Thursday, April 29, 2010

some days everything hurts

I'm really tired of this depression thing. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever feel better. Better is all relative, but it has to get better than this.

Good things...yet another doctor taking care of me, switching medications, a sleep aid that made me realize I wasn't sleeping well at all, and the usual things that are worth mentioning time and time again - a patient husband, loving friends, kitties who purr and snuggle at all the right times.

But it really bothers me that I can't find the motivation to do anything after work. I should pick up because some friends are coming to stay tomorrow. I should put clean sheets on their bed. (That WILL get done - I'm not a gross hostess.) I should do anything. Yet eating dinner and opening the computer are the only things I've done tonight. Other than curling up with a quilt on the couch.

Earlier this week, days were good. I even had energy. And then it all comes crashing down.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

release, waken, renew

There is so much on my mind, but I'm having a hard time articulating it all right now. I'm riding those tidal waves of grief, and what follows sometimes is numbness.

I like finding solace and rest in the words of others when I struggle to find my own. For my birthday, my mom gave me Guerillas of Grace by Ted Loder, a book of "prayers for the battle." I love the imagery that he uses and the symmetry of his words. The punctuation and line breaks make it read like beautiful poetry in additional to a heartfelt meditation. Here is one prayer that speaks to me today.

"Waken in Me a Gratitude for My Life"
O God, complete the work you have begun in me.
Release through me
   a flow of mercy and gentleness that will bring
   water where there is desert,
   healing where there is hurt,
   peace where there is violence,
   beauty where there is ugliness,
   justice where there is brokenness,
   beginnings where there are dead-ends.
Waken in me
   gratitude for my life,
   love for every living thing,
   joy in what is human and holy,
   praise for you.
Renew my faith that you are God
   beyond my grasp
      but within my reach;
   past my knowing
      but within my searching;
   disturber of the assured,
      assurer of the disturbed;
   destroyer of illusions,
       creator of dreams;
   source of silence and music,
      sex and solitude,
         light and darkness,
            death and life.
O Keeper of Promises, composer of grace,
grant me glee in my blood,
         prayer in my heart,
            trust at my core,
               songs for my journey,
                  and a sense of your kingdom.

What wonderful action verbs! I like the specificity of the prayers to God, recognizing there are parts of me to work on, but knowing that only by the grace of can I do it. I also need the reminder to live in the moment and express gratitude for all I have been given. There is so much that is good, yet it is easy to be caught up in what is not. I'll rest in these words tonight.
Monday, April 26, 2010

"hope for the day"

I'm on the SilentGrief mailing email list, and these nuggets usually come on Mondays. Today's email was about "grief attacks." Boy, do I know these! In fact, I had one just last night. So many points here resonate with me. Hope is bigger than fear. I will make it through this; I have before, and so have others. I need to feel what I feel; ignoring it won't help. "The raw part of grief work.." Love it.

Hoping something here does good for your spirit, as well.

April 26, 2010

Grief seems to hit us like a tidal wave at times when we least expect it. We can be plodding along in life "okay" when all of a sudden we get smacked hard with the reality of our loss, and we're left feeling like we are drowning in a sea of sorrow with no life jacket in sight.

Being aware of how grief works is a critical part of our grief journey. Knowing that we can get these "grief attacks" unexpectedly can actually help us to prepare for them. When your tidal wave of grief hits, take some long, deep breaths, and prepare to wait it out. Don't fight it or try to swim against the tide. You will only exhaust yourself both physically and emotionally. Feel the pain with the knowledge that following this storm, the seas will once again return to calm, and you will have better days ahead.

The pain will begin to subside as you begin to acknowledge the fact that grief attacks are only momentary in nature. The raw part of grief work has already been done, and you will be able to manage your grief by thinking more calm thoughts, journaling your emotions, taking a walk among nature, and calling on a friend or two for some encouragement.

Did you get hit by a tidal wave today? Take courage in knowing that you're going to make it. Others have walked this path before you and they've made it and you will, too. Your hope is bigger than your fear. Your courage is stronger than your pain. And, your hope is always alive and at work! -- Clara Hinton

"I will face my pain with courage. I will make it!" --Clara Hinton

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory." --Psalm 84:11

For added encouragement, add Clara Hinton as your friend on Facebook.

