The relay of bereaved motherhood 

I heard from an old hometown friend tonight. The last time we connected it was about cloth diapering just after my son was born. 

I always enjoy when someone reaches out after years of non-contact and you are able to bond over life experiences –  except for times like this. 

Tonight, her tone was rushed and anxious. She wondered if I knew how long it took to recover from a miscarriage. She had just experienced one at almost 6 weeks pregnant and wasn’t feeling normal. 

How do I explain to her that you will never feel normal again? 

How do I tell her that your womb will always seem dark and your heart will remain broken? 

She had noticed the posts I share on social media about infertility and loss. She wondered if I could recommend any resources that had helped me. 

Where do I even start? 

I linked her to Standing Still, Unspoken Grief and my personal fav, A Bed for My Heart. 

I told her to trust her intuition and speak to her doctor if she still isn’t feeling right. 

I let her know that the physical recovery would happen much quicker than the emotional recovery. 
Geez. How does one even find the words to describe lifelong loss? 

Finally, I told her that she could reach out at any time. I’m here if she wants to talk about it. 

Because really that’s what we all needed… 

Someone to listen. 

Someone to reassure us. 

Someone to remind us that we aren’t alone. 

I never wanted to become that someone, but I’ll carry the torch proudly and teach her what she needs to know for when it’s her turn to pass it along. ❤

Do you see the real me?

In honour of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day on October 15, I’m dedicating this post to Share’s Walk of Remembrance and the Wave of Light in support of infertility and pregnancy loss and shattering the stigma.


You see me.

I’m at the park pushing my almost one year old son on the swing.

As he squeals in delight, my face lights up with a ginormous smile.

Pure joy. 

You see me.

I’m at the grocery store sporting my usual attire – a Mom bun and leggings.

I look frazzled as I scan back and forth between my grocery list and the aisle shelves while reminding my son over and over again to leave the food in the cart.

He sees a stuffed animal on display and sneakily snags it.

I finally notice his new furry friend has joined him in the cart. My son and I lock eyes and simultaneously burst out laughing.

Pure joy. 

You see me.

I’m at the neighbourhood leisure centre.

My son is taking swimming lessons. He’s a little fish who loves the water.

At the instructor’s request, I dunk him under and quickly bring him back up. As he rises, he takes a gasp of air and looks shocked. I giggle and tell him how proud I am of him. He shakes the water off and smiles back.

Pure joy. 

You see me.

I’m in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.

My son notices you across the room and waves.

You give him an oogley funny face that all little kids enjoy.

He laughs.

You smile at me and I smile back.

To the outside world, I look like a typical new mom – sometimes frantic, sometimes frazzled, but filled with so much happiness and love.

Inside, my heart often aches.

The doctor’s office is a place I don’t like to go.

It reminds me of 4 years of fertility testing and treatments.

It reminds me of negative pregnancy tests, positive pregnancy tests and low rising betas.

It reminds me of phrases I’ll never forget like, “I’m sorry, but you are on ectopic watch” and “Your tube has burst. We need to take you in for emergency surgery.”

Heartache and grief. 

What you don’t see is a little girl.

What you don’t hear are the thoughts that go through my head each time my son experiences a momentous “first” in his life…

Because I often wonder what her first smile, first laugh, first step would have been like.

I’ll always wonder.

What you don’t feel is the grief that still clouds my heart – especially in October and May of each year.

What you don’t feel is the immense love I had for her even if she was only here for a short time. She lived. She is still mine.

My daughter. My child. 

Loved and lost. 

Did you know I am a grieving mother? Did you realize my son is a little brother? Did you sense that my story is deeper than it seems?

1 in 4 women experience pregnancy loss.

1 in 4 women have a child they will never get to see grow up.

1 in 4 women are like me.


I would like to thank my friend Justine Froelker, author, advocate and blogger at Ever Upward for the opportunity to participate in the Footprints Blog Tour which runs until October 15.  Check out Elena’s post from yesterday and continue the tour with Erin tomorrow.

On October 15, post your Walk of Remembrance photos on social media using #ShareWalk2016. Light a candle at 7pm and join in the #WaveofLight for #pregnancyandinfantlossawareness.

We are in this together.

I see you warrior Momma. I know your pain. I know your joy. I know your journey. ❤

Unpacking the box

My brother and his wife were blessed with a little girl yesterday! Yes, I said GIRL! They did not know what they were having prior to the delivery, but everyone assumed it was another boy. I am so excited for them. She’s so little and precious.

This morning my emotions hit me like a ton of bricks.

“What if we don’t ever get to have a girl?” 

“What if we don’t even get to have another child?” 

Infertility drains the hope from you. You remember how hard it was the first time, maybe even the second time. You dread what you may have to face to get a slight chance at another try.

You question if it’s worth it and if you are strong enough to go through it again. You get angry at your body. You wish it was easier.

