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I'm Jessica (my friends call me Breezy) and I am a photographer serving the Sioux City area.
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I’ve been holding my breath.
For months I’ve been dreading this day: February 11. It should have been a day of celebration that I looked forward to with excitement, but instead I haven’t wanted to acknowledge its existence at all.
Last June, Jason and I got the shock of our lives: a natural, positive pregnancy test. Somehow, after almost 5 years of “trying,” 5 rounds of IUI (intrauterine insemination), and almost 5 months of adoption attempts, we somehow got pregnant on our own. It felt like a shock. A complete, and utter miracle.
Oh my goodness were we in heaven! I remember after getting over the initial surprise, I spent so many hours on the phone with my Mom chatting blissfully about names, and how Jaxon would so good be as a brother, and our plans for travel with a newborn! My heart was exploding with joy and I didn’t wait to tell anyone!
But you often hear from women who have dealt with infertility, that when a positive test finally comes along, their joy is mixed with fear. I realized that I wasn’t exempt from that feeling either, as the nerves instantly creeped in. In fact, I told my doctor (who I hadn’t officially met yet) that I “didn’t know how to have a regular pregnancy” and requested the beta tests to track my progress. These are the blood tests that doctors use to confirm pregnancies, but they can also put a specific number value on the hormone HcG found in the blood stream.
So, the first test was great. A bit on the low side, but still in the normal range. I was still over the moon and took about fourteen pregnancy tests to convince myself it was real. Then the second blood draw was devastating, because the number hadn’t been doubling like it was supposed to. It actually went down a little bit and with that I knew the pregnancy wasn’t viable.
My heart shattered.
There is no way to describe that moment, as I’ve never been able to figure out the words to accurately describe how I felt. The closest I’ve come is destroyed, heartbroken, and angry. I got one ultrasound to confirm that the baby had stopped growing, and one heart wrenching visit with the doctor to confirm what had happened. Then I waited for the miscarriage process to begin naturally.
Fast forward seven months and I am still daily struggling with those feelings of heartbreak and anger. I have questioned the universe as to why this even happened. Life could have just left me alone as an infertility survivor with one child. Why did I have to experience and navigate loss in addition? Honestly those are answers I will never receive and feelings that I may never feel resolution with.
The reality of today feels so heavy. To everyone else it’s just Monday: back to work, back to school, back to the grind and the routine. Wake, coffee, work, sleep, repeat. But for me today feels like the end. The last part of the pregnancy that I have to hold on to. It means time has gone on and marked the end of the chapter, even though I am still figuring out how to heal from it. Today, our due date, feels like the last marker that anyone on the outside will understand. Maybe after today I am expected to be okay.
On June 27, I wrote on some scratch paper:
“This loss seems more than I can handle. It is so cruel and so unfair. I would give anything to carry you safely all the way through the pregnancy and see your face, compare it to what I have imagined. I never met you, but I miss you. No one will get to love you the way I already love you. I’m not sure if your Dad and I can try again. I’d love to be able to, I’d love to start over and bring you back to us somehow. But this is so hard. So much harder than even the fact that we couldn’t get pregnant. I’m so heartbroken and feel empty and exhausted. I don’t think I could go through this again.”
On July 6, I officially miscarried (which I hate the term miscarried, because they say women don’t do anything wrong to cause it, and yet they use a word that sounds like mistake).
I did not write this to be a downer. I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me.
All I really wanted was for someone to know that today is for my baby. Loss is unimaginably hard and you don’t truly understand it until you go through it. The craziest part for me has been the fact that sometimes I have to remind myself it was real and that it did actually happen. I knew about the pregnancy for such a short time that sometimes I wonder if I made it up. I guess all I needed from today and from this writing is the ability to acknowledge that the baby was absolutely real. It existed for whatever length of time, and I instantly loved it in a way only a mother can, I just want a day of remembrance for that little life that meant the world to me.
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