Oct 17, 2017

Hello? Anyone out there?

Well, hello. Where do I begin? I can't believe I haven't blogged since last January. So much has happened. I know most of you follow me on Instagram, so you're aware of all that's been going on with me. Here are the cliffs notes up until now..

TRIGGER WARNING: I talk about my pregnancy and loss below. Just be advised. 

At the beginning of 2016, I was really focused on my goals and heavy lifting. Things were going really well, I was down in weight, and finally pretty happy with how my body was transforming. My lowest weight since forever, 175!

After celebrating Mother's Day with my lovely little family at Ruth's Chris, my mother and I headed to Cancun. It was wonderful!

Hubs and I had a whole bunch of events last year. It was a really great feeling to get dressed up and feel like I looked beautiful standing next to him. I worked really hard and was proud of how far I had come with my weight loss. 

After returning from Mexico, we finally got the news we had been waiting for- the hubs got his transfer to MD. Close family and friends know we had been planning on relocating back to the area where I grew up. The DC are is a great place to raise kids and I absolutely love the area. Finally, we were back!

Since we moved pretty quickly, we decided to do a nice staycation to the Baltimore area before the kids started school. All they really need is a pool and they're happy! So we headed up to Baltimore for a few days, went to Medieval Times and then school started the following week.


Soon after, I just couldn't get my life together. Between moving, our vacation, the kids starting school sooner (they started before Labor Day #killme) I started to gain weight and just couldn't really find motivation. So between June and October, I gained 30lbs. I joined LA Fitness after dreading the 8 mile drive to get there and finally found a little motivation but I wasn't consistent. Then at the beginning of November I started not feeling well and figured out immediately what it was... I was preggo!

We had talked for awhile about expanding the family. I was against it for years just because I really wanted to focus on losing weight and being healthy. Gaining back weight scared me honestly. But it happened, we were happy and things were really starting to settle down for us. Christmas came and went, and I was feeling terrible. Blah. Pregnancy at 34 was seriously rough. I was in my 20's and I had energy with the other two, very little sickness and this one was completely different. I was sick for about 4 months straight and would walk a flight of stairs and be completely winded. Then I was sleeping for hours and hours. 

February 24th. 20 weeks exactly to the day. I had my regular OB appointment at 12pm and my ultrasound was at 1:45, next door. It was the longest wait EVER to find out the gender. I'm one of those people who plans everything. That means no surprises, no gender neutral stuff for me. I was leaving this ultrasound and either buying all the blue or all the pink stuff I could talk my hubs into letting my buy. Ha! I felt like it was a boy the entire time, Charles felt like it was a girl. Well, it was a girl. Emerson Nicole was my top pick. I loved the nickname Emmy and Nicole is my middle name and Sydney's as well. About an hour into our scan, something was wrong. Our world stopped. Our excitement faded. Devastating news... we probably wouldn't be bringing a healthy Emmy home in a couple months. The diagnosis was severe. She had anencephaly, spina bifida, cleft palette, and club feet. WHAT? I immediately thought I was on an episode of Grey's Anatomy. My first thought was my usual phrase when someone says something stupid- FOH... better known as Fuck Outta Here. But no. She was one of the severe cases and there was nothing we could do. 

After I stopped crying, and realized I needed to talk to someone else, someone besides the ultrasound tech, we were directed back to my ob's office to talk. My doc walked in and apologized as I looked at her in shock. We were just there 2 hours ago listening to our little 152bpm, healthy (so we thought) little muffin. Then I started to cry again wondering what I did? Was it that glass of Malbec I had on my birthday, a week before I really knew I was preggo? Was it the few times I went to the gym and lifted heavy, early in the pregnancy? Was it because my diet was shit and I've been living off of tuna sandwiches and Cinnamon Toast Crunch? I need answers. But she had none. Sometimes these things just happen, Valerie. She explained that it wasn't genetic, chromosomes just didn't split correctly and that it wasn't anything Charles or I did. Ok, so now what? Well, our options weren't anything I wanted to hear. I kinda zoned out but I heard everything she said. After the scans are looked at by a couple other people, I could terminate the pregnancy or I could carry to term and the outcome would be the same- she would be born unconscious and she would possibly live for minutes, IF she even made it 40 weeks. Well, fuck, there's no option C? My thoughts were, my doc is a bitch and she just handed me a shit sandwich. By the way, she delivered Bryce so we have a long history and I love her. But at that moment I hated her.

She gave us time to gather ourselves, no decision needed to be made right now, but I think Charles and I were on the same page. There was no way I was going to carry this baby for four more months knowing she might live minutes if we even made it to July. I can't put Bryce and Sydney through this. I can't carry a baby, them knowing once July got here, that she would die. Their little sister would maybe live minutes. So we decided. to terminate. Hardest decision I have ever made. Then I had to research what that even means. I came home and hopped on the computer and read as many mommy/pregnancy blogs as I could about the diagnosis and terminating so late in pregnancy. Since none of her organs would be able to be donated, we decided to go ahead and terminate now. What does that mean? I will be induced and sent home to dilate. The next day I return to the hospital to deliver under sedation. We will then be able to hold her and after that she will be cremated. SOUNDS FUCKING TERRIBLE. I then began to second guess myself and I called my doctor 105 times with questions because the 50 blogs written by others in my same situation made me think this is normal but that ONE blog about baby killing made me feel like I was the worst person on the planet. Do people do this? Am I... killing her? I cried for days because I was so confused. My doctor finally called me back and reassured me that the baby would have the same outcome whether they induced labor now or whether they induced labor in July. 

