my TTC journey, so far

i wrote about my miscarriage back in december, but since it’s been sadly a fairly long road now, i thought it would be cathartic for me and hopefully helpful for you to write about our journey of wanting a second baby. so i’ll start from the beginning. sorry it’s long winded but so is my experience.

i was content before we starting trying

pre-pandemic, i was actually pretty happy just the three of us. when arlo was almost 2 i wanted to try for a second, but at the time we weren’t in the right place to try yet. so i let go of that. then for a long time i debated if we wanted a second one at all. 

arlo was sleeping so well, he was in school and i felt like i had some independence again. i was exercising and finally feeling good about my body and enjoying my free time socializing and we had a date night sitter and were going out a few times a month for dates. things were really good and i was in a really good place. 

then the pandemic happened, and obviously our life came to a halt. it was pretty immediate that i realized how different our time at home would have been had we had another kid already. harder in so many ways, obviously, but maybe easier in a lot too. arlo would have had someone to play with, and having an only child (who had been thriving at school with friends) was rough for me. and for him.

everyone said young kids are so adaptable, they’ll be fine, but it was freaking hard. he changed a lot over the year– we had tons of fun and made so many memories, but he became pretty socially anxious, and really forgot what it was like to be with anyone but us. 

(and luckily once he started back in school, it only took a few weeks before he started changing back and now loves being around friends and family constantly. he went from saying he only wanted it to be the three of us to complaining why no one is coming over for dinner most nights hahah)

so since i wasn’t out and about and i no longer had my independence or a life, i wanted a second baby now very suddenly. gid was not on board because we had no idea what the future was going to look like. remember how bleak and scary those early days were? i don’t blame him, but i spent quite a few months just trying to convince him we should try. 

i was getting scared because arlo was getting older and older and so was i. i had waited so long that now i felt like we really had to hurry suddenly and wasn’t expecting a pandemic to happen to change my entire planned out life timeline.

then we started actually trying

once we were on the same page, we spent the first few months with little success. gid was on an antidepressant which made it challenging, and i was using ovulation strips which i feel like were just making it harder for me. the strips can steer you so wrong and just confuse you so much, am i right? it was just not working for us for a while. 

i was confident we wouldn’t have issues since our first time having arlo was really quick. in retrospect it didn’t take that long for me to get pregnant, but when you’re in the trenches every month feels excruciatingly long. we started trying in the summer of 2020 and got pregnant in november. 

my prolonged miscarriage in december

i did write about this already, so sorry if this is redundant. we were so happy to get pregnant, i was trying not to get too ahead of myself but i was really excited and felt hopeful. i did a blood test and everything seemed good. the wait for that first ultrasound felt like forever, and i went to see my OB around 8 weeks. 

because of covid, gid wasn’t allowed to come in which just made me feel generally way more anxious about the idea of getting bad news. i did tell the nurse before the ultrasound that i was a little worried, but i also talked all about my plans for upcoming visits and whatnot so i guess i didn’t actually know.

as soon as he started looking and not saying anything at all– i knew. they didn’t really see anything. there was a sack but nothing or something very small inside. he thought maybe it could just be too early and had me come back again the next week. 

i would never wish the experience of going through that alone on anyone, i’m still very much traumatized by it. it SUCKED. and to have to do it twice. the second ultrasound was the same thing, there was something little there but no heartbeat. 

he suggested i just take the pills at home since it was christmas and covid and i thought it seemed best too. i was miserable for a few days and bled all over our bed and was just so happy to be through it. this is where the blog post from last time ended, but unfortunately it wasn’t actually over yet. 

about a month later, my numbers were still not going down to zero. the pills didn’t work. i bled SO MUCH and had the worst cramps of my life but somehow it didn’t work?! i had to go to another doctor for an ultrasound who confirmed that i would need to do the pills again. 

this obviously wouldn’t have happened had i just opted for the D&C to begin with, but my dr never expressed that there was a chance it couldn’t work and never had me come in for a checkup to make sure that it did. 

because there was so little left, it was too late to try the D&C so i had to take the pills at home, again. this time was way better, i preemptively took pain pills (that they refused to prescribe me) and i was much less uncomfortable. 

it felt like it didn’t work by the end of day 2 because nothing had really come out, and then as i was peeing i just felt a huge something come right out. this is totally TMI but whatever we’re here already. it was weird how quickly and smoothly it fell out, pain free. and i looked down and saw a pretty substantial sack and old tissue mush and was like ok it’s OUT. 

omg i was so relieved to be done with this miscarriage. this was now late january. i was finally no longer “pregnant” and i could try again!!

trying, again

just a couple more months of crying whenever i got my period, and i decided to stop with the ovulation strips. they did help me in november but i thought they might be throwing me way off to when i was ovulating, so instead i decided to try looking at my calendar and doing days 10-20 of my cycle. 

in april, i wanted to take no chances so i made us do it every single day and i got a UTI. hahaha. i was like WOWWW i better get pregnant so this was worth it.

another positive pregnancy test

it worked!! i got a positive pregnancy test and i was soooo so happy. but i was also so jaded. i didn’t even want to take the test because i was like this is such a waste of a test i’m about to get my period FINE i’ll take the test but it says negative, oh wait does it say positive??? whoa it says positive omg. we cried and hugged so much. 

after what happened in the winter, i decided i didn’t want to return to my OB. i made appointments with two new doctors, women this time who could actually understand what i was going through. i told everyone close to me, again. i was jaded AF but i was so hopeful. 

then, only one week and two days later i started spotting. i was like ok maybe its implantation. it’s fine. then that night it was actual blood. i collapsed on my bathroom floor and just cried and cried. i even held my stomach and begged “please”. 

turns out you don’t want to be a new patient when you’re having a failed pregnancy because they don’t care about you at all. both offices advised me to go to the ER, so i called my original OB and spoke to the other dr in his practice who helped me through the miscarriage since my actual OB was so checked out. he wanted me to just rest for two weeks before coming in for a 6 week ultrasound. 

i stayed in bed, i started feeling hopeful again. i spoke to so many women who bled, some throughout their pregnancies and i thought ok maybe this can still happen. i hadn’t had any sharp cramps at all. i went to an acupuncturist and i felt like there was a chance. 

after a few days horizontal, i was still bleeding. i started feeling way less hopeful. and instead of optimistically googling “implantation bleeding” i started googling “chemical pregnancies”. and then i noticed my stomach started feeling like menstrual cramps, so i took a pregnancy test and there it was — negative. i was like ok well that answers that, it’s over now. 

i got out of bed and walked to my brothers house while blasting my sad anthem where i immediately drank some much needed rosé. i was devastated that night but i woke up the next day and felt a little more at peace. i think having those few days in bed distraught helped prepare me emotionally. 

and i was just so glad to not have to go through a drawn out miscarriage this time around. i went to the dr who confirmed it was out of my body already, and that it was just bad luck but not considered a second miscarriage or a reason to worry yet. i asked all about fertility testing and my progesterone levels, but he thinks the fact that i’ve gotten pregnant (now four times altogether) and carried a full term baby mean everything should be ok and that i can just try again right away. and he reminded me many times to try to remain stress free (ha.)

so, we’ll be trying again. not sure if i can emotionally handle another miscarriage, but i’ve decided i need to STOP future tripping.

STOP the future tripping

between all of this and also casually house hunting, i’ve noticed that i am generally much sadder these days. we put everything off and i plan everything around things that haven’t actually occurred yet. it makes me feel like we’re living in limbo. 

there’s no reason to do this or that house project because we could be moving. and we need to move soon so that we know where arlo will be going to school for pre-k!! and if i get pregnant then we’ll have to make sure we’re settled before we have the baby!!!! and arlo will be 4 in june so that means no matter what, they’ll have at least 4.5 years age difference between them. and that means that when arlo is going to college our second baby won’t even be in high school yet. and what if they aren’t close because they’re so far apart in age? and why didn’t i just start trying sooner? i’m going to be 36 soon oh noooo… 

and so on.

this shit is swimming around my mind most of the time. it’s not healthy and when i really reflect on it, i’m not doing well. i started seeing a therapist on top of our couples therapist, and it’s been really helping.

together we realized that i needed to reflect on the time before i was obsessed with having a baby and how i felt, what was making me happy. i was truly content and living in the moment. so gid and i decided together to make a conscious effort to plan for our life right now instead of what could/might/will happen in the future.

i need to not spend most of my days and losing sleep at night thinking about the fact that it’s been this long and i’m still not pregnant. because i can spiral like a mofo. 

so i’m going to try to exercise in real life again (after everything my body has gone through, i’ve gained some weight this year), i’m gonna bleach my teeth with the bleaching kit my dentist gave me that i prematurely put away when i got pregnant for a week. i’m doing acupuncture regularly and i’m going to be trying to enjoy my life right now in this exact moment of not being pregnant. as best i can! 

and we’re gonna fix up our guest room and turn it into an office for gid (who just got a new job!!!), and i’m even thinking of painting it. because why am i putting off enjoying our home right now and feeling creative– to just wait? if we move we can bring the furniture. if i get pregnant we have plenty of time to convert it into a nursery. 

i’m going to stop planning for anything that hasn’t actually happened.

and hey maybe those things we want to happen will actually happen when we’re not so damn focused on them.

so that’s where i’m at now. it’s been a shitty time for us– but i think this attitude shift will be really good for me. i want to be happy again, and i want a baby too. so i hope to report back soon.

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  1. I wish you to find serenity, creativity.
    Pregnancy is not always easy, nor happy. Body and mind are a whole. When a fetus wants to settle, it will. Nature steals hopes, but joy always comes after sorrow.

  2. Hi Molly, I’ve been following your posts for years and I have so much love for you. I actually never wanted a child, but fell pregnant just a couple of months after I came off years of being on the pill. And that was during a period when I was undergoing so much stress at my workplace (I was working with a couple of bullies and was deeply unhappy) and I was also desperately looking for a new job, going for interviews every few days. I was so stressed that I didn’t even realise that I was missing my periods until almost 9 weeks into the pregnancy! So now, my gorgeous girl is 4.5 yrs old. I can’t imagine life without Mia, but I often sense that she is lonely and she has since a couple of years ago been asking us to “buy” her a little brother or sister 😀

    It took me a while to convince my husband to try for a second one because he stayed home for the first year to take care of Mia and I think that experienced really scarred him! :p Finally, we decided to give it a go because he too could see just how lonely Mia was. For 2 weeks every month for the last 2 years, I wait in anticipation, cutting out all coffee (I absolutely love coffee), subtly refusing alcohol at social events without raising any suspicions, etc., hoping that THIS is the month that it will happen. Two yrs later, and multiple trips at 7am to the fertility clinic for “cycle tracking” and countless ovulation at-home test kits, I am still not pregnant. I turned 43 four days ago. My husband does not believe in IVF and so I guess it is what is it. My brother and I are 4 yrs apart and we played a lot growing up, so I was hoping for that age gap between my first and second. But Mia is now 4.5. I’ve gone through feeling the worst regret for not having tried earlier and that this really “serves me right” to feeling almost angry with women who drink and smoke and keep on popping out child after child with the mere flicker of their eyelashes!

    Now finally, I’ve made the decision to just take it easy. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it’s not meant to be. And, I’m not going to stress about the age gap being too wide. Sure, I would love for Mia to have a sibling that she could play with now (I always imagine eavesdropping on the both of them – with Mia being 4.5 and her sibling being 2 maybe – talking to each other and saying the cutest things and giggling away. That would be the definition of true bliss, wouldn’t it?). However, you know what? Even if I have one when Mia is 7 and there is a 7-yr gap, it’s not going to make a difference when Mia is 40 and her sibling is 33. So, I let it be…and I’m finally at peace. After this hard struggle, I’ve come to realise just how much of a miracle Mia is. Arlo is your little miracle and I’m sure that you too know that 🙂 Molly, I really believe that you are heading in the right direction and I hope that you too will eventually find your peace and happiness…and if it happens, I will be so, so happy for the 3 of your 🙂

  3. Tiffany Stark says:

    I appreciate your honesty so much. I know so many women (including myself) have gone through all of this (struggles to get pregnant, miscarriage, freaking the f out about life’s timelines) and feeing like you’re the only one freaking sucks. While we were going through this we had a spare room in our house that sat empty (a baby’s room? An office?) for months and months and living in limbo and walking past it every day drove me INSANE. I’m so happy you’ve decided to try to live in the moment a bit- I hope it helps bring some peace during this time. Sending you all of the best!

  4. JESSICA McKAGUE says:

    Molly! This happened like exactly to me too! Ultrasound with a no vacancy immediately followed by a bleed it goodbye, but those were then followed by a totally no fuss pregnancy and now I have a healthy 9mo girl! Our bodies are freaking superhuman! But my body was definitely tuckered tf out after all of it so its awesome that youre taking care of yourself, drink that rose and go on those anthem walks because before you know it, it will all be in the next phase!

    As always, thank you for your transparency!!

  5. Hi Molly,

    Just wanted to let you know that I’m almost exactly where you are now. I have a three year-old daughter (whom we got pregnant with on the second month trying) who is begging for a brother or a sister. We started trying last year during the pandemic and I had both a chemical pregnancy and an ectopic pregnancy (which was extremely scary and horrifying on so many levels). We’re still trying but I started going for IVF because my insurance covers it. We discovered that my egg supply is on the low end and that my husband has some male factor too, but the doctors weren’t terribly concerned that we wouldn’t get a good outcome. I was so hopeful for the first round but we came back with our embryos being genetically abnormal.

    One book you may or may not have heard of is “It Starts With the Egg,” which is all about how you can improve your egg quality, which may help improve your pregnancy chances. It also goes into how your husband can take some vitamins/supplements to improve his swimmers too. I am not pregnant (yet) but I am at least feeling healthier than I have in a long time. We have cut out alcohol (sob) and caffeine (double sob) while we’re trying which feels SO hard, but if it helps us either get pregnant or go through a successful IVF round, it will be worth it. Oh, also, I know you may have had a partnership with Ritual in the past, but their prenatals actually don’t have enough of the antioxidants (Vitamin E/C) you might need to help your body with fertility. Just a head’s up.

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know that others are out there that are going through the same thing you are. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is so hard, but it helps to know that we are not alone. All the best to you guys.

  6. Oh man, you and I were having a miscarriage at the same time! If only we knew! 🙂

    I have been struggling to get pregnant for a long while. We have been seeing a fertility doctor and last year did a bunch of IUIs, had a successful pregnancy that quickly turned into a miscarraige (plus one chemical pregnancy). I too felt like no one was really telling me anything, and I also did not expect how painful the actual miscarriage was going to be since everyone harps on the emotional side and not the physical side. And also how long it takes is like salt in the wound, you just want it all to be over so you can move forward with your life. I also had the fun of experience this all alone as well, going to the ER by myself was really interesting and I can feel your pain with that one.

    Thanks for sharing your story, I have felt very alone for a long time and haven’t really had a place to see other people’s stories. On forums they always emphasis the fact that they finally got pregnant, and when you are struggling that really is not helpful at all. I have learned through this whole process that you have no idea what is going to happen ever, you might think someone has a set timeline but it really doesn’t, and I have completely let go of that.

  7. Hi. This will be quick but full of compassion and love. My only sister and I had a 6 year age difference. She was my best friend. My guardian angel. And I was those things for her. Age is just a number.

  8. Oh man, this hits me right in the stomach. We are so linear in so many ways it’s crazy. I wish you lived closer!! We got pregnant super quickly with our son Max. I had a miscarriage in October and your words of experiencing those ultrasounds alone was literally me. We started trying again in the new year, and I also had a chemical or “false positive” pregnancy one month as well. We are currently in the process of finalizing the sale of our home and buying and moving into our new one this month, so this literally feels like I could have written it, even the future tripping. Being a wedding photographer Im constantly doing this, trying to plan ahead for my season of work etc.
    I have been doing acupuncture for a few months now and Im really hopeful that once this stress is off me and we are settled in our new place, my body will be ready. I do the strips every month and Im always shook when we hit the days bang on and still aren’t pregnant. Im so sorry that you are going through this, but so thankful for you sharing your story so that I (and we) know we aren’t alone in this journey.
    I saw someone post about the age gap above and that was also something I was so stressed about forever, but ultimately, if the pandemic has taught me anything, its that we really aren’t in control are we? It’ll happen for us, I just know it <3

  9. Hi Molly,

    I’m that person that never writes comments but I just had to say how much you’ve always inspired me, esp writing about this important topic. I’m so sorry. Thanks so much for sharing so more women don’t feel alone. I had a miscarriage before my first baby. And now trying for a second so can totes relate in so many ways (esp the ability to spiral like a mofo) Sending you all the positive vibes!!

  10. Molly,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. You are so wise and I’m certain there are many blessings in store for your family. I had a miscarriage 3 years ago and it was devastatingly hard to go through. Thankfully, I am on the other side of it now. It took me 2 years but now I have a healthy 4 month old. I changed my lifestyle because I had put on excess weight and had some autoimmune issues. I began fasting more regularly and after some research realized fasting actually can help aid in getting pregnant ❤. Sending my thoughts and prayers and hoping for your comfort during this challenging time ???.

  11. Just here to let you know I’m sending all of my love and juju to you

  12. Molly, I’m there too, except it’s for our first and I haven’t had any miscarriages yet, but the worrying and hearing “stop stressing” and wondering why I’m trying at 35 and not sooner is all there for me too. I know I have to go in for all the fertility tests soon because there’s no proof that I can even get pregnant yet, but I’m dreading it because I hear so many stories about endless testing and they just decide “unexplained infertility”. Wishing you the best of luck and contentment and gratitude on your journey ahead! <3

  13. TTC, too. 9 months in. It’s for the birds. Sending love.

    (Hi, SGJ, who will see this and text me LOL)