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

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Landmine

We have not written a "Landmine" post in quite a while, and to be honest I am not even sure if this is considered one. You might (correctly) classify this as me just bitching- and you would probably be right. But, a few weeks ago I found myself in a doctor's office, and on the other side of the curtain I could hear a woman and her husband having a conversation with their nurse- so much for patient confidentiality!  Anyway it was for my benefit, because listening to this woman first caused me to roll my eyes, then I was tempted to pull back the curtain and channel Cher from Moonstruck by smacking her in the face while screaming, "Snap out of it!"  I am not one to gossip, BUT it appears this woman had a very big problem, the "big" part of this story was her baby. The nurse apparently made the mistake of noting that the baby she was about to give birth to at any moment, was a little "on the bigger side". Well, that threw this 100 lb woman into such a state you would have thought they found out her child was half dragon.  She kept saying, "But how can this be? I workout and eat really healthy! I do SoulCycle! Why is my baby almost 8lbs! I don't understand!!!" This went on for 10 minutes. Then it got me thinking- the last several years of heartache have no doubt been extremely difficult, but in a way I am really thankful for the lessons I have learned, because when you go through the absolute worst you really start to appreciate the smallest of gestures. I felt for this woman, she was so stuck in her own world and unable to see what an absolute gift she was being given, a big healthy baby, that all she could do was focus on the optics of it all. There are some days when I look back and wish I could erase all that has happened, all the tears and sadness, but on that particular day I said a big thank you- because I know when I have my moment of being close to giving birth I will be eternally grateful- big baby and all.

- Jennifer

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fifteen Stories

You guys have to read this article from New York Magazine. They spoke with fifteen women regarding their own miscarriages, and it is as heartbreaking as it is eye opening. I think all of us here are very well aware that this is a topic not discussed nearly enough, so hats off to the writer for bringing these incredible stories to the public. I am sure it was not easy for these women to share their experiences, but as we all know, sharing sometimes helps bring healing.

Jennifer


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Revisiting an Oldie but Goodie

It appears to be shower season, and due to that I have received a lot of emails and notes about what a frustrating experience it can be for someone still grieving from a loss. I thought perhaps it was a good time to revisit a post on just that topic from several months ago. And to all you having to suffer through another "celebrity baby name" game- may the force be with you.


Baby Shower Anxiety

Over the last week or so we have received a few emails from fellow readers all on the same topic: baby showers. Some have expressed anxiety over shopping for a baby gift after their own miscarriage, and some have found it difficult to imagine sitting next to a heavily pregnant friend "oohing" and "ahhing" over burp cloths and breast pumps. I feel your pain. Since my first miscarriage four years ago I have been invited to my fair share of baby showers, baptisms and "meet the baby" parties. Before I met Kira I went to all of them (even if the end result was me hysterically crying in the back of a cab, shoving pacifier shaped cookies in my mouth). I remember the dread I felt after receiving numerous baby shower invitations, which somehow always arrived after my own pregnancy loss. One day I mentioned to Kira I had a friend's shower to attend, and I was feeling particularly anxious about it. I remember exactly what happened next.  She looked me in the eye and confidently said, "Don't go! Give yourself permission to not go!" I looked at her as if she was some sort of heretic. Of course I had to go! It was so-and-so's shower; I couldn't NOT go. So I kept RSVP'ing "Yes", put on a happy face and showed up. But after I experienced an 18 week miscarriage everything changed. I couldn't keep up the facade any longer and let's face it; it would have been a thinly veiled attempt that everyone would have seen right through.  I realized Kira was on to something, I didn't have to go. More than that my true friends would not only understand, but wouldn't want me to experience any more emotional discomfort or sadness than I already experienced. So I started to RSVP "No" with a kind note and then I would send a baby blanket. FYI: I have found these gifts to be pretty benign in the emotional heart strings department. Baby blankets aren't adorable little booties. They aren't sweet little outfits from Crewcuts. Catch my drift? Baby blankets- that's where it's at. Better yet, have a friend send it for you.
I'm sure some people rolled their eyes and found my absence to be "melodramatic". But for the first time in my life I didn't care.  I started making decisions based on what felt best for me, not on what I "should" do and what was "expected".
The takeaway here? Listen to yourself. If the idea of playing "celebrity baby name" games and passing around baby food processors make you want to put a hot poker in your eye, stay home. But if you do choose to go, at least snag a few cookies on your way out the door. Those might come in handy.

- Jennifer 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

October 15th

Yesterday I was on Twitter and noticed someone posted a note on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, which this year falls on October 15th. I must admit my ignorance as I never heard of this particular day of observance. I was intrigued and did a little research; I went on to learn that this was a movement designated by President Ronald Reagan all the way back in 1988. In addition, the month of October was also designated as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. The day itself became one of remembrance and observance in 2002 and has spread throughout not only the United States but also the UK, Canada, Australia and Italy. The day is observed with ceremonies and candle-lighting and a worldwide lighting of candles occurs at 7pm.
I was really touched when I read more about this particular day and thought it would be of interest to some of you. Throughout the year certain "anniversaries" pop up and memories of a pregnancy loss and the subsequent grief that followed, can cast a pall over the day or even an entire season. I know for me, after a late and devastating miscarriage in November of 2010, autumn (which used to be my favorite time of year) is one I have started to hate. For me it just feels eerie and there are one too many awful memories associated with the fall season. In the past I never really knew how to channel all of that sadness, perhaps this year I will turn it around and light a candle on October 15th, not just for the soul that didn't make it, but for all the others.
Everyone handles grief and mourning in their own way, and some don't recognize it at all (ahem). But perhaps this year it will be comforting to know that on one special day there will be millions of other women lighting candles and taking a moment to recognize their losses and the pain they have triumphed over. Maybe it will give all of you not only a little bit of inspiration, but peace as well.

- Jennifer