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Right Where I Am 2012.

  • Posted by: claire

One month 21 days.

The other day, with her baby doll in tow, Kayman asked again if she could have a baby brother. We’ve been having these discussions regularly the past few weeks, strolling down memory lane about her being in my belly, when her dad and I were married, etc.  We talk about the number we have in common in our birthdays this year, hers “4” to mine “44”, and lately, how/why there will be no baby brother for her.

I’ve been meandering on baby loss websites doing research for a project I want to host for International Pregnancy Loss Days. I think of parents of lost babies and potentials. Earlier this summer, I had a cancer scare in June served up with a side of early menopause. The main course, news that the nodule was benign was great relief, as we thought it might have something to do with the radiation from the cancer 2 decades ago.

But I didn’t get a chance to talk about my side dish. Like some side dishes, it stands insignificant next to the main course. Mine was overshadowed with the isms of “you should be be so relieved” “am so happy it’s not anything”.

It’s been one month 20 days since the news. I am grateful for my health. I have been taken extra care this summer to juice, meditate, set intentions, have more of a work life balance. And it’s been an effing hard summer.

I work with parents experiencing babylost. I’ve experienced lost dreams and hope during my own infertility challenges. I’ve healed. Kayman was conceived with an FSH of 23+. “A miracle” said our fertility doctor and acupuncturist. I closed the door to more children after my divorce in 2009. I was already 41. What are the chances?

In the year since Michael and I met and married, I allowed myself to dream a little. I dared to venture in the months of late periods, what baby “Michael” might look like. Would he have brown curls like Kayman, a lovely smile like my Michael, and a sweetness about him?  I danced around my white elephant a year ago, when the question of “will you try for number 2?” popped up after tying the knot. For the past 3 years, I have been surrounded by moms with child number 2 in tow, endless streams of birthday parties where special K and I fly solo. In passing conversation, the bits of small talk and catching up, the question pops up. Now when I give my answer, often there is a pause followed by “Kayman is amazing” “You are so lucky to have her” “At least you have time to yourself when she’s at her dad’s” “Gives you time to be a newlywed” “Think about not having a kid in high school when you are 60!” It is during these times I thank God for my tools, to gather peace and strength from inside, and as Don Miguel Ruiz said in his book “The Four Agreements”, try not to take it personally.

One month and 21 days. The finality of no, never.

The finality of a chapter closing. Acupuncture, plant based diet, juicing, praying, meditating, trusting, and practicing forgiveness. A regimen to heal. But nothing could keep my FSH swinging from 13 to 48 this past June.  2 weeks ago, I gave a spirited workshop to members of West Los Angeles’s chapter of ICAN about facing loss. I talked about how far I’ve come in healing my own grief, and how it translates to my passion to help others through perinatal loss. I loved the energy of being in the room with doulas, new mothers, expectant mothers. I must confess, I chickened out. I didn’t talk about my menopause and how effing hard it has been.

I am busy with work, being a mom, a wife, building a business. My life’s work of empowering women to tap into their inner core of joy after experiencing a loss. This week, I am outing myself. I am going to practice my own tools to transform my babyloss grief. Thank you to still life with circles to remind me it is perfect to be Right Where I am.  I am 44, making peace with my grief this week of being mama to my bright light of one special k. If you have experienced a miscarriage, infant loss, infertility, or going through unexpected menopause, this post is for you.  Even though this is not technically a death, it is just as important to give space to this white elephant.

What I am committed to today:)
-Give myself permission to cry, be made, have all of my feelings
-Remember my tribe. That I am not alone. Reach out for support
-Listen to music, dance in my living room
-Do one thing from my joy list
-Forgive any guilt, shame, that rises
-Play, hug my special K

Since we are all different, and our experiences are unique, my list might not work for you. Please feel free to take if it resonates and create your own. Share this with someone who may benefit, and I would love to hear from you below!

Blessings and gratitude this Monday!

 

 

 

Author: claire

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18 Comments

  • Very important position you are taking in health care here. This is definitely needed. I have been through it. my daughter has been through it to the extent of carrying her baby for nine months and losing her. Glad you are here. ~Cathy

  • Thank you Claire for such a vulnerable, heart warming post about your life and your beautiful acceptance of where you are now. I myself suffered 2 miscarriages many years ago and didn’t move to accept and heal the loss for them until many years later. And I love your explanation of the loss experienced during menopause. I did this at the young age of 42 (I’m 53 now) and felt such a loss of my womanhood. Years later I was able to process this in my work at USM and accept my body, my divine feminine and the gifts of my life journey. Again, thanks for sharing a part of you 🙂

    • Claire

      Christine,
      Did you find support for menopause when you were going through it? It’s amazing to me that there aren’t hardly any support groups for early menopause.
      Thank you for your sharing from the heart and loved that you were able to heal at USM.

      • No Claire, I didn’t find any support. I was the youngest of my friends who were my age, so now I’m a support for them as they transition through menopause. I wish my OB/GYN had a referral for me, for both the miscarriages and menopause. Perhaps the OB/GYN doctors would be a good target market for you for support and education for their patients that are dealing with these very sensitive areas? You would be an inspiring voice to so many 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing this, a subject that makes many women suffer in silence. Love it! Thank you!!

    • Claire

      I know right, it’s my hope that we can bring this out of the closet and not have it be such a white elephant in the room anymore.

  • Very well written, emotional post. Thank you for sharing your story. I lost a baby to what ended up being a tubular pregnancy. The fact that it could never have been a baby didn’t help the loss I felt when I found out the news. There were weeks when we thought we WERE having another baby, so during that time, that child became real to us. So, I totally get that your early menopause is a real loss to you. I feel for you and am glad to hear that you are giving yourself permission to cry and grieve for that loss.

    • Claire

      Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for sharing. I can totally relate to that having a baby feeling…there were so many moments this past year when my period was late and I was having the symptoms of severe pms or pregnancy that I felt like that huge “maybe” too.

  • Thanks so much for sharing your story, I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I think you’re incredibly brave to be sharing already–I know you think you “chickened out” sharing your story at the workshop, but I find that we can’t start to share until we have processed–and that usually takes us a lot longer than we ever want it to. I am so glad I read this today, thank you.

  • Robyn

    Thanks,

    I also had early menopause and approximately six miscarriages. One before several after my son was born. My son is wonderful and I couldn’t be luckier AND it’s hard living in the world of “what if.”

  • Claire,
    What an incredible post, with such vulnerability and honesty. Thank you so much for having the courage to share.

    Know that you are never alone, as you said, and that your tribe is bigger than you realize, reaching to people who don’t even know you (myself included) – we keep each other going!

    My very best wishes,

    Kendra

    • Claire

      Thank you Kendra, <3 it is such a white elephant in the room. My daughter just left for 8 days with my ex back for her summer break yesterday so I've been bit melancholy. Your words means so much this morning:) Thank you.

  • Susan Lee

    This is so beautiful, real and vulnerable. I’ve never met you, but I feel so close to you having only talked to over the phone a few times. How you share yourself is a gift. Thank you.

    • Claire

      🙂 Thank you. Share and teach what you know right? I feel close to you too. sending hugs and looking forward to catching up soon. xx

  • Hi Claire,
    Thank you for sharing so openly about your life experiences. I am going to share your website with a couple of my friends suffering from the loss of miscarriage and stillbirth. Thank you for your transparency and for using your writing to bless others.
    -Emily

  • Claire thanks for sharing your story…..I think your path to greatness helps so many women.
    xoxo
    Sarah

  • Claire – You’ve offered a great service to so many women with your honesty. Thank you for being willing to put yourself out there…