Hi again! Remember me? 😀 It’s been nearly two months since I’ve sat down to write, and I truly miss it. I didn’t intend on taking such a huge break, but so much has happened that has kept me away. Now it’s time to sit down and explain it all, especially to those that have been loyal to Collective Beauty. I hope you understand why I’ve been gone, and know that your continued support is greatly appreciated.
The start of 2018 was extremely exciting (and stressful) for my family. We had some huge changes in store, from my husbands military retirement, to a move back home, and a career change 8 years in the making. As if all of that wasn’t enough, we also found out I was expecting baby #3. We always dreamed of having a family of five, so once the “oh crap” feelings wore off, we were really excited.
As many of you know, I suffer from recurrent loss, which means pregnancy is filled with anxiety, extra ultrasounds, baby aspirin, high risk doctors…you name it. When you’ve gone through a loss, especially more than one, you start to become numb to pregnancy. You’re scared to get attached, scared to get excited, and anxious for what the future holds.
To our excitement, baby #3 looked great at the 6 and 9 week scans. The measurements were accurate to the day, and the heartbeat was perfect. I asked my high risk OB what the chances of loss were, and he assured me it was down to 1%. I was still cautiously optimistic, but as the days passed and the weeks flew by I began to realize this was really happening. The final chapter to complete our little family would be here in September.
A MONTH OF CHANGE
As if a surprise pregnancy wasn’t shock enough, a few weeks later we found out my mom was potentially really sick. A routine MRI for back pain showed lesions suspicious of metastasis. A fancy way of saying, cancer that spread from somewhere else. My mom is my best friend, and the person I go to for everything. The thought of her leaving us shook me to the core. The stress was unreal.
Things got even more stressful in late January, when we found out the owners of our rental moved back to the area way sooner than expected, and wanted their home back. At that time, we were still waiting on news of my husbands retirement so we had no idea where to go.
The month of intense research, and big news. We found out my husbands retirement was set in stone, and lined up exactly to when we needed it. Obstacle number 1 crushed. Next, we did intense online searching for a home in New Jersey. By the grace of God we found a brand new townhouse in a great area, with a great price, surrounded by amazing schools. Obstacle number 2 crushed.
Things seemed to be looking up. But, just as I was about to get my groove back with blogging, it all came crashing down.
MARCH 15, 2018
I arrived at my 12 week OB appointment full of nerves. I opted into the genetic testing, so I was to have blood work and an ultrasound. In order to calm me down, my husband and I joked about my pregnancy. We talked about names, envisioned life with another, and chatted about third row cars.
As I walked into the ultrasound room, my heart began to race. When you deal with recurrent loss, it’s a room filled with bad memories. Still, I was certain my babe was okay. We had seen the heartbeat twice, my symptoms were stronger than ever, and I had zero bleeding. Then, the news I feared since the moment I saw the two lines on the pregnancy test.
The ultrasound tech placed the wand on my belly, and was quiet. If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know silence is never good. As she pressed harder and harder, I laid there staring at the flatscreen TV. There was my angel, perfectly formed but motionless. The tech said “I’m so sorry” and escorted me to the OB’s office. I began to sob. Why this pregnancy. Why me again. It was my 4th loss, and the pain was unimaginable.
The hardest part was calling my husband. The night before, he shouted from the rooftops that I was expecting. He had his going away party with his entire unit, and was so excited for baby #3. Having to crush his excitement with one phone call, was like pouring salt on an open wound.
COPING WITH GRIEF
The next few hours were a blur. The OB sat with me in her office, and began to cry as I sobbed. She told me she suffers from infertility, and had three failed IVF’s. I could feel her pain along with mine. There sat two women, each with different stories, but connected by the same heartbreak.
My husband arrived to the doctors in uniform (something not allowed with the Marine Corps), and I remember falling into his arms in the waiting room. Surrounded by beautiful pregnant mamas, there I stood crying in my husbands arms. This was supposed to be an amazing day. My husband was picking up his exit papers, and saying goodbye to an 8 year career in the military. He was set to give a speech to his men, and whisk us away to our home state the very next day.
Because I wasn’t showing any physical signs of loss, my OB allowed me to take the trip home and postpone my D&C. Every where I looked, and every image splashed before me on social media reminded me of my loss. For this reason, blogging just couldn’t happen.
As I sit here, wiping tears from my eyes, I am happy to say life is moving in a better direction. My surgery was two weeks ago, and physically I am feeling better. Emotionally I am still a work in progress. I cry every single day, and constantly ask why. But, my faith tells me my sweet baby is always looking over us.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through christ who strengthens me”
After living in hotels for three weeks, we have finally moved into our beautiful new home. Living out of a suitcase is maddening, so we’ve been furiously unpacking. In regard to my mom, she will get the results from her biopsy next week. So, if you’re the praying type, we’d appreciate a little prayer. The good news is her blood work looks amazing, and they’ve ruled out blood cancer and any damage to major organs.
*UDPATE* My moms biopsy came back negative, NO cancer! Thank you for all your amazing words and prayers!
Finally, we were able to celebrate Easter with family, and I’ve already introduced my kids to my childhood friends and their kids. How amazing it is to be home, and surrounded by the ones we love!
THE FUTURE OF BLOGGING
Right now my office is still in shambles. There are moving boxes all over, and my furniture has not been moved into place. But, as soon as it’s organized and settled, I will be back to blogging! I’ve got a lot of really exciting new launches to share, as well as reviews that I’ve been working on for weeks. So stay tuned, because it’s all going back to normal around here very soon.
As for my content, I’ve been debating whether or not to expand my niche to more lifestyle/mommy topics (but the main focus would still be beauty). Being a mother is a huge part of my life, and I’d love to share my journey with you all. If these ideas interest you, be sure to let me know! I’ll be seeing you all soon.
Thank you for your continued support, and here’s to brighter and less stressful 2018!