I wasn’t. It was a tortuous week. I had a bad feeling right from the start, but as much as I hoped for a miracle, I knew & prepared myself for the worst.

We went back a week later & though my amniotic sac was continuing to grow, there was little fetal development. I was given three options: a d&c, cytotec or just wait until my body miscarried on its own. I originally chose option three, but soon changed my mind. Mentally, I just had to move on. But moving on while experiencing all of the symptoms of a normal pregnancy was something that I just could not do. Choosing to use the cytotec was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made. The decision was the hardest part of all. The rest felt like closure. & now, I can put it behind me. & move forward.

I am not ashamed. I am not angry. I am just sad. Sad and a little empty. But I am hopeful, because I GOT pregnant. With no medical intervention. Even after all the shitty things I recently learned about my infertility.

Two months ago I went into my Reproductive Endocrinology appointment expecting nothing more than a prescription for clomid & left feeling absolutely sick. Words like premature ovarian failurelow ovarian reservesigns of endometriosiselevated FSHthree times the risk of miscarriagethat is a pretty impressive septumI recommend an elective c-section…all sat very heavy on my heart. I didn’t just have one obstacle, I had a bunch–and not just when it came to getting pregnant but also with carrying a pregnancy, too. My RE just kept telling me “it only takes one, even if there aren’t very many.” He told me that caroline is proof that all the tests in the world sometimes don’t matter, because her existence trumps anything they would seek to find. And he was right. Ironically, I was pregnant all along. I just didn’t know it yet. But that was just part 1 of the ‘actually having a baby’ equation.

There are two things that give me a sense of peace right now. The first, obviously, is the fact that I got pregnant on my own & this appears to be chromosomal which may or may not have something to do with my issues. But regardless, I got pregnant & I think that is what I needed to know right now. Even if it took another year this time, it happened. & that is awesome. But more than that, I know this happened for a reason. I don’t yet know what it is. Maybe I never will, but I learned so much from this experience. I have amazing people in my life. People who know just what to say & do. Maybe this happened to me so I can be one of those people to someone else someday. Because I could not have come out of this feeling the way I do right now if it weren’t for them. I am so grateful.

Miscarriage is a fuzzy topic. Do you talk about it? Not talk about it? One in FIVE women experience it. Of the women struggling with infertility that statistic jumps to one in THREE. It is so common, but so hush, hush. I suppose the decision to be open or closed depends on your personality. I am not one to stay closed forever. I need space at first, but once I deal with my shit (for lack of a better term) I am an open book. I learned that once I started talking about it I found this amazing community of women emerge & they knew just exactly what to say to help me heal.

Nothing makes me feel better than finding hope, and meeting someone else that has gone through what I have, yet came out ok, gives me hope. I think that rings true for infertility, too. The most positive I felt (or feel) is when I hear stories of success. Not just any success (like my brother in law’s cousin’s sister got pregnant after using clomid ONCE–yeah not helpful), but stories of struggles from women who were faced with my same physical challenges & overcame them help me find hope. Or stories of any woman who beat her odds–terrible, terrible odds. Because it reminds me that I cannot control everything & so much of pregnancy involves faith. Faith in whatever you believe–but I just don’t think we’re on our own. I have heard of one too many miracles to believe that we are on our own. I love those stories. & they always make me cry. So now…I hope for another miracle. & I do believe it can happen. :)

This magnet is in front of me at my desk. I have always loved this blessing. I stare at it often & still do believe that we choose to make each day a good one. This is something I owe to my dad & all those years he yelled “make it a great day” out the door as I left the house. I will make it a great day. I’ve had enough terrible days to last me the next year. I choose to believe that there is plenty to smile about.

