Tag Archives: feelings


Some studies claim that up to 35% of pregnancies may end in miscarriage, usually so early that women assume they are having a normal period or one a few days late. For thousands of women who do know when they are miscarrying, it can be an emotional time.

Our bodies, it seems, does trial runs. Most miscarriages occur in the first three months, and in more than half of those chomosomal abnormalities have been found in the embryo.

But telling someone who has just had a miscarriage that “It was probably for the best,” or “Maybe something was wrong,” is not terribly helpful, even if it is true. Realising that you are pregnant, even if it was an accident, even if it was not really wanted, can be life changing. Suddenly you are responsible for a life, a person.

It can make you think long and hard about your own life. The hormonal changes alone, that weird feeling of love for someone who does not quite exist yet but for a few cells stuck together; the biological thing. It does stuff to normal, logical women, makes us feel ancient urges and whispers “Mama?” in our ear.

My first pregnancy was unplanned, and my initial feelings were “Well, this will complicate things.” My husband and I were not yet married, and I was not yet ready. Being pregnant, though, changed everything. I suddenly saw myself as a mother. When I lost my baby at three months, I was only just coming to terms with it. I was devastated. My doctor gave me lousy advice: “Forget all about it. Move on, it was never a viable pregnancy.” I wondered how there could have been a foetus, an actual boy, if there had never been a viable pregnancy. But I took his advice to heart. I moved on, stoically. Sean and I did not discuss our loss. We should have felt happy. We had everything we wanted, a wedding to plan, our future looked bright.

When we decided to go ahead and begin our family, I conceived quickly and had a dream: I dreamed that I went back to the hospital where I had gone when I had my miscarriage, and asked the nurses for my baby. I was ashamed: what kind of mother forgets her baby at the hospital? But the staff there had no idea what I was talking about. I became more and more frantic, searching the rooms and calling for help, and finally woke up sobbing for the baby that I had abandoned. I finally grieved for the real baby boy that I had carried in my heart all that time. I had been feeling guilty for so long… had I lost my baby because I didn’t want him? Just walked away from the hospital and left him there? What has happened to him? Had they thrown him away? What kind of a mother was I?

It is difficult to know what to say to someone who has suffered a similar loss. But one day, someone told me something so beautiful: “There are some souls, who have a very difficult journey. Their past lives have been filled with suffering of the worst kind, and they have more ahead. Sometimes, it becomes too much, and they need to be held for a while; warm, nourished and loved; before they can move on. Your baby knew no pain, no anger, no fear, no sadness, no hunger, no cold. You were chosen for this job… that baby chose you, and you chose him, because you could give love to a possibility, a dream, under any conditions. We special women who are chosen this way have been blessed, and those little souls thank us as they leave us.”

Another wise woman told me that even when we miscarry in the midst of feeling negative about becoming a mother, or have to make the decision to terminate a pregnancy, the soul who has chosen that journey understands our decision and helps us to learn from the experience. It is a two-way gift.

I choose to believe all of this, and the medical community can stuff it. It makes me feel better. It makes me feel that there is a purpose, beyond the negative “something was wrong in the chromosomes.” It isn’t logical, but perhaps there is a reason to love every possibility, and embrace our dream babies. They are important.

I love my baby boy, who came into my life so briefly and made me a better mother to my subsequent babies, and even a better friend to myself. But I can let him go. I wish him well, wherever he is, and thank him for sending me a searching dream, so that I could grieve a really real loss.

by Nan Sheppard

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Bittersweet: The Holidays Are Over

a hand holding a pen writing in a bookI never thought I’d say this, but I might be overjoyed for the boys to be back at school.

Usually, we love our holidays. We skyve off school whenever possible during term time. We homeschooled for the better part of a year before we moved, and loved it.

Maybe it’s because the boys are getting older and more independent. Maybe the move means that we need new holiday traditions. Maybe having a TV for the first time has made us less inventive and more lazy. Maybe being responsible for my granny messed with my spontaneity, having to make sure she was taking her pills every day and worrying if I was away from home. Maybe I’m looking forward to getting back into MY life, my stuff. Child-free.

Maybe it’s a little of everything.

Part of me feels that we wasted the second half of the holiday. Part of me says, “Don’t be silly! Look at all the visitors you had, the stuff you did!” It WAS fun.

I AM sad that it’s over. I love to be with my kids. I will miss them, especially the older boys who have reached a new phase of independence and busy-ness.

I guess this is good practice for when they all leave home!

by Nan Sheppard

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Photo graciously provided by beX out loud, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved

Family Friendly Feng Shui

two frames hung on a wallI had One of Those Weeks, where my kids didn’t listen and they bickered and hated each other and wanted something nicer that what I had made for supper. Finally I lined them up and YELLED at them. They were impressed, since I don’t often yell. They (and half the neighbourhood) tiptoed around after that, I can tell you.

At the library the following day, I picked up a book on Feng Shui, which promised to bring harmony and bliss into the home with cunning placement of candles and things of specific colours, and moving the furniture so that the sofa doesn’t pour energy down the stairs. Or something. I borrowed the book, of course! There was something about the cover image… so uncluttered, so tidy! And living ‘temporarily’ in a rented flat, I needed some kind of inspiration. If it brought bliss and harmony to my children, that would be a bonus.

