What I learned from the birth and death of my baby – Big Love, Big Acceptance, Big Teacher… in a tiny package

As I sit here on September 28, 2016, I remember my firstborn daughter, Acacia.  I remember she died seven years ago.  I am sad, and I am grateful.  Below is the journal entry that wrote over seven years ago – and, well, read it.  It speaks for itself.  We all long for Presence and Connection.  I had the most amazing experience of that with Acacia.  If you or someone you know could use more Presence and Connection as you process the death of your baby, please contact me.  I’m here to walk with you on your journey of loss and love.

Much love,

Shelly

 

Big Love, Big Acceptance, Big Teacher… in a tiny package

 by Shelly King

Inspired and made possible by Acacia Sierra King

September 28, 2009, 12:30 a.m. – Written about 15 hours before my daughter died.

What can I say about my daughter… my daughter!  Acacia Sierra King.  She leaves me speechless, yet I have so many words, experiences, and thoughts to share… all that really happened in only a few days.  Who knew a person could squeeze so much life into a few days, and squeeze so much out of life.  I think Acacia knew.  That’s how I understand and explain her presence in my life.  How lucky am I?

Acacia has taught me about BIG LOVE.  I told my husband, I never knew there was so much love in the world before I met and spent time with our daughter.  For example, I knew I loved my husband before we had our daughter, but I didn’t know I could love him even more.  Becoming a parent breaks your heart wide open and the love fills every crack and crevice, in places you didn’t know existed.  And when you feel and experience the loss of a child, the love of family and friends pours in and fills you like you never knew possible.  Acacia has a great family.  While I am deeply saddened at the loss of my daughter and my first born, I have grown closer to my family and friends in a way that would not have been possible otherwise.  What a gift my daughter has given me… so selflessly, so readily.  She is amazing.

Acacia has taught me about BIG ACCEPTANCE.  After I gave birth, Acacia was whisked away from my body before I could see her.  I didn’t hear her cry right away…something was wrong.  Then they briefly held her to my face so I could meet my daughter and give her a kiss.  I looked at her sweet little face and knew something was different.  I became very afraid, very detached.  I didn’t know if my daughter would live, and if she did, I didn’t know what kind of life she would have and how it would affect mine.  I wondered if I could be a mom to a special needs child.  I didn’t think I could and I am so sad to admit, I hoped she would die if that were the case.  I didn’t believe I was strong enough or big enough to meet such a challenge.  That night I withdrew.  Partially because I just gone through a traumatic birth experience and partially because I was afraid of what lie ahead.  I was in shock.  It was a great buffer.

And then… and then I met her.  And I didn’t want to see her again.  She looked so tiny, so sick, so frail.  She was having trouble breathing and it hurt me to see her.  I wasn’t thinking too much about how she was feeling.  I was stuck in my own sad situation.  Nine months of carrying my baby, going through a pitocin induced labor without pain meds… only to end up here.  It was not fair.  I felt like the worst mom ever.  What kind of mother would let her newborn, special needs child lie under a warmer light all night long without so much as peeking in on her?  Only a really bad.  Only a mother that had failed her child… only me.  I felt awful.

And then… and then I had the courage to go in and see her one more time, with my own mother.  And my heart melted, and Acacia taught me about BIG ACCEPTANCE.  Acceptance of myself, of my daughter, of my situation.   No, it’s not fair to lose your child.  It’s not fair that I brought her into this world and that I witnessed her leave.  But it’s not about being fair.  We all know life isn’t fair.  It’s about accepting what is… about understanding and accepting our attachments in life.  I had so many attachments to what it meant to be pregnant, and attachments to what life would be like after our baby came.  Yet all along Acacia was trying to teach me about acceptance.  We had many twists and turns during the pregnancy… the suspicion of trisomy 18 at week 21, which was later ruled out at week 25.  The concern I might develop gestational diabetes, which didn’t happen.  Then week 34 came and our homebirth midwife was concerned that she felt so small.  So on to the doctor… which confirmed a small baby and concern about intrauterine growth restriction.  Back to the dr. again… and baby looked healthy, but small, so weekly monitoring was set up.  Due to baby’s small size, a hospital birth was in order, and the hopes, dreams, and plans for a home birth were taken away.  I had trouble accepting all of these changes, all of these concerns.  All of these things that I couldn’t let be, because I had other plans in place.

