Baby Steps

Ava Walking

Wouldn’t this have been a great photo and title for Wordless Wednesday?  It was so tempting to post nothing but a photo today, but it turns out that I have way too many words in my head and I’m exhausted from working so hard to keep them in there.  Totally and completely exhausted.

So today I am going to write.  Not about my own recipes, because I haven’t felt much like cooking, much less developing recipes, in a really long time.  I’m not going to write about my recent travels or the awesome cookbooks and kitchen products that have been showing up at my door lately.  Not about our CSA box that has been supplying us with local organic produce and eggs week after week.  Not about our summer garden that exploded and filled our lives with cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, and chiles and is now almost completely gone.  And I’m certainly not going to write about the growing compost pile where many of those vegetables ended up because I have had no desire to cook or eat them.  I’m not even going to write about the beautiful fresh Alaskan salmon that was sent to me over the summer to experiment with and has instead been taking up most of my freezer for the last couple of months.  I wish I wanted to write about those things.  I really do know how lucky I am to have a job that allows me to be creative in the kitchen and travel and test new products.  But right now, none of it means that much to me and food blogging is going to have to wait.

Instead, I’m going to write about miscarriage.  It’s the thing that I’ve been trying not to write about for a year now, although the truth is that I have wanted to write about it.  Desperately.  The thing about miscarriage is that there’s a rule that we’ve all learned that it shouldn’t be talked about with acquaintances or strangers.  That’s why you’re not supposed to share news about a pregnancy until after the first trimester – if you talk openly about a pregnancy and it ends in miscarriage, it’s impossible to keep it a secret.  While I understand the initial discomfort in having to tell people about the loss, I have found that it’s much more uncomfortable to keep it a secret and try to carry on as if your life hasn’t been ripped apart and turned upside down.  Think about how many women go through this (it’s a surprisingly large percentage) and how many of them immediately go back to work, or to the grocery store, or out with friends, enduring small talk and forcing smiles, all while trying to pretend that their world hasn’t just been turned upside down.

Because of the way we deal (or don’t deal) with miscarriage in this society, I was totally unprepared for the reality of it.  Sure, I knew all the statistics and that there was a possibility that it would happen.  I’m in my late 30’s so I also knew of the slightly increased risk due to my age.  I followed the all-important rule and kept news about the pregnancy to a small circle of family and friends and even tried to keep myself from becoming too excited about it until after the first ultrasound – an impossible task, really.  But when we went in at 10 weeks for the first ultrasound and found out that I had a blighted ovum and would be going home to wait for a miscarriage rather than to show friends and family an ultrasound photo, I was in shock.

It was a weird sort of limbo.  I wasn’t actually growing a baby anymore but my body thought I was so I had to continue to endure the pregnancy symptoms until my body figured out what was going on.  Meanwhile, my main source of information about blighted ovum was the internet, where I promptly found story after story about misdiagnosed miscarriage, which only added to the fear and confusion.  Was I still pregnant or not?  Could the doctor have been wrong?  Was the baby just hiding?  And then came the actual miscarriage stories, some of which were absolutely terrifying.  The more real information I tried to find, the more confused and alone I felt.  Meanwhile, I put up as brave a front as I could for my friends and family but was a complete basket case around Phil, who was dealing with his own fear and confusion while being leaned on for support by a crazy woman and getting absolutely no support of his own.  And it was another two weeks before the actual miscarriage started.

I’ve been almost all the way through the first trimester of pregnancy three times in the past year and endured three miscarriages.  If you’ve heard of a pregnancy symptom, I’ve probably experienced it.  A lot.  With each pregnancy and each miscarriage I wanted to talk about my experiences and each time I kept quiet for fear of making other people uncomfortable.  The last two pregnancies were different than the first –  in fact we saw and heard heart beats both times.  But each time, the baby wasn’t growing on schedule and the heart beat eventually stopped.  And each time, we knew about the impending miscarriage before it happened and had to wait for it.  After the second one, my relationship with Phil was on the brink of collapse and I was so mired in depression I didn’t even know I was depressed.  I didn’t know anything.  Nothing felt good, nothing made sense, I couldn’t work, and I didn’t feel like I could tell anyone why.  I was convinced that everyone was judging me as a failure and/or a flake because I couldn’t keep up this blog, couldn’t keep up the house, couldn’t return emails or answer the phone, couldn’t complete freelance assignments.  It was an accomplishment to get out of bed at all.  I was so buried under feelings of shame and inadequacy for not being able to get anything done that I couldn’t even recognize that I had been through some serious trauma and needed and deserved a break and some compassion.  Luckily for me, things finally got so bad that a family member saw that I needed help and pushed me into therapy.  It saved my relationship and it slowly brought me back to life.

Another thing that has kept me going is the joy of being around the new babies in our family.  I was there for the birth of my baby cousin Ava a couple of months after my first miscarriage.  Being there was a life-changing experience and watching her grow from an infant to the active 10-month-old she is today really has been magical.  We lost my Uncle Jim, Ava’s grandpa, a few years ago and when Ava was born with Jim’s bright red curly hair, we were all in tears for more reasons than one.  My other adorable baby cousin Reagan just turned one and is running all over the place smiling, while the newest kid on the block is 4-month-old Vivian, with big eyes and the cutest chubby cheeks and dimples.  Being here to watch my cousins start and grow their families and getting to see these little ones grow up makes me so grateful that I chose to move back home.

