Sunshine After the Storm

I really can’t believe it – but here it is – I am a published author!

*squee*

Sunshine After the Storm: A survival Guide for the Grieving Mother is a compilation of stories from fellow babyloss mama’s. I am honored that I was asked to contribute and I hope it helps mother’s that are struggling with loss. My story is the second chapter and in it I talk about the differences between losing Nathaniel and David and how social media was instrumental in allowing me to grieve them both.

This is what the back of the book says:

Book Description

October 10, 2013
A compelling read from start to finish, this supportive guide to navigating pregnancy and infant loss will arm you with life-changing tools that will help you feel part of a dynamic community. The complexities of pregnancy and infant loss are explored by survivors themselves rendering this must-read book a first hand personal narrative that invites people to feel less alone in the aftermath of such devastating experiences. Grief knows no timeline and this thoughtful book does an exceptional job of explicating ways that society could more sensitively embody this concept by normalizing the spectrum of mourning. Profound losses create seismic changes in self-image, relationships, and overall identity. Many women blame themselves for their reproductive hardships and harbor monumental shame as a result. Contributors delve into crevices of their minds and hearts and courageously express the complexities of their processes- journeys that should be shared and not silenced, providing enlivening inspiration and raw accounts of how life perspectives are invariably altered in the wake of loss. This accessible guide provides valuable tips and resources for grieving families which serve as a grounding way to acknowledge the pain, ease the grief, and explore pockets of hope.A vital resource for anyone who has experienced these kinds of losses and those who love them.

- Jessica Zucker, Ph.D.
Clinical psychologist and writer specializing in women’s reproductive health

The best part is that from now until 10/17/13, it’s free to download for Kindle. Follow the link above to download your very own copy.
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Categories: Life | 1 Comment

Yep, we’re kinda geeky

We were originally going to go camping this weekend. Then a cub scout camp out at the end of the month had me thinking I would reschedule the zoo trip to this weekend.

Then I found out there was going to be a Discover the Dinosaurs event this weekend.

Jonathan LOVES dinosaurs.

But that little excursion was $100, just to get in the door.

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

Then I found the Cincinnati Comic Expo. $20 bucks and kids under 12 got in free.

My kind of event.

And apparently Jonathan & Zachary’s kind of event, too! (Jacob spent the night at a friends’ house)

We spent 5 hours walking around the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati.

First there was a little face painting.

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Bruce Wayne is for me – that’s what he said after he got his face painted!

The Punisher doesn't look happy - but he declared today the most fun he'd ever had!

The Punisher doesn’t look happy – but he declared today the most fun he’d ever had!

Then there was some Star Wars love.

They gave us special badges with R2-D2 and C3P0 on them. If a Storm Trooper found you wearing the badge, you got a raffle ticket.

They gave us special badges with R2-D2 and C3P0 on them. If a Storm Trooper found you wearing the badge, you got a raffle ticket.

We didn’t win anything in the raffle, but it was fun hunting the Storm Trooper!

Then there were Lego’s!!!

This? Totally made out of Lego's. There was a scavenger hunt where you had to find 10 villains and 10 good guys hidden in the lego buildings.

This? Totally made out of Lego’s. There was a scavenger hunt where you had to find 10 villains and 10 good guys hidden in the lego buildings.

It took us several go a round’s to find them all, but we did it!

And the piece de resistance?

Zachary might have a wee obsession with My Little Pony.

Zachary got to meet one of the pony artists and have a custom pony drawn just for him. This is Dj Pon-3 as drawn by Heather Breckel. He stood and watched her draw this for twenty minutes. Needless to say, he was in 7th heaven!

Jonathan asked if we could go next year. The only thing we really missed  is dressing up. There were lots and lots of folks walking around in costume. Since I only found out about it the day before, we didn’t have time to make costumes – but next year, watch out!

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They need to make a Batman vs. My Little Pony game and he’d be over the moon!

Categories: Life | Leave a comment

Catching up

Did I mention that my marriage collapsed?

There’s no denying it was limping along before David was born. But after he passed away? It pretty well died right alongside him. It took almost two years to shake off the funk long enough to acknowledge it’s demise.

So now I have my own house, a job and 3 very handsome young men fighting me for the only toilet in said house.

I do like my job though…..

And speaking of young men, the boys are now all in elementary school. Zachary is in Kindergarten, Jonathan is in third grade and Jacob is in fifth. And for this year only – they are all in the same building! This year is particularly bittersweet though, because if David were here, he would have started preschool – in the same building! So it was with great trepidation and angst that I watched all 3 board the bus that first day of school.

I know that I was struggling with my writing because grief and depression peppered everything I wrote. And for me to continue writing like that, it wasn’t helping me to resolve anything. It just kept feeding me more grief and deeper depression.  And really, it wasn’t just my writing that was suffering – it was my very being.

