the end

29 Dec

One year ago today, I started injections in preparation for our Frozen Embryo Transfer. Today, I am writing this as one of those embryos is now a 17 week old baby girl snuggling me while she naps. I went into the transfer so afraid of what the results would be, so afraid of more loss. And there was loss. We started with 2 babies and ended up with 1. But there is no way to explain how much healing has taken place in me as a result of being Amor’s mama. 

All the loss leading up to the birth of my daughter will never be forgotten, but the grief is so much different now. I am not consumed by sadness and longing. I am not afraid to face the future and questioning God’s plan. I am not childless. 

Along the road to become parents, I often said that if God would just reveal His plan to me, I would be ok with it. I just needed to know how long I would be waiting for a baby and how that baby would come. 

When Amor was born, Arturo and I had been married 5 1/2 years. I realize now, if someone had told me how hard our journey would be, I never would have married him. I would have been too afraid to face the struggle and endure the pain. Amor’s birth has taught me so much about trusting God’s perfect plan. 

Being Angel’s mama has taught me so much about how to be a mother to Amor. I am not a perfect mom by any means. But I am 100% more patient and grateful than I ever would have been without loss. My life is forever marked by loss and I am ok with that because I know it has a purpose. 

There have been some obvious adjustments in our family but there is one I wasn’t prepared for. I am the type of wife that a lot of my friends tell me I am too good to my husband. I love to take care of him. It gives me so much pleasure to do everything I can for him. But, as I have been sleep deprived and taking care of a tiny human who can’t do for herself, I have not been able to give as much to Arturo. I grieved this for a few weeks until I realized that he is never going to complain about me being a mom to our daughter. I married so well y’all. I really did. 

I don’t know what our future holds for more children. I do know that God has promised I will be mother to many. But, just as I didn’t know what the journey held in the 5 1/2 years we waited for Amor, I don’t know what the future holds beyond this point. When I look at Amor and think that she may be the only biological child we have, it does make me a little sad. 

Before my embryo transfer last January, I said that if we didn’t have 2 frozen embryos already, I would be done. I would not do another round of IVF. Since Amor has been born, I have been trying to figure out the best way to rob a bank or armored car so we can afford to do IVF again in the future. Literally, before she was even 24 hours old, I was having these thoughts. Holding her in my arms made IVF worth it.

You may have noticed the title of this post, “the end.” I know this isn’t the end of our story, but it feels like an end to this blog. In the same way I didn’t know what these last 5 1/2 years of marriage would look like, I also had no idea what this blog would become when I started it 4 1/2 years ago. I started it for two reasons. 

One, it was the easiest way for me to communicate with people about Angel’s life. I had so many concerned family and friends and this way, I could update everyone at once and I didn’t have to face anyone while I did it. I can’t tell you how many times I sobbed as I pounded on my keyboard and I could do this in privacy and didn’t have to overwhelm anyone with my emotions.

Which brings me to the second reason I started this blog. Writing is extremely therapeutic for me. I knew it would be the best way for me to process my emotions and find some healing.

What I didn’t know when I started this blog, is how Angel’s life would touch so many people. I didn’t know that I would make so many new friends, people who have encouraged me and prayed for us since the beginning of our story with Angel. I didn’t know Angel’s life would continue to impact people even now. 

Just last week, I received communication from a friend who told me that when she was up at 3 am trying to get her baby to sleep, she remembered a post I wrote about longing to hold my baby and it helped her to appreciate the time with hers. Her message was a great reminder for me as I am now dealing with a baby who doesn’t want to sleep at night. I never got these moments with Angel and it can be easy to get frustrated when I am so tired. But I want to instead feel grateful as I know these moments will be gone will too soon.

So, thank you all for following our journey and loving us through it. We can never thank you enough. 

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5 Responses to “the end”

  1. RJ December 29, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

    She is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your journey. I wish you all the best in life.

  2. Rita Brossart January 26, 2017 at 12:01 am #

    Your baby doll is adorable!