Smiling Ava

Our first miscarriage started exactly one year ago today and I am currently recovering from the third, which happened last month.  By recovering, I mean I’m waiting for the last of the pregnancy hormones to disappear and for the cycling of mood swings, exhaustion, and depression to let up.  I’m mostly there.  My energy has returned and I’m waiting to hear the results from my last blood test (which I’ve had to do weekly since the miscarriage) to find out if the pregnancy hormones are finally completely gone.  If so, that means I should start feeling somewhat back to “normal” in a few weeks.  I’m not going to say that it gets easier, because this last pregnancy was probably the most stressful of the three and when it ended, we felt the loss as intensely as we did the first two times.  But having been through this twice before, I now have confidence that my body knows what it’s doing and the fear is lessened.  With the help of therapy, Phil and I are now armed with the knowledge of how and why we grieve differently and we have learned how to support each other and most importantly how to support ourselves through the healing process.  Now it feels like our relationship is strengthened by loss rather than strained.

At this point, the doctors don’t know why I keep miscarrying.  I’ve had more blood drawn than I even knew was possible and we’ve been through genetic counseling.  We each have to go through one more test before we’re given the green light to try again.  As crazy as it seems, it’s not completely unusual to have 3 or 4 unexplained miscarriages in a row and then go on to have a healthy pregnancy.  So, we haven’t given up hope – not even close.  We are both healthy and obviously have no problem getting pregnant, and that alone is reason to be hopeful.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned through all of this, it’s that I am strong enough to get through it.  Whatever happens, we’ll get through it.

For now, we’ve decided to give ourselves a little break from trying to start a family and focus on planning a wedding.  We have been engaged for almost two years now and though it might seem as if we’re doing things backwards, we have our reasons for this crazy timeline.  We were actually never planning on throwing a big wedding at all, but something about going through this last loss together changed the way we felt about having a big celebration.  We’re going for it!  I even bought a dress.

So why am I telling you all of this?  For one thing, I do plan on talking about my next pregnancy from the beginning – on here, on social media, in real life.  Early pregnancy is a crazy, exhausting, horrible, exhilarating time and any pregnancies for me in the future will also be stressful and terrifying due to the previous miscarriages.  I need an outlet to vent and I need support.  Also, I obviously love talking about food and when pregnancy happens, it changes my relationship to food so profoundly that if I can’t write about it here, then I’ll probably end up neglecting the blog again completely.  I’d love to be able to talk about what it’s like to be a food blogger when I can’t go near the kitchen because I can smell an unopened head of garlic all the way in the living room and sometimes the only thing that sounds remotely good is a basket of fried pickles, which I then discover I don’t even want after eating three of them.

Writing this post frees me up to talk about what’s really going on in my life, which is essential if I’m going to continue writing here.  And I’d really like to continue writing here.

I also hope that reading about my experiences will help other women who are dealing with pregnancy loss.  No pregnancy and no miscarriage is the same, but knowing that someone has been through a similar situation and survived is a powerful thing.  I have spent countless hours on miscarriage support boards reading through stories and drawing strength from women who have been through this.  But even though miscarriage support boards exist and flourish online, there is still very little information given to women leaving doctor’s offices, hospitals, and ER rooms about how their bodies will react to miscarriage, much less what the grieving process will be like.  There is very little information about what men go through after a pregnancy loss and even less information about how miscarriage affects relationships.  We need to talk about this more.

My hope is that someday couples going through miscarriage will be met with a large support network and real information about what to expect and how to cope.  I also wish for people to feel empowered to ask for time and space to grieve as necessary.  Miscarriage is a real loss and needs to be treated as such in order for couples to truly heal.  If anyone out there needs to vent, please feel free to email me.  I can’t guarantee that I’ll respond to every message – I still have trouble staying on top of things like email, I’m still going through this.  But I will read them and I will understand.  Just know that you will get through this.  Show yourself kindness and compassion.  Take small steps.  Baby steps.

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96 Comments
  1. Phillip

    You really are amazing. <3

    This is perfect.

    8:23 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  2. Jen @ Savory Simple

    Thank you for sharing your experience. It was difficult to read and I have no doubt it was hard to write. I think you’re an amazing person and I hope your next year is full of happiness.

    8:41 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  3. Janet LaDue

    A very raw and touching post… My instinct tells me me that you will be able to help many with your experiences, and soon be cuddling whom you’ve been longing for. I too, have had a miscarriage, and just a few short weeks ago my oldest daughters water broke at 5 months, delivered, and lost a baby boy. It helps us to share. It soothes us. Knowing that others understand, help us to move forward. Blessings to the both of you.

    8:42 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  4. Erin

    Thank you so much for sharing, this was a beautiful post.

    8:46 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  5. Lucy

    You are a brave woman. One of my dearest friends has had 2 miscarriages in the past year and she has said these same words, more or less: “While I understand the initial discomfort in having to tell people about the loss, I have found that it’s much more uncomfortable to keep it a secret and try to carry on as if your life hasn’t been ripped apart and turned upside down.” I don’t like the way we deal with miscarriage, either. That’s why I appreciate your candor. Don’t give up hope. Things will get better, they have to.

    8:47 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  6. Julie

    I’m so sorry you’ve gone through all this – I’m glad you shared your experience. I’ve had three miscarriages too. It’s rough. Baby steps can get you through a lot.