Today, I felt the need to let go.

I unpacked the box of girl items I had bought for Emme. I want my niece Madelyn to have some of them. I set aside a blanket, booties, two hats, a few onesies and sleepers. While I did this, Wyatt was crawling around at my feet.  I gave him a set of pink and blue baby blocks to play with. He can have something from his sister’s box as well.

I’m beyond grateful for our son; for all my nieces and nephews. When I get upset after a new little person joins us, it is nothing personal with the family who has been blessed. I’m so happy for them.

What surfaces are the demons of infertility – my own longing, my own grief, my own fears. Sometimes they need to be tamed back. Today they needed to be felt and let free.

 

 

 

Where do all the Angel babies go?

This morning,  I listened to “Beam Me Up” by Pink and wondered to myself…

But where is up? Where do all the Angel babies go? What does this place look like?

I pictured a place like Neverland

Except no evil Pirates to be found

A place where fairies live

Where green leaves are lush

And fireflies light the night sky

Where sunsets glow ember

And rainbows never fade

Where flowers bloom all year round

A perfect temperature – never too warm, never too cold

Beautiful ponds filled with golden fish

Puffy white clouds

The bluest of skies

Where the wind whispers lullabies

Through fields of wildflowers

Vibrant, yet soft

Cozy and peaceful

Where happiness, love, joy are felt with intensity

It’s beautiful. It’s magical. It’s stunning.

Yes, that makes perfect sense.

That’s where our babies go when they aren’t with you or me. ❤

Remembering our Emme – 1 year later

Earlier this week, someone I follow posted this to Facebook and it spoke to me:

It is a myth that time heals.

Time does not heal. Love heals.

Devote time to love and you will heal.

Tomorrow is a big day. Wyatt turns 7 months old… and it’s Emme Day. She would have been 1 years old. 

I will always have a daughter. I knew her on soul level which is something I am so grateful for. Her sweet energy, her warm smile, her innocence – it all brings me so much warmth and joy.

She gave us the ultimate gift: her brother. If she had joined us earthside, we would not have Wyatt. That’s a tough one to swallow, but such a strong realization. 

I still have those moments of longing and wondering who she would have been, but I have found a sense of peace with her passing.

May 24 is not a day for sadness. It’s a day for celebration.

I plan to celebrate the love I have for both my children. Wyatt and I are starting the day with a reiki treatment, then we are making a stepping stone for the garden in memory of Emme.

We love you baby girl. ❤  

 

 

Dear Huggies

Today I received an email from you with the title: Are you ready for your little one’s big one?

I thought to myself that this marketing campaign is REALLY early. My son’s birthday is over 6 months away.

Then, it hit me.

You were referring to my dead daughter. My expected due date was May 24, 2015. Her 1st birthday could have been month from now, but instead we lost her much too soon.

At first, I was angry. This was just another example of how inconsiderate society is towards grieving mothers. Do you really expect a woman to update all of her marketing preferences after she’s lost a child?

I took a deep breath and thought to myself that maybe I shouldn’t be so upset?

Thank you Huggies for acknowledging our Angel’s upcoming special day.

My husband and I still recognize it even though no one else around us does. We don’t receive any cards, any phone calls or even any texts. A woman who experiences pregnancy loss may have only held their child in womb, but she will forever hold their memory in her heart. The world around her moves on, but she always remembers those significant dates. This year, you are probably are the only one who will remember – even if it was a mistake.

The thing is pregnancy loss affects 1 in 4 women. I’m sure I’m not the first who’s experienced such a “WHOOPS” on behalf of Huggies. If you’d like to work together to find a solution to this scenario, I’d be more than willing to help.

Lindsey

(Momma to Emme and Wyatt)

 

screenshot-link-huggies.com 2016-04-21 17-04-28

An unexpected grief explosion

On Friday night, I attended a Chakradance session for the heart chakra.

I didn’t think this one would hit me as hard as it did.

As we began the meditation, I saw an imagine of a woman suffocating her child and heard the message, “You didn’t kill your baby“.

*gasp*

I had been carrying a huge burden around without consciously realizing it.

The tears began to flow.

Her image is blurry in my mind. I  can’t feel her energy as strongly as I once did. I don’t hear her voice as often anymore.

I am afraid of losing her.

I heard, “You need to let her go. She will always be with you“.

Letting go doesn’t mean she’s gone.

An image appeared of her heart within Wyatt’s, within my own, within my husband’s…

She’s within us all.

Forgiving yourself is hard to do.

Letting go is even harder –  especially when it’s your child.

Grief catches you when you least expect it. And clearly for me, it’s a continuous process of unveiling, unravelling and releasing.

As I drove home, the song “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison came on the radio…

She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
She’s an angel of the first degree
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
Just like the honey, baby, from the bee
She’s my baby, you know she’s alright…..”

I love you Emme ❤