One Feng Shui change has certainly made a difference here, and here it is:

Look at your photos and paintings. Are they framed? Are they happy images? Have you been meaning to print out family portraits? I have had a great time this week, looking through our photos with Family Bliss in mind, and printing happy, loving pictures of us as a family. My two competitive older boys, hugging. My husband, cooking for us. My youngest son, with the Big Fish he caught! Me, surrounded by friends at my sister’s wedding! Little nieces and nephews, favourite places. Dozens of really great photos.

Frame these. There are pretty frames available everywhere. Feng Shui recommends natural frames like wood and metal, which are nicer than plastic anyway, aren’t they? You can buy a whole bunch of inexpensive frames, and add a few fancy ones. Display the gorgeous framed photos everywhere, and see what happens! My two older boys have been hugging, just like in their photo. My youngest has placed his Big Fish picture on his bedside table. Things have been pretty peaceful and happy around here. Amazing!

Of course, there is much more to Feng Shui than that. Directions, Elements, Colours and whatnot. You can borrow or buy books on Feng Shui by the dozen. I’d recommend one without TOO much information. You just want the basics, to begin with. Or, you can simply spend the next few evenings decluttering your house, to make room for some new family photos!

by Nan Sheppard

Photo graciously provided by Robert in Toronto, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved

Understanding Phases

a lion roaringThe older boys got back from camp yesterday. I wrote last week about how excited I was to clean their room… it’s still halfway decent. Of course when I found the completely molded banana at the bottom of their trash can, that helped considerably. (Stinkers. They’re not supposed to have food in their bedroom.)

Anyways. Yesterday and today we’re dealing with what a friend of my affectionately calls “re-entry”. The Mercenary was pretty surly by dinnertime, and Hubby and I weren’t all that sympathetic to his plight. I believe I spent the day calling him “O Large and Slightly Grumpy One” and Hubby just laughed at the growls emanating from our child.

I insisted he look at me as I explained that what he was feeling is totally normal, that there’s always a post-camp letdown, and on top of that, he was tired. We love him and really do care about how he feels, but due to mitigating factors we weren’t really going to take him seriously.

He growled.

We laughed.

He insisted that he wasn’t tired. We laughed some more.

He was particularly upset because I served chicken for dinner. (Oh, the horrors!!). His reason was that “I had chicken every day this week at camp for lunch and dinner”. When I questioned the claim and asked whether there were other options available, suddenly the answers got a little confusing. Eventually he settled on saying that chicken had been served all those times, but no he may not have actually eaten it every meal.

“Great!!” we said. “Eat your chicken.”

Hubby had to insist that he eat. When he finally did, he cleared the plate (and by ‘plate’ I mean seven bites of chicken, two slices of tomato, and a mini-croissant) and disappeared. I found him a few minutes later, completely zonked out on his bed. He slept for a few hours before going to bed for good later on last night.

But he wasn’t tired. Noooooooo.

I wish I’d been able to have this perspective and level of calm several years ago. It used to be the case that the boys would go spend several days with grandparents, and re-entry was so difficult that I usually ended up in tears on the phone to Hubby. Now it’s easier to understand that this is just a phase, it’s temporary, and I can laugh it out or send them to bed. Either (or both) will help things get back to normal.

I wish I could have now the wisdom I will possess when they’re grown and moving on.

by AmyL

Photo graciously provided by Tambako the Jaguar, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved

Love Them Thoroughly In The Moment

Something I do when someone I love is pitching a bitch: I love them thoroughly in the moment. That is, I attune myself to my love for them, I remember what I love about them, and then I talk to them about what’s going on. – The idea here is that no matter what I’m saying, my vibe is clear: I Love You. And, under normal circumstances, the bitch-pitcher tends to relax. And if they relax, maybe they allow themselves to adjust their behavior, which makes it easier to bring things to a suitable level of coolness.

For example, if my son is losing his very mind because of a decision I’ve made concerning the amount of television he is consuming, I could just walk away. I mean, he’s yelling, punching the wall, doing everything short of lighting his hair on fire. Why not walk away? It’s safer and easier on the ears. But what does that teach him? What lesson does that impart? And where is the love?

Instead, if I am at my best, I remind myself of my deep and profound love for him. Once I’ve centered myself, focused on the love-light within my soul, I then focus on him and his deal. I tell him, “Hey, just so you know, I am kinda bummed about your situation. I feel for you, it’s a sucky situation, and I’d love to swing things your way. But you know I can’t. And now you are yelling at me, and that makes it hard for me to truly care about your feelings, which is what I want to do. Can you help me with that?” – And because I’m all full of love for him, looking him in the eye, speaking softly and with sadness, he calms right down. Now, this doesn’t work all the time, but it works often enough.

So that’s my thing, that’s my strategy. I validate what he’s going through, I communicate with love and sincerity, and I speak candidly about my feelings – no judgement, just my experience of them. And not just with my son. This works with my daughter and my wife and my friends and with the guy at the corner sweet shop. And, of course, it works with me. It makes me feel better about myself, knowing that I did my very best to give the other person every single part of my heart. Makes it a lot easier to sleep at night.

by Stu Mark

Photo graciously provided by Cali2Okie, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved