The teal of my tale

I am hesitant to experience what Brené Brown calls a vulnerability hangover, but equally if I don’t have somewhere to share I will explode and this is so very much part of my tale and this is my space. So I am sharing my current experience of miscarriage and I also know the power of sharing our stories and literally how reading another’s experience in the middle of the night can ease some of the pain and aloneness. 

I know everyone experiences things differently and some don’t struggle with a miscarriage like I have but I am struggling. In the very depths of my soul. 

I will start backwards though because yesterday was three months since I delivered my 7 week bean I have named Constance on the side of the road in the middle of our family holiday. It was a day of reflection forced upon me because over the weekend some who I care most about in the world indicated that I was not sad over losing Constance but sad over my life in general. Intimating ever so carefully and what felt not understood that I was grief crazy and not in my right mind. 

Sparked by my husband declaring he did not want us to try for another baby. He felt that his age and our lifestyle would not benefit from a new baby. I disagree from the most primal heartfelt place in me. But it was framed over the weekend that my husband held the practical rational point of view, while I was heartbroken and grief filled and presumably in that assumption lacking reasonableness and practical rationality. Maybe. But when did emotions become wrong or lesser against logic?

In any event this is a discussion that will continue to be had by my husband and I because I am not ready to concede that life that I glimpsed. Rightly or wrongly this is where I am. 

I do however concede that my husband’s decision has made me realise that I had delayed feeling all my grief over Constance with the thought that I would be blessed with a new baby. When my husband told me that was not what he wanted I have felt the feelings of grief all over again. So strong. 

I have felt every part of this pain. I have faced it. I have journaled in a special book I bought on the day of my miscarriage where I have written to God, my baby and even to myself. I have sat and just cried. I have sat and felt sad and heartbroken and broken and empty. I have sat and listened to whispers. That is how I learnt my baby’s name and even that she was a girl. I have consciously felt my grief. Touched it. 

Though on the weekend I was made to feel that I had had enough time. This was not over a lost baby and I felt like I was been made to move on. But I was not even at the three month mark. And I say to them and to you and to myself that at three months we are still allowed to be deeply sad and broken and numb. We are allowed to have good days and bad days. We are allowed to cry. We are allowed to want another one. And I know for sure that grief is not rational and practical and we are damn sure allowed to not be rational and practical and that is good. That is okay. And I am not the only one. Neither are you if you are reading this in the middle of the night with tears running down your cheeks wondering if you are crazy. You aren’t. Neither am I. 

Mothering is not a rational practical journey. So I don’t think the deciding factor on a baby should be only rational or practical either. And the also don’t think our grief over lost babies is rational or practical. The biggest loss I feel is the lost dreams I had for her. I had worked out where her 3 month portrait photo would go next to her brother and sister’s. I had glimpsed my future of breast feeding, wondering what sort of sleeper she would be, wondering what it would be like after the big gap. Excited at what I knew now and looking forward to cherishing the heck out of her. I didn’t just lose a 7 week old foetus, I lost all those dreams and thoughts and wishes because you don’t just start loving your baby when they are born, you love them in your belly if you are lucky and blessed enough to conceive. 

On the side of the road, telling my children to stay in the car, four hours after my labour pains had begun, one day after been told there was no heartbeat anymore, two days after I first started spotting, I delivered a baby and lost dreams and so much potential. It wasn’t tidy. It was hard and traumatic and surreal. I am beyond grateful my beautiful husband was there to support me and hold me up and love me. I know what I have and am lucky to have when I look at my beautiful children. But knowing that does not take away from what I have also lost.

It was real, and three months does not make it any less so. Even with the thought of a need for a new baby to bless our family. Because I will still be the mother of an angel. That can’t change. I know because I have wished and prayed for that very thing and it is still the same. 

So. The start of my story or what I will share for today because it is enough. And it is a start because it is a journey. And not all of it can be tied up in a bow, sometimes it is just messy, and may skip around and make no sense, but I will share and express my story here. A blog that started off about how to define my joy. Ironic that it will be this space where I hopefully find it again as well. Where I will define a new joy.

I am sorry to those who are only here for the art and creativity. But that will be here too. This influences a lot of my art at the moment. I have become obsessed with spirit vessels and plaster angels and wings which I will share here. And emptiness. That too.

But this will be here too. For those who are looking for threads in the middle of the night. To try to weave together so they can hold themselves together in the light for those that need them. And because I need this for me too. In a purely selfish way. 

I see you. I see me. And we are doing okay. I have never subscribed to rational and practical and I won’t start now or try to define my grief journey through that lens either. I love those people that want me to be in a different place, and I know they only want to help and are trying to do what they think would be best. Sometimes though we need to trust our own whispers in the darkness. 

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Week one of my 52 week project

These are in my sketchbook from week one…some are still awaiting colour and are not finished so I wasn’t going to post them but actually…that is the point. And if I set rules that things need to be finished I will never post so I am just going to post the pages and not comment on their finishedness. 

They are in my sketchbook after all!!

Spring colour study #52weeksofsketching
Sketching with charcoal and soft pastel and painted strips. #52weeksofsketching
Pattern making. #52weeksofsketching
Preparation for a colour study. #52weeksofsketching
Shapes to be filled in for a colour study. #52weeksofsketching

Friday forging

I did week two and it seemed all over the place. One that the messages will take a while to process…some of them anyway. :)

Week 2 of #fridayforging. Messy and not all that clear. Some messages take a while to process.

And in between there was a hospital visit and Easter and the completion of my RCIA journey so I am now a proper Catholic in the most beautiful and intimate of celebrations at the Easter vigil service on Saturday night. 

Week 3 of #fridayforging.

And then this week. Where I am now Programme Director of an After School Programme which is crazy insane and a huge jump from where I am trained and where I was looking but I am excited and terrified in equal doses and it feels good. Very good. 

I have been thinking about art workshops for children and when I saw this come up I had a calling to explore the possibility and I did. I was successful…and then wondered what on earth I was doing but the experience will be invaluable and in the terror I am feeling very alive as well. So hopefully this goes well. I start in a couple of weeks and have started planning…actually looking at the messages on this last page it perfectly reflects what I just said…some weeks you don’t have to try too hard to process!!