Also, visit Clara Hinton at:
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

one year

One year ago I miscarried my first baby. Today is the last in the series of firsts I've been anticipating, dreading, and who knows what else. It wasn't so bad, just like I had been hoping.

There were a few times today where I looked at the clock and thought about what was happening one year ago at that time. It was almost surreal to think about how much has happened since then.

My little brother brought flowers to my office today (sent on an errand by my mom :) ), and on the card he had signed for my parents, brothers, "and all those who love you".  So sweet. White and yellow daisies - my favorite - in a big yellow mug with a smiley face on it. And in the middle of the daisies, two of my favorite roses - yellow with reddish tips. At first I didn't notice the number of roses. Two.

That made me cry. And I'm crying now. I'm crying in full force the tears that stayed at bay for most of the day.

My dear sister-in-law sent me a message this morning that ended with "this auntie will not forget your sweet baby." That means so much to me because no one has referred to their relation to our babies after my miscarriages. And sweet friends left notes for me on Facebook. Those words mean so much to me.

Paul and I went out to dinner tonight. We just needed to spend some nice time together. And it was good.

I don't have any insight on anything tonight. My heart just hearts. But tomorrow is another day.
Sunday, April 18, 2010

the good things list

Good things. Gratitude. I'd rather keep count the good things in my life than focus on the bad things. Sometimes this practice comes easier than at other times, and I'd fallen away from it lately. I can stop and be grateful for big things and small things alike. So here are some good things on my mind today.

Kitties who are the snuggliest kitties ever.
Atypical warm weather for April.
Good books that keep me entertained for hours.
Balls of yarn for only $1.
Diet Coke in the fridge.
A marriage where there is room for each of our interests.

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.
Saturday, April 17, 2010

moving forward...?

I feel like things are finally looking up. All along over the past year, the past four months especially, I felt like I would know when my time for intense grieving is done when I get there. I hope I'm almost there. I really want to move forward. I need to. Paul needs me to. And I think my babies would want that.

The Threads of Hope, Pieces of Joy Bible study with Anchored by Hope came along for me at exactly the right time. I remember asking God to open my heart to acceptance, and I happened upon the Web site shortly thereafter. I don't think it's a coincidence. After my miscarriage in December, I wanted to grieve well. This study has provided a framework and community to do just that. I am constantly amazed by these women and their willingness to share their journeys.

Now we're almost done with the study. And I'm approaching the one-year annivesary of my first miscarriage. I know I'm not dishonoring my babies by moving forward, and I'm starting to believe it. I want to focus on what I do have and the good things that are going on. Paul and I are talking about starting to try to get pregnant in the next couple months. And we're in that place together. That feels good, because it's been awhile since we've found ourselves in the same place.

I love my babies. And miss them. So. Much. That will never change.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010

facing the firsts

Butterfly Mommies

Another question from Butterfly Mommies...
What were some of the 'firsts' that you encountered after your loss? How do you plan to, or how have you dealt with special anniversaries and holidays and the memory of your little one?

I'm facing a big first right now - the first anniversary of our first miscarriage next week. In many ways, this anniversary will conclude a year of a lot of firsts. I don't exactly want to celebrate the day because it's not a happy day. I don't really consider it a birthday because our baby wasn't born in a traditional sense. It's not a death date because we have no idea when our baby died. So we're simply acknowledging the day because it's the only date we to which we can tie anything concretely. That there is something different about the day. I just want to spend time with Paul doing something together that makes us happy. I'm planning to leave work early (at the time when he's off), and we want to go to dinner. A dinner out isn't a usual occurrence for us on a weeknight. And I want to buy myself flowers for my office - something I enjoy. I'm anticipating the day, but I'm looking forward to be past it.

