anniversary

Losing Hope – 3 years ago…

The following I wrote 3 years ago:

pregnant belly in front of sunrise

The journey…

Yesterday I struggled not to lose hope.

As most of you know by now I’m pregnant with twin girls. Today it’s 26 weeks. I’m writing this note to you today as I cannot fathom talking about this more than is already happening in my head, and sooner or later one of you will ask me ‘How are the twins?’

In our 19 weeks scan we were told that one of our twins showed abnormalities in her kidneys. After our scan the girls got fed up of being called ‘twin 1’ and ‘twin 2’ and we chose Angel cards to give them ‘names in utero’. Since then we have been referring to them as Passion and Hope – very synchronistic as twin 2 chose Hope and she’s the one dealing with her malformed kidneys.

Basically the doctors and specialists couldn’t say for sure but mentioned that Hope showed cysts in both of her kidneys. They gave us worst case scenarios which I basically just didn’t take on, knowing that this is just one moment in time and things can change. Well, in the last 7 weeks they have not changed much and after our scan and specialist’s appointment yesterday they told us that it is very likely that Hope will be born with little or no kidney function. This might mean that she might live for hours/days/months and that the most likely neonatal management will be palliative care.

This time it hit me hard. This time I understood that there is no operation or care that could help a newborn with this condition. I also got to realise that as long as Hope is in utero the placenta is taking over the kidney function and she is still with me – for now.

I’m writing this note to you as I want you to know that my intent is to be with whatever this process has to offer me. I’m open to feel joy as both girls are moving inside me, and also the pain, hopelessness, sadness, grief, anger at the unfairness – basically whatever is coming, I’m open to it. Some days I might be sad, some days I might not, any day as it comes and goes.

I’m not looking for your advice or suggestions. Even though they are well meant, sentences like ‘At least you’ve got another healthy baby’ are also not mending the feelings I have for Hope. Don’t be afraid to talk to me about the situation, if you can handle and accept where I am at any point. Please accept my state, you don’t need to fix or solve anything for me. Some days I might want to talk about it, some days I might prefer not.

I have no expectation from you with this note besides that I want you to know where I am at. Pregnancy and birth is in many cases a joyous experience. At times it is for me and at times it is mixed with a lot of sadness and sorrow – at least for me…
I’m reminded of one of my dearest poems:

On Children

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Kahlil Gibran

We might lose Hope and still be reminded to never be able to lose hope.
All Love,
Nathalie & Chris, Hope & Passion

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Mother’s Day

mother's heartMother’s Day is celebrated on different date, depending on what country you live in.
Mother’s are celebrated if they have children. What if you can’t SEE those children?

Given the sad statistics that 1 in 4 pregnancy ends in no pregnancy, what is the chance that there are MOTHERS out there who never had the chance to give birth? Mothers in their heart and soul, but no child to show for.

I was touched by my friend, CarlyMarie’s project 

The Mother Hearts Project

and her card series. Actually, I love everything she does. Unbiased. Her heart is in it.

I am even more unbiased now that I had the chance to speak to her for two hours last weekend, as part of the interview series for the forthcoming book Grieving Parents – Surviving Loss As A Couple”.

Another interview I had reminded me of the children I didn’t carry to term, those that are truly invisible. Miscarriages. As part of the research for my book I read again that 30-50% of pregnancy are miscarried in the first 12 weeks and that number only applies to those who KNEW they were pregnant. Imagine how many more unrecognized mothers this leaves.

Let’s remember all Mothers. Join Bereaved Mother’s Day.

 

Conscious Grieving

a beautiful woman with grey hair

You will never be forgotten

Today is the second anniversary of my mother’s suicide. I spent the day very consciously aware of this day 2 years ago and what must have happened for my mother to take that step. We will never know the intrinsic details. 

In the days leading up I had been asked multiple times, how I was feeling leading up to today. Checking in again and again I am “in a good place with my mother’s decision”. It also means I miss her presence and especially her presence in Ananda Mae’s life, which she would have loved to take as a proud grandmother.

I spoke to all of my closest family members and checked in on how they were going. Not surprisingly to me, I was the one asking… I had some interesting conversations and made some revelations, I had not known before.

This is what I call “Conscious Grieving” – being mindful and attentive to what would reveal itself. I find it interesting to see the development that has occurred within the last year. Looking back over posts written in 2013 one call tell… what sometimes goes unnoticed on the dark walk through grief land.

I wonder what this 19 January will look and feel like in years to come… one thing is sure: You will never be forgotten!

15 October – Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Beautiful picture with curtesy of Carly Marie: http://carlymarieprojectheal.com/

Beautiful picture with curtesy of Carly Marie:
http://carlymarieprojectheal.com/

Today is the 15 October and this means Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day‘. The Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Movement began in the United States on October 25, 1988, when then-American President Ronald Reagan designated the month of October 1988 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

It is also with great pleasure that I would like to announce that I have narrowed down the topic of my forthcoming GRIEF BOOK: Grieving Parents
Keep looking out for news on it’s publication date in 2014!

This is  a great day to remember all the parents who have lost their babies during pregnancy, neonatal death or during infancy. Remember that grieving a child is a life-long endeavour. Remember that parents will always remember their child in whatever way or form is right for them. Remember that they won’t ‘get over it’.

If you want to know how you can help a grieving parent or understand what they might be going through, here are some good articles to read:  Wishes of an Angel’s Mum and Dad (more…)

We Remember…

~ Photo by CarlyMarie ~

~ Photo by CarlyMarie ~

Today it is 2 years since your passing – We remember…

I still remember the weight of your tiny body
as I held you, this one and only time
feeling your skin on mine
touching ever so gently

I still remember the completeness of this moment
as I held you both, this one and only time
feeling both of your tiny bodies
gently breathing on my chest

I still remember the synchronicity
as I held you both, this one and only time
feeling 3 hearts, chest to chest
beating together in this life time

I still remember the amazment
as I held you, this exact time 2 years ago
as you opened your eyes and looked at us
stretching your arm in good-bye

I still remember the graciousness and honour
as I held you, this one and last time
being allowed to carry you over
into this next world I don’t yet know

And I still remember the heartbreak
as I held you, this last time
witnessing your last breath
gentle stillness in my arms

I still remember the emptiness
as I held you, this last time
your tiny physical body
never again in my arms

I remember this until today
and even though your heart is no longer beating
and your lungs are no longer breathing
your memory lives in our hearts
and in our minds
as long as we wish to remember…

as we remember your birth-day
so we remember your death-day
I remember you every day 
I miss you every day 

~ Amya Mirica Hope ~
1 – 3 September 2011

Celebrating My Daughters’ Birthday

This year I wanted to remember and honour the birth of my ‘remembered child’, Amya Mirica Hope.

Ananda Mae gets all the attention, eats her birthday cake (or mostly the smarties), receives beautiful cards and presents. Amya is a memory… So here is a tribute to her…

Tomorrow Is the 3rd

<3

22 months ago I had identical twin girls.

22 months ago I was a proud and fearful mother.

22 months ago I didn’t know that tomorrow I would hold my younger daughter in my arms as she passed away.

Tomorrow is the 3rd.

When I was taking a shower this morning I was thinking about the 3rd again. Every months on the 1st I celebrate my older daughter’s age, 22 months yesterday. Then I have a day’s break and then it’s the 3rd, where I honour my younger’s daughter’s passing. (more…)