And then… and then I held her.  And my melted heart began to break wide open, to feel the BIG LOVE.  I began to accept Acacia for who she was, and her presence in my life.  She taught me you can’t judge a book by its cover – which I’ve known for years, but now I know.  Because BIG ACCEPTANCE doesn’t care what you look like or who you are… it only cares about you, all of you, every part of you.  Acacia loves me unconditionally and purely.  I realized I had already put so many conditions on her life and how that was supposed to be a part of mine.  Acacia made me a better mom, a better person.

And it seems she fought to teach me about these things… to be my BIG TEACHER.  There are many reasons why she shouldn’t have lived to teach me these things.  The majority of trisomy 18 babies die in-utero during the second or third trimester.  Acacia didn’t.  She escaped the diagnosis of trisomy 18 by multiple ultrasounds and by two doctors.  If we had known ahead of time that she had trisomy 18, we would have planned a homebirth and allowed her to die at home, at whatever rate she needed to.  But we didn’t know, and we had a hospital birth.  No one knew.  And she was rushed off to be put on machines to sustain her life.  My husband and I didn’t want that.  We would have chosen not to put her on a ventilator, but we weren’t allowed that choice because the hospital did not have the capability to diagnosis trisomy 18 at 10:30 on a Friday evening.  Due to the fact that tests couldn’t be run, the doctors were ethically obligated to save her life.  We fought the staff on this, and nothing changed.  We were forced to accept their actions to intervene to keep our daughter alive.  If this hadn’t happened, she probably would have died that night.  Instead, she lived.  She lived a few precious days to teach me so much.  She is such a fighter.  Even when I wasn’t sure I could love her, when I wasn’t sure I could accept her, she stayed in my life.  She stayed long enough to teach me about BIG LOVE and BIG ACCEPTANCE.  What a girl!

She’s a tiny little package, yet she affected everyone she met.  Our family came to know and love her – flying out a moment’s notice to support us as her parents, and to meet her.  If everyone else could have met her, we know you would have loved her too.  My husband commented that if we could have passed a sign up sheet around, she would have been held constantly.  I know we could have filled the 2 am shift so she wouldn’t have to lie by herself in her warming bed.  On Sunday- she was held constantly from about 11 a.m. in the morning until 1 a.m. the next morning.  And still not every family member got to hold her.

Oh Acacia.  My love.  My daughter.  My first born.  You have taught me so much and I am still learning from you.  You will be my teacher for the rest of my life.  THANK YOU for being my daughter, for coming into my life and blessing me with your big presence… in such a tiny package.  I love you.  I love you so much, so so much.  I wish I didn’t have to let you go.  I wanted to stay in the cocoon of the hospital for days on end.  And yet, as I slowly slowly wade through my grief and attachments, I know life goes on.  I wonder how your life will continue to affect mine?  I wonder what decisions I’ll make differently?  Time will tell… and I know you’ll be with me every step of the way.  Part of me feels excited about life – my new life.  And part of me feels so scared and sad.  How do I live without you, my love?

acacia-tree-277352_1280

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Parenting After A Loss – The Little Things

As I reflect on parenting after a loss, it seems obvious that I’ll never know what kind of parent I would be if Acacia had not died. Sometimes I wonder about this, but mostly I experience it as a part of my parenting story.  Sometimes I wonder if I’d be less anxious, less fierce, less attached, and not intimately know my child could die.  Mostly it simply “is” to me.  What I do notice; however, is how I imagine I do things differently.

Starting from infancy on with my second daughter, I learned it was helpful to narrate my daughter’s experience to her, and tell her what we were up to. For example, I’d say, “now it’s time to change your diaper.”  Or, “I hear you’re crying and upset.  I know things are not okay right now.”  Another thing I quickly started to do was every time I would strap her into her car seat to go somewhere, I’d tell her where we were going, give her a kiss, say I love and tell her I’d see her when we got there.  I don’t know if I would have done this if Acacia hadn’t died.  Because every time I buckle my second daughter into her car seat, there is the quick acknowledgement that something could happen to either one of us on the car ride there, and if, god forbid, either one of us were injured or killed, I’d want my last words to her to be I love you.