So here I am. My head is a tad clearer.  I recognize that there will always be events that trigger episodes of emotional turmoil, it’s all a part of this thing called life. But I have found ways to work through them. And if ordering take-out and watching Netflix for 12 hours straight is not a medically approved coping strategy – it should be.

Categories: Life | 3 Comments

Surprise

So I wonder if anyone will actually notice this post? I haven’t written here in over two years.  I’ve tried starting new blogs, promising to write and then, well I don’t.  I say life got in the way, but in reality I just didn’t feel like writing. Well, I did, but I really couldn’t.  I was struggling with depression, my marriage collapsed and I lost my domain name transplantedthoughts.com.

Not necessarily in the that order.

So what makes this time any different, you ask?

Well, I have been spending a lot of time thinking. Thinking primarily about writing. Primarily about writing a book.

I imagine it’s difficult to write a book when you’re not actually, well, writing.

So I’ve been doing some covert writing. I dusted off this old blog and started writing posts. I haven’t published any of these posts, I’ve only been trying to get myself back in the groove of writing.

The funny thing is, I’ve been thinking and tinkering and one day, out of the blue, I was invited to contribute to a book for grieving mothers.

Not to mention I had just spent a week reliving Nathaniel’s five short days on earth. Twelve years sure does fly by fast.

So here I am thinking about my son Nathaniel and thinking about how I should be writing. And bam! God hands me an invitation to be a part of a book. Not just an opportunity for a guest-post on someone else’s blog. But an actual book.

Did I say God? You heard me, after all this time and all my doubt and all my questions, I have accepted that God can do some pretty amazing things. Like, get me to church. No, not just get me to church, but actually find me a church family.

And hand me little nuggets of direction by having someone I haven’t chatted with in years, contact me out of the blue and ask me to write a piece for this book.

How’s that for belief in the Almighty?

Categories: Life | 10 Comments

Water Theory

ssshhh! Don’t tell anyone, but I skipped a day blogging yesterday. I know, right? I’ve been participating in the Postaday2011 challenge here and somehow felt obligated to post something everyday. While it’s no problem during the week, the weekend comes and well, I need a break.

So I rebelled and pretty much ignored my laptop yesterday. Yeah, me!

Even better, Grandma coerced invited Zachary to spend Saturday night with her and Papa, so I took Jacob and Jonathan to the YMCA to swim.

Let me clarify.

Jacob swims like the fish that he is, just like his mama. Jonathan, not so much. Jacob takes swim classes at the Y on Saturday mornings and Jonathan was lamenting the fact that I hadn’t signed him up.

I had to remind him of the numerous occasions of screaming and crying and adamant refusals to enter the water of the swimming pool. He had to prove he was ready.

So, he spent Saturday night and Sunday morning all giddy about swimming, He talked our ears off about how he was going to do this and he was going to that. I was enjoying his enthusiasm, even if I had heard it all before.

Sunday afternoon, promptly at 1:00pm, we entered the Y for our afternoon frivolity. Boys went to the boys locker room to change, I went to the Ladies locker room, we met poolside.

Jacob jumped right in, no worries. Jonathan stood at the side at the side of the pool and rather forcefully refused to get in. I got in, and tried chatting him up to join me.

No.

Then he had to pee. Can’t say as though I blame him, all that water does me that way. So I waited.

And then spent another 15 minutes chatting him up, trying to get him to join me in the water.

No.

So, then I resorted to force.

I made sure his floaty was secure, I picked him up and carried him in to the water.

At 60+ lbs, this was no small feat.

As he was crying, and screaming and hanging on for dear life, I stood in the corner of the pool, with him facing away from the great expanse of water and talked quietly to him.

I asked what he was afraid of.

I already had the notion that the enormity of the pool was triggering his fear. I calmly explained that he didn’t have to go out in the water, he could stay right here, in the 3 and 1/2 foot deep water. I started to bounce him in the water and slowly, ever so slowly he started to relax.

I moved a around a bit while we bounced and soon his legs unwrapped from around my waist. I knew he could stand if he tried, so I encouraged him to try and touch the bottom of the pool. It was a little difficult with the floaty, but he finally did.

Then I unwound his arms from around my neck and had him hold onto the side of the pool. So here he was in the pool, on his own, holding on to the side and standing up.

I kept telling him how proud I was of him, how he was doing such an awesome job and finally he let go of the side and just stood there.

I sure wish I had my camera in that moment, when he realized – he could do this. He could learn to swim and overcome the fear. The grin on his face was priceless.

The next hour or so – he happily walked, floated and dog-paddled in a 15 foot by 4 foot expanse of pool.

No more tears, no more screaming. He ignored the expanse of water outside his little domain and even found another boy his age, with the same desire to stay close to the wall.

But that’s okay. He’s looking forward to our next visit to the pool. He’s more confident in his ability to be in the pool. And that leaves my arms free for another little boy that’s scared of the water.

Zachary.

Zachary's first 'school' picture.

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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