Shedding the Layers
Announcing your miscarriage on social media
Crying in public
Saying I love you
Writing your fetus a letter, asking it to believe, to stay - promising you will show him or her why you love the earth and how to live in harmony with her
Grieving your loss by cutting your hair
Talking to your mom who has passed, crying out for her help
Leaning on friends more than you ever thought you could
Tear soaked journal entries
Surrender...it is what I have been preparing for. I practice a little every day, but when it comes down to it - who am I trying to fool? I still hold on too tight.
Teach me. I am ready. What is next? Oh, I must trust...trust in the workings of the Universe, of our ancestors. I will one day see the lessons I will take. But for now, I am present. I trust. I listen.
One of the most powerful takeaways from my mom's memorial service was an email that my sister Amanda read. Mom had sent her a beautiful note via email when she was having a particularly hard time. The line that moved me was, " it is okay to not be okay." Why is that so hard?
To me it takes me back to the power in being vulnerable, in sharing our truth - in being present and in shedding the layers that we build between our true selves and that which we project out into the world.
Today I am not okay. I trust that I will be soon. I trust in the process of surrender. I am here. I am listening.
The ramblings above happened earlier today. Now I will describe the pain and beauty that just took place tonight.
I had been having the feeling since my mother's death in July that I needed to cut my hair to help in the grieving process. Almost immediately after returning to Colorado after my mother's memorial service, I found out I was pregnant. I was thrilled. My life partner and best friend Travis was thrilled. I moved into this space of incredible joy and grief. I tried to ride the wave of emotions as they flowed. It was difficult.
At the first ultrasound we learned that our little one was not growing to the size that it should for the gestational age. The doctor told us that we would more than likely lose the pregnancy. I tried to hold on to hope, just in case there was a chance that this life would live on.
I have felt so much support based on the fact that I have told so many people about the pregnancy. Due to that, I have had many friends and family reaching out to see if I am okay. I am not but it definitely helps to have the support. Back to the hair. I texted my amazing friend Julie to tell her that I NEEDED to cut my hair off, to grieve, to work to move past this. What did she do? She said that she would cut it this evening.
I arrived at the salon with Julie my hairdresser and friend of 15 years, and my other amazing friend Julie, who was there for moral support and now I realize to hold space for me to process my miscarriage. Both Julies are powerful. I will always be grateful for how they were there for me.
When I arrived at the salon, we decided that most of my length needed to go. At this point, I was getting horrible cramps. As soon as we cut off my braid, my body began to let go of the pregnancy that was already lost. I was given time to process and take care of my body. We continued the hair cut. We cried, we laughed. I feel like a person again, for the first time in at least a couple of weeks.
I cannot express how beneficial it was for me to let go of the hair. Of the expectation. Of the control. I was swimming in tender vulnerability. I have never felt so much support. I felt the power of all women supporting me, of my mom. I feel empowered.
I will keep the braid through Winter and offer it to the birds in the Spring.
Sharing my story seems mandatory. I feel like women often do not talk about miscarriage even though they happen so often. I feel like we need to take the time and space to grieve, to be there for each other. This a part of the human condition and it is so often overlooked.
I do not know what the future holds but I do know that I am reborn. I am new. I am stronger than I thought I could be.
Thank you for reading this. Special thanks to my sisters Katherine and Amanda and to my dad and my aunties for being there for me. My friend Lisa stopped by one day last week to rub my feet and again last night she spent 3 hours at my house comforting me and holding space. Jordan and Fox, the texts and the hugs. So powerful! Sarah delivered a homemade peach crisp and offered so much support. Jesse cooked me 2 days worth of amazing food and dropped it off, knowing I was in no way okay to offer any kind of company. Kelsea and Sarah helped me deliver news to friends so that I wouldn't have to. That was before I decided on the mandatory post. Travis is the most supportive partner I could have ever imagined having. He makes me better, stronger. I cannot imagine who I would be without his unconditional support and care. So many more texts and hugs and looks. Thank you. I will be okay and I love you!