About

Me1

Hello! My name is Johanne. Welcome to my Recurrent Pregnancy and Infant Loss Blog. I’m 40 years old and I’ve been pregnant 8 times with one living child, my miracle toddler, Archer. We are now currently pregnant again and in the third trimester with our second rainbow, a baby sister for Archer. We are hopeful she will arrive healthy and safe in May. I’m a self-employed graphic designer living in Southern California and married to the most amazing and supportive man, Arun. 

After losing my first son, Holdon, in 2010 due to a variant of preeclampsia called HELLP Syndrome, I wasn’t sure how I could possibly go on, but my husband, family, and friends helped me heal. I began to hope again for a future full of tiny fingers and tiny toes. But then I had miscarriage after miscarriage, and I began to hope less. I hit some low moments and realized that although all the people in my life are amazing and incredibly inspiring and supportive, it’s not easy for them to talk about this. However, anyone who has gone through the amount of losses I have, knows that we need to talk about it. It’s a constant thing in our lives and it never goes away. You feel fine one day and then you have another loss. Or you see a commercial with a beautiful baby. Or a movie about babies. Or you find out someone you know is pregnant. Or just had a baby, and you are so happy for them, it brings tears to your eyes, but a small very private part of you is sad for yourself.  Or it’s the anniversaries of should have been due dates and birthdays that your child never got to celebrate that come along every year and hit with what should have been but instead there’s just a void.  Only those who have dealt with recurrent pregnancy loss and/or infertility really know what that feels like. So I started this blog. I realized it’s easier for me to talk about it with people who have been through it too. We know.  We understand. And through this blog, I discovered an incredible community of support. To this day, I really don’t know how I would have gotten through some of my darkest moments on this journey to motherhood without my family and friends and this incredible community.

Below is the story of our journey to become parents and struggles we went through and continue to go through and how a little hope continues to carry us through it all…

In 2012, after the loss of our son Holdon and then having 2 miscarriages back to back, our OB referred us to a Reproductive Endocrinologist for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL) who ran several tests on me.

Side note: To this day, no one can explain why I got so sick with HELLP Syndrome and had to deliver Holdon so early. That will always be a mystery. I don’t have any predisposing factors for preeclampsia and HELLP and every test they could do was done and then some and they couldn’t find any answers. I was told there was likely something wrong with the placenta and it became toxic in my body. That is not an official answer but it’s the only thing that makes sense.

To read the complete story about my first pregnancy with Holdon click here.

However, there was an explanation for my miscarriages. It even had a fancy name: diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) with premature ovarian aging (POA).  My eggs were aging much faster than they should have been for my age of 34 at the time. And as a result, it was very likely that my egg quality was poor and the answer to why I was having miscarriages. I was told it was amazing that I had even getting pregnant at all. My RE suggested we try one more time on our own, since we were getting pregnant and see if we could catch a good egg, but if I didn’t become pregnant within 6 months or had another miscarriage, then to consider IVF so we could retrieve my eggs and test the embryos for genetic abnormalities. Then they would only transfer back a “normal” embryo in hopes that we could prevent another loss. We were hesitant to try again on our own after receiving this diagnosis. It was like playing Russian Roulette, but we did. And we became pregnant again with pregnancy number 4, but sadly, that pregnancy ended in miscarriage as well. Subsequent testing on the products of conception (the lovely medical term given for the remains of the baby after the D&C) determined that there was an abnormality of chromosome 5 (Trisomy 5). This confirmed my DOR diagnosis. So we tried IVF and PGD testing on our embryos. After 2 egg retrievals and $30,000 poorer, we had 11 embryos. Only 4 made it to blastocyst stage. We sent the 4 embryos to a lab for PGD testing, and of those 4, we had 1 normal embryo after testing. A girl. We did a frozen embryo transfer and hoped for the best, but unfortunately, she didn’t implant. We had no problem getting pregnant 4 times on our own prior to this, but the one time we tried fertility treatments, we didn’t get pregnant. Go figure.

to learn more about DOR click here

to read more about my IVF and PGD experience and process click here and read through to January 2014.

After that, we honestly didn’t know what to do. We were lost and thought about giving up, but then we sat down with our RE and were told it was likely because women with DOR tend to not respond well to fertility medications and the entire process might have messed up my eggs even more. He said that even though we only had 1 normal embryo out of 11, we still had a 50/50 chance of catching a good egg on a different cycle, so he recommended we go back to trying on our own and if we continued to have more losses, then we could try donor eggs. So we went back to the drawing board and gave it another try on our own. We accepted that we might have more loss and went into it with an open mind and a lot of faith. The very next cycle, we became pregnant with pregnancy number 5, but it was a chemical pregnancy. I saw 2 faint positives on home pregnancy tests and then they faded away and I got my period a few days late. Maybe it was because it ended before it even really began, or maybe it was that we just expected it, but we bounced back from that loss rather quickly compared to our previous losses, and continued to try. Then, just 2 cycles after that, we became pregnant again and finally had a pregnancy go right. I gave birth to healthy baby boy in December 2014. He is our miracle boy. Our rainbow after the storm, and a day doesn’t go by that I don’t thank God for him. There were so many times I thought I would never have him, but something told me to keep trying and keep hoping.  Even after all the losses to get here, I can honestly say, I don’t regret it.

