Sunday, November 16, 2014

Re-Post

After speaking to an old friend the other day I was inspired to put this particular post back up. Enjoy!

I Choose My Choice!

Sorry for the Sex and the City reference, I couldn't help myself. But let's be honest, don't all roads lead back to Sex and the City?
One of the things Kira and I hope we convey through this blog is not only "finding the gold", unearthing a silver lining in an otherwise bleak situation, but also show examples of two women who have experienced similar situations, who then took different paths. My husband and I are still in the process of trying to find a way to make this all work, while Kira and her husband bravely decided that in the end what mattered most was they had one another, and went on to build a beautiful and fulfilling life together. There is no one way to live a life, but if you are willing to be authentic to yourself, then you have the opportunity to live your best one. The volatile ride of baby making can be utterly exhausting. It is depleting emotionally, physically as well as financially. Choosing your choice, your truest one imaginable (whatever that may be), is always the bravest and most rewarding action you can ever take.
I recently had this epiphany after speaking with a woman I was serendipitously introduced to. She and her husband experienced tremendous fertility issues years ago, before the majority of medical advances we are so fortunate to take part in today were widely available. She and her husband decided they could live a rich life without children and went on to do just that. Each has experienced incredible success in their respective careers and they fill their life with adventure and deep personal connections. She went on to say, even though they don’t have their own children and she is not a "mother" in the traditional sense; she has cultivated relationships with people of all ages that find her in a maternal role. This has been incredibly satisfying; despite the fact this kind of mother is not necessarily recognized in our society. I asked if there was ever a moment of regret, she went on to say there were times early on when she felt "less than" by certain people, but realized that perhaps those weren't the relationships she needed in her life. Once she and her husband created the supportive "family" they now have they never looked back. It was an inspiring conversation, one I continue to think of to this day. I realized that regardless of the individual choices we make concerning motherhood and our own fertility struggles, and whether or not we choose to have children, adopt or take advantage of science to help us conceive, supporting one another is what it's all about.  There is plenty of room for all of us at the table. What a beautiful thing!

- Jennifer 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Landmine

Sitting in a waiting room (why is it always in a waiting room?) with about 30 other women, I somehow drew the straw of picking the seat next to a couple that just LOVES to hear themselves talk. You know the type right?  People who speak way too loudly and reveal information that is really best for a more intimate setting, as in their own home. I got stuck next to these two yesterday and what ticked me off the most was this exchange:

Undesirable Woman: "OMG this baby is kicking higher than our other baby. Isn't that funny!? By the way everyone here still rememembers me! Isn't that funny!? I guess it hasn't been that long since our other baby."

Undesirable Man: "Oh that IS funny, it was only 17 months between!"

Undesirable Woman: "No it was 18 months!"

Undesirable Man: "No it was 17!"

Aren't you annoyed right now just listening to this story? They went back and forth on this for another few minutes. I wanted to strangle them and the woman across from me, who looked as though she was having a very bad day, looked as though she actually could impart bodily harm. I am not sure which part of them irked me most, what they were saying or their complete inability to modulate their own voices. The thing is, you don't know what the person next to you or across from you has gone through, broadcasting how "gosh darn lucky" you have been on the procreation front is tone-deaf and juvenile.

Here is a PSA: When you are sitting in a packed waiting room with a bunch of hormonal women try to keep your mouth shut. Or at the very least, know your audience.

- Jennifer

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hope Over Experience



How to get through a pregnancy with sanity and grace when the calendar is marked by gravestones of past failed pregnancies? The eight week marker, twelve week marker, the nuchal fold test, the 20 week anatomy scan....
I have watched my patients rob themselves of the joy of pregnancy; of the "ooh, ooh our baby!”- Frantic instead of ecstatic at each sonogram. How to overcome the fear of loss and bond with the growing fetus when every turn lurks loss and danger? Trust is hard to come by but indeed, necessary.
Celebrate each marker, every turning point, and acknowledge that life outside the womb is also a scary place. We handle those with ease (usually) but as it pertains to those entrusted to our care, what mind shift must take place to garner a bit of that pregnancy bliss? Perhaps it starts with teaching the child in utero from the very beginning, that we ride the wave of life despite what and where it tosses us. 

- Kira

Saturday, October 25, 2014

That Awkward Moment

A reader reminded me of a rather unfortunate situation that can occur after a miscarriage; the moment you run into someone, usually a casual acquaintance, who asks how your baby is. Oy. Total nightmare. This reader confessed that it happened to her recently and she was so tongue tied, she almost fainted with relief when her husband swooped in and rescued her from the conversation- and  presumably headed for the bar. A few years back I was face to face with an inquiring friend of a friend, who without knowing, casually asked how motherhood was going.  I had not seen this particular person in over a year, and didn't even realize that this was something that I was going to have to confront that evening. Luckily I had a glass of wine in my system already and was able to calmly state that "unfortunately things didn't go as planned". She was unable to find the words to respond so I just told her not to worry about it and then excused myself. It was totally awful and horrible and sort of felt like a punch to the gut. This is just one of those things that you don't really think about after a late pregnancy loss. Sure, you have to brace yourself and have those conversations with friends, family and colleagues immediately after the horrific loss, but months or even years later you don't realize that it can creep back up when you least expect it.  Awkward indeed.

- Jennifer

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Don't Judge Me

So October 15th, Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day, came and went along with all my good intentions. A few weeks ago I wrote of this day of remembrance and how I was planning to light a candle as a way to honor my own miscarriage history. Did I do that? Nope! I did however read an incredibly honest piece by Dr. Jessica Zucker in the New York Times (you can find if here) and I even retweeted it on Twitter, so I guess I did accomplish something. But why didn't I truly take the time as I had intended? Sure I had a very busy day which had me at all corners of Manhattan, but when I returned home last evening I could have at the very least lit a candle. I mistakenly identified my ambivalence for healing, I have moved on- finally! Well in the light of day I realized that I have not moved on, I have however moved back into my pattern of attempting to erase anything that I deem "unpleasant". Me! The person that started a blog on pregnancy loss! The person that is constantly making declarations that we must be "more honest", blah blah blah. Well, if there is one thing that October 15th did, it made me realize that the road to healing is a long one indeed. I guess no one is perfect- even the person writing this blog.
I hope all of you were able to find your own way to honor your own history yesterday.

- Jennifer

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Grief in Five Steps

With Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day just around the corner (October 15th), we wanted to share with you a great piece written by Psychologist Dr. Jessica Zucker. It "reframes pregnancy loss" and we feel hits every feeling that most women expeience and struggle with. Please find the link below and tell us your thoughts. Also, will any of you be doing something to honor or remember your previous pregnancy losses? If so we would love to hear how you have chosen to do so...

http://modernloss.com/pregnancy-loss/

-Jennifer and Kira

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Grey Area

A lot of times after a pregnancy loss you feel the urge to isolate and blame yourself- all perfectly natural reactions. There is also the tendency to feel as though it is "you vs. them", the "them" being those who seem to have no problem with their pregnancies. After reading this piece on medium.com I realized that things are not always so black and white, so we wanted to share this with all of you.

- Jennifer & Kira