The Broken to Brave Podcast

Healing Through High-Risk Pregnancies and Miscarriages with Brooke Miller

July 09, 2024 Dr. Stephanie Lopez Episode 59
Healing Through High-Risk Pregnancies and Miscarriages with Brooke Miller
The Broken to Brave Podcast
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The Broken to Brave Podcast
Healing Through High-Risk Pregnancies and Miscarriages with Brooke Miller
Jul 09, 2024 Episode 59
Dr. Stephanie Lopez

What if your journey to motherhood took an unexpected turn? In this episode, dietitian and lactation counselor Brooke Miller bares her soul, sharing her raw, emotional journey through surprising prenatal diagnoses, multiple pregnancy losses, and the joys and challenges of raising a child with special needs. Brooke's story is a testament to resilience, faith, and finding beauty in life's detours.

She offers invaluable insights on self-advocacy in healthcare, processing grief, and building a supportive community. Whether you're facing pregnancy complications, coping with loss, or simply seeking inspiration, Brooke's story will leave you feeling empowered and understood. Join us for a conversation that reminds us of the strength found in vulnerability and the unexpected blessings that can arise from life's biggest challenges.

In this episode, we talk about the following:
1. Pregnancy complications and prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
2. Recurrent pregnancy loss, the emotional toll, and medical aspects.
3. Coping with difficult pregnancies and building support systems.

You can connect with Brooke on:
Website https://www.brookemillernutrition.com
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nutrition.for.mamas/

Free Postpartum Workshop:
https://brookemillernutrition.mykajabi.com/postpartumworkshop_ig

5-Day BRAVE-cation Healing Retreat:
www.brave-method.com/retreat-priority-list

______________________________________

[FREE TRAINING]
How high-achieving women can
DITCH anxiety in as little as five minutes a day

www.brave-method.com/anxiety

Which of these results do you want and inspire you the most?
www.brave-method.com/testimonials

💗 Dr. Steph
@DrStephanieLopez
www.brave-method.com




Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What if your journey to motherhood took an unexpected turn? In this episode, dietitian and lactation counselor Brooke Miller bares her soul, sharing her raw, emotional journey through surprising prenatal diagnoses, multiple pregnancy losses, and the joys and challenges of raising a child with special needs. Brooke's story is a testament to resilience, faith, and finding beauty in life's detours.

She offers invaluable insights on self-advocacy in healthcare, processing grief, and building a supportive community. Whether you're facing pregnancy complications, coping with loss, or simply seeking inspiration, Brooke's story will leave you feeling empowered and understood. Join us for a conversation that reminds us of the strength found in vulnerability and the unexpected blessings that can arise from life's biggest challenges.

In this episode, we talk about the following:
1. Pregnancy complications and prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
2. Recurrent pregnancy loss, the emotional toll, and medical aspects.
3. Coping with difficult pregnancies and building support systems.

You can connect with Brooke on:
Website https://www.brookemillernutrition.com
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nutrition.for.mamas/

Free Postpartum Workshop:
https://brookemillernutrition.mykajabi.com/postpartumworkshop_ig

5-Day BRAVE-cation Healing Retreat:
www.brave-method.com/retreat-priority-list

______________________________________

[FREE TRAINING]
How high-achieving women can
DITCH anxiety in as little as five minutes a day

www.brave-method.com/anxiety

Which of these results do you want and inspire you the most?
www.brave-method.com/testimonials

💗 Dr. Steph
@DrStephanieLopez
www.brave-method.com




Speaker 1:

Hi, I'm Dr Steph and I'm here to guide you on your journey to healing from a difficult relationship with your mother, whether she was narcissistic, emotionally immature or just plain toxic. I want you to know that you are, in fact, not broken and you do not have to suffer from anxiety or explosive emotional reactions like lashing out. You can break the cycle. You are a strong, capable woman who can handle any challenge that comes your way, and I'm gonna show you how to have the ultimate control over your reactions so that you are unstoppable.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Broken to Brave podcast. Welcome back everyone. I am so excited Today I have Brooke Miller on the podcast with me and I actually met her two months into my business and we have stayed in touch the entire time, and I wanted to bring her on today because she has been through some things that I know that some of you will be able to relate to and may feel comforted by, and yeah, so I can't wait for her to share her story. So, without further ado, welcome Brooke. Hi, thanks for having me so much. You're welcome, so happy that we've stayed in touch now like almost four years.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's crazy, it's gone by really fast.