& if you sent me a FB message or email–I am working through them. I am so behind, but I will reply. I so appreciate all of you.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • laura - shawna – its so beautiful that you have shared your struggles so openly. anything can happen and miracles do happen (i see them everyday at work). one of my sisters took 5 years to get pregnant and stay pregnant in between her first and second children with 2 miscarriages. and then she had her second, and boom she was pregnant with a third. so, you may have some struggles, but they are meant to teach us all something. i know that i learned a lot about my sister and myself watching her go through such a difficult experience. so WHAT on earth are they supposed to teach us. no clue, but i hope you find comfort in the people around you who are all rooting for you! *hugs*ReplyCancel

  • Denae - While I have had a miscarriage, I have not been where you are. I wont pretend to understand. Just know my heart goes out to you. I believe that you are an excellent mother and no one can take that away from you. You already ARE a mother. That is your success right there. I dont see why it cant be repeated.ReplyCancel

  • Rachael - Shawna, I am so sorry for your loss & continued fertility struggles. My infertility story has endometriosis (severe) & low ovarian reserve (with only one ovary to boot) in its vocabulary too but Quinn is a living breathing miracle of conception without medical intervention – even though we were scheduled for IVF a few months after he was conceived. How awesome that you were able to conceive naturally too! Thank you for sharing your experience. I still can’t tell you enough how you were “one of those people” with me when you shared Caroline’s conception story when I was in the midst of my infertility struggle. Your advice and encouragment were invaluable. Praying for your miracle, I KNOW it will happen!!! :)ReplyCancel

  • emily griffith - Thinking of you, Shawna. I never can seem to find words but just know you’re on my heart and mind even though I’m far away and we don’t even know each other that well! :) Thanks for sharing your joys and struggles so openly.ReplyCancel

  • Colleen Sheehy - First of all, I am so sorry. You have me crying right now, but I thank you for sharing your story. I agree whole-heartedly that hearing about others helps get us through. I’m big on that. My story is a little different than yours, but none-the-less, I’d love to share. I don’t talk about this a lot and feel a little strange putting this on the web, but I was really touched by your post.
    When I was 24 I went off of the pill and never got my period back. My, horrible OB, prescribed some meds so I’d get it every few months… a year after this went on my OB lost his medical license for malpractice. I was so upset at the time and had to go to a new OB (who insisted on running all sorts of tests on me). At the time I was frustrated and well too young to really care. Turned out, I had a pituitary tumor that my original OB had been overlooking. I can’t describe the fear I felt at that point in my life. Everything changed for me. When you are told you have a tumor in your brain…. well, I freaked out. I was lucky and it was treatable with medicine and not surgery, but it took years for the endocrinologist(s) to get it all right. I was also told I had polycystic ovarian syndrome and am insulin resistant. All of this meant getting pregnant some day would be difficult.
    I’m 32 now. I’m happy to report I have a 2 1/2 year old baby girl and another on the way. The worst part through all of this was the fear. My family is happy now and my endocrinologist says my blood work looks better after having the baby and nursing. It’s all so strange the way life works. My thoughts are with you.ReplyCancel

  • Anne - Shawna, I’m so sorry for your loss & all of your heartbreak and hurt. I wish there was something I could perfectly do or say to make it all better. Your optimism through this struggle is encouraging and I have no doubt you will continue to remain strong.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - my most positive thoughts are with you and your family, Shawna. I once heard that you can’t go around greif you have to go through it. I hope you make lots of connections with other women who have been there so you don’t have to do it alone.ReplyCancel

  • debbie - you are incredibly strong, brave, and inspirational. God bless you and your family always. {now i’m off to wipe away the tears your post brought to my eyes.. i can barely see the screen as i type. goodness.}ReplyCancel

  • Crystal - Shawna – I wish I had the words to say something as eloquent as the rest of these ladies or even half the experience to share some words of encouragement. Both of these failing me at the moment, I just want to say you’re a bright light in an otherwise sometimes dreary blog-world. Your optimism and determination are inspiring and if I knew you in “real life”, I’d be proud to call you my friend =)ReplyCancel

  • Shibahn - Thank you for sharing Shawna <3. I've been thinking of you. Sending you all the love in the world.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - Shawna you are absolutely one amazing person. I am so sorry for your loss, and my heart breaks for you. Just know that you are inspirational and encouraging to so many. You have a beautiful soul.ReplyCancel

  • Maricel - {Hug} I am so sorry to hear about your loss and fertility struggles. My mom and her sister both suffered miscarriages–my mother even had a stillbirth–and 4 years later, she had me. She tells me all the time that I’m a miracle, and I know Caroline is yours.

