May 2011


I have watched Oprah for many years – some shows I agreed with, others I did not finish watching and still some gave me my own “ah ha” moment.  After 25 years I wanted to say to Oprah – “Thank you for making me a better woman & mom.”

The top 4 things I remember about all those shows as told in my own words – meaning what I took away from the show:

1) Don’t hold a grudge – Oprah told a story about how she had a disagreement with a friend and Oprah was holding a grudge.  She talked about all the energy and time she spent thinking about the disagreement and this person until one day she saw that person “skipdeedee doing” down the street.  Oprah realized at that moment that her friend was not wasting time thinking of Oprah but had moved on.  It was only Oprah who had given that friend all the power by letting the disagreement take up her thoughts and brain power that could have been used for something more useful.

2) Oprah always quotes Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz – “You have always had the power” with the actual quote being from Answers.com –‘You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas’ is the quote from Glinda the Good Witch about Dorothy Gale knowing all along what to do.

I think of this quote often as a mom, wife, daughter, friend & co-worker –  when I get “stuck” in life – whether I am trying to make a decision, get through a bad day or challenge myself with something new.  I realize the “power” is always inside of me -I just have to have the courage to grab it and go.

3) Mom stories – Oprah in her 25 years has had a lot of moms on the show – moms who inspired me, moms who went public with their embarrassing moments as a mom or moms who made me cry (tears of joy or sadness).    I thank Oprah and all those moms who made my life a little sweeter and sometimes easier because of the stories they told – but mostly thanks for letting me feel not alone in my quest to be the best mom (& woman) I can be.

4) “Take your pain and turn it into power”  an Oprah quote- one of the reasons that Our Hope Place (www.OurHopePlace.com) exists.   I believe that when something devastating happens to you (like a miscarriage) it helps to take that pain and channel it into something that will help others.  Once you see how you can help others, your pain lessens a little at a time and you feel empowered.

Have you learned anything from Oprah??? – let us know.

Advertisements

I just finished reading a unique book – “The Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life” by Glen Beck & Keith Oblow.  I did not know what to expect when I opened the book but the following sentences from the book hit home with me.

They explained to me in words (all quotes below from their book) what we at Our Hope Place (www.OurHopePlace.com) try to do everyday with the story of our miscarriages – share how we feel, share how we think about what happened to us and hopefully help others who find themselves in the same situation-to not feel so alone.

Why we share our story at Our Hope Place:

“We understand that no person’s life is precisely like any other’s, but we also understand that one life story can reflect the challenges each and every one of us faces in attempting to love ourselves and others and pursue happiness.”

“No two human experiences repeat themselves exactly, but there are underlying patterns that occur again and again – patterns we can learn a tremendous amount from.”

“Why can one life, honestly told, influence many lives?  Why can human beings learn from the experiences, thoughts, and feelings of others?  What energy is being tapped when one person is willing to completely open his or her heart and soul to others?”

Helping others to not feel alone after their miscarriage:

“So many of us believe we are alone in our shortcomings and fears and challenges and questions and hopes and dreams that we must keep ourselves undercover, lest we be seen for the imperfect people we are.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  There is far more that connects us than separates us.  We are all struggling.  We are all on difficult, sometimes tortuous, journeys that are really meant – designed, in fact, by God – to lead us to the best in ourselves.”

If you have experienced a miscarriage or know someone who has – please take a minute to tell them about http://www.OurHopePlace.com so that “one human being’s intensely personal tests and triumphs can be harnessed to the good of countless others. “

I remember the Mother’s Day after my miscarriage… we had a great lunch with spectacular wines…  I did as much as I could to focus on the positive.  We think we conceived our son that day as well…  but I know going through the day was hard.

So ere are some suggestions to help 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.  Try not to (read, don’t) criticize yourself for how you are feeling or put pressure on yourself.   Be your best friend and make the day special to you.

Try doing 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,

Laura & Sharon

Co-founders www.OurHopePlace.com

Congratulations to Mariah Carey and husband Nick Cannon on the birth of their twins –  a son named Moroccan Scott and a daughter named Monroe.   The twins arrived last Saturday in Los Angeles – just in time for Mother’s Day.  Mariah had previously suffered a miscarriage before having the twins.  Welcome little ones!!!

Full story of names of babies:

http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b240080_mariah_careys_baby_names_announced_are.html

From the TODAY Show this morning:

Marc Sedaka stood by while he and his wife endured endless rounds of drug therapies, 16 artificial inseminations, 10 in-vitro fertilizations, three miscarriages and, finally, a gestational surrogate who carried their twin girls to term. With the help of his own infertility doctor, Dr. Gregory Rosen, Sedaka has crafted the book “What He Can Expect When She’s Not Expecting: How to Support Your Wife, Save Your Marriage, and Conquer Infertility.” Here is an excerpt.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/42096898/ns/today-books/

It is great to hear a man’s point of view when it comes to infertility.  So many times (as also the case with miscarriage) the woman grieves silently and feels alone as the man “seems” to get back to his “normal” life.  Just the idea of knowing you are not alone in your situation can help.  Thanks for sharing your story.  http://www.OurHopePlace.com – “Helping friends cope, hope and heal after a miscarriage.”

I was so impressed and touched when I read about International Babylost Mother’s Day in Perth, Australia.  (They even have a Facebook Page.)  At Our Hope Place we  enthusiastically support any group, person, event that helps women and their families who have suffered loss.

Why do I like International Babylost Mother’s Day?   They recognize that once you become pregnant you are a mother.  You are your baby’s mother, forever.  Regardless of loss.

Women who suffer from miscarriage often feel alone.  On Mother’s Day it is worse.   So here is their own day…  right before Mother’s Day, to help them through…

So on this May 1st, these flowers, and these candles are for all of you, all of us…  all the women who have lost…  and we will do the same next year!