Sunday, 25 August 2013

Taking it day by day...

After I lost Poppy, I think I also lost my self a little bit.  I took only two days off work, during which I mainly slept, then threw myself back into activity.  I said I was worried about getting bored, but maybe I was just doing anything I could to avoid acknowledging the enormity of what had happened and the feelings which threatened to overwhelm me.  I drank too much red wine which helped me avoid my feelings but made me hate myself because I wanted to be healthy for a future pregnancy.

When I wasn't working, I did a lot of reading, to distract myself and to try to understand.  I read many amazing blogs about infertility and loss and those gave me some perspective.  I didn't know why I lost my baby, or if there was anything I could have done to prevent it, or if I did something to actually cause it.  I had lots of questions.  What is the meaning of life anyway?

This questioning led me to some interesting books among the self-help shelves of my local library that have opened up the way I think about it all.  I'll write about some of those sometime.

I'm definitely doing it differently this time.

Because Pipkin was five weeks older when I lost her, the toll on me physically was much greater. I lost a lot of blood and my iron levels were way low.  So I needed to allow myself to recover, physically and emotionally.  At work, my contract was a little over one month from finishing and they had just hired my permanent replacement.  I negotiated an agreement to spend two weeks on full time handover, then come in only one day a week for the remainder.  They wanted to renew me, but I decided I needed the time for myself more than I needed the money.

The first month after my loss my feelings see-sawed between sadness and anger.  If I wasn't crying I was railing at the world.  At all the unfairness, at all the stupidity, at all the waste, at all the people.  I especially got white hot angry at anything that affected my life that I had no control over.

I didn't see the correlation at the time.

I've never been the kind for melodramatic gestures but after a couple of very dramatic pre-menstrual emotional meltdowns where I found myself seriously contemplating the futility of living if my babies couldn't live, I scared myself enough to make an appointment to see a counsellor.  I'm not sure its actually helping but at least I am making an effort to talk about my feelings with her.  I prefer writing about them on here, but it is useful as she gives me some different perspectives.  She also constantly reminds me to be gentle with myself and Mr Duncan.

Since I finished work I've also been taking the time to practice extreme self care which, for me, includes
  • sleeping a LOT
  • enjoying the summer sun in the park while its around
  • allowing myself to feel my feelings and cry or shout if I want to.  This is much more challenging than I could have imagined
  • cooking tasty, nutritionally rich meals for myself and Mr Duncan
  • riding my bicycle around the neighbourhood
  • attending yoga classes regularly
  • Having shiatsu massage to help release the physical knots that appeared in my muscles in the days after my last loss
  • writing in this blog and reading about other's experiences of loss and hope and heartbreak
Sometimes I feel self-indulgent and guilty, but mostly I justify it by reminding myself that I worked so hard and earned the good monies so I can afford to take time off now that I need it. And then I get annoyed with myself for feeling the need to justify it.  I lost two angels in the space of a year ffs!  While continuing to successfully deliver on my work obligations!  Why the hell don't I deserve some time for healing?

And there is the anger again.  


It would be better if I didn't get so angry with myself.



  1. What a wonderful list of self care. You definitely deserve it.

  2. Lisa - thank you for stopping by my blog and for your sweet comment. I think you are doing a wonderful thing by taking care of yourself. I cannot imagine how difficult your losses must be.

  3. I'm a huge fan of extreme self care while grieving. I truly believe it is the key to moving forward. Hugs to you... I can personally attest to the fact that the anger is absolutely expected, and does fade with time. Hang in there...

    From ICLW...

  4. Hugs from ICLW! You deserve to be "self indulgent"! You deserve it to help cope.

  5. Lisa, thanks for your lovely comments on my blog. I love your list of self care. Don't question taking all the time you need to feel better.

  6. Good for you for taking time for yourself, too many people ignore self care. Said a prayer for you and the little ones you lost. Will be following your journey.

  7. Your self-care list is wonderful. I am also struggling with feelings of guilt for taking time off work, and reading your post really helped me reexamine those feelings. Thank you for stopping by my blog--I'm glad to have found your blog, and I look forward to following your story.

  8. Counselling helps, and taking care of yourself is so important. One of the most helpful things that the counselor we saw after the first IVF failure said was to be kind to yourself. Apparently it's extremely common for women to embark on self improvement ( diet, exercise, healthier eating) post ivf failures. We deny ourselves the things that are our coping mechnisms ( coffee, a glass of wine, a relaxed day) in pursuit of something that is inherently stressfull.

  9. Dear Lisa,
    i hope you don't mind me poking my nose in, but i've had a look around and what i found is very interesting and also rather touching. So much more than just custard here !! I'll be trying out some of those delicious looking recipes for sure. I'm glad that our paths have crossed and a little sad that you are moving soon. i would have loved the chance to get to know you better, and to become friends. Now to the reason i chose to comment: What i really want to say to you is that on my quest for spiritual knowledge i have come across the notion that not all souls who enter a baby's forming body do so with the intention of being born. Some are looking to experience just that part of life that they show up for. The subject of life between lives has always fascinated me and i have a book or two that may interest you. One in particular, journey of souls by michael newton, who is the founder of the institute for life between lives hypnotherapy, has a few pages on a soul entering the baby. I'd be happy to lend it to you if you like. These books had a huge effect on me, helping me to step back a little and get a bigger picture. So if this resonates with you and you'd like to take me up on that, just give me a shout.

    1. Funnily enough, Journey of Souls is one of the books I found in the library after I lost Poppy I referred to above. I've been meaning to do a post about it.

      The other two books of that nature I found at the time are Spirit Babies by Walter Makichen and Children Who Communicate Before They Are Born by Bauer, Hoffmeister and Goerg (fairly poorly translated from the German).


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