April 2008


 As I previously posed, right now I have 6 ideas/steps that helped me find happiness after my miscarriage:

1.  Adopting an optimistic view.

2.  Optimism is a skill set that can be learned; a muscle that needs exercising.

3.  Even though you don’t understand why things are happening, know that “the universe is unfolding as it should”.  (Reflects a poem called Desiderata)

4.  God (what ever you perceive him/her to be) only gives you as much as you can handle…  and I am strong (I might be tired of being strong, but I am strong and I can handle and learn and thrive).

5.  Moving forward is a choice – let’s get going – embracing is good.

6. I believe in the power of positive thinking!

When I had my miscarriage I was devastated.  I searched for answers – there weren’t any.  After grieving, I need to move forward…  I used the bracelet my friend gave me – it was a distraction, it helped me to focus my energies towards something positive.  Any time I felt sad, or angry, or depressed, or just didn’t feel anything, I played with the bracelet…  I made my self think positive thoughts…  and you know what – it worked…  one positive thought, that was difficult to get to, became another and another and eventually it became easier…  I realized over time, it was easier to go through life with a positive outlook vs a negative…  

It is so trying to be negative, it is exhausting, it wears on you…  it makes the situation worse, and makes it last longer, and makes it seem like there is no end…

Where as being positive gets you on to healing, it gets you to a better place…  plus in my opinion, it causes me less stress…  always a good thing…  

Try it…  think positive thoughts…  you can do it!

 

 

5.  Moving forward is a choice – let’s get going – embracing change is good.

And here we are, #5, only one more after this one…

When I had my miscarriage I searched the internet, I talked to people, I found lots of medical facts that left me cold, I found websites where I could pour out my emotions that left me feeling drained, but I couldn’t find anything about moving forward…  until my friend who had also had a miscarriage, gave me a bracelet that her mom had given her.  It really helped me move forward.  This is the foundation from which we created OurHopePlace.com.  It is a way to help women move forward, when they are ready.

Miscarriage is a loss, a real loss that needs to be grieved for.  Women are different, all the shades of red lipstick (not to mention all the other colors) show how different we are, we all grieve differently for different lengths of time, but at some point in time we will be ready to move forward…  at some point, you will make a choice to move forward.  

I remember wanting to move forward.  When I first started to smile after my miscarriage, I would remember my miscarriage, and feel sad, and guilty for having some happiness.  I worked really hard to get past this…  and yes, it took time.  But I did it…  I chose to move forward.  When someone passes away, say a grandparent, they wouldn’t want you to stop your life, they wouldn’t want you to be sad forever, to be disconnected.  They would want you to be happy, to live your life, to remember them, to embrace their memories…  Right, so there are no memories to embrace from a miscarriage – there is loss of a dream.  But I can remember I was pregnant, that there was another child, and I can remember my dreams.  I can try to live them out as best I am able to, and I can try to make it better for others.  I can be happy and help others…  I can choose to move on, I did choose to move on…  you can too.

 

Not sure when you are joining us, but welcome, and sorry you are here…  after having my miscarriage and finding so little to help, and worse yet, finding the subject to be “taboo” except among women who had had a miscarriage, I knew I needed to help find a change…  my friend and I started Our Hope Place, we are dedicated to friends helping friends cope, hope and heal after miscarriage…  perhaps our story, thoughts, and ideas will help women and their family’s suffer less.  

So here is part 4 of 6 in finding happiness after miscarriage – and no, I don’t mean to make it seem like “do these 6 things and you will be fine”, rather I mean this as some encouraging words from someone who has been there, perhaps this will help…  

# 4.  God (what ever you perceive him/her to be) only gives you as much as you can handle…  and I am strong (I might be tired of being strong, but I am strong and I can handle and learn and thrive).

I think my miscarriage gave me great perspective… when something happens that is not planned, or is not as I would have liked/wished, I know that everything will be ok.  Why?  Because I have been through much worse – I have had my unborn child taken away.  My child that I wished, hoped, planned, and waited for.  My child who I loved is gone.  With no explanation.  Now little things, seem little.  And big things still are put into perspective.  I am a miscarriage survivor, I can get through anything.   I can stress less, I can have less drama…  all good things!

I find this oddly very freeing for me.  It allows me not to get caught up in everyday drama…  and I am more at peace for it…  so this is my silver lining from my devastating situation.  