    8:48 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  7. nancyo

    Thanks for sharing, Nicole. I’m sorry for your losses and I know that your story will help others be more open.

    8:50 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  8. Brit Spangler

    I’m so sorry for all of your loss this year. I will definitely share this so that maybe it can reach someone else who is going through the same thing. It was very brave of you to share. Thank you!

    8:50 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  9. Justin

    Yes, like Phil said…You really are amazing!

    8:51 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  10. BrendaLou

    Bless you. I’ve been through miscarriage only once and it was devastating. I also birthed a beautiful, full-term baby boy who only lived on this earth for 19 hours. My oldest daughter passed unexpectedly at 29 years of age. All, every one of them were loved and grieved for. I am so very sorry for the loss in your lives, but am happy to hear you are going ahead with your own milestone as a couple…a wedding.

    8:53 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  11. Gravy Girl

    thank you.

    8:56 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  12. GeezLouise!

    Sending warm thoughts and prayers of comfort to you…

    8:57 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  13. Jennifer

    Really honored to have you as a friend. You and Phil both. Losing a baby is so hard. No matter how old or far along a pregnancy is. I am so glad that you found the strength to share your loss with others who might be going through the same thing.

    8:59 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  14. Melissa

    You are an amazing woman and I look forward to hearing more real life stories :)

    9:05 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  15. Jamie | Jamie's Recipes

    I am so sorry for your losses. Thank you for opening up and sharing with us. In the last six months two of my friends have publicly blogged about their miscarriage (and multiple miscarriage) experiences. It gives me hope that future women won’t have to shoulder these losses alone and silently. You are a part of that group of strong women that are shattering the “taboo” of speaking out about miscarriage. Thank you.

    9:06 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  16. Ellon

    I’m so sorry for the losses you’ve had to endure this past year. So many women don’t get the chance to fully grieve because it “makes people uncomfortable” to talk about it. Its such a private thing. I hope you are feeling better soon.

    9:07 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  17. Sandy K

    Don’t you feel so much better now! God heals our sorrows just not on our timeline. Your writing was very touching. I’ve not experienced a miscarriage loss, but I have nieces who have. We never know what to say. They don’t say anything then they feel neglected. It’s a circle. I think it is wonderful that you wrote about it as it may help so many other young women going through some of what you went through. Whether it is one or three, each pregnancy is special. God Bless you and Phil.

    9:12 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  18. Linda

    You’re brave beyond words. No doubt, your candor will help so many women (and men) going through the same thing. Hugs to all!

    9:20 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  19. Saltyseattle

    Nicole-you are a force. I wish I would not have been so mired in my own crap to have been able to have seen your pain. Love you, woman. And so excited for your future with Phil, no matter what it brings. Xxoo-would love to talk soon.

    9:42 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  20. Genie Gratto

    Oh my gosh, Nicole. Sending so much strength as you ride through the end of this, and wishing you all the best — with the wedding, with next steps, with all of it. What a roller coaster, and thank you for sharing this. I’m tucking it away in case I need it later. I agree. The not-talking…it is death. I’m so glad you wrote about what you’ve been going through, and if I can be of any support going forward, I am here!

    10:06 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  21. Chris

    Your strength and courage are amazing. Thank you for your bravery in sharing with us, your moving forward, and the many wonderful things to come.

    10:18 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  22. Irvin

    I so sorry for what you’ve had to go through in the past year. I’ve had a number of friends who went had miscarriages and I know the sorrow they went through was so difficult. The courage you had in writing this is amazing and I’m so glad you wrote about it.

    11:28 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  23. Grandma Eva

    OMG You are amazing I had no idea i had a niece who had 5 miscarriages and 5 health children I know of some one who had 11 miscarriages one live birth who was a great person an leader.Congrads on the wedding come over I’ve been through a lot of weddings might have some suggestions a lot of support Love you two much Gr Ma

    11:56 pm  Sep 24th, 2013
  24. Linda

    You are one strong and amazing woman. Keep going, one day, you will have your baby in your arms.

    And, thank you for the beautiful post.

    12:01 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  25. Andrea

    Thank you for sharing something so personal. Giving you a virtual hug from Australia.

    Xxx

    1:11 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  26. Jenny @ The Finished Plate

    I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Hopefully things will get better. :) thanks for sharing your story.

    1:46 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  27. Betsy

    Wow…very hard to put into words, but you did it beautifully. Thank you for sharing and being real. There is no shame or blame in miscarriage, just pain for both parents. I had one at 12 weeks and was lucky enough to know why(Turner’s Syndrome), and life changes forever. That baby is not far from my everyday thoughts. I hope that this journey continues to give you strength and clarity.

    2:41 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  28. Senga

    Sorry to hear of your losses. Thank you for this post. I now have two beautiful children seven years apart with a lot of heartache in between. I admire you for healing your relationship.

    2:43 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  29. Caroline @ chocolate & carrots

    Oh Nicole, I am so sorry! I can’t even imagine. I know it doesn’t compare, but my husband and I tried for 2 years to get pregnant with Liam and finally endured two infertility treatments to get pregnant. The depression and failure I felt was unlike anything I’ve ever felt. I’ve written about it on my baby blog to do the same thing you’re doing here. We need to talk about these heartbreaks more and be there to support one another. I’m so thankful that you’re using your journey to help others and as a sort of healing yourself.

