Sunday, October 25, 2020

Our journey to start a family… so far!

So a little better than last time… only a couple weeks between posts this time!!

I’m excited to be able to share our news πŸ™‚ and even better, these adorbs pics that my bro Kurt took for us! They really cover all the bases to summarize Greg and I… don’t you think?

βœ” Underarmour
βœ” Ninja Gym
βœ” Our pups
βœ” and of course, beer ?

We’re just over 14 weeks along, so things are about to get a little crazy around here in the back half of 2018! My mum and pa-in law are going from 2 grandkids to 5 between now and December, which is awesome. And this little nugget is going to be the first grandbaby on my parents side… so they are also really pumped! I’ve had to remind my dad for weeks he can’t wear his shirt around yet… it’s still a secret!! haha

Funny too, the target brewery opening date for Greg’s brewery is December 1st… and we’re due Dec 5th! WOOOO! 

I am really excited to be able to share my pregnancy journey – mainly, SAFE workouts! I am currently doing a pre and post natal fitness course and I’m learning a TON! So stay tuned! I am looking forward to building a tribe of ladies to sweat with pre and post baby (although no baby necessary! I’ll workout with anyone that wants to! haha)

Kurt took tons of pics for us, so I had to narrow it down, but I’ll sprinkle a few throughout the rest of the post to break up all the writing!

Anyway, as I  mentioned on my insta post, I wanted to share a little bit about mine and Greg’s experience thus far trying to start a family. Miscarriage and loss is something a lot of people don’t feel very comfortable talking about, but talking about it has really helped me along our journey, so I’m hoping me sharing our story will do the same for someone else that needs it – and really, if it helps even 1 person, then I will feel sharing really served its purpose.

 

I am going to summarize the best I can, but this may still be a fairly lengthy post.

I have what’s called a balanced translocation. It’s an issue with my chromosomes, basically putting me at a slightly higher risk for miscarriage. I won’t go into too much science-y detail, but I am more than happy to chat more about this if anyone is curious/can relate. So we started our journey knowing it could be a long one, due to the fact that we may face more loss than some.

We had our first pregnancy a year and a half or so ago, while we were still living in BC. We got pregnant really quickly, but after only about 6.5 weeks, we lost the baby. It was tough, because really, as soon as you see those two pink lines, things start to change, you become connected and you start planning your future. But we both believe things happen for a reason and we understood that it just wasn’t the right time for us. We took a break from ‘trying’ since we moved back home to Ontario from BC and shortly after, took a vacation with my family to Mexico (and I didn’t want to worry about Zika while we were there). Following that we tried again.

 

After a few more months, we were pregnant again. We managed to hide it from the families for a few weeks, but anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE wine… so it starts getting suspect when I repeatedly turn it down. We told our families when we were at about 7 weeks along and everyone was SO excited. Sadly, right around the time we told our families, my uncle (who was also my godfather) passed away suddenly from a heart attack. It was so sad for my whole family. As if that wasn’t heartbreaking enough, on the morning of his funeral, I started bleeding. We were having another miscarriage.

This one, I had a really really tough time with. I couldn’t understand it. How could this happen? I had just lost someone close to me suddenly, the timing of this pregnancy seemed so perfect, and yet, it wasn’t right either. It was a harder one to move on from than the first I would say. Another thing I found with this loss was being home, surrounded by family and friends was super helpful, but also VERY hard. MANY of my family members and close friends were all pregnant or had just had babies. And of course, I was happy for them, but my goodness it was tough being around that all the time. And of course when you’re going through something like this – it seems like EVERY PERSON YOU KNOW is pregnant, right? Everyone you follow on social media, every celebrity etc etc. So it’s tough.

 

I know the stats say 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, but I would definitely argue that number is MUCH, much higher. Just from my experience of myself, family and close friends, it seems like it’s really gotta be higher than that.

Anyway… that’s been our experience in a nutshell and it certainly has been a journey to say the least. 

A couple things I found worked really well to help cope and move forward:

βœ” Being totally open and honest with Greg about how I’m feeling and when I’m struggling
βœ” Feeling totally okay with opting out of events if I’m just not feeling awesome, and take time to relax and take care of me. A good friend told me it’s best to just be honest. We shared our story with people so they knew what we were dealing with and most people got it if I(or we) said we’re gonna sit this one out tonight. Just need some time to chill. Be honest. People will understand.
βœ” I read a lot! Blogs, articles, and one book in particular that a dear dear friend sent to me. It changed everything!!! I will tell you you’ve gotta have an open mind reading it, but I HIGHLY recommend this for anyone struggling with miscarriage, infertility, or if they have people close to them struggling. It really puts a new perspective on things!


βœ” I let myself have some time to rest, eat whatever I felt like eating (or not eating) without feeling badly about it, and watch a lot of bad movies / sleep a lot. Then I did my best to get back to a routine. Do what made me feel good! Workouts, eating well, spending time with my pups, etc. Of course some days were better than others, and some days were really not great. But that’s okay… accept it, move on! Tomorrow will be better!
βœ” I found reflexology and LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!! SO HELPFUL and I found it insanely healing!!!!
βœ” I got myself a tattoo as part of my closure. My cousin drew one of my other tattoos for me (my mountains), so I got her to do this one for me as well! I LOVE elephants and all they stand for: Strength (this is a big one), longevity, and GOOD LUCK! The elephant is looking up and raising it’s trunk at the two butterflies (one for each of our losses). Once we have a successful pregnancy/pregnancies (and God willing this will be one of them!) I’m going to get a baby elephant added beside the mama… with some water colour to signify the ‘rainbow baby’! It really made me feel good and TOTALLY helped me to let go. It’s a part of me, it’ll always be with me πŸ™‚ And hopefully we’ll have one or two baby elephants I can add in! (This is on my ribcage FYI.. tough to tell in the pic!)

 

If you’re still reading, good for you! I told you it would be a long one. 

Honestly, I know people who have gone through 3, 6 and 8 miscarriages and I honestly have so much respect for you. It. Is. HARD. And people really want to ‘get it’. They really want to help… but it’s impossible for people to know what you’re going through at that moment. I have to say though, I am finding in the last year and a half since we had our first loss, people are talking about it more and more. And I think thats freaking AMAZING. It’s tough, it’s uncomfortable, it’s really sad… but it’s SO DAMN COMMON you guys. When I started sharing about our first loss, honestly, almost every single person I had shared with responded with ‘I have had one too….’ or ‘ My sister just went through that’… or ‘One of my closest girlfriends is struggling with infertility’. Seriously, loss or infertility has touched pretty much everyone at one point or another, so why aren’t we talking about it more!?

Lastly I just want to share a note… To my close friends and family… THANK YOU. Thank you for putting up with random tears often, for dealing with a WAY crankier, quieter, sometimes angrier and just totally not normal Andrea for way longer than I’d like to admit… Thank you for being kind and gentle and doing your best to understand and empathize. It means more than you know, even if I didn’t do a good job showing it at the time. To my amazing husband and partner in crime. You’re my rock, my knight in shining armour and I couldn’t have made it through any of this without you. Hopefully our family will grow in December, but we know what is meant to be will be, and I am so blessed to have you and the puppies and the kitties to make me smile every single day πŸ™‚

This is a WAY long enough post as is, but if you’re struggling, if you’re curious, or if you just want to chat… PLEASE reach out. I would love to chat with you. And please send us positive vibes… we’ve still got a long way to go with this little babe… We’d appreciate the good thoughts!!

THANK YOU for reading
SO much love
xoxox
Andrea 

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