Speaker 1:

Life is an entrepreneur, very, very very fast, okay, so tell me a little bit more about who you are.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so my name is Brooke Miller. I have been a dietitian and lactation counselor for about a decade now and I'm really passionate about helping moms feel their best mentally and physically, especially during pregnancy and during the postpartum period, and so that's really my specialty is mostly postpartum nutrition and breastfeeding support and just helping moms kind of navigate everything that happens after their baby is born. Because I think a lot of women are set up and they're prepped for pregnancy and birth and like they get prepared for that, but they're not necessarily prepared for what's to come in the first few years postpartum, and so I really love to help women navigate that journey.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I definitely was not prepared. So much focus is on baby, baby, baby baby. And especially after my second I found out I was depleted of so many minerals and my hormones got all messed up and I was just like I wish. I wish that I had sought someone like you while I was pregnant, so that I did not have to go through those things.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, for sure, and I think there's so many moms who, when they go into pregnancy, and they know what to expect in the postpartum period and they know how to nourish their body and they know what signs and symptoms to look for it just it gets them to take action much faster and prevent things and, if they do experience any symptoms, get a plan in place right away, versus when we go, you know, six months or a year, while having symptoms without any treatment. Symptoms tend to get worse. So, yeah, that's why it's so important for there to be more awareness for moms who are pregnant and postpartum about what can happen.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes, and I talked about this a little bit on a different episode. But I um, I didn't even realize how tired and fatigued I was. I was drinking so much coffee and in hindsight I'm like, oh my gosh, and now I'm sleeping more. And even my husband has noticed. He's like, wow, and I'm like, yeah, I think I was. So I don't know what the right word is, but like hyped up on coffee, that I just didn't see it. There was other symptoms too, but that's a big one that's standing out to me because I had no idea.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, for sure, yeah, not alone Not alone there.

Speaker 1:

Very common story. You're like I've heard this a million times yeah.

Speaker 1:

Like, to some extent, I feel like everyone can relate to parts of that. Yeah, yeah, okay. So what I really wanted to talk to you a lot about today is more about your journey. I know some of that led you to do doing what you do now, tailored to moms and women who are pregnant. But you've been through so much unexpected diagnosis for Ashton multiple miscarriages and I know that there are so many women who keep these things to themselves and I totally respect that and, at the same time, seeing you share your journey in the midst of it was really inspiring for me and is why I wanted you to share your story for everyone. Listening to this podcast Like what you went through, how you coped. Give us the download, all the things, all the details.

Speaker 2:

So I'll take you way back to about six years ago. So we, my husband and I, were like, yeah, let's try to get pregnant with our first baby. And you know, looking back, I just feel like we were so naive in the moment about what could happen, what to expect, and we went into, you know, our early ultrasounds. Everything looked good and then all of a sudden, we walk into our 12 week ultrasound. We see our baby moving. Like we're so excited, we're like we get to tell everybody now you know cause we were following the rules, waiting until 12 weeks, which is funny, I don't follow those rules anymore but we all of a sudden we saw our baby and the lady looked at us in the ultrasound room and she said are you doing any genetic testing? And we said nope, it doesn't matter. Like whatever happens, like this is our baby, and she kind of looked at us weird and I don't know. At the moment I didn't really think anything of it. And then we waited a while before we saw the doctor and again, that was like odd, considering we weren't waiting so long with our earlier, yeah, ultrasounds. And we walked into our 12 week ultrasound with hope and a picture and a baby moving and all the things, and we're so excited. And then all of a sudden we walk into the room and the doctor is just like I'm sorry, we think something's wrong with your baby. It could be X, y, z. I mean. She listed like 10 different diagnoses, oh my gosh. And she's like you know we can go upstairs and terminate now we can and I was just like, oh my gosh. It was like so in the moment you're like wait, I just saw my baby like kicking on screen. What are you like? What are you saying? It was just such a shocking experience.

Speaker 2:

And then they were like you need to go see a maternal fetal medicine doctor to do more testing. Like we recommend you do do all this testing. And some of it was invasive and it was just it was so much to take in and so that was like probably one of the hardest moments of our life. Like we just cried and we didn't know what to expect. There were so many unknowns, there were so many, so much waiting. And the next day, actually we I think it was like the next day we got in with maternal fetal medicine which grateful we didn't have to wait a long time for that.

