Sunday, December 14, 2014

Podcast Love

I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of discussion surrounding pregnancy loss and the impact it has on the self as well as relationships. Last week I posted a link to an article that I thought was really smart, featuring a man's point of you, which is almost unheard of. This week I want to share a link to a podcast from "The Longest Shortest Time" (a podcast definitely worth checking out). I don't want to give too much away but this particular episode centers around a miscarriage and the inability to discuss it with your partner. I love podcasts (hello Serial!) so when I came across this particular one I was intrigued. Take a listen at http://bit.ly/1ugC2ND and let me know what you think!

- Jennifer

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Other Side of Things

After a pregnancy loss most of the attention is on the mother, understandably so, however the partner is often times overlooked and going through their own pain and grief that is just as unbearable. I always made sure that my husband was being heard and felt safe expressing what he was feeling, because I could literally sense his sadness as deeply as I felt my own. I knew he was hurting and I cried for him as much as I cried for myself and our loss. I always felt that the partner kind of got the short end of the stick in these situations and deserved to be heard just as much as the grieving mother which is why I loved this article from O Magazine. It is really lovely because it is written from the male perspective, which is just as important to hear...

- Jennifer

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blue Christmas.... and Thanksgiving... and Easter....

Below is a post that I wrote around this time last year after yet another miscarriage. I didn't know that a blog was in my future, but I felt like getting my thoughts down on paper since the grief my husband and I were going through- around Christmas no less- was suffocating. I saved it and thought now would be a good time to share it with all of you. This is a tough season, one that is centered around constantly being "joyful" and it is also considered a children's holiday- sort of a double whammy if you are dealing with a pregnancy loss. I really hope that my experience helps some of you...
                                                                      
                                                                        ***


My miscarriages are always so ill-timed. Well, I guess there is never a good time, but mine always happen right before a holiday. The pattern was right around Easter, which (bonus!) always seems to be right near Mother's Day, and Thanksgiving. But last year after so much optimism and excitement, the rug was pulled out from under from me three weeks before Christmas. My husband and I were feeling so euphoric and looked forward to having my first trimester end right around the New Year. We thought it was such a fitting way to celebrate the holiday season; it all felt so serendipitous. Unfortunately the universe had other plans, and last year we found ourselves in a state of such disappointment and depression that my anger took over. I was so pissed that yet again loss was going to crap all over my favorite time of year. That my husband and I couldn't catch a break, and would have to spend another holiday season opening Christmas cards from friends with their kids on the front, knowing that another year has passed us by without children. 
I was venting my frustration to Kira shortly after and she said to me, "Take it back. Take back the holiday. Each day take something back for yourself." I thought about it and realized that it was the perfect piece of advice. I was just angry enough that it helped me get to a point of retaliation. I wanted to get back at the universe and assume some sort of control. Each day I tried something small;  I baked cookies, I pulled out the Christmas decorations, and unabashedly listened to Wham's "Last Christmas" on repeat. Though I still cried every day and had a difficult time reconciling that my expectations and hopes were yet again thwarted by reality, I also realized that my husband and I were alive and healthy. We were together, our marriage and love stronger than ever. Even though we would have to, yet again, go through another holiday without a child, we at least had each other. And to me that was worth celebrating.

Jennifer

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Turkey Hiatus

Hello everyone!
We are going to be taking the week off from the blog but promise to have a brand spanking new post when Kira returns from Italy and I crawl out from under all the pumpkin pie I plan on eating.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers!

- Jennifer and Kira

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