I’ll try anything

One of my yoga students approached me after class and had noticed that I was no longer pregnant. She told me that she is a shamanic healer and would like to offer me a free healing session soul journey with her. I didn’t know anything about what this was but I was touched by her generosity and thought that it sure couldn’t hurt. I checked out her website and made an appointment to go. I drove to her house way in the middle of nowhere.

First I have to say she is super cool. She is an older lady with long grey hair (like my mom’s actually) she looks like a healer and a nurturer so I felt completely comfortable with her. Secondly, her house is bad-ass! It is a straw bail home and her husband builds them for a living. She wanted it to feel like she was living outside and it really does. Her house has real tree trunks for columns and she has plants and stones everywhere and even a pond with waterfall, inside! It’s so cool. I sat with her shortly and had some water and then we went outside and walked to her healing hut.

The hut has a beautiful elaborate entrance and then it is a small adobe walled room built into the earth. It was small and warm and round. It felt like a womb. I laid down on the cot she had and we got started. She explained that her spirit guide and my spirit guide got together and decided that I needed to have flower petals sprinkled on me so she did that and it smelled and felt lovely. Then I closed my eyes and she began calling to my spirit guide to direct her to parts of my soul that left me when they got scared.

There were drums and rattles and bells. It sounded really cool in that little space. I had no idea what to expect so I just laid there and relaxed. At one point in the drumming I felt full of light. This went on for a while, im not sure how long but based on the time I went in and then later when I left I’d say 30-45 min or so. Then she blew on my heart and into the top of my head. When it stopped she began to describe that my spirit had 5 missing pieces.

My spirit guide had taken her on a journey to find these parts. Now, I’ll just say that this was something new for me and I was slightly skeptical but open. As she described the parts she found I could feel myself becoming somewhat of a believer because I felt compassion and familiarity for the parts of my soul she was describing. She mentioned seeing me as a toddler, a middle school aged child, a college student, and a young adult. The things she described were very accurate to my life memories. The last part she described hit home the most. She said my spirit guide took her through the woods to a cliff that was on the ocean. She said it was a dangerous cliff and they climbed down to a cave with really torrent water going in and out of the cave. She said that I was in there in the dark shadows of the cave and as she walked towards me she could tell that I looked pregnant but I was bleeding. I was soaking wet from the water and looked completely swallowed up with sorrow. As she was describing this I started crying because it was exactly how I felt when I was going through finding out about the tri18 and then in terminating the pregnancy. I wanted to be strong so I blocked out the feeling she was describing, so evidently those feelings went and hid in this dangerous wet cave. As she brought me out an Indian woman (from India) showed up to protect that part of me, pretty cool. Now that all of these parts are returned to me I was instructed to talk to them and make them feel safe and at home. I can do that. Again I’m not sure what to believe about what happened since I haven’t really felt any different and I didn’t really feel anything at the time. But it was believable to some extent. I’m happy to have healing from anywhere I can get it.

Vedic Astrology

I participated in a Jyotisha (vedic astrology) teleconference on the full moon in February. If you have never heard of Katy Poole you should look her up. Seriously, this is one cool lady. Her life story is amazing and her character is beautiful. Anyway, every full moon and every new moon of the year she offers these teleconferences to talk about what is going on in the stars from a vedic perspective. They each have a focus and the one I participated in was called Making Peace with the Past. I thought this was fitting and so I signed up. You submit your birth time and location info along with a question and she then addresses everyone in the call. She starts out by just giving an overview of the stellar goings ons to set the mood. Then she goes one by one through the participants giving her best interpretations of astrological answers to your question. I wasn’t sure what to expect, I also knew I had some pretty deep questions. But she addressed them with compassion and offered me some useful insight. I gave her some background into my story in baby making and asked her how to hold the grief I have and how to move forward and heal my body since my most recent BBT chart was not so stellar.