Speaker 2:

But kind of the same appointment, very glum, very matter of fact. Very like yeah, your baby probably has a heart defect, probably has, you know, x, y, z. A lot of them die right away. He's like the likelihood that your baby's even going to survive this pregnancy is pretty slim. Like you're probably going to miss theory. You're probably going to have a stillbirth. Like it was literally just and then the same thing, but no worries, like we can go, we can go get an abortion. And I was like wait, what? Like you are just giving?

Speaker 1:

like no bedside manner at all. I am in shock. I shouldn't be in shock, but I am.

Speaker 2:

And you know after talking to so many moms who are in my community, this is the norm. This is the norm when a doctor sees something abnormal, and a lot of times something that they find abnormally early on is actually nothing Like. In a lot of cases there's actually nothing happening. In our case, case like there definitely was something going on, but to all of a sudden jump to like pushing parents into all these decisions, it was like can you, can we at least like figure out what's going on? Can we do more testing? Like breaks for a second, we pump the brakes and you're just overwhelming scared parents, you know like I mean.

Speaker 1:

I got teary-eyed just listening to that. I can imagine actually going through it on your own.

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh it was, it was horrible. And so they were like pressuring us. You know, do you want to do all these like invasive tests right now? Um, the likelihood of you miscarrying is high with some of these tests. And we're like no. And then they said, well, you can do a blood test that's completely non-invasive.

Speaker 2:

And we're like, okay, at this point, like we just want to know what's going on, we just want to make sure that we deliver at the right hospital, we have the right doctors, we go to a good NICU, like we just wanted to be as prepared as possible, you know, with potential surgeons and all the things that we needed. And so we did the blood test and it came back like a 60% chance that our baby had Down syndrome. And I was relieved because in a lot of ways you know a lot of the things that they told us that our baby might have meant that our baby probably wasn't going to live very long. And, again, it wouldn't have changed anything, but it could have changed where we delivered or like what specialists we were seeing. And so we just wanted to make sure that we had the right medical team in place for whatever we were about to, you know, go through. So I was actually relieved. I was like, oh, down syndrome, Okay. Okay, Like I got this. You know, I was going to be a special education teacher. I was going to be an occupational therapist for a while. Like I am very. I was just like, yeah, that doesn't scare me at all, yeah, and so I was okay with it.

Speaker 2:

And the doctors were just like basically treating it like a death sentence. It was just like, yeah, down syndrome, Like your kid's gonna die, they're gonna like. Again they went back to the likelihood that baby's gonna die in utero is high. The baby's probably gonna die at birth. I mean it was like doom and gloom, Like your life is over. And again it was, hey, we can go terminate, you can try again for a new one, for a better one, for a normal one. And that to me is like just, it's just like I mean, no, let it out. It's just like the medical team didn't view him as worthy of life. You know, they just viewed him as defective is like truly what it felt like. And then again, knowing like what happens after in my story yeah, Now hearing that back of like you can try again for a new one, it's like we had four miscarriages after him. It's not that easy to like, quote, unquote. Try again for a new one. Like and again.

Speaker 1:

I'm, you know, like I don't know if this is going to sound weird for me to say, but I'm really like I feel like proud of you, like it and like that you didn't listen. Yeah, you, you listen. You knew like no, I know you can say this all day long and not treat him as worthy, but you knew he was, yeah, and that like he picked the best mom that he could have. Like I believe that, yeah, um, you know, you know it's.

Speaker 2:

It's crazy because so many moms that I talked to in this community it was the same story and it was. It's so bizarre to think that we have to fight. We have to fight for medical care, we have to fight for our baby, we have to fight doctors and say no, no, I want to keep this baby. And that was just truly eye-opening and, honestly, there's countries in Europe and other places where they've completely eradicated Down syndrome. Because doctors are so strong-willed about your life is over, their life is not valuable, and so there's a lot of countries in Europe where 100% of babies are aborted at this stage in the second trimester because of Down syndrome, because these parents are told that their child is not worthy, that they will not amount to anything, and it's just so sad because-.

Speaker 1:

Then they have to live with that pain their whole life. Yeah, and it's just so sad because then they have to live with that pain their whole life yeah, and it's frustrating because I feel like the medical community is doing such a disservice to parents.

Speaker 2:

You know, it's like you have these parents that are scared and I understand that you have to talk about like medical complications that could happen and you have to be prepared and you want the parents to be at the right hospital and all of the things that could happen. So I absolutely believe in, like you know, talking about all of those things, but just our experience was just extremely doom and gloom, you know, and and then at 20 weeks we went in and at this point, you know, we had like a 40% chance he didn't. We didn't really know what was going on. And then they find his heart defect, which they had alluded to the fact that he might have a heart defect at 12 weeks. But at 19 weeks they were like, yeah, you need to go see a cardiologist. And so we saw the cardiologist.

