It's been just over 6 years and 11 days since I last blogged here. In this day and age, with social media and the ease of sharing constant updates, pictures, random thoughts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, the use of a blog has become passé. But this often unvisited, little shoebox of memories still has a place in my heart, especially for the things that need more than a selfie or a funny/wisdom filled meme. So, here we go.
Why "Feelings Buried Never Die"?
In 2003, I was 29. I had magical and awakening conversations with a cherished friend. There was a time when we were talking on the phone when I was in a bookstore in the mall (such a different way of life "back then"). As we talked, I came across a book titled, "Feelings Buried Never Die" and I paged through it briefly as we bantered about whether or not that was something needed.
At that time, finding this book was super appropriate, although I didn't know it. I was battling the deep inner conflict of trying to stay in my marriage of the time, to find ways to change myself, to think differently, to be different, as I thought that was the way things had to be. Picking up that book, I realized that perhaps instead of buying another self help book on marriage, perhaps I should be looking at how to unearth feelings and look at traumas I had put aside, to stay "alive", to stay functioning, to stay, period. I didn't buy that book that day, but all of these years later, I still find the title comes to mind, specifically when I identify life changing moments, the painful, heart breaking ones, that cannot and should not be buried. So here, as I tell why I am writing again, the only title for this post must match the title of that book.
Since my last post, November 30, 2015, I've been on a betterment trajectory. Exercise programs, fitness challenges, books read, hours worked, happiness created, and more and more grand children welcomed in. I find that so many wonderful wishes have come true as I've been blessed to be aligned with good, caring, strong, capable, talented individuals and organizations. I've become more of the butterfly goddess I once dreamt I'd be when I grew up. Life is life though, and not without challenges, but coming from a place of pain from the formative years of my life and the first decade and a half of my adulthood, the challenges of the past six years are ones I could take in stride. Until last month.
Until the first week of November 2021, every day life meant piles of work, kid and family activities, commitments to splendid organizations that I am grateful to support, and as allowed, late night TV with my husband. I had become a kind of content numb, settled, well-founded, and not wanting...I had no time for want in a life so full and perceptibly complete as mine was.
Amidst my normal, I began to find myself feeling sick and tired. Truth of the matter, I was nearly to the end of my 2nd foray into the 75 Hard program, so feeling tired was not new at the time, but feeling sick certainly was. At my age, it could be so many things, and I went online to discover them all, but nothing seemed right, so I decided I should probably see my doctor.
Funny thing intuition...my husband joked about how I was in such good shape that maybe I was pregnant. It was quite literally the last thing on my mind. At 47, who thinks pregnancy, its more like menopause or something unfun like that. But his statement put me on the edge and I took a test. Positive. I was stunned to say the least. We were a few weeks away from celebrating our youngest son's 6th birthday. We had, just days prior, taken our extended family picture that I had made specific remark about being able to print it "because no one is pregnant this year." I thought maybe there was something wrong with the test. Maybe there was just something wrong. But a visit to my doctor confirmed pregnancy and the beginning of the roller coaster ride.
Thrown Off Track
My life was hurtled off track. I have loved being a mother. I have LOVED it with everything in me. I made my peace with the fact that I would never bear another child a few years prior. I wanted for nothing there, after being so miraculously blessed with our two youngest children, and five total children who filled my heart to overflowing. In that moment, I was bombarded with a thousand thoughts, like how funny it was that I ruined my own plans for a printed family picture, how I was excited to tell our Ayla that she might have a baby sister and that her many prayers for one may be answered, how I was full of dread to tell anyone that I was pregnant at my age, and how would I make my job work, how would I find a way to be healthy enough to bear a child, how, how, how.
I sat in the car and cried. I cried thanks first, and then cried in confusion, and then lastly in fear because of the many risks that come with a "geriatric pregnancy". I sat in the car and let many thoughts wash over me, but prayed to find a way through, no matter what.