Here are some paraphrased snippets from what she had to say.
• I am suffering from the pressure of: “will my body ever produce what it needs to produce?”
• I have a story from my past around being inadequate and broken, reiterated to me by the medical community
• Losing the baby and the medical terminology around this can make it feel like failure and adds to frustration and despair. Since this is where I am looking for my information and consolation it is being cast in a way that can only lead to me seeing it as negative
• Some souls live short lives in small bodies, it was still a life, something that I gave that is very significant to that soul
• This was not a loss or a failure, just a first experience of pregnancy and parenting
• Heal your mind (language and thoughts) to heal your body
• This isn’t about me I was just experiencing a shocking awakening
• I am a natural healer, there is healing and progress throughout my chart.
• Yes to future children! I am just experiencing an obstacle, this will not last forever
• The time to try again will come and it will work
• If science gets involved that is ok, I am part of an evolution in medicine
• Grieve but don’t submit to the story of failure and mistake
• Write it as Liberation instead of Termination, the soul was so evolved that the body it formed was all it needed
• Autobiography of a yogi: Yogananda was asked by a dying deer not to save its life. “Let me move on”

Right after the reading I wasn’t sure how to feel. Her words were so powerful and uplifting that I actually felt a little bit better. Then I felt guilty for feeling better. Did I just believe the story she was telling because it was nicer than the one I had been telling myself? I so desperately wanted to hang onto the idea that this soul only needed 5 months of life and a partial body to reach its liberation. I wanted to believe that it knew it only had a short time and wanted to be with me in that time. The story I had been telling myself and that was reinforced by the medical community was that something had gone horribly wrong. I questioned what I had done wrong. I believe in karma and I was carrying around the weight that this was somehow a karmic debt that I had to pay and that my baby paid it inadvertently as well. But after this astrologic reading with Katy I let myself consider the possibility that this child was on its own path and was evolved enough to move through this life very quickly. There is no way to know the truth. There are many many reasons this could have happened to us. It could have been a horrible mistake, it could have been just a random act of chromosomes, it could have been the plan all along. I don’t know. I waiver between believing the story that feels best, and feeling guilty for clinging to that. I do know 100% that my baby was good. I am proud of my little one and so honored to be chosen as a part of its experience. I know some of the things I do and chose to participate in are unconventional. I know they seem a little whoo hoo in the world full of blogs around assisted reproductive technology. But that is part of why I am telling my story. I hope someone can relate.

Girls Weekend

The weekend after my birthday and 2.5 months after losing the baby some of my amazing friends and fellow yoga instructors took me on a little retreat away from home for some good old fashion women hanging around talking kind of healing. It was great. I was teary eyed for days leading up to it because I knew I was finally going to have another container for my feelings. It had been long enough that people weren’t considering me fragile and calling me every day but not long enough that I was really done grieving. I was having a hard time holding in all of my grief and tears and just the thought of a whole weekend to talk to some women about what I was feeling was enough to make it all rise to the top again. It ended up being a beautiful weekend. I really appreciate the opportunity to get outside for some fresh air for a hike and a soak in the hot springs. I also appreciate all the laughter shared with these funny women. But mostly I appreciate that they just let me cry all day for 3 days straight. They asked how I was feeling and let all of it be ok. They weren’t quick to offer help for a situation they could never fully understand. They were just there. That was what I needed, people to show up and be there for me while I felt my pain. I felt loved and I am forever grateful for these friendships.

One Lovely Blog Award

Wow I was nominated for my First Award! Isn’t it lovely? The Amazing Dandelion Breeze and Em Hart at Follow Every Rainbow are the givers and I feel so honored that they thought of me. Thanks Ladies! I think you are both lovely as well.

People if you aren’t already following these blogs you should. Dandelion is so brave and has such a strong will, her writing is so truthful and inspiring. Em is quite a character, she just puts it all out there for us to relate to, she has an infectious writing personality. Check them out!

If you are new to this blog or just want to know a little randomness about me here are 7 random facts

• I LOVE sleeping. I am good at it. I fall asleep easily, sleep all night, and have to tear myself from the bed. I can sleep 10-12 hours a night and wake up feeling great but I usually only get 7-8.
• I am a vegetarian. I like meat, but I like letting animals live even more.
• I have bad vision, without glasses or contacts I can’t tell the difference between my husband and our cat. (Ok it’s not quite that bad, but it is bad)
• I have 2 doggies and 2 kitties.
• I want to be on time. I really do! But I am chronically 5 or 10 min late. I don’t know how that happens.
• I change my hair color with the seasons. I’m not even sure what color my hair really is any more.
• I really like to sing, I have a brain that easily remembers song lyrics from any song I’ve ever heard and singing makes me feel good. I always have a good laugh though because I seriously have no voice and sound like a really bad American Idol tryout. So unfair.