I heard once about “your change muscle”…  mine must be in great shape – probably the best toned muscle I have, but it combined with my optimism is what gets me through…  

And lastly, God will only give me what I can handle, I have faith…  I am strong, I am a survivor…  

 

Well I started this the other day…  thought I would put together thoughts on healing and finding happiness after miscarriage… when I had my miscarriage, I searched the internet, looking for something that would help…  perhaps this will help someone…

Ok, we are up to step 3:

3.  Even though you don’t understand why things are happening, know that “the universe is unfolding as it should”.  (Reflects a poem called Desiderata).  When things are darkest, I remember that line from the poem below…  I have to admit, when things are darkest, and I read these words, I used to get angry, didn’t understand, I now have been through enough to have faith…  

I have shared this poem with many people, all have found their own meaning in it….  hope you do as well…

Desiderata

— written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s — 
(I think, there seems to be some debate on this)

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, 
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, 
be on good terms with all persons. 
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; 
and listen to others, 
even to the dull and the ignorant; 
they too have their story. 
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; 
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, 
you may become vain or bitter, 
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. 
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. 
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; 
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, 
for the world is full of trickery. 
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; 
many persons strive for high ideals, 
and everywhere life is full of heroism. 
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. 
Neither be cynical about love, 
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, 
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, 
gracefully surrendering the things of youth. 
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. 
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. 
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, 
be gentle with yourself. 
You are a child of the universe 
no less than the trees and the stars; 
you have a right to be here. 
And whether or not it is clear to you, 
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, 
whatever you conceive Him to be. 
And whatever your labors and aspirations, 
in the noisy confusion of life, 
keep peace in your soul. 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, 
it is still a beautiful world. 
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


As I previously posed, right now I have 6 ideas/steps that helped me find happiness after my miscarriage:

1.  Adopting an optimistic view.

2.  Optimism is a skill set that can be learned; a muscle that needs exercising.

3.  Even though you don’t understand why things are happening, know that “the universe is unfolding as it should”.  (Reflects a poem called Desiderata)

4.  God (what ever you perceive him/her to be) only gives you as much as you can handle…  and I am strong (I might be tired of being strong, but I am strong and I can handle and learn and thrive).

5.  Moving forward is a choice – let’s get going – embracing is good.

6. I believe in the power of positive thinking!

Because I don’t really think blogs should be so long (and this one is already getting there), I will write about each step over the next few days (ok, might be 2 weeks – well see.)

2:  Optimism is a skill set that can be learned; a muscle that needs exercising.  

That’s right, optimism can be learned, like anything else, say like learning to play the violin.  And it takes practice, so that people will want to hear you play vs. make the dog howl.  It is about having goals and plans to achieve them.  It is about altering plans when life doesn’t go as expected (and it rarely does).

There have been all kinds of studies on this – there are people who dedicate their lives to this work…  your brain gets used to working a certain way.  You need to train it to work in an optimistic way…  you need to practice.  

Focusing on the positive it key…  some examples:

– When I had my miscarriage I didn’t think I would ever be happy again, really.  Then my friend helped me out.  She too knew the devastation of miscarriage.  She talked to me, she listened, she answered questions, and she gave me a special bracelet.  I wore it everyday to remind me of hope.  Hope inspired by my friend, if she could have it, then maybe I could to.  I used the bracelet everyday, when I needed something positive to focus on, something to help me stop thinking of how say I really was.  And you know what happened.  It worked, I grieved, and I moved on.  Optimism got me through!

– When my son was just over 6 months old, I woke up one morning with terrible pain from my ribs to my hips, all around.  I couldn’t really pin point it, but there was a stabbing pain by my right kidney.  My husband drove us to the drs office, who sent me to the hospital with what he thought was appendicitis.  When I was in the emergency room, an intern, oh did I mention this happened in July?  Never go to the ER in July if you can avoid it.  So this intern, who had been at the hospital for maybe 5 minutes, comes in and asks me how much do I feel.  I say it feels like stage 2 back labor.  He replies, “what does that mean, I haven’t had that rotation”.  Right.  Then he moves my leg, and pronounces, right, not an appendix issue, rather you have intestinal cancer or Krones (spelling?) Disease.  I looked at my little son, then at my husband, and said, “get him out of here, and get me a real doctor.  Well it turns out it was my appendix, it was removed and is well.  It took almost 23 hrs at the hospital for them to figure it out.  When all was done, I called my parents, and they said, we are glad you are well…  then interestingly, they said, wow you could use a break…  I was thinking I had already had a break…  when you are faced with cancer, Krones, or your appendix, heck, I won the lottery.  

– Another example, I was flying recently.  We were delayed, the flight was crowded, …  the person behind me in line was complaining quite a bit.  Then he said to me, “that was the worst flight ever.  Wasn’t it?  That was the worst.”  I looked at him and said, “No I don’t think that was the worst flight ever.  The worst flight crashes.”  And he looked at me in disbelief, then said, “your right”.  Perspective.  I was happy we had landed, I was going to meet friends for a fun weekend.  

So ask yourself, what is the good here?  How will this lead to something positive?  Find the joy, even if it is a little thing, find the joy in what you are doing in life.  I try to find joy in each day,…  it could be a bird chirping, the sun setting, a great presentation, the way my husband looks at me, or just about anything my son does.   

I really think my optimistic attitude has helped me out!  I think my skills have improved during the most difficult time in my life, and help me now.  In life there will always be obstacles, it is how we handle them that matters.  And wouldn’t you rather go through life with a smile?

