Duster: Shop Priceless (similar here, here & here) | Top: Haute Hippie (similar here, herehere & here) | Cut-Offs: Levi’s (similar here, here & here) | Boots: Sam Edelman (here & here) | Choker: Made by Mary | Rings: James Michelle & Olive Avenue Jewelry

I went to the Art of Ice Cream Experience here in Scottsdale, Arizona, with my friend Maddi of MadLuvv.com. The entire museum is essentially an “Insta-worthy” photo-op, so we took full advantage! If you’re local and want to learn more about it, this article explains what it entails in thorough detail. In my opinion, it’s worth checking out before the ice cream-themed “pop up” art exhibit leaves! Especially for the free ice cream and shakes! Now onto the look: It’s definitely a kick ass, Khloe K inspired get-up, with the mix of thigh high boots and destroyed denim shorts, a touch of satin and hint of sparkle. And also, a nod to the Netflix series, GLOW, that I just binge watched yesterday! Have you seen it? I understand it’s mostly fiction, but I will say, I have a newfound respect for women’s wrestling!

Speaking of wrestling, I happen to find the background of the ice cream fighting ring particularly fitting, given my life’s chain of events, metaphorically speaking. Hopefully my metaphors don’t come off as cheesy as the ones uttered on The Bachelor and its spin-offs, but I’d like to address my personal battle(s) I’ve been struggling with the past year. Miscarriage and Infertility. They’re essentially four-letter words (well, technically they’re both 11-letter words, oddly enough, but you catch the drift) in society. No one wants to talk about it. Everyone wants to pretend like it doesn’t happen, that it’s not plaguing millions of women and men alike. But here’s the thing, it is. And it’s directly impacted the lives of me and my husband. Now, it all started out hunky dory, with me getting pregnant naturally after only a few months of trying back in March of 2017. I went to the doctor for my first check-up on a Monday, at around 7-8 weeks. We heard the heartbeat and all was well. But by Wednesday, I noticed spotting and then came down with a terrible case of the Norovirus later that night. We had plans to go to California the very next day, on Thursday, but I was so ill I couldn’t get out of bed, save for when I had to sprint to the toilet. I willed myself to feel better the next day, on Friday, so we made the drive to Newport, California. But I wasn’t 100% recovered, in fact, I threw up again on Saturday night, and it was then that I realized the spotting had become bleeding and I became anxious and called the doctor on-call. She assured me spotting could be a normal symptom but if I was concerned, I could make an appointment to get everything checked out. I did just that and asked when the earliest they could get me in was, which was the coming Tuesday. Going to California was part business, part pleasure, a working vacation if you will, because I was also there to take “baby announcement pictures” on the beach, which I would post that Sunday, on Mother’s Day. It was all working out so perfectly, maybe a little too perfectly. I had this nagging feeling that something was off, but I kept shoving it deep down so as not to freak myself out further. Honestly, it didn’t even occur to me that maybe I should hold out on announcing my pregnancy, because this was my first experience and no one warned me miscarriage had such a high chance of occurring during this time frame. I didn’t even think twice about the “12-Week Rule” since I wasn’t even aware of it. I went in to the doctor that Tuesday and was devastated to hear the news that there was no longer a viable heartbeat. I was told that since my body was starting the process naturally, to let it continue to do its thing, and to come back in three weeks to ensure everything had passed properly. Later that day and the next, I passed huge blood clots, and there was one in particular that I was positive was the baby. In that moment, I felt it, my first experience with a “Mother’s Intuition.” I just had a very strong impression that the baby would have been a boy. After what felt like three of the longest weeks of my life, I went back to the doctor, and he looked at my uterus through the ultrasound and saw that I still hadn’t passed the placenta! I was flabbergasted in the moment because I was so sure everything had come out, there’s no way there could be anything left with all the blood clots and the fact that the baby had passed. But my body just couldn’t seem to do it on its own. So my doctor then prescribed me Misoprostol, a pill that causes contractions resulting in spontaneous abortion. I’ll save you all the gory details, but in essence, what transpired was me hemorrhaging for the next 12 hours until I lost so much blood that I had to be rushed back into my doctor’s office for an emergency unmedicated D&C. The bleeding stopped almost immediately after he removed the placenta, but the pain was excruciating. My mom and husband were there with me at the time, and I was squeezing my mom’s hand and she was looking at me with a look of pity, and I was gazing back, partly in awe, like, “How have you had EIGHT children?” and partly in fear for my future self when I would have to push a child out. Well, it’s been exactly a year to the day since I went to the doctor and was told there wasn’t a heartbeat. And I’m still not pregnant. I’m not worried now of how much it will hurt when I have to push a baby out, I’m worried if I’ll ever have the chance. Since October, I’ve seen a several family doctors, three different reproductive endocrinologists, chiropractors, an herbalist and even an acupuncturist to figure out what is wrong. We did our first round of IUI in March, and it failed. Our next step was IVF, but we just found out the program we qualified for has pushed the start date from mid-May to mid-June. It may not sound like a big deal to you, but for me? I was crushed knowing I’d have to wait yet another month to start my first round of IVF. It’s no coincidence fertility specialists use the term “round” for each session of IUI or IVF. It’s an epic battle with your body to try do something that it should be able to do so effortlessly, reproduce. I truly never thought this would be my trial, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that it is. But all I can do at this point is wait. All I can do is pick myself back up every time I fall and fight another round.

xx

Justine

What I’m Listening To: “The Middle” (Prince Fox Cover of Jimmy Eat World’s Version)

4 comments on “Hear Me Roar”

  1. What a challenge you both have endured this past year . No one knows why things are the way they are and what is seemingly so easy for some is beyond difficult for others . You are a fighter and don’t give up easily . Stay positive , you are loved 💕Mom

  2. We are here cheering you both on. There will be that time for you and soon! You both will be amazing parents! I am sure this experience has changed you and know i love you!

  3. ❤ I have so much admiration for you. You are such a strong fighter. I hope you know that we are here rooting for you guys!

  4. You are strong, you are brave, you are awesome! I say these words to my boys every morning on our drive to school and they were the first words that popped into my head as I was reading your story. Thanks for sharing your story. We are cheering and praying for you and Todd. We love you and know that you will be awesome parents!

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