This is how I know I’m parenting after a loss. What about you?  What ways, big or small, do you find yourself doing things differently than you imagined you would have if your first baby hadn’t died?  Or if a subsequent child of yours died, how do you know your parenting has changed?

Much love,

Shelly

ray-of-light-tree-trunk-and-white-flowers

Here She Is – Remembering My Daughter

As Acacia’s 7th anniversary approaches in September, I often feel her closest in August.

Here She Is – by Shelly King

I see you everywhere my love.
Every flower, every tree, every blade of grass.
I miss you everywhere, my love.
Every birthday, every holiday, every county fair without you.
From the deepest darkest depths of my soul that I never knew existed until you, to the tips of my toes – I miss you.
My belly, womb and breasts ache for your existence.
To know your warmth, your scent, your touch.
To know the arch of your back, the shape of your lips and the color of your eyes.
To hear the sound of your voice, your laughter and your cry.
To know all of these things about you that I never got to know.
To let go of all of my wonderings, my longings, these mysteries.
And instead to know you, as solid as the ground beneath my feet.
I miss you, Love.
I search for you everywhere.
Yet.
You are here.
In me and of me.
I am forever broken and forever healed.
There is no other way for this to be, except for you with me.
I miss you.
My love, my baby.
My heart and soul ache for you.
I long for one more glance, one more whiff of your scent, one more moment with you earth side, in my arms.
And yet I know.
This is not The End, nor the beginning.
It simply is.
My baby died and I miss her.
Desperately, deeply.
I am forever changed.
I miss you, I miss you, I miss you.

field of wild flowers

Time Heals All Wounds

Time heals all wounds.

That’s a doozy, huh?!  In the past, it stirred up all of my doubts, anxieties, and fears.  For example, my mind did something like this, “really?  Time heals ALL wounds?  Even dead babies?  Then what’s wrong with me?  I don’t feel better yet.  It’s been enough time, right?  People around me seem to think enough time has passed since my daughter died, and I should be okay again.  What’s wrong with ME?  Do I need more time?  Am I broken?  Why isn’t this time thing working for me?” …it goes on and on.  I have to acknowledge my mind can be a pretty busy, rather unhelpful, place at times.  AND I am a firm believer this saying is not true.

Time does not heal all wounds.

How does that sit with you?  For me, my mind settles.  It begins to rest.  I begin to believe there is nothing wrong with me, grief is difficult, and unless you’ve grieved a deep loss, you don’t understand how hurtful that saying can be, and how it perpetuates a myth in our culture that somehow, someday, I will be healed.  If I need to be healed, that implies I am broken.  And I am not broken.  Have I thought I was broken?  You betcha!  At least it felt that way.  Have I wondered if I did something “wrong” to “deserve” this tragic and heart breaking experience of the death of my daughter?  Yup. Sometimes I wondered, and now I don’t believe that.

So this saying, this platitude, while I know it is meant to be words of comfort – it is not.  Not for me, and not for many others.  What I have found to be true is that time changes things.  Nothing stays the same.  The only constant you can count on is change.  All of those sayings ring true for me.  The experience of grief has changed over time for me.  How I feel today, the thoughts I think today, nearly 7 years after my daughter died, they are different.  It’s not intense anymore.  Sure I still have moments or a day where it hits me.  Like when my five year old living daughter met one of her kindergarten teachers at the playground and the teacher asked, “Do you have any brothers or sisters?  Are you the first one to go to school?”  And she calmly replied, “I have an older sister.  But she died.”  Times like those my heart aches and my soul wonders what life would be like if Acacia had lived.  And yet, nearly seven years later, those questions and conversations don’t knock me to the ground like they did in the past.  It’s changed over time.

