life post-miscarriage + more random island photos

FullSizeRender (27)

It’s been over 2 weeks since the miscarriage.

I have received many heart felt comments & emails. I am touched by your compassion & your sharing your stories with me.

(And please forgive me if I haven’t responded to your emails yet—with the holidays all things non-family related have taken a back seat.)

In some ways I feel guilty because I feel I shouldn’t be sad—after all, my experience can’t hold a flame to the experiences of so many women who have dealt with years in silent sorrow, experiencing infertility &/or numerous miscarriages. My heart breaks for those women who want nothing more than to be a mother, but for one reason or another cannot or can’t realize their dream of having the kind of family they desire.

I have been so blessed to be able to a mother 5 times over & honestly feel that I can’t or shouldn’t feel sadness as my heart & home are already full while so many women are struggling just to conceive one.

FullSizeRender (32)

The weeks that have proceeded my loss, I have had moments of sadness, but mostly life goes on. We’ve had the holidays & of course, the kids keep me busy.

I have a lot of time to think about what our path will be going forward.

This slight bump in our path, seems to be just that—a minor inconvenience, a loss that is at times hard to conceptualize. I had life inside of me, & now I don’t. Overnight it was gone.

I gained 10 or 15 pounds (the 1st trimester is always hard for me in that regard). Usually this is no problem, you know, all that weight gain. But it’s strange now because I have no baby to show for it. We’d like to start trying again soon so I don’t think it’s in my fertility’s best interest to get on the express weight loss track (though you know I know how to lose weight like a pro). I am not going to stress too much about those extra pounds, just try to focus on staying present with balanced eating & daily movement.

This whole miscarriage thing has got me thinking about a lot of things. Mostly about being a woman. Often it seems so unfair. Being a woman.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being a woman. But the whole childbearing journey is fraught with many taxing twists & turns both emotionally & physically. I sometimes wonder why we do it.

FullSizeRender (30)

I know why we do it.

Or at least I know why I do it.

To create anything is satisfying, but to create life, to be a part of that process from the beginning & beyond is the most fulfilling thing I can think of.

FullSizeRender (45)

It’s hard though. Being a woman, being a mother.

I am a feminist. But I don’t define my feminism by strict terms of what a woman can, can’t, should, or shouldn’t do.

I just happen to believe women should on equal footing with men. I’d like to think my marriage reflects that. Even though I’m sure a casual observer might assume otherwise. After all, I’m a stay-at-home mom, Joseph is the primary breadwinner. Hard to get more traditional than that.

FullSizeRender (37)

But lest you think Joseph comes home after a long day at work to kick his feet up & watch sports or play video games, I have to say he has got mad domestic skills & he’s not afraid to use them.

Joseph does a lot of the cooking (at least half, these days, maybe more). He does the bed time routine, putting the kids down—you know brushing teeth, baths, diaper changing, stories. When he is home, he is actively engaged with me & the kids.

He is a nurturing, present & kind father. I wouldn’t be signing up for more kids if he was anything different.

Raising kids is rigorous & daunting work, & I couldn’t do it without Joseph being fully committed to doing the task by my side. Yes, we may have a traditional marriage set up, but when Joseph is at home, he is enthusiastically elbow deep in home life. Because of that, because we are co-parents, being a mom, being a woman is a much more enriching, & often easier experience.

Anyway, I love that tomorrow is the start of a new year.

I love New Years.

To me, it’s a bright, optimistic time. One filled with new beginnings & hope.

This past month has been rough, but on the last day of the year, I reflect on the past 5 months since we’ve been in Okinawa & give thanks for so many blessings. Here are some photos that never made it on the blog—the random kind that hopefully will give you a glimpse into our little corner of the world.

And one last thing. Thanks for reading, dear reader. I hope to be a better blogger this next year & write more often. I am so grateful for your thoughts & well wishes, & wish you the very best in this coming year.

signature

More random photos from life in Okinawa

FullSizeRender (44)

In my neighborhood. Bikes & surfboards are quite common.

FullSizeRender (43)

All the houses are made of cement or cinderblock due to all the rain & typhoons.

FullSizeRender (42)

Seriously the best part of living here–being one minute away from this.

FullSizeRender (41)

Our favorite Japanese English sign so far. 

FullSizeRender (40)

The parks here are amazing. Check out those slides–I nearly killed myself going down it, it was so slick & fast. but of course the kids love ’em.

FullSizeRender (39)

This funny little Japanese signs is amusing. Especially love the “keep three things in your mind,” part.

FullSizeRender (38)

We love to stand on the sea wall at high tide & get splashed. 

FullSizeRender (36)

Sun + surf is totally romantic.
FullSizeRender (35)

A vegetable/fruit stand on the side of the highway. I bought 10 pounds of green oranges (a type of sweet & slightly sour mandarin looking orange that has green skin) for $6 the day I took this pic.

FullSizeRender (34)

At a 100% organic Japanese buffet. Super yummy, & most of the dishes were vegan. They even served seitan meatballs & lots of different types of tofu & rice.

FullSizeRender (29)

Got lost trying to find a park with a friend. Saw a bunch of Japanese baseball players &, in my very rudimentary Japanese asked for directions. They were amused to be talking to an American & in the end their coach helped us find the park.

 

Other bring joy posts you might want to read:


Comments


  1. michelle
    on January 13, 2016 at 8:59 pm said:

    Can’t wait to visit!

  2. Joya
    on December 31, 2015 at 9:33 pm said:

    Happy New Year, Janae. You’ve been in my prayers.

  3. Daisy
    on December 31, 2015 at 8:57 am said:

    Janae, thank you for sharing as you do!

    I’d like to address this:

    “I have been so blessed to be able to a mother 5 times over & honestly feel that I can’t or shouldn’t feel sadness as my heart & home are already full while so many women are struggling just to conceive one.”

    Janae, you have lost a child. If that child had been born, you’d held it in your arms and it later died, would you be saying to yourself that you shouldn’t feel sadness in your heart about that child’s death because you have 5 living ones? Be compassionate and loving towards yourself.

    *hugs*

  4. Kristi
    on December 31, 2015 at 8:35 am said:

    I used to feel guilty about all kinds of things – thyroid cancer has a high cure rate, so really, I shouldn’t feel so tired, sick and miserable. But you know what? I was tired, sick and miserable. It was my experience and my life. We all walk different paths and one person’s loss is no less than another’s.

    Your baby was YOUR baby, and important, regardless of birth order. Grief is natural and very personal. Nobody is allowed to judge your grief. It’s only when we drown in our grief and can’t find a way to the light where intervention is necessary. Lean hard on God, family and friends. That’s why we exist.
    Happy New Year and thank you so much for you and your wonderful blog. I look forward to reading it always! Xoxo Kristi