4th Low Carb Month: Zero Progress

If you haven’t already read my latest blog post you can check it out here. With that all going on I definitely didn’t do that hot this last low carb month. The stressful pregnancy and then my miscarriage was just too much. I only logged for about the first 10 days of the month and then fell off the wagon. All of the Halloween candy was really tempting too. 🥺

Instead of losing weight this month the scale went in the wrong direction. I started month 4 down 20lbs and ended down 15lbs 🙈. I’m hoping this 5th month I can get back on track and hit 20lbs again and then 25 by Christmas, maybe. We all hit roadblocks but getting back on track is what counts! In times of struggle, I find it best to focus on things I can control. To avoid getting consumed with depression, I’m focusing on Thanksgiving (we’re hosting), my upcoming 2nd craft fair (Nov 30), and getting my low(er) carb lifestyle back on track!

I have a round of healthy groceries set to be picked up today through clicklist and have planned our meals for the next bit. We’ll have twisted chicken chili (my fave chili recipe), pork chops with roasted veggies, burgers with zucchini fries, and spaghetti squash casserole. I’ll share some of the recipes in my next blog!

This last month I did make a super yummy sweet red chili that you should check out in the meantime. Make sure you use all 4lbs of meat! I used angus and it turned out great. I do recommend seasoning the meat a bit more while you cook it (some salt, pepper, & garlic) to give it some more flavor. Also, instead of Navy beans I used two cans of black beans.

We’re all human and acting like this last low month didn’t happen would be a lie. I fell off but am determined to get it together again! More to come ✌️

It happened again…

I wish I had better news and I wish I didn’t feel the need to write this. I wish I didn’t have this story to share and I wish this blog was about something totally different.

But, alas. That’s not the case.

Take this as a TMI/trigger warning for the following post…

I found out I was pregnant again right around Hannah’s 2nd birthday. We were excited but still very reserved given the last miscarriage in March. I took like 5 tests this time, each about two days apart, to confirm the pregnancy.

I was pregnant when I went to Orlando to visit family and friends. The trip down was the mile marker for making it further this pregnancy than the last one. I thought that was a good sign. It felt like a good sign. I was good on the trip and drank alcohol free drinks at the pool. I didn’t over do it and I enjoyed relaxing. I was doing all the right things.

The miscarriage started on Monday, July 15th. I thought I was 8w1d that day. I had a dating ultrasound scheduled for Thursday that week to confirm how far along I was because the doctor said based off feel he thought I could have been further along.

That day I was working from home and started to have light cramping and discharge. It wasn’t consistently bright red (some darker red too) so, when I called the doctor, they said to monitor and call back if it became consistently bright red. So… monitoring was all I could do at this point. Great. Throughout the afternoon my cramping got worse but the bleeding never picked up. That night we were laying in bed watching Stranger Things and the cramping was so bad I had to use a heating pad to help. In between episodes I got up to go the bathroom and that’s when it happened.

All at once I passed a mass the size of about a half dollar, lots of clots, and the bleeding super picked up. I just started crying because I knew what was happening. I could feel it. I could see it. I was losing this baby too.

When I was in the bathroom, Rob was in the kitchen and didn’t hear me yet. When I got up, I met Rob in the hallway sobbing and said “it’s happening again”. We both were devastated and I just laid on his lap on the couch to cry. Why was this happening again? What did I do? What’s wrong with me? Two miscarriages in a row isn’t as common and it’s more concerning. Will I ever get a second baby? I was just broken.

The rest of the night was just sad. Lots of tears and hugs.

The next morning both of our bosses were understanding and let us off work. I went to the doctor first thing for an appointment and they did an ultrasound. I had the same technician as the first time (if anyone recalls – she wasn’t the most sensitive). I planned out my responses to her questions all the previous night when I couldn’t sleep. I planned to cut her off at the jump (so she couldn’t further traumatize me) and tell her I was 8w2d but currently miscarrying since, right after the ultrasound started, I could already see there was nothing in my uterus. She then confirmed, indeed there was nothing there. She really needs sensitivity training. The ultrasound just didn’t feel super real, honestly.

I met with the doctor afterwards to review the results and she said it could be a miscarriage or I could be too early along (which I SUPER doubted based off the cramping and bleeding I saw). When I asked her about why this happened and what we could do she said “We can wait and see if this happens again and, if so, do some additional testing then, OR we could do the additional testing now”. I’m not even honestly sure why she posed this as an option since, waiting for another miscarriage sounds like the SHITTIEST idea ever… I definitely set an appointment to talk with my main OBGYN to review what we could do now instead of waiting.

