Right around the time Olivia turned one, everyone began to ask me “So when are you guys planning on having another baby?” I swear, there was not a day that I didn’t get asked that question for like, four months straight. I didn’t understand it. I was still breastfeeding Olivia, still getting to know her and quite honestly, I wasn’t even sure that I wanted another baby. Not only was I not really sure whether I could love another baby (which I’ve read is super common for first time moms), I also really liked the groove that Dominic, Olivia and I found for ourselves. I loved that it was just the three of us all the time, going on adventures, being lazy around the house, or simply venturing out for some coffee. I didn’t want to ruin that, and surely a baby would, so I didn’t rush it.
The second baby conversation made it’s way into our lives every few weeks, especially after Olivia was potty trained, but the talk still wasn’t anything too serious. Honestly, I think it only ever came up if we saw a cute little baby on TV or while we were out.
But in the past six months, the conversation grew louder, and more often. And then right around the middle of March, this sudden urge to have a baby rightfreakinnow came over me. It was crazy how quickly it happened. Soon, Dominic and I were going a bit baby crazy. We started talking to our doctor about what we could do to make it happen faster, we downloaded apps for our phones, we’d have long talks about it after Olivia went to sleep and most importantly, we were trying….a lot.
In the next few weeks I started to notice a few changes, I was tired….like all the time (which was how I knew I was pregnant with Olivia), I was peeing SO much (more than I did when I was 39 weeks pregnant with Olivia) and I was so damn emotional- crying all the time, feeling all the things, being really clingy with Dominic. I wanted to believe I was pregnant, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up either so instead of taking a pregnancy test, I waited for my period to come. I waited and waited and then when my period was two days late, I went out and bought a test. Either way, if my period is just late or not, I really just gotta know, is what I told myself.
On Thursday, May 7th, three days before Mother’s Day, I woke up before the birds (4:30 am!) and I nervously took a pregnancy test. I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it, not even Dominic. Honestly the night before, I didn’t even know if I’d go through with it. I was too scared. I peed on the stick, put the stick behind my shower curtain, and went downstairs to make myself my morning banana shake. I wasn’t ready to see the results.
There was this feeling in the pit of my stomach and I couldn’t tell if it was because I was nervous it would read positive or negative but I decided that I was going to have to face the little stick sooner or later so I went back upstairs, grabbed the test with my eyes closed, took a deep breath and then opened my eyes again.
And then what happened next, I realized I really wasn’t expecting. There, in front of me, was a pregnancy test with two pink lines. Two, you guys. I couldn’t believe it. I was actually pregnant. Oh my god, I gotta wake up Dominic. No! Wait- you have to be cute. Do it cute! It’s freakin 5 am. How the hell am I supposed to be cute at this hour? I better think of something before Olivia wakes up. Oh my god. Olivia. Oh my god, she’s gonna think I don’t love her enough. This is bad. This is really bad. I don’t want to tell Dominic. Oh, but just thinking about him carrying not one but two kids is heaven on Earth. I have to tell him, and who am I kidding, Olivia LOVES babies. She’s going to be the best big sister ever. I cannot believe my tiny little baby is going to be a big sister. Okay, you can do this. Go be cute and tell your husband.
It was a little after 5am when I finally woke Dominic up and said, “Babe, don’t be mad. I couldn’t sleep, so I made you breakfast. Come downstairs.” And about ten minutes later, he did. I put the test on a plate, covered it and when he came down I said, “Your breakfast is right there,” pointing at the plate. He was so confused, but didn’t argue or ask questions, he just went along with it like the sweet husband he is.
He was so happy. We cried, we laughed, we couldn’t stop smiling. It was already such a different feeling than the last time we found out we were pregnant. This is really good, I kept thinking. Olivia slept in that morning so Dominic and I were able to make some coffee, cuddle on the couch and talk about things for a good two hours before she woke up and joined the party.
I’m not sure if I ever mentioned this on the blog but before I got pregnant with Olivia, I was pregnant another time and it ended in a miscarriage. We were living in Arizona at the time and when I found out I was pregnant, I wasn’t happy at all. In fact, as soon as I told Dominic, this insane bout of sadness came over me and I couldn’t shake it. I never read up on how my baby was progressing week by week, instead I found myself obsessed with miscarriage. How I would know I was having one, how I would feel during it, etc. etc. Looking back, I think I just knew from day one that pregnancy wasn’t going to last, I think I just knew that baby wasn’t meant to be. Sure enough, at 10 weeks, it was a miscarriage and although Dominic and I were absolutely shattered by the news, we didn’t have much time to sit around and mope. I had my miscarriage right before Christmas of 2010 and by March of 2011, we were pregnant again. We were nervous, SO nervous, but so damn excited. It was a different feeling, I knew this baby was definitely meant to be ours. We were careful and we still waited an insane amount of time before telling people (I think I was like 6 months!), but we didn’t worry as much. Like I said, such a different feeling. And then on November 15th, 2011, our little soulmate was born.
