Last New Years I committed to writing a blog post every week for this entire year. I missed my first week in July, then another and another. I vowed to start up again but something else was happening this summer that kept me from doing it. Something else was growing that needed my time and energy and I just didn’t have enough to give to my blog.
We have had many challenges with having children- our first son Silas Orion died 10 hours after he was born 7 years ago. We went years without getting pregnant again. After failed IUI & IVF attempts, our 3rd IVF ended in success with our now beautiful 3 1/2 yr old Zephyr. While we really wanted a sibling for Zephyr, it just wasn’t happening. We decided to give it one last shot using the leftover embryos we had stored. We couldn’t believe it, but it actually worked!
At 44 years old, newly pregnant and teaching mornings and afternoons through the month of July, blogging became an impossibility. Growing this baby and sleeping were top of my list. I was exhausted but also incredibly excited and happy.
In August, I wasn’t teaching as much but I was spending time with Zephyr doing as many fun summer activities as we can. We went to music festivals, traveled to visit family and friends, went blueberry picking, swam in lots of friends pools and just enjoyed this incredibly hot summer.
We found out our baby was a boy and that all the genetic tests were great. Having already experienced a loss like we did, we could never feel completely at ease, but at almost 14 weeks, we were feeling really good about this pregnancy.
Then at my regular doctor visit, we got the heartbreaking news. There was no heartbeat. I realized when we lost our first son that there are no guarantees in life, that yes, bad things can just happen for no reason at all. My life had been pretty trauma free up until this point. My husband had grown up with a mom with MS so he knew what it was like to deal with the awfulness that life can hand you. I never had that.
I definitely look at life with a new lens – and I think about this daily as I listen to the news from across the world and hear about the horrors going on for people every day. I no longer subscribe to the philosophy of “everything happens for a reason.” Once you go through a trauma, that one goes out the window. Yes, we can learn and grow from tragedy, as I believe that we have.
People tell me how strong I am to have been able to endure what I’ve gone through and now yet again such a terrible loss. I don’t really see it that way. I think about all those who go through horrific struggles daily and don’t have the amazing life I have had. While I worked hard to find that peace and happiness again, I also continued to grieve in my own way, because it’s a process with its ups and downs that never completely goes away.
I have found that family, yoga, music, dancing, friends, gardening, cooking, my kitties & good food have all helped me heal. I am not stronger than others because of what I’ve been through, everyone goes through loss and trauma at some point in their life. Some worse than others, some earlier then others. The difference is you can choose how to deal with it. I choose to embrace life and find the things that will make me happy. I also choose to be sad when I need to be sad, to cry when I need to cry or be angry when I need to be angry. I have learned to feel my emotions when they come, to actually go through them, then let them pass and move forward.
I had plans that were thwarted when our son Silas died. It’s coming up to 7 years in a few weeks and we don’t have a first grader like I thought we would. With this last pregnancy, I had all kinds of plans for our families future. It’s been so challenging to let those thoughts go. Over 20 years of practicing yoga and the tools its given me are such a gift. Yoga has taught me to be present and feel what I feel in the moment. Thoughts of what could have or should have been are not healthy and don’t serve a purpose. It’s all human nature though, it’s where we live most of our life- in the past or future. Staying present is the challenge. Yoga and mindfulness keep me there most of the time. It’s hard though, especially when you go through a loss.
Teaching kids yoga, mindfulness, relaxation, breathing exercises, all of it has become that much more important to me. I want to return this gift I have been given. I work hard to breathe and relax and be mindful in order to get me through the pain. It’s still hard. It’s still a work in progress. There are kids living in such trauma filled situations that began at birth. I know that these tools are what can help them get through it and teach them to cope and handle the hardships that life unfairly throws at us.
I will continue to blog and share my kids yoga teaching experiences. I had decided to cut back on teaching in order to rest through the pregnancy and new baby. That has changed but I still plan on easing my way back to teaching, while I also hire some amazing kids yoga teachers to take over most of my classes. Stay tuned for all the exciting new turns I plan to take with Full of Joy Yoga.
I spent the last bits of summer with my family at our yearly lake house visit. We were able to savor the peace & calm with some much needed family time. I have a beautiful family and I feel so lucky.
Thank you for allowing me this space to share my experience and I hope to connect with some of you soon. I also welcome your comments below or if you want to email me personally to share your own experiences – firstname.lastname@example.org