Anyways, the same day as the ultrasound, and for the next three weeks, I had to have HCG blood draws to track my hormone as it declined to 0. Every week back at the lady doctor was painful. There were so many happy pregnant people there in the waiting room each time. Even one couple gushing over ultrasound pictures. I hated going back each week. I’d just sit in the waiting room and cry to myself starring at the floor waiting for them to call my name.

At my last blood draw appointment I had my appointment with my main OBGYN too. My doc said he’s hopeful it won’t happen again because I’ve already carried one healthy baby but we don’t know for sure. As a precaution he said there was a “recurrent miscarriage” blood panel they could do to look for issues that could be causing the miscarriages. He also suggested that, next time I get pregnant, I come in right away from hormone blood draws to track my hormone increase to make sure that’s not an issue.

That blood panel was a MESS! The phlebotomist handed me an estimate to sign for how much it would cost, after insurance, and it was 864$. I tried to call my insurance for 40 minutes to get answers on if that was correct and just kept getting the run around. I was getting transferred between departments and I was hung up on/disconnected several times. It was a nightmare. I was an emotional mess and just started crying to the phlebotomist because all I wanted was to not have another miscarriage and my insurance company was making it so hard. It was a rough morning. Luckily the phlebotomist was amazing and didn’t have any other patients so I just sat there.

After nearly an hour of messing with the insurance company and finding NO ONE that could use the CPT codes I was provided to get me answers, I gave up. I said screw it and wanted the blood draw regardless of cost because, money or not, I needed answers and my health was more important. Unfortuneately, by now, when the lady tried to take it, I was too dehydrated and had to come in the next day for the draw anyways. Super SMH. 🤦‍♀️

Such a damn hassle and my results were normal. Net net – I have no answers and just have to hope I don’t write another one of these blogs sharing my story in a few more months. It’s so hard to be optimistic.

At the end of the day, I wanted to write this to share and help someone else who’s going through something similar. It feels so lonely and empty and broken. It’s so hard to lose a baby that you never got to know or hold. A baby that your most of your family and friends didn’t know about. So hard to lose two babies. Two babies in a row. It’s a sadness that just hangs over you.

I’ve been coping better by being more open about all of this. Sharing my story makes it feel less like a scarlet letter and more like something I’m working to over come. It won’t be the end of our family story but just a piece of it. I don’t need to hide my loss and feel ashamed. By telling people what’s going on I’m surrounded with more love and support. If you don’t tell anyone, no one knows what you’re going through and can’t offer help. While that seems like an easy concept to understand some people forget it and isolate themselves. My family, friends, and coworkers have been so great and supportive.

What’s important is that we’re not giving up! Things will get back on track and we will try again. This too shall pass. In the meantime, I’ll stay busy and focus on my health.

Like I said before… this isn’t the end of our story ♥️

The Elephant in the Room

First of all, consider yourself warned. This post maybe “over sharing”, emotional, triggering, and/or hard to read for some people.

But, now that that’s out of the way….

I haven’t been quite able to write a blog in a few months now and I kinda thought I’d ignore that and just pick back up where I left off but, honestly, that feels crappy. I wrote a new post the other day while all along I had a draft version of this post lingering. Was I just planning to ignore it? I think that would be crappy of me. I feel like it’s my responsibility to open up about what happened to me as I know it could help someone else. Plus I think that feeds into the whole “people don’t talk about it”/”I went through it alone” stuff that upset me. >> read till the end for that to make more sense<<

But, the reason I’ve just been in a funk is because I had my first miscarriage in early March and I just haven’t really been in the best headspace since. I wouldn’t say I was depressed but I was sad and sad can be normal sometimes too, just a shit version of it. I just never really felt like doing a whole lot, I drank more alcohol than I had been (but duh I was pregnant prior to so I wasn’t drinking anything so that’s easy to top), eating like crap/not working out, and I just was lazier (lots of netflix + chill). The one good thing is that I kept painting and working on other craft projects through it all (and I think that helped honestly). So in a nutshell, I’ve just been feeling kinda shitty and that’s #reallife, I guess.

