Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Eve 2011

Another calendar year will soon have passed since I said goodbye to my baby Eli. I have his flameless candle going in his cabinet in Nolan's room right now. I turn it on at night during those important times when his absence is so poignant - like the holidays - like now.

The amazing changes Nolan has gone through in 2011 have been a joy to be a part of. He's 26lbs now, taking steps on his own, eating table food. He made it through his first Phoenix summer, in a helmet no less, played with his first sparklers, had is first birthday party, had his first stomach flu and graduated to having his own room. You would never guess that he was born 13 weeks early and at total of 2lbs 4oz, just like his brother just 16 months ago.

In my last post I said I was trying to remember what I believed in -
I remembered the next day -
Once again the 10 day countdown to 2012 asked the right question at the right time. I had been asking for guidance since the accident, feeling so overwhelmed and not understanding, and as it always happens - the questions I needed to guide me to the answers I was looking for just popped up
My #1 wish for the New Year is....
My response -

Peace for all living creatures on earth with everyone knowing that they are loved - that they ARE love.

Simple but truly my desire.

About 6-7 years ago I went through a couple of self-awareness programs and I learned many things about myself but one that became crystal clear was that if I were to come to the end of this life and feel like I did not love enough, that I could have loved more but chose not to I would be heart broken.

And my understanding of this love may be different than others. I DO NOT mean allowing people to harm me or remaining in places that are hurtful. I mean to choose not to harm others intentionally for any reason, to live in compassion and passion, chosing to love me because I deserve it as much as anyone else, saying MY truth for me, owning it even if others may not agree or like me for it.

I believe that the intelligence, the energy, in the world that literally holds things together (talking physics - the stuff between matter) is love - that is it. A love that is far beyond the human love we often talk about "I love my new phone." The love that I felt after Eli died. I couldn't rely on the normal expressions, holding him, feeding him, like other mothers with their babies - I had to broaden my definition of love again so that I could feel him in the breeze, in the feel of the sun, see him in the sky at night. THAT love is my wish for myself and for every other living being on this earth.

I have decided to be part of a decluttering group for January. So looking forward to clearing out my garage and holding a garage sale the beginning of February and all the proceeds will be going to the March of Dimes. Just need my back and neck to hold up to their part of the deal.

I have also decided to choose one conscious raising item to do once a day for the month of January. Placing my focus on making sure I do something every day to invite more good, more joy, more awareness, more prosperity, more LOVE expressed in my life, my sons life and on this earth. I will be posting them on my facebook page Rediscovering Your Light

Happy New Year

May you be aware of the magic at work in your life in every moment.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Love, Joy and Believing

I am taking a 10 day countdown to 2012 online and there are some posts I made that I would like to share.

For Deceember 24th - My Biggest Personal Goal for 2012 is....
I bought 3 Christmas ornaments this year - one each for my sons and one for me. They are matching silver/red stockings with a word written on them.
- Nolan's says Joy - because he is my biggest joy in my life.
- Eli's says Love - because he has helped me to understand love in a way that only losing a child can.
- Mine says Believe - because I have lost my belief in things and to live my life in Joy and Love I have to have Believe.
My biggest personal GOAL for 2012 is to Believe again.

These are gifts I bought for myself or received as gifts from Eli.

For December 25th - Something I did in 2011 that makes me really proud is ....
That I have provided for my son and I. Single and self employed has not been easy but with the loving help of my mom and some stubborn determination I have done it. A nice place to live, lots of time together, a "working" relationship with his dad and a stable, consistent, loving, safe home. He is a happy little boy. We aren't doing too bad and I am really proud of that. :)
Nolan and I on Christmas night

I am writing about these two posts because they made me think. :)

I realized that I have always believed that it all works out in the end and if it hasn't worked out yet it is not the end. This thought has moved me through much of my life. When I see Eli's death as the end then there is no way in hell I can actually believe that anymore - so what do I believe? I think the death of a child, especially your child forces you to revisit everything you have ever thought, perceived or believed to be true. I don't think revisiting our beliefs is a bad thing
I can tell you it can be a VERY hard thing. My belief in love and the goodness in this world has helped me move through much in my life. It is time for me to believe again. When I remember what that belief is I will let you know.

Concerning the post on proudest thing for 2011 - I had never thought about it until the moment of that question. I just did what needed to be done and I continued to love, through the tears and the fear and the pain and the aloneness
look what I got? A life not simple or easy or without pain but so full of love and light that I was amazed. :)

Thank you my friend Tova for posting these questions.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gifts, Accidents and Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer

I am an emotional girl these days.

Because of my car accident, I am back to daily doctor visits or some days two if I or Nolan have another doctor appointment. I have prescriptions for oxycodone, valium and motrin. For the first time since the accident 11 days ago, I tried to not take the oxycodone today. I made it 4 hours before I was crying in pain and needed to take that and valium so I could sleep. PS - the valium is for muscle spasms - works really well. And all of this in time for Christmas. Nolan and I won't be able to see his great grandfather before Christmas this year because I don't think my back can handle a two hour car ride there and back. My mother - bless her heart - is doing all of the heavy lifting with Nolan. And he is heavy, my little 25lb chunker. And that boy moves. Not walking yet but has a supersonic crawl. And I am missing it because I am at the doctors again or napping for the break I need for my back.

I am getting an MRI done tomorrow - which I guess is a good thing. If there is something worse than obvious injury from the accident going on it would be good to know. But it scares me in that it continues to stop me from being active and caring for my son.... Guess I will know more next week with the official results. I know the body heals itself, even miraculously. We have done it already and we can do it again.

Then it is the second Christmas without Eli. I am obsessing about what I will do with his stocking on Christmas morning. It has to hang with his brothers and it breaks my heart to think of it empty..... I believe inspiration will hit or Santa will work his magic but right now it makes me cry.

When I was in the NICU last year, I was a new mom and wanted to sing to my babies as I held them but I couldn't think of any lullabies so I sang Christmas songs. What can I say, I knew them by heart.... Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer was the song of choice. Well, tonight I was feeding Nolan his dinner by Christmas tree light and Rudolph came on. I started singing, he started dancing and smiling in his chair and I started crying. I am sure my son will always wonder why he feels so connected to the song Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer and why his mother always cries when it comes on.....

I am excited about something though. I went to Kohl's - with the help of my mom - and bought 20 books of "Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You". They are selling them for $5 for some charity and I bought them to give to the NICU in Phoenix Childrens Hospital. I am asking that they include them in the grief package a parent gets when their child dies in the NICU. I am going to write a short note and mention how this gift is in honor of Nolan and memory of Eli. I think I have saved money to buy another 20 before Christmas so we can donate 40 of them. Cried about that too.

Got good news on the cancer front. All the blood tests came back clear. I am VERY low on vitamin D though. I was having a problem before my thyroid was removed and now not having a thyroid can make it worse. More blood tests in 10 weeks. We will see how those go.

So it seems the drugs are kicking in. I will leave you with a final picture. My little man laughing at the cat Tobey that grandma Judy has flying through the air in front of him.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Overwhelm Again

I will just start off with a warning. I am tired and overwhelmed tonight. My body hurts and I feel a little lost right now.

