2017 in Review
*****TRIGGER WARNING this article contains information about miscarriages*****
So, as you may (or may not) have noticed, during the last two months I took a little break from blogging and social media. This was not intentional, but rather just kept happening until I realized that I needed some time to reflect and reevaluate. This last year was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. In no particular order, my mother was diagnosed with cancer (she is kicking some serious lymphoma ass!), my uncle passed away, and I had two miscarriages. You might say that 2017 was a bit of a kick in the pants. With all of this going on, I tried to keep my head and heart in the game as long as I could, but ultimately I needed to step back from a few responsibilities and practice some self-care.
I have been quiet about what I am going through because I don’t really like posting such personal information online. For a while now I have been toying with the idea of writing about my struggle in becoming a mother and have ultimately decided to share it. Not because I am particularly comfortable talking about it in such a public forum, but because I want other want-to-be-parents to know that they aren’t alone. Miscarriages and conceiving difficulties are much more common than you’d think. Research shows that up to 20 percent of women trying to conceive under the age of 35 have miscarriages and according to the CDC, about 10 percent of women ages 15-44 have difficulty getting and staying pregnant. Not that knowing this information makes the process of overcoming the trauma any easier, it is simply here to show the prevalence.
My 2017 could not have started off any better. I was pregnant!!! This was the moment I had been waiting for since I was 5 years old. Seriously, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say “a mother.” This elation didn’t last very long and I was left a bit broken and very confused. I did everything right. I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. My only vice is dark chocolate. I exercise and meditate. I try to eat a healthy diet and at this point in life my stress levels were relatively low. So what did I do wrong? Answer: Nothing. These things happen. It is almost always a chromosomal defect and there is nothing that can be done regardless of your lifestyle. It is no one’s fault.
After a few weeks of working through my raw emotions, I picked myself up by the boot straps and decided to move forward. There was so much to do. I was a brand new business owner. Social justice advocates were needed on just about every front. I had started a new graduate certificate program and was eager to learn the curriculum and apply it to my work. And I was not going to give up on my dream of becoming a mom. I got back into the swing of things and again, we were pregnant!!! (I bet you can see where this is going). Then, on the day before Mother’s Day, I had a miscarriage. This time, it was much worse. I was completely devastated. I have spent so much time simultaneously wondering what is wrong with me while reassuring myself there was nothing to be done. I did not have control over this loss of life.
The second time around, I took the miscarriage much worse than before. It was an overload of raw emotion. Keeping up with my usual self-care regime no longer felt enjoyable. I quickly spiraled into a bout of depression trying so hard to understand why all of this was happening. Thankfully, I started on the path of becoming a Reiki master at this time. During this process I was reattuned to the first two levels. After each Reiki attunement your body, mind, and spirit go through a thorough cleansing and I was able to gain a better understanding about the bigger picture. After a couple of months, I began to heal.
It was then my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. Fortunately this is a treatable cancer and she has a very good prognosis. She is an incredibly strong woman and has kept her sense of humor and vigor up all throughout her journey. A few weeks after this I was in a car accident. My take away from this experience was to rest and relax. Just as I was coming to terms with my mother’s diagnosis and recovering physically from the accident, my uncle passed away suddenly in his sleep. My family is very tight knit and I grew up fortunate enough to have aunts and uncles who were more like extra parents than extended family members. This brought on a new lesson in mortality that I was not prepared to learn. Throughout this time, my family gathered around and we leaned on each other for support. We shared our memories, laughed about the good times, cried over our loss, and held on to one another for courage.
At this point in the year, I was feeling completely overwhelmed with emotions and decided I would take a week off from blogging and social media to spend more time with my husband, friends, and family. One week turned into two, two turned into three, and then I realized I truly needed to reconnect with myself. I spent the last two months giving myself space to heal, evaluating my priorities, deciding which goals to pursue, and figuring out how best to take care of myself. I now feel rested and ready to process the losses and emotional hard hits.
Although 2017 brought on many hardships, it was also a year of positive growth. I am not the same person I was one year ago. I am more in tune with my body now than I have ever been. My business has been up and growing for 13 months. I accomplished all of the goals I set for my 1st year in business in 8 months! My goal of going back to school became a reality and I received a graduate certificate in Restorative Practices. I became a Reiki master teacher as well as a Deeksha (Oneness Blessing) facilitator. I have made several new friends over the last six months. It is absolutely true that new relationships come into your life when you need them the most. Lastly, and most importantly, I have come to realize just how wonderful my support system is. All of my friends, family, and my amazing husband have been so supportive in my many recoveries. They have shown me nothing but unconditional love. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
What I have learned over the last 12 months is that growth is not linear. It is more like a ping pong ball bringing you towards what you need the most. I am grateful for the opportunities of self-discovery and am looking forward to uncovering more meanings from this period of my life. But mostly, I am patiently waiting for my time to become a mother.