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Lisa met Bret. First came love, then came marriage and then things got all out of whack from there. Lisa’s story like so many others is messy and painful and tends to drop jaws when told. However, inside this story there is strong message of hope that intertwines alongside the pain.

Lisa and Bret had a rough start when trying to conceive however, they were able to successfully get pregnant with their first baby naturally after a year into their adventure. It was pure bliss, until her first ultrasound at 10 weeks. The baby’s heartbeat was very weak and Lisa lost the baby within days and ended up needing an emergency D&C due to a uterine infection. She laid in the hospital bed where she spent several days alone as her husband was deployed. She was broken but knew this was not where her story ended. She miscarried again several months later. Then the long journey of trying to conceive again began. It took 3 years, several tests, 7 IUI’s and lots of various medications and doctors but they finally conceived their son. They got through the first trimester with flying colors. It was perfect, until it wasn’t.

Lisa had some concerns with fetal movement later into the pregnancy but was often coined as “the anxious patient” due to her loss history. But she was right, something was off. Their son Jake was stillborn at 28 weeks gestation due to an umbilical cord accident in utero. Her husband was deployed again so she carried her son an additional 5 days after learning he was no longer alive. The military flew her husband home to be there for the labor and delivery of their long awaited son. Jake Edward was just over 2 pounds. He was perfect in every way. His entire body was formed. His lips, his eyebrows, his fingernails and his little toes were all just the way you would imagine a baby’s to be. He was simply perfect. Lisa labored for 36 hours before he arrived in their arms and into the heart of Jesus. They spent 13 hours holding, singing to, reading to and praying over their baby boy before they placed him in a wicker basket and never saw his face again. There are not enough words to explain the next part of their lives. The grief was unbearable for a long time. Anxiety became their overbearing side-kick but they fought through and sought therapy and found ways to get out of bed every day.

They suffered 2 more miscarriages from there, underwent an insane amount of specialists and finally decided the risk was just too great . They were tired. Lisa’s body was exhausted and fear was just too strong. They decided to adopt. Although it was hard, it was so much less stressful them than another pregnancy or loss. One week before their home study, Lisa learned she was pregnant.

61 maternal fetal medicine appointments, 12 visits to the hematologist, 2 visits to the emergency room for bleeding, acupuncture twice per week to promote blood flow, chiropractic care weekly, over 2,000 supplements and medications to support a healthy pregnancy and close to 600 injections between progesterone and blood thinners, all to bring their sweet girl into the world. Margaret was born healthy in June 2016. Lisa’s body took a toll but it was worth every single hardship.

Their daughter is now 22 months old, a spit fire and full of life. There are scars. There is grief. There are still tears and pain but now they coincide with this joy that only hope itself could have provided them the courage to see through. Lisa and Bret plan to adopt in the near future to help grow their family. Lisa shares hers story through blogging and through helping other loss moms through their journeys. Lisa volunteers for Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS) and RESOLVE to help #FliptheScript.

Lisa H.,  Virginia