Our Crosses To Bare

We All Have A Story…

This post has been rolling around in my head ever since I shared a video on my Facebook Blog Page about a mother who decided to share pictures of her stillborn baby.

A series of events happened over the course of the week or two after I saw this video that even further drove my thoughts on the topic of not only stillbirth but of this notion of nature not always “getting it right”. The events included a few friends suffering early miscarriages (which I am no stranger to) and then having the privilege of having two very intimate conversations with mother’s in my circle who have lost babies after 20 weeks gestation. Listening to their stories felt like I was given sacred privileged information and I was now a gate keeper of a tiny sliver of their hearts.

At 32, my Facebook newsfeed and Instagram is heavily populated by pregnancy and birth announcements. Which I truly do enjoy; but being the pessimistic, nervous Nelly that I am- I can’t help but think sometimes how is it that EVERY pregnancy announcement always is followed by a healthy mom and baby? Its not that I want things to go wrong for anyone, but the statistics do not add up in my scientific brain. The tragic inevitable truth is that nature is not without it’s flaws and does not always get it right. A pregnancy does not always equal a smiling mom and baby…or a baby at all… yet we seldom hear or see these stories.

If you don’t know me in person- I am a talker (I can’t help it!!!). I’ve mentioned this in previous posts but I have a hard time understanding privacy. Not that I can’t understand it- I get it- it’s just very opposite of who I am. In the early days of my child bearing journey when things weren’t going smoothly, I definitely felt shame, embarrassment, and hesitancy to speak on a “taboo” topic- but I felt inclined to share my journey anyway. This is my human experience and my experiences make me human. Not only that but I WANTED to talk about-  it was therapeutic – I didn’t want to carry around the sadness alone. I think this is why I ask the “inappropriate” questions that you’re not supposed to ask women when it comes to childbearing. Because I guess I feel deep down women want to be asked and want to talk about their journeys and loss and perceived failures but feel afraid to. (And for those women that have crossed my path and really do just want to keep their privacy- I apologize if I’ve ever offended you :-X).

We All Have A Story…

Mine goes a little like this… Moving around a lot as a kid, I craved stability in my adult life and settled down early. I bought a house, got married to a good man, and started trying for a baby all before the age of 27. In hindsight, this was probably a bit rushed, but I really do have no regrets. I suffered my first miscarriage in early 2013 followed by two more over the next 9 months. My darling Mazzie girl is a clomid (fertility drug) baby. Breastfeeding had a rough start with us hitting basically every roadblock we could but I pushed through and came out the other side enlightened with a newfound passion. I had a stereotypical vaginal birth in a hospital with an epidural for my first daughter. My second pregnancy came easy without the help of fertility treatments but was an uncomfortable one that plagued me with terrible morning sickness. I had an unmedicated and somewhat traumatic vaginal home birth followed by severe Post Partum Depression/OCD. I breastfed my first daughter through pregnancy and tandem nursed until she was two years and 9 months old and am currently still nursing my second (that’s over THREE years of breastfeeding!!). This is MY story. Although I had trauma, I also had triumphs and I’m realizing every woman’s story is not so different from mine although the events may not be the same.

I know women who in their mid 30’s have the fertility of a 16 year old and can pop out babies like it’s nothing but for whatever reason couldn’t breastfeed. I know women who have trouble staying pregnant but give birth like a BOSS and handle the post partum phase like a breeze. I know women who are young, vibrant, and healthy yet are devastated and heartbroken by unexplained infertility. I know women who have amazing pregnancies and take to breastfeeding like they are Amazonian Goddesses yet have complicated births.

We are all unique and while our experiences share so much similarity, no two are the same. I try to remember behind every pregnancy and birth announcement; there is a woman, there is a family, there is a story. Sometimes women lose babies that they have already carved out a place for in their hearts, sometimes women will dream of seeing that little cross on a pregnancy test for years and may not ever see it. Sometimes women posing in pictures with their newborn babies smiling are truly suffering inside and do not tell a soul.

I never want to stop celebrating our triumphs, but I also don’t want to be naive to the pain and suffering it sometimes takes to get there. Some day we may find out the answers to the very many questions we have. Like how can a mother survive the loss of a child and what purpose does it serve? Maybe it’s not for us to know, or maybe there really isn’t a good answer. But I do know how a sunny warm day feels after a week of rain, or how the warm embrace of my husband feels after a day of disagreements. How can we appreciate the rainbow if we’ve never even seen the storm?

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Sweet Josephine: A Homebirth Story

I’ve been hesitating on writing Josephine’s birth story because well, it was nothing like I had expected or planned and there is still a lot of disappointment and even trauma there. My Sweet Josephine is now 13 months old. We celebrated her first birthday a little over a month ago. I assumed everyone around me knew the story behind Josephine’s birth, but I keep getting the same reaction when they hear it: You need to write about this. When I sat down to start this post, I had a draft already started but I think it was too hard for me to finish it then- well I am ready now.

I don’t even know where to begin and I apologize in advance because I have no idea how many words this is going to take me.

Here we go…

After I came to my decision for a homebirth, I would drive the twenty minutes every 4 weeks to a rural town dotted with horse farms and cow pastures, toddler in tow. A dirt road led me to a small sign with the image of a mother holding a child and I would meet my two midwives in a cozy two room converted shed with a coal stove as the only source of heat. My two midwives were very different from each other, one authoritative, confident, and a little aloof… the other gentle, warm and compassionate.

