19; Just You and Me, Babe

It’s weird going back and reading my last post. Underneath all my snark, most people might not see a real ray of hope, but God, was I hopeful. Not as hopeful as the first time I got pregnant, because after so much heartache, how can I really be? Up until now, over the last almost three years, every tiny victory along this journey has been directly followed by unimaginable heartache either in the form of a negative pregnancy test or a miscarriage or, even worse, a miscarriage followed by a surgery in which I had to sign a line reading “Mother” even though I might never actually become a mother. It’s like the universe is playing a cruel joke, daring me to be hopeful — giving me juuust a little more rope than last time with which to keep my head above water before reminding me that one chop means just as far of a drop down regardless of how much rope is dangling below me.

Such was the case last month, when Josh and I went in on June 13 for our second ultrasound appointment at 6 weeks, 6 days gestation. My doctor saw a bit of a bigger mass, but still nothing resembling a fetus, and definitely no heartbeat. He rooted around in there for a while too. The me from two summers ago probably would’ve been uncomfortable, but two years into my relationship with this doctor and his staff and I barely flinch during these ultrasounds, blood tests, etc. It’s truly a thousand times more uncomfortable to sit in the cold exam room, bottomless, and listen to the same woman on the TV screen explaining how IUI and IVF work in her maddeningly calm voice, reading from a script I can recite in my sleep by now. The worst is having to assure the staff when we experience a negative test, or a loss. At this point, Josh and I are so numb we feel like we are the ones patting their arms.

My doctor told us to remain cautiously optimistic, but Josh and I knew. We probably knew after the first ultrasound, truth be told, because the mass looked nothing like the perfect little round yolk sac I’ve seen in countless ultrasound photos on Glow (just search “5 week 5 day ultrasound” and a bevy of options pop up — on Google too). After that appointment, we did remain hopeful, but we stopped making plans and resigned ourselves to just be patient for the next eight days. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

But then June 20 came and the doctor had to look us in the eye and tell us there was no heartbeat and the pregnancy wasn’t viable. Again. Which was what we knew going in, but still, a sliver of hope remained (even though our biggest hope was a yes or no answer, nothing morally gray — no “maybe”s.) My doctor told me he had been hopeful, and my biggest (silent) question was, and still is, “How?”

We said the only thing you can say when the last thing you want to do is break down in front of your doctor and his new assistant: “It’s OK!” And of course, it’s not. Nothing about this bullshit is OK, but Josh and I are both put-on-a-brave-face-and-scream-together-later kind of people, which is not something I would change for the world but can be difficult. It was extremely difficult last year. We barely made it to the car before sobbing incoherently, wiping our faces as best we could before going into Publix for brie, wine, and Reese’s Easter eggs.

This time was different, though. We got my prescription for misoprostol, the miscarriage pill that didn’t work for me last time (more on that in a bit). We immediately agreed we would be getting margaritas at our favorite Mexican place down the road. And then we stepped out in the pouring-ass rain that had been only slightly less insane when we left our previous appointment, and we went and we had margaritas, tortilla chips, and guacamole for dinner while a tornado watch was in effect.

Thank GOD this was strong — as was its successor, a (smaller) mango variety.

That Saturday, June 22, I took the misoprostol, and I swear to God the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse exited my body that night. Every time I thought it was over, from about 8 p.m. until 1 a.m., it was not over. It was not truly over until about 2 a.m., but during that time period, Josh and I re-binge-watched the first season of Stranger Things and ate a huge crab feast that helped put me in better spirits (figuratively) and wine that help put me in better spirits (literally).

Not pictured: Hazelnut M&Ms (BOGO, thanks Publix!), more wine, and a glitchy heating pad.

The next morning, we slept in and met Josh’s brother Jeremy and his wife Jess and some friends for brunch at a place in College Park that, bless them, made the strongest mimosas I’ve ever had. You had to go up to the bar for refills, and I watched this angel pour roughly 2% juice and 98% champagne in my glass. I told her she must’ve known how much I needed it. She winked and said, “I got you, girl.” Indeed.