So if time doesn’t heal all wounds, what are we left with?  Doesn’t it sound dark and grim to think we might not be healed?  No.  Instead it means there are many paths to holding our experience.  We are not broken.  We do not need to be healed.  Instead, I have come to know and experience that our feelings, thoughts, dreams, nightmares, etc need to be held.  They need to be welcomed by open and loving arms, like we would hold our child.  They are asking to be experienced, acknowledged, and felt.  When your sadness arises, try this – talk to it.  Feel it.  Say, “hi sadness.  I feel you.  I notice the feelings in my body (and check in with yourself.  Are there tears?  A tightness in your throat or belly?  What sensations can you feel in your body?).  I breathe into these spaces.  These feelings of mine, you’re welcome here.  I know that you come and go.  I am here with you, in this moment.”  And do this repeatedly.  Each and every time that you can.

This may not be easy if you’re not used to checking in with yourself, but do it anyways.  Grief isn’t easy, right?!  How much harder could this be?  I know our culture, our friends, and our families often encourage us to turn away from our feelings, to pretend we’re okay and to get back to “normal” as soon as possible.  But is that working for you?  Really?

If you need some support on your journey, you may call or email me.  And let’s be honest – we’re all humans, each one of us is wired for connection.  We are meant to be with others, we need others.  I know our individualistic culture does not like that truth.  Many of us buy into this harmful belief that we should be able to figure this out alone, but that is incorrect.  So call a friend, a family member, a clergy member – someone you can trust, and let them in.  Share your grief with them.  Find this kind of person to talk to and be with:

  “When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen

Much love,

Shelly

clock time heals all wounds

 

 

Father’s Day and Baby Loss – Remembering Dad

Another family holiday upon us.  Father’s Day.  If you identify with the commercialized version of this holiday, the man or men in your life will be grilling, playing golf, fishing and being lazy and unhelpful.  I don’t know about you, but those aren’t the fathers I know.  Sure they may like these hobbies, but the fathers I know are anything but bumbling idiots as they have often been portrayed in our media.  And a babyloss father, well, he’s a special breed.  He has to be.

Many babyloss fathers find themselves in the unique position of caring for the mother after their baby has died, being asked about her welfare by others while his grief is overlooked.  Due to cultural norms he is expected to be strong and not show emotion.  Logistically he may need to return back to work sooner than the mother because physically he is able to, perhaps he only gets 3 days for bereavement leave, perhaps time no longer qualifies for paternity leave as there doesn’t seem to be a baby, and the family is depending on him to earn money.  Depending on the loss situation, the medical bills can be enormous.

But it would be wrong to assume he is not grieving.  Stereotypically speaking, women tend to emote and externalize their grief by crying, talking, and wanting to connect with others while men tend to internalize their grief.  This means they may not talk about it, know how they feel, and they may dive into action by working more, or picking up a new hobby.  In my family, my husband to began to thoroughly explore and research building a cabin after our daughter died.  This is a life long dream of his before our loss, and it became something to focus on after our loss.  Both of us were left reeling, and neither of us knew what to “do.”  In my own pain, I was not there for him.  And it was rare that anyone asked him how he was doing.

So what can you “do” to honor the babyloss father you know this Father’s Day?  It’s simple, really.  But it may not be easy.  Reach out to him – call him, text him, send him an email or a card.  Let him know you remember HIM and his baby.  While his experience of fatherhood may scare you to death, imagine what it might be like for him.  The silence of those around him can be deafening.  Tell him you remember he’s a father too.  Ask him how he’s doing.  Pause, and allow him to respond.

To all the babyloss dads out there, including my own husband, my thoughts and love are with you.  Parenthood is hard.  And parenting a dead baby is also hard.  There is no road map, no right or wrong way to do this, and as a father – you are often called upon to steer this ship in uncharted waters.  You have my deepest respect and gratitude.

Much love,

Shelly

boat father's day

Sometimes I Just Miss Her

Hi dear reader.  I wonder where this blog post finds you today?  I’d say I hope you’re doing well, and sincerely I do, AND, if you’re not doing well – I welcome any and all emotional states!  When you’ve lost your baby, whether it’s through miscarriage, termination, stillbirth and/or newborn loss, you are entitled to feel however you are feeling – in this moment!

