My story started off a little different than the traditional fairy tale. My husband and I found out we were expecting in the beginning of planning our wedding. The only thing I ever wanted to be was a Mom so I was ecstatic. The pregnancy was picture perfect. We had our first beautiful baby boy, Braxson Robert on September 9, 2010. 

When Braxson was about 9 months old we decided to try again. I was pregnant the first month trying. I never had a worry in my mind. What seemed like months would only make me around 8.5 weeks pregnant. I announced that we were expecting to all of our friends & family. I went in for my first OB appointment where I planned the entire pregnancy with the Nurse. I even took home the large bag of baby samples anticipating our baby's arrival. It shattered my world the day I started bleeding. It came out of nowhere. I went in for the most heart wrenching and awkward ultrasound where the technician turned the screen and no one talked to me. I sat in a room full of strangers waiting to for a phone call from my Dr to find out if my baby was still alive inside of me. It was all horrible. I just kept crying and begging god to let me keep this baby. I was young, fragile, and vulnerable. I trusted when the Doctor said, " Everything is fine, You are just 6 weeks instead of 8.5." Although in my heart I knew it wasn't right. Later that week I ended up miscarrying our tiny baby at home. No one ever told me what to expect. It was physically and emotionally exhausting. 

We were lucky enough to get pregnant immediately after this loss. Which I was thankful for because at this point it was consuming me. My miscarriage robbed this pregnancy of a blissful experience but after the 8 week mark I started to feel more optimistic. We had a healthy baby boy, Layken Ryan on May 9, 2012. When he was born, I was utterly obsessed. I didn't mind the sleepless nights. I actually looked forward to them. The heartache from my loss was still shadowing over me but I felt so thankful to have him. Even after he arrived I still had moments of crying when no one was around. Looking at him made me understand those annoying words everyone kept trying to comfort me with."That Everything Happens For A Reason." When I looked at him I couldn't help but believe it's true. He was perfect. I knew he wouldn't be here if I didn't go through what I did. 

We had two little boys and we wanted to add another baby to our family. We started trying again in the summer of 2013. The first month trying I had a chemical pregnancy. For those of you who don't know what that is.. it is a quick tease that you are pregnant with a positive pregnancy test but then days later you get your period. The next month we were officially.. pregnant! I immediately called the office and rushed around to the lab for blood draws and anxiously awaited the results. Everything came back great. I was in Florida for a wedding and had to go into the ER with unrelated abdominal pain. I was very excited because I knew they would do an ultrasound and I would be able to see the baby. I should have been around 8.5 weeks. I found myself in another ER nervously watching an ultrasound screen. The ultrasound technician did allow to me watch this time. As I laid there and found no baby with a heartbeat I instantly knew the outcome of this pregnancy. I will give you the shorter version of how this ended. It was horrific and drawn out for weeks. After fighting with the Doctors office to be seen. Insisting I would miscarry. They finally got me in where I was told it was an unhealthy pregnancy. Right there I was given three options to end the pregnancy and sent on my way to wait it out. I needed more assurance so I requested a second ultrasound for two days later. I felt like it was a horrible nightmare all over again. Although emotionally I felt more prepared than I did with my first loss. I left the office and drove around by myself for hours sobbing and begging for God to please let me keep this baby. Crying and asking why is this happening to me again!? As I parked my car and continued to cry. Tears were rolling down my face when I looked up to see three deer slowly walking in front of my car. They stopped and looked at me and continued to the field next to me. That was my "AH HA" moment. I felt like I needed to be thankful for what I already had. I wiped my tears and drove home to my family. A few days later we went in for an ultrasound and found a baby with a heartbeat. We celebrated but it was short lived. Now being almost 10 weeks pregnant I began to cramp. I was shuffled around to doctors appointments and ultrasounds where we eventually we received the news once again that we lost our baby. My body not only failed this baby but also failed for me to be able to pass it naturally. At almost 11 weeks pregnant now, I ended up hemorrhaging at home days later and had to be taken by ambulance for an emergency D & C on October 18, 2013.

At this point I felt unimportant at my Doctors office. Everyone was sick of dealing with me. I wasn't being heard and was continuing to be told everything was fine..after all you have two live children..Just keep trying! Two months after my D & C, we tried again in December. I was pregnant but it didn't last. After the cute Christmas announcement to our family. Three weeks later I noticed while I was obsessively taking pregnancy tests at home, that it wasn't progressing as it should. I called in and requested an ultrasound. Once again we just saw an empty sac. My doctor didn't even acknowledge that I was losing our 3rd baby. She instead gutted me by calling it "just a blighted ovum." I opted for another D & C exactly two months after the last one on January 18, 2014. I decided from there I wanted a different outcome. I found a new doctor who I trusted and loved instantly. He ordered a handful of tests and found out that I have one gene for Factor V Leiden. It is a blood clotting disorder that can attribute to early miscarriages. He then referred me to a hematologist. To most people this would be devastating. For me I was ecstatic. I was told to wait two months and try again. Upon first sign of pregnancy I would be put on Lovenox injections among a handful of other medications. Two months later in April 2014, I was able to conceive and carry to term the little girl that I wanted so badly. This should have been one of the most special pregnancies of my life, but instead it was completely jaded by my previous losses. I enjoyed every second of being pregnant but was an nervous and emotional mess the entire 38 weeks. After I delivered my daughter Elaina Elizabeth on December 17, 2014. I still had all of these emotions of grief bottled up in me. I had pushed the fast forward button more times than my heart could process anymore. I had been pregnant four times in a year. I needed an outlet. The only thing that ever helped me emotionally with my miscarriages was helping other women through their losses. I decided in March of 2015 to start up "Our Carriage Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Group of NWI". The most difficult part of my miscarriages was feeling alone and my losses not being validated. I never want any woman to feel that way. This group means a lot to me and I have met some amazing women that I feel blessed to call my friends.
In the 4 years of trying to grow our family I had 4 failed pregnancies. Over 24 weeks of being pregnant with babies that I planned for and dreamed of but never took home. Each loss was different from the other but each hurt equally as much. When you see a young girl walking down the street with a stroller full of children. That is me. "Wow! You have your hands full," I hear so often. From the exterior no one knows the pain I endured to get what I have. I have struggled but that makes me even more thankful for each one of them. I will always be envious of women who haven't had the heartache that I have. But I would never wish this on anyone. I just yearn for their innocence. For me and my experience, I have to believe those words that I hated hearing so often.. "That It All Happened For A Reason". Two of my children wouldn't be here otherwise, but I wanted those babies I lost. I will forever be damaged by my miscarriages. The memory of having a baby that you are planning for being taken from you forever stays with you. People lucky enough to never experience a loss don't understand the deep pain that will always remain even after you've had live births. The one thing I have control over is sharing my story and giving others hope. You are your best advocate. I can't say this enough. If I never stood up for myself and demanded better care I might still be spending these precious years of my life losing babies. Although my miscarriages definitely define me, I will not let them overcome me. I hope my story gives you hope. You are stronger and more amazing than you realize. Never give up. I am sorry if you have experienced pregnancy or infant loss. Know that you are not alone.

To learn more about the Our Carriage Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Group of NWI, click on the image below.