I was in a 5 car accident on Monday driving from where I see clients to where I teach classes. I was stopped at a light and a guy driving a large SUV two cars behind me "took his eyes of the road" and ran into a guy, who ran into a guy, who ran into me, who ran into a girl. I called the police, reports were taken, fire truck was called, ticket was issued and we all drove home. Two hours later I am driving myself to the emergency room whith a badly spasming back and intense pain in my neck and shoulders. They take x-rays and confirm no broken spinal parts and no acute cardiac issues - all good news. They give me numerous drugs, which I am very happy to accept and mention that I have some degenerative bone problems in my neck, arthritis. "Anyone ever mention this to you before?" - "Nope." I say and home I go. I can barely bend over to pull on my own jeans. No tying of shoes going on here. Raising my hands to wash my hair or turning my head to blow dry it - challenging. All little annoying things - But the worst part, the very worst part is that I cannot pick up my sweet little boy. I haven't been able to get him out of bed. Or pick him up when I get home. My mom has to put him on my lap so I can cuddle with him. It is so hard to not be able to do for my son. It breaks my heart.

Because this case includes 5 cars and other issues I hire a lawyer. I like him. He is the husband of a friend and former colleague. I have seen a chiropractor twice since the accident on Monday. Today, we went over the x-rays he took. Oh, look more degenerative bones in my spine - great. He says if I don't start feeling better in a couple of weeks he is going to recommend an MRI to see if there are any disc issues.

Really??? Really???
When I sit down to count my challenges in these past two years, I have a handful and after each one I just kept going back and doing what needed to be done. I went to work 2 weeks after Eli died, 4 weeks after a c-section, one week after Nolan's surgery, 2 weeks after surgery to remove my thyroid (and that was only because I still couldn't talk after the first week or I would have gone back then) and now do I go back to work one week after my car accident? My credit is crap because of all the loss of income from the problems during and the trauma after the pregnancy. But I am tired. I now realize that I have not integrated a lot of this into my life yet. I don't know where I want to go with all that I have learned about myself and all the ways I have been forced to grow in my life. It is still very rare that I can talk about Eli without crying. And all I could do today was cry because of nothing, because of the full moon, because of everything.

And now before I end this I must say - I know I have so many things to be thankful for - priceless things - like Nolan and the never ending support of my mom. I have been given ways to financially provide for myself and Nolan over the past year but I have not been caring for myself and now with the pain I am in, the fact of arthritis in my spine and the possibility of disc issues too - I HAVE to take care of myself. The thought a future of not being able to lift up my son and give him a hug breaks my heart..

And so I will take a valium(for the muscle spasms), oxycodone(for the pain), motrin(for the swelling) and put some biofreeze on just for fun. Praying for a good night's sleep in the hopes that sleep will help me to heal and maybe offer some guidance on the next step in my life.

Friday, November 25, 2011


It was a good Thanksgiving. My mom cooked and we hosted 10 people, family and extended family. My sister flew in from the east coast. Nolan even took part in dinner by eating mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and green beans. Go Nolan! It was the first holiday for my brother, J, without his wife, they are separated. But my niece and nephews were able to celebrate with us AND their mother's family since they are getting together this weekend.

I was so busy yesterday that I did not text, email or even post on facebook wishing a Happy Thanksgiving - that is really unusual for me.

But I did have time to sit down on the floor of Nolan's bedroom while he was napping and cry. I was looking at Eli's footprints yesterday and he had the exact same toes as Nolan. They each have/had a strange, kind of bent 2nd toe on both sides. When I become aware of things like that I wonder just how similar or different they may have been. I know it is no good to go down that road but sometimes I just don't want to stop myself....

I know I have so much to be thankful for and right now my biggest thanks is sleeping in his crib looking sweet and adorable in his little monkey blanket sleeper.

This is a day late but better late than never - I hope.
Let your gratitude be your Light. Let your Light shine as you celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Blessings to you all.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Song and A Prayer

I cannot believe it has been over a month since I have posted! I guess moving will do that. I sat down and started to write 3 different posts and all the boxes and all that I needed to do stopped me from being able to focus. Still have boxes but most of them are in the garage so I can't see them right now. ;)

I just want to share a prayer I say with Nolan every night as I rock him before he goes to sleep. I have been doing it since he was in the NICU, after his brother died, so that he would always remember just how amazing and powerful he is, my earthbound star child. And then I added some extra to it when I was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Asking, praying, setting the intention that he would always have a legion of angels to support him and love him.

You are a child of the Universe
You are a child of God
The light of God shines down
Upon you
Through you
Radiates from you
You are a Being of Light
Your Eli, angels, guides and guardians
Surround you, support you, love you, guide you
Help you, hold you, heal you and keep you safe
And so it is.

There is also a song, that I made up, that I used to sing to him nightly. I started shortly after he came home from the hospital. Then over the past couple of months I stopped singing it since he didn't seem interested anymore. A couple of weeks ago I started singing it again and now when I do he smiles and laughs. He remembers. :0)

I love you
You love me
We're a loving family.
With our angel Eli watching over us
We'll be together for always.

November 8, 2011 we celebrated the one year anniversary of Nolan coming home to live. After 66 days in the hospital my baby boy was home.

Making it on a song and a prayer.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cancer and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

I am part of an online support group for thyroid cancer patients/survivors and someone posted the letter below for others to share when they received less than supportive responses to their cancer diagnosis. I thought it was wonderful so I wanted to share.

I am so blessed to have such supportive people in my life. They showed up with such love with the TTTS diagnosis, Eli's death and my cancer diagnosis. Through the many support groups I am a part of I have found that there are many who have had very different experiences.

Dear Friend/Family Member:

Someone you care about has thyroid disease. You may not know much about thyroid problems, but I imagine, like many of us, you've heard things here and there. If anything, you probably associate the thyroid with weight problems, or think it's an excuse people use for being overweight. Or, you may already know someone else who's taking thyroid medication -- usually Synthroid -- and they seem to be doing fine, so you assume thyroid disease will be similar for your friend/family member.

There's so much more to thyroid disease, and while I can't cover it all in this letter, I'm going to try, briefly, to give you a sense of what your loved one is facing. So can I ask that you set aside for a few moments the information you do have about thyroid disease, to open your mind and heart?

The thyroid is our master gland of metabolism and energy. Every single body function that requires oxygen and energy -- basically, everything that goes on in our bodies! -- requires thyroid hormone in proper amounts. That means we need the proper balance of thyroid hormone in order to feel and live well. We need thyroid hormone to think clearly and remember things, to maintain a good mood, to grow hair and nails, to have basic energy to get through the day, to see well, to digest our food, to burn calories, to be fertile, to get pregnant and have a healthy baby, to have a good sex drive, and much, much more. In some ways, you can think about thyroid hormone as the gasoline that makes the car go. No gas, and there's no way to move forward.

Typically, a thyroid problem comes in one of several forms. Your loved one may be hyperthyroid...that means that the thyroid gland is overactive, and producing too much thyroid hormone. When the thyroid becomes overactive, you can think of it a bit like the gas pedal on the car is stuck, and the engine is flooding. If your loved one is going through hyperthyroidism, he or she may be feeling extremely anxious and nervous, with a rapidly beating heart, higher blood pressure, and even palpitations. Some people describe the sensation as like their heart is beating so hard and loud everyone around them can even see it and hear it! They may be hungry and thirsty all the time, suffering from diarrhea even, and losing weight. Others may even be wondering, wrongly, if your loved one's rapid weight loss is due to an eating disorder or some sort of illness like cancer or AIDS. His or her eyes may be sore, sensitive, gritty and irritated, and vision can even become blurry. Sleep may be difficult or impossible, and lack of sleep combined with the body zooming along at 100 miles an hour can cause extreme exhaustion and muscle weakness. Frankly, people who are in the throes of hyperthyroidism have told me that they feel and look like someone who is strung out on drugs, or who has had 20 cups of coffee after not sleeping for a week. With heart pounding, and all body systems going full tilt, your jittery, stressed-out hyperthyroid loved one may even feel like he or she is losing it, ready to fall apart at any moment.