Fast forward to now, I didn’t feel that intense need to google all things miscarriage. Again, it was a different feeling. I honestly think I’m just in a completely different state of mind but if I had to pinpoint exactly what state that was, I’d say somewhere in between feeling like it was going to end in a miscarriage, and trying to be as optimistic as possible that this pregnancy was going to stick.
On Mother’s Day, we decided to tell our families. It was seriously super early, I was only going to be like 5 and a half weeks, but we thought it would be so special. We made a video telling Olivia early that morning because we wanted her to be the first to know and then we went on the rest of the day telling all of our people. We signed all of the cards with our names and “Baby #2” and each time it was read out loud, we all cried. It really was such a special moment. One that I knew I’d never forget. It’s funny how all of our reactions were so drastically different with Katie, pregnant at almost 25, married with one kid and a house, than it was with Katie, pregnant at almost 21, not married, and just moved back in with her fiance’s parents.
The next two weeks were easy. We were in heaven. We started telling our close friends, started making plans, talked about what it would be like. We were living in this little dreamworld, and it felt so nice. And then that weekend, we went up North to visit my family in McHenry.
Honestly the entire weekend was still such a dream. We camped out, ate s’mores, played games. It was such a nice time. And then Sunday afternoon, I started spotting, and my entire mood changed. I started snapping at everyone, my blue skies turned grey, and I no longer felt like I was walking on clouds. I just wanted to go home. I told Dominic about the spotting and he tried to calm me down by saying that spotting was normal. I wanted to believe him, I really did, but I had this feeling inside that I couldn’t shake. I pretty much knew it was over, I knew something was wrong. We came home and just as I was about to hop in the shower, I came back out and told Dominic I wanted to go to the ER instead.
When we got there, a bunch of tests, two blood draws and an ultrasound later. It was confirmed that I was not as far along as I thought I was. I was two weeks behind. So instead of being almost 7 weeks, I was actually only 5 weeks. This was devastating to me but Dominic kept my spirits high, reminding me that this was still a good thing. Sure I was a bit behind but I was still, in fact, pregnant, and the end result would still be a squishy little baby. I went home with strict orders to be on bed rest, and an appointment with my OB for Tuesday. They wanted to keep tabs on my hormone levels to make sure they were still up (meaning my pregnancy was progressing like it should) and by Friday I learned that my hormone levels were indeed going up just as they should be. I was so relieved. So, so relieved. I had a follow up appointment scheduled for the following week as well as an ultrasound to confirm a fetal pole. Once they detect a heartbeat, my chances of a miscarriage would go wayyyyy down and then I know I wouldn’t worry as much after that. All I had to do was make it to Tuesday. Just four days. Easy, right?
Wrong. So, so wrong.
The next few days were complete hell. I started to feel cramping, I started to notice I was bleeding a bit more and on the morning of my ultrasound appointment, I wasn’t heading to the office, I was heading to the emergency room….again. I was having a miscarriage. I just felt it. The pain was just way too bad to be “ligament pain” and the bleeding I had was just way too much to be “implantation bleeding”.
It was so awful. I wouldn’t wish that kind of pain upon anyone. I’ll spare you all of the details but basically, I’ve never been poked and prodded so much in my life. After like seven hours, I left the emergency room feeling drained, exhausted, heartbroken, in more pain than when I walked in, and empty. I was no longer carrying a baby and not only was I sad, but I also felt like a failure. How could my body not hold a baby? What was wrong with me? What did I do wrong?
I was in pain and bled for like a week straight. Thankfully, they gave me vicodin to help with the pain and as much as I don’t like to take medicine for pretty much anything, I was more than happy to take the pain killers. Mostly because I didn’t want to feel my body miscarrying, but also because while I was on them, emotionally, I didn’t really feel anything either.
The first week of it all was the worst. I felt unmotivated, uninspired, exhausted, sad, and bloated because I was eating away my feelings (totally unhealthy, I know). I cried a lot. I was upset. I was confused. I’d put on as happy a face as possible while Olivia was awake, but the minute she fell asleep, I fell apart. I think she knew, though. I think she knew something was wrong. I think she saw me in pain or feel that I was sad and would dream about it at night because for like a week straight, I’d hear her in the middle of the night yelling in her sleep, “Mama!!!” and then she’d wake up and run to snuggle me.