    DH’s aunt had to undergo fertility treatments, and she was blessed with twins. After having them, she was told that she could no longer have any children–it just wasn’t possible. Seven years later, she has another beautiful girl to love and cherish.

    Stay positive.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Shawna, I very much enjoy reading your blog, you are truly amazing and inspirational. I am sincerely sorry to hear about your loss. I can’t say that I’ve experienced a miscarriage but as a mother I’m internally grateful for the human life that my husband and I created. We had many scares during my first trimester and were fearful that I would miscarry but after lots of prayers we made it through and feel blessed each day. I certainly can’t imagine the heartbreak you must be feeling but just knowing that you got pregnant is a huge accomplishment. I have no doubt you will welcome another healthy addition to your family soon.ReplyCancel

  • Lissa - Shrinking Jeans - So sorry you are going through this. I really hope good things come your way.ReplyCancel

  • Megan - You continue to amaze me in your ability to write and share your story. You’ve been in my thoughts and prayers a lot and will continue to be.ReplyCancel

  • Wendy - Shawna, I’m so sorry.ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - Shawna I just discovered your blog yesterday….miscarriages SUCK…I’ve been there….God is amazing though with how he gives and provides to us in *his* time….wait on him love….your miracle will happen. Hugs!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Willis - You are absolutely positively in my thoughts right now. I recently went through a similar experience, though certainly not to the extent of your overall situation. But I do feel your pain regarding the decision to use/not use the Cytotec. It is an awful decision to have to make when you are in an overly emotional state. I stared at that little red bottle for so long that my body finally made the decision for me & I never did use it. For me, the hardest part was the desire to start the process of mentally moving on while my body was still stuck in pregnant. But I gain strength & postitivity from my sister-in-law who just yesterday gave birth to a beautiful baby girl after suffering multiple miscarriages. I appreciate you posting this more than you will know. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.ReplyCancel

  • Erin W. - Your name is said in prayer every night at the Weilert house! I am sincerely sorry for what you are going through, and I am so proud of you for keeping your head up! My sister in law recently went through a miscarriage and just last night we were looking at a picture of her pregnant belly! And I told hubs that I was so glad she was able to conceive and try again. Tomorrow brings a new promise and a new day, and my prayer every night for you is that it will bring you what you are hoping for! :)ReplyCancel

  • AR - Words can’t express what you are going through.I recently experienced a miscarriage a few weeks ago. Its a total ball of emotions wrapped into one. Thank you for having the courage to share your story. This is such a hush hush thing no women should have to go through in secrecy. So thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Beautifully said Shawna <3
    So sorry for your loss & Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life.
    I look forward to everything you write ….. you have truly helped me more than you'll ever know! Thank you for being you!!ReplyCancel

  • Dana - Thank you so much for being brave enough to share your story. I had two miscarriages in the past three years of struggling to conceive our first and it is heart breaking, especially when you have waited and wanted for so long. My heart just aches for you. I truly believe that we who struggle to have even one are unbelievably blessed to understand what a miracle a child is. I am happy to say that my little miracle is kicking me as I type and, God willing, will make his appearance in June. I know you will get through this and will be a stronger person because of it. My prayers are with you and with all women who have to go through infertility and loss. Thank you again for sharing your story and thank you for the part that you have played in preparing me to be a better mom to my little miracle.ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - Your blog has always been inspirational – I am so sorry to hear about this recent loss. Thinking of you and yours…ReplyCancel