That day and for many days after, my husband and I talked about the "what ifs" of the situation at hand. I told him about a story from when I was only 20 and a shaman told me that I'd have six children; was this the fulfillment of that prediction. I told him that I wanted to be healthy and asked him to help me take care of myself, as I tend to do better taking care of others. We talked about "three bebes" and mused on what it would be like. One of our anchors is the adoring love we have for our two babies. The thought of adding a third had a softening effect on him, one that inspired tenderness and I needed it because depending on the hour, I felt a wreck.
I tried to "go with it". I downloaded at least three baby apps, I started planning dates and found ways that this miracle could work into our lives. I began to cancel summer 2022 plans and made last minute 2021 vacation plans in anticipation of not being able to travel. I kept up my exercising, but my body hurt and seemed out of sorts in a way that was not like my previous pregnancies. I even broke down and told my boss as I needed someone at work to know that I'd have to make a change, if not for myself, than for the health and well being of the baby I carried. It was confronting to have that conversation, only because I didn't feel settled and still wondered if this would work out.
Looking back, I think I knew it wasn't going to work out, but I fought those thoughts. I tried to cradle my tummy in my hands and picture a baby, however, I could not form a connection with that future. It troubled me. I would close my eyes and try to visualize and magic up how it was going to be, however I felt blocked and floated along, waiting for something to confirm my path.
Three weeks after having a positive pregnancy test, I began to have signs that something was not right. I called my doctor and they had me come in for an ultrasound. I felt that this was going to be the confirmation I needed to find my feet and know what was next. As the ultrasound scanned my insides, I expected to see the sight I was so familiar with: a tiny tadpole and a super fast heart beat. But to my despair, there was nothing. Just darkness. The technician told me that it didn't mean there wasn't a baby, that it might be too soon to tell, that it wasn't time to throw in the towel yet, but in my heart, I knew. I walked out to my car, overwhelmed and not sure what to feel aside from disappointment, pain, confusion, and the realization that this was not going to happen.
In the week following my doctor's visit, I began to miscarry. I was in the car on my way to California and I felt my heart break. I sent out a text to the few family members who knew about the pregnancy, "Body seems to be miscarrying now. I'm really sad even though I knew it was high risk and might not work out. I have to believe it's all for the best and as it should be, but I also wish it never happened, it's been so long since my heart felt broken." For the many dark miles between home and Las Vegas, I indulged in weeping as my children slept in the backseat because I needed to let my sadness live. I would not bury what needed to be released.
The next day, when we arrived in So. Cal and went immediately to my grand parents' graves, I held in my hand a golden healer stone that I had brought from home. After we cleaned the graves and took pictures of the great, great and great grandchildren at the graves, everyone wandered back to the cars, ready for the next leg of our adventure.
I stopped and looked back at the graves and silently prayed a bit. I prayed thanks for all my grand parents went through and for the miracle it was that I was born and lived and was able to bring more of their progeny into the world. I prayed that if there had been a baby that they would take care of him, so that he wasn't alone. I prayed thanks for families and put my golden healer stone to that sacred, blessed ground and let the stone absorb the holiness so I could take it with me. I left a portion of my pain there and took up the feeling of peace instead.
After the graves, we stopped at Laguna to get out and play in the ocean. Again, I felt I should produce the golden healer stone and wash it in the Pacific. I turned it over and over in the gentle waves, then let it lay on the sand and soak up the sun. I gently held that stone near my body, as if it were my heart that was being remade. It was the beginning of my healing, then and there. It could not have happened any other way.
Back on Track
I came home from our vacation and continued to go though the process of miscarrying. I wrote about it once in my journal to make sure I didn't forget, however I knew I'd need to really write it out when I had time to reflect in without deep pain. My life snapped back on track and since no one really knew what happed on my three week roller coaster ride, no one was the wiser or knew that my heart was still mending. Some days that has been good and some days it has been not so great, but it is what it is.
Here I am now, mostly healed and focusing on the hope that even though I still wish this had never happened, I am sincerely hoping that this experience helps me to care more for others, to understand the pain that some have had to feel as it relates to having children, just generally hoping that I am a better person for this. I hope that my broken heart is healing with greater capacity to love, and maybe that is why the heart break was needed.
So here, my wish is to let this experience be and let the feelings live, unburied, beautiful, real and free.