Monday, July 28, 2014

Pet Peeve

For some reason my husband and I find it incredibly irritating when we spot a woman rubbing her huge pregnant stomach. I kind of want to go up to her and say, "I get it, you are about to pop. It's obvious, now stop rubbing it in." I know this sounds mean, and I actually can't believe I am writing about it, but I am taking one for the team here because something tells me I am not the only one who feels this way. Maybe someone can explain this phenomenon to me? Is there a reason why pregnant women do this? Is there a biological need to rub and pat all day long?  Or is the rubbing just a way to help with digestion after a rather large meal?  Please explain!


- Jennifer

Monday, July 21, 2014

Reading Yourself Back to Health



About two years ago, after suffering through another miscarriage, I was feeling incredibly low. All the usual suspects were around- grief, anger, bitterness, depression- and nothing could pull me out of the abyss. One day I ran into a friend who told me about the book, "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay. I was totally turned off by the hokey title and I kept telling her I would buy it, even though the promise was completely hollow and I had no intention of reading something that sounded so hippy dippy. Lo and behold, later that day I found myself downloading the book and reading it immediately. I was secretly ashamed, I kept thinking that I had sunk to a new low by immersing myself in what I referred to as "self-help crap", but once I let my guard down and allowed the book to work its magic I quickly realized that perhaps I was a bit too quick to judge. The book centers around how our thoughts (negative or positive) can have a direct impact on our physical well-being and how old emotional pain and unchecked emotions can really do a number on your health. I was amazed with the way Louise Hay explained the mind-body connection and her own story, which is remarkable. At the back of the book is an incredible reference guide of every physical ailment known to man and the possible underlying emotional issue that could be causing it, along with a corresponding meditation/ affirmation that can help you along your way. That book is still one of the best purchases I have made, and not only do I find myself going back to it time and time again, I have recommended it to others who all end up in agreement that it really is a life changer. When you are at your lowest point perhaps you are more open to things you never thought you would be. Whatever the reason, I am thankful for this little gem- it got me through some really dark days and perhaps it can be a helpful friend to some of you.

- Jennifer

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thank You



For the last seven months we have been humbled by the support for our blog and we are so thankful to all of you who continue to read our site. What is even more amazing is the fact that our readers are found literally all around the world (hello to our newest readers in Russia and Ukraine!) This means so much to us and is also indicative of the fact that pregnancy loss and the complicated emotions that surround it is a topic that hits home for women from every country, language, background and socioeconomic status. We hope that our musings and stories continue to help all of you through your healing process and allow you to find a little laughter along the way...


-Jennifer & Kira

Monday, July 14, 2014

Finding Calm



I have an old friend, who, after experiencing her fair share of losses and difficulties conceiving, is now comfortably at the end of her third trimester.  If anyone understands what it is like to try again after disappointment after disappointment it is her. So the other day when we were chatting on the phone I asked what it is like to finally be in a place where she can breathe a sigh of relief. My friend laughed uncontrollably at the sentiment. She said while getting to where she is now has been a bit like almost finishing a marathon, it has not been an easy road staying calm. During her first trimester she spent an inordinate amount of time constantly checking in on the state of her pregnancy symptoms. I laughed because I knew exactly what she was talking about as I have found myself in the past doing the same thing. You inconspicuously (hopefully) check your breasts to make sure they still hurt, you track whether you really are tired- were you as tired today as you were yesterday? What if I am less tired? And how come I am not nauseous? I want to be nauseous! Those pregnancy symptoms are the glue that keeps you and your sanity together. She also laughed when she talked about the hours she spent waiting for "the phone call", the weekly calls from her nurse giving her the HCG update, and how she would cover her eyes during every sonogram appointment, scared of what might be revealed. Every minute of everyday was pure paranoia, not exactly a great way to spend nine months. So in the end, how the hell did she get through it?  My amazing friend finally realized that she already suffered the worst kind of pain and sadness and was ready to experience hope and joy. It was simple as that. There was no option to zero in on the "what if's", because she had already been there. Worrying about the worst case scenario was a silly waste of time since it had been something she lived through and knew all too well. What she didn't know was the best case scenario, the happy ending- which is where she put all her focus and energy. There were moments of anxiety along the way, but during those small breakdowns she found a way to summon her energy and bring her attention back to the good stuff. Such a better way to live!

- Jennifer


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Thank you, Catalog Industry.....