The other day I found myself driving home from an appointment.  And it hit me.  Sometimes I just miss her – my firstborn daughter, Acacia.  Really miss her.  And I miss so many things.  One of the first and foremost issues is that I never *knew* her.  She was never really real.  Yet in so many ways she was.  Of course she was real, I know this!  I gave birth to her, she lived for 2 1/2 days.  I drank her in.  Sat with her, held her, rocked her.  Observed my family and two close friends with her.  She was so real.  So alive, even in her trisomy 18 body, and there was so much LOVE in that little NICU room.  She weighed just under 4 pounds, and I have yet to meet anyone with as big as presence as her (okay, I got to hear the Dalai Lama speak in India once, that was pretty amazing too, but it still wasn’t this).  And while I am grateful for my short time with her, of course it will never be enough.  When I think of her, and miss her, it’s the plan I had for a lifetime with a healthy child that I’m mourning.  Who she “should have been” is who I miss.

So I miss her.  And I’ve done a lot of “work” around my grief.  I saw my individual therapist from a few weeks after Acacia died up until the day I gave my birth to my second daughter.  Literally, I saw my therapist on the day I went into labor as I felt some early contractions that morning that progressed into full on labor that evening.  So lots of therapy.  I don’t know how I would have gotten through that time without my nearly weekly sessions that provided a safe place to land.  My place to cry without judgment or fear.  No need to take care of anyone else or worry about scaring someone with my grief.  As I felt messy, crazy, and broken – all parts of me were safe there.  Then over the years I’ve met with some different energy healers, did some intuitive work, was trained as a Hospice volunteer, read a lot of books and websites and blogs about grief and babyloss…  And ya know what??  Sometimes I just miss her.  This gaping hole in our family.  Two kids.  One living.  My point being, no matter how hard we “work” with our grief; whether or not we let it come and go; at the end of the day, we miss our child(ren).

I attended a butterfly release years ago for baby loss after Acacia died.  As the founder of the nonprofit spoke to the group, she shared this Zen story with us:

A rich man asked a Zen master to write something down that could encourage the prosperity of his family for years to come. It would be something that the family could cherish for generations. On a large piece of paper, the master wrote, “Father dies, son dies, grandson dies.”

The rich man became angry when he saw the master’s work. “I asked you to write something down that could bring happiness and prosperity to my family. Why do you give me something depressing like this?”

“If your son should die before you,” the master answered, “this would bring unbearable grief to your family. If your grandson should die before your son, this also would bring great sorrow. If your family, generation after generation, disappears in the order I have described, it will be the natural course of life. This is true happiness and prosperity.”

If you are a babyloss parent reading this, you know full well the unbearable grief and great sorrow this story speaks to.  Know that I hold space for each and every one of our babies.  There are so many.  And know that it’s okay to miss your child.  Anytime, anywhere.  Sometimes it just creeps up on us.  And of course other times we’re knocked down by a tidal wave.

With much love,

Shelly

baby loss, miscarriage, termination, stillbirth, newborn loss, pregnancy loss, grief, miss my baby

Relationships and Miscarriage & Baby Loss: the Worry and the Wonder

I know most couples struggle with their relationship after the death of their baby.  It’s such a horrific loss – the death of one’s child.  There’s no way around it.  It is a huge strain on a relationship.  As with any child – living or dead – one’s relationship is not the same after kids come into the picture.  I know.  I’ve been there.  I am there.  And those 2 ½ days that we spent with Acacia, our first born, will always be etched in my memories.

Here’s a quote from my journal, written about 10 months after our daughter died.  I had taken the day off of work.  It was summer.  I went to our local Y to lay out by the pool, swim a little bit and read a book (things that I have always loved to do.  Things that bring peace to my soul – the sun, the water, the warmth).

“Not looking forward to my husband coming home tonight.  Wish I could be all relaxed and happy and shiny for him after a day off.  But I’m not.  I’m breathing.  I’m alive.  I hope that’s enough for him tonight.  I’m tired.  Where’s the pause button?”

