The Journey We Never Planned

I will go ahead and start out with our quote, “In our hearts we plan our course, but the Lord establishes our steps.” You will find this quote on my phone, on sticky notes around the house, scribbled on stacks of IVF and surrogacy research. Why? You may ask because it is the verse I cling to as my life went from planned to unexpected. It started just under 2 years ago when we were told the news no expecting mother ever wants to hear. “We can’t find a heartbeat.” As anyone who has heard those words before, I no longer could find my heartbeat either. It was gone, as was my joy and excitement. Everything my hopes, my world came crashing down around me. At 14 weeks, our baby was gone.

I listened to the doctors and followed their suggestions and instructions. Before I knew it, I was lying in an operating room so my baby boy could be delivered through a D&E (Dilation & Evacuation). I was told the same thing I’m sure most mothers hear during my follow-up appointment. “Sometimes it just happens.” like so many first-trimester and even second-trimester miscarriages, there was no reason.

About 2 to 3 percent of pregnancies will be lost in the second trimester. Like so many others, I found myself in that small percentage not once but twice. Just over a year later, at 14 weeks with my son Remington. He was diagnosed with an enlarged bladder just one short week later. Again, I heard the worst news any mother could imagine. “There is no longer a heartbeat.” For the second time in my life, I broke. I broke into a million little unexplainable pieces. For the second time, I found myself lying in an operating room, praying that it was just a mistake and that my beautiful innocent son was not gone.

After our second loss, we did test after test. We had no idea what to expect, and our hopes of finding an answer… a reason were small. Finally, after months of waiting, months of wondering what went wrong, we were given a reason why. ACTG2 visceral myopathy. A hereditary gene mutation with a 50/50 chance of being passed down. After the diagnosis, we were told that our best chance at having another healthy pregnancy and baby. We would need to begin the process of IVF. So here we are. This is where it started and how we got here today. How we became one of the many families burdened with this fight. A family who will have to fight a little harder to make our dreams come.

I knew I wasn’t alone in this pain and heartache because one person after another approached me and messaged me to tell their story. Hearing them put into words all the emotions that I was feeling. The feeling of support and understanding. Brought me to the realization that I AM NOT alone in this. There is an unspoken secret community out there. And I hope to bring just a tiny bit of that community to this blog.

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