When we shared the news with friends and family that we'd be traveling in 2017, I confirmed that I'd be blogging about our adventures and promised that I'd keep things "real." I don't want to be one of those people who talks about how amazing and perfect everything is, failing to mention the time their toddler threw up on them on the airplane, a long nap strike (currently happening to us), challenging travel delays and snafus, the tough aspects of being together as a family every single day, and any other mishaps that make a vacation a trip (and to be clear, it's a trip not a vacation - if you have children and haven't read this article, you should, it will make you laugh). Traveling is a grand adventure and mostly very fun, but there are hard times, too.
Today feels like a day to keep things real. I have had another miscarriage. I had one in the spring of 2016 that I mentioned here. This time around, we saw a heartbeat at 6 weeks and then got on a plane later that week for Hawaii. I was cautiously optimistic since we saw the baby's heartbeat, but I know better than to let myself get too excited given my history. We went for an ultrasound last week at what should have been 10+ weeks and there was no longer a heartbeat and no growth for several weeks.
Each loss I've experienced feels so different. Losing Quinn was overwhelming, all-consuming, and unimaginable. Getting out of bed each day was a true struggle and it wasn't really until Blythe was born that I felt like a version of myself again (a different version - a loss like that never leaves you, ever). Last spring was devastating and the grief that followed lingered much longer than I expected. For the first time in my life, I felt a low-grade sadness that I just couldn't shake and it clung to me for months. The difference, of course, was that I had Blythe and Rob and they made me smile and laugh every day and not getting out of bed was not an option. It just never felt like the sun was shining that brightly or like I was smiling fully. The sadness finally lifted, but it took much, much longer than expected.
I'm only a few days into this loss, but it feels markedly different. I have trained myself get my hopes up as little as possible. I know that, for me, pregnancy usually does not end well (with a 25% success rate, that is a fair statement). I'm heartbroken, reframing our entire next year, thinking about what is next, and trying to focus on where we are now: one of the most beautiful places on earth with our miracle daughter.
This is all to say that even though we are on the adventure of a lifetime, things are far from perfect. And as we have learned over and over during our four-year struggle with infertility and loss, life goes on. It moves forward, with or without you, and regardless of how unfair it seems that everything doesn't stop for your own grief. So onward we go...