So tipsy I didn’t even care that there was no A/C. Probably why they make the drinks strong.

I still haven’t really cried about it. I’ve had a few moments where I’ve felt angry and I’ve come to a pretty serious realization about my “now” vs. “then” persona and self regard which I am realizing as this goes on is too long to include in this post, but I will in the next. I honestly don’t think the big cry is coming. I think it was the other day when I sobbed to Josh about how infertility really feels, and that’s the analogy I’ll go into in the next post. Josh told me I “should write a short story” about it, which…we’ll see how it looks in blog form first.

The great news is that when I went in for a follow-up last Monday, June 24, the doctor gave me the all clear — meaning it looks like, fingers crossed, the misoprostol did its job this time. He said my lining was still very thick, but then starting the next day I got the period from hell that is just now finishing up, which I hope means things are back on track or will be soon. I’m still getting positive pregnancy tests, but I think that’s typical. I’m going to test every few days with the cheap strips just to make sure the line is getting lighter. It’s a strange feeling to hope for that when I would normally hope for the opposite. But then again, nothing about this has been normal.

As for next steps, the doctor wants us to each take a series of blood tests related to recurrent miscarriage since this is our second, to check if we have chromosomal abnormalities in our own bodies that might be affecting the embryos (Josh) or the ability to carry a baby (me). He also does want to do a biopsy on my uterine lining, in September, to check for inflammation that could be hindering fetal development. We’ll be doing our next transfer in October.

Oh, and guess what? He wants us to retroactively PGS test the embryos for chromsomal abnormalities — a procedure I wanted done in the first place and was convinced not to do, and now costs a $4,000 lab fee as opposed to a $1,500 one. He told us science is always changing, which is fair, but there is a study that came out between February and now that had him pushing for it considering our situation. It addresses the reason we made the decision we did — the fact that there was conflicting evidence about whether the cells the embryologist pluck out to test from the outer layer of the embryo, which becomes the placenta, accurately reflect the normality of the inner portion, which becomes the fetus. We were terrified of throwing out embryos that could actually be normal, or abnormal but self-correct in the womb. But this new study took hundreds of discarded embryos, tested the inner portions, and found that the same abnormalities were reflected almost 100% of the time.

I get it. Things change. But here’s the thing.

The very nice yet firm email I sent, and my doctor’s very polite response.

Do I know whether this means he’s going to discount the entire $2,500? I don’t. But we’re going to push for it because it’s the least they can do. Although they did send us a sympathy card, which was very sweet.

For now, I’m trying to focus on the positives of not being pregnant, aside from being able to again imbibe alcohol, which I’m actually trying to limit. I am committed to losing weight again. I weighed in at 152 lbs. this past Saturday, and I’m aiming to be back around 130 by the time of our next transfer in mid-October. I’ll be able to go to Halloween Horror Nights, which I look forward to every year. We have more time to save money for my maternity leave. I don’t need surgery.

I can eat salads again and am not craving carbs 24/7, though it’s still not great. I can run. I don’t need a nap every afternoon. I have control of my body again, and amid all of the emotional upheaval…I am thankful for that.

13; Here We Go Again on Our Own

I’m going to apologize to the blog gods in advance on this one because I’ve had too many mimosas (champagne + Welch’s mango) and I can’t apologize to readers because this is going to be a private entry like my last one.

HI. It’s been over two months since my last post. When we last left our heroes, they were on a cloud of positivity and hopefulness and a few days later, they were smacked back down to reality with a big fat fucking negative pregnancy test, fun! So here we are again, waiting until our next step.

The good news is we only have to wait a few more weeks. Josh and I decided that if our fresh transfer didn’t take, we’d wait three months to do the first frozen one. I told myself I’d use those three months to get healthier and lose some weight and get myself in the right headspace. I think I did the latter thing? But I didn’t lose weight. In fact, I gained a few pounds, so that’s fun. Probably from alcohol. (Not really.) As soon as Josh’s brother and sister-in-law head home tomorrow, I’m going to buckle down for these last couple weeks leading up to our transfer because damn, all my clothes are already tight and I’m not even pregnant.

