The lines of where my fairy tale story begin and where the tragedy of my life ends is a blurred line of memories like the sun setting into the ocean. Often one story leads into the other and all the innocence is now gone. I was born a fighter, a believer, strong willed, and a dreamer but over the years I have lost my innocence.
The Innocense of A Little Girl
When I was a little girl I was living in a hell called home with an abusive father. I lived like that until I was 15 and because of it I thought that love came from physical touch instead of what is in our hearts. But somehow through it all even when my innocence was lost I decided to be a survivor instead of a victim and through him I found strength in myself that I never would have known I had and I became stronger.
The Innocence of A Young Woman
When I was 17 I joined the Air Force trying to escape the life that I knew and met a man that looking back had all the red signs of being just like my father. I always dreamed of marrying a man that would love me and we would have lots of babies and live happily ever after. Six months into our marriage the innocence of how beautiful a marriage should be was gone when I found scratches down his back that didn't come from me. And even still I fought to try and maintain my innocence of marriage and I tried to fight for the marriage. The marriage was bad but it made me stronger as a woman. As the marriage became worse and the cycle of abuse kept getting worse I became stronger.
The Innocence of A Mother
Beauty can come from all situations an in my case it came in the form of two beautiful little girls. The first was born when I was 19 and the other when I was 21. I fought for the beauty that is motherhood, all I had ever wanted to be in life, while working full time and dealing with the bad marriage. Being in that situation I lost the innocence of being a good loving, patient, attentive mother. When the marriage started affecting my daughters I fought for their innocence and I left him. For three years I was a single mom and because of that I became stronger.
The Innocence of Finding Myself
For three years I found myself. I went to school, I worked full time, I prayed, I learned, and most of all I loved my daughters. I made a choice that I would not let the cycle of abuse continue and that my daughters came first. My innocence about how beautiful life could be slowly came back to me. For my daughters and for me the innocence of life and finding out who we were as a family brought a new found strength that I never thought possible. We all became stronger.
The Innocence of New Love
I moved to my new duty station with the Air Force and when I was least expecting it and not looking for it I met the most amazing man. Now my husband we still laugh about how one of my first questions to him was what his credit score was. We talked and talked and from our very first date we spent an amazing two weeks together getting to know each other and the innocence of a new love, a healthy and good love, grew in me again. Two weeks after our first date he deployed for six months and I think that this brought strength to our marriage that we could never have found other wise.
The Innocence of Letters
One letter a day and a package every week. I wrote to him about everything that I was and everything that I was not. I wanted him to love me the way I was without having to pretend I was something or someone else. Each letter we wrote not only brought us closer together but it healed parts of me that I never thought still needed healing. He was my innocent dream of what true love should be and it made me stronger. It's amazing what you can learn about a person when physical affection isn't at the center of the relationship. The innocence of a new love and learning who we each were and what we were together made me stronger in faith that life was the beautiful place I knew it could be. The innocence of marriage- We had the most amazing wedding and were able to profess or love for one another in front of all of our friends and family. It was every little girls dream and each day with him pushed me further and further away from the loss of innocence from my previous 25 years of life. I, we, were the strongest we had ever been.
The Innocence of Having A Baby
We knew we wanted to start trying for a baby right away. So after getting married in August of 2011 we were over joyed when we found out we were pregnant in December of that year. The joy that was brought into our lives was more then we could have ever thought. Ideas for nurseries and names became our daily conversations. When I started bleeding late in January I just knew that something was wrong. He was deployed and I ended up driving myself to the emergancy room where the room was freezing and the doctors were cold. Spontaneous abortion, the medical term for a miscarriage, is what that called it. Too tired and frail from all the tears all I could think was no I wanted this baby, this baby was already loved, how can you say it was an abortion. That name was so ugly to me, still is to this day, and I was alone. I knew it wasn't his fault but I was angry at him for not being there when our baby died. They didn't tell me much of anything when I left the hospital that night just to follow up with my OBGYN. It took my husband three days to get home on emergency leave. Three. Days! Those three days I built a wall up around my heart and I let the loss of the innocence I had become a wall to keep the man that loves me so much and cried with me when he finally did get home. I was angry, I was angry at myself, my husband and at God. As time progressed I still had the hole in my heart but I was slowly starting to heal. I let my husband back in and we were one again. The innocence of not knowing anything about pregnancy loss was forever gone but our marriage was stronger.
The Innocence of Joy
When we once again saw the two lines on the test in July of 2012. Once again shortly after we found out my husband was away, this time at training. Surly another miscarriage couldn't happen to us. Oh how I wish that the innocence of those thoughts were true. When I started bleeding in August my world came crashing down. In the emergency room this time they labeled it a threaten miscarriage because they could still see the sac on an ultrasound. If it was only a threatened miscarriage then why couldn't they do anything? There had to be something they could do to help! But in my heart I just knew we had lost another baby. Why? Why was this happening? Life was just starting to make sense and these children were so desperately wanted. The dreams and hopes that you set for your lives with children lost in just a moment. And I was alone again. He was granted a three day pass over the weekend and drove down to be with me and went to the appointment where they confirmed that my womb was empty. My womb was empty. Fitting words to how I felt. I tried hard not to be angry at my husband but it was so hard not to be. Hours after he left to go back to training the contractions began and I passed the baby, alone, and my womb, my womb was empty. The grief was strong but I tried to keep busy to pass the time and went back to work three days later. I just knew in my heart that this baby was another girl and through prayer we decided to name her Eternity Grace. To hear my child's name is music to my ears just as when I hear the names of my live children. In my grief I found that there are so many women who were dealing with losing their innocence of not knowing what it is to lose a baby and in helping them I gained strength and I grew and I became stronger. I tried to use my pain to teach others and show love to others who were now on this side of loss.
The Innocence of Infertility
And then nothing. Three years of test. Three years of treatments. Three years of nothing. But why God? What was I to learn? What were we not doing? And then came another label, unexplained secondary infertility. And once again the innocence of not having to know this world was lost. I researched and studied and read book after book. I know so much about a woman's cycle that I should study to be an OBGYN. Through the three years of nothing and with many nights of prayer I decided that I wanted to help others even more and that when my time in the military is done I am going to study to be a registered midwife who specializes in bereavement and special birth circumstances. I am trying to use my loss of innocence not only to make me stronger but to help other women be stronger. Through the three years of nothing I grew and I am stronger.
The Innocence of IVF
When my husband and I could finally afford to pay for IVF there was a renewed innocence of thinking this is going to work. The timing was right and we had our first IVF consultation, saline ultrasound, financial concealing, and stim'ing time line all before we left that first appointment. Being able to move forward with IVF brought a new sense of excitement and feeling that we were one step closer to having a baby. A baby that now we had been waiting on for three and a half years. The process was a whirl wind and my body responded better then they could have thought to the treatment. I ended up doing retrieval a few days earlier then expected and they were able to get 44 eggs and fertilize 24. By day 5 we had 19 beautiful embryo babies to pick from and an innocence of thinking this is going to work. Everything was just going to smoothly for it not to work. And then time stood still. I tested everyday and then on the 7th day after transfer there it was! The two lines that after thousands of pregnancy test my eyes had not seen since or positive with Eternity Grace. And then day 8 and 9. All positive! Such joy that we would finally have a baby! The strength that I have built over my life time was then put to the test as on the evening of the 9th day I started to bleed. It was different this time though and not red as expected so I was calm and delighted when on day 10 after transfer the test was still positive. But then it happened, the bleeding and that feeling of loss. For the third time I knew we had lost another baby. Friday morning we went in for blood work (earlier then the originally scheduled date) and it came back positive but my HCG was only 15. And then the follow up blood work on Monday my HCG was 20. By Friday's blood work my HCG was 35. So now we wait. The innocence of what IVF could do for our future is gone. I am trying to be strong as we wait for my body to do what it is supposed to do. But in the mean time I am still pregnant and carrying our fifth precious child, two that are here with us and two in heaven. I am stronger this time around, although the pain is still very real. This time my husband is home and we were able to grieve together. No walls this time no anger towards him. Just grief and the feeling that as we celebrate our four year wedding anniversary at the end of this month that we are stronger.
The Innocence of Loss
While I wish we had never had to experience the loss of three of our babies I have learned that the innocence of loss is the fact that we have something special that not everyone has. We have three babies that are looking down on us and are proud of how strong we are. We have grown together as a family and as husband and wife in a way that I don't know we would have if it weren't for the losses. There is beauty in this and there is strength.
The loss of innocence has made me stronger.
Mommy and Daddy love you baby Wood, Eternity Grace, and baby Woody My goal while I am still in the military is to help educate other military women who have or are dealing with these situations. There isn't a lot of support and it's hard to find the information needed. For example I had to do a physical fitness test shortly after my second loss due to a lack of knowledge even by our women's health provider. It has become my passion to try to help women dealing with loss and infertility.