Speaker 2:

They were incredible, like were incredible, absolutely incredible. The whole team. They were just like, oh, yep, yeah, we see a heart defect. We repair these all the time. We're a good hospital, we have the best surgeons, the surgeon and cardiologist, I mean they were absolutely incredible. They were just so confident. Yes, this sucks. This, this sucks. Your baby's going to have to have open heart surgery, but we do it all the time and we're going to be okay and like they were so positive and so I'm just I'm so grateful that, like we had the cardiologists and surgeons that we had, because they made the whole process of going through open heart surgery with your little, you know, 10 pound baby, they made that like really seamless and and confident, you know, and they even were like okay, here's where we recommend you deliver and you know you're okay at this hospital, and so we're very fortunate that we have lots of options for hospitals here too.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, what a different like way they approached it. You needed that at that moment and like they could have done that at maternal, fetal like yeah, that doctor wow, and it was.

Speaker 2:

And it was all the doctors at this maternal fetal, which is insanity I mean absolute insanity that this is how all of them were. I mean even when they called us with our so okay. So then we got, we got that news and they said do you want to do an amnio? At this, at this point, the risk of miscarriage is still there, but it's a lot lower than like the other tests that we could have done earlier. We did decide to do it because we wanted to again to know where we were delivering. We wanted a definitive answer. I now, having gone through five miscarriages, I would never I would personally never go through an amnio again. But you know, I totally understand why people want to have a black and white answer again for planning purposes. And so we did do an amnio. And then I just knew in my gut we had been in Europe. My husband and I were in Europe for our baby moon right before this appointment, like yeah, and I said I just feel like our baby has Down syndrome.

Speaker 2:

And while we were in Italy I stumbled upon this poem. It was Down Syndrome Awareness Month and it was a poem about. It's called Welcome to Holland. You can look it up. I've heard it. It's all about how you expect to travel to Italy and you expect this beautiful vacation and all of a sudden you land in Holland and it's different and it's unexpected and you have to learn a new language, but it's still beautiful. And I just saw that poem and I was like this this is it like this is this? Is God telling us that we're gonna have this baby?

Speaker 1:

And your doctor is crazy on.

Speaker 2:

It was so crazy. And we're waiting for a new results. And I was outside on the deck and I was like on my lunch break for my clinical job and I was just reading I was literally reading the Bible and all of a sudden God was like you're going to have a boy and he's going to be okay. And my phone rings and it's the doctor and he said I'm so sorry, your baby has down syndrome. And that was it. And he just said see you later, like it was just like the most, like, I'm sorry. Here you go, matter of fact. And I was just like okay, yeah, like, but it's a boy and he's going to be okay. And we didn't know the gender until he came out, which is really funny. I like knew, like at this moment, okay, it's a boy and yeah.

Speaker 2:

And so the rest of the pregnancy was kind of a an emotional rollercoaster, to be honest. At 26 weeks we went in and he wasn't growing anymore and so at this point, you know they, they told us we could leave. They were like something's a little off, but you can leave. And um, so at this point, you know they, they told us we could leave. They were like something's a little off but you can leave. And as we're driving home, they call us and they're like you need to get back here, we need to do more tests, like something's off. And so then at 26 weeks, they were just like your baby's not growing, we think your placenta is starting to deteriorate, deteriorate and, um, we're worried, like your risk of stillbirth is is going up, yeah, and so I had to go in for at least two ultrasounds a week from that point on. And at 29 weeks they gave me beta methazone shots. They were like you're probably delivering soon. I got another set of shots at 31 weeks and they're like you're going to be delivering soon. And he hung in there until 36 weeks and that was a miracle in and of itself.

Speaker 2:

Like I went in we were planning an induction at 37 weeks because of his, he wasn't growing my placenta, all the things. Like he needed to come out at 37 weeks and went in for the last ultrasound and they're like, yeah, your amniotic fluids, low heart rates, low, like today's the day, get ready, you know, um, and and so, anyway, like the induction went beautifully, like everything went really well overall, considering the circumstances, with his heart rate and everything. It was decelerating a little bit during contractions, but we got him out soon enough and then they told us to expect, you know, two weeks in the NICU and he was out in six days. So we went home on oxygen and that's actually pretty common here with having a preemie baby in Denver, high altitude. So seeing babies on oxygen, especially small babies here on oxygen, it's not that abnormal. So, yeah, that went well.