I think it was a sad time for all of us. I am so grateful to all of my friends and family but especially Dominic. He is so good in a crisis and took such good care of me. We really didn’t talk to or see anyone, we just spent some time just the three of us. We’d go for long drives, have coffee dates, go for walks. It was a hard week, but as much as I didn’t think it was possible, through that first week, I think we grew even closer. I am so thankful for this life that I have with Dominic and Olivia. As long as I have the two of them, I don’t ever have to worry about feeling alone, or misunderstood. We make such a good team, the three of us. And if that’s all that it ever is, just us three, I am more than okay with that.
Fast forward to now, and I think we’re all starting to feel a little more back to normal. Because my hormone levels are going down a lot slower than they should be, I’m getting my blood drawn weekly to make sure it’s still at least going down and I think that’s honestly the hardest part of my week. The front desk lady already knows exactly who I am and what I’m there for and even though I’m in there maybe a total of five minutes, I walk out of there feeling super drained. I can’t wait for my HCG levels to be completely down because those appointments, I think, are what are making it so hard for me to have any type of real closure from the miscarriage. Every week that I go in there, I’m reminded of what’s happened to me and it’s not a good feeling, as you can imagine.
It was hard for me to come back to this space after it all, as you can obviously see. When I found out I was pregnant, I began writing up drafts for posts I couldn’t wait to publish and I knew that once I turned my computer on, I’d see all of that and I just wasn’t ready. It was even hard for me to go on my Instagram for a bit because everybody was announcing pregnancies and having cute little babies and I was all it’s just not fair! But really, it’s no one’s fault and I obviously know that.
When we miscarried the first time, Dominic and I were sad, but it was a different kind of sad. I think we were sad because we imagined what could’ve been but with this pregnancy, we didn’t have to imagine anything. We already knew what could’ve been. We already knew what it was like to have a successful pregnancy. We already knew what it was like to have a newborn. With our first miscarriage we lost a fetus but with our second miscarriage, it honestly felt like we lost a baby. I’m not sure if that makes sense or if that sounds like the most messed up thing ever that we didn’t grieve the same way with both of our miscarriages, but that’s how we both agreed we felt.
Some days are harder than others. Some days I wake up and immediately think about how I’m not pregnant anymore (which makes for an awful day), sometimes I snap at Olivia and/or Dominic, sometimes those two are all I can tolerate for the day and sometimes, I just want to be alone. Don’t worry though, we’ve also been having some super good days, too. Especially lately.
Sure, the miscarriage took a toll on us, but we came out stronger, like we always do. And actually, I think we’re better for it. Maybe even some of our best days. I think that in a way, the miscarriage was a sort of a wake up call for Dominic and I. We’ve been working harder, talking more, making bigger plans, and spending a lot more time adventuring with Olivia. A lot of dreaming, a lot of doing. We want to travel with her, we want to show her different things, we want to make our marriage stronger than ever, we want our relationship with Olivia to be stronger than ever, we’re still super focused on living a healthier lifestyle and we’re even trying to find that balance of spending time together, and learning to spend some time alone, too. Will we have another baby? Maybe. We’re totally not ruling it out. I think now it’s a matter of if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, that’s okay too.
I know that I don’t owe anyone an explanation, but I honestly felt like I couldn’t just come back to this space without some kind of story to tell. I don’t think I could have been gone for as long as I was without some type of here’s what happened, you know? I love this space, I missed this space and I really want to come back. I have stories to tell, pictures to share, and recipes that you guys absolutely need to have ;)
So hopefully, this is me coming back. I say hopefully because aside for all of the miscarriage stuff, Dominic, Olivia and I have been super busy. We’ve been out and about enjoying the nice weather, going for really long bike rides, finding our summer groove and drinking lots and lots of coffee ;) Basically just being together and that’s really the most important thing. I’m also gave this blog a little makeover. It’s been a long time coming but I’m extremely indecisive so trying to put together and pick a new template was a bit tough, especially because I didn’t want to have to change it again for a long time. I am super happy with the new look though and a shout out to Kate over at 17th Avenue Designs. She was super helpful, super quick and I would definitely recommend her!
Anyway, I’m still sharing a lot over on my Instagram, if you’d like to follow along on there and I also found this super cool new app that I’m loving lately called Phhhoto and you can find me over there at the same handle as my Instagram account- @ohheykt.
I hope you all are doing well, thank you for listening and allowing me to share my story and I am so happy to be back in this space again :)
Katie (Dominic and Olivia, too!)