Updates From The Otherside

I’ve recently been thinking about how dedicated I was to this blog and how much I truly miss it. A lot has gone on in the month and a half that I’ve spent neglecting this blog so I felt it appropriate to bring you up to speed.

As you are aware, my D&C at the end of October never happened. I was told that I didn’t need it.
3 weeks later I returned to the OB to have a follow up ultrasound and talk to the doctor.
Somehow, there was something HUGE in my uterus. We were hoping that it was just tissue forming for the start of my period. Unfortunately that was not the case. We waited for 3 more weeks doing repeat ultrasounds and finding no change. Finally I agreed to the D&C. That was two days ago. The 17th. Since then I have felt wonderful. The procedure went well and I’m feeling great. No more pain and no bleeding.
I’m waiting till my appointment on the 27th at which I will find out what the pathology reports said it was. I’m nervous, but hopeful.

Apart from all the pain and misery I’ve gone through, I have continued my doula work. I’ve got a website and a facebook page as well as some business cards. I have yet to find my first clients, but I’m very hopeful.
Currently I’m marketing myself as just a birth and postpartum doula but my hope is that during the new year I’ll be able to expand as a full-spectrum doula, working with those who have abortions, miscarriages, still births, surrogacy, and maybe eventually work with trans* folks who are in the middle of transition, or with women who are facing infertility, menstrual issues, or whatever else comes along with having a uterus. I’m really hopeful that my work will allow me to help people who need me and to truly follow my passions.

I’m going to try to keep updating this blog, it will likely not be as frequent as it once was but I do not want to abandon you anymore. I will keep you up to date with my life in general, with my TTC  journey, and with my life as a doula.

Thank you all for sticking by me.

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Jewels and Projects

I bought myself something nice yesterday.

If you recall, my mother had purchased me a gift card to buy maternity clothes with. When that failed, she told me to buy something nice for myself. I bought some new non-pregnant lady clothes.
Yesterday I felt lost. I wanted to commemorate Lily in a way that was personal to me.

I stumbled into the BonTon jewelry section. Not entirely sure what I was looking for, possibly something symbolic like a lily or a diamond (her birthstone), but really just looking for something that spoke to me.

After a bit of searching I found these beauties:

Image

Something about it just felt right. I don’t know what it is, but I’m wearing them religiously and they bring me so much peace.

After I left the store I immediately put them in.
Shortly thereafter, one of them fell. I was heartbroken.
That’s an omen if ever there was one.

Luckily, after looking at the seemingly broken earring, I discovered that the dangly, hummingbird portion was held onto the post by a loop that had gotten bent. I was able to bend it back into shape and now my earrings are flawless.
Handcrafted and one of a kind. Just like my Lily 🙂

In other news.
I’m starting this:
The Capture Your Grief Project

Head to the link to see the brilliance for yourself.

Every day I find myself getting further and further from my devastation. I’ll never leave Lily behind completely, but it’s good to feel closure.

I’m not going to follow this project too closely, but the ones that speak to me will be done. It seems meaningful and will provide me with an outlet and memories of my little girl.

Grief: 2.0

After my post yesterday, I was thinking some more about how lonely this all this.

How many times I’ve said to myself, to Eric, to other women that I network with that it’s unfair that, while anyone else who is grieving any other loss is allowed to share, we are supposed to suffer silently and mourn within ourselves while pretending to the outside world that nothing has happened.

Well, fuck that.

I finally got angry enough and decided that, especially with today being the start of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I might as well make the announcement. Acknowledge my child to the world, so that she no longer has to be hidden.
It’s what Lily deserves.

I posted this, on facebook:

I’m angry with the state of grief and I feel it’s time to let everyone know.

On July 31st, Eric and I found out that we were expecting a new addition to our lives. On August 29th we went for our first ultrasound and were told that the baby that we were dreaming of had stopped developing before we could even hear her tiny heart beat. We’re going through the physical and very much emotional process of miscarriage right now and, although we never formally announced our pregnancy to many people, it feels right to announce our loss in the way any person acknowledges the loss of a loved one.

Tomorrow is the beginning of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
In experiencing this first hand, I’ve realized how many women suffer in silence, how much miscarriages are taboo in a culture that refuses to acknowledge our “failures,” even in terms of something as uncontrollable as early pregnancy loss.
1 in 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage prior to 12 weeks gestation.
There’s no reason for women to feel ashamed and embarrassed.
We are experiencing a pain that no one else feels. A loss of someone that no one else bonded with.

I’m sharing this not for your pity or admiration, but because it’s infuriating to think that I have to grieve alone and that so many others are sentenced to the same fate.
We are all allowed to share our mourning with those who can support us.

A life, no matter how short, deserves to be celebrated, not hidden.”

The support that has followed is tremendous and humbling.
It really demonstrates what great people I have in my life.
So many comments from people thanking me for bringing this to light, for being honest about my experience and hopefully encouraging other women to do the same and not feel so alone.
I also received an influx of private messages from people sharing their condolences and telling me how much they respect my decision.

Several people also agreed and acknowledged that her life was precious and deserves to be recognized and that it is perfectly natural to mourn and, no matter how many children we go on to have, Lily will always be a part of us.

After the post, I left to go pick up Eric.
I let out the biggest, noisiest, ugliest cry I have ever allowed myself to have.
Thus far in the miscarriage I have only had silent cries.
This one was filled with the sounds of anguish that have been a part of me for far to long.
It startled me, honestly.

But, as the tears came, I felt better. I admitted to myself this sense of emptiness. The feeling that, no matter what I do, I will never quite be whole again. And then it stopped.

Some of the supportive and beautiful comments made me tear up, but since then, I have not cried. I have not felt miserable and unable to live.
I’ve felt some sort of peace again.

I can’t believe that after all this time I finally figured it out.
What I needed to do was act on my feelings. The feeling that Lily was very real and deserved to be recognized instead of a secret hidden deep in our hearts.
Having others know about and share our feelings of loss for Lily makes me feel less alone.
So many people out there who love and truly support myself and Eric in this have been left in the dark.
Yes, people are still mostly sad for us, but now they can be aware of what it is exactly that we lost and share in that emptiness.

I never dreamed of the support I could receive from the people in my life.

Never be afraid to be honest.