The poignancy of this quote hit me as I re-read it today.  People in a relationship often struggle with the idea of getting their “old self” back and returning to “normal” after their baby died, especially women.  I am here to tell you that won’t happen.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  You are forever changed by your baby, just as you would be if that child had lived.  Unfortunately our culture generally treats a dead baby as not really a person.  The thinking goes that because you didn’t lost a “real” person, you didn’t really lose anything, so nothing really changed, and you should still be yourself.  Right?  Wrong.  Any of us who have a child who died knows this isn’t true, yet we long to fit into cultural norms; we long to feel normal ourselves; therefore, we might begin to believe this lie, to internalize it, and wonder what’s wrong with us, rather than question what is wrong with the messages we receive.  And as women, we generally long to please others, our partners included.  So we worry and wonder if and when we’ll ever be okay again.  And along with the loss of our baby, we worry and wonder – will we also lose our partner?  Because we’ve already lost our sense of self.

I experienced the depths of this despair myself.  I felt the colossal impact on my relationship, and there are still ripple effects, and I suspect there always will be.  As a couple, you CAN weather this life change.  It’s not always easy, but it is possible.  If you feel that your relationship is struggling after the death of your baby, please know that you are not alone.  For extra support, you may follow me here on my blog to learn more about babyloss and sign up to receive an update anytime I post something.  I’m also available to schedule a free 30 minute in person or phone consultation to talk about how I can help support you and your partner as you grieve the profound loss of your child.  I can help you to find ways to turn towards each other, to support each other and to continue to grow together, rather than walking this path alone.  Call me at 303.502.4867 or email me at shellykingtherapy@gmail.com to schedule your free consult.

Much love,

Shelly

shattered glass w sun peeking through

Mother’s Day and Babyloss

imageHi. Aye. This tender, tender time of Mother’s Day. The commercials and ads miss so many of us… and I speak to those of us mothers who have lost a baby. Those of us who had other plans for celebrating today with a baby growing, alive and well in our bellies, those of us planning on our first Mother’s Day with our baby in our arms, those of us who had been counting on our family to look much different than it does, and those of us who were once filled with naive hope, joy and love that our path to motherhood would look so different than it is today.

The sheer agony of this time, this day. The pain, the heartache, the loss. It’s real. It sits in our hearts and souls, in the very places we hold our child(ren). This loss is deep, gut wrenching, heart breaking.

So what can we “do”? How do we tolerate this pain? How do we “fix” it? Honestly? We don’t. There is no fixing, or getting over it, or moving on. Instead, we welcome the feelings of dread, of separation, of feeling left out. We let them in so we don’t disown a part of ourself, and our family. We remember our babies however we want to and need to. If you’re crying on Mother’s Day, then you’re crying. If you’re feeling grateful or happy, then you’re grateful and happy. If you need to be alone, be alone. If you need to gather in the company of family and friends, then create this gathering of your community. Do what you need to do. You have my permission (just in case you haven’t given yourself permission yet). Welcome your feelings, experiences and thoughts just as they are. Without a message of shame, guilt, or doubt. (Often easier said than done, I know. I get it.). Welcome them in, feel them in your body, and see what happens. Personally, I have found that when I let my experience unfold as it is, without my judgements of how it *should* be, it moves through me. I feel the feeling, without my story, and it changes. Yet, when I add my stories of doubt, shame, guilt and “supposed-to’s”, then I get stuck. I ruminate. My wheels spin. Over and over and over again. I welcome you to give this a try. Be curios. Be gentle. Be kind.

While we mourn the death of our child(ren), I celebrate you. In all your gritty, messy, wondering how you’ll ever survive this state of mind and being. I welcome you, exactly as you are in this movement. You are an amazing mother. And you’re doing this.

And please know that you don’t have to do this alone. We are not meant to grieve in isolation. We are wired for connection, and need connection. If you live in the area, I am available to schedule sessions to support you on this journey. You may call me at 303.502.4867. If you’re not local, please check out my miscarriage and baby loss page to see some national resources/websites.

much love,

Shelly

Pregnancy and Parenting After a Loss

Pregnancy and parenting after a loss is often HARD!  I know because I’ve been there and I work with women and couples who are also there.  One aspect often overlooked is the couple relationship.  We’re so focused on having a healthy pregnancy, keeping our baby alive in-utero and then in the outside world that we often lose track of our partner.  I know that happened in my relationship.  I remember a friend of mine, while I was pregnant with my second daughter, asked me what I thought about how I would want to parent. I think I nearly laughed in her face as I thought, “Really?!  Seriously?!  That’s only a concern if my daughter gets here alive and that might not happen.  I think I’ll about parenting later.  It’s enough that I am surviving my stress and anxiety on a daily basis.”  And now, in hindsight, I wish I could have heard her advice.

