This post has been sitting in my drafts since August. I’ve modified it a couple times because of updates in my life, but as more and more time went by and more and more happened, it became harder to finish it and hit “Publish”. At first it was just a quick post about moving my blog and I just hadn’t finished writing it, then I did finish writing it and things happened so I modified it, and then more things happened that made me take a big pause and I’m only just finishing it now. In truth, this post should really be 3 posts but if I separate them and think about this too much more, I’ll never submit this post so here it goes…
First and foremost, it’s official, Myhopejar.com has moved! I now host my blog on my own hosting plan rather than through wordpress.com. The entire process was not without hiccups and definitely gave me a few frustrations along the way, but for the most part it was pretty easy, and there is so much more I can do with the way my site is built and functions now that it’s self hosted.
Perhaps the biggest frustration I’ve encountered is that I’m not certain my wordpress.com followers are still seeing my posts now. Since the big move, I published a post about Holdon called July 20 back in July and I only received a couple comments about it. It could be that no one wanted to comment (sob), but I think it’s more because no one saw it. There is a plugin called Jetpack that you have to install that connects your wordpress.org site to wordpress.com and it’s supposed to move your wordpress.com subscribers which it seems to have done, but I’m not sure people are still seeing my posts in the WordPress Reader. After a lengthy discussion with the WordPress support staff, it seems that you will see my posts in your reader but not right away or not in the same way you did before. So, if you’re one of my blogging friends from WordPress.com, can you click “like” on this post or send me a quick comment so I know you’re still there and are seeing my posts? I just want to know if I need to start contacting each of you separately with a link with my blog url again so you can re-add it to your Reader feed.
Thank you so much in advance!
Other than that confusion, it seems that everything else is set up and working great. The best part of moving my blog to wordpress.org and self hosting it, is I now have complete control over the design. I was able to find a nice free theme, and played with the CSS to get it to look how I want. I hope you all like the new look! The other major benefit of a self hosted blog is that I will be able to monetize off my blog with ads and affiliate links down the road if I ever get motivated to actually try to do that. Before I do, I want to find the right kinds of ads and links so I’m not just posting random ads and links on my blog. I have no desire to endorse things I’m not interested in or support. So for now, I’m still not making money off my blog, but that was never really the point of it when I started it anyway, so I’m fine with that.
How can you set this up on your blog?
I had an entire post drafted with instructions on how to move your WordPress.com site to a self hosted WordPress.org site and then decided that it was a bit tedious to explain it all so instead, here are links to information I found useful in this process:
For everything you need to know to export your site from WordPress.com to uploading:
For moving your WordPress.com subscribers:
For checking to see if your domain has moved over to your new hosting server:
Before you do anything, you’ll need to contact your new hosting company for information on how to move the domain. They’ll walk you through setting it up through their hosting cpanel and help you find the authorization codes you need from WordPress.
For any other questions, the support people at WordPress are really helpful too. I hope this helps anyone else planning to move their blog to a self hosted site!
So now that my blog has moved over successfully and I have a nice and shiny new look, what next?
Well not much is different and everything is different. I haven’t blogged in so long and I have so many things I plan to write about, but for today, there’s something I need to talk about and some or many of you may not want to read past this paragraph. Please know I understand if you need to leave now. I’m far too familiar with the sting of recurrent pregnancy loss and infertility triggers for they still plague me too. It still really hits me when I see a pregnancy announcement and I know they got pregnant right away, or they didn’t wait the appropriate amount of time to announce or it’s the second or third (or more) children to those who already had it so easy with their first and are clearly having no problem growing their families. I’m so happy for all my friends and family who are having children and growing their families and I honestly feel so much joy when each child is born. I would never wish this struggle on anyone especially my loved ones, but the small pangs of jealousy still hit me and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s force of habit, maybe it’s that I felt it would never happen to me for so long that I sometimes forget it did happen. Maybe it’s the PTSD that I still feel nearly two years after my rainbow baby’s birth. He’s a toddler now and I’m still scared to death that something will happen to him and I’ll lose him too. I wake up in the middle of the night panicking sometimes and stare at him on the monitor for hours until I can fall back to sleep. So I get how those of you who are still waiting feel, and I especially get how those of you who went on to have your rainbows and unicorns feel. The triggers never get easier. So I was really afraid to write the rest of this post. This is the reason this post has been sitting in my drafts for nearly 3 months even though I said I’d get better at writing more often.
So here it goes…
Before I continue, I want to give a big warning here because the rest of this post may have triggers for some of you. Both miscarriage and pregnancy are mentioned below so please leave the post here if you need to. I completely understand if you need to sign off now. Also, before I continue, I just want to say to all my blogging friends in the IF/RPL community, if you can see this post and are still reading, I want you to know that even though I haven’t written in so long, I have been continuing to read your posts regularly. I don’t comment often, but know I’m thinking about you all and continuing to send love and positive thoughts and prayers your way. I’m now friends with many of you on Facebook and Instagram, but there are some of you who I haven’t had much communication with since Archer was born, and I feel really sad about this. I didn’t meant to distance myself from all of you, it just somehow happened. I really want to start blogging more regularly again, and I hope by publishing this one post that I’ve been avoiding, I can get over the fear and really start again.
Possible triggers below. Miscarriage and pregnancy mentioned.
Miscarriage and Pregnancy, It Doesn’t End After the Rainbow
I had a miscarriage in June.
In the days leading up to delivering my rainbow Archer, all I could think about was him, my miracle. It was completely unreal to me that I was about to finally have my dream realized, and because he was my miracle, it didn’t even occur to me that it could happen again or that I might even try again after him. I was just so completely focused on him. And that’s how it was for a long time. We sort of started talking about whether we wanted to try for a living sibling for him when he was about a year old, but put the conversation on hold for another few months because we just weren’t sure. Then around his 16 month birthday, we started to really talk about it.
Neither of us was/is interested in reliving the 5 years of hell we went through before finally having our rainbow, but I also couldn’t shake the feeling that I wanted to know if it was possible to give him a living sibling, and I also really couldn’t shake the desire of having a daughter. I love my sons, both Holdon in Heaven and Archer here with me, but there’s something about the relationship I have with my mom that I want with my own daughter. So after giving it a lot of thought and talking with my hubby about it both on our own and in counseling (more on couples counseling and why I think it’s important after IF and RPL in a future post), we decided to try. We gave ourselves limits. First of all, we didn’t tell anyone we were trying. Second, if we had another miscarriage we would stop and think very hard before continuing again. And third, we made it really clear we would not put a lot of pressure on it. And so we tried.
I didn’t track anything and we went along for a couple months and then one day, I just knew I was pregnant. I hadn’t even missed my period yet, but after 6 pregnancies to that point, I was pretty good at seeing the signs and apparently you never forget that feeling because I just knew. So I took a test and several HPTs later, I had a nice progression of darkening lines to prove it. A few days later I emailed my doctor and had her put in the blood work to confirm and see how my betas were doing. Well, that first beta was a whopping 16 and since I had been getting positives at home for a few days at that point, I knew it was bad news. Sure enough, I took another HPT and the line was way lighter than it had been the day before. I didn’t even bother with the second beta because the tests weren’t going in the right direction anymore and then a few days later, the tests were negative and I started bleeding. That was it. Less than a week and it was done. The saddest part is, it was only a few days past when my period was due. I felt so foolish for testing early. If I hadn’t tested, I would have just thought it was a late period and might not have known that I had another loss to add to my list. But I did know and well surprisingly, I was okay. The fact that it happened so soon was a blessing and a relief. I didn’t need medication or a D&C. It just happened on its own and I’m thankful for that and for the most part, I was okay. Perhaps it’s because of Archer, or maybe I’ve just developed a thicker skin, but I was okay. I mean I wasn’t okay, I was terribly sad for days, but I didn’t live in the sadness like I have in the past. Having to take care of my son prevented me from completely falling apart, and so I didn’t. And with my history of RPL and the knowledge that I have DOR (Diminished Ovarian Reserve), it really wasn’t a shock that it would happen. We knew I had bad eggs. That knowledge didn’t make it okay, but I was realistic about it. It’s a miracle I was able to have my one living son. He is proof that there was at least one good egg left in there and perhaps there were more. I suppose that’s why we didn’t throw in the towel after that most recent loss. We broke our second rule and decided rather quickly that we weren’t done. The hubby and I were both pretty excited when we saw those positive tests – more excited than I think we thought we would be. If I’m honest with myself, I wasn’t even sure if I could get pregnant again. With my history and the fact that I’ll be 40 in January, I just wasn’t sure it was even possible anymore. Getting pregnant was never the issue for us though. My poor quality eggs and miscarriage was our issue, and yet when I got pregnant again and so quickly, we were really excited. More excited than we had allowed ourselves to be when we first decided to try again, and I guess that’s why we didn’t give up after that.
And this brings me to today. I’m pregnant again.
I’m 12 weeks tomorrow. We made it past the initial hump. All my miscarriages occurred between 4-8 weeks, so 12 weeks is crazy far for me and this week I got the results back of the NIPT blood test and everything came back normal and it’s a girl! I just can’t even believe it! We are certainly not out of the woods yet, but I got up today and just felt the need to write about it. We haven’t shared this news with too many people yet and don’t plan on it for a long time. I’m not even out of the first trimester yet, so yes, we have a long way to go still. And yet, I feel a sense of calm about this pregnancy. Yes, I’m almost 40 and I have bad eggs to begin with for my age so the chance of something being wrong is pretty high and we still have the anatomy scan and other tests to make it through, but I don’t know, I just have a positive feeling about this one. I feel way calmer than I did when I was pregnant with Archer which is amazing. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not. I guess I just believe we’ve made it this far and maybe we can make it all the way again. Maybe it’s because we finally did it once, so maybe we can again. Can Miracles really happen twice? I think they can. I’ve seen it happen to others in this community. Why couldn’t it happen for us? It happens to so many people every day. People have more than one child all the time. So what if I have bad eggs and I’m almost 40? It can happen. Right? After 7 years, 8 pregnancies and 6 losses, I feel like I can almost glimpse the end of our TTC journey. Maybe just maybe we will finally complete our family. If you had told me before I became pregnant with Archer that this would be a possibility, I’m not sure I would have believed it and yet, here we are. And I really do believe in miracles.
So I continue to go with the flow on this and the only time I get really stressed is right before I step into the doctor’s office. Our first ultrasound was really early and we only saw a gestational sac and yolk sac and then we had to wait until I was 9 weeks 4 days to have the next appointment because my doctor is so popular and apparently my history didn’t give me a big jump in the line, so I had to wait. I was such a nervous wreck when the nurse called me in that I failed my blood pressure reading, bad. It was 149/95. The nurse looked at me startled and asked if I had high blood pressure and if I was taking anything for it. I told her no. The only time I ever had an issue with blood pressure was when I was pregnant with my first son Holdon and got HELLP Syndrome. I told her I was experiencing White Coat Syndrome due to PTSD. That is what my doctor called it when I was pregnant with Archer and boy do I have it again. My blood pressure readings are always high when I first arrive in the office and get it checked, but sure enough, they retake it at the end of the appointment and it’s normal. I wonder if I’ll ever again be able to step into a doctor’s office without my blood pressure spiking?
For all of you who also experience this, there’s a name for it. You’re not crazy!
White coat hypertension, more commonly known as white coat syndrome, is a phenomenon in which patients exhibit a blood pressure level above the normal range, in a clinical setting, though they don’t exhibit it in other settings.
So that’s my post for today. I have no idea if anyone can still see my posts or if anyone wants to keep following and reading but I felt the need to share today and I might again as this pregnancy progresses. I won’t be sharing belly pics or itemized progress reports this time because I’m not sure I should. I don’t know who my audience is anymore and I don’t want to hurt anyone. I will write an update about Archer soon, but for today, I’ll leave you with this picture of him I took during the summer on a day when the lighting was just right.