    I wish the best for you and Phil. What a blessing to have a supportive partner and congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! P.S. Baby Ava is precious!!!

    3:18 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  30. Kelly

    Thank you for your story. I too have been through a similar situation of miscarriages and infertility. I decided to blog my journey and felt that it really helped along the way to talk about it. So glad you aren’t giving up. Keep sharing your stories as there are so many people out there that will be helped by knowing it is ok to talk about it.

    3:31 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  31. Patty Higgins

    First I am so sorry you have had to go through this but I am very glad you are going to continue to follow your dream. It will be wonderful and exhausting and worth everything you have gone through. I agree 100% talking about it is important. For you and for others. I am glad you did.

    Have you tried acupuncture? My girlfriend had a very similar story and started seeing an acupuncturist along with a few other people in her support group. Out of that group, all of the women who went to the acupuncturist had children. My friend’s daughter turns five this month. Acupuncture can help.

    3:33 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  32. MH

    My husband and I know this situation all too well. We have also have miscarried 3 times. It is very painful and strenuous on your relationship. No one can make or take the pain away of a miscarriage, it hurts more than words can describe. And the memories of knowing you’re pregnant, waiting the 8-10 weeks dreaming and planning of this little one in your life only to then find out you won’t get to hold, feed, bathe, or watch them grow is always there. We fought through it and we’re bound and determined not to let this get it down, but I won’t lie behind closed doors, in the shower, and car when I was alone I cried and cried asking why us, we are good people, we love each other, and we want this!! In a month with mark our first miscarriage to a year and we are proud to say we are expecting twins!!! Good things will come to you as well and at the time of the miscarriages I didn’t understand why we weren’t getting those babies but now I know there were bigger and brighter days ahead full of two babies at once!! And no the twins were conceived all natural no medical or scientist helped us – we stopping calculating our trying methods, relaxed, and let faith take over. Keep holding on, as everyone told us – you are only given what you can handle at one time. We were not meant to have our kids last year and I understand why, after 8 yrs with his company my husband lost his job in July and we had to start all over. As hard as it is to comprehend in the ‘moment’ someday you’ll be able to look back and understand why. Good luck, I know it’s hard, keep your head up, and believe better things and babies will be in your future!!

    3:41 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  33. Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies

    Nicole, my heart is with you. People going through infertility treatments learn the same thing – don’t talk about it. When we went through our first IVF cycle, I made the mistake of telling my family. While I won’t bore you with the details, when it failed, my mother made everything worse by making the loss hers instead of mine, and shaming me because I failed to get and stay pregnant. We didn’t tell anyone but my sister that we were going through our second attempt – 3 years after the first. That’s how long it took me to heal from the trauma my mother inflicted. I have tried to be open that this baby came through so much hard work and tears, but I feel you’ve hit the nail on the head harder than I ever could. You’re exactly right that no two loss stories are the same. James and I had to mourn the loss of being able to conceive naturally, period. I think people don’t realize that’s a thing.. but not being able to make a baby with your partner in the way nature intended? That’s a big thing to lose. I will send all the positive energy I can in your direction. We put a quote from Walt Disney in the baby’s room, and it’s kind of become my mantra these days – “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

    You’ve proven today that you are one of the bravest people I know. Keep up the courage, beautiful.

    4:10 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  34. Melissa

    It is amazing that you are sharing this part of your life with other people. You have such a great platform to reach so many people. I also had many struggles and a miscarriage. I will openly talk about it just in case somebody out there needs to here they are not the only one! I am sure you made many people feel a little less alone in their struggles, which is amazing! Wish you all the best.

    5:12 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  35. Pam

    I am deeply grateful for your post today, because it’s not an easy thing to do. I just miscarried twins two months ago after trying to get pregnant without success for over 20 years. People are uncomfortable talking to me about it and act like it never happened. I’m still struggling. Thank you for your honesty and openness and I wish you much luck when you are able to try again.

    5:27 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  36. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes

    Such a heartfelt post. I’m so sorry for your loss. I had 3 miscarriages after the birth of my first child, so I can definitely relate to your pain. Through the miracle of IVF I was then able to give birth to a son and six years later twin boys. Hang in there! I know it can be a long road.

    5:36 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  37. Cherie

    I don’t even know you but I sit here in tears over the pain I know you’re feeling, and with pride in your choice to bring it out in the open so you can feel more free.

    As many women I too have gone through multiple miscarriages – it was brutal indeed and I’m so happy to hear that you two have come to a place to deal with it together in a supportive way.

    I wish your road to get easier with every step.

    5:47 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  38. Lisa

    I am so sorry to welcome you to the horrible sisterhood of pregnancy loss. You speak so eloquently about the pain and confusion that surrounds miscarriage. I too hope to bring it out into the open, women and their partners should not be expected to just move forward. We need time to grieve, just as anyone else who has lost a loved one.

    Sending you lots of positive energy and hopes for a dream come true.

    6:09 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  39. Suek357

    I am sorry for your losses. It is hard for people to understand that a each miscarriage is the loss of a child….one that was wanted, longed for, dreamed about. You mention there is not enough support out there for families that need to grieve for these losses. At our church here in the Greater Minneapolis Area, there is a holiday service that is focused on families that have lost children, INCLUDING miscarriages. It is a great time of healing and support, as well as a public acknowledgement (and celebration) of the little ones that each heart misses terribly. They also have a support group too….I would imagine if you look, you will find a resource locally as well. Or start one! Blessing to you and may this journey be filled with grace and peace for you and Phil.