Speaker 2:

And then he had open heart surgery at four months and overall, you know, he did have one complication but overall we were only there for 10 days, you know, considering infant getting open heart surgery. Yeah, yeah, so it was not an easy thing to watch your child go through, but it was very night and day difference to see his energy levels, like before and after heart surgery and and it was a one and done surgery. So we're done, his heart looks great. He's, you know, fully recovered and so very grateful for all of the surgeons on his team and the PICU and NICU, like everybody in the hospital, was really encouraging and amazing and all the things.

Speaker 1:

So I'm so glad, after the things that some other doctors said to you, I'm so happy to hear that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I felt like just our NICU and PICU experiences.

Speaker 2:

The doctors and nurses there were really incredible, and so, yeah, I'm really grateful for that.

Speaker 2:

And I think something that helped going into open heart surgery for us is I'm part of a lot of down syndrome groups and the heart surgery he had is very common in our group, and so to be able to talk to other moms and say, hey, we're about to go through this, what should we be prepared for, what should we watch out for, what should we bring, what you know what to expect, and so I felt very prepared going into it because I had talked to so many of the moms in our community and my husband and I while we were pregnant, we actually met a ton of families here locally who had a child with down syndrome, and so that was really reassuring, really helpful, and we got plugged in with, you know, local organizations here.

Speaker 2:

Even the head of one of the organizations. She came during his open heart surgery. She brought us diapers, she sat with us because her son had the same surgery. She sat with us for like an hour or two. Just talk to us just really incredible, incredible resources, especially in our area for Down syndrome and so, and we're finding out about more and more resources. Even this year we just found out about like more benefits, more resources more things for him.

Speaker 2:

He's five. Yeah, we just got him started in music therapy and swim lessons and I'm his parent, a CNA, which means I get paid a full-time salary to do all of his medical care. There's just all these benefits that a lot of parents don't realize are there for you, you know, when you have a child with special needs. And so, yeah, really, really grateful for for making the connections, meeting moms in the community and and getting you know, hooked in with those organizations.

Speaker 1:

I'm so glad you reached out to people. Of course, knowing you, you would. You know you're such an extrovert, but sometimes when people you know they pull away and they isolate and it's can be so healing to be with people who have been through what you've been through already and can hold space for you and empathize and give advice and recommendations and everything. So I'm really glad. Recommendations and everything. So I'm really glad. So, where you are now looking back, is there anything that you wish you could tell the old you or I don't know? I just anything that you wish you would have known or what helped you the most maybe.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think, just knowing that, like every child is going to have their struggles, every child and our struggle looks different than other people's struggles, and that's okay. And so I think what I would have told myself is no child is like quote unquote normal or typical. No experience is typical and that doesn't mean that it's not beautiful. You know, you can find beauty in any journey and it's really how you perceive it is so important, and I've talked to other moms who really are struggling on this journey and they perceive this as a death sentence and, again, it's not helpful when the medical community is perceiving it that way. That doesn't help a parent. So I think, you know, we don't have control over a lot of things when it comes to being a mom. We don't have control over, you know, pregnancies and all these things, and so surrendering was really powerful for me.

Speaker 1:

I want to elaborate on that yeah, yeah, yeah, like your perspective, what you did, because you know I'm all about it as well, but it's helpful just to hear from someone else how useful it was for them.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was just. Like you know, at the end of the day I can't control this and I leaned so hard into my faith during that pregnancy I would say that was like probably the closest I've ever been to God, and so for me that was really helpful and beneficial. Now, obviously, not everybody is a Christian that's listening. But you know, having faith and like we get to choose do we want to have faith or fear with our situation? We get to choose that and so I couldn't change the outcome. All I could do was have faith that things would be okay. And obviously, like there's there's moms in my community where their child has the same heart defect and truthfully, like there's been a lot of funerals recently, like we've lost a lot of little babies at a few months old and every time that happens, like I just I lose it.

Speaker 1:

I feel so much.