After all we’ve been through, it would not be wrong to think that that’s where our journey ends, but in the spring of 2016, we cautiously began trying for a living sibling for Archer. Sadly, it did not start out well. After a few months of not trying but not preventing either, we had another miscarriage. Another chemical pregnancy. It was quick and for that I’m thankful, but it was hard just the same. Recurrent pregnancy loss was still an ongoing issue for us. I had hoped it wouldn’t be, but it was not unexpected either. That was the end of June 2016. I’m was almost 40 and the odds of us having a second miracle child were definitely not good. It would have been understandable if either my husband or myself had decided that was the end of the road for us, but instead, we bounced back and decided to give it another try. You can read the entire story in here, but to recap, we became pregnant again 2 cycles later and are now just 8 weeks from our scheduled c-section and hopeful arrival of a baby girl. A sister for Archer. It took us nearly 8 years and 8 pregnancies to get here, but we are finally getting very close to completing our family with 2 living children.

We continue to be cautiously optimistic and are going on blind faith that this little one will arrive safe and sound and be our second miracle. We are already so incredibly blessed. So many are still waiting for their one miracle baby. We know how lucky we are to finally have ours and to be expecting another.

I hope this blog helps others and may my story give you hope to not give up.

I also hope this blog will serve as a keepsake for my children, so they may know about their big brother Holdon and their other angel siblings. May they also know about the incredible journey we took to having them and know just how much we love them and their siblings in Heaven. Our other babies may not be with us in person, but we know they are with us always. ❤️


DISCLAIMER
The information on this page and throughout this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease. The entire contents of this website are based upon my personal experiences and opinions, and is not intended to replace the one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information.

52 thoughts on “About

    1. Thank you so much! Your nomination couldn’t have happened at a better time. It really brighten my day! My hormones are all over the place right now since starting birth control pills again in preparation for the next round of hormone injections, and I have been having a hard time this week with everything. Your nomination reminds me of why I started this blog in the first place and has renewed my resolve to maintain hope that this will all work out somehow. Hoping things look up soon for all of us angel moms soon!

      1. Aww good, I’m glad it brightened your day. I know what you mean, being part of this community has been so helpful and strengthening for me. I never expected that blogging would be so helpful :).

  1. Thank you for sharing this and for visiting my blog. It is so, so important to have a supportive community. So few people who haven’t been through this really understand (I don’t fault them; I certainly didn’t before this) – so having a venue like this is so valuable. I’ll be following. Thank you!

  2. Hello Johanne. My name is Marianne and I saw your blog from my bestfriend’s link on Facebook.

    Like you, I’m 37 years old. And like you I’ve also had 4 miscarriages.

    My husband and I have been trying since 2006. Like you guys, we get pregnant pretty quickly but my baby’s heartbeat stops before I finish the first trimester. We’ve also gone through a bunch of tests with the fertility clinic here in Seattle. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing, but nobody can tell us what’s wrong.

    Our last attempt was very scary for my husband because he almost lost me. It has taken me this whole time (about three years) to convince him to give it another try. We might give it one last shot this year, then I’ll have to settle for favorite Auntie.

    I felt compelled to write to you if only to tell you that we are all in this together, sister! The tears, the sorrow, and the ELATION when one of us finally gets through the hurdle of child-bearing. I wish you all the best! May you have the ten little fingers and ten little toes that you long for. Keep the faith!

    1. Oh Marianne! You brought tears to my eyes. It breaks my heart that so many of us have had to go through this. And for you it’s been such a long and painful journey. But you are absolutely right, we are all in this together. I will be praying for you. Keep me posted on how things go.

  3. Keep the faith. Check out Julia Indochiva’s work, it may help you open and clear your mind, which is needed in cases as these.

  4. Hello Johanne,
    I saw a comment you wrote on Dogs Aren’t Kids’s blog and thought I’d check yours out. Hello from a fellow self-employed graphic designer in SoCal!

    I’m so sorry for your losses, your journey seems unreal. There are no words.

    Will explore your blog more now; mine is password-protected but if you’d like to read it (currently 7w pregnant via egg donation) email me for the password.

    Take care,

    Lauren xx

    1. Hello Lauren! How wonderful to meet a fellow local Graphic Designer in this community! Thank you so much for your support. It means so much. I would love to see your blog too. I’ll send you an email later today!