Getting a negative test really sucked. I felt the cramping and everything that made me feel like maybe that was it, and now I’m kicking myself a little for not doing the PGS testing on the embryos. Not REALLY because again, so much debate surrounding it, but I can’t help feeling like “what if.” Also, we learned that thawing and testing the frozen embryos will cost $6,000 so LOL no.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, but if the next transfer doesn’t take, my doctor wants to do an ERA test. Which is basically a super painful, $3,000 ordeal where he goes in and scrapes a bit of my uterine lining to biopsy it and see if they’re transferring at the exact right time or if they need to tweak by a few hours or whatever. He is suggesting this instead of our suggestion of transferring two embryos for a third cycle, and I’m just like…IDK. There are debates about that test too and in case you missed what I said earlier, it’s three thousand effing dollars. I’m trying not to think about crossing that bridge unless I come to it but at this point, I just assume the non-baby bridges are the ones that are going to come. Which I know is terrible, but I’m just…tired.

I’m tired to the point where I’ve started duping myself into thinking I don’t actually want a kid, despite being giddy every time I see/hold a baby. I’ve started doing that thing a lot of us do when we’re younger and side-eyeing people with kids like they have no idea what the fuck they’re doing in life and are in for a world of pain and just bending to societal expectations, and trying to convince myself that I, somehow, got the long end of the stick here. I’m feeling like how Robin felt in that episode of How I Met Your Mother when she found out she can’t have kids and even though she had decided she didn’t WANT kids, it’s different when the universe makes that decision for you. When it’s no longer your decision, it castrates you a bit. And how I’ve been dealing with that is silently judging others for having kids and “ruining their lives” (obviously a complete bunch of BS). And the aforementioned mimosas.

The truth is Josh and I are at a crossroads in life where we don’t fit in with either side of people our age — the side who have kids (most of our friends our age) and the side that doesn’t want them but still has the option. And that is a hard place to be in. We don’t fit in with the kid people and we’re pretending to fit in with the non-kid people, but the truth is we are neither of those. And maybe we’re just trying to force ourselves into a box too hard, but all that has done is alienate us from everyone and now I’m not even sure how we’re supposed to get back. We’ve both been tempted to just start over elsewhere and with new friends (sad, huh?) but none of that will erase the fact that we want children. All it will do is make us friendless and as much as we have gotten accustomed to retreating into the shadows, the support we have gotten over these past couple have years has been a big ingredient in keeping us afloat. We might not say it very much, but we are thankful.

Right now, we are keeping ourselves busy with house projects. Josh has redone our floors and put in hardwood laminate both downstairs in our living/dining rooms and in my office, as well as our loft upstairs, and we have people coming to put new carpets in the three bedrooms next Wednesday. I have my baseline ultrasound for the transfer that morning, too, and then we’ll transfer one of our day 6 embryos (a 4AA or the 5AA) sometime between May 8 and May 17, depending on when my lining seems ready. And for now, our focus will be on getting that to stick. And probably doing the laminate on the stairs. And putting up a backsplash in the kitchen, and painting the kitchen cabinets white. Because why not? Distractions, gotta love ’em.

I realize I buried the lede here but today is the one-year anniversary of my D&C, which seems extremely surreal. I feel like it was both yesterday and a complete other lifetime, and that’s a testament to what a roller coaster this has been. It has honestly not felt like a whole year since I did the physical part, but the emotions seem like a whole other phase of this journey. It’s hard to explain.

One perk of my job is that sometimes people tell stories of their own that really resonate with me, and the biggest example of that happened recently when I interviewed Melissa Rauch, of The Big Bang Theory fame. She went through a miscarriage before having her daughter, who’s about a year and a half now, and she told me that when she was going through the hardest parts, she hoped that when she finally became mom that it would make the hard parts (sleepless nights, etc.) a little easier because she would remember how hard she had to fight to get there.

