Continuing the Conversation

I want to continue sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet, so here are three new voices to share.

“Infertility is a silent killer, just like cancer – it eats at your soul, as cancer eats at your body” – Talischa Towsen shares her story on this parent website.  She talks about her miscarriages, failed IUIs, even other family members getting pregnant in the midst of their journey.  And her story is ongoing, which I think is amazing and so important to share.

Zara Tindall Shares How Suffering A Miscarriage Made Her Relationship With Her Husband Stronger – Zara Tindall is a part of the British Royal Family, so her pregnancies are pretty public.  She suffered two miscarriages after her first daughter and then had her second daughter after the miscarriages.  She mentions how helpless her husband felt and that communication helped their relationship grow stronger.

Secondary infertility: When trying for another child is a struggle –  A brief, informative synopsis of secondary infertility.  I didn’t realize that 11% of couples experience this.  It was an interesting read.

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

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Continuing the Conversation

I want to continue sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet, so here are three new voices to share.

5 things I always tell new loss Mom’s – I’ve been following Crystal for a while.  She shares the stories of many loss moms, but I really liked this particular post.  It’s a great reminder about the realities of recovery and grief.

James Van Der Beek On Miscarriage: ‘Let’s Wipe All Blame Off The Table’ – Apparently, Van Der Beek and his wife have endured three miscarriages.  He writes a touching post on his Instagram which is shared in this post.

This Is What It’s Like Before The Rainbow – This was hard for me to read because I have felt a lot of these feelings, had a lot of these experiences.  I didn’t have this exact experience because my OB clinic was a lot more supportive.  I think that some people, in a hope to lift up a loss mom will remind them of the possibility of a rainbow baby, but that isn’t always the outcome for every woman.  It’s important to recognize the reality of the present loss when it’s happening and the grief that the mom and dad will go through.

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

Postpartum Anxiety Update

It’s been a couple months since I talked about being diagnosed with Post Partum Anxiety, so I thought I would give a little update and reflection on how I’m doing now.

In two words, much better.  But it was definitely a journey to get to this point.  I was already in therapy at the time, but that continues on a regular basis.  I was also put on medication, which I continue to take.  And I incorporated meditation and regular exercise (either walking or yoga or both some days) into my routine.

While I think the conversation around mental health is getting better, there is also a stigma still surrounding the topic.  But mental health is just as important as our physical health.  I find it interesting that if I was diagnosed with diabetes or cancer, taking medication, adjusting lifestyle, and going to doctors on a regular basis doesn’t seem out of the ordinary.  But if I’m dealing with depression or anxiety, it’s a different story.

In fact, something I still feel weird talking about is the fact I was diagnosed with PTSD while I was pregnant with my son.  I always thought PTSD was reserved for “real trauma” – war veterans, physical or sexual abuse, things like that.  But I did go through real trauma with my daughters.

Anne Bogel, a blogger on modernmrsdarcy.com, shared a post she wrote last year about her experiences on 9/11 and the panic attacks she had following those events.  And how she didn’t get help right away because she felt like her situation wasn’t as bad as others.  In the infertility and pregnancy loss world, a comparison can be just as detrimental.

Even now, when I’m asked if Sam is my first, I say that I had two stillborn daughters before him.  If I say I had miscarriages or pregnancy loss, they ask how far along was I in the pregnancy.  As if to say that if it wasn’t far enough along, then I’m not entitled to my grief or to even talk about them. In fact, I still struggle to talk about my first miscarriage, before my two daughters, because it wasn’t “as bad.”

I know that it’s hard to talk about what’s going on inside our heads and our hearts.  Sometimes even we aren’t able to process everything fully and with clarity.  And it’s easy to compare our situation with others and write it off as nothing.  But it’s not.  If you found a lump in your breast, even if it wasn’t as big as someone else’s lump, you would still go to the doctor to get it checked out, right?  In the same way, going to a professional therapist to talk about the things you are experiencing is just as normal.