If your loved one is hypothyroid, they are facing different challenges. Hypothyroidism means the thyroid is underactive, and not producing enough of the energy and oxygen-delivering thyroid hormone. This is like trying to get somewhere with barely enough gas and feet that can't reach the gas pedal. If your loved one is hypothyroid, he or she may be feeling sluggish and tired, and exhausted all the time. Think about the worst flu you've ever had, and how tired, and achy and exhausted you felt. Now imagine waking up every day feeling like that, but having to get up, go to work/school and take care of yourself and others feeling that way. Depression -- or feeling blue -- is common, as are memory problems and being fuzzy-brained -- we patients call it "brain fog." Your loved one may look in a mirror and not recognize herself (and I say herself here, because the vast majority of thyroid patients in general are women -- thyroid problems do happen in men, but are seven to ten times more common in women.) Because when she looks in the mirror, she sees the outer half of her eyebrows are thin or missing, her hair is thin, dry, coarse and falling out, her face and eyelids are puffy, her face is bloated and puffy, and she may have gained weight, despite eating less and working out more than everyone else around her. With hypothyroidism, anything and everything can be slow, even digestion, which can cause constipation. For women, periods can be worse, and come more often than before. Menopause can be worse, and come earlier than for other women. And after pregnancy, hypothyroidism can worsen postpartum fatigue and depression, and make breastfeeding difficult or impossible. And then there's that issue of weight gain. Your loved one may be following the most rigorous and healthy diet and exercise program, and yet be unable to lose weight. He or she might even be gaining weight on that program.

If your loved one has thyroid cancer, they have an entirely different challenge. The majority of thyroid cancers are considered highly treatable and survivable, so doctors and others often cavalierly refer to thyroid cancer as "the good cancer." But the reality is, no cancer is "good," and someone who has thyroid cancer has cancer, "the big C." Cancer as a concept is frightening, and raises fears and concerns. Someone with thyroid cancer initially may have few, if any, symptoms. In some cases, however, they may have hypothyroid, hyperthyroid, or a combination of symptoms of a thyroid imbalance. Most thyroid cancer patients require surgery to remove the thyroid -- and this can be daunting, including the idea of a several-inch incision in the neck and resulting scar. After surgery, many thyroid cancer patients will need to have followup radioactive iodine treatment to ensure that all the cancerous tissue was removed, and it can be many weeks after surgery before a thyroid cancer patient -- who by that point is typically quite hypothyroid -- can start thyroid medication to again get lifesaving thyroid hormone they need. And the thyroid cancer patient in your life will require lifetime of medical treatment for the resulting hypothyroidism, along with periodic -- and sometimes physically challenging -- follow-ups and scans to monitor for a recurrence of the cancer.
These are just a few of the conditions that can affect thyroid patients. There are autoimmune diseases -- Graves' disease and Hashimoto's -- that can be at the root of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Sometimes people develop a goiter -- an enlarged thyroid -- or benign nodules that cause symptoms. Sometimes a temporary infection causes thyroiditis. And again, these problems can be difficult to pinpoint, misdiagnosed as everything under the sign, and even when diagnosed, poorly treated.

So what many thyroid patients have in common is living in a world that overlooks, downplays, poorly treats -- and sometimes even makes fun of -- their condition.

Magazine articles, books by doctors, patients brochures in doctors offices -- and doctors themselves -- insist simplistically that thyroid disease is "easy to diagnose, easy to treat" even though patients know that this is far from the truth. As for "easy to diagnose," your loved one may have even struggled to get diagnosed -- to get taken seriously -- in the first place. Doctors regularly misdiagnose hyperthyroid patients as having an eating or anxiety disorder, and hypothyroid patients as having stress, depression, PMS, or menopause.

Worse yet are the truly unsympathetic physicians that we all too frequently encounter in thyroid care. Like the marathon runner with hypothyroidism who was in training, on a strict diet, and still gaining weight and was told by her doctor that she had "fork in mouth disease." Or the endocrinologists who tell patients, "Well, you should be GLAD, you know, because you have the GOOD cancer!" Or the doctor who diagnosed a woman with hyperthyroidism by clapping his hands together loudly behind her head, chortling: "Oh, I can always tell you hypers, because you practically jump off the examining table when I do that!"

There are advertisements and comedians who use "thyroid problem" as the not-so-secret code to describe someone who is fat. And there's a whole realm of scam artists out there trying to sell us cockamamie Thyro-this and Thyro-that "cures" for thyroid disease that in many cases can make things a whole lot worse -- or at best, not help at all.

Even Oprah admitted she had a thyroid problem, then claimed it went away, then said she had it but it wasn't an excuse for her weight gain, then decided not to get treatment, and continues to struggle with her health issues.

And perhaps saddest of all, there are friends and relatives who say "I don't buy this thyroid disease thing, it's just an excuse for not losing weight" or "Thyroid? Hah! She's just lazy!" Or, "Why can't he just get OVER it and get back to normal?"

Husbands criticize their wives for gaining weight. Teenagers whisper behind a friend's back about anorexia. Coworkers complain that their colleague is "lazy."

Once we're diagnosed, treatment is not an easy fix for many thyroid patients. Doctors try to rush hyperthyroid patients into permanently disabling the thyroid with a radioactive treatment that will make them hypothyroid for life. Many doctors believe there is only one medication to treat hypothyroidism -- a medication that does not resolve symptoms for all patients. When patients learn about other available options, doctors may stonewall, refuse additional treatments, or push antidepressants, cholesterol medications, weight loss pills and more, instead of addressing the thyroid issues. The conventional medical establishment believes that treatment for thyroid problems is one-size-fits-all. This cavalier attitude means that many thyroid patients struggle for years to live and feel well, despite being diagnosed and "treated."

I'm here to ask you -- in a world where thyroid patients are disregarded, overlooked, misdiagnosed, abused, exploited, mocked, and ignored -- to be the person who truly "gets it" for the thyroid patient in your life. Be the person who understands that while thyroid disease may not be visible, it is causing your friend or loved one to suffer. Be the person who understands that even though celebrities aren't talking about thyroid disease, and sports figures aren't wearing bracelets to promote thyroid awareness, that this is a genuine, difficult, and life-changing diagnosis.

Be the person who opens mind and heart to the thyroid patients in your life. Be the person who listens, and learns about the struggles and challenges. Be the person who empowers the thyroid patient in your life, by helping him or her do as much as possible to improve health. Be the person to help find doctors and practitioners who do not view your friend or relative as a cookie-cutter patient on a thyroid assembly line. Be the person who helps the thyroid patient in your life to maintain balance-- to help find time for rest, for exercise, for stress reduction, for self-care, for proper nutrition, for fun!

Live well,

Mary Shomon
Thyroid Patient Advocate


October 15th also is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness day. If you know of anyone who lost their baby I invite you to take a moment tomorrow send out a prayer or love and light to those who died much too young and those who grieve them.

Love to you~

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Just a short post to say hi.
I have been tired recently. I think maybe it is the thyroid medication. That it is not enough... I go back and have my blood work in a couple of weeks. I would not be surprised if we need to up the dosage. I know too low of a dosage can slow everything down. I went to the grocery store 4 times today AND still did not remember to get the juice for my son and honey for a health tea. Four times! Who goes to the grocery store 4 times and still forgets things? That would be me. I do...... I have my sense of humor and was laughing about it earlier but now I am so tired the computer screen is swinging back and forth in front of me..... I will go to bed soon.

