Apparently, I haven’t posted my monthly articles from Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS) since March. Oops. We’ll catch up today!

Finding Meaning while TTC After Loss

My monthly journal article for April, “Finding Meaning while TTC After Loss,” chronicles our 10th cycle of TTC. I busied myself, working on living authentically, inspired by David Kessler’s quote, “We find many things on this long, sometimes strange journey we see as life, but mostly we find ourselves. Who we really are, what matters most to us. We learn from peaks and valleys what love and relationships really are. We find the courage to push through our anger, tears, and fears. In the mystery of all this, we have been given all we need to make our life work—to find happiness. Not perfect lives, not story book tales, but authentic lives that can make our hearts swell with meaning.”

Ladybug Girl and Baby Batman

For Mother’s Day at PALS, we ran a series for our community where they shared their “Courageous Mama” stories. My story was used as an example in the announcement post: “I am a Courageous Mama because…” An excerpt from the piece:

I am a courageous mama because we decided the greater risk was to not try again.

I am a courageous mama because I decided to share our journey of TTC after loss to help other families.

I am a courageous mama because after six months of trying, we investigated foster-to-adopt.

I am a courageous mama because we decided that foster-to-adopt wasn’t the right plan for our family at that time.

I am a courageous mama because we kept trying.

Three Minute Dance Party

Life was feeling extra stressful in May, so I skipped writing my journal article for PALS. I did still write my How I Cope piece, though, and shared the one coping strategy that consistently works for me right now: “The Three-Minute Dance Party.” Seriously, go watch the movie compilation of Shut Up and Dance and tell me you were able to sit still. It’s not possible. Even Miss Didi has to dance!

Betting Against Myself

June’s monthly TTC journal article, “TTC After Loss: Betting Against Myself,” chronicled a silly bet that I made with a friend. “By betting against myself, I also gave myself permission to imagine a healthy pregnancy that resulted in a healthy baby. I know that visualizing a perfect pregnancy and healthy baby is no guarantee. I continue to be well aware of the myriad of things that can go wrong. I know that I will still worry, feel anxious, and probably be terrified the entire pregnancy. But I gave myself permission to see me holding a healthy baby born after loss. I don’t think I really had let myself imagine before that moment.”

How I Cope: Observing the Monthly Cycle of Emotions

June’s “How I Cope: Observing the Monthly Cycle of Emotions,” contemplated how the specific hormones of of a monthly cycle affects my emotions of TTC after loss. From the article: “From very early in this process, I’ve said, ‘Grief and hormones are a lethal combination,’ and that continues to be the case. Fortunately, the number of ‘lethal’ days during the cycle are lessening. After I get through those early days of the cycle, I tend to focus on self-care for several days to pull myself out of the lethal phase. Then, almost suddenly, I find myself full of hope: maybe this month will be THE month! I flit around with renewed interest in activities, relationships, and trying to conceive. I manage that renewed interest through ovulation, and then I switch my focus to distraction to keep busy during the two-week wait. This works for about a week, but then my focus becomes anxious, fearful, and moody.”