No matter where you are in life, and what you are feeling, you are not alone.  To be honest, I think everyone should include mental checkups in their annual routines.  So if you are experiencing anxiety or depression, or even just think a mental checkup would do you good, I highly encourage you to seek out a good therapist or talk to your doctor.

Continuing the Conversation

I want to continue sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet, so here are three new voices to share.

A Viral Photo Shows the Struggle of Infertility – A gorgeous picture that went viral.  It depicts the honest journey one couple had to experience to get their daughter.  Four years, 7 IVF attempts, and 3 miscarriages culminated in 1,616 shots.

After Infertility, Isolation, and Displacement, a refugee in Iraq finds a place to heal – The story of Rawa (her name changed for safety and privacy) who finds out she can’t conceive after she marries her husband.  It’s a heartwrenching story of emotional abuse, war, leaving her home, and finding healing as a refugee.  A must read.

‘Just a game-changer’: Regina woman channels infertility anxiety into monthly challenges – I really related to this woman’s path of trying to conceive.  You get to a point where you need distractions to keep sane.  I think these challenges are an excellent and creative way to cope.

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

Comforting: David’s Story

When I lost my first daughter, the story of David and Bathsheba came to my mind.  It’s one of the few actual pregnancy/infant loss stories that came readily to my mind.  There are a lot of infertility stories, but not so much pregnancy loss stories in the Bible.  Of course, this isn’t always the greatest one to think about since this particular pregnancy loss was due to the sins David committed.

But there was something comforting in this story.  It starts after Nathan had revealed that his son was going to die.  In 2 Samuel 12:15-21 it says,

After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.

On the seventh day, the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”

David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”

Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request, they served him food, and he ate.”

His attendants were confused, and when they asked him about his change in behavior he says,

“While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept.  I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

Even though he was being separated from his child, he knew that it was not forever.  With this week being the anniversary of my second daughter’s passing, this is a wonderful reminder.  My separation from her is not forever.  I will see her and her sister again one day.  And that is what is comforting me this week.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

The day this post goes up will be the two year anniversary of my second daughter’s stillbirth.  It’s the first anniversary to hit since my son’s arrival.  And my mind has been in serious contemplation mode.

It’s strange because right now, I’m watching my son grow before my very eyes.  Every day has been different.  He’s learning so much, interacting so much.  I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like if my daughters were here.  What these milestones would have been like.  When would they start to babble?  Would they be standing and rolling and sitting as well as Sam is at this age?  How would Sam’s growth have been affected by having his big sisters around?

This week, I re-read the post that I wrote the day I found out that my daughter had passed away.  The post transported me to that hospital triage room, the silent heart monitors and ultrasound machines, to my stubborn cries out to God.  As I got to the end of all of the encouraging comments, my son (who had been sleeping at this point) woke up with a whimper.  And it felt like I was waking up, too, being pulled back into the present moment.

I love my son, and I’m so grateful for every moment I get to spend with him.  I also love my daughters, and I miss them terribly.  But I am thankful to God for how he has shaped my grief and guided my path these last five years.  Even though I look back to remember, more importantly, I am able to look forward in hope.  Praise be to God.  He is so good.

 

Continuing the Conversation

I want to continue sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet, so here are three new voices to share.  One of them is a way you can get involved!

New Zealand to consider miscarriage leave for parents in bid to tackle ‘taboo’ subject – After having a miscarriage, being able to take some time off to grieve and recover is so important.  I’m glad to hear New Zealand is thinking about doing this.  I would love to see America do this as well.

This Is Why It’s Important To Talk About Miscarriage – Beautiful article of one women’s experience with miscarriage and the fact that it wasn’t really discussed around her until her miscarriage became unavoidably public.  I came to these same conclusions after I wrote about my first miscarriage, that talking about it helps other women feel less alone.

BYU grads help families struggling with infertility – This one was totally cool.  After experiencing infertility and the costs of IVF, one family decided to start a children’s clothing line to help other families with IVF, adoption or surrogacy.  Basically, to help families build however they are able to!  Plus, the clothes are absolutely cute and affordable.  Here is a link straight to the clothing site.

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?