You’re As Good As Your Mindset, IUI Journey

Be Raw and vulnerable as they say to act as if you are pregnant. Be happy, laugh a lot, smile a lot, stay busy, lay low, relax. Easy right? Before we dive into what’s been evolving in our journey, I want to start out by saying something.

What has been the most defeating challenge you have ever had in your life? Think about it for a minute and think about how painful that is. How bad did or do you want it. Did or are you giving up? Do Or did you keep pushing?

When we feel defeated or feel like we have failed at something, our instinct, being human, is to drop it, move on, brush it off and pretend that it didn’t happen. It’s like making mistakes, like burning your hand on the oven or stove when cooking. You’ll probably shy away from ever doing that task again or constantly live in fear of the oven burning you again. We are only as good as our mindset. I can’t lie and say that I don’t have days – weeks even – where I just want to give up and stop ‘burning myself on the oven’, over and over again. However, I also know I would resent myself later in the years to come. So, I’ve been reading and doing a lot about manifestation. Being as good as my mindset and when negative comments, or negative energy start coming in, I begin filtering it out. Asking myself, ‘Does this serve me? No? Ok let it go’. I say that like it’s simple I know…Try saying that out loud “Does this serve me?”, Trust me it works.

A great resource I find extremely helpful comes from Adina and Bobbi, on instagram @peace_love_balance and @mastery_a.d 

https://l.instagram.com/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.peacelovebalance.com%2F&e=ATPMHPY7c2u0omj6JCsBJ-ba9LPtPwkC_AK6aPhks7TIvltv3KUGbaByIuY_21qVCnJdsa1HPTNulwieHXIMNWmgsobP7Z8

Give them a follow. Reach out to them if you need to. Watch their lives on instagram and their YouTube videos. For me the biggest thing has always been tunnel vision of career and others before self. I tend to put myself last and now that I’m 32 going on 33, I can’t do that anymore. The most important thing is ones self. Think about when people say, “If you aren’t happy alone, it’s not going to change just by having someone new in your life. It’s a temporary band-aid, you need to be happy with you and get through your troubles then you can let someone in.” Your well-being, your mental state, your energy. If that’s great, and your mindset is good, and you’re in a good place with yourself, then the rest follows and flows, and you can give yourself to others. If you’re running on E in your car what happens? It stops. The car can no longer help you get to where you’re going. Same thing with ourselves. If we aren’t good and recharged or have a good mindset and we are running on ‘E’, burnt out or dealing with our own negative energy, how can we continue to drive ourselves let alone others around us? Put your oxygen mask on first then assist the person next to you. Make sure you can breathe.

You are no help to others otherwise. With that being said, Adina and Bobbi have done a really great job of advising, explaining and just being flat out extremely helpful spiritual and life guides. A few other things they have also helped with is reading the signs around you. Knowing how to navigate. If you follow my instagram page @_florabora you know my husband and I have been seeing every day during our IUI process repetition of numbers. 11:11, 10:10, 5:55, 2:22 etc. one day we saw 11:11 three times together (on the day of our procedure!). This is your spirits basically saying hi, sending you a message. Mine were telling me they have my back and they are here. So, during the IUI process of round 1 I laughed till I cried, smiled till my cheeks hurt, fell on the floor laughing, did things that created pure joy. What did that do? It helped me to look to the future and not be in the past. You’ll learn more about that through Bobbi and Adina. If you haven’t already, go and follow them now. Subscribe to their YouTube page too. I promise if anything if will help you with peace of mind during this rough road.

Now, let’s get started with the details of the process- We just started the IUI process. (Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment). A lot of “unexplained infertility” have you begin with this treatment. My Dr at REACH – Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte is incredible at what she does. We have put our hearts in her hands. We trust her completely. She’s highly recommended and loves to collaborate as well making us feel like we are heard and have a voice, and not just another number in the books. We began the process with her going over numbers and running a few more tests and we were cleared to begin IUI. I had done my research beforehand and had been doing so for a while. Then, when going about the process, I was prepared and asked a list of questions. Especially concerning my TPO – Positive antibodies being extremely high. 248 (me) – 32 is the normal range. Been on Levothyroxine for hormone therapy treatment. We were then cleared and ready for our first IUI. Excited to say the least. This all gave us a new sense of hope, as well as not knowing what to expect. This procedure is done with medication, and labs to track everything for timing. Control is now in the hands of the Dr’s. Well, as much control that can be had. First thing, you call on cycle day one. Once that happens you go in on cycle day three for an ultrasound and blood work. What they are looking for is to set a baseline before you begin meds. So cool to see how many follicles are in each ovary! (I’m sorry if you don’t experience this part in your journey) we all have our story and as we know my infertility is un-diagnosed. No known cause at the moment, just know it’s not working. So, once they see that all is good to go then they call you with next steps that day. So that day they say ‘ok all is good’ or’ no we need you to come in tomorrow’. For us, all systems were GO! So we went to the pharmacy and picked up my prescription to take every day for 5 days at the exact same time each day (choose wisely), along with my thyroid autoimmune hormone medication daily. After that on cycle day 12, I return for another ultrasound and blood work. This time they are looking to measure the follicle growth. We had one measuring 19 and one measuring 17! All good! Then they check your blood to see that everything is rising correctly, and that you aren’t surging (the follicle dropping the egg) on your own yet.

Then, they call you later that day to give you further instructions. Got the call, everything was great. My nurse said she was so excited, that they couldn’t ask for better results, and that she was so optimistic about it happening. She told us to pull the trigger inject the self-administered (well, in my case, husband administered) shot that night at 7pm and come back in on the 14 day of my cycle which was a little over a day and a half. Then they would do more. 

On day 14 we arrived at 7 am. My husband gives his goods over haha (sorry I have to make it a little silly to keep the humor. It’s way too easy to get down during all of this, so we have to joke often). Before he does that, they measure me again and do my blood work. Then we have to return at 10 am for the actual insemination. They called him not long after to come back for an additional sample (they want the highest number possible). They spin and ‘wash’ the samples so that all they are inserting are the strongest swimmers and the ones that are swimming in the right direction. 

Finally, we go in and my husband did go in with me as support. I’m so glad he was there. These spouses are such supporters. Major hero’s period. Supporting us, holding us, cheering us on, cheering us up, crying with us, joking with us, injecting our shots and saying all the sweetest things when doing that, holding out hands, being excited together, telling you that you can do it when you think you can’t, handing you tissues when you randomly burst into tears and kissing you on the forehead and saying the three words that mean more than anything. “I love you” and so much more.

After the procedure we went home and rested. Listened to our bodies and just relaxed. One of the biggest things was listening to my body. Sleeping when I need to, eating when I should, eating smart and clean. Etc. acting as if it were. “I believe I am” “I believe it will”

Unfortunately round 1 didn’t take. We are still very optimistic as is our DR. and we have now begun round 2. I will be transparent as I always am with you. It hurt; I did cry when I got my new cycle. I did get upset for a day. If you feel it, let it out. I remember sitting on the couch in pain and just burst into tears. Partly and mostly due to the hormone drops. I was on 200mg of progesterone twice a day and baby aspirin every day since the IUI procedure. Do not fear letting it out. Do not hide and let it out in the bathroom. Don’t feel like you aren’t strong or feel you are weak in showing your emotions even to your spouse. This world has made it feel like showing your emotions is a sign of weakness. However, it’s a sign of strength. Sometimes we need to let it out in order to move forward. Your spouse they may feel helpless however it does bring you closer together and makes you and them not feel alone. At least it has for us. My husband ends up wondering and we don’t want either of us to feel like the other has to feel as if “they are walking on eggshells ” around each other about it. We have a letter board in the kitchen, and I keep changing the phrases on it to keep the life alive and light spirited when we need it. As a daily reminder. When I did this my husband came home the day I picked up my 5-day RX and busted out laughing at the first sign…One I don’t have an image of said “just keep swimming” that was after the insemination day. Haha       

Hope you found this helpful. Please comment, subscribe and share with your friend, family member or customer if they are having similar struggles and I am happy to talk. We all support each other in this community of fertility and TTC.

Thank you for reading. Stay classy and know you’re not alone, A. Flora

Giving And Grieving

One of the biggest things during all of this has been… what do we do to feel better? Yes we are coping and moving in a forward motion. How do we feel better about things though? I don’t know about you but I need to be active. We all deal with grief differently and mine has been in waves. Waves of silence and tears behind closed doors and then giving back. Helping those who are like us have better outcomes as well as raising money in awareness for research and more. The ability to help others like us helps us find hope. Have hope, and bring others to have hope as well. What you’re about to read gave us some rollercoaster feels.

Recently we raised money for March of dimes in hopes of coping for or recent loss of Laila and our 3 other babies. We had a plan that we would build awareness and communication between this subject. We felt that by being active it would help us feel somewhat hole or healing in some way.

We immediately posted on social channels about our walk we were participating in for March of dimes called March of babies. We wanted to create a team and we did. “Team Laila Flora” we would raise money and walk in honor of her and our three other babies in heaven. We were surprised by how many supported! We had family and friends from all over the US help and donate to team Laila. In honor of them we had the idea to send them all shirts and honor them on this blog post. So before we get any further we want to thank these special people in our lives. From all over the US that helped by donating to Team Laila!

This was what we created to send to those that donated to team Laila to say thank you and to participate in this blog post by sending us a selfie in their shirts! Two sets are getting shirts soon as we were still getting donations after we sent. So if they aren’t in the shirts I will update it once they have them!

I remember when we put these together we were so nervous. One it was the weekend prior to Mother’s Day. Plus this was the first event that we dedicated to Laila and our losses. We finally felt ready to share with the world and to show her name off etc. talk about vulnerability… raw… wow. Just wow. I mean we were on pins just wrapping up the T-shirt’s. Scared of what we might feel the next day at the walk as the shirts arrived the day before the walk.

We had this idea to spotlight these amazing individuals.

Mr and Mrs Blandina (my mom and dad) – Deland FL

Paul Blandina and Amedisys- (my brother- he and his work donated.) Winston-Salem NC.

Geri Cox (my sister) – Pembroke Pines FL

The Flora Family – Marette, Adelina, Graham and Victoria (Jesses brother, sister in law and my in-laws and beautiful nieces) in Chicago IL The Romanoff Family – Nick, Sarah, and Corinne , Louisville KY

Amanda Clark- Louisville KY

Alison- King NC

Mr and Mrs Koestel – Dave and Kristina – Louisville KY

Linda and Wayne : Winston-Salem NC

We thank each of you for your dedication and love during this entire journey. You’ve been a rock of support more than you know! Each one of you have checked in and keep checking in and that means so much. Love you all to the moon and back!

We did get the hero mom and dad shirts. We are mom and dad. Was so weird putting these on with empty arms. However putting ourselves in an uncomfortable position helped us to conquer a fear. We were so upset and down that it was just the two of us that attended for team Laila however we were so thankful to feel everything alone. It’s weird how all that works out. We made a big move with this walk. We made connections with people who had similar stories. We learned about the healthcare here and who to see and where to begin. We thank March of dimes for the ability to not be a stranger at a walk like this.

From the beginning when we walked up to when we left we felt the love. When we first walked up there was a garden for plants that they plant their butterflies (symbol for those babies no longer with us) in a garden.

This was tear jerking to participate in. Really made us cry. However at the same time it felt like the world could see her and know about her and know that she is amazing and always with us. We loved this. Loved that she will be planted as a memory to grow. We stood there and admired her and cried. Just held each other and took a moment together alone. Being in pubic was such a raw moment full of vulnerability… however there were others feeling just as we were or doing the same. No one looked nothing. It felt like home. We belonged with this organization.

They gave us seeds to plant in a memory garden. That we will be planting on her due date 6/13/19. On the weekend of 6/13/19 we will be creating a garden in our new backyard for Laila and the other 3 babies we have lost. In honor and to watch it grow with when she would have been with us.

The Bibb we wore we wrote who we were walking for.

The best dad and husband and best friend.

Then we began listening to stories before the walk started. They had stories shared over the mic. There wasn’t a dry eye there. So much support for a family that their due date was the date of this walk. They delivered a still born baby. So many losses and this organization helps us all feel supported and feel safe to share our stories judgement free. They help you find healthcare help. Novant health was there. That’s where we now go for PCP and OBGYN- midwife- high risk OB.

Along the path they marked it with posters of those getting treatment, those surviving, and those we remember. We loved how March of Dimes being the first time we walked with them took this and blew it up and Laila was at the beginning of the walk. The whole walk is lined with families and posters and all of this. Really touched us knowing the world could see her and know this is why we are raising awareness and money. To help moms and babies survive their best life.

We cant thank everyone enough for all the love and support. We will be doing more of these walks and events with March of dimes this year and every year. We would love to keep building our team and build it even more across the US!

When The Universe Aligns

The universe does this thing where it aligns your energy with people and things to your situations. Recently life for me has been aligned in an insane way. If you believe in manifestation and energy then you know exactly what I mean.

When everything went down with our most recent loss, life felt hard. Harder than it is. Impossible. Life also stepped up and provided when we were down. So much so that life aligned this incredible human being in my life. When everything happened I wanted a sense of organic Community. Someone I could be me NO matter what. Someone I could be BRUTALLY honest with. Someone I could let it all out and they let it all out to me. Someone that I could yell, be angry with and cry with. Some one that just GOT IT. GETS IT. IS GOING THROUGH IT and understands…

This person is this woman here. Someone near to my heart I know reached out and connected us. My friend Christen. She said hey I want you to meet her.

Instantly through the power of social media Tiffany and I would text daily. Hourly. Letting out our deepest of feelings of fear. Anger. Hate on our bodies and more.

Being connected in this way to us was more than just journaling. I have made a life long friend I know that would be there in a heartbeat. And like wise for her. We share upcoming things and if we think the other needs to hear something we say it. I have a test / procedure coming up and I love how this incredible friend tells me “I really think you need to do this. Don’t put your self through something that might re-stir the trauma. Your body’s been through a lot and it might trigger something” . In this life I feel like we need someone to be there like this.

I can’t tell you how on Mother’s Day I was so fearful and so sad and so down. However knowing I have someone by my side in this with me helped. I texted her wishing her the best and said “if you need me today I’m here” just knowing we have such a common ground helps so much.

There were times when having our D&C or being in a group of people being sad, to not wanting to get out of bed, to then going through another cycle and being triggered or having fear or ttc again etc. we have been there to talk it all out. It’s just amazing to know you’re not alone.

Thank you Tiffany for your light and who you are. I can’t wait to see our journeys flourish and when we do have our babies and they are friends and they find out how they are connected I just think that is going to be such a cool memory.

Love you girl.

Cheers to us!

Getting back into it

Vulnerable to say the least. Raw, open for all to see. More importantly exposed, is my emotions. Putting yourself back out there to play the game and dance the dance of “did we conceive or didn’t we?”

After 3 months and we pushed ourselves to move forward and try before going to IVF or IUI or anything else.

First begins with preparing the body. Vitamins, and diet. The right kind. All the things that matter. Chloline, folate, dha, folic acid and magnesium. These are crucial. For folic acid make the tubes healthy and the environment healthy.

Along with this while in ovulation is baby aspirin.

Clear blue ovulation kits the connected one is my favorite. The digital ones are just so amazing. Takes the guessing out.

Pregnancy tests for when it’s time to test.

Now, hows it been? It’s been ok. This is definitely harder than ever. Diving right back into trying and pushing the pain aside.

Nothing about what is going on is normal yet. Unfortunately my body is still recovering and healing.

Pink are cycle days and purple are ovulation days. I know you’re probably thinking “girl, just relax and stop trying so hard” here’s the thing. Tracking like this helps me to know if things are the way they were before and ovulating regularly or if it’s off and it’s off and all over the place. The other thing is don’t forget we have been ttc before 7 years with out tracking. And look here we are empty handed and nothing but losses.

Trust me when I tell you I am relaxed. I’m just trying to get help from my drs and unfortunately will be switching drs now due to some situations.

Taking it one day at a time and staying in the moment.

Postpartum after a loss-

This is not fun. A lot of people are unaware of the postpartum effects you can still have even though you don’t have a baby to show in real life to touch.

Let’s start with what happened first. Hair loss. Hair breakage. Me being a hair stylist should know how to fix this. Yes, however it’s a work in progress as I have an entire patch of hair that left my scalp. I’ve been using Redken’s Extreme line. Shampoo, conditioner, cat, and extreme length primer. This has helped tremendously.

This is just one of the spots of hairloss.

Another part of the postpartum is the appetite. For 2 months I barley ate anything. Not that I was forcing myself to to I just “wasn’t hungry” so I started being smart about it and eat high protein meals when I did because I knew it wasn’t healthy just to not eat. My husband had to sometimes make sure I ate. And even though I would I would only eat a tiny bit and be full.

It’s almost like my body went into shock. Didn’t know what to do.

Your cycles are the hardest because you feel like it’s a miscarriage all over again. So the fear and more.

You know as I’m sharing all these things from my postpartum I would just like you to know that this is just my experience. I can’t speak for everyone.

One of the biggest challenges is fear of judgement. Fear that someone will judge me of how I’m dealing with my loss. How I’m doing after my loss. What I acknowledge and what I don’t acknowledge. How I act afterwards, or how fast or how slowly I move forward. Fear that others will see me selfish. Fear that others will ask when we are going to try again, or how’s it going or what is our next move and what will that be like?

All of these things I fear because I don’t know the answers or I know that I will break at any given moment if someone judges me. I will get so angry and hurt because I would never judge someone on a loss of any kind. To be honest as I always am. I also would be angry because some don’t know what it’s like to be in this exact same situation or my shoes.

The weight loss.

Most have asked how I’ve lost so much weight. Mainly eating organic, smarter, less, smaller meals. No I don’t have a workout routine yet. But I do meditate every morning. And intend on getting back into yoga ASAP. It’s so good for my soul!

Sleeping.

This is hard. I have to go to bed by 9/10 because I wake up so many times in the night. And wake up every morning at 6:30.

As I said these are just to my personal experiences. Soon I’ll be posting a blog just on how to cope with postpartum. Thank you all so much for al your support and I will see you next time.

Until then

Stay classy and know you’re not alone!

The Harsh Reality Of Putting One Foot In Front Of The Other

Moving forward. What is moving forward like? It’s different for a lot of people. Would you agree we are all different? If you agree with that then you can agree we all move forward and grieve in our own way. Doing so can take someone longer than you, shorter than you or who knows. Honestly are we ever over, truly over what happens when we lose something, someone and or go through a trauma? We are never over it. We just learn how to live with it and how to move forward.

(Hand lettering by me)

Some things happened during my healing process that made me want to crawl into a corner and never come out. With already a silent subject that no one wants to discuss, due to being too raw and open and vulnerable. Why? Because we fear rejection, blame, judgment, unsolicited advice, comparison or worse of what happened to us. We honestly owe no one an explanation. Why did I seek so hard to begin this blog and to tell our story? Why did I feel it so necessary to share this sacred loss with anyone to be honest? Why? Why the hell did I put myself on a stage for all to see, judge, mock, and more? To be transparent I may sound hurt and I am. I have every right to be hurt. The way we react to things during grief is no ones business to judge and critique.

I’ll tell you why I began this blog. I got a sign. If you’re spiritually connected or if you are faithful you know what I’m talking about. I’ll never forget it, I was sitting at the edge of my bed before going for my surgery (D&C) and heard a voice telling me to share my story and it’ll be bigger than I imagine and help so many. To be honest I wasn’t ready to share it with anyone. However I did. Not for you. For me, to help me and to help others.

After the first post a outpouring of women flooded my inbox. Not with messages for me about my life and what has happened. About them! How already this sharing has made them feel not alone and not have to hide and stay silent! That is what I am doing it for. Right there. The fact I can help someone and build a community of help for myself. Believe it or not I really do care about people. I’m one of the most empathetic people. That could be a flaw in some eyes. That’s just me and I take pride in it.

What if I told you that everyday is a challenge? That I choose to smile. That I choose to be nice to others despite what is going on with me. What if I told you that I’m reminded to this day of this loss by the now 3rd infection that I have and that nothing has been back to normal since the D&C? What if I told you That I choose to love myself and tell myself positive affirmations every day? That I am giving myself grace. That it’s only been 2.5 months since my loss and that’s not a lot of time to be “over” someone you lose. Just a reminder to those that do want to not be so nice.

How is it anyone’s place to feel the need to throw out your hurtful comments that cut like a knife? How is it anyone’s place to say how I or we should react to things after a loss? How is it that those that say they are there as support are the ones that end up hurting you? How is it that it’s ok to say these things yet were the ones cheering us on to share our story and were telling us to take our time and heal. What a shock. I remember a few days after posting my first blog a friend of mine reaching out telling me that they hope that we have a good support group and that they hope no one says hurtful things. I never thought I’d get to hear even one of the hurtful things that were said. I am fine though. I can move on and move past it, however I can never forget it. Let alone not sure I can forgive it yet.

So fast forward to now. Now where I am all healed to an extent. Right after the D&c and few weeks go by and I get a UTI, get medication to treat that. All while still bleeding for over a month straight. After a situation arises one Friday night after some things were said I emailed my dr. Said I didn’t feel good around certain situations and people. I go in and they continue to quiz me. I was diagnosed with postpartum. A few more weeks go by and I feel weird. Go into dr and have BV. Get on strong medication for that. Then after that I got oral thrush- candida in my intestines. All while now being anemic due to the amount of blood loss and iron deficiency.

Going in for an ultrasound internal and external was not so fun. The same room I got great news in. While already just pushing through. The internal was painful enough. I was asked by the technician why I was there. Told her due to the amount of blood loss. The weekend prior where all I wore were maxi pads every hour because of the amount of blood loss and was in bed all weekend. She asked why I had a D&C. Explained it all. She comes back goes to do the internal. Says “so how old is your baby” I just looked at her. I was so confused what she was asking and if it was a joke. I literally just had told her I had a D&c for a miscarriage. She looks at me and said “oh that’s right. So are you going to keep trying” at that point I was nice back but all I could think was wow. The whole reason why I was in this appointment was because of the excessive blood loss and coming up pregnant still in a test 2 months later. So checking to see if any tissue was left. Luckily no.

Postpartum depression is real. Even if you didn’t give birth to your baby. Some of my immediate feelings have been. Nightmares. Nightmares on what she looked like. Nightmares that displayed my fear and feeling of emotions of not being able to grow my family. I wanted to be able to show the world who Laila was. Yet I myself was afraid to even talk about her. I was afraid to bring her up in conversations with people in fear of judgement or talking about a baby I never held. A baby they never even saw other than on a print out of an ultrasound piece of paper. I didn’t want to sound like a crazy person or be viewed in a manner that people would judge me. I was so afraid of and still am of what others think and view of all of this. The biggest thing my dr told me is “I don’t think you’ve been selfish at all. I don’t actually think that you’ve truly let sink in what trauma you’ve actually been through. You keep trying to help others through your pain and let others hurt you in the mean time. Take distance. Take time for you and truly be selfish in this moment of healing”

I’ve been working on spiritual yoga, meditation and journaling. Digging into my own self and learning to love myself. I’ve dropped 15 lbs since this and learning to look at this loss of weight not to be shadowed. Learning to love my body. Learning to be gentle on myself. Trying over and over and going through so many losses I’ve lost the self love and confidence for myself. It’s almost where I hated my body and how it’s killed off all life that ever tried to come into it.

So each day I wake up and have a ritual. Loving myself and telling myself I’m going to be gentle on you. You’re a warrior and you’re so strong but you deserve love.

I’m so thankful to a friend of mine who is a energy healer. The biggest thing she said that sticks with me is. You don’t have a choice in self love and intentions to set your day. It’s a must and can take 2-15 min find your way. That right there has stuck with me.

I’m working on only worrying about me and the people that want to be in our lives in a positive way. Today I am infection free and just working on the anemia and working on moving forward. That’s all We can do.

Thanks for reading.

Stay classy, and don’t give up.

Flora

Energy and Healing

One of the biggest challenges is moving on. One of the biggest challenges is greifing…

This whole experience alone is a lot. Not to mention the recent results and how do you move on or forward from something so devastating?

Knowing what has happened with the genetic results we are working towards more answers to see what our options are. They are currently testing my husbands chromosomes to see if he’s genetically a carrier of a double chromosome. Those results take weeks to get. In the meantime the dr has prepared us to think about IVF. Looking through the risks and all the pros and cons. As well as researching on our own for any new found research etc. If you’d like to know more about this I am happy to discuss off blog about it.

One of the biggest things during this loss has been the thoughts that occur. “I just want the world to see her” “I just want to hold her” “I wonder what she would have looked like” “will I forget her” “Do I talk about her? People might feel uncomfortable ” “Do I come off as a weirdo for this blog?” “Do people understand why I am continually sharing my blog?”

This list of thoughts go on and on. We have received very thoughtful gifts from friends and family during this loss and one of which hit our hearts hard. A family member of ours dedicated a star in honor of Laila. See the images below.

When we received this we were speechless. I remember opening my email like every day and just had named her the night before. Opened my inbox and saw “Laila Flora” in the subject line. My heart sank at first. I opened the email and it was from my sister in laws sister and husband.

Inside was a very kind message followed with the attachment of the star. I immediately called my husband and had him look and we both busted out into tears. We both took a few minutes away from the what we were doing and just sobbed. This was such a thoughtful and unique gift. A way for us to feel like she’s here. We immediately thanked them so much for this very thoughtful gift.

To this day this is printed out and placed in a box that we had made for Laila along with her sonogram. And important items that remind us of her love even if it was short lived. This gift has been so sacred to us. We have cherished and truly feel this is our way to know she’s above us. Knowing even more so why we named her Laila. An angel in the sky.

We are working on healing and healing through energy. This gift felt like such a healing energy gift. Thank you Lori and Niall.

Another way we have been healing is working on our energies and clearing the energy and creating a healing barrier with energy workshops, meditation and energy of light. Essential oils and a few stones have been very helpful as well. Taking the time to truly heal. Knowing that you owe no one an explanation of your pain during your time of grief.

What’s been helping is reading and writing. Reading and writing. Journaling out positive things as well. Giving yourself credit and love. Honor yourself and give yourself the love you deserve. One thing I have learned during this is to make sure you love yourself first. Because this happened to me and my body. With out self love your healing can take longer and be challenging.

Thank you to those that continue to read and support. Thank you to those that have been there for us during this time.

– A Flora

Genetic testing after D&C – Genetic Results, Gender and More.

You never know what someone is battling at each moment. The mind is a powerful thing and energy is a real thing. Not just physical energy. Not just mental energy. Energy in a metaphysical in nature way. Chakra energy, meditation energy, thoughts, words, actions, air around you, auras, and the list goes on.

2019 is right around the corner. The holidays are here. What a raw moment, real raw emotional time. When you’ve gone through a loss weather it be in this way or a older loved one the holidays are hard. That’s it plain and simple. Just hard. You feel empty, not yourself. Especially with the news we have been given we are devastated. ???’s pop up and they don’t have answers to them. Just plain open questions that no one can answer. It’s ok. It’s going to be this way and that’s ok right now.

A week and a half ago we received the test results of the baby and what happened. I won’t forget it. I was in the middle of work and got the call from the DR. “I’m going to post the results on your my chart, just call me and we will go through them or if you have any questions” never good when they call with results than just posting them. Usually if everything is normal they will post it and not call.

I rush to my car and right now some of my immediate family is unreachable. I inform my family I’m about to have that call and ask for prayers and positive vibes. The Dr. tells us and right before I didn’t think our hearts could possibly break or hurt anymore than they already do. “Your baby died of Down Syndrome with the 3 parts of chromosome 21. Trisomy 21” I gasped and then the dr said a bunch of things I can’t even remember. Something about what we can do from here but all that was like a blur. I spaced out. I even had note paper and pen to take notes. All I got on that paper was the phone number to call back if I got disconnected. I come back to reality and look at the results with him and said “it says female, was that chromosome from me? ” the dr said “no, your baby was a girl” …

I knew it was a girl, my husband did too. We talked about it. My father knew it was a girl. My father has this way of getting Dream visions. Predicting all babies in our family what they will be. He knew too.

We now present to you images from our announcement photo shoot of Laila Flora our sweet baby girl.

We chose the name Laila as it’s meaning is: Guardian Angel Laila is the divine angel of childbirth and conception. Guards the spirits from the spiritual plan to their place of birth. Therefore, is the guardian of all those souls who reborn on earth to pay their karmic debts. So, if you are pregnant and you want your child to be healthy and well, then Laila is the angel who’s guidance you need.

Amazing images from our shoot together with Tina Morrison Local to Raleigh NC.

We kept these images to honor our baby girl and our hearts. We love her so much and can only daydream what she would have looked like, been like. We know she would have been the most precious baby girl in our lives. We know she is loved so much by her mommy and daddy. We know she’s our sweet baby angle.

In respect of Laila and my husbands and my emotions at the moment we will post a blog outside of this in a few weeks with medical questions and answers and more following the findings of Laila and how we will move forward and advice and resources for you as well. Right now we just need a moment to be able to digest it get through one of the toughest times of year.

Thank you for all your support and reading.

Stay classy and know you’re not alone.

Ashley Flora

Miscarriage Surgery Recovery, Grieving And All In-between.

It’s crazy how we can be sitting on a plane and be in our own world, shut out all around us being so selfish wanting our own space. Someone bumps into us or we have to sit close to someone and we become complacent and silent. So quick to cut someone off and jump ahead in line when getting off the plane. Yet we have no idea anyone’s story. The passengers seem so quite on the outside but have millions of loud thoughts going through their minds. Just think we literally have no clue what their story is. We have not even a blip of an idea or known fact of anything they have gone through. Yet we are so loud on Facebook and Twitter over politics and religion and our opinions of others because we hide behind a screen that gives us this sense of confidence or shall we say ego that shuts down and hurts people. We are so quick to just text and ignore phone calls. Why? Because we “just don’t want to talk”? Because we “just walked in the door”? “I just can’t right now” “I am relaxing” “they talk too much” and it goes on….

The thing is is that we never know when anything will happen. Two weeks ago I was “pregnant” flying home from a work event. This week I’m “not pregnant ” and flying home from a work event. Yet no one around this plane knows. I have been pretty open about everything. People ask I respond. People don’t ask and I inform. (Getting a startling look in response) as if I informed too much. As if there’s this taboo to it. “Oh she said that out loud… ok… well that’s weird. So… now I don’t know what to say” (thoughts that you see on their face – are going through their mind when you tell them)

There’s all this support as soon as something happens to you. Everything and everyone comes out of the woodwork. In a form of sympathy. Typical phrases get thrown around and one that does a lot is “I know how you feel” “I’ve been in your shoes” “At least you know you can get pregnant, and it happened and stayed longer”

Unfortunately miscarriages are common yes. Multiple after 3 in a consecutive row is not as common. Those that have multiple miscarriages yes they know they can get pregnant. It’s keeping the baby that’s the issue. When trying to find a silver lining in these cases there really isn’t one. What we need is just listening and to know you’re there.

Never ever will I compare my loss to another. Nor would we want that in return. When we do that it discounts that persons feelings and experiences and emotions. If my friends grandpa passed away I wouldn’t say “oh I know how you feel” because we don’t. They have their own feelings their own thoughts and emotions that may feel completely different. We have really no way of saying that and really being able to related in that form. How we can relate is as support. Or “people don’t know how to be there for you if they haven’t experienced it themselves, only you know” honestly that one hurts too because all you need when going through this is support, an person to check in on you and just say that that’s all. Nothing crazy.

Not to sound sensitive either. Or ungrateful, because trust it, there’s so much gratefulness. It’s just a time where all they want is love. Love. Love. Love. Plain and simple. Visits, calls, etc. talk normal, check in but don’t not talk about your life too. Just think how grief is. What you would have in a time of loss. The hardest part is this is the 4th one and obviously The farthest along we’ve been, and so much more support this time. This is written because loved ones of those going through this should know. Friends should know. Honestly people going through it need this.

I can’t tell you the fear. The aloneness. It’s crazy to think that before this it was just my husband and I, and now it’s still my husband and I . Eating dinner and how can I feel so alone sitting next to him? Or him vis versa? It’s the memories that never happened. It’s the pure joy that was ripped from our grasp. Speaking about the holidays, thanksgiving and Christmas. What a mess. What a complete utter mess. Joy, faith and all the above are supposed to be celebrated. Family and more. It’s just tainted. Tainted and stepped on with this flatness of a feeling. I mean let’s be honest here, who are we kidding when someone asks “are you ready for Christmas?” And I say “I don’t know” and to be honest that’s what I say. They’ve laughed it off because they think I’m referring to shopping or etc. little do they know just like in the beginning of this like the airplane, they don’t have a clue what I mean. The only gift we want is a baby. When asked what we want, we just say “nothing” and seriously mean it. We don’t want things of emptiness. We want a baby bump that has a healthy baby growing inside. We want a baby to hold and kiss and be up all night with feeding. To be up all night with when it’s sick. All those roles and responsibilities. That is what we want and nothing materialistic, no amount of money will fulfill that.

Since the D&C and the recovery to the test results, figured I would share what to expect or at least know what happens for those that have never gone through it. Yea it’s been a month since we got the news of losing our baby. But the feelings are just as raw as in the beginning. I will also give some resources that have been helping us cope as well as a playlist that’s been helping.

After the D&C we came home and worked on healing. Jumped into thanksgiving the next day with emotions on a string. My husband cooked while I rested. My throat was so sore with white spots all over it as if I had strep throat. I was bleeding from the procedure and it hurt to urinate. Burned and just stung. Everything was so sensitive. Just took it easy and stayed in comfortable clothes. The biggest help was the pads I used (I’ll post below) all organic, and the wipes they use at the hospital. They are infused with vitamins and aloe. So if you ever have this ask the nurse for the wipes.

After a few days the sore throat went away, and the pain still remained. The pain from the procedure can be pretty bad so make sure you stay up on the medication they send you home with.

Here’s where it gets scary… 5 days after the procedure I woke up at 2 am. Pain. Pain. So much pain. Ignored it best I could and rolled over. Pain. Pain. Again knocking at my body as if I haven’t had enough. I felt something hot and ran to the bathroom. Massive amounts of blood. Pain. Pain over and over this time, much louder of a knock on my body. This time I look down and I see the scariest thing huge clot trying to pass through my body the size of a silver dollar to a goofball. At that point I screamed and screamed as loud as I could. Calling my husband waking him up. He jumps out of bed and sees what’s happening. I’m freaked. “They said this is when you call the ER or you go in” I cried. He grabs the number and types it in. (Felt like it took hours) pain level was above a 10 at this point. Pain down my legs to my toes. Back pain, ovary pain. Pain everywhere waist down to the tips of the toes. “Help me!!” I screamed . They directed me to the on call dr. I now had to wait for a page.

5 min go by and I call back. This time I told them it was an emergency and I’m not sure how they couldn’t tell with my crying and screaming. I need to speak to someone now. Immediately I get directed to the obgyn on call. They suggest I come in. However said it could be normal to have any left over coming out and basically my body just “got the message” that I’ve have a miscarriage.

I’ve had 4 miscarriages and yes all 3 felt pretty similar to this 4th. However I wasn’t as far along pregnancy wise and didn’t have as large of clots happening. Took 4-5 hours for the pain to settle. My husband by my side the whole time.

The time between that and now I’m still bleeding. So now for 4 weeks I’ve been bleeding. Now I have a “cycle” that is so strange. Weird colors, weird consistencies, weird everything. Nothing feels normal still.

While waiting for all of this to pass to begin healing emotionally or beginning to try to heal emotionally I’m constantly reminded every time I go to the bathroom. Sometimes I’m there crying looking away, and sometimes I cry yelling out loud praying “why?! Why?! I need you to save me… I hurt so bad…” and sometimes I don’t cry and I’m ok. It’s like a wave from an ocean that just comes in strong and crashes into the sand, then it’s over and it’s calm. It’s the weirdest thing. Has no timing and just comes and goes as it wants. The grief That is.

Fast forward to now, now where I’m sitting in bed with insomnia not able to sleep. There’s been tons of positive vibes and prayers and people in our lives that we are so thankful for. The part we are thankful for more than anything is the “how are you? , just checking in to see how you’re doing? ” random messages have just been so helpful.

This week we received the genetic testing results along with what the gender was and why the baby passed away. We will be doing a separate blog to announce all of that. With all this and that it’s a lot to digest in one blog. To honor the baby we wanted to separate the blogs.

With the holidays around the corner it’s very challenging. Everything is almost like I’m viewing the season through a window. I’m here, but I’m not. I’m in the moment, and I’m present. There’s just no warm and fuzzy holiday feelings yet. Hoping that changes when my parents arrive. They are so sweet and decided to come and spend Christmas in our state! If those warm fuzzies don’t show up that’s ok too. What is important is we are so grateful for everything and everyone in our lives and that’s what matters. We will cherish the moments with the people that are here and that we love.

RESOURCES

When recovering and healing it’s been nice to have a few resources. I have been reading a ton. So here’s a few I’ll start with. To come later will be one special for healing. So stay tuned. However for now, get this book.

Empty Arms- my Aunt sent this to me and it’s really incredible. The author is so amazingly talented. Follow her on Facebook too! She’s so nice.

To buy click the link:

https://www.amazon.com/Empty-Arms-Miscarriage-Stillbirth-Pregnancy/dp/1576738515

Playlist of songs that help during all emotions:

Sprays to spray on you when down or can’t sleep.

http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/p/patchouli-5-in-1-essential-oil-mist-023847112.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiAgf3gBRDtARIsABgdL3mOp-3sys5cQ2oUek_rYB9wh9RNKubRqsW-WlKxvBD_j941eWNwsSQaAjO1EALw_wcB&ef_id=Cj0KCQiAgf3gBRDtARIsABgdL3mOp-3sys5cQ2oUek_rYB9wh9RNKubRqsW-WlKxvBD_j941eWNwsSQaAjO1EALw_wcB:G:s&cm_mcc=GooglePLA-_-Paid-Search-_-G_Brand_Shopping_Aromatherapy_Low-_-G_Brand_Shopping_Aromatherapy_Low_Everything%20Else&s_kwcid=AL!5233!3!254027595568!!!g!!

http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/p/ylang-ylang-5-in-1-essential-oil-mist-023847110.html?rrec=true

Wipes for when healing

Pads for right after sugery ( no tampons)

Pads for the weeks after (no tampons)

Thank you all for reading, supporting and more.

Please comment below and follow the blog if you’d like.

Stay tuned for more.

Watercolor painting I did in honor of this loss and to let the emotions out. Art is a great escape that helps you work things out.

Stay classy and know you’re not alone:

A Flora

Tools That Dr’s Recommend When Trying To Conceive.

Upon this whole journey a part of you just wants to see results immediately. Especially if you’ve been trying years and years. Oh who am I kidding, all of you, the complete whole of you wants to see results right now.

After going to the Dr. and getting tests done and trying different things she highly recommended Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test, Predictor Kit, featuring Advanced Ovulation Tests with digital results.

After beginning this blog and reaching out to Clearblue personally they decided to go above and beyond in support. They agreed to sponsor our journey, if we tried their newest product and did a blog and amazon review. With that said they sent the newer, very impressive, Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System Featuring Bluetooth connectivity and Advanced Ovulation Tests with Digital Results.

Personally What we loved was the amount of tests that come in the kit, Clearblue supplies enough tests to last you more than just one ovulation cycle. More for your money.

We also enjoyed the ease of stress! With the way that it connects to your phone you and your spouse can keep track as well, it takes the “chore” out of TTC!

Biggest tip is to only try when you’re at the peak! And higher. Makes the stress lower and helps you only concentrate on your most fertile days. This Connected ovulation test system finds these days for you!

We were able to conceive the first time using this product. So we highly highly recommend.

When TTC it can be stressful to know what day is the right day, and what products to use and if to use any. What brand is the right brand and etc. Using a standard ovulation kit without the digital read and connectivity makes it challenging to really know when high or peak is. Made us have so many misses on trying to conceive! Using the clear blue connected ovulation kit it enables you to know when is your most fertile days so that you don’t miss that opportunity! The instructions are very easy to follow.

My husband and I feel that clear blue has Made trying so much less stressful! Try them out today!

Thank you clear blue!

Stay tuned for more blogs on what to use and how to use it!

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