Our decision was about quality of life and about putting our two other kids through months of confusion and pain as well. If Emmy had a 1% chance, I would be carrying to term. But after four people looked at her scans and all agreed with the severe diagnosis, my doctor gave it to me straight- she is basically living off of me with no chance of survival outside the womb. I gave birth on March 8th and we got the most adorable footprints EVER. We decided not to see or hold her. I'm still back and forth about that decision. But I'm sure it was for the best.


FAST FORWARD.... October 2017. Grieving is fucking hard. It's a shit sandwich. I have good days and bad. I hide it pretty well for the most part. But I'm talking to my therapist and just taking it one day at a time. Like I said above, most of you follow me on IG, so you know I've been KILLING IT in the gym and CrossFit. I just finished my first 12 week cut and here are the results:


I was and still am depressed all the time. It comes and goes. I ballooned up to around 248 and I'm finally back in my stride. I turn 35 on November 13th and I'm just trying to look my best. Then I have a wedding in April that I already bought a dress for and that's my goal- 180lbs by then and to fit that dress! It can be done. I have an amazing coach and I really love my CrossFit box. Seriously, they have been getting me through the roughest of days.  

So I'm thinking of blogging again a couple times a week. For encouragement, motivation, etc. If you want to comment below with some topics you'd like me to touch on, that would be great. I will be changing up my blog and updating the pages in the next week, so stay tuned for the overhaul. 

xoxo

17 comments:

  1. O.M.G. Yay! Hi!!!! I am so glad you're back. I've been lonely without a weekly dose of sass around the blogging world. I totally get the grieving. I went a different route and ended up medicated, seeing therapists and psychiatrists monthly, after our loss in December. Who knew something so small could impact our lives so profoundly?! I wish you nothing but the best in your future fitness endeavors. You will always be fabulous, but do whatever it takes so that YOU feel your best. That's all that matters, my dear. Can't wait to read more!

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  2. Wow so much occurred over the last year or so for you and your family. I want to have another child I think but I’m turning 37 next year and I’m not dating lol so the odds slim to none.
    I have a daughter that’s 18 so having another child I’m scared of the what if’s
    But you have accomplished a lot through it all
    I love your Instagram page it’s motivated me to get back in the gym

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  3. Love your Instagram page! Glad to see you blogging again!

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  4. Glad to have you blogging again...keep it up.
    Love you much
    xoxo

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  5. Thanks for being so open. Like you, I hide everything with humor so only those closest to me know when something is off. So I understand how hard this must be—both on the weight loss front as well as the loss of your daughter. We are the same age and I relate so much to your struggles. I’m looking back at pictures from a year ago and kicking myself for throwing in the towel and existing off French fries and Coke. But I’ll get back to it, no doubt drawing some inspiration from your posts. I don’t mean to be the creepy reader who is like “omg I feel like we should be friends” but from what you’ve shared about yourself, I see a lot of parallels in our stories and it feels good that there’s another asshole out there trying to feel good one ASOS dress at a time.

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  6. Valerie your amazing. That wedding gone be lit! Take plenty pics

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  7. Is anyone out here?!?! Um, YES!!! I'm so glad that you will blog regularly again! I love reading your posts! Welcome back!

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  8. You are amazing! Thank you for letting us all join in on your journey

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  9. So glad to hear from you and am sending you hugs and happiness from pa.

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  10. Thank you for being so open... I am amazed by you and love following you on Insta and your journey!

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  11. Love your Instagram page and excited that you’re going to start blogging again. Your journey and your strength is so encouraging.

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  12. Valerie, you are amazing! I am so excited to see you're blogging again. Your blog is one of my favorites! You are gonna kill it and look fantastic at the wedding!!!

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  13. oh wow Valerie. I don't even have the words. But I shed a few tears reading your story. I lost my first baby at 8 weeks and it destroyed me. My heart breaks for what you have gone through. It's awesome that you have a great support system. You are a rockstar, girlfriend. Keep putting in the work...180 is right around the corner!

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  14. Just wow... Follow you on IG and thanks for the follow back. I can't even imagine your pain and if writing here helps, all the more power to you! Do what makes you happier - if that's blogging, awesome! If not, then awesome too! Sending love and prayers!

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  15. Hey girl . . . glad to see you blog again. It's crazy how life gets the best of you and blogging falls to the wayside. It's hard to get started again so I'm glad you took that step. And my heart goes out to you and your story of Emerson . . . peace and love to you and your family.

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