“That was my hope, that it would be one bit of silver lining from that difficult time, and I can absolutely say that is 100 percent true,” she said. “I haven’t taken one moment for granted, and I’m just eternally grateful for every moment — which I know every parent is — but I definitely think that struggle to get there really has just made me super present. I don’t take a second for granted.”

I think about this ALL the time, like I tell the universe in my own way that if I’m allowed to become a parent I won’t complain about the things new parents complain about. And it’s just really nice to hear someone who has been through it and come out the other side say that is how it happened for them.

Anyway. This is getting rambly but my point is that even though I feel alone, I know I’m not. Sometimes it’s just easier to pretend that I am.

7; Infertility Makes the Marriage Grow Stronger (Right?)

Full disclosure: Josh and I fought a LOT in the earlier days of our fertility treatments. A lot. Just last month, after finding out I had an ovarian cyst that meant our days of IUI were numbered a month earlier than we expected, I ripped all the clothes out of my closet while screaming, then calmly hung them all back up while my husband sat in a catatonic state for 15 whole minutes because he had no idea what to do with himself or me. We have threatened to leave, multiple times. Nights sleeping on the couch. You name it, we have done it. I cut up a baby onesie once and left the pieces on the stairs, you guys.

And 99% of this behavior has stemmed from insecurities about ourselves — mainly fueled by our own individual penchants for self blame, and thinking it must be one of us screwing the whole thing up somehow. Or (and this is strictly a me issue) both of us, because our love isn’t “good enough.” And yes, I know plenty of people who have kids end up divorcing so this makes zero sense but during my especially low times, it seems perfectly reasonable.

We still struggle with these feelings but things are so much better now than they were a year ago. We have been seeing my therapist together once in a while, and actually did this past Tuesday to ask her for some tools on how to deal when I’m extra cray on the IVF hormones and we’re both stressed about taking out a home-equity loan to pay for this procedure. Her advice was very simple and similar to kinda what she always tries to drill into my head: Let it be, and don’t just expect the worst. I have a tendency to want to prepare myself for the Worst Possible Scenario so that if it happens, the distance I fall isn’t so great. The chink in that armor is the fact that I end up stressing so much about “what might” that when I get to “what is,” the amount of energy I’ve spent preparing myself is either greater than it needed to be or a wash. I haven’t just hoped for the best yet during a fertility treatment (and rarely at all, with anything), so maybe that’s something I need to try.

We also talked about how I feel better prepared to try that route now because Josh and I have already been through something really, really hard with the miscarriage after already having tried to conceive for a year and a half and with three fertility treatments. Neither of us really went into that second ultrasound prepared not to see a heartbeat even though we weren’t necessarily shocked when we didn’t, but if I could go back and “prepare” myself for that, I don’t think I would. Yes, it was hard, but I wouldn’t trade that month we got to live in the parents-to-be dream state for anything. Buying a crib was fun. Re-imagining how we were going to turn our upstairs loft area into a play area with baby gates was fun. Going to Walt Disney World for my birthday and taking our unborn baby on their “first ride” was fun. Browsing the going-out-of-business sales at Babies ‘R’ Us was fun. Avoiding alcohol was fun (I know, WTF!). Preparing myself for the sadness would’ve ripped that experience away from me, and honestly I don’t feel like I “learned” from it in the sense that we’d do anything different if I get pregnant again. We’d still tell our close friends and family and obviously, with this blog, much of the world will know (well, the tiny slice that reads this, at least).

I also have been struggling with feeling not so much that Josh will leave me but just the idea of a more fertile woman being able to give him biological children. The little devil on my shoulder sometimes pokes at my brain with its stupid pitchfork and conjures up this image of my husband with a much younger, prettier, more successful woman with a few little blond kids running around and I just lose it internally, both from pure anguish and from guilt that I might be somehow holding him back from something because he deserves to be a dad so much. He is built for fatherhood, way more than I am built for motherhood. But I think the latter thing has changed a lot over the past couple of years, which I’m sure I’ll touch on in a later post.