  3. Laura Beth Boilek March 3, 2017 at 3:12 pm #

    Hello I just want to tell you congratulations on your beautiful healthy baby and thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your journey of love, loss and faith with us, you have no idea how much I needed to hear your words, your faith and your courage. I just lost my baby at 21 weeks a fews days ago to the exact same condition. I am so blessed to have a healthy 5 year old son Mason already and my husband and I were so lucky to be able to easily get pregnant this time in October. I have never miscarried or had an abortion before. Before I continue I want to mention a very important side note: I have been a labor and delivery nurse for 12 years and am also the bereavement coordinator at my hospital for those that loose their baby so I have been on the other side of this tragedy many many times and right now I feel as if if trapped in this horrible nightmare. Not only do I wonder what I did to cause my baby to have Sirenomelia or mermaid syndrome but was I not compassionate enough? Was it because I didn’t pray enough? Did I not care for these mothers and babies enough? So everything during this pregnancy was going great, our 7 week ultrasound was perfect, I went to the doctor for my prenatal appointments and heard the heartbeat, I even had the luck to listen with my Doppler to my baby’s heart beat while on break at work. I finally started to feel lots of movements at night for over a week and was making a list with my husband of baby names. Our son was so excited to be a big brother too, he talked about it at preschool all the time with his teachers and little friends. He knew the baby was due to come in the summer right around the 4th of July.
    So on February 28th my husband and I with little Mason went to my scheduled level 2 ultrasound ( this was because of me being 35 so I am considered advanced maternal age and this was taking place instead of having a regular ultrasound). All we could think about was my sons reaction when he found out if it was a little sister or brother, he wanted a brother so badly and said he would cry if it was a girl). As soon as the ultrasound started the tech was acting strange, I really am not great at knowing what I’m looking for in an ultrasound, I just wanted to know the baby was healthy and I kept asking the tech and she would just say it was so difficult to see anything. Finally she asked my husband and son to step out and I asked her to be honest and was there something wrong, she looked at me and said there was no fluid. I immediately knew what that meant, my baby could not develop or grow properly without amniotic fluid and since I was only 21 weeks this was really really bad. The perinatologist came in and scanned me while tears where running down my cheeks and then he called my husband in and asked the staff if they would watch my son. I didn’t want to hear what he was going to say. I knew it was bad. I knew I was going to lose my baby. I knew I would have to deliver the baby. I wanted to leave right then. He sat us down and said I’m sorry I have bad news, there is no fluid and it doesn’t seem like your baby has any kidneys. I was hysterical. He talked a lot more and offered us DNA tests, chromosome tests right there and then but I just wanted to leave. I immediately called my OB doctor since I work with him I have his personal number and left him a message. He called me right back after speaking with the high risk doctor and told me what I already knew. My beautiful baby would not survive outside the womb and he is worried if I don’t deliver soon that I could become septic and go into DIC. I told him I wanted to talk to my mom and husband. My poor little son kept saying why are you crying mommy? Why were those people mean? What was I to say to him? What was my mom going to say? I have 9 brothers and sisters! I have 12 nieces and nephews and we are a very very Catholic and religious family. Would my mom understand why I needed to deliver now knowing that I was going to induce the labor and the baby wouldn’t survive? I have to pause here and tell you that I admire how much stronger you are than me, I could not have carried my baby any further knowing the outcome wasn’t going to change. I would like to stop here because my son is crying for me and I don’t even know if anyone will be reading this and I am just sobbing. Please contact me if you are able too.

    • babyangelb March 3, 2017 at 10:42 pm #

      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your precious baby. There is no harder loss in my opinion than the loss of a baby. The loss of your baby will live with you forever, but overtime, the intense pain will lessen. This is so recent for you! Give yourself time to grieve and be patient with yourself as you heal. Thank you for reaching out to me. I don’t encounter a lot of moms who have had a baby with the same condition. It is very rare. Please contact me any time you need to! My email is amandabragg@outlook.com if you prefer to send me a more private message.

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