My measurements were always normal at every prenatal appointment so I thought I was smooth sailing into a homebirth, however I always would say I just felt off. I was bluey, exhausted, lonely (yet isolating myself), and just blah. I wasn’t excited in the slightest for this new child and felt terribly guilty about it. I blamed the exhaustion of being pregnant with a toddler and all of the aches and pains of pregnancy for why I felt this way. I just kept thinking, as soon as the baby is born: I would feel better. I spent the pregnancy reading books on natural birth (I seriously read them all: My favorite was this one if you are interested: Birthing from Within)doing yoga, meditating, watching documentaries on homebirth, I took it ridiculously serious.

(more…)

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Great Expectations

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It’s 11:00am. We have been up for four hours. The crockpot meal that should have started cooking two hours ago has half of the ingredients in it and the rest scattered across the counter. There are toys everywhere. Laundry in the dryer from yesterday that needs to be folded. I haven’t eaten yet for the second day in a row. We are all still in pajamas and the baby needs a bath but she won’t let me put her down long enough to get it ready. My toddler is crying to be held which I try to do one handed while the baby nurses in the other. I am crying. My toddler asks “Mommy Happy?” She will ask me later if I feel better. Because she has become so used to seeing me cry these last 7 weeks. I feel guilty for my toddler. I feel scared and overwhelmed. Scared by how I’m feeling. Because I know I don’t feel good. I thought if I just got the house cleaned I would feel better. But now I can’t get a handle on anything. Sometimes I look at the baby and feel angry. Sometimes crazy thoughts pop into my head. I’m afraid to walk through a doorway while holding her because I think I’ll hit her head on the door frame. Then I’ll think do I want to hit her head? Do I want to feed her a bottle of bleach? What?!?! Will I end up one of those mothers on the news? I picked up a knife today and felt scared. I couldn’t even tell you why. Then I get that pukey feeling in my stomach and the panic sets in. This is post partum depression. And it is a bitch.

(more…)

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A Mother’s Blessing

It didn’t occur to me to post about the Mother’s Blessing I had, but it was such a touching experience I couldn’t help but try to put it into words.

A little background on what a Mother’s Blessing or sometimes called a “Blessingway” is and how I came to have one.

(more…)

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Sweet Josephine: A Homebirth Story

Sweet Josephine: A Homebirth Story

I’ve been hesitating on writing Josephine’s birth story because well, it was nothing like I had expected or planned and there is still a lot of disappointment and even trauma there. My Sweet Josephine is now 13 months old. We celebrated her first birthday a little over a month ago. I assumed everyone around me knew the story behind Josephine’s birth, but I keep getting the same reaction when they hear it: You need to write about this. When I sat down to start this post, I had a draft already started but I think it was too hard for me to finish it then- well I am ready now.

I don’t even know where to begin and I apologize in advance because I have no idea how many words this is going to take me.

Here we go…

After I came to my decision for a homebirth, I would drive the twenty minutes every 4 weeks to a rural town dotted with horse farms and cow pastures, toddler in tow. A dirt road led me to a small sign with the image of a mother holding a child and I would meet my two midwives in a cozy two room converted shed with a coal stove as the only source of heat. My two midwives were very different from each other, one authoritative, confident, and a little aloof… the other gentle, warm and compassionate.

My measurements were always normal at every prenatal appointment so I thought I was smooth sailing into a homebirth, however I always would say I just felt off. I was bluey, exhausted, lonely (yet isolating myself), and just blah. I wasn’t excited in the slightest for this new child and felt terribly guilty about it. I blamed the exhaustion of being pregnant with a toddler and all of the aches and pains of pregnancy for why I felt this way. I just kept thinking, as soon as the baby is born: I would feel better. I spent the pregnancy reading books on natural birth (I seriously read them all: My favorite was this one if you are interested: Birthing from Within)doing yoga, meditating, watching documentaries on homebirth, I took it ridiculously serious.

(more…)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Great Expectations

Great Expectations

 0474d72a9026e3ab928a8b532cf719b3

It’s 11:00am. We have been up for four hours. The crockpot meal that should have started cooking two hours ago has half of the ingredients in it and the rest scattered across the counter. There are toys everywhere. Laundry in the dryer from yesterday that needs to be folded. I haven’t eaten yet for the second day in a row. We are all still in pajamas and the baby needs a bath but she won’t let me put her down long enough to get it ready. My toddler is crying to be held which I try to do one handed while the baby nurses in the other. I am crying. My toddler asks “Mommy Happy?” She will ask me later if I feel better. Because she has become so used to seeing me cry these last 7 weeks. I feel guilty for my toddler. I feel scared and overwhelmed. Scared by how I’m feeling. Because I know I don’t feel good. I thought if I just got the house cleaned I would feel better. But now I can’t get a handle on anything. Sometimes I look at the baby and feel angry. Sometimes crazy thoughts pop into my head. I’m afraid to walk through a doorway while holding her because I think I’ll hit her head on the door frame. Then I’ll think do I want to hit her head? Do I want to feed her a bottle of bleach? What?!?! Will I end up one of those mothers on the news? I picked up a knife today and felt scared. I couldn’t even tell you why. Then I get that pukey feeling in my stomach and the panic sets in. This is post partum depression. And it is a bitch.

(more…)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

A Mother’s Blessing

A Mother’s Blessing

It didn’t occur to me to post about the Mother’s Blessing I had, but it was such a touching experience I couldn’t help but try to put it into words.

A little background on what a Mother’s Blessing or sometimes called a “Blessingway” is and how I came to have one.

(more…)

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