Dear Catalog Industry,

Thank you so much for deciding when I was supposed to have children (two years into marriage apparently)! You guys are really on the ball; and may I say pretty adamant about making sure I have a whole slew of kids- at least that's the way it seems judging from what you send me on a daily basis. I am also to outfit said children in matching monogrammed outfits and buy teepees for them to lounge around in. Good to know! Oh, I keep getting catalogs from a place called The Land of Nod. Where is that? It sounds like a scary place that I don't think even I want to visit, let alone my "children". I have to be honest; I am getting the distinct feeling you are frustrated with my delay in reproduction, since just yesterday I received eight separate catalogs ranging from Giggle to American Girl. I sympathize, you must be impatient knowing what a good shopper I am, but aren't you laying it on a little thick? I certainly don't need ALL these gentle reminders do I?  I also understand you are painfully aware how long I have been married, since it was ages ago you took it upon yourself to inundate me with bridal magazines and travel brochures for my upcoming honeymoon. So now that my husband and I are going on seven years of marriage (is that like 50 in catalog years?) you are getting a little itchy. I totally get it and appreciate you caring so much, however I have to ask you to bring things down a notch. Please keep sending me J.Crew and Williams -Sonoma Home, but for the time being can you make sure all Pottery Barn Kids catalogs get "lost" in the mail?

Many thanks!

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Monday, June 23, 2014

Landmines




The most annoying post-miscarriage activity on the planet is any kind of social event.  That is because social events are usually comprised of a few people you don't know. Strangers if you will. And those strangers are the biggest landmine known to man.  They will ask you question after question not realizing how uncomfortable you are in your own skin at that given moment. Of course I can't blame them; they are doing their job as a guest, attempting to feign curiosity. I, however, have zero interest in them. Maintaining a smile and pretending to be impressed by anything they have to say is utterly exhausting. Usually what bothers me most is this line of questioning: Oh is that your husband? Oh you guys are cute, how long have you been married? Wow! Do you guys have kids? Oh. Why not? Don't you want children?  Now, it usually depends on what kind of mood I'm in and how annoying the person asking the question is. If he/she (usually a she) is particularly irritating I may for a split second think of answering honestly just to make them uncomfortable; my little way of getting back at them for their obvious lack of etiquette. But most times I just stand there and stumble my way through some sort of coherent answer. Can we just agree that asking someone why they don’t have children is one of the most distasteful questions in the book? Maybe next time, if I am feeling particularly frisky, I will ask the offending individual why her mother didn’t teach her better manners.


- Jennifer

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Body is a Wonderland?

Last week I read an article about your body after baby when there is no baby; the ordeal of losing a pregnancy only to realize that parts of you still look and feel pregnant. It got me thinking of my own experiences, one in particular which occurred after my 18 week pregnancy loss. Following a harrowing surgery, two blood transfusions and an iron count so low I was unable to walk without assistance, I woke up one morning and as I was about to step into the shower I glanced in the mirror. Imagine my surprise when the image that gazed back was... Malibu Barbie? Oh yes, it seemed that overnight my breasts had suddenly become D-cups. For a split second I thought how cool God, the universe, whoever, was for this incredible consolation prize. Sorry about the miscarriage, but here is a new set of boobs! Then I looked down and realized what was actually happening. The leaking milk was the not- so- subtle clue that this was no party favor; my body believed it had delivered a baby and responded the only way it knew how. In that moment I was both horrified and amazed. Horrified, not only did I not have a baby, but now I must be subjected to walking around with breasts engorged for the sole purpose of feeding a newborn. Amazed, that despite what occurred; my body knew exactly what to do. It checked off all the boxes; baby out, breasts full. The sadness that swept over me was all consuming; I broke down and wept in the shower for what seemed like days. I wept for the baby I didn't have and for the dreams that seemed to get sucked right down the drain. After my breakdown I made an emergency call to my doctor. I needed help; I needed my boobs to go back down to the small B's they once were. I couldn't face the daily reminder that I didn't have a baby to feed for one more minute. She empathized and said that at least my body reacted in a way that was healthy.  I was instructed to place bags of frozen peas on the cantaloupe- sized boobs that were now suddenly bestowed upon me, in the hopes that after a few days’ time things would appropriately deflate. So, for the next week I steadied myself and walked around my apartment with frozen peas stuffed into a sports bra that was definitely not built for that kind of work out.
Once the misery subsided, I remember the anger that took over. Why hadn't anyone informed me this would happen? After I left the hospital I was instructed of the bleeding and other "side effects" that could be experienced after a miscarriage, but it would have been nice if someone filled me in on the possibility that my breasts would grow to the size of my head and leave milk residue on all my shirts.  After a pregnancy loss you must process grief, pain, sadness, physical discomfort, but also the image of a post- baby body without the newborn. It all seems like a cruel joke at times doesn't it?

- Jennifer