  • Jasmine - Hi Shawna

    Im Jasmine. Im new to your blog, I found it I think through Bit of Whimsy Dolls actually. I just read your blog and wanted to reach out and let you know my heart aches for you because Ive been there too. I dont wont to bore you with the details but I had my first miscarriage back in 07. I was devastated. My husband and I werent planning on having a baby as we had just gotten married and bought a house 6 months prior. It took us by surprise the pregnancy and I am ashamed to say at first we didnt react with the proper enthusiasm. Still that passed quickly and we got excited and then I started to bleed. In my heart I knew this wasnt my fault, that I couldnt have done anything to prevent or cause this but I just felt like it was punishment for not wanting the baby from the start. My heartbroke as Im sure yours did too. I never knew I could love something that I never touched, never saw, never even knew of its exsistance until it was gone. I cried, I was numb, I didnt want to get out of bed. My husband was at a loss, he didnt know what to do, the loss simply didnt effect him the same way as me. In the end he got me a puppy. We named her Ellie. She became my little baby. She made me get out of bed to take care of her, to play with her, to love her. She gave me back a piece of my own heart I thought Id never recover. I still have her today, and love her every second I see her for the immeasurable gift she gave me. In June 2010 I gave birth to my first child, a son, we named Drake. From the moment that little blob popped up on screen i feared the worst. It didnt help that for the first 13 weeks I bleed on and off, dark red angry blood. I went back to the Dr repeatedly. No one knew why I was bleeding but every time we looked their was that tiny little blob. Every time the monitor would flick on I dreaded what I might or might not see. My mind flew back to 07 again and I knew my heart wouldnt break again. At 13 weeks the blood magically stopped again with no rhyme or reason. On June 4 Drake made his big entrance in the world at 4:19 in the morning. I want to let you know you can do it. Your body will find a way. Your heart will heal. You will have that little bundle in your arms even if we dont know when. After my own loss I felt so alone. None of my friends were even married let alone thimking of kids yet. My mother and I dont have a close relationship to talk about this kind of stuff and I have no siblings. My husband tried his best but he just couldnt understand. I promised myself that if i ever met someone else going through this, if any of my friends sadly had the misfortune of going through this, whatever I wouldnt hesitate to tell them that they aren’t alone, it isn’t their fault, it will and can happen for them too. I hope that you know that already but if not Im telling you its true. If you ever want to talk please dont hesitate to email me.

    All my bestReplyCancel

  • Lilliana - Shawna, you know how much I enjoy your blog; how much I admire you and once again I just have to say THANK YOU! Thank you for sharing the pain but mostly for sharing the hope. God bless you and your family. I know you are greatful for your fist miracle and I trully hope you get to enjoy another soon but as Stacy said, your miracle will happen in *his* time. Trust me I never intended to be having my second child at 36 but God had other plans and well like you, I’m just greatful for the blessing.ReplyCancel

  • jenberry - I am sorry. I can’t relate, but I know it must be incredibly difficult for you and yours at this time. Sending you much love and admiration for your strength to shareReplyCancel

  • Shannon - Shawna, first of all, I’m so sorry for your loss and everything you have been going through. I totally love following your blog and find you to be so inspiring! Please know that the ONE God who formed the universe and who formed you….longs to be the provider of your comfort during times of great loss and despair. I have been through a time where ONLY Jesus would do.

    Cory Ten Boom once said, “You don’t know Jesus is all you need….until Jesus is all you have”.

    Check out this song:

    Safe In HIs Arms by Phil Whickham.

    meditate on the lyrics………..purely beautiful. purely truth. purely hope.

    i pray that God speaks to you through this song. and that you find some peace in the days ahead. :)ReplyCancel

  • Bree - I do talk about it. I have had several miscarriages and they are painful, and heartbreaking. Know that you are not alone and that miracles happen. A miracle will happen for you.ReplyCancel

