Friday, November 14, 2014

On Being Comfortable with Grief

Despite grief I choose to find joy and marvel in the beauty every day  that I've been given another day to celebrate a life well lived.
Our 6th baby in my belly~last night together

Thank you dear friends for all of the warm meals, tokens left on our porch, emails, text messages, private messages throughout the last couple of weeks, and upon reading my post yesterday. Sharing something so hidden and private any time you do it is hard. I was terrified. However, I've learned that whenever I've been vulnerable to others in the past it has allowed that sacred space for others to do two things: (1) to help (because we all want to be needed) and (2) to be open too. There is great risk, but to me it is worth it, because I really believe we all need each other. Heaven knows I'm not a talker (thank you introversion...), but being able to express myself through dance and the written word helps me to stay connected and contribute to the common good. From the heartfelt notes, I know the right people are reading my ramblings and finding some kind of peace with their hurts as well.

Self-care is always important with mothers with children of any age (fathers--this goes for you too, but sometimes as women who like nurturing everyone else before they attend to their own needs...this is targeted even more so at you to give yourself permission to have alone time to repair your spirit!!). And, ladies with angel babies and no warm bundles in your arms yet, you are STILL a momma. In times of stress--whether it's brought on by external or internal factors--self-care is critical to our well-being & how easy it will be to weather the storm. Every baby we've lost the time it's taken to grieve has been different. And, throughout the next few weeks I'll write more about what did an didn't work for us, especially because I know some friends are experiencing the freshness of their miscarriages at the same time I'm going through it myself.  

In the weeks of utter despair belly dancing has been one of my saving graces. Despite the daily bleeding, anytime I handle my veils or belly scarves--it brings a delighted smile to my face, because I know what awaits once I get to put my bells on and let go.

Every time I'm able to come together with these other strong women--we celebrate what it is to be a woman. We've learned how to bare our bellies riddled with the battle scars of childbirth together. We've marveled together at how it has healed the trauma of c-sections, of being ashamed of our belly poofs, and becoming comfortable in our new skins again. A very astute teacher told us--bellydancing is not for the pleasure of men. It is for women. It helps us bond and it helps us appreciate the miracle of life our bodies are capable of nurturing for 9 months in the womb. And then for however long we breastfeed our babies--it helps us be comfortable with our now even droopier mammaries. We've learned to toss them to and fro; to shimmy them, and make them go in circles & you can't do that with perky double A's or B's now can you from 10 years ago? It lets us laugh, blow off steam, and come back to our selves.

The picture above my husband took as I tried out my new blue belly dance skirt--I was hoping to use it this Wednesday in bellydance. One of the things I've done each day of this miscarriage is to take moments throughout the day to seek and imprint a thing of beauty in my mind that doesn't have to do with my bambinos--because face it they do some very cute things 10-20 times a day. Things I've focused on to make it a good day are: savoring a sunset with friends talking outside up at the park, admiring a friend's henna hair color, the flags waving smartly outside, a warm cup of coffee with my best friend sitting right next to me (we're finally back in the same time zone!!). Sadly, on Veteran's Day there were other plans in store for our family. I'm still trying to come to terms with the trauma of so much blood lost all at once, and with it our sixth baby.

Miscarrying is a sad process. However, I'm comfortable with miscarrying naturally (even though it's been ridiculously long--I've had the support of the OB, and constant monitoring--so I can trust this journey too to heal from our earlier emergency D&Cs from our first baby, and our twins) as well as this grieving process. I know that in times of great sadness beauty still exists. And, that I have the choice of how long I want to feel the despair. Bottling it up is no good. That will come back and bite you in the butt. We've got to feel this vast array of hurt and pain to move through it to the other side. Finding a thing of beauty and enJOYing it each day during the miscarriage helps me see the big picture that the dark cloud hanging over us right now--it will go away, and it is not permanent. This is just a time in our life where we can reach out for help, we can hunker down and cuddle, and we can appreciate the abundance we do have in a new light.

I'm thankful friends understand I'm writing from a place of strength and comfort--not from a place of fear or wanting pity. That's not part of my make-up, although I could really use some good under-eye cover up right now--I'm looking like I'm carrying too many dark bags...

My husband asked me why I couldn't just write through this grief for myself. It's not about me. Miscarriage affects 1 in 3 women. It's a part of our life. It has made me an even stronger, more empathetic, and compassionate person. I agree with friends who've commented that for the people uncomfortable with anything other than positive feel-good emotions--it may be because they are hurting themselves--and they don't know how to face it, let alone express it, or talk about it.

The real reason I shared this fresh loss was to let others know it's going to be okay. That we need to open up dialogue so we can be there for one another to take care of each other's hearts that are hurting. This too shall pass.

A few friends privately wrote that they are going through miscarriages right now, that they've just had a D&C, that they had a miscarriage long ago.I was happy also to see some of my male friends say that now they understand better what their wives went through. Even if you've never had a miscarriage, I'm almost positive you have some friends (and family) that have experienced miscarriage, they've just never told you. So please feel free to share these posts with friends and family--on facebook, through email, etc.

Our youngest is calling for nummies and and hugs!

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(1) Thoughts (cognitions)
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(3) Actions (behaviors)

When you are in traditional counseling sessions--the counselor uses a variety of theories that typically focus on one of these areas to help you make changes in your life. In the best case scenario the theory that the counselor is using is based on their training background/when they received their masters degree, as well as what the current trend is based upon research on the effectiveness of the theories in actual practice. However, we won't delve too deeply into theories and understanding methodology, because this site is educational and for you to understand more of how you work.

The activities that are posted and linked on this blog are to help give you immediate tools to begin actively reorganizing how you interact with your thoughts, feelings, and actions.

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