Miscarriage at 7 Weeks + Surviving the Storm

I never thought I’d join this club. To be honest, I never thought I’d even have to share about this. And really I don’t have to. No one is telling me that I do. But deep down. It needs to be out of me. So here goes. 

About a month ago I had a miscarriage at 7 and a half weeks.

 Pyk and I photographed by Valeriya Maltsava

Pyk and I photographed by Valeriya Maltsava

**Exhale.**

When you go into trying to have a baby you think thoughts like:

“I’m not going to tell anyone we are trying, I don’t want pressure from anyone, I’ve got enough from myself.”

“What if it takes a while?’

“What if it never happens?”

“What if the thing I’ve dreamed about (being a mom) for so long isn’t in my near future?”

 

There are deeper and darker thoughts that I don’t even want to get into once you start actively trying to have a baby. At some point I even envied people who it just ”happened” to. Silly, really, because unless everyone involved is ready for it, and unless you want it, there always seems to be victims in those situations. 

 

And then one day, shortly after starting to try, it happened. 

I was pregnant. 

And it was wonderful. 

 

Those first few weeks are strange and beautiful. All of a sudden your body is changing in miraculous ways and all you can do is cheer it on by eating healthy, taking vitamins, and avoiding all the millions of things you need to once your pregnant. 

 

Our days were filled with smiley side-glances between Pyk and I. Talking about the baby… boy? Girl? Names we loved.. him asking me to stop drinking coffee.. me conceding and drinking decaf maybe once or twice a week for a taste fix. Little things. Feeling my body change from the inside. This whole feeling of getting ready. A feeling of never being alone. 

 

I’ll never ever forget the day I told my mom, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so happy. We told our parents and our closest friends who had just had babies. “Just in case”.  Then I told Pyk one day that I was going to tell my cousins, I didn’t care if the news would probably then spread around my family, but that if something happened, I’d need them to support me. 

 

The day before I had planned to tell them I was waiting for Pyk to meet me after a shoot to go out for lunch. I took a quick bathroom visit before heading to the restaurant when I saw the faintest spotting and had some cramping. 

 

I unraveled. 

 

Quickly calling the doctor we got an emergency visit with her that afternoon and what do you know? There’s a beautiful little shrimp in there, with a beautiful little heartbeat. My whole life changed. My whole existence was something bigger. I’ve never ever lived a moment more magical.  We should have recorded the heartbeat. There was never so beautiful a sound. 

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We went home with lighter hearts and I rested for that evening. Over the course of the night I had more and more pain until it was absolutely unbearable and woke Pyk up to tell him we needed to go to the hospital. 

 

I knew. 

I didn’t want to know. 

But I knew. 

Somehow the little heartbeat would have already gone on. 

 

The most painful thing wasn’t the excruciating physical pain of the miscarriage. But seeing the empty ultrasound only 12 hours after seeing it full of life. 

 

I remember the message I sent to our family and friends, “Our little shrimp wasn’t made for this world. We were so lucky to have loved him/her for the last 7 weeks.” 

 

And it’s true. We are so lucky. And I wish I could change that message, because we still love our little 7. That won’t ever change. That will always be my first pregnancy. And we will forever love that little soul.

 

I read a book recently that a friend sent to me. It talks about all the little unborn babies in heaven being raised by angels, just waiting to meet us one day. It’s a beautiful thought, comforting that one day we’ll meet her/him. 

 

It sounds silly really, I mean, 7 weeks isn’t long. And really, the little shrimp wasn’t even the SIZE of a shrimp, just a cluster of cells. But the thing is, you cannot measure love in weeks, or in number of cells, or in number of tears shed. 

 

After the miscarriage I can only describe it as emptiness. 

A void of feeling. 

A physical void in your body. 

A whole future, changed. 

A whole life together you had imagined, gone.  

 

It was like screaming into a cave without any sound echoing back. Just loud silence. 

I feel silly over a month later still breaking down in tears in the metro, or just while washing my face. But it’s not. It’s really not silly. It’s normal. 

 

Miscarriage feels like the most awful hurricane right above you, when it happens. And you and your partner are just sitting there, in it. No umbrellas. No cover. Feeling exactly like the storm itself, thinking how could it have been sunny yesterday? 

Then your family comes with umbrellas. They sit with you. Hold you. Cover you. But rain is still coming from every direction, bouncing off the ground and sweeping in from all sides. Everyone is feeling the storm.

As time goes on, the clouds get lighter and the rain lets up little by little. But the thing is, the storm, even when lessens, seems to follow you. Catching you off guard without an umbrella. 

Those damn sun showers can be killer. 

And all you can do is hope with every pore, fiber, and being, that one day, there will be a rainbow. 

 

**To everyone out there who has felt this kind of loss. I see you. I’m with you. And if ever you need an umbrella. I’m here.**

Post script: To be honest, before this I didn’t realize how many women have had miscarriages. It’s more normal than not, yet before you’re in it, you don’t know that. I’ve spent hours in forums and on blogs reading other people’s experiences. And it helped so much. I wanted to write this to both get it out, and to give back even just a little of what I got. 

The Best Place to Propose (Right Outside) Paris II Suprise Proposal Photographer in Paris

Ohhh how I LOOOOVE proposals. They're always filled with so much joy I swear I feel happy for days afterwards! L + B are the sweetest. Both a bit reserved, I made every joke in the book to try and have them relax for their portraits both before and after the proposal. I'm pretty sure it worked because LOOK AT THESE SWEET PORTRAITS! Seriously. I'm so excited to see them on their walls. Every day it'll take them back to this amazing moment.

 You can actually SEE the ring box in his pocket here!! How cute is that!  GIVERNY, FRANCE SURPRISE PROPOSAL PHOTOGRAPHY, KATIE DONNELLY

You can actually SEE the ring box in his pocket here!! How cute is that!

GIVERNY, FRANCE SURPRISE PROPOSAL PHOTOGRAPHY, KATIE DONNELLY

Giverny is really the perfect place to propose. It's right outside Paris (about an hour drive or train ride) and is CONSTANTLY in bloom! The flowers are always changing there so you always have an array of colors and foliage as a stunning background. These portraits are from mid-April (to give you an idea of what you can expect around that time). If you search Giverny in the search box on the sidebar you'll see other sessions and proposals I've done there at different times.

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I always say, there are two ways to do a surprise proposal, we can meet somewhere and I'll be photographing around "like a tourist" and then capture your proposal secretly followed by an engagement session.

OR

Tell your future fiancé that you organized a photo session (or was gifted one by a family member/friend) and propose during the session. This is my preferred way because then it gives your future fiancé a heads up to prep what they want to wear in the portraits and make sure they look nice! AND you don't have to create a weird reason to be at a certain place, at a specific time per the first one.

I've done them both ways and have a 100% success rate (ha!) so even though I have a preference, you're the one in control.

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L+B,  Thank you for your trust and being absolute sweethearts. I cannot wait until life crosses our paths again!

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If you'd like to get more info on proposals or to reserve a session with me, please get in touch here!

HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY DANTE! At Home Newborn Session with I Heart Paris + The Flying Poodle II Newborn Photography Paris

I cannot beleive it's been an entire year since sweet Dante made his grand entrance into the world, an especially my heart. Two ways to describe him: Gigantic (he looks like a two year old now!) and ever smiling (just my type of person, eh?).

Federico and Anastasia, I couldn't be happier for your little family and cannot wait to see Dante grow! For now, here's a flashback to his sweet newborn session we did in their home a year ago!

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The Perfect Parisian Breakfast II Rebecca Plotnick of Everyday Parisian by Paris Blogger Photographer, Katie Donnelly

You know when you associate some people with certain smells or foods? Well, I associate darling Rebecca of Everyday Parisian with CROISSANTS! Seriously, she’s a girl who’s soul belongs in a Parisian boulangerie. For real. 

If you’ve ever read her blog, you’ll know she’s all about everything Parisian wherever she goes. But luckily, I get to always see her in her element, in Paris!

We did this little session at her amazing Haven In Paris apartment here in Paris during her birthday week! The fresh fruit, coffee, and croissant and baguettes are just the perfect breakfast, and the perfect surrounding for her

What do you think of this breakfast? Would you add anything? 

Notes From the Bride: Why I Don't Have Post Wedding Blues

Our wedding(s) were spectacular in their own ways..

Prepping them? Well, some would call it a labor of love.. but it sort of just felt like labor. 

In hindsight, we complicated our lives and had sky high expectations of perfection. 

Please, future brides, don't do that. 

We enjoyed our three(!!) weddings enormous amounts. For me, living as an expat, they gave me an incredible chance to spend a ton of time with my extended family which was absolutely a blessing. Those small moments, making endless mojito popsicles with my cousins, ordering my bouquet 3 days before our NY wedding with my aunt, saying a little prayer together before our Bordeaux wedding with my friend and MUHA. I'll never forget them. Ever. 

Those moments make up a huge part of the wedding experience because they're so much more profound than the 100, 1 minute identical conversations you'll have on the day of your wedding ("Congratulations! You look beautiful, how are you? I'll let you go say hello to everyone else, we'll chat later." And then you never get to chat) 

Maybe it sounds ungrateful, but honestly, I'm not going to apologize for wanting better conversation than small talk with the people I love most in the world. That was the thing I absolutely didn't like about the wedding, you have all of these people giving you so much love through their presence, words, and overall energy, and I didn't feel like I could properly thank them, ever, or show them enough gratitude for being there on a day that was so special to me.

It felt, unbalanced. 

I've struggled really hard with trying to get over these feelings and one by one, see all of our friends and family and spend quality time with them, just to thank them for supporting us, lifting us up, and their unending love. It'll take years, a lifetime perhaps. 

But really right now what we are doing is enjoying being together again. This time a bit more bonded then before, but with none of the stress of planning a big event. Now each time we go and visit my in-laws it's just hanging out, and not checking off endless to-do lists. Now when I talk to my cousins, it's catching up and joking around, not asking for advice because I'm stressed. Our life has gone back to being simple. Our free time has gone back to revolving around enjoying time with our families and friends, and traveling. 

Engaged was great, but marriage? Even better.

 Pyk thanking our families and friends.. I could say it every day and it wouldn’t be enough. We are so grateful to everyone for their love. So, so grateful. 

Pyk thanking our families and friends.. I could say it every day and it wouldn’t be enough. We are so grateful to everyone for their love. So, so grateful.