I am excited though... Even if it doesn't sound like it. My mom and I found a house to move into at the end of the month. It is adorable on the outside. Great outside space just in time for perfect outside weather in AZ. It will be a good move - once the move happens. Nolan will have his own room. I am excited to decorate it for him! We will see if he actually sleeps in it. lol

I made another donation in Eli's name today. It felt right. I will continue to do it. Keeps him alive and gives his short earth life even more meaning. It was only a couple of dollars but it made me smile and feel him closer to me. It was as if I was saying "Look at me baby. I want to make you proud."

I hit 13 months since the boys were born. I had been lighting a candle from the 4th to the 15th every month in memory of Eli. It was comforting. I decided that after the boys first birthday last month I would only do it in September every year. Just a way to show that I have been making progress on my grief. (I don't know who I was going to show...) I miss his candle being lit in my room at night. I don't have anything to prove, I remind myself. If I am not ready then I am not ready.

And so I think I will go to sleep with Nolan breathing quietly in his crib next to me and Eli's candle lit.

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Journey to Motherhood

I have been thinking about writing about this for awhile. It has been a journey that is for sure.

Teenage years
I remember thinking that I never really wanted to get pregnant and carry a baby. I didn't want to mess up my body so I thought one of two things would be great. Either I would adopt or I would have twins, so I would only have to be pregnant once, of course. I also remember thinking that it would be awhile yet because, to quote myself, "I will not pass the garbage of my childhood on to my child." I knew I had to heal my childhood before having a child. A rather definite statement for a 16 +/- girl to say but I remember saying it and I remember meaning it. Physically I was having extreme cramping during my periods and actually overdosed on midol one time. My mom had to run me to the emergency room that night. Later I went on birth control pills to help with the pain. They worked.

First love
I met and was wildly in love with a young airman in the Airforce. He was my first "adult" love. I was 17 when we met but out of high school. He was 18 and had just been assigned the base near my home. We were set up by friends. We adored each other and after a couple of years he wanted to marry me. He wanted us to have a home and have babies. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't. It wasn't because I didn't love him. It was because I could not see myself living the life he wanted. I had too much exploring and living to do as a single woman. So about a year after that we broke up. It tore my heart out. We remained friends. He is a very good man and I often wonder if anyone will love me again like he did.

I got married when I was 23, surprising myself and probably almost everyone who knew me. He was a good guy but we were not a good married couple. After about a year and half of marriage we decided to stop using birth control and get pregnant. We tried it for a year - nothing. I guess it was meant to be since we ended up divorcing about a year later. I still think we could have co-parented well together. During this time I also was diagnosed with endometreosis and ovarian cysts, probably what had caused the painful periods in my teenage years. I had laser surgery to burn off the endometreosis. Afterwards the doctor wanted me to go on hormones to simulate menopause. Umm... no. I decided to see an ND and used natural, homeopathic and acupuncture to help my healing instead.

Single and having fun
So from about 27-35 I was single and had fun. Still believing that I would find the man that I wanted to marry, who wanted to marry me and we would create some type of family. During that time I got pregnant. I was almost 30. I was in love with the father. I miscarried very early, around 6 weeks. Just enough time for me to know and lose it in one fell swoop. I remained friends with him for years after we broke up. Sometimes we would talk about how old the baby would have been and what he/she would have looked like.

Thirty five
At 35 it hit. I was dating a man who did not want and could not have children. What was I to do? Leave a man I cared about or decide that maybe I just was not meant to have my own children. I had 1 niece and 2 nephews then. Maybe that was to be it. I would be the cool, amazing, rockin' auntie. This was a very tough time for me. I seriously wondered if I could even get pregnant again, due to the medical issues earlier in my life, and if I did could I even carry the baby to birth? The likely hood of the husband I had been waiting for to come along I was also seriously beginning to question. Physically I was having problems with my thyroid (low) and doing MANY different holistic, alternative and natural healing to help it work.

March 24, 2010
I find out I am pregnant. Not planned. Not with the wonderful husband that I had been waiting for but with a man who I had just started to date. I was just beginning to understand how different he and I were and that it was not going to work out. So I decided on March 17th that I was going to end it with him and a week later I found out I was pregnant. SHOCK! At 42 years old I found myself, against all odds, pregnant. But not with the husband I had always wanted. Then on May 20th I found out I was carrying twins. I was continually asked by every new doctor if it was thru IV or fertility treatments. Everyone, including me, was shocked that I was pregnant and with twins. I was told how lucky I was to be pregnant and I felt it - lucky. And then TTTS reared it's ugly head....

The future
I understand as I write this, many will believe me to be insane. I will be 44 years old in 6 months. I question it myself, whenever I think it
I would like to have another child. Nolan has a brother but Eli is not here on earth with him. I would like to give him a sibling to grow up with.
I definitely do not want to do this one alone. I want a partner to share it with.
So - the Universe is really going to have to do some serious aligning for this one to happen.... It has happened before....

Who knows what will come. I could have never guessed that my journey to motherhood would look anything like it has. The possibilities are endless and so is a mother's love. I feel like I have more mother's love to share.

We shall see.....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Did It! I Felt it.

I did it! I made it through one of the most challenging years for a new mom, the first year of their child's life. I have also made it through one of the most painful years of my life. The first year after my child's death....... Not sure how. At times I questioned whether I could but here I stand - well sit. I am here.

"It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children." - The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I have lived the second part of the above quote many times over this year and I got up every single morning. I got up. There were days when I went right back to bed as soon as I could but I got up, showed up and gave as much as I had. I did it.

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow." — Mary Anne Radmacher

Another quote I have lived this year. There have been mornings, there have been days where I felt as though that was my only saving grace. This day will end. I will have some type of sleep and the sun will rise again tomorrow. Please, God, help me get to that sunrise tomorrow.

See, tomorrow is September 15th. At 8:18a on September 15, 2010 my son, Eli Michael, left this earth in my arms and somehow, by the grace of God, and a little bit of courage, I have made it to September 15, 2011 with his brother, my sweet Nolan, right here with me.

That's the "I Did It!" part of the post. Now on to "I Felt It!"

Part of my philosophy of life is that it doesn't end, not really. Time in our bodies end but our souls, the energy of who we are, is endless and timeless. Our souls are pure energy that shift, transform and change but do not disappear for it is impossible for energy to disappear. These statements have rung true for me, in some form or another, since I was a child.
I loved the movie "Powder". Below I have posted the end of the movie and it shows what I believe to be some form of truth to when we leave our human bodies.

Powder - click to watch

Now most of us probably will not leave this life running with lightning
I have always believed that when we love someone one and they die we carry a part of them with us
they become a part of everything else again. Their energy/soul does not die or fade away or disappear. It expands.

"Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die." - I do not know who wrote this. It is not mine.
Wonderful and poetic and somewhere I have always believed it to be true.

September 15, 2010 and my 11 day old son dies in my arms after I tell the doctors to stop resuscitation. Those images from "Powder" and words like that poem were some of the furthest things from my being. My entire moment was filled with knowing that my son was stopping breathing and his heart was slowing until it stopped and there was nothing for me to do but be with him. The depth of shock of that moment was beyond anything I had ever known. There was no room for poetry in that instant of human anguish. Not for me. Not then.