  • Michele - I am sittin here with my husband and 4 month old son, both of us with tears in our eyes because we went through it all as well. Not the miscarriage but the infertility. I got pregnant on HMG after 3 rounds of clomid didn’t work. I was one week away from starting IN VITRO when we found out we were expecting. I too, kept it private, pushed everyone out of my life, felt so dark, dark and lonely, I didn’t think life could get that dark . . . and NO ONE, I mean NO ONE knew what to say or how to help me as I pulled away. It felt like a nightmare . . . as I read your blog post today I have walked where you have walked and felt all those same feelings and I am not the same person I once was. NEver ever will I ask if people are “thinking of having more kids” or “how many kids do you want” blah blah, I know the pain and hurt and I want you to know, Shawna, that someone very far away in New Jersey is crying with you for the pain, and hoping with you for the joy!!
    Much love from Philly!!
    We plan on starting this whole process again in a year or two and I have to admit I am nervous about stepping back into it. For now I am just enjoying this precious life God has given us. My faith has held me and walked me through this journey and I plan on clinging to the Lord as we embark on the next journey.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing and for being honest, for saying all the things my heart was saying, but unable to voice!!ReplyCancel

  • Marylin - Shawna, I am so sorry. After 12 years together, my husband & I decided it was time to try to get pregnant. He has a birth defect (only 13 known cases at the time) & thankfully none of the doctors thought this should stop us from trying or would impact the outcome. We tried for 10 months before we even thought there was a chance we were expecting. Please don’t think I’m complaining about 10 months because that is NOTHING. I know this. My point is that at that time just the thought of a fertility issue was so so scary. I can’t imagine what you have gone thru. Thankfully we were blessed with Aubrey & had a beautiful pregnancy & delivery. As an L&D nurse though I have cared for patients that have experienced losses & the emotion I felt FOR them was incredible. I get tears in my eyes reading your blog. I would have been devastated had I miscarried because even though I didn’t know her yet, my entire future was hers. I am so sorry Shawna. I wish you and your beautiful family all the best.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - Hi Shawna:

    I don’t recall how I stumbled across your blog, but truly feel lucky that I did – you are inspiring in so many ways, especially when it comes to sharing your fertility struggle – thank you. My husband and I had a miscarriage on January 17th…& the reason I am reaching out to you is to ask if you have any advice to share with someone who is still struggling and wants more than anything to be a mom. I’m beginning to feel consumed by trying to get pregnant again & most recently feeling more & more alone since it seems everyone around us is having success. People say not to dwell and not to stress…but that seems nearly impossible (especially given my personality :) and I was just curious if there was anything specific (aside from your amazing blog) you did or perhaps there was even a book you may have read that helped in alleviating some of the stress/focus of trying to conceive? A few months ago we started to undergo several rounds of the routine testing & feel blessed that all looks ok so far…but I’m still scared, sad, and frustrated. Although next month may bring more testing, for now we continue to stay positive & patient while we hope for the best & no more tears. Recently, I have decided I need to put my focus on something else which brought me to a dslr workshop “take your camera off program mode” & a photoshop class. Ever since my nieces were born, my love for photography was born as well which is when I purchased my Canon t3i (and along with it…I purchased all the books…but I quickly discovered I am not a manual-type learner either so I thought a workshop such as this one would be a good distraction and get me off & running on the right foot). What helped you during your most difficult/darkest days? You always are so positive…( yet another reason you are such a true inspiration to me). Thank you for taking the time to read this & thank you in advance for any suggestions you are willing to share with me. You are incredibly talented, an amazing mom, and a beautiful writer. Thank you for doing what you do & sharing it with all of us…from time to time I catch myself daydreaming about the day I too will become a mom & can hardly wait to make a blurb book (what a fabulous/creative idea—again, thank you for sharing!)

    Thank you for being such an inspiration, you have helped me in more ways than I could ever explain.ReplyCancel

    • Suzanne - Melissa: My husband and I have been struggling to conceive for more than three years, and since I am 41, nearly 42, our time is running out. Now we are pregnant for the first time, but the HCG level and embryo are growing slower than expected and the doctor is giving us only about a 20% chance that this will develop into a healthy, full-term pregnancy. We wait, day by day, to see if our little embryo will make it. But whatever happens, my husband and I WILL make it. And that is my hope and advice for you and your husband. Please remember why you fell in love, why you married him, and EXPRESS that love and gratitude often. Also, consider getting away, getting active, doing things that take your mind off the pain of waiting, even if just temporarily. (I know what it is like to wait in limbo!) Your husband wants to comfort you and doesn’t know how, so rejoice in all the things you DO have together, focusing less on what you don’t have. Seriously, this has made such a difference for my husband and I. Infertility can tear a couple apart, or it can bring them closer together. And if you nurture your relationship with each other, then any child you may eventually be able to have or raise together will only be more blessed to be raised in a secure and emotionally healthy environment. And if you never have children, you will still find more joy together than if you dwelled only on the pain. Bless you and good luck.ReplyCancel