    6:12 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  40. Abby

    Thank you for being brave enough to write and share this beautiful post, Nicole. I, too, am unclear why we don’t talk about miscarriage openly when so many people experience it…and why so many people refuse to acknowledge that it *is* a terrible loss and you need permission/time/space/support to grieve. I wish you much luck, and peace, and positive energy, with both the wedding and building your family. xo

    6:21 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  41. Heather

    Nicole, you are an amazing writer! Thank you for sharing this experience with us. We definitely want to support you and Phil through it all. I have been very surprised over the years how any friends I have that that gone through this exact experience. It is probably one of the hardest moments and I agree that it should not be hidden. Stay strong, take time to breath and remember you have a great foundation of people that love you and Phil. I can’t wait to have you officially join the family! Lots of love, Heather

    6:27 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  42. Colleen

    I am so, so sorry for your losses, Nicole. And on the food side, I had no idea how bad the aversions would be. With my first, I couldn’t stand the kitchen at all. Second, the smell of cheese — and I write a cheese blog. Oy. :) Sending wishes for strength, peace and much happiness ahead to you.

    6:44 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  43. Jen

    I am so very sorry for your losses. I’ve also been through multiple miscarriages and the cycling of hope and despair is devastating. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope that the next few years bring you only good news.

    6:48 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  44. Lori @ RecipeGirl

    Yes, it does suck. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been going through all of this. A lot of us can relate to what you’re going through. For me, I was lucky with my first little guy. The three miscarriages following … many years later when we decided we were going to have another… were devastating. Depression and heartache beyond anything I would have imagined. So I completely understand what you’ve been going through. I wish you health and strength and everything to get beyond this and be happy. Your day will come, and imagine how wonderful that will be? XO

    7:06 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  45. Winnie

    Thank you for sharing this…you are so brave. Sending so much love!

    7:15 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  46. Sara

    So sorry for all you have been going through. Wishing you the best.

    7:18 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  47. Rebecca

    Oh, my dear friend… Thank you so much for trusting us with this. I know how hard an experience this is. I truly do. It’s been several years since I went through this, and the pain is sometimes still so fresh in my heart. And it makes it so much harder when it can’t be talked about. You are so wonderful and brave to share this with us. You are both in my thoughts. xo

    7:55 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  48. Wendy

    Thank you for sharing. It is hard. I shared about our miscarriage, which was my 2nd pregnancy, on my blog. I don’t know if anyone ever read it. I realized this summer that it has been 4 years since my miscarriage. It is strange to think about — all the what ifs and wondering who that child may have been.

    Many healing prayers for you and Phil!

    8:06 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  49. Andrea Meyers

    Oh my dear, I feel for you. Losing a child is so hard, and I hope that you find comfort in each other and strength to keep trying. Talking publicly about loss and health problems can be frightening–believe me, I know–but it can help lighten the burden, too. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    8:40 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  50. Kari

    Nicole,

    Thank you for sharing and please know, you have tons of people out here who are thinking of you, want to be here to support you and appreciate what it took to write this. All the best to you and Phil and positive thoughts and prayers are being sent to you from Alaska.

    8:49 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  51. Indigojody

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    8:51 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  52. Kate

    Thank you. This is beautiful. I’ve been there. I’ve learned to move on and change my dreams. I hope you find peace and happiness whatever happens in your life with Phil. From what I hear from my real-life friends who know you (Meridith and Jared), you’re pretty damn cool and can do just about anything. Hugs.

    9:00 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  53. Brandy

    I just wanted to say that I too just had a miscarriage about 5 weeks ago so I understand how brave it was for you to write this. Sending some love your way!

    9:12 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  54. Kristin

    My heart goes out to you that you’ve had to endure these hardships. My sister had two miscarriages last year, during a time when I was pregnant with my daughter. We found out, yet again, how important family and friends are and how much we all need each other. After doing extensive blood tests she discovered that we have a particular Vitamin B deficiency that requires a special type of Vitamin B to be taken so that it can be absorbed. Apparently it runs through our family and affects more than just my sister. But, after taking this particular Vitamin B my sister is now pregnant again and due with my nephew early next month! My prayers are with you. You are truly a resiliant woman.

    9:26 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  55. Sheila Torres

    Heartbreaking piece! But, you’ve got a beautiful baby!

    9:53 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  56. Kristen

    I’m up to miscarriage #4 now. The first one was hard b/c I wasn’t expecting it. The second two I was more ready for. This last one seemed like a giant cosmic joke b/c everything was going so much better than it ever had before for the first 8 weeks, then came crashing down again at about 12 weeks.

    It’s an awful thing. They removed a large septum from my uterus after my third miscarriage, so I thought the problem was “fixed” but then I had another. I’m only 30, so I have time, but it makes you wonder how many of these you can withstand before you just cry uncle and stop trying.

    My heart goes out to you. It does help to talk about it. There are some good blogs out there about recurrent miscarraige, which was helpful for me.

    I will pray for you that you will have a successful pregnancy in the near future, and that you will be able to move on with your life after this most recent one. Kuddos to you for talking about it, it’s not easy:)

    10:05 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  57. Alicia @ Weekly Greens

    Oh, Nicole. My heart is breaking for you. I’m so sorry for your losses. I’ve suffered two miscarriages of my own – each painful and debilitating in their own different ways. I am grateful to be mom to two healthy and beautiful boys. This is going to happen for you. I feel that. Take good care of yourself, be gentle on yourself and find joy where you can. I give you huge credit for talking about it so openly and so honestly. That takes all kinds of courage. Sending you my very best wishes.

    10:43 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  58. bjahlstrom

    My heart goes out to you!!!

    10:48 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  59. Vickie

    I hope you have the wedding of your dreams, and a happily ever after, which you so richly deserve.

    11:26 am  Sep 25th, 2013
  60. Elise

    Oh Nicole, I’m so sorry that you’ve had to endure this. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve had so many friends suffer through miscarriages, some multiple, it was just overwhelmingly sad for them. May you continue to heal. Much love.

    1:12 pm  Sep 25th, 2013
  61. Wendy

    While I will never experience what you’ve had to live through, (I’m infertile), I admire your bravery and honesty about your miscarriages. May your wedding be a joyous one and someday be followed by a healthy happy child/children.

    1:35 pm  Sep 25th, 2013
  62. Jennifer | Bake or Break

    Nicole, I’m so sorry for what you and Phil have been going through. Focus on the wedding and let things fall into place. Many prayers, positive thoughts, and virtual hugs coming your way!

    1:44 pm  Sep 25th, 2013
  63. Alyssa (Everyday Maven)

    Nicole, Thank you for having the courage to share what you have been going through. I am sure it wasn’t easy but it’s real and hopefully will also allow you to start healing by not holding it all in. You are an awesome person and I’m glad we had a little mini-vaca last week in AZ together! xoxo

    3:03 pm  Sep 25th, 2013
  64. Hydrangea

    I can’t imagine how hard this past year has been for you. Prayers and wishes for peace of mind and strength of spirit.

    4:05 pm  Sep 25th, 2013
  65. Jane

    Nicole, I stumbled upon your blog today while searching for a recipe and was riveted by your writing. What a year you have had. I went through one miscarriage years ago and can relate your grieving. Focusing on a wedding sounds like a good thing right now. Best wishes for a happy wedding and I will be back to read your blog again, to be sure.

    7:06 pm  Sep 25th, 2013
  66. Debbie D

    Thank you for your bravery in telling your story. You are incredible. Thank you again for sharing. <3

    7:25 pm  Sep 25th, 2013
  67. Kim L

    I am so sorry for your losses! I think you are incredibly brave to write so honestly about your experience. It’s such a personal thing – that sadly too many families have to endure. Reading this will change how I interact with people suffering through this in the future. I pray you heal fully and completely and that you have a blessed life as a couple.

    7:45 pm  Sep 25th, 2013
  68. Kate | Food Babbles

    I admire your bravery and this very honest post. I have been in your shoes. I now have 3 healthy wonderful daughters but the road to having those children was a difficult one and I had 2 miscarriages and 1 ectopic pregnancy along the way. It’s such a devastating and heartbreaking experience each time. It makes it so difficult to then enjoy a healthy pregnancy because I found myself fearing a miscarriage every second of every pregnancy. I do hope that when you do become pregnant again that it will be a healthy and happy one. My heart aches for you and all that you’ve endured already.

    7:50 pm  Sep 25th, 2013
  69. kriswithmany

    My grandma gave birth to a stillborn, and it was so taboo to talk about it that when my parents tried to name my sister after baby Sharon, they got the name wrong. There was no burial, no funeral. My grandma was expected to carry on like she never happened. Attitudes have changed somewhat since then, but there is still such a long way to go.

    8:21 pm  Sep 25th, 2013
  70. Tandy | Lavender and Lime

    having watched my aunt go through this very same thing numerous times I can only pray you have someone who can hold your hand and just be there for you! It is exhausting and grieving is healthy. Many blessings Tandy

    1:04 am  Sep 26th, 2013
  71. Sofia @ Something On Everything

    Hi Nicole, I’m so sorry you and Phil had to go through this. I had tears in my eyes when I read your post. But I hope you know you have a great support system on your “webbie” friends. We’re here for you. And will always be. :)

    And now, we’re excited for your upcoming wedding! Uuuuhhhh just to imagine the amazing pictures we’ll see! ;)

    Thank you for trusting us enough to share your story. =)

    We’re here for you. :)

    8:38 am  Sep 26th, 2013
  72. Kris

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s important to acknowledge these experiences. I enjoy your blog and I’m so sorry you have to endure this. I know other peoples’ stories aren’t always the answer, but if this can offer you any hope I thought I’d share it. My sister suffered through 4 miscarriages and failed in-vitro fertilization over the course of several years. It was devastating for her and her husband, but she then went on to have two natural, totally uncomplicated, healthy pregnancies at age 32 and 35.

    9:19 am  Sep 26th, 2013
  73. Carrie

    First off let me say you are by far my favorite food blogger!!! VERY GIFTED!!!! And I have often wondered what was going on… I thought mabye I got bumped off your list? Knowing now what you have been enduring makes food seem petty! I was crying as I read your story. I also have shared your pain. I always felt very sorry for people that have gone through miscarrage but didnt understand the depth of pain until I had 2 live births & then 2 miscarriages, the loss is so deep! You should take all the time you need without feeling one ounce of guitl! I will be praying for often! Blessings sent you way!