Fast forward, now to September 13, 2011. I had been spending many nights crying myself to sleep knowing the 15th was coming and that would mean.... Well, I didn't know what that meant but I knew it hurt. It was taking me back to some of the overwhelm and grief I had experienced shortly after Eli's death. On the 13th, I worked a long day teaching online that morning, seeing clients during the day and teaching at school that night. When I left I was exhausted. I walked out of the school doors and saw that it was POURING rain, sheets of rain. The sound was scrumptious. The smell was heavenly. I walked to my car and was soaked by the time I got into it. The rain felt clean and cold on my skin. I actually turned on the heat in my car. I got home. Kissed a sleeping Nolan. Said goodnight to my mom. Changed into my pajamas and stepped out on the patio. I breathed in a lung full of fresh rain washed air and I felt it. I felt it! I felt him. My sweet little boy Eli. I breathed him in. He was there, in the clear night air. He was the clear night air. I knew it. I felt it. He was with me, surrounding me, in my breath and my blood. I felt him and I knew that I had finally, at least for a moment had gotten to experience the gift of what I knew to be true. He had never left...... I felt him alive and real. And I was blessed.

And so, I will wait for another experience like that to happen again, and another one and another one. Until they form a line without separation so that it is simply how I live, knowing that my darling little boy who left physical form way too soon for his momma is alive and real, right now. I am not there yet but I now know that I will be. If I can live that way just for a moment I can live that way for the rest of this life. And so it is. I am grateful.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Birthdays and Angelversaries

So last Sunday was my boys' first birthday. How strange to only celebrate with one of them. I held the party at a beautiful park. So many family and friends joined us in the 110 degree heat - Oh My Goodness.....

I was really excited to celebrate Nolan's birthday. I feel like he got shorted. He and his brother came very early - before the shower. Then of course Eli died and Nolan was in the hospital for over 2 months after that. When we did have a baby shower, it was very small. The situation of my boys' birth just did not leave much room for the celebration my little miracle deserved. So, I was so very excited to give Nolan the party he deserved where he would be celebrated as he should have been.

It was an emotional day for me, very up and down, tears and smiles, and sometimes both. One of Nolan's and Eli's NICU nurses, Amy, joined us at the party. The moment I saw her walk up to the party I started sobbing. I surprised myself. There was such emotion that sprung up when I saw her, the gratitude for her care of my sons, her connection to Eli and the fact that the last time I had seen her was the last night Nolan was in the NICU. For a couple of months after Nolan's release I would call/text her with questions or concerns, she was always there for me. She truly was a guardian angel to Nolan and I during the first months of his life.

Amy feeding Nolan with me watching - she taught me how to feed Nolan!

There were a couple of more times throughout the party where I shed some tears, whenever I spoke of Eli. About midway through the party I invited everyone to take a sharpie and write a note to Eli on a balloon so it could be released to him at the end of the party. I could barely get the words out before I started crying. We released them at the end of the party. They had notes of love written all over them.

I am coming up on Eli's one year angelversary. That is a term many mothers who have lost their babies use to explain that devastating day when their child left their arms forever - angelversary. I CANNOT believe a year ago today I still had two little boys living, developing and growing as they should have been. A year ago today was the first day that I had held both of my days in one day and I held both of them at least once everyday until Eli's death. I want to do something special with Nolan in memory of his brother but I don't know what yet... I guess I still have time - "A" day is September 15th. Eli died September 15th. September 15th.....

To end I want to include a picture of the beautiful birthday boy with birthday cake all over his face. I love you silly monkey!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Letter to My Boys

My darlings -

Mommy here. I just had to write you a letter on this amazing day - the first anniversary of your birth! It was on September 4, 2010 that you decided to make your very dramatic entrances into this world. Nolan Gabriel, you were born first at 1:55a - you seemed VERY impatient to come out. Eli Michael, you were born next at 2a - you were VERY hesitant to come out. You are my first and second children. What blessings you are.

Though you are identical twins I am learning the roles you are playing in my life are oh, so, very different.

My "sweets" Nolan - I love you so. What a gift you are in my life, every single day. I am honored to be your mommy. You have taught me just how patient I can be. You have confirmed that it really is the simple things, like your smile, your sleeping face, you reaching out to me to be picked up, that hold the meanings of the universe. I have always been protective of those I love AND nothing compares to how I feel about you. If someone wants to get to you they have to go through me and I am not easy to go through. I am in awe of the miracle of you. There were so many times when I was pregnant with you and your brother that something could have gone wrong in our battle with TTTS and I could have lost you. You have fought unbelievable battles to be here today to celebrate your 1st birthday. I am so proud of you.

Nolan, I believe that you are here to keep me on track on this earthly plane. Keeping me moving forward and making my goals for this life more concrete. You ground me, my little Virgo son. I desire to create a home and life where you are safe and surrounded by color, joy, beauty and love. I intend to teach you how to navigate being human in this world and always help you to remember the amazing spiritual being that you are. I know that I must live and breathe these things in order to support you and so I do - And will continue to grow in this area for the both of us.

Nolan Gabriel

My "star child" Eli - I love you so. You are missed daily by me, your brother and all your family. Somehow I knew, somewhere inside, that you wouldn't be staying long on this earth, regardless of how much I wanted you to be here. I still cry for you and I am thankful to say that the deep evil void I felt at your death has lessened. But this, of course, I know you know already. I feel you, hear you and see you and I know your brother does too. Thank you for the 11 beautiful days you gave me to see you, touch you, talk to you, hold you, feed you, change you, advocate for you. I am learning from you, my beautiful son. I know that you are helping me to be a better mother to your brother. I am blessed to have you as my teacher. I am blessed to have you as my son.

Eli, I believe you are here to help push me forward in a way that your brother cannot. It was through your death that I was forced to go to places in my heart and soul I had never conceived of before. I carry you deep within me (like I did when I was pregnant) You live, grow and thrive within me. You force me to walk my talk. I will work hard to do good work in this world in memory of you and in honor of the love you helped me to understand.

Eli Michael

Happy Birthday my sweet, darling, miracle boys. I love you always and forever. It is my deepest hope and greatest intention that I be the person I believe I can be so that I can be the best mother I can be to each of you, in the best way possible.

Love you with the depth of my being -

Your mommy

Friday, September 2, 2011

Virginia Piper Cancer Center - Part II

Had another appointment at the Virginia Piper Cancer Center yesterday. This was the post-op visit.

I had my surgery on the 23rd to remove my thyroid. It went well, so I was told. My sister flew in to help me and my mom with Nolan. My brother, Lucas, took off a day of work to sit at the hospital and wait with my mom. My SIL, Natalie, came up from Tucson to help and visit over the weekend. I am lucky to have such an amazing family.
I woke up from the surgery in post op with terrible pain. I whispered to the attending nurse over and over again that I hurt. At first he took it in stride telling me I just came out of surgery and I should be hurting. But I knew it was more than that. I began to cry quiet little tears out of the sides of my eyes. I hurt so much there was nothing else I could do. The nurse asked me if I was scared or having anxiety. I shook my head, barely, and whispered "No. I hurt." This time he believed me. I got 4 rounds of morphine until the pain finally faded away. My one hour post op visit turned into three. Until the pain was under control the nurse would not release me. I heard him call up to the nurse taking over my care before I was released, he said "When she tells you she is in pain believe her."

I was released from the hospital the next day at noon with a prescription for percocet and cytomel (thyroid meds). I went through that bottle of percocet in less than a week. The internal trauma from the surgery still hurts, more than a week out. In response to the pain in my neck (literally) the back of my neck and shoulders started tensing up in pain - Not a fun week.

But - things change. On Friday my surgeon called me on his way out of the office to let me know he got the pathology report back. All good news..... The cancer was in one small nodule with well defined edges. As far as he was concerned there would be no further treatment needed. His exact words "You are cured." I was so excited! But I put a lid on it. I wanted to talk to him and my oncologist face to face before I got overly excited...

So back to the second visit to the Virginia Piper Cancer Center. I met with my oncologist yesterday and she said the same thing. In her opinion, I met all the criteria to suspend any further treatment. I just need to make sure I get my blood work done in another 6 months to check my TSH levels.
I promised to do it. I have a very good reason to do so, wrapped up in an almost one year old body of a little boy.

I truly am amazed, once again, by the medical professionals that have been put in my path since the TTTS diagnosis for my boys last year until now. I have not been a fan of "western medicine" for a LONG time. For most of my life I had met very few who I liked, respected, made sense to me and were able to actually help me. My experience has changed. I have had a number of medical experiences in the past 18 months and I have been honored with amazingly caring, professional, gifted and respectful professionals. I feel blessed. As difficult as the past 18 months have been I truly feel as though I have been guided through these experiences and the exact person to help me move through each experience was brought into my path.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


One of the classes I teach ended yesterday. I cannot express how much I love this class. It is not an obviously transformational class like life coaching or hypnotherapy (I love those too!) - the class I love to teach is about writing. It's a class that is mandatory for many of the students in degree and diploma programs. I kind of fell into teaching this class and I could not be happier that it was mine to teach!

Last night, one of the students shared that she decided to dive in and start her blog during this class. YAY! Another student realized that she COULD write and expressed her desire to take the many stories her grandmother has told her throughout her life and write childrens' books with them. I love to hear these stories

And then after the class ended and everyone had left one of the students came up to say that he appreciated the class. There was an assignment that he had been resisting but when he finally bit the bullet and completed it he learned something and he wanted to share that with me. I told him that I was glad to hear that. He went on to say that he knew my name was Piperlyne even though he had used the names Pippy Longstocking and Pollyanna when referring to me. I laughed and told him that it was not the first time someone had used those names with me and that if he had called me that I did not even notice it. He said no that he never called me that to my face but he used those names when he talked about me. He said he was sorry for that. I thanked him for his apology and said not to worry, all is good. He shook my hand and left.

Now I know that my response might be strange but I got into my car smiling and filled with happiness - for a number of reasons. First, out of all the names he could have chosen for me he choose two very independent little girls filled with the adventure of life and doing what they felt was right even if the rest of the world did not agree. - I am good with that comparison. Second, he felt so uncomfortable with his negative thoughts of me that he needed to apologize to me for them. This experience means the world to me and I was honored that he was so moved to apologize like that. He did not have to. I would have never known the difference.

Just when you least expect it, life gives you a gift in very unusual wrapping. But if you take the time to open it, it might just be one of the best gifts you have gotten all day.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Virginia Piper Cancer Center

Rough day today.

Had my first appointment with my radiation oncologist. And walked through the doors of Virginia Piper Cancer Center for the first time today. It's a beautiful building, tile work, over stuffed chairs, individual cup coffee makers, stone waterfall and children and seniors and me as patients. Seeing the children breaks my heart.....

The nurse and the doctor were very kind women. They went through the usual medical history questions and asked me about my past surgeries. I mention the laser surgery I had decades ago for endometriosis and the two sinus surgeries - and then we get to the pregnancy. "So you had twins..." and then "Oh! You must be...." and I stop them before the 5th word can leave their mouth because I am pretty confident that 5th word is not going to be sad or grieving. I stop it before it can go further and they get embarrassed and I get emotional and everyone feels awkward. I say something like "I have one surviving twin, my other son died at 11 days old." Or I think I say something like that. Even though I know the question or comment is coming I still stumble over the words, my mind goes blank and I just say what comes out. After 11 months I am getting better at it. A few tears come out but I don't lose my mind anymore. That's a good thing I guess...

Actually, I do lose my mind but I wait until I get in the car. It is safe to cry in the car. It's like you have an invisible barrier. It's not that others can't see you but they are so busy doing whatever they are doing behind their invisible barrier they don't have time or energy to check you out. So crying is safe in the car. I have done it for years that way. But it may not be the "why" that you might think it is - I don't mind people seeing me cry what is hard is when they take it harder than I and apologize or want to hug me or get embarrassed or say something to try to comfort me. - Just a request to anyone who may be reading this and may see me cry sometime in my life. It is okay for me to cry, I am usually good with it. If I need a hug or words of comfort I will ask or tell you. Other than that just let me cry, do not take it away from me and make it about you and how uncomfortable you feel with it. I know this is hard. I know. And I have learned that it is a common experience for those who have had a terrible loss, like the loss of a child, or maybe a cancer diagnosis, to feel unsafe to share their tears because of how it makes others feel and the strange things that people say and do when they feel so uncomfortable.

So I cried in the car. The cancer diagnosis seems so much more real now. It is not just that my thyroid is screwed up. It is not just a surgery. It is more......

And I think to myself that after fighting so hard to get both of my boys here alive and healthy, and only getting to keep one beautiful boy to raise, now a year later I have to fight to keep myself here alive and healthy. Nolan only has one mommy so I need, I choose, I intend to stay. Nolan has fought strongly to stick around with me the least I can do is the same.

Bring On the Rain - song by Jo Dee Meesina that fits this moment.

Final note - The doctor's office is across the street from the cemetery where my nephew Owen is buried. So I had to stop by to say hi, per se. I parked the car and walked to his grave site. He is surrounded by other infants. Some of them have families who decorate their sites like my brother and SIL do and some don't. And after the dust storm last night things were a mess. So in honor of August 19th I went through and wiped off the stones and plaques, set up any of the babies toys or decorations that were blown over, reorganized the flowers. It felt good to be of service in this very small way. To many parents who have lost an infant August 19th is known as the Day of Hope. "August 19th is about openly speaking about these children and celebrating their short lives." - CarlyMarie Click on her name to learn about her amazing work for baby loss parents.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Diagnosis and Another Curve Ball

For someone who has always sucked at sports, I know a curve ball when I see one. I haven't written much lately - for a couple of reasons. There have some goings on in my life that I couldn't talk about until I talked to all of my family.

On August 1st I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer (still difficult for me to say/write). I have had challenges with my thyroid for years and have tried all natural, alternative and western medicine treatments that I could find without much avail. Last year when I was pregnant my new ob/gyn noticed my thyroid was swollen and sent me to see an endocrinologist. When I was sent to get a biopsy they couldn't do it, the nodule had shrunk to a quarter of it's size. I had to go in again in July. It was still very small but they were able to biopsy. They found cancer cells. My first response - "WTF?" not said loudly in an angry voice but softly in a voice of shock. With everything that happened last year - as I heal from a difficult and fearful TTTS pregnancy, as I move out of dark grief from Eli's death, as I get comfortable and more confident in Nolan's health, growth and development - another curve ball that I could not have not guessed at a year and half ago comes into my life. I needed to sit with the information.

This is where I have been for the past couple of weeks, sitting with that diagnosis and googling. There is good news here. Thyroid cancer has very high survivor rates with the treatment I will be getting, especially when it is the kind that I have in it's earliest stages. All of these are good things
it is something else for me to heal. I am having surgery to remove my thyroid on August 23rd and then I go on thyroid medication. It looks like I will have one round of radioactive iodine in September to kill any other thyroid cells still left and then I should be done, completely.

I know that I must move through this experience differently than the ones this past year. I HAVE to release all my fears, go deep into my past, go to those places I had healed once already and do it again, do it more. Because it is not just about the recent wounds but this diagnosis is breaking open old ones and demanding healing on an even more transformative level.