In getting this award I am supposed to

Share who gave you this award with a link back to their blog. √
Write down 7 random facts about yourself. √
Pop the award on your blog. √
Give this award to 15 other bloggers.
Let them know they’ve won.

So I am 3 for 5. In order to meet the last two requirements I would like a little time. Since this award is going around right now, most of who I would nominate have already gotten it. So I want to commit to finding 15 blogs I have never read that are deserving and then hand out the prize. It will help me to be able to reach out to even more fabulous ladies as there are just so many of us out there. So please stay tuned for the winner. And if you have a blog you want me to check out I am always looking for more, just leave a comment and I will come check you out!

Moving Forward

I want to speak to my body, my bbt, and my menstrual cycles post D&E. I had a period 5 weeks after the procedure and I was so happy. This is such a normal thing to have happen and I was shocked that it was that easy. I started taking my temperature at 5 days past the procedure.

It was a little wonky but all in all not bad considering what my past charts have looked like and what my body had just been through. I noticed that the temp change at ovulation was not very strong. The period lasted only about a day and a half but all things considered I was very happy. I bled for only about 3 days after the procedure but I had spotting through day 12. When all the bleeding appeared to be done I started back on the supplements that I was taking a break from during pregnancy. So back to the vitex, maca, DIM, NAC, chromium, and primrose oil along with my prenatals and fish oil I took throughout the pregnancy. I also added royal jelly for good measure hoping to improve egg quality and decrease any chance in hell that this would happen again. I don’t know if those had anything to do with it but I was back! I was ovulating and menstruating right on target.

My second cycle was a little better than that first one even, I still had a couple high pre-o temps and again not a strong ovulation temp change. But it did happen and again I bled right on schedule even though it was only a day and a half again. I was so happy and proud of my body, I even forgave it for hanging on to the pregnancy weight despite my first ever diet and hitting the gym hard again. I decided that me and my ovaries could still be friends and maybe our bond would be even stronger given our time together and we could trust each other more.

For the third cycle I decided that since my days of actual bleeding were very minimal that perhaps the D&E had left my uterus feeling sad and empty and it needed my friendship and attention too. Not only was I going to be close with my ovaries but I invited my uterus to the healing circle as well. I added in some red raspberry leaf tea and bromelain tablets to the regimen with the hopes of building my uterine lining. I also thought that maybe I was no longer estrogen dominant so I stopped taking the DIM with the thought process that I needed estrogen to build my lining. I also remembered my success with Chinese herbs so I started to self-prescribe. Luckily I was able to get some (very minimal) email support from Ageless Herbs and get going with some great stuff. I filled out the online questionnaire and was advised to take Stasis in the Lower Palace for blood moving, Free and Easy Wanderer for liver chi stagnation, and Restore the Middle Way to build spleen chi. Being the supplement junky that I am, I decided to throw in a Kidney yin tonic (Yin Valley) for days 4-11 and a Kidney Yang Tonic (Ancestor Treasure) days 12-17 to hopefully create a stronger yin-yang transformation and see a stronger ovulation.

It’s quite possible that I changed too many things at once. (You think?) Cycle 3 post D&E was not looking as pretty as one and two. The first 12 days were higher than my usual coverline. I talked myself into thinking this was ok by doing more research. Lots of women had seen a raise in pre-o temps with improved thyroid function so I thought maybe that was what I was seeing. Well when day 13-15 came with extremely low temps and not the spike I was hoping for I knew something was not right. Looking back at it now it was more of the saw tooth pattern that is indicative of PCOS! So I backed off a little stopped taking the kidney tonics. They seemed to do the exact opposite of what I was looking for, higher temps during the yin tonic and lower temps during the yang tonic. Clearly, I am no master of Chinese herbs but I am learning. I also decided to add the DIM back in because the prolonged follicular phase and the abundance of clear and creamy cervical mucus lead me to believe that the estrogen is perhaps still a little dominant. Things started to settle down a bit so I felt better. But I did make an appointment with an acupuncturist just for good measure. I had to get a new one because the woman I previously saw was off on a boat with acupuncturists without borders. Great for her, sucky for me. I picked this new guy because I have gotten raw herbs from him in the past and have seen him give a public talk on the greatness of acupuncture. I was slightly nervous about using a male but he has been fantastic and very knowledgeable.

Doing nothing in December

After the procedure I wasn’t able to do anything for 3 weeks. No swimming, no vacuuming, no yoga, they even said no aggressive grocery shopping. No aggressive grocery shopping? I could not lift anything over 8 lbs. Do you know how many things there are to lift in the world that are over 8 lbs? I’m a busy body, especially when I want to distract myself form horrible things. So it was hard for me to do nothing. Luckily most DVDs and trashy novels weigh less than 8 lbs.

It was a fairly mild winter because our place is a lot of work in the winter. We usually get enough snow that we have to shovel it away from the windows. There was some shoveling to do but not as much as usual. I felt horrible that I couldn’t help. We also heat with wood, no carrying in wood for me. I was actually looking forward to not having to work too hard this winter due to pregnancy, but after what happened I just felt useless.

Mostly I missed my yoga. It has gotten me through all the hard stuff the last few years and I needed it. I did do some gentle stretching and some restorative stuff but I really just wanted to be active. I didn’t teach my classes either and I missed that so much. I missed all my students but really, I couldn’t bare facing them and telling them what had happened. The owner of the studio was able to sub for me and she really helped me out by telling my students that I would be out for a few weeks because I had lost the baby.

I did go back to work right away. I got a lot of questions about this and every one said I should have taken time off. Cloudy and I work at the same place and I went back to work because he was there. I did not want to be alone, so I went, and I spent a lot of time crying in his office. Since I had told my boss a little bit about what was happening he filled I others at the office. A few people stopped in to ask how I was doing, it was too soon and I couldn’t talk to anyone without loosing it. I am glad he said something though, it would have been harder to have everyone ask about the pregnancy and have to tell everyone myself. I was able to do a little bit of work, answer a few emails, but mostly I was in a daze all day.

So I sat, and I cried. I meditated, and I screamed. I reached out to friends, and I ignored people when I couldn’t handle it. I lived through that 3 weeks. At my 3 week check everything looked great. My uterus had almost completely gone back to its original size and I was cleared for yoga and walks in the fresh air. I was also cleared to fly to go visit the in laws for Christmas.

The holidays we’re hard. Of course they were. But I lived through that too. I was so glad when 2012 rolled in because despite the cliche, it felt like a new start for us.

When we asked the docs about trying again we got a slew of responses, everything from go ahead and try right away to wait a year. We decided to play it by ear and see how I was feeling physically and how we were doing emotionally. Finally I learned that I know my body better than any doctor, I knew I wasn’t ready right away and I trusted that when I was ready I would know that too.

One day at a time.

The four leaf clover in my unlucky patch

As unlucky as this whole thing has made me feel, I have really been shown the other side of that coin as well. We are so so lucky to have such good friends and family. My mom took such amazing care of Cloudy and I while we were in her city for the termination. When we came home our friend who had been staying at the house and watching our kitties and puppy had cleaned our entire house, seriously, it had never been that clean before. She shoveled the snow, carried in tons of wood for our wood burning stove, did our laundry, clean sheets on the bed and all. It was so nice to come home to clean house. She is the best and we are lucky to have her in our lives. Also, when we got home there was a huge box on our porch that said “food” on it. One of our other friends had prepared a huge meal for our arrival home. They went all out, there was homemade lasagna, homemade cookies, bread from a local bakery, a beautiful salad. It was so good, and so easy. We are loved and blessed. As the weeks after the procedure unfolded a lot of our friends and family came out of the woodwork and touched our hearts with open arms. We received cards and favors abound. I don’t know how we would’ve made it through those first few weeks if it wasn’t for the outpouring of love and support and help that we received. So I’m sticking with lucky, despite our run of bad luck.

And now, several months later as I relive this tragedy through writing, all of you out there have been so amazing. I have not received an ounce of judgment, only compassion and love, from internet strangers! Seriously ladies, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Having my undiluted truth out there has been easy thanks to your support. The courage and strength and caring for others in the midst of your own heartbreak and hectic lives makes me love the world and the people in it.