I’m Katy, Community Support Specialist here at Living In Yellow. As I am writing this I am currently 27 weeks pregnant with a baby boy and I feel so blessed and thankful to be on this journey. However, it wasn’t a straight line to get here. Being in this position now with something I wanted so badly, expecting a child, I wanted to share some thoughts and feelings that have come with experiencing pregnancy after also experiencing a pregnancy loss.
Now, this is going way back to teenage Katy back in Arkansas (WHOO PIG) but if we are sharing, might as well share the full picture here, right? I never had “normal cycles” and when I was 17 ended up having to have surgery for Endometriosis. At that age, I wasn’t obviously planning on having a baby anytime soon but the thought already crossed my mind on if it was even an option for me; which was a hard thing to face at that age. After years of up and down hormonal roller coasters, I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) which connected a lot of dots to symptoms I had throughout my life and helped me understand more of how my body worked, which in turned inspired and helped me to try to heal and fix it with diet and lifestyle. I wrote a blog post on “What I Eat In A Day For PCOS” here (Disclaimer, I SHOULD be eating this way currently but am not OOPS). In short, when it comes to fertility PCOS can (not always) be a bit of a barrier because due to the imbalances that it can cause, ovulation doesn’t always occur.
ANYWAYS, now that we have gotten all that stuff out of the way we can get to the real story…I do want to say that every fertility journey is valid and different. For some, 6 months may seem like forever, for others they wait 10 years, or unfortunately sometimes it is something that never ends up happening at all. Thankfully, there are amazing options out there like adoption, foster care, etc. for so many deserving children and for families that want to have children whether you can conceive biologically or not. Regardless of where you are, I hope that sharing my story can give you some hope, peace, or feel less alone.
My husband and I had been trying for a baby for about 2 years when I got my first positive pregnancy test. When I saw the results, I couldn’t believe it. I was actually supposed to have another surgery for endometriosis the same week I found out. This may not be the right answer, but I had gotten to the point where I didn’t change anything or pay attention during the “2 week wait” because it just wasn’t good for me mentally. I didn’t take tests – I basically would just act as if I knew I wasn’t pregnant because for so many times before, I wasn’t. This time, my period was quite a few days late and some symptoms had already started setting in – my husband was home when I took the test and we were both shocked, but so happy!! However, something in my gut from day 1 told me not to get overly excited or to get my hopes up. We had an early ultrasound and got to see the heartbeat at 7 weeks but the baby was measuring a little smaller than we thought the due date should be and my HCG wasn’t doubling correctly (it is supposed to double every 48 hours in early pregnancy). The stress that came between those lab results and doctors appointments each week was crippling. I felt so helpless on what I could do to help our baby and was googling success stories of others in the same situation. A couple weeks later we went in for another ultrasound and got the dreaded words, “there’s no heartbeat”. It’s something I knew could be the outcome, but still couldn’t prepare myself for. That was definitely one of the worst days of my life. We ended up deciding to do genetic testing to see what caused the miscarriage and our baby had an abnormality called “triploidy” resulting in 69 chromosomes. I will say that personally it did help give me peace of mind to know what the cause was; because I would have always wondered what happened.
I knew I would grieve this and be angry, sad, confused and everything in between. Why would God make us wait to have a baby just to lose it? But at the end of the day, I knew God didn’t do this. I also know that so many go through so much worse than this situation. Something I wasn’t prepared for was the physical symptoms my body would go through afterward. I ended up still having pregnancy symptoms while the HCG was still getting out of my body: food aversions, nausea, etc. I ended up gaining about 10 lbs in 2 months following the miscarriage as well from all of the hormone changes and fluctuations, which obviously does NOT help you feel better about the body you already feel like betrayed you in some way. My husband, friends, and family were such an incredible support system during this time and the stories of other women who had gone through the same thing were strangely comforting to hear. I hope you never go through it, but if you do, know that you are most definitely not alone.
I got pregnant again 6 months after the miscarriage (about a year of taking Letrozole helped me conceive both times) and we were SO happy, but I was also filled with anxiety and fear. I think one of the hardest things I had to come to terms with previously is that a positive pregnancy test didn’t mean a baby. With never having had a successful pregnancy, I had no other experience to go off of besides one of heartbreak. We went to Charleston with my family 2 days after we found out and I didn’t tell ANYONE. I said I gave up drinking for lent 😂 I was too scared to tell our parents early again for it to potentially only result in a rollercoaster of emotions. I would have told them if something happened again anyways, but just felt more cautious in sharing the happy news this time around.
I had 3 early ultrasounds, 3 weeks in a row, and between those and my labs everything was looking good. We even did the early testing for any abnormalities and to find out gender and everything came back with no signs of issues. I was extremely thankful, but still afraid to let my guard down. Everyday I would pray that this baby would stick, grow, and continue to stay healthy. Some days and nights the anxiety was so bad I would wake up in the night for an hour or so almost having a panic attack and let the “what ifs” consume me (Note to self: don’t google basically anything, ever HA.) Once again, I am so thankful for my husband through all of this because he assured me that I was doing everything possible to give this baby a safe and healthy place and the rest was out of my control.
I would say finally around the time we had our anatomy scan (18 weeks) is when I felt like I could truly breathe/relax and feel like I could look to the future to actually meet our little guy. I wish that wasn’t the mindset I had because like Zach said, so much was out of our control; plus life is too short to wish away any amount of time. With the unknown and past experiences I found myself wishing the first trimester away to feel in a safer place. Now, I am truly trying to enjoy every symptom, week, and step of the journey during this pregnancy. I am beyond thankful for this blessing and believe each baby is an amazing miracle. I love having my little built in buddy everywhere I go and baby kicks are the coolest and weirdest thing I think I’ve ever experienced! When people ask me now if this is my first, I never really know what to say. While this will be our first baby that we get to meet, our little angel baby will always be in my heart no matter what. Whether you are trying for a baby, already have one, are on an adoption journey, or just experienced a loss yourself – I am sending you love and praying that things work out just how they are supposed to; even if that looks different than what we originally planned for ourselves!
To our son, you are already SO loved 💙
When Katy isn’t writing blog posts, offering up the latest style suggestions, leading our Ambassador program and sharing her most recent Amazon finds, you can find her doing what she does best – belting out her note-worthy vocals in her band, Maybe April. This Enneagram 3 can be found cheering on the Arkansas Razorbacks, venturing out on the latest & greatest outdoor adventure, spending time with her family and friends and crafting up her beloved homemade lattes most mornings. Katy and her hubby just welcomed baby Denver to the family!