And so I am healing right now. In this moment.

My new mantra or prayer "I am releasing all resentment, anger, fear and sadness from my complete being. I am healthy."


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


You are a child of the Universe.
You are a child of God.
The Light of God shines down upon you
through you
and radiates from you.
You are a being of Light
Your Angels and Beings of the Highest Divine Light
Surround you, comfort you, hold you, guide you, love you, support you and keep you safe.
And so it is.

I started repeating this blessing to Nolan while he was still in the NICU shortly after Eli's death. It helped me to remember that he was always watched over.
It is also important that I make sure that Nolan never forgets who he REALLY is. That he really is all of the above. We all are.

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 12, 2010

Yes - you read that title right July 12, 2010. That is when my happy twin pregnancy bubble began to burst..... That was the day that I first heard the term Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome - another acronym.... I had already experienced, last year, how a seemingly innocent combination of letters like CDH (Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia) can bring great heartache by experiencing my nephew's birth and death in May but now another acronym was being attached to my boys and their lives - TTTS.

Recently I have been thinking back to when I was pregnant with the boys last year. I remember how strangers would cry when they talked to me about my boys. This was well before TTTS shoved it's way into my life. I always thought it was odd that strangers would cry about a very happy experience. They thought it was odd too and would comment that they did not know why they were crying.... Maybe because somehow, someway I was already carrying the energy of a mother who would lose one of her children? I don't know but I do know that it WAS odd....

Today was an emotional day because of the date tomorrow, how it changed my life and because my brother and sister in law had their level 2 ultra sound today for their rainbow baby. That was when they learned of their first son's complications, just like me. I so want a healthy, happy baby for them. They learned today that all looks good and that they are having another boy! Yay!

So with my thoughts going back a year ago I wanted to copy my blog post last year about July 12, 2010

"July 12th, the big day when I got to find out if the babies were boys or girls. The opinions were split 70/30 in favor of girls. That was my guess too. 70% of us were wrong. They are boys! Very obviously boys as both of them showed off their “boy parts”. Two active, inquisitive little boys, oh my….

But that was not the only news I got. This ultra sound was a full one with the measuring of everything on each baby. They found some differences in size and in the amount of fluid in each baby’s sac. All of these things pointed to Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, TTTS. Of course I had never heard of such a thing. It is fairly rare. It only happens about 10% of all identical twin pregnancies, around 2000-3000 a year. I was supposed to travel to Portland to visit friends and family later that week. When I asked the doctor about going, her response was. “If you miscarry you will do it whether you are here or there so go and enjoy yourself.” Not a response I was impressed by. I chose not to go…. The doctor also recommended that I get an amniocentesis done to check for genetic issues, which I refused. She did recommend a perinatalogist group for me to follow up with.

I went home shaken in shock and fear, getting on the internet I found the I read everything, emailed the foundation and immediately started on the recommended diet of extra protein and iron by drinking 2 Boosts drinks a day. I heard back from the foundation and they recommended that I meet with Dr. John Elliott if I could. He was on the TTTS board and actually had come up with the first procedure to help with the syndrome in the 80’s. Before he introduced the procedure of amnio reduction the mortality rate was 90%. His introduction of this procedure dropped it about 30%. As it turned out Dr Elliott was a doctor with the group I was referred to. I made an appt with him for a couple of days later.

I went in for my appt with Dr Elliott, getting another complete ultra sound and a full sit down discussion on TTTS. Dr Elliott choose to NOT diagnose the boys with TTTS but he did recommend weekly ultra sounds to track their progress because the syndrome can move and change quickly….

So that was it. I found out my babies were boys and I got to enjoy that news for approximately 10 minutes before the words twin to twin transfusion syndrome were said. Well, at least one of the expert doctors on this was in town and was NOT diagnosing them yet. This had to be good, right?"

I love you my darlings Nolan and Eli.

I miss you my sweet Eli.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Body memory - Soul healing

Last week I saw a talented cranial sacral therapy (CST) practitioner. At the bottom of my post I have a link and some info on CST if you are interested. I have been receiving this therapy on and off for about 7 years and I have always received immense healing from every session. I had been having terrible headaches due to, I don't know, probably everything in my life this past year.....
Anyway, I had been wanting a session but the person I used to see moved away. So what happened? (I love how this works) A couple of months ago I mentioned to one of my clients that she may want to check into this type of therapy to help with her migraines. She had done many different traditional therapies including chiropractor and physical therapy to no avail. She found a CST practitioner on her own and saw her a couple of times then she came to see me again. I was amazed with how calm and even younger that she looked. She told me she found a CST practitioner and loves the work. She said her migraines were lessening in intensity and amount. She gave me her card.

I sat on it for awhile then I finally called. The session was powerful. To start, we chatted for a couple of minutes. She knew I had an infant son but I did not talk of his brother or our journey. She moved through the protocol of the therapy. I felt myself begin to relax. At one point I felt anger rise within me and I became aware of the anger I felt towards my body because it created an unsafe environment for my sons and could not carry them long enough to keep them safe after birth. I wasn't aware that I had been feeling this. The wonderful thing was as soon as I became aware of the feelings I felt them being pulling from my body. I let those feelings go.

As she continued the session she came to the place on my right side just below my rib cage where Eli had sat for much of the pregnancy. As soon as she place her fingers there I began to cry. While it did not surprise me that I would cry I was surprised by the depth of the grief that was released. As I laid there quietly sobbing I heard her say "I'm sorry." and I heard her tears. She remained with me that way for many minutes until I stopped. We were quiet until the session was done.

Afterwards I shared the story of my sons only to learn that she used to be a midwife and had experienced the death of a clients' baby. She was not a stranger to infant loss. It was one of the most nuturing, gentle, receptive, loving sessions I had ever experienced. I so recommend this type of therapy for anyone who is experiencing anxiety, grief, stress, PTSD.

And finally Monday was Nolan's first 4th of July.
Last year at this time I was pregnant, still innocent of TTTS and the outcome of it on the lives of me and my boys.....
This year Nolan saw sparklers for the first time.

I am blessed.

Here is some info on CST - Cranial Sacral Therapy

CST was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger following extensive scientific studies from 1975 to 1983 at Michigan State University, where he served as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics.

CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system - comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.

By complementing the body's natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including:
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Chronic Neck and Back Pain
  • Motor-Coordination Impairments
  • Colic
  • Autism
  • Central Nervous System Disorders
  • Orthopedic Problems
  • Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Scoliosis
  • Infantile Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Emotional Difficulties
  • Stress and Tension-Related Problems
  • Fibromyalgia and other Connective-Tissue Disorders
  • Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
  • Neurovascular or Immune Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Post-Surgical Dysfunction

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Endless - Timeless - Always Alive

I have been focusing on healing my grief. This experience is causing me to look deeper into what I believe, what I have taught and definitely what I say to myself, my clients, everyone in my life.

There are some things I have begun to understand. The popular new age thought process of "you can change anything" and "have anything you want" just does not ring as true to me now. I understand how it can be empowering to someone who believes they do not have the ability to change their circumstance or alter their world and I believe in the power and the truth of that. AND there are somethings that I as a human being or even a spiritual being can not change or have, especially when it has to do with the experience of another human being or the evolution of another spiritual being. The death of my son has taught me this. In this moment in time the one thing I would change in my life is to have Eli at home with Nolan and I but that was not meant to be and I cannot change that. I do not get what I want in this instance. So where do I go with what I used to believe and what is my deeper understanding now?

