Friday, October 10, 2014

Bereavement Doula

I have been so busy lately that y'all are lucky you only have to deal with me on here and not in real life.  My type-A personality {and wine} is getting me through, but gosh I am busy....and maybe a little bitchy because of it.  And while I've got a quick minute, I thought I'd blog about it.

I am a strong believer in putting your hopes out into the Universe and letting it decide what comes back to you.  I believe that what you put out, you get back.  Good will get good, bad will get bad.  Simple.  So, I had put into the Universe a few months ago that I wanted to use the loss of my son, our miscarriages, and our experience with infertility & IVF in whatever way would be healing for someone going through anything similar.  You might remember that I even said that in my blog not too long ago?  Anyway....  I had spent years distracting myself from the loss of my son with my growing girl, college, my husband, three more pregnancies, and my career, but that only worked for so long.  My fourth pregnancy loss devastated me beyond any words I could use to describe, and there was no hiding from the pain I felt... there was nothing left to distract me.  I had had enough.  My body was done.  To me, it was "easier" facing my losses than to try again for another pregnancy (which is saying a lot because there is nothing easy about facing the deepest, most brutal pain I have ever felt).  After putting my hopes of using that pain out into the Universe I left it there.  I figured that whatever God wanted I would eventually find my way to it.  

I recently became involved with my area's pregnancy & infant loss support group on the nudging of my husband and with a lot of hesitation.  It's been more than 12 years since my son was born to Heaven and I have never been to any kind of support group.  In between the life events that I used to distract myself, I'd find my heart excruciatingly heavy and couldn't bear the pain alone anymore, and would very briefly consider reaching out for help.  But then almost instantly I would tell myself that my loss wasn't worth support because it couldn't possibly measure up to the losses other women had endured.  So, I went on distracting myself from my excruciatingly heavy heart.  That kind of thinking, though, was sabotaging, and is why it has taken me so long to heal properly.  It took three more losses to finally see that I couldn't do it alone anymore, but even then, it took me three more years before I finally got the courage to go to a support group, and I'm not sure I'd have even gone if it wasn't for my husband.
But what I found when I went to my first support group meeting was that these women were dynamic, welcoming, so kind, not judgmental, and easy to talk to, and friendships formed immediately!  We all have endured different kinds of losses and they validated my pain in ways that no one had ever done before, I was where I belonged!  

It was through a conversation that I had with one of the ladies that led me to Stillbirthday University, and this is why I've been SO busy!  I am currently studying to become a Bereavement Doula!

I already have a Bachelor of Science degree- my degree is specialized to Dental Hygiene, but it is a science degree and this training does extend the science background I already have.  Basically, what a Stillbirthday Doula does is walk the path with a mother and her family as she is experiencing the loss of her pregnancy in all capacities and at all stages, before, during, and after the loss.  This link will explain it better than I can:  

I am at the very beginning of the training so I know that my perspective will evolve throughout the next 12 weeks, but at this point I am thinking that my focus will remain in the loss community.  I am not sure that I want to continue training beyond this to be able to assist in healthy take-home baby births.  I am always going to struggle with happy-ending births, I don't think it's possible for me to put aside my sadness enough, and I would never want to diminish that for new parents because of the path Eric and I walked through.  Now, you can't see my sadness, and other parents wouldn't be able to either, but it comes out when I am at home and I carry it with me- it is just one of the dynamics of pregnancy loss that is apart of me now, and I fully accept it.  God has given that to me to bear and I faithfully embrace it, however, the limits of my heart would struggle at the births of healthy babies, so I feel that I would be better to serve the loss community only.  {I hope that makes sense, I can't explain it any better than that because I'm not that great of a writer, but also because the dynamics of what Eric and I went through is too complex.  I hope you get what I'm trying to say.}

I have always had a very distant thought in the very back parts of my brain to get my master's degree someday, but it was never a priority.  Lately, I have been feeling that thought start to creep closer to the front of my mind and I am starting to consider getting my master's in counseling and focusing even more on the loss community.  I'm thinking I'd like to combine counseling with my Bereavement Doula certification.  So far I am feeling that this is the direction I am meant to go.  So there, I'm putting that out into the Universe too! 

But, I am getting ahead of myself.  First, I need to get through the next few weeks....

Where is my wine....

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