There are two flaws to this Twilight Zone-worthy nightmare fantasy, though, when I step back and look at it through the lens of a non-crazy person. One, the “issue” isn’t necessarily me. My gut tells me it probably is but it could be him, too, or both of us. Or neither of us and we’ve just had super shitty luck. And secondly, there’s a very slim chance we will not be able to have children. Biologically, there’s a bigger chance, but at all, no. We’re both open to adoption down the road if the biological route doesn’t work for us, and Josh has assured me time and time again he would rather adopt with me (or even not have kids) than have biological kids with someone else. In fact, he might’ve even suggested the adoption route naturally if I had been on board with it instead of trying IVF first. We haven’t delved super far into the idea of adoption yet because I have always imagined having children biologically and at this point it’s still very much a word I, regrettably, associate with failure (for myself, not others), as in, “Well, you weren’t enough to do it the other way.” Which is a TERRIBLE thing and not at all the actual truth, but you know. Insecurity is a bitch. And adoption is amazing. I’m so thankful to know people who have done it, and I hope I can eventually come around to it fully if our journey takes us in a different direction than the one we’re going right now.

My point is that anxiety-ridden times of trying for a baby are NOT fun. I do not recommend it. In this way, we are so happy to have a few months off before we take this next step in fertility treatments. I actually feel like I can relax now and not just fake relax, or “relax” a.k.a. just not tell people who are telling me to relax that I’m not actually relaxing and on top of that, feeling guilt for not relaxing.

And honestly, if I have to hear one more time that “Omg it’ll happen when you’re waiting for IVF, watch!” I will kill someone. It won’t. I mean, if it does, great. I know it happened to your aunt’s hairdresser’s friend and she had triplets or whatever. But all I hear with that sentence is, “Aw, you haven’t fully failed yet, you still have a couple more months!” Again though, probably a me problem, but I’m a little sensitive at the moment.

3; A Miscarriage and a Trip Down Memory Lane

Yesterday I had brunch with a very dear friend I hadn’t see in years and he shared with me that he and his wonderful wife had a miscarriage over the summer. Not only that, but they had it around the same time in the pregnancy that Josh and I had ours in pretty much the same way and had to get a D&C, just like we did. It was such a gut punch to hear someone I care about so deeply recalling this, not to mention knowing exactly what it feels like. And it sucks. You start questioning everything, specifically what you did wrong (which, most likely, is absolutely nothing because miscarriage is insanely common and despite what you’ve been told, a healthy pregnancy is truly a miracle). Everyone deals with grief differently, but having to take two steps back when you think your life is about to completely change is never easy — and losing a child is something I would never wish on anyone. We were lucky in the sense that it happened so so early in my pregnancy. Even though we’d already started preparing, both mentally and environmentally, I cannot imagine losing a child later in a pregnancy or having a stillborn child.

And the thing is, all of these events are so much more common than people think. They’re just so rarely discussed openly because both men and women are taught throughout their lives that not only is sex shameful, but that one small slip-up during sexual activity can result in an STD or a baby. And while this is extremely true, so much emphasis is put on that idea that both girls and boys are not taught as much about equally important concepts concerning their bodies — the importance of getting seen regularly by a doctor, how the reproductive system works (I have learned so much about my body in the past two years it’s not even funny, and I probably never would’ve if we hadn’t had to seek treatment), how much fertility is affected as you age, practicing physically and mentally safe sex over abstinence, etc. These are such crucial things to start incorporating into health education — and no one should ever feel shame over them. If you are planning to wait until your thirties to start a family, I would highly recommend getting some baseline fertility tests because even though our case may be atypical, that shiz is scary. BE INFORMED. I find it appalling in hindsight how much I’ve had to explain to fellow women about certain parts of this journey and the truth is, if I wasn’t dealing with infertility, I’d be in the same boat. Our educational system has failed us big time.

Anyway, that’s a tangent. My miscarriage never really “happened,” per se. I got pregnant for the first time ever about a year and a half after we first started trying, which was this past February, after our third IUI. We were in shock. I took pregnancy tests every day, twice a day, for at least two weeks because I didn’t believe it.