It is my knowing that Eli came to this earth in the little form he took to play a very large part in my life, Nolan's life and in the lives of those who knew and loved him BUT he also came for himself, for his short human experience and for his own soul evolution. Regardless of how much I prayed, cried, meditated, visualized, supported and protected his body and his life I could not change his own soul evolution because it was not about me. In a way it never was but there can be something in the experience for me. I was given the gift of his life and his evolution and though it was so much shorter than I wanted it to be it is HIS life and HIS evolution, not mine. He may have come into this world in a 2lb 4oz body but he was a fully developed part of divinity, as we all are, and had his own path to experience. Regardless of anything I used to believe I now know that we cannot have anything we want or change anything we desire to.

So, where does that leave me? When we are part of an experience that we cannot change or have what we desire what do we do next? This is what I have been working on
- Changing my understanding, perception of the experience of Eli's death - I ALWAYS, in any situation, have the opportunity to decide/create what an experience means to me. Some use the term, learning but I just don't know about thinking about these things as lessons - and this comes from someone who loves to learn! The word experiences just feels better to me so that is what I go with. It was Eli's life, his experience and because it occurred and touched mine it is also my life and my experience.
- Understanding that there are simply some things that we do not get to have or change creates a depth of compassion, for myself and for others that is new in all it's beauty.
- Any guilt of not being "strong" enough or "spiritual" enough to manifest my desires dissipates. Talk to anyone who was in the position of being a decision maker concerning someone's health and they will tell you about the "what if's" that have run through their head, especially if the outcome was not what they so badly wanted.
- And the most important piece - As I move through all of this there is one thing that rings clearly..... It is that as I go through this process Eli lives within me and outside of me. As I come to awareness of all of this I inherently change how I work with my clients and how I am with those in my life. Eli lives in that too. When this process is complete the next step, whatever that may be, Eli will also live in that. This makes him endless, timeless and always alive. Thank you for helping me to understand that.

I will end with the quote that I saw this morning that started this post.

"This moment contains all moments." - C.S. Lewis
All that has happened is held in this moment.
All that will happen is a seed in this moment. - Addition by me.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Another TTTS Angel

I got word yesterday morning that two TTTS survivor and angels were born as another TTTS survivor died. I did not really know the mother of the survivor who lost her fight with TTTS, she was a member of my support group. She had lost one of girls in utero and gave birth to her survivor 6 weeks ago, at 28 weeks gestation (one week more than my boys). Her little fighter survived heart surgery, breathing problems, collapsed lung and finally pneumonia ended her life. She never left the NICU. My heart breaks for her family in dealing with the death of both of their babies. Blessings out to all of them.

Nolan had another follow up appt with the surgeon who did his skull surgery. As always, Dr S was thrilled with how Nolan's skull has shaped up but more importantly, he is a doctor of neurology and so when he mentions how impressed and amazed with how Nolan is developing it makes me happy. Of course I know that he has his brother to support him, help him and love him from the other side. Nolan is just over the 50% mark in growth for babies who really are 9 months old. He is off the charts for a baby born at 6 months (his adjusted age). Dr S just laughed and smiled with Nolan and said how wonderful it was to see such a healthy happy baby. Since Nolan is on state insurance he has to go to CRS to see Dr S. CRS stands for Children's Rehabilitative Services. It is a clinic set up to see children who are facing very serious health challenges. Doctors from around the city come in to see their state insurance patients. It definitely is not like a pediatrician's office where the majority of the babies are healthy. CRS is a clinic for very sick children. Whenever I see a child with health challenges I try to catch their eye to connect with them. I see the light that they truly are and somehow I want them to know that I see them, the real them, not just the body they are in.

I just wanted to mention that I did not join the mama and me yoga class. As it worked out Nolan had a doctor's appt at the exact time of the yoga class for the past three weeks. There is another option out there, I know it.

For those of you who do not know. I am 11 days into my 30 Day Muchness Challenge. A lot of my daily experiences are being posted there. Please check it out. :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

From Too Much To Muchness

What do you do when you find out you are going to be a mom for the first time, just when you had given up the belief you might still get to be a mom at 42, and are single, self employed and not in love with the baby’s father? – Jump up and down for joy and trust that this gift was given to you for a reason. - MUCH

What do you do when you find out that the one baby you are expecting is actually identical twins? – Cry your eyes out in terror and joy and then call your mom to tell her so she can scream and laugh and cry in joy and shock. – TWO MUCH

What do you do when you find out that your miracle babies are identical boys and could possibly be facing a challenge called Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)? – Go home and Google it only to become terrified at what it could mean to the beautiful boys you carry. Tell friends and family who are already reeling from the death of one baby in the family. Become stiff with fear as the practical survival instinct kicks in and you learn EVERYTHING you can and start changing things in how you live 5 hours after the possible diagnosis. – too much

What do you do when you are told your babies are officially diagnosed with TTTS and it seems like they are progressing rapidly, knowing that without some type of intervention there is barely a 10% chance that either will survive? – Fly to Houston on two days notice for in utero laser surgery, borrowing money from friends and family, not knowing if the insurance will actually over the cost of the surgery. Have the surgery and learn 24 hours later that you still have two tiny little heartbeats inside of you and hear the surgeon call the surgery a success. – TOO TWO MUCH

What do you do 3 weeks after the successful surgery and feeling both babies move and kick and hiccup and grow inside of you, your water breaks much too early and you drive yourself to the hospital, the doctors check the babies, they still look good, and put you on a cocktail of drugs to keep the babies safe, promote their lung development and stave off any infection? – You bring your babies’ teddy bears to the hospital to keep them with you at all times. Visualize healthy babies with a bond of love so strong as to keep everyone safe and growing and spend your 10 days on hospital bed rest hiding from everyone so that you can focus EVERYTHING on the health and wellbeing of your little ones. – too too much

What do you do when you are rushed to the OR for an emergency c-section because one of your babies is in distress with a heart rate dropping to 15 with every contraction and give birth to two tiny, perfect little boys 13 weeks early who are rushed off to the NICU for care? – Give thanks for every single blessing you have been lucky enough to receive. – TWO TWO MUCH

What do you do when after 9 days of life one of your perfect little boys contracts an infection that takes over his body so quickly that he dies less than 36 hours later and then you have to hold a service for him while his brother is fighting in the NICU to grow and thrive? - Go numb, keep breathing, eat sometimes, sleep every so often, cling to the little boy still alive and alone without his brother and cry until there are no more tears only to cry again until you can’t breathe. – so much more than anyone should have to experience and I know too many who have

What do you do nine months later with a thriving nine month old beautiful boy who has made it through painful reflux, apnea events at home and a surgery on his skull? – Love, rejoice and celebrate the beautiful life of your surviving son while you honor, remember and sometimes still cry your eyes out over the son you lost. Know that your one heart has split into three equal hearts, one still in your body, one bursting with joy in your survivor’s body and one torn apart in grief with your angel. Embrace the life you have while you find reason and sense in the whole experience. Talk to your angel son, sing songs to your survivor about his brother, light candles, tell their story and live. – FIND MY MUCHNESS

This is my introduction to my upcoming experience of my 30 Days of Finding My Muchness. I will be starting on Wednesday June 15th in honor of my ninth month without my angel. Please visit this wonderful website to follow my journey to hope and healing.

I have also created my own project of Rediscovering Your Light on Facebook in support of anyone finding themselves in darkness or grief, for any reason, to reconnect with the love and light in themselves and their life. I would love it if you would join me there too.