Devastated…  I was devastated when I had my miscarriage…  I have learned a lot since then…  recently I was thinking about what helped…  think I will dedicated the next few blog entries to this idea.  Right now I have 6 ideas/steps that helped me find happiness after my miscarriage:

1.  Adopting an optimistic view.

2.  Optimism is a skill set that can be learned; a muscle that needs exercising.

3.  Even though you don’t understand why things are happening, know that “the universe is unfolding as it should”.  (Reflects a poem called Desiderata)

4.  God (what ever you perceive him/her to be) only gives you as much as you can handle…  and I am strong (I might be tired of being strong, but I am strong and I can handle and learn and thrive).

5.  Moving forward is a choice – let’s get going – embracing is good.

6. I believe in the power of positive thinking!

Because I don’t really think blogs should be so long (and this one is already getting there), I will write about each step over the next few days (ok, might be 2 weeks – well see.)

1. Adopting an optimistic view.  I have learned a lot about optimism.  I remember going to an interview, the interviewer, soon to be my manager, asked me, “are you optimistic”.  Huh?  Then I said, “yes, I am optimistic, I can’t imaging a world without optimism, that would be a world without hope, without possibilities”.  That is true.  That is what I believe in my core.  

I have run into this time and time again…

– Have you been to Pikes Market in Seattle?  There is a store there, where they look like they are having a great time selling, oh, and throwing fish.  Some smart marketing/HR/business people turned this into a motivating book/video/way of thinking… it is called fish, and while I don’t remember it all, I do remember one thing, much of your happiness is about choice.  They even say in this work, you need to choose where you will go each day, and you need to choose to be happy.  Think of all the drama we could avoid if chose each day, rather than let the world happen to us.

– I also believe in looking for the silver lining…  when something happens, I make myself think what do I think about that, and where is the good in this…  albeit, sometimes this is difficult when something particularly annoying happens, but I try.

– I know that people with optimistic views are happier, achieve more…  lots of good things, why wouldn’t I want to do this?

– I know that being optimistic doesn’t mean that everything is great all the time.  Everyone’s life has obstacles to over come.  Optimism is about having goals and plans to achieve them.  It is about course correcting/changing when things don’t happen as planned (because really, what does go as planned – wouldn’t be writing about this if things happened as I planned – wouldn’t know anything about miscarriage if things went as planned…)

– It is exhausting being unhappy.  I know some people that thrive on drama…  EVERYTHING is cause for drama.  I get exhausted listening, and I have to sort through a lot to really understand what is/if there is an issue or if they are just complaining because that is what they like to do.

So what does this all have to do with miscarriage — it is about finding happiness after miscarriage.  After crying in the shower everyday for 4 months, after wearing my  (http://www.OurHopePlace.com) bracelet everyday – using it as a distraction and a way to force positive thinking and practicing my optimism skills, I started to move forward.  I can vividly recall the day the “world turned back on”.  And that is how it felt.  I suddenly noticed the sun, the birds singing, and that my special bracelet was pretty.  The world seemed to be in color again…  

I hope you find color in your world (when you are ready)…

More to come over the next few entries…

 

OK, I had difficulty with the title of this entry…  but on the subject matter I am clear.  This year, Mother’s Day is May 11.  If you have had a miscarriage, Mother’s Day can bring on a whole range of emotions and thoughts of what could have been.  Even if many years have passed since your miscarriage, you may be surprised about how you feel.  Happy and sad thoughts may sprinkle your day.  We know this all too well because we are two women who have experienced miscarriage and have gone on to heal.  We created Our Hope Place (www.OurHopePlace.com) in order for friends to help friends cope, hope and heal after miscarriage.

Here are some suggestions to get you through the day:

Recognize your true feelings.  Don’t hide or discount them.  Part of you may want to celebrate Mother’s Day because you are a mom to the baby you lost.  You may want to celebrate with the other “moms” in your life.  Ask your spouse or a family member to be your “soft place” that day.  Whenever you need a break, let this person take care of you.   

Be kind to yourself on Mother’s Day.  Do not criticize yourself for how you are feeling or put pressure on yourself.   Be your best friend and make the day special to you.

Plan ahead to do something meaningful that will bring a smile to your face.  Plant a flower or tree to remember your baby.  Take a walk with your spouse.  Go to church and say a prayer.  Get together with the important women in your life.  Laugh with your family.  Even stay under the covers and read a great book.

Don’t be afraid to say “NO”.  Do what you need to do on Mother’s Day even if it means not participating in traditional family events.  If you can find the words, explain why you would rather not participate to your family.  (“Right now I am feeling too emotional to be with everyone on Mother’s Day.”)  If that is too difficult, maybe your spouse or close relative can explain how you are feeling and why you will not be there on Mother’s Day.

Try to focus on the positive.  Being grateful for what we already had in our lives and thinking positively is what helped us with our healing process and led us to create Our Hope Place  (www.OurHopePlace.com).  We decided to share our friendship, a special bracelet of hope and it’s inspiring story to help other women who have also experienced miscarriage. 

Only by being true to yourself and celebrating Mother’s Day in your own way will you will be able to remember your loss, continue with your healing process and look to the future.

Here’s to celebrating Mother’s Day your way!  Good luck!  Let us know how your day goes, and have no doubt, this is your day too!

Next Page »