The last blog I wrote was in the end of February and at that time I thought I was pregnant. It was a little secret that only a few family members/close friends knew. I told Rob on Valentine’s day with a cute “Big Sister” shirt for Hannah and all was well with the world. I even had a cute little video of when he realized what her shirt said. Sad to watch now but still, it was special. Next came out first doctor’s appointment. It was on a Tuesday and I was so excited! Then on Thursday, that’s when the miscarriage started.

I still remember waking up and going pee, per usual when your first get up, and when I stood up there were 3 tiny clots in the toilet. I just lost it and sank. I wasn’t even thinking about miscarrying. I was more concerned about having another preemie (Hannah was 6 weeks early and I had just gotten literature about it a few days prior). Then, when I saw the blood, my heart just dropped. I knew this wasn’t normal “spotting”. I just felt it.

I went back in the bedroom and woke up Rob, who was still asleep at the time, and just said – with lots of tears – “I’m bleeding”.

Next up was a haze of calling the doctor, calling my boss (who had no idea I was pregnant at this point since I was only 7 weeks). taking off work, and going in for an ultrasound. At the appointment they confirmed that they saw the gestational sac but, said it was too early, they couldn’t get a heartbeat. They weren’t sure if maybe my irregular periods messed up when they thought my date of conception was or if maybe the baby had already stopped growing. Being 7 weeks, usually you can detect a heartbeat at that point so who knows what happened. Either way I was told to monitor my bleeding/cramping and if I spiked a fever, passed any larger clots, or got nauseous to call the doctor again. If nothing happened, the next appointment was set for 2 weeks out.

Over the next few days the bleeding didn’t get worse and no additional symptoms cropped up. I just had a terrible stomach bug (this started a day before the miscarriage did so I’m not sure if it was related or not) and light bleeding from Thursday until Sunday. Monday rolled around and the bleeding had stopped. I thought that was it and I was in the clear. No other clots were passed and I started to feel relieved that the “spotting” was over.

Having those weeks go by, thinking I was still pregnant – I think that made it worse. At the time of my next appointment I was 9 weeks. It was on a Thursday and it was an ultrasound and Rob went with me. I was so nervous and I just wanted good news. I didn’t think I miscarried since my symptoms never worsened as the doctor described and no other clots were passed. I figured it was spotting (I didn’t spot with Hannah at all nor do I in my regular cycle so I didn’t have anything to compare to). I was instead more concerned at this point to just know the baby was growing at the right rate.

Shortly after checking in, they called me back to see the ultrasound technician. As far as the tech goes, she really made matters worse, to be honest. I know she might have not meant for her actions to be hurtful but they were. She was the same technician I had seen just two weeks prior but she didn’t remember me and, I guess she didn’t bother reading my file. When she started my scan (I could see it all on the TV) I didn’t see anything and just felt that sinking feeling all over again. Some more poking and prodding and she asks “When’s the last time you took a pregnancy test?” and – at this point, I hadn’t taken one in weeks. Why would I? I thought I was already pregnant. I told her and she said “well your uterus is empty. There’s nothing in there. If there was a gestational sac it would be here (showing me on the screen).”

At that moment tears just filled my eyes and I laid there and started to cry to myself. She left the room to go talk to the doctor and asked me to get dressed. Next we went to another office room and got the “it looks like you had a miscarriage” conversation.

“Its normal.”

“It happens to at least 1/5 pregnancies.”

“It isn’t your fault.”

Nothing felt comforting. I just cried and cried. Even still today I cry about it. Of course you go through the self blame – should I have not walked on the elliptical the night before? Was I not drinking enough water? Am I too overweight? I was supposed to be due in October and seeing all my friends on Facebook posting about due dates or new pregnancies just makes me jealous. I do feel lucky that the miscarriage happened naturally as I can’t imagine the shape I’d be in if I had to have a D&C. I think that’s the only positive. I also know that if the baby didn’t have all of his or her puzzle pieces it was for the best but that doesn’t really make it easier either.

Sharing this feels right. I’m sad people don’t talk about the hardships of trying to conceive and it makes women feel so isolated I think. At least that’s how it made me feel. Going through the miscarriage and countless negative pregnancies tests since then feels so lonely. People don’t talk about it and they get uncomfortable when you bring it up which makes you feel even worse. It’s like you have a scarlet letter how people just shut the conversation down. I can only imagine if I feel this way how others feel that had more traumatic experiences. I at least figured that, if I was open about what happened to me, someone would feel support from it and that’s a win in my book.

Until next time.

P.S. – send baby gugu vibes our way! I want to have a baby Ruwe #2