Not kidding. Labeled and all. Only about 60% of the tests I took. (Note: DPO = Days Past Ovulation. Another fun acronym you learn on the journey toward trying to conceive.)
ALL THE BRANDS. (Bottom brand showed positive the next day.)

We told most of our family and close friends and started buying a few baby items here and there, planning renovations to the house, etc., as a way of prepping for baby and indulging in some of our excitement, but also to quell our fears and misgivings — instincts that, unfortunately, turned out to be not unfounded. We saw the beginning of a little person when I was almost six weeks pregnant, but still could not quite feel that connection. And when I was about seven and a half weeks pregnant, there was no heartbeat or growth.

The most surprising part of this was that neither of us felt taken aback. We were like, “Oh. Well…yeah.” At that point, any positive news was something unexpected, sadly, so as difficult as it was to deal with the aftermath of losing a baby (and it WAS difficult, but thankfully involved lots of wine, sushi, caffeine, Brie, and other things pregnant ladies are supposed to steer clear from, plus lots of tears), we were more mentally prepared than we realized we were.

Not that it was easy. I have never seen Josh in so much pain, and I hope I never have to again. I know I will, because life is inclusive of those moments however much we wish it wasn’t, but seeing the person you love most in the entire world feel that kind of pain and not being able to do anything about it is such a horrible thing. Also, around that time, we also knew approximately 678435 people who were pregnant. I gained 10 lbs. in a month from depression eating. It wasn’t a good spring/early summer, guys.

First stop: pharmacy. Next stop: wine
The best, most tear-soaked meal of our lives. (At least it happened around Easter. No lie, I cleaned out those Reese’s eggs from Publix over the next few weeks after this photo was taken.)

Not only did I opt to induce miscarriage by taking medication, but I tried that route about six times (each a little less painful than the previous attempt) — meaning I wasn’t able to miscarry fully on my own despite the repeated attempts and writhing on my bathroom floor in pain, so I had to get the D&C. My doctor told me he had only seen the medication not work for someone one other time ever. LUCKY ME! Fortunately, the D&C procedure itself went as smoothly as it possibly could’ve. We are very thankful for that, and that my mom flew in for emotional support. It was so much easier having her here with us. My cycles also went back to normal like clockwork, thank God. They are actually even better/more normal than they were before.

The most difficult part of the D&C wasn’t the surgery itself (or even the bill, which added up to about as much as an IUI cycle), but the moment I had to sign a consent form about what to do with the tissue and I did a double-take at the “Mother” signature line, thinking it meant my mom because up until that moment, it always had — and she was right next to me at the time, so I assumed it was for a witness signature or something.

When I realized it meant me, it felt real in a way it hadn’t up until that point, and I don’t wish that feeling on anyone. It was the first time I had ever been called a mother by someone I didn’t know, or signed anything that referred to me that way, and thank God I went under anesthesia shortly after that because I almost lost it. It was like a punch in the throat and the moment I felt like I was truly saying goodbye.

Right before the surgery. Hair shine on point. Not pictured: comfy af socks.
Don’t know what I would do without these two people.

Another thing I shared with my friend today is that I am still grappling with feeling like this is the universe demanding payment for something, like it’s Rumpelstiltskin taking my firstborn child from me because of something I didn’t even realize I was gambling for or did wrong. According to my own internal dialogue, it could be a lot: breaking off my engagement eight years ago and leaving my fiancé for his best friend, waiting until my thirties to have children, getting annoyed at crying kids in public, not living in the same state as my aging parents. Take your pick. Payment? For the amazing 2015-2016 Josh and I had. We both got great jobs (mine literally at my dream company), bought a house, went to Europe. So my brain was like, something is going to be a payment here. (Yes, I’m talking to my therapist about this.)