      Take care too! <3

  5. Dear Johanne,
    You are a very strong woman and I really hope from the bottom of my heart you will have a baby soon.
    I’m living in Europe and also had 4 Misscarriages.I know how it feel to always have to loose a pregnancy at about 8 weeks.but we have to stand up again and fight for it.Your little angel and the embryos angels are there to look after you.
    take care of you and have faith
    Nathalie

    1. Thank you so much Natalie. I’m so sorry to hear about your losses too. It breaks my heart that there are so many of us out there. Praying we all get out rainbow babies soon! *Hugs*

  6. This was beautifully written and a taboo. Why is our society so afraid of grief, talking about it, dealing with it? I recently lost my baby at 19 weeks due to a fetal abnormality. By that time of course I had told many people and only received the bad news at our anatomy scan. Why did so many people congratulate me on pregnancy, but I didn’t receive nearly as many condolences when my baby died. I feel this is so wrong. I am now seven weeks removed now from losing my baby and reading stories such as yours, and other blogs I have found, help me realize I am not alone although I may feel that way.

    Take care, stay strong, be well.

    1. Dear Ashleigh,

      I’m am so sorry I haven’t replied to this sooner. I just found your message in my pending box. Thank you so much for sharing your story hon. I’m am so so very sorry to hear of your loss. To make it so far in pregnancy and have it taken away from you like that is just cruel. My heart aches for you and your little one. I will never understand why people can be so supportive when we have good news to share, but as soon as something bad happens, they shut down. I have been fortunate to have many loving and supportive people in my life who have really helped me get through my journey, but I’ve also had to remove myself from some people who were making me feel worse. I’m so happy my blog has helped you know you’re not alone. Sending you strength and praying for you and your angel. Sending you the biggest hug.

        1. 🙂 Yes between work and this very new pregnancy, I feel completely zapped! But I plan to properly acknowledge your nomination on the weekend after I get some quality rest : )

          Thank you so much for your prayers. I’m saying so many for you too!

      1. I’m jumping in and wondering if you’ve given birth. Too many of us going through this beautiful and difficult journey. I’m waiting on divine timing for mine.

  7. Your honesty, strength, and openness is so inspiring. My miscarriages have had such a huge impact on my life and I find feeling like I’m not supposed to talk about it so frustrating and belittling. I started my blog to try to change that also. Best wishes to you 🙂

  8. I’m so sorry for all that you have had to endure. Recurrent miscarriage is so difficult to navigate. The ups, the downs, the hopes, the grief, the fear. It takes such a toll. And to top that all, there is so much time and energy spent on getting people pregnant, but virtually nothing on “keeping” pregnancies. You offer your time very generously here and I’m sure that there are many who will find comfort in sharing experiences.

    My husband and I suffered 5 losses over the course of 4 years. I was spent emotionally and he wanted one more Hail Mary attempt where we tried everything under the sun, literally everything. To my complete amazement, we ended up with a little boy and a frosty, who later ended up as little brother. Life is sweet now, but in an odd way, I so wish that I could go back and give my hurt, scared, yet hopeful self a hug when we were in the trenches. It was such a difficult, trying, lonely journey.

    I suppose I just would like to offer a virtual hug to yourself or anyone else who is facing recurrent losses. Please be gentle with yourselves and take the time that you need.

    And of course, all of my prayers that this most recent pregnancy is successful. I really hope that this is it for you!

    1. Dear Jenny,

      Thank you for sharing your story and for your hugs. I’m so very sorry to hear of all your losses, but so happy to hear you finally had the family you wanted. Although, I wish you didn’t have to go through such a painful journey to get there. I will never understand why it’s so easy for others and so difficult and painful for some of us.

      Your story gives me hope for this newest pregnancy. We did everything under the sun too. We tried IVF with PGD to test our embryos this past year so we would only become pregnant with a normal embryo and hopefully prevent another loss, but it failed. We only had one normal embryo after the testing and the embryo didn’t take, so it’s a little scary to be pregnant again just a few months after all of that and have no idea if our embryo is okay again. We’re just going on blind faith these days that there have to be some good eggs left and hoping we finally caught one 🙂

      Sending you and your family so many prayers back.

      Big hug back!

  9. I came across your blog today from another one I follow. While I haven’t experienced anywhere the level of loss that you have, having gone through a miscarriage I can imagine the massive pain you have endured. I’m beyond happy that you’re pregnant and will pray you have an uneventful and boring pregnancy! Hugs!!

    1. Thank you so much! I’m so very sorry to hear of your loss too. No one should ever have to go through that kind of pain. I am so excited though to see that you’re newly pregnant too! Sending you and your little one lots of prayers!

