This month a short version of Noah’s birth story was published in Midwifery Today. I feel like it was another tribute to him and his role in my life. The same week that I got my copies of the publication, I noticed that the tulip tree we planted in memorial had a bud on the top!
I was so excited! I hadn’t known if the tree would survive or not and this felt like another tribute, as well as a “new hope” sort of message.
Then, temperatures dropped back below freezing and I thought it probably wasn’t going to bloom, but last night we went out for our walk and look what we saw:
Tiny tulip tree from a distance
Noah's tree bloomed!
For the past couple of months, I have been involved with the founding of a new network for miscarriage doulas. Today, on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, The Amethyst Network officially launches! (Facebook page can be found here.) While I have not been as directly involved with the day to day work as some of the other founders (like Jenni, who has been deeply invested in making this actually get off the ground), I really care about the mission, purpose, and scope of this organization and I hope doulas around the country to rise to the opportunity to provide direct miscarriage support to grieving women and families.
Noah’s birthday is coming up on November 7th and I’ve been thinking about ways to commemorate the occasion. I keep only thinking of buying things and need to find something non-purchasing to do as well! However, ever since he died, I’ve wanted to buy a jizo sculpture. My mom made me two (see picture below) that are very sweet and that I really like, but I still want one that stands up and looks more traditional.
I’ve found a couple on ebay that were so-so and plenty that are simply too expensive and today I thought I’d check one more time and amazingly, there was a new one on ebay that just felt perfect. So, I ordered it this morning. It is coming from Australia and I hope it gets here in time. The only problem with it is that I don’t think it can go outside and I’d really like to have one to put out by his tree.
I also want to get a new memory box that can actually hold the cards, folders, etc. that I have. I have them in a box right now, but it is too small and the folders don’t fit. I can’t quite find the right one though. I’ve tried several and end up rejecting them.
As I noted previously, Fertility Flower is having a Pregnancy Loss Week Blog Carnival . Please join in at Fertility Flower for the week of August 23-27, 2010 where we will be featuring articles, posts and artwork about pregnancy loss.
For the blog carnival I submitted this post about Noah’s box/ceremony for the topic of “memorializing lost children.
I also submitted my post about pregnancy trauma for the subject of subsequent pregnancies.
Additionally, I wanted to add a couple of pictures to this new post, also on the subject of memorials. This one is of Noah’s plaque actually on the tree next to where he is buried:
I guess it is all smudgy looking because of how I put my hand on it? I don’t see those marks usually in real life, but the camera caught them. This one is further away so that is shows both the plaque and the rock under which he is buried:
This is a picture of the tulip tree we planted during the mizuko kuyo ceremony we had on the six month anniversary of Noah’s birth/burial. This one is in our back yard (the cedar tree with the plaque is in our front yard):
The tree is actually quite a bit bigger now than in the picture. I hadn’t really realized how much it has grown until I was writing this post!
And, finally, here is a picture of the two little “jizo” (Buddhist guardian of “water babies”—babies lost before birth) rocks that my mom painted for me and gave me during the ceremony:
Posted in babies, birth, ceremony, feelings, friends, grief, homebirth, memorial, miscarriage, mizuko, pregnancy
I mentioned before that my mom planned a little Mizuko ceremony/birthday party for me on May 7 (the six-month anniversary of Noah’s birth). A small group of friends came and one of the things they did was make an affirmation poster for me—I wanted them to do this, as I feel my sense of body-trust was very shaken by my second miscarriage experience. Here is a picture of the finished poster:
I also had a private ceremony by myself on May 3rd (Noah’s due date/my b-day) to “close out” the pregnancy as I mentioned wanting to do. That was great and really felt like it worked—did what I needed to do. Stated out loud to the “universe” that I am not pregnant with him anymore and have given birth. Then, I also did a private fear-release thing after the Mizuko Kuyo that also was helpful—letting go of lingering fear about m/c in general. I wish I had felt safe enough to do those things with company, but I didn’t.
As I have noted several times but without much details, the second miscarriage experience was so confusing and not clear-cut and just personally undermining, that I do probably need to process it a bit more. It was really confusing as to when I got pregnant, how pregnant I was, and when I stopped being pregnant—I kept having positive tests for almost a month after I started bleeding, etc., etc. Very confusing and hard to come to terms with—because there is so much I don’t understand. However, something happened following the Mizuko that gave me some “closure” about it—I went out to water the new tree we planted and there were two flowers from the hanging plant that had fallen onto the deck. Seemed symbolic to me, so I picked them up and put them under the tree—as I laid them there, I thoughts, “now at least they have each other.” That was the first time I had ever allowed myself to “personify” the second m/c. Then, I thought, “I have a pair of brothers here and a pair of brothers ‘out there’” and I had this weird sense of Noah as a “big brother.” Anyway, it was an oddly comforting experience and perhaps that was all I needed…