  • Sara - I just wanted to thank-you for writing this. I came back to it as i just suffered my own miscarriage 2 days ago. I appears I lost my baby at about 7 weeks, but it wasn’t discovered till 11 weeks. The same day they did the scan I started to bleed. It was so painful, maybe more so because of emotional loss that was happening at the same time. I don’t know how to recover from my disappointment at this point, but again i just wanted to say thank-you for letting me know I’m not alone.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - I’m new to your blog (this is the second one I’ve read) but I’m kind of in the same place. I had two miscrages in 09 and then got pregnant with my dd on christmas day (09). Before I had her my HB was deployed to Kuwait but was able to be there for her brith. He came back June 2011 and since then we have been trying we had our thrid loss in August 2011, then out fourth Jan 2012 and our fifth the middle of April 2012. The loss in April was companied with a D&C and found out that Chromosom 4 was messed up (and that it would of been a boy). We had blood work done on my HB and myself the first of May and still waiting to hear back to see if its us and if its something that can be fixed. Its a pain (more way then one) with all this but when I’m about to give up or just think its not ment to be I look at my now 21 month old girl and realize we had one we can and will have another. We got the okay to try again from the dr and doing so this month. I’m greatful that I have got pregnant 6 time without haivng to use any meds or anything just mother nauter. Sorry this doesn’t have a happy ending yet but I know one day it will. Even if its from another mom carring the little one for me, adotion or normal pregnancy it WILL happen.ReplyCancel

  • Blair - Shawna,

    I actually discovered your blog when my husband of 9 years and I decided to start try to have children about a month ago in the beginning of July. I was really admiring the homemade baby food and all of your products shortly after I found out I was 5 weeks pregnant. I was super excited! You have an amazing blogging talent. Then at 6 weeks, I ended up in the ER with complications and since then I discovered I was having a miscarriage. Right now I can relate to your “I am not ashamed. I am not mad. I am just sad. Sad and a little empty.” It was only our first month trying and I realize we are incredibly blessed that we got pregnant so quickly. However, I am having a very difficult time with the loss. It is comforting and yet sad at the same time that other women are also going through this. Thank you so much for posting this and being so strong to share your story. I can see peace and hope through my tears. Thank you. I cannot express how thankful I am for your bravery. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kacee - I saw the photo of your sweet babies on your facebook page for pregnancy and infant loss day today. I didn’t realize you had a miscarriage, I am sorry for your loss. I lost our first pregnancy- twin boys on July 6th, 2012 at 23w4d. We just found out we were having twins 3 days prior to me going into preterm labor. In those 3 short days I was planning how I would breastfeed two babies, I wasn’t thinking about how I would say goodbye to them. Our second son was born crying (“gasping” as was stated in my medical records) it’s a sound that haunts me but I never, never want to forget. It was such a dark place after their birth and death. Your story and the birth of Everett gives me hope… I am currently 9w2d pregnant. We are so blessed to not suffer from any fertility problems; I got pregnant naturally with the twins after being off birth control for 2 months and got pregnant with this baby after my first cycle from loosing the boys. Even though we only got our boys on earth for just over an hour each, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Each day I am pregnant is a blessing, there are many woman who can’t get pregnant but would love to be- my heart aches for them. <3ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Reich - I read this post years ago when I first started reading Styleberry. Today I had a radiologist tell me the same thing. “Lack of fetal pole.” “Improbably viability.” “Blighted ovum.” And a bunch of other jargon that told me I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I’m glad this article was here so that I could come back and read it with fresh perspective. And knowing that your sweet little Everett is here now too gives me hope that our next pregnancy will come quickly and yield better results. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *