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Infertility and Miscarriage

Family, Infertility and Miscarriage

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

October 10, 2016
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

October is my birthday month, and it has always been one of my favorite months of the year. It’s also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, a fact I was blissfully unaware of until a few years ago when I was struggling with my own feelings of loss and grief over miscarrying our first child the month prior.

I’ve been so grateful to have connected with so many of you over the years who have resonated with my posts about miscarriage. Although I was hesitant to share our journey on the blog initially, it’s been one of the greatest blessings to me, and I hope it’s been a blessing and comfort to others who know the pain of losing a baby to miscarriage.

To this day, e-mails come into my inbox on the regular. Women who, like me, were caught by surprise and shock when they miscarried for the first time. Who turned to the only place they knew they could find answers and camaraderie, the internet, and happened to find my posts on the subject. When I was deep in the murky waters of miscarriage – of blood tests and D&C’s and more questions than answers – I, too, turned to blogs that talked about the subject. I didn’t have friends or family members who had miscarried and desperately needed to connect with others who understood my pain.

I’ve learned, through loss, heartbreak and pain, that even in the valley, our God is above all things good. He cares about our pain and holds our children in His arms in heaven, even when we struggle to understand His plan. And trust me, there were/are plenty of times that I’ve questioned what the purpose of all this loss and sadness was.

Out of the women who have reached out to me via e-mail and Facebook messages over the years, there is a common thread. What these women want, more than anything, is to be validated that their pain and grief is real. For so long, our culture’s silence on the topic sends the message that the lives lost to miscarriage are not really lives at all, or at least not something that we should talk about publicly. Which is why I’ll say, and continue to say, that life begins at conception. Of that I’m certain. And that we can and should grieve the lives that have been lost in the womb, whether those lives were counted in days, weeks or months.

Thank you, brave friends, for sharing your stories with me and honoring the lives of your little ones – the ones that made you moms and gave you every reason to remember, grieve and celebrate such a precious gift.


Family, Fashion, Food & Recipes, Infertility and Miscarriage


October 5, 2016


Today I turn 29. I can’t believe that when this blog started, I was just 22 years old, a senior in college, without any background in blogging or the internet world. I wanted to post recipes of food that I loved. I was interning at a lifestyle magazine and working in their food section and inspired by this huge, brand-new world that was suddenly opened to me.

Back then I had unlimited amounts of time and few commitments other than a very cute boyfriend who would eventually become my husband. I worked and then came home and dreamed about the next recipe that I would put up on Espresso and Cream, excited about trying something new, scouring cookbooks for hours for inspiration and reading blogs like they were going out of style. (They are now, aren’t they?)

And then life changed. I got a few different big-girl jobsĀ and I churned out recipes like a machine for those jobs. I developed recipes all day, in fact, and while it was fun and wonderful in so many ways, it didn’t really leave me craving kitchen time when I got home. I spent my whole day in a kitchen! So what once was a food blog became a lifestyle blog, and then for a time an infertility and miscarriage blog and then, even later, a blog about family and beauty and whatever seemed interesting at the time.

Some days, with life busier than ever, I think about closing up this blog all together. Because there are days and weeks and months when inspiration runs dry and I am left longing for the days when I wanted and could write about all the things. And there are still other days when I think that what I really need is a fresh start, to move to a new platform with a new name and start from scratch.

But then I think about the history, you guys. The stories that I’ve shared here and the journey that this blog – a diary of sorts – has been along for the ride and I can’t imagine not spending time talking with you all and receiving your e-mails and hearing your stories. I have made so many amazing friends through blogging and I’m richer because of that.

So no, this blog isn’t going anywhere, but on my 29th year, I’m taking a good, long, hard look at what blogging means to me and what I want to talk about on this site. And I want to hear from YOU! What types of content to do you want to see? Is it more recipes or more posts about beauty? Or maybe it’s sharing more fashion finds or talking about motherhood? Since this blog has been all over the place since it started, I’m ripe for suggestions and ideas from you, the ones who read this blog and who I’m so thankful for.

Thanks for being patient with me as I figure out what is next for Espresso and Cream.


Family, Infertility and Miscarriage

miscarriage, fertility and the value of life

August 30, 2016


This post has been mulling around in my head for weeks. I feel as if the writing on this blog has been full of fluff and low on substance, lacking the meaty content that comes in waves depending on the season of life I’m in. Truth be told, seasons of shallow writing usually mean one of two things for me: things are going really, really well or things are going very poorly. Though this time, it’s a little bit of both.

Life is sweet right now. Ainsley is growing and changing rapidly and becoming so FUN to be around. She has a spunky little personality that keeps us laughing and smiling on repeat. And work is fulfilling for Joe. And I’m loving my new flexible work schedule that allows me to spend more time at home while still doing things that inspire me.

Life is sad right now. Because we miscarried for a third time last month, our second month trying for a second child. Because I hoped that this time around things would be different, easier and that I wouldn’t have to dig up all those old emotions and fears that I packed up and put on a shelf after Ainsley was born.

I didn’t share sooner because, as anyone who has walked a road of infertility and miscarriage can tell you that when you share about your fertility struggles the worst thing that someone can do is look at you with that look. The look, full of pity, that says, “I’m sorry you don’t have what I have.”

But I love you all. Some of you I know personally, others I know via e-mail and social media. Your prayers lifted us countless times over the years and I’ve been humbled by the kindness of strangers more times that I can count. In the year and a half since Ainsley’s birth I can’t tell you the number of strangers I’ve met who have told me that they’ve prayed for my daughter. It floors me every single time.

So, because you share in our joy, I’m sharing with you our sadness, too. Because I know that this blog is made up of readers who are my tribe of women. Women who have walked the difficult, weary road that only the fertility-challenged can understand. Women who have cared about our fertility struggles even if they haven’t experienced them personally.

To my fellow mommas and mommas-to-be who are trying to grow you family:

You are the bravest group of women I know. Every time you smile in the face of adversity or deliver a baby meal for a friend’s new baby or take a shot or pill or five thousand crazy vitamins and supplements, you’re brave. And when you choose JOY for others instead of bitterness, jealousy or envy, you’re doing kingdom work that is glorifying God.

I don’t know if our journey to our next (God willing) baby will be long or short, but I do know that I’ll need your support, and my desire is to provide support and encouragement for those walking this road with me. Longing for another baby while being deeply thankful for the amazing gift of the child that we do have.

Thank you forĀ making this space such a supportive and safe space for me to share about our family. I’m so thankful for each and every one of you who read the words that I write.


Infertility and Miscarriage, Pregnancy

I’m ready for 2015.

December 31, 2014

Photo on 9-11-14 at 2.40 PM

I probably could have alternately titled this post, “Thank heavens 2014 is in the books! I’m glad to see it go.” But I’ve decided that it’s best to look forward to the year ahead rather than focus on the year that is now (almost) behind us. I’ve mentioned this before but last January I felt God saying to me that 2014 was going to be the year of waiting. I had no idea what he meant by that but I’ll be the first to admit that the idea was a little unsettling to me. I, like many others, do not like to wait.

When we found out we were pregnant with our second baby (that I would later miscarry) in February, I thought that perhaps what God meant by “a year of waiting” was that I would spend most of the year pregnant and would be waiting for a child to be born. “What a joyful way to wait! This isn’t going to be so bad after all!” I thought to myself. but when we found out we miscarried at our 12 week appointment at the end of April, I realized that the year of waiting I had hoped God had planned for me wasn’t really the type of waiting He had in mind.

I picked the words DISCIPLINE and PATIENCE to guide my year. Oh, how I’m thankful that I did because without those two words in the back of my mind, I’m not sure I would have had the fortitude or strength to see what else God had planned for the remainder of 2014.

I asked myself in the weeks after our second miscarriage if I had the strength to move forward and continue to try to have a biological child of our very own. The physical and emotional pain felt like too much on my worst days and the idea of doing it all over again, risking experiencing another miscarriage, seemed like more than I could handle. I debated throwing in the towel and giving up on that dream, pursuing other methods of starting a family. I asked questions like, “If I never have a child of my own, is God still enough for me?” I wrestled and grew and heard the voice of God telling me that it was too soon to give up on that dream.

We moved along in the year to find out in June that we were expecting another baby. I’ve documented our miraculous journey on this blog and been blessed by your prayers in so many ways. I listened to doctors tell me my baby wasn’t actually a baby at all and that I should schedule a surgery to remove it. Against all medical odds, I prayed (and you prayed!) for a miracle and God showed up in the most amazing way, blessing us with a healthy baby that defied all medical explanation.

For the first 20 weeks I lived in constant fear and anxiety that our little one would be taken away from us, like our other two babies had. I prayed and avoided Google and trusted that God knew what he was doing. At 19 weeks we were told our little one had an umbilical cord issue that perhaps and issue with his/her heart. Fear gripped me again as we waited to see a specialist and find out if our little one was healthy. We praised God yet again after we found out that our precious baby was as healthy as could be and that their heart was functioning normally. Once again, God showed up even when I doubted.

In September we found out that my company, under pressure from a lagging economy, was going to lay off 800 people in our corporate headquarters. My goodness, the number and magnitude took us all by surprise. We waited for weeks upon weeks to find out about our individual job statuses, and at the beginning of December, just after Thanksgiving, I found out that my job, along with almost all of my co-worker’s jobs, was eliminated. At 30 weeks pregnant I struggled to think of worse timing to get such news, but I am once again putting my trust in God’s timing and plan for my life.

So I sit here on December 31st, thankful that 2014 is coming to a close but amazed at the ways that I can see and sense I’ve grown throughout this year. I can safely say that 2014 was, indeed, a year of waiting, and I have more questions at the end of 2014 than I did at the beginning. I’m bringing my questions, my uncertainty, my fears to the feet of our sweet Jesus, asking him to reveal himself to me in the year to come. Already I’ve felt God saying to me that 2015 would be the year I see the Lord. As with the year of waiting, I don’t entirely know what that means but I’m so ready to move into a new season.


Infertility and Miscarriage, Pregnancy

What I wish I would have known about the first trimester…

December 18, 2014

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I spent a lot of time reading (okay, obsessing and worrying) about what was normal vs. not normal during the first trimester. After two miscarriages I was extremely worried that my symptoms weren’t normal or our baby wasn’t healthy. Understandable, yes, but healthy? Absolutely not!

Since a lot of my symptoms weren’t textbook “normal” I thought perhaps some other moms-to-be could use a little reminder that what the books and websites say don’t necessarily hold true all the time. They’re simply generalizations. You can have a less than textbook pregnancy and still be carrying a very healthy baby.

Here are a few of my pieces of advice based on my experience:

What the Books and Websites Say
Morning sickness is good! It’s a sign that you’re baby is healthy and you’re hormone levels are rising appropriately.

What I Say
This was one of the greatest fears and sources of worry for me with all 3 of my pregnancies. I hated every time someone told me that morning sickness was a sign my baby was doing well, especially when I didn’t feel sick! I remember laying on the couch 11 weeks pregnant with this baby, praying to God that he would give me morning sickness so I could feel reassured that our baby was healthy.

The truth? Morning sickness didn’t hit me until around 12 weeks and eased up around 18 weeks, and even then it wasn’t very bad. I threw up only a handful of times, and looking back I should have been thankful for how good I felt through the first trimester. I wish people would quit saying that morning sickness is a good sign, because every pregnancy is so different!

What the Books and Websites Say
Cramping, lower back aches and other pains can be a sign of miscarriage in the first trimester! Be afraid!

What I Say
While that’s certainly true, that extremely bad cramps can be a sign of miscarriage early on, I think that you need to be in tune with your body and not jump to conclusions. Prior to getting pregnant I struggled frequently with cramps and stomach discomfort, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to me that those same discomforts would follow me in pregnancy. Also, with my two miscarriages I never experienced severe cramps or any unusual symptoms, so it’s really hard to make broad generalizations.

What the Books and Websites Say
Bleeding/spotting during the first trimester may mean you’re going to miscarry.

What I Say
Yes, that’s certainly true, that bleeding can be a sign of miscarriage, but I wish I had known how incredibly common it is to spot during early pregnancy. It probably would have given me a bit more perspective and calmed me a bit. I have had a couple good girlfriends spot during the first trimester and they went on to deliver healthy, happy babies. I’m not saying you shouldn’t keep an eye on these type of things, but my hope is that women don’t freak out like I did!

What the Books and Websites Say
You should only gain about 5 pounds during the first trimester.

What I Say
This was something I was totally unprepared for! I gained more weight in my first trimester (around 11 pounds) than I did in my second trimester (only about 6 pounds) and wasn’t textbook at all in this regard. I worried that since I gained so much in the first trimester it would mean I was going to be off-the-charts my entire pregnancy, but your body truly does know what it is doing. Trust your body and trust that as long as you aren’t going crazy with the junk food and ice cream, your body is doing exactly what it needs to do to nourish baby.

Mommas, do you have anything else to add to this list?


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