Speaker 2:

I feel so much guilt Like how come they don't get the same outcome that we got? How are we so lucky? And so I even look at our situation now and think how are we so lucky, we're so grateful that he's here and alive, when we've had friends and family lose babies after birth, and it's just, it's absolutely devastating. And so I think, yeah, I think it's just. That's what I would tell myself is get connected to people who've gone through it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, as much as doctors, we want to trust our doctors and medical community. They don't know everything that no doctor can predict any child's outcome, any of our children, um, or what they're capable of or what their struggles are going to be. And so you know, all we can do is set them up in an environment to have support. And he was diagnosed with autism at let's see, a year and a half ago. So that's added another layer of us learning more resources, more tools, more things, more challenges. But again, it's also opened up a lot of doors for us as well, and so, but yeah, any child could get any diagnosis at any time. And so just being prepared and knowing yes, I don't have control over this, I have control over how we see this the therapies, the interventions, the things that I can provide for my child. That's what I have control over.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely so beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. Is there anything else? The last thing I want to ask you is just women who might be like you. You know they're moms, high achieving women, and maybe at times they feel like just completely discouraged and maybe have these moments where they're like feeling broken, whether it's like what judging their bodies, like what's wrong with my body, that this is happening, or just their emotions. What advice would you give somebody that was feeling that way?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think I felt I felt that more physically while going through recurrent miscarriages, I hit the point where I think I had. I think by the third or fourth time I was just like what is going on? Is my body broken? And by the fifth time it felt like the hardest one because it was like why does this keep happening to me? What am I doing wrong? And I felt like I was broken in that moment and I just it is a hard place to get to.

Speaker 2:

I think when you're in that place, it's really hard to see that there is another side, that there is an ending to the season, and I think the biggest thing is telling people that there is an ending to the season. And the ending may not be the happy ending necessarily that you want. It might be a different ending than you anticipated, yeah, but there is an ending to this season of grief, like it will end at some point. And so I think for me, that is where I felt empowered by the fifth miscarriage. You know we had said all, if this happens again, we're done Like our family's complete, like we made a plan. Moving forward of this is only. You know, this is all the heartbreak we can take at this point, right you?

Speaker 2:

were like put a boundary to some extent, not that you won't, won't grieve those babies, but yeah, it was exactly that setting boundaries for what we were willing to continue going through and what we weren't. And so I think that there was some empowering. It felt more empowering in that place versus helpless, because I think when we feel broken, we also feel helpless. And so that's a big thing is just knowing, if you're in this hard season, whatever it looks like, if you feel like your body is broken, it's not that your body is broken. For us, we had to find there was some reasonings.

Speaker 2:

I kept miscarrying and so getting answers. You know, if you feel like something's broken quote unquote there might be a medical reason, and so don't be afraid to advocate for yourself if that's what's going on. And so don't be afraid to advocate for yourself if that's what's going on, don't be afraid to push your doctors for testing and to figure out what's happening so that you can get clarity, so that you can get the right treatment. So that's one thing, but also knowing that, yeah, this season will end at some point. You're not gonna be in this forever.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes, yes. Thank you so much for sharing that. Is there anything else that you wanted to?

Speaker 2:

share. I mean I can dive as much into the miscarriages as you want. I know it's not a very fun topic, yeah, but I so relatable, one in four, yeah. And I think you know, after having Ashton I definitely went into the next pregnancy very on my toes Like I, I know what can happen, right.

Speaker 2:

And then we had our first miscarriage and I kind of brushed off the first one like, oh, one in four women have this. It was, it was early, um, I just kind of like didn't really let myself grieve or feel. It was just like, yeah, this happens, the likelihood it's going to happen again, not bad. Our second miscarriage was completely different. We walk in at eight weeks and it's like, yeah, there's no heartbeat, you can wait. Or I think it was seven weeks, you can wait, and here's all your options. And it was like, oh, I'm just going to wait and see what my body can do. And it was three weeks of waiting, that time of knowing that your baby has passed and waiting for your body to realize it is something. I had no idea what a grief process that was truly. And then, you know, we had like physical trauma along with it. I ended up hemorrhaging in the ER needing emergency surgery.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was like I did not. Yeah, thank god my mother-in-law was here to watch Ashton, but it was like I was losing so much blood so quickly and I was just like miscarrying naturally, like I hadn't taken anything. Like, yeah, and all of a sudden, yeah, I had lost so much blood, got to the ER all of a sudden you know I'm in the OR at midnight, emergency surgery, like. So then my body is like physically going through this and I started to have those feelings of like why am I broken? Why does this keep happening? Why can't it be easy? Like, yeah, I have never had an easy pregnancy. This is so unfair. It felt very like unfair.

Speaker 2:

And then two more miscarriages right after that. Those were early ones, so, quote unquote like they were easier physically to go through, easier emotionally, because I think that they're all difficult emotionally, but they were different physically. Yeah, but we found out that I had low progesterone and so that was like a big reason why I was miscarrying is I was really needing to be on progesterone immediately after ovulation. Like 10 days post ovulation was not soon enough. It was like ovulation, you need to be on progesterone immediately. So that's always something I tell women if you're struggling with recurrent miscarriages is get your progesterone tested.

