Giving Up Control

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I’ve still been seeing my therapist every two weeks or so for the past year. Earlier this week, I had my regular session and it was one of those moments that made me go, “hmm.”

Let me step back for a second.

My brother, John, has been staying with Brett and I for almost a month. He recently won his disability claim after nearly four years of waiting and appeals, and living in a several different homeless shelters in Wisconsin. It’s been a stressful and emotional time for him so his therapist recommended that he come out to visit us for a month or two so he can figure out what he wants to do with his life. He recently said to us as we were sitting on the back porch, “This is the first time I’ve felt safe in a long time.”

We moved to Massachusetts from Wisconsin almost seven years ago now. This is the first time he’s been able to see where we live. It’s nice having him here and to catch up with him again, but it’s been anxiety-ridden for me and a definite shift in our regular routine.

Particularly, it’s bringing to light a lot of “hidden” anxieties that I have. I’ve always felt safe with my older brother. We would go on amazing road trips every summer to Disney World from the time I was in sixth grade through my junior year of high school.¬† But, after my adopted mom passed away when I was a sophomore in college, life changed drastically for both of us.

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A Special Announcement

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I’m excited to announce that I’ve joined the writing team at Still Standing Magazine as a regular contributor. I’m working on my first posts now, which will start to appear later this summer.

I am really humbled to be joining a wonderful and talented group of writers from all over the world. I hate that we’re all connected by such a tragedy as losing a child. I hope that I can share some of the things that I’ve learned and that I’m still learning in my grief process since losing Emmett over a year ago.

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In other news, I also wanted to share that Emmett’s Sole Mates raised nearly $4,000 to benefit The Massachusetts Chapter of The TEARS Foundation and was the third place team for fundraising total. We fell just short of our $5,000 goal but Brett and I are truly amazed at all of the love and support we have received from family and friends, far and wide who made a gift in honor of our sweet baby. If you would still like to donate, you can! Just click here.

The walk was held back on June 25 and it was a gorgeous but emotional day. Overall, the chapter raised more than $43,000, crushing their fundraising from last year’s inaugural walk. As one of the walk committee members, it’s so inspiring to see a community come together to be able to help provide supportive services to those in need.

I also appeared with several of our other chapter members on a local TV show as a panelist discussing pregnancy and infant loss as well as the walk. You can still watch it here:

Finally, it may seem quiet over on Facebook this month. I’m taking a hiatus from the social networking site as part of my self-care routing for the month of July. You can still find me Tweeting or Instagramming if you want to see what I’m up to these days. But, I shall return to the land of Facebook again in August.

Career Goals

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Brett and I were talking last night about career aspirations. I’ve been struggling with working from home the last year. I work for a virtual company (which I honestly love my colleagues) but I just don’t see them frequently. We generally only talk on conference calls or virtual meetings. If we do see each other, it’s once, maybe twice a year. Many of my clients are scattered all around the country so I also don’t have a lot of face-to-face contact with them. I do have a few clients in the Boston area but it’s a pretty well-oiled machine that I don’t have to drop-in very often, except for maybe some trainings here and there.

I try to work a couple of times a month from Starbucks or somewhere remotely just to have some sort of interpersonal communications with others. (If you see me, I’m that annoying person who’ll comment on the book you’re reading or ask you about the pretty colored beverage you ordered, just so I can strike up a conversation.) Because of this, I have been searching for new opportunities where I can work outside of the house because¬†I can become so isolated and hermit-like just staying at home. There are times where I’ve gone 2 weeks without leaving the house.

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Summer 2017 Bucket List

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Last year was such a blur. About the only thing I remember from last summer was going to Charleston with my three besties. This year, I want to enjoy it and savor my experiences and time with family and friends more.

So, I decided to put together a “bucket list” of things I want to do.

1. Have an awesome day at Water Country in NH. – I haven’t been here since grad school with my roommate. I love water parks.

2. Enjoy all the food at Mario Batali’s Eataly at the Prudential Center – This new mecca of foodie delights has shopping and dining experiences.

3. Go to the beach at least twice – That’s how many times I went last year but I’d prefer not get my chest toasted to a crisp

4. Meet our walk team’s fundraising goal in honor of Emmett for the TEARS Foundation by the end of June (You can help us here)

5. Shopping day at the Yankee Candle headquarters in western Mass

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A Different Kind of Mother’s Day

This weekend is Mother’s Day.

Last year, I was still numb and in too much physical and emotional pain to even care. It didn’t occur to me that friends from afar were sending me messages on that first holiday for me as a mother. I had nothing to celebrate because I didn’t think I was a mother. My baby was no longer with me. I still have difficulty believing that I’m a mother some days. But, I am.

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There are a lot of us “hidden” mothers out there. We don’t have living children alongside us. We don’t get the cheerful, handmade cards. We don’t get breakfast in bed with extra snuggles.

We watch from the sidelines all of the joy upon other moms faces as they get to embrace their little ones during brunch. We stifle back the tears so you don’t see the hurt on our face. We’re the mothers that are so often forgotten.

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Getting Help When You Need It

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Yesterday I hit a milestone I didn’t even realize I was approaching. Yes, it was May the Fourth for all of you Star Wars fans out there but that wasn’t it. So, what was it?

I reached a year of regularly seeing my current therapist.

A few years back now before we had started trying to conceive, I regularly worked with a therapist and a psychiatrist when I was actively having panic attacks. It took about two years of constant work to get to a point where I felt good again and we could back off on both the appointments and the medication I was on. That was about 6-9 months before we started trying to conceive.

Even before the pregnancy was over in April last year, I reached out to find a new therapist. We had moved to our house in the middle of nowhere and my insurance had also changed so my last therapist (who I absolutely adored since we could bond over “Doctor Who” but also for the hurdles she helped me overcome during regression therapy) was no longer covered but it also was more than an hour-long drive one-way to see her. I knew I was going to need therapy after this kind of experience (what they refer to as a “traumatic event” in the medical terminology in my case-file) and I didn’t want to go back to the really dark place that I was in a few years back.

We had to update paperwork yesterday so that’s how it came up that I had reached this particular “milestone.” I go see my therapist about every two weeks or so. I’ve gradually been able to stretch it some times to a month.

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