- Trigger warning, death and miscarriage.*
My dad passed away in April, sort of unexpectedly. He had a heart attack. He hadn’t been doing well for a long time. My dad didn’t treat his body well either. I was at the beach but was able to drive back to tell him goodbye. I don’t think he could hear me. The machines were the only thing keeping his heart beating. The thing that was been burned into my brain since that day was when I lifted up the hospital sheet and saw his cross tattoo on his shoulder. His skin was still so soft. He hated that my sister and I decided to get tattoos when we turned 18. We did it partly because we wanted them and partly because we weren’t allowed. Ten-ish years later he decided to get a tattoo as well. There I was standing there, staring at his tattoo that doesn’t even matter anymore because he’s going to die. I miss him.
The morning of his funeral I decided to take a pregnancy test. I knew it would be negative but thought i’d make sure. It was positive! And I had a funeral to get to where my entire family would be there and I have to act natural, or as natural as you can when it’s your dads funeral, because I didn’t want to take away from the importance of that day. I remember panicking. For one, it was my dad’s funeral and a bunch of people were there who used to be his friend but stopped because it’s really hard to be friends with an alcoholic. For two, I was pregnant. Anyway, days went by and I could finally start thinking about the gravity of the situation. We did want another baby, for sure! It just happened so fast, exactly how it happened with Samuel, our three year old. Two weeks went by and I quickly realized something was wrong. I had miscarried. It was all so quick and for some reason I knew this would happen at some point during my life. Probably because it was happening all around me, to so many of my friends and family but also, I wouldn’t be Sydney if I didn’t think of the worst possible outcome at all times.
I quickly accepted everything and decided it wasn’t going to hold me back. I had to shoot a wedding and two or three family/couples sessions during that time of miscarrying. That’s one thing I don’t think many people know about. There are women just walking around miscarrying like it’s another freakin’ day and you wouldn’t even know. I felt good enough to shoot the wedding and had a backup photographer lined up just in case.
Simon and I decided we would wait a few months and give it another try. After about two months, we had another positive pregnancy test! I knew way before the test would have been positive that I was pregnant again. We were excited but cautious. Lots of “well let’s not get ahead of ourselves and get excited”. When I was around 4.5 weeks pregnant I started having lots of pain in my left ovary area. I went to get it checked out and found out that I had a cyst that ruptured. I wasn’t too surprised that I had a cyst given that I had one when I was pregnant with Samuel that went away around 20 weeks. It didn’t cause me any pain though. But this ruptured cyst was another story. While going over the blood work the doctor realized that my hcg levels were declining. Another miscarriage. I either was dealing with an ectopic pregnancy or a cyst and a miscarriage that were unrelated to each other. The pain continued and I kept going back for blood work every two days for a week or so. The pain started to let up a tiny bit over the next two weeks and my hcg levels kept decreasing so the threat of it being ectopic was going down, huge relief. This time the fu*ked up thing was the fact that I still felt pregnant. I had all the symptoms but I knew it wasn’t viable anymore. It took around two more weeks after first finding out that it wasn’t a healthy pregnancy for me to actually have the miscarriage.
The pain from the cyst finally went away around four weeks later (3 days ago). I go in tomorrow to see if my hcg levels are below 5, which is where a non pregnant person would be. So we will see. I wanted to wait to type this up until I had some kind of life lesson to talk about but I’m not there yet. I’ve been searching for things to make me feel better about it all. Losing dad and two miscarriages within four months. I have been prayed on, seen a psychic, gone to therapy a few times, talked to family and friends, prayed myself, had a few massages and now i’m just searching for other things. I don’t drink, I never have. It’s a damn good thing because I would be drowning right about now.
Samuel is a constant reminder of how lucky I am. I have an unbelievably amazing son who loves me more than I think anyone loves me. I have the most supportive husband and family. Life doesn’t stand still when you have kids. Samuel doesn’t know what’s going on other than he can’t jump on my stomach at the moment because “mommy has a big boo boo in her stomach”. We had told him about the second pregnancy because I really really thought it was going to be different this time. Samuel started touching my belly and talking about if it was a boy or girl. He started talking about the baby often. I finally told him one day that there wasn’t a baby in there anymore. Of course he didn’t understand but slowly stopped talking about the baby.
I think I wanted to write about this because you often don’t hear about this side of growing a family. I would also love to hear anyone else’s experiences with ovarian cysts and how they manage living with them. Although i’ve only known of having two, I hope I never have one rupture again. Please know that I’m not writing this for attention or pity. It just feels weird being on social media posting pretty photos while my life feels like it’s crumbling at times. I am doing much better and I know in a few months I will be back to normal. I plan to dig into why this keeps happening. Possibly with my OBGYN and/or a naturopath. Anyways, thank you all for the continued support and for letting me be open and honest about my life.
P.S Still hire me for your photography needs!! I’m very much physically capable and need the distraction!
Oh beautiful Sydney. Reading your story brought tears to my eyes. Life throws so much at us sometimes and it’s suffocating. Grief is also such a tricky bitch, non linear, and so so heavy at times. Please know you don’t have to rush through your grief even if it feels inconvenient and at times you may want to. Grieve boldly and allow yourself time and space to heal. It won’t always feel this heavy or hard. Until then, nurture the fuck outta yourself. You are a beautiful soul. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
I love this so much, Katie. You’re so great with words, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m so happy I found you as a friend. Thank you!
Wow, Syd. You’ve been through it, lady. It is angering how life doesn’t let us just stop and grieve at times. Kids have a way of keeping us focused on the beauty through the pain, and it seems Samuel has been doing just that. ‘Will be praying for you and your family, Thank you for sharing. 🙏💕✨
Thank you so much, Cayman! I appreciate it so much. It is nice to have such a distraction most of the time. I’m so excited for you and your family!
You are so strong and brave! Strong for getting through hard things and brave for sharing it. I’m no stranger to pregnancy loss (at 40+ weeks) so if you ever want to talk or vent to someone who knows how you feel, you let me know. Mama Donna
Thank you so much, Donna. Thank you for sharing that with me. I know that had to be a horrible time for you. I always enjoy our talks so I know we would have a good one about this. Love!
Wow! Thank you for sharing your story. You are a strong and beautiful friend and mother. Just remember you won’t always be in this valley. You will once again climb the mountaintop. So much love and prayers sent your way.
Thank you so much, Nat! Love you lots and thank you for being such a great friend.
This made my heart very sad. I don’t know you personally but used to go to church with the Everette’s and loved them all dearly. I know your family and had met your dad. I can relate to this because I also had two miscarriages and then carried triplets for 32 weeks and my biggest most healthy baby heartbeat stopped and changed my world. I was blessed with two and thankful for them but always wondered about my other three that didn’t survive. I will pray that you are successful and carry your next baby to term. God said it’s ok to ask why and it sounds like you are doing as well as one can expect for what you have been through! Sending positive thoughts to you and your sweet family. ❤️❤️
Thank you so much, Mary! And thank you for sharing that with me. It really does help to hear I am not alone.
Thank you for your vulnerability. Your share definitely sheds reality on an ever-increasing polarized world (social media fantasy or political ranting). I’m grateful for you, my friend. Sending you lots of love and healing ❤️🩹