    9:23 am  Sep 26th, 2013
  74. Jessica

    What a fantastic post. I’m not nearly ready to decide to start growing our family, in fact I’m newly engaged and probably headed towards the long engagement period you’ve just described. But I’m definitely of the appropriate age and experience to know exactly what you mean by describing the silence around miscarriage, and the weird “waiting period” when you’re first pregnant. Thanks for putting it all out there, and making those roads a little less bumpy for those who have yet to travel them.

    11:51 am  Sep 26th, 2013
  75. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    There’s so many of us who can relate to what you’ve gone through. Know that you are not alone in this struggle and that prayers heals. Sending you tons of hugs and positivity which is so much needed. Hang in there my friend. xoxoxo

    11:52 am  Sep 26th, 2013
  76. Elizabeth

    Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    8:19 am  Sep 27th, 2013
  77. Julie {Bananas for Bourbon}

    Nicole, thank you so much for sharing your story. I too don’t know why as a society talking about early pregnancy is considered “jinxing” it. It really just creates this lonely, oppressed feeling that is unnecessary to so many. Some people are just private, and I completely respect that. But other people find so much comfort from those around them, and we don’t know to give it when we don’t know there’s a problem. So thank you for showing the other side of the coin.

    My story is so different from yours, and yet I instantly related. I’m 34 weeks pregnant now, but it was a long road to get here. One that ended up involving IVF. I went off birth control the very beginning of 2012 and never got a period. The doctor did blood tests, prescribed hormones, and nothing worked. All the tests said my body should be working fine, but it just wasn’t. It was obviously a hormonal issue, so I sought an endocrinologist. And of course the only fertility endocrinologists around are fertility specialists. I resisted going for months because I thought “I’m not one of those people. I’m not infertile. I don’t need an invasive procedure to have a baby.” I was wrong. I got over myself and went to one. And she was amazing! My issue was by no means common, but the way she approached diagnosing it was so rational and smart. She figured out the problem, gave me some options on how to deal with it, and sent me on my way. I wasn’t able to fix it on my own like I was hoping, and by then I was really ready for a baby, so we did IVF. And thankfully it was successful on the first try.

    Through this whole process, even though I had a really hard time with it, I was very open about it. I told people I was having hormone issues. I told them what I was doing to try and fix it. And I told them I was doing IVF. And out of the woodwork came a shocking number of women telling me privately that they were having fertility issues and didn’t know what to do. I refered my amazing doctor to at least 3 women. My co-worker even told me she had gone through a miscarriage just a few months before and was so broken up over it, but she hadn’t told anyone outside their immediate family. I was so touched she would share it with me. Because while we went through very different kinds of hardship, it was still hardship!

    People were shocked at how open I was. My in-laws actually tried to change the subject when we tried telling them about our fertility issues. As if it were something to be embarrassed about. I’m not embarrassed, or less of a woman. I’m just a little defective. Everyone is a little defective in some way. Unless anyone wants to claim they’re perfect. And the same goes for you! I had trouble getting pregnant. You’re having trouble staying pregnant. Such a wildly different emotional journey. I want to give you three big hugs! I know your post will have touched a lot of people because it touched me and I’m a tree in a forest. So thanks again to so eloquantly putting pen to paper (finger to keyboard?). You have the right attitude. Loss is never going to not be hard, but this will happen for you! You are going to make amazing parents and I hope you get to experience it soon!

    5:06 pm  Sep 27th, 2013
  78. koko

    Thank you so much for sharing. Having suffered a miscarriage my self, I feel your loss. Although mine was many, many years ago, I remember it as if it was yesterday.
    I’m keeping you in my prayers and I wish you and Phil a life of happiness.

    7:21 am  Sep 28th, 2013
  79. Leah

    Thank you so much for your honesty and thoughts. Your candor is so refreshing. Hang in there! You have lots of support here.

    8:39 am  Sep 28th, 2013
  80. Diane Rocha

    Nicole, I am so sorry you have to endure this loss, but I am so glad you wrote about it. Yes, it will help someone who has also had to suffer the terrible loss of miscarriage, but it is also so healing for you. Even though I barely know you, I know you through your writing, and I know that you are strong and that you will not merely survive this, you will be stronger for it. And good for you and Phil for not giving up. I just know that before long, you will know the joys of parenthood. Stay strong, my friend. In the meantime, make some bread! : )

    10:05 am  Sep 28th, 2013
  81. Daphne Steinberg

    Namaste Nicole,
    I don’t want you to think for the first minute that I’m trying to sell you something nor do I want you to think I’m preaching here….
    After suffering FOUR miscarriages a gal pal of mine from college wrote a book intended to provide solace to those experiencing similar losses. Kathy is devoutly Christian, so her book takes a Christian approach from what I understand (I haven’t read it). Just in case it might help, here’s the link to more info about the book: http://www.amazon.com/Angels-In-Heart-Kathleen-Olowin/dp/0982498292.
    Wishing you peace and strength.