As I way to help strengthen my own support of pregnant women and their partners I became a certified Bringing Baby Home (BBH) trainer with the Gottman Institute last year.  BBH is an amazing, fun, interactive, research based program to help couples strengthen their relationship ideally BEFORE baby arrives (when you have more time and energy to put into thinking about this!).  I know it’s a HUGE leap of faith to even think about how you will parent when there are no guarantees this baby will get here alive.  But if you’re willing and able, my colleague and I will help hold your hands as you leap.  We will teach you skills to help your relationship weather the storm of parenting a living baby.  For many of us parenthood is not an easy road, and parenting after loss adds a whole other layer.  Below is more information about this training we will be doing in May, located in Boulder, Colorado.

And this workshop is for ALL couples, and everyone on their parenting journey.  We understand that every couple brings their own experiences to pregnancy and parenthood.

 

Bringing Baby Home – A Couple Workshop

Join us for an engaging and informative workshop to help strengthen your relationship BEFORE your baby comes (you know, when you have time and energy to do this!).

Even the strongest of relationships are challenged by the transition to parenthood.  The lack of sleep, changes in work, financial concerns and the laundry list of new baby related concerns and chores can lead to profound stress and decrease in relationship satisfaction – all of which affects baby’s care.  According to the Gottman Institute, 69% of new parents experience conflict, disappointment and hurt feelings that greatly affect their relationship.

Bringing Baby Home (BBH) is a research based workshop created by the Gottman Institute.  This workshop will help prepare your relationship for the transition to parenthood, and help you be the best parenting team possible.  In a supportive and relaxed environment we’ll discuss topics such as:

– preparing for the transition to parenthood

– how to avoid relationship meltdown and increase relationship satisfaction

– how to deal with stress and understand that stress is normal when a baby arrives

– the power of positive parenting

– parenting together

– couples and conflict: what happens when couples fight?

– emotional communication and children

– focus on fathers – the importance of keeping dads involved.

Sign up by April 17th to receive 10% off!!!

Details…

What:  Bringing Baby Home – A Workshop for Expectant & New Parents

Where: The Birth Center of Boulder: 2800 Folsom St, Boulder, CO

When:  Mondays May 9, 16, 23, & June 6 from 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Trainers:  Shelly King, MA, LPC – 303.502.4867 or shellykingtherapy@gmail.com

Brooke Vanek, MA – 303.912.0853 or brooke.vanek@me.com

Cost: $300/couple.  Includes workbook and material

Visit us at: www.facebook.com/bringingbabyhomeboulder

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Hibernation

Hello!  Here I am sitting down to write a post about coming out of hibernation, and it’s snowing here in Colorado!  Maybe I should reevaluate this plan?!

I have been absent from this blog.  For a long time.  And it wasn’t planned.  And I didn’t check in.  I am sorry for that.

Have you ever had those times when you just felt blindsided by life?  An unplanned and unexpected detour pops up and of course it wasn’t on your GPS?!  That’s a nutshell of a description of my life these past few months.  And that’s the reality of babyloss too.  None of us plan on it, or expect it, or would choose to add it to our list of destinations or detours.  That reminds me that a friend once told me, when life throws you a lemon, throw it really hard back at life!  I love that.  I’m done making lemonade out of lemons (I don’t even really like lemonade!).  So life threw me a few lemons (how does *that* keep happening?!  Oh right… that’s life!).  But now I’m here.  I’m back.  Finding my ground again.  Finding my voice again.  It’s a process isn’t it?!  I look forward to being back in the space.

How are you all doing?  How was your winter?  Any hibernation?

Namaste,

Shelly

 

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