My friend today was one of the first people I’ve told this to who hasn’t shot it down cold. He of course said it wasn’t true — which is what I would tell anyone else who wasn’t me, to be fair — but he also said he understood why I’d feel that way and that it wasn’t unreasonable or irrational to feel it. Oddly, that made me feel kind of empowered about it. These are feelings I continue to work through and I am a lot better about it now than I was a year ago. To be honest, Josh and I both still grapple with the way we got together, but not nearly as much as we used to. It creeps in when we’re both feeling especially insecure and has shown its face in a very ugly way throughout this infertility journey, during the times when we both feel defeated and the “when” is an “if.” It’s still a “when” for us at this point and we’re trying to be optimistic, but that ebbs and flows and I think that’s probably OK.

Baby Haupt at just under six weeks. The most we ever saw of our little bean.

I did get to spend my birthday at Walt Disney World when I was still pregnant, which was so fun. Josh bought me a bottle of non-alcoholic wine for the AirBnB and a little silly bell to ring when I want a kiss, and a coffee mug that had the name we’d picked out if our baby was a girl (spelled differently, but still). We had felt it was a boy before that, but that day we changed our minds because we took it as a sign that the gift shop had our girl name but not our boy one.

We had fun deciding what would be baby Haupt’s first ride, and made a video on Dumbo where we talked to the baby about how much we were excited to take her to WDW one day. We told our waiter at dinner that we were expecting our first child and he was so excited for us and took great care of us. He even tracked down non-alcoholic wine for me. It was probably my best birthday to date.

Baby Haupt’s first Disney ride
Me with our amazing waiter at Be Our Guest restaurant. Not the best pic but F it. Flash is not my friend.

We never did find out the sex of the baby for sure because we opted not to have the D&C tissue tested since most of it had cleared out from the meds before I went in for the procedure, but my mom thinks it was a girl too.

We mutually decided to call her Genevieve (my mom’s idea), because that was what my mom had wanted to name me initially.

Hat we bought for Baby Haupt before we found out she wasn’t growing.

We cried for Genevieve a lot. We still do sometimes, but not nearly as often. She will always be our first baby and she will always be any future babies’ (and Penny’s!) big sister.

1; The Beginning, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Panic Instead

So this blog has been a long time coming, I guess. It started as a few very informal, very wet-haired selfie-recorded videos on my iPhone (like, some in my bathtub, guys), and then morphed into a Facebook post draft that I continually updated every time something new happened in this now-two-year journey of Josh’s and mine. Once that Facebook-post draft got over 2,500 words long and the big question mark in my head took the form of “if” instead of “when,” I knew it was time to go back to writing my thoughts down in a blog.

Josh and I have been trying to have a baby since our trip to Europe. For those of you not keeping track of my personal life, that was two years ago. In fact, Oct. 4, 2016 was when we returned and we were both so excited knowing the new chapter of our life could be right around the corner. I had a feeling I’d get pregnant the first time we tried because, up until that point, I had succeeded at everything I had tried my very best at without having to do it more than one time. Some things took longer than others, but there was always a known end/goal date and a defined way to achieve that goal. Not this time, Jen.

I’ll get into some of the more specific aspects of what has gone down in the past two years in subsequent posts, but I just wanted to start out with something to say thank you to everyone whom we’ve reached out to in this time period, even if you don’t read this. The group of people we shared our struggle with started out very small, but has grown large enough to the point where, when we miscarried in March, I was having trouble remembering whom all we had told about finally achieving a pregnancy so that I could go back and tell them it didn’t work out. At first, this upset me — I felt like maybe we had jinxed ourselves by telling so many people.

But looking back, I’m so glad we did, and we’d probably do the same thing if given the chance to do it again. Josh and I are both very stubborn, proud, textbook oldest children, which can be a good thing but can also be very difficult because when both people in a relationship have trouble asking for help, they are both prone to emotional drowning a lot more easily. So to those of us who have asked how we’re doing, sent us messages of encouragement, “sat in the shit” with us (as my therapist likes to say), thank you. We know it’s not easy when you don’t know what to say, and we’re very thankful for each and every one of you who have tried anyway.