    10:53 am  Sep 29th, 2013
  82. kelly

    Ah, Nicole. I had a sense of something from reading some of your posts on FB over time and had you in my thoughts along the way, hoping for a sign of good news. I applaud that you have finally written this and hope that it has helped you. I suppose my family is of the backward variety, but we rarely, if ever, hold much back. Hearts on our sleeves, we just put what we feel out there, and I will always encourage others to do the same thing. I’m glad you’ve bought your dress and are looking forward to what comes next. Sending you big hugs and hoping that someday, maybe I’ll be able to do that in person. Best to you, always.

    5:22 pm  Sep 29th, 2013
  83. Suzanne

    Nicole,
    A beautiful, sorrowful rumination on joy, grief, loss and renewal. My very best wishes to you and your beloved as you move on with your life together.

    10:29 pm  Sep 29th, 2013
  84. Charlotte

    Thank you for sharing. I had a blighted ovum between my 2nd and 3rd child and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. The worst part was when friends and family would say, “well at least there wasn’t an actual baby.” I wanted to shout “TO ME THERE WAS A BABY!” It didn’t matter to me, I was planning and excited for what I thought was a baby. It was so difficult. Prayers to you!

    8:17 pm  Sep 30th, 2013
  85. experimental cook

    I am sorry to hear this. I have 2 miscarriages in the 2nd trimester possibly due to a incompetent cervix. Baby #3 made it but only after 32 weeks of complete bed rest, jabs, diabetes and hypertension. In the meanwhile, I lost my job and ended up with a long hospital bill. I used to make my baby cry when she was sleeping just to make sure she was OK, that’s how fearful I was.
    No matter how, the sadness will not go away immediately but it will get easier with time. It’s been 15 years and I am still on the road to recovery.I believe you will too – please take care!

    8:53 pm  Sep 30th, 2013
  86. Rochelle

    Thank you for sharing your story. I still remember my miscarriage in the 1st trimester. I was going to work in NYC with my husband. I had my miscarriage in Grand Central Station.

    Sometimes meaningful people come out with cruel or not thinking sentences. Your ignore those sentences and go on with your life. After my loss I just could not sit at home and watch those baby commercials. I went back to work.

    It took us a very long time for me to get pregnant. I have endometriosis and my husband had a low sperm count. When I finally became pregnant I was 33 yrs. old and I was soooo happy that I was going to have a baby. Then I had the miscarriage. The only consolation was that I did get pregnant and my doctor said wait (certain period of time) and try again. Don’t wait too long because endometriosis will come back. Well I became pregnant and had a baby. I was almost 35 yrs. old. My baby is 30 years old now.

    You don’t forget the experience of a miscarriage, however, it does get a little easier as time goes by.

    Don’t give up.

    My prayers are with you.

    12:08 pm  Oct 1st, 2013
  87. Kelly

    Last week, I had the last of my weekly blood tests after I miscarried. Some days I am washed over with overwhelming sadness and grief and some days I am fine. I wish more people talked the way you do. When I blogged about my experience, the women that came out and shared their stories was astonishing. I wish you love and strength and hope!

    2:31 pm  Oct 1st, 2013
  88. Catherine @ Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth

    Nicole, you are such a strong, beautiful woman! I truly admire your honesty and vulnerability to share your story of loss and strength with us. You are helping so many women out there! I’m so happy that I met you at the Medjool Summit, you are such an inspiration and role model to anyone going through hard times! xoxo

    12:17 am  Oct 2nd, 2013
  89. Maggie

    I am so sorry for your losses. Have you been tested for lupus? Recurrent miscarriages is a symptom and for some women is one of the first symptoms they notice.

    7:47 pm  Oct 2nd, 2013
  90. Fiona

    You’re such an inspiration to women all over the world. I’m writing this from Ireland and miscarriage is not really spoken about here either. I agree that it makes it more difficult to get over a miscarriage when you can’t speak openly about your loss. Thanks for having the courage to share with us. Fiona

    8:41 am  Oct 3rd, 2013
  91. robi mayes

    thanks so much for sharing….my daughter is going through the same thing…..i now have something to show her that she is not alone.

    6:04 pm  Oct 12th, 2013
  92. Lisa @ Je suis alimentageuse

    It takes a lot of courage to share to strangers something so personal and intimate about your life. Thank you for sharing and I wish you the best in recovery and in your future <3

    4:30 pm  Oct 14th, 2013
  93. Danielle

    I am so happy you wrote this. Touched my heart and I can’t wait to read your stories of pregnancy, emotions, and loss. I am currently trying to get pregnant and I can’t wait to follow your journey. Thank you for being brave to write this.

    8:19 am  Oct 18th, 2013
  94. Nicole

    As someone who knows how hurtful it is to carry the secret around I commend you. It’s a very hard thing to start talking about but very freeing once you are finally ready and able to.
    I’d experienced one prior to having, and one after having had my daughter.

    I send you love and hope xoxo

    2:01 am  Nov 3rd, 2013
  95. Ruth

    I’ve read and loved your blog for a long time. Just want to say how sorry I am that you’ve gone through this, and send good wishes for the next try.

    12:28 pm  Nov 4th, 2013
  96. AmyKuras

    I am not a regular reader but love your potato leek soup recipe–I just clicked on the bookmark because I am making it this week and thought I’d read some new posts. I am so sorry for your losses. My particular variety of suck was inability to get pregnant, but I finally did, twice. RESOLVE (the infertility association) was very helpful to me during those awful years. I hope you get your longed-for baby sooner than you can even imagine.

    11:16 am  Dec 27th, 2013
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