About three weeks after my first miscarriage was Mother's Day. That was tough because I would have been 20 weeks then, and it was just a date I had marked on the calendar. A couple of milestones. I was definitely sad to not be pregnant. And no one acknowledged me on Mother's Day. And no one acknowledged Paul on Father's Day. We have decided to celebrate those days this year, even if it's just the two of us. We deserve that.

Another first was marking the due date that didn't come to be, but the anticipation was worse than the actual day. We had hopes for that day, but nothing happened on that day. I hope that I don't always track the due dates.

Christmas was the singe hardest holiday for me this year. Christmas is my favorite time of year, and I had so been looking forward to having a little baby with us this year. We didn't. And I was no longer pregnant with our second baby. I had a second miscarriage the first week of December. So much was hard about those days. So hard. They weren't happy days. But I survived them.

There were lots of other firsts...first Monday after each miscarriage (they both happened on Mondays)...the first day back at work...the first month...the first baby shower...the first time holding a baby. But some of those were bigger than me. The first baby I held was my baby niece, just minutes after she'd died. I would not trade those moments for anything. The first baby shower was celebrating friends who are expecting a baby in July after four unsuccessful pregnancies and IVFs. Of course we're celebrating their baby, and I look forward to snuggling him or her in a few months. I survived all of those, too.

I still have several months left of firsts for our second baby, leading up to the first anniversary of the miscarriage. Maybe they won't be as hard since I've now been through many firsts already. But I expect some things to still sting.
Sunday, April 4, 2010

endless is the victory

Today is Easter.

I feel like I should have more to say about that, but I don't. I didn't have any strong feelings about anything throughout the day; rather, I felt disconnected from most of what was going on.

Church was nice, and the music was fabulous. We went to the full service intentionally so that we could enjoy being surrounded by so many people singing the beautiful Easter hymns. And there is no better day for a brass group to join with the organ in fanfare. There were lots of kids in church today, including several babies. I honestly didn't think about my babies when I saw them. I guess it made getting through that hour or so a little easier.

Even still, the meaning of Easter has never rung more true for me because I have never been touched so closely by its promise. Jesus died so that we may live. My babies are included in that we. I find so much peace in that. So much.
Saturday, April 3, 2010

butterfly mommies - april

Butterfly Mommies

This is my first time linking up to another blog! I couldn't be more excited about this community. Butterfly Mommies is a collection of networking blogging buttefuly mommies - mothers who have lost a children during or shortly after pregnancy. They are starting a new radio show, and have asked for feedback on the following questions:

What forms of support helped you the most during your time of loss and even now? How would you recommend other people support grieving mothers? (As we know, many times people who love us often don't know what to say or how to act)

What forms of support...Simply the presence of friends and family and their acknowledgement of what had happened matter the most to me. I needed my mom here right after our first miscarriage, and she stayed a week, cleaning, packing (because we were moving), and making sure Paul and I ate. I also needed to talk to my best friends - when I reached out to them. Otherwise, I needed to not deal with people until I chose to. I appreciated the efforts of others to engage me, but I had to do it on my own time.

After my second miscarriage, I discovered the blogging world. There are SO MANY lovely women who are grieving their own losses and are kind enough to share their journeys. Pregnancy loss is rather solitary; it's nice to know there are others who get how I'm feeling. I treasure these women.

As far as how to support grieving mothers, above all, please don't pretend it never happened! Saying "I'm sorry" carries more weight than one knows. You don't have to know what to say - I don't know what to say, and I'm not expecting much. Please don't look for the silver lining. There isn't one. Please just accept that I'm sad because I'm mourning the loss of a life. Don't ever hesitate to send a card. I grew to look forward to checking the mail because we received so many wonderful cards and notes, many from people who suprised me. But I never wondered, "why are they sending a card?" I was simply thankful for being lifted up in prayer. And please remember the dad. He hurts, too, in a different way than I do.

Also, please don't try to tell me why my miscarriage happened. It has nothing to do with me "not being able to carry a baby." That is too simple. I want to know more than anyone else why it happened, but I accept (on good days) that I don't know the details of God's plan. I don't have to like everything, but I will trust.

Please just love me for who I am, and for how these babies have changed my life forever.