  10. It’s so true how everyone can provide details of their pregnancies but rarely is it spoken about losses. I too have been feeling the same (3 miscarriages, 1 chemical pregnancy and one happy, healthy toddler son) and have only just started writing about it after feeling such shame and inferiority for years. I see from your recent post that you are entering the second trimester and I wish you all the best that you have an easy and non-scary pregnancy with a much longed for healthy baby. I look forward to following your story and seeing more bump pics 🙂

    1. I’m so very sorry to hear of your losses hon. I’m saying a prayer of thanks best wishes for your healthy toddler. I felt so much shame and inferiority for years too. It’s just amazing to me how much comfort I have found since I finally started sharing our story. I hope you find comfort in this community too. Big, bug hug.

      And thanks! I’m living in aw these days of the miracle happening inside my body. And still a little shocked that I have actually made it out of the first trimester after so many years of loss.I’m still so scared and nervous, but also incredibly thankful and hopeful 🙂

      I look forward to following your story too! Sending you prayers for your own miracle baby and for the future.

  11. I’m so glad to have found your blog. I recently suffered my third miscarriage (all first trimester) and I’m just at a loss. I am so happy to read through your history and see that you seem to have caught a “good egg”. I hope that you are holding a healthy baby in a few months!

    1. I’m so very sorry for your losses hon, especially for this newest loss that is still so raw. Sending you light and peace during this healing time, and praying you catch your own good egg very soon.

      Thank you so much. Hugs <3

    1. Aw thanks hon! You’re the third person to nominate me for this award. I’m feeling so loved! I am truly honored to accept! I’m going to write my post now 🙂 P.s., I was already planning to nominate you too. You don’t have have to write another post, but I still want to nominate you <3

        1. 🙂 Aw thanks hon! I’m doing okay. I’ve been feeling little man really move the past few days so feeling an extra dose of blessed this week. My next appointment is on the 7th. Feeling anxious, but excited too.

          Thinking about you lots. Hugs hon <3

  12. I am so sorry for your losses. I can sympathize with the pain of losing little ones before birth though I have never had a neonatal loss. My heart goes out to you. I pray for healing and hope for you during this tough time.

    1. Thank you so much. I need to update my about page, So much had happened in the past year since I first wrote this, but most importantly is that I’m now pregnant again and just about to start my third trimester! I am still so scared some days that I will have repeat of my first pregnancy, but I am also so hopeful that this time everything will be perfect 🙂 Thank so much for your prayers <3

  13. It is so refreshing to read your story. I recently had a miscarriage at 6 weeks pregnant. I got a D & C two days before thanksgiving. Unfortunately, this is not our first loss as I lost my baby girl, Allison, at 28 weeks last March. They had found that she had no heart beat at a regular Drs. appointment and after being in labor for 72 hours, I gave birth to her naturally. We were able to see her, let our family say goodbye and start our grieving. After, a lot of testing, as well as an autopsy, there was no conclusive evidence for her “demise” other than my placenta being slightly inflamed. We started trying again a few months later and got pregnant again after trying for 4 months. I was only pregnant 6 weeks this time and am grieving more than I was the first time. Partly because I’m still grieving the loss of Allison, but also because I never thought it could happen again! The feelings you share in your story are all the same feelings I have felt over this past year. This recent miscarriage has left me shocked. How, after losing my child at 28 weeks, could we lose another? And how can I not be afraid of it continuing to happen? Why is the fact that miscarriages are so common yet so hush hush? Why is it that when I share my story with others they come forward with similar stories of 2, 3, 7 miscarriages!?!?! People I have known for years, but never known the depth of their pregnancy struggles? I, as you, feel that this needs to be spoken about more & that women that go through the un-fathomable need to speak up and support others that may not have any support. I can’t imagine going through this without the ultimate love of my husband, family & friends. So thank you for starting a blog & sharing the details of your stories with others. I hope that one day, I too, can find a way to help others heal from this terrible loss.

    1. I am so very sorry to hear of your losses. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I know what you mean about thinking it could never happen again and then having it happen over and over again. I honestly don’t even know how I continued on some days. I couldn’t imagine not having the support of my husband and family and friends either, but I know so many on here really struggle with finding support from their family. I think that’s why this community of warrior women have become so important to me. We have a special understand that even the most supportive loved ones in our lives can’t understand.

      Now that I am so close to having our miracle baby, I truly believe it is because of them that I didn’t give up. I would read a positive, hopeful story and it would keep me going.

      Sending you so many prayers as you continue on this journey and so many more prayers for your angels hon.

    1. Haha, I know! 😊 I have been a terrible blogger lately! We have had non-stop visitors since Archer was born and I’m also still working from home so I just haven’t been able to sit down and post all the updates I want to. I will be updating soon! How are you doing since going back to work? Think about all four of you often. ❤️

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