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!