Speaker 1:

I'm glad you said that, just in case someone is listening right now and in that exact spot and they can go have theirs checked, because it's so easy to fix it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's so easy to fix it, it's such an easy fix. And then, you know, we had the fourth one. Two weeks later, I conceived Sawyer and it was a completely different experience. It was like we I had a full on panic attack, my first ever panic attack on the way to his six week ultrasound because like, okay, I've never I've had five pregnancies, not one has been quote, unquote, normal, like I don't know what to expect. Okay, I've never I've had five pregnancies, not one has been quote, unquote, normal. Like I don't know what to expect. And I show up and I'm a mess. My husband's like what's wrong with you? And I was like I just had a panic attack on the way here. It's fine, what's fine? And all of a sudden you know they're like there's a heartbeat, everything looks good, and I was like what I don't?

Speaker 1:

I didn't know how to.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was just, I was like I don't know how to process this. Yeah, yeah, I don't know how to process this. I was waiting for more bad news, yeah. And then, you know, we kept going in and it was like everything's normal low risk. I was like I don't, I don't understand, what is this Like, what is? Is this what it's like?

Speaker 2:

And then even we saw maternal fetal medicine. Just because Ashton had a heart defect, they said we really recommend you just get a higher level ultrasound. We have the most amazing maternal fetal medicine doctors this time, Absolutely incredible. And I was like gosh, I wish I had you guys last time. And luckily, this doctor that we saw, that we loved, he was the one who told our friends that their baby was going to have Down syndrome and they had a completely different, beautiful experience, like different, and I'm so grateful that she got that experience and so really grateful for like, not all doctors are like that right. So it also opened my eyes to there's really good doctors out there and there's really good side manner, you know doctors out there.

Speaker 2:

And so, yeah, we had an easy pregnancy, easy delivery. I got to take my baby home after delivery. I was like what is this? What is this? Not in the NICU I'm not pumping full time Like um, yeah, it was. It was very, very drastically different.

Speaker 2:

And then you know, we wanted, I wanted a third baby more than anything. And my husband was like very on the fence about it. Yeah, and we got pregnant and, you know, anxiously, went in and it was the same situation. You know, eight weeks it was like there's no heartbeat. Here are your options. And it was like all right, well, last time I tried to miscarry on my own, I hemorrhaged, ended up needing emergency surgery. So we waited about a week just to see if my body would kind of figure it out. And I was bleeding lightly but my body was just not taking care of it. And so we ended up going through a DNC at this point and we tested this baby because we're like we want to figure out if there's anything going on. And so we did find out it was a baby boy with trisomy 16, which my first son has trisomy 21. And trisomy 16 is one of the most common causes of miscarriage. It's like the top chromosomal thing that causes miscarriage. It's random, there's it's random, there's nothing you can do. And so it gave me some peace and closure of this is why it happened. Yes, Sometimes just having a reason of like Helps, it does. It just helps you understand, like, okay, I didn't, I didn't do anything and I knew logically, like I did nothing wrong quote, unquote and the other ones but just knowing, okay, this is why it happened. It did give me some closure.

Speaker 2:

And then the first cycle we could try. We got pregnant again with my current baby. We found out on Thanksgiving day, which is crazy to figure out, because again, we had surrendered, we had made that decision after that miscarriage. You know, like, we said we could try one more time, but truthfully, like, if this ends badly, we're done. Like, I am putting that boundary up. Or if we try for a year and it doesn't happen, we're done. Like, so we did set that boundary and I just said, you know, whatever happens, I just have to. I don't have control. And the fact that we got pregnant right away, I was like, okay, maybe this is in the plan. Like, maybe this baby is meant to be here because it happened so quickly, Like, we didn't have to wait to figure that out.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, I think, like I said, I'm feeling very much like grateful that this season is ending. I mean, I'm sad that this is my last pregnancy, I'm sad that this is the last time I'm going to go through this, but it also feels very bittersweet to be on the tail end and to know that there is an ending of like this is it. I don't have to go through more losses in the future. This is it, like our family can be complete with whatever this outcome is, and we're both confident in that. And, yeah, there is something really powerful about that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and now you're due next month. Oh my goodness. Yes, so happy for you. I love how open you are and like willing to share your story and to talk about it. Others, I know feel like more comforted and they don't feel alone just hearing your story and I meant to say this earlier but also advocating for Down syndrome every time you post. I love it so much because I don't follow anybody else that I see advocating like you do, and I know that you're shifting people's perspectives around like this is not a problem. This baby is worthy.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely yeah, and I think there's a, there's a lot of families out there and for me that was very reassuring. When we found out during pregnancy he would have Down syndrome, I like I sought out Instagram like Down syndrome babies. All of a sudden it was like, oh my gosh, there's this massive community and they're all supportive and like these kids are so cute. And oh my goodness, like this looks good, like this looks happy, this is a happy thing. And I didn't understand when I would see people like we call ourselves the lucky few and it seems funny to see that you're like, wait, they consider themselves lucky. And now I understand it.

Speaker 2:

But, um, I think that was really beneficial for me and not even necessarily talking to other families always, but seeing like, hey, you can have a happy family, you know, with this and I think it is hard because there's trolls. There's trolls on the internet. I mean, there's people who've said just horrendous things about him, about me, about you know, people with disabilities, and and that is why we advocate it's because there's a lot of people out there who you know will say things like better off dead, you're selfish for bringing somebody like that into this world. I mean the stuff people have said to me is is very cringy and like this is why we do it, this is why we speak up for kids and even like going through recurrent pregnancy loss, talking to other moms who've been through it, even finding other moms who have similar stories and connecting with them was really, really beneficial and powerful.

Speaker 2:

And, um, you know, honestly, I've had even people from high school reach out and say, hey, I'm going through recurrent miscarriages and I don't know who to talk to. I've had people reach out and say my niece just got a Down syndrome diagnosis. Can you talk to my brother and just like making these connections? And I'm always happy to do that, and so that is something that's been really beautiful coming out of this. And even one of our close friends has just gone through her second pregnancy loss and just being able to be there for her in a way that other people can't be, right, you know, just to for her to be able to vent and to somebody who gets it, I think, is really important.

Speaker 1:

That matters, that really matters. Yeah, and when I'm going through hard things, that's something in the back of my mind like this will actually help me connect and empathize with people actually so much better, because I'll get it in a way that there's no way I could have in the past.

Speaker 2:

And yeah, you're doing that, yeah, and even even in my community of moms you know I'm helping moms with postpartum nutrition it feels so like light. Yet in our community in the past month we've had two women go through miscarriages around the same time and it's like my heart is just it breaks for these women and I'm also grateful that I can be there and be somebody that they can ask questions or just know, like, hey, I'm not alone, and that is very powerful, and for them to be there for each other is really beautiful to see too. So, yeah, it's just it sucks, cause it's like you don't wanna be part of this community but at the same time, being able to support others who are going through it has been a blessing, yeah yeah, Thank you so much.

Speaker 1:

Anything else you want to share?

Speaker 2:

No, I think I think we covered a lot, yeah, yeah, I think the biggest thing is just, you know, if you are struggling, don't be afraid to seek out a support system, whether that's with a therapist I mean, I started with a therapist after my recurrent miscarriage. I joined a recurrent miscarriage support group. I joined so many Down syndrome support groups, so it doesn't have to be necessarily. You know, it can be a lot of different ways that you're getting support and so you don't have to feel alone. And I know for me, isolating and pretending things didn't happen and not talking about it, for me that was not healthy. It was not a healthy way to cope. And so you know it's okay, even if you cry on a podcast like this, it's fine. Yes, you can cry, let it out.

Speaker 1:

Let it out. Let it out and you're showing others that it's safe to cry and it's healthy to let it out and let your body release what it needs to. Yeah, exactly. Thank you so much for your openness, for your courage to show up authentically and to allow yourself to go there. I appreciate you so much and I know people will be interested and want to follow you now, so where's the best place that they can find you?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so they can follow me on Instagram at nutrition for mamas or if they are pregnant, postpartum, you know. Going through all this, I would highly recommend the postpartum shift podcast that they can go find me on there. Yes, thank you so much Thank you so much, thank you so much, thank you so much.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for listening today. If you're ready to heal, so that triggering situations no longer control you and so that you can feel empowered, brave and thrive in any situation, dm me the word brave on Instagram and I'll send you a training where you will learn three of the most common mistakes driven women are making that are keeping them stuck in negative emotions, and what you can do instead.

Journey of Healing and Resilience
Navigating Medical Challenges During Pregnancy
Navigating Parenthood With Resilience
Journey Through Recurrent Miscarriages
Support and Advocacy in Parenthood
Empowering Women Through Healing and Resilience