Miscarriage

Mother’s Day: Brand New… Or Is It?

It’s five days before Mother’s Day - my “first” Mother’s Day.  I’m perusing through Target pushing a stroller. I catch the wheels on a rack as I turn the corner, again, and it’s clear this is still a little new for me.  I look down and the most adorable little face I’ve ever laid eyes on looks back at me with big, round, blue eyes. Eyes that remind me of my own, with lashes for days like his Daddy.  My heart skips a beat - bursting with love and amazement - I coo at him and continue to look for infant-sized sunglasses.

I notice a happy song is playing the background.  At first it registers simply as familiar, then I come to recognize it.  Then comes the pit in my stomach, my heart skips a beat, my throat chokes and tears spring into my eyes.  It’s “Brand New” by Ben Rector. It’s the song I played at full volume and sang to my baby I never got to meet.  My second pregnancy. My second loss. That baby took hold of my heart from the moment I saw the positive symbol on the pregnancy test. That was “our” song. When I hear it, my heart hurts. My soul hurts. I already knew this, but it is reaffirmed that the love I felt for him was real.

I quickly check myself and bring myself back to the present moment. This moment, this day, this week, this year has been filled with blessings and love and absolute wonderment thanks to baby Lucas and my incredible little family.  Everything I prayed for. But even still, in that same moment, I’m acutely aware that I carry those two losses before him with me along with my joy.

No single experience in life defines us.  A doctor of mine once gave me a powerful analogy to a chess board that has stuck with me.  We are the chess board - steady and constant. Each game piece is a life experience. Some are good and some are bad.  They move around and sometimes the good are in the lead, sometimes the bad are in the lead. Each piece is critical to the game, but the board does not change.  The board - we - always stay the same no matter where the pieces go. The pieces, our experiences, do not define us.

I’ve learned that the good and the bad can, and do, co-exist.  It’s entirely possible, and ok, to feel joy and sadness at the same time. To be grateful beyond belief and have grief pop up all at once. Especially in the case of motherhood.

I have said it before - Motherhood begins the day you decide you want to become pregnant.

And so, as I approach my first Mother’s Day since my son was born, I have already had three Mother’s Days along my motherhood journey.  On this special day, I will celebrate my son and my family with a very special appreciation. My heart is overflowing with love and gratitude. Lucas and I will dance to our song, “No Such Thing As A Broken Heart” by Old Dominion as loud as the volume will allow. He is my best bud, my love, my little miracle. I will also inevitably remember the babies I never met but who remain in my heart forever.

To those of you reading who have lost a pregnancy, I know Mother’s Day has meaning for you as well. If this day is difficult for you, that is perfectly ok. Talk about it. Acknowledge it. Seek support. Know that you do not have to push through it alone. Also know that it’s ok to find joy on this day wherever you can and feel it along with your sadness. Your experiences do not define you, and the good will inevitably be in the lead again.

What feelings and emotions are coming up for you this Mother's Day?  I welcome you to share with me in the comments below, or send me an email at ashley@feelfireflow.com .


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Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

Pregnancy Loss & Infant Awareness Month

In all of the stories I listen to of losses of every kind - miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, ending a pregnancy "incompatible with life", stillbirth - what is most amazing is the ability for a woman to be in all-consuming heartache and physical pain and to rise with unbelievable resilience at the same exact time.

This month and ALWAYS, here's to all the warrior women out there and to the pieces of our soul that watch over us from heaven. 

Share your story and support for others in the comments below!

Welcome October with Fall Transitions, Sage Smudging &, Of Course, Food!

Welcome October with Fall Transitions, Sage Smudging &, Of Course, Food!

We are just a few days in and October has already made itself known with cooler temperatures and leaves beginning to change to the colors of the season.  Be sure to take in the beauty of the transition and relish in the mix of greens, oranges, reds and yellows!  What transition do you feel happening in yourself right now?

The sunny days and fresh air this week make it a great time to open all the windows and fill your home with fresh air.  To literally “clear the air” in your home, consider this quick sage smudging practice - an ancient ritual used to cleanse and realign your space and/or self.  Smudging is a great thing to do to get rid of lingering negative energy from a pregnancy loss, an unsuccessful IVF attempt, tension in the home, an illness, or major life event.  It is symbolic of a fresh start.

How To Help A Friend In Pain

How To Help A Friend In Pain

As the rate of fertility issues remains high and awareness grows, we are learning of more and more stories of loss, frustration and battles with fertility from everyone from the people closest to us to distant friends to public figures and celebrities.

The openness about these life changing events is fairly new, while the struggle is not new at all. Women who choose to share their experiences more often than not discover people they never dreamed of have gone through a similar heartache of their own, including family members, coworkers and dear friends.

Whether you’ve experienced a miscarriage or infertility yourself, or not, I know that learning of someone’s heartache is always a careful situation.  It is natural to not want to say the wrong thing and the truth is, there is nothing that can be said that can make the situation better - unless you’re a stork delivering a healthy pregnancy and baby.  So, not likely, sorry.

TV Series 'Nashville' Schools The Public On Miscarriage

Last week’s 'Nashville' episode was a tough one.  For the record, not very long ago they killed off the main character and now this - they’re in serious competition with 'This Is Us' and 'Grey’s Anatomy' for the show that makes you sob the hardest.

"It is perfectly OK to not be OK right now."

This beautifully written piece by Big Bang Theory's Melissa Rauch is extremely honest, relatable and inspiring account of her path to motherhood thus far which includes a heartbreaking miscarriage.

She touches upon all the major pain points from the shock and intense grief, the feelings of guilt and hormone rollercoaster, to the social awkwardness put on women today when it comes to reproducing, all in a very empowering way.

I encourage everyone to read it, whether you have experienced pregnancy loss or know someone who has. And if you have - please know you're not alone and have my support.

Thank you, Melissa. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Actress Melissa Rauch Announces Her Pregnancy and Reflects on the Heartache of Miscarriage

By Melissa Rauch, JULY 11, 2017 12:00 PM