From Grief to Growth

As you already know, my mantra is that everything is art in our lives. This includes all the pain, struggle and heartache. 

It's been a while since my original post where I was very candid about my struggles with infertility. What that looks like for each woman or couple is different. The basic definition is simply trying for more than a year and not becoming pregnant. But it's so much more than that. It includes spiritual, emotional and financial risks. It can create a doubt in yourself and all you thought you wanted with your life. It's not simple and it is also something society has, arguably up until now, been very quiet about and has stigmatized. I was blessed to come across a wonderful organization of women called Braving Infertility Together that provided a safe and loving place to land through this journey. But I realize now that I had a hard time seeking solace in anyone in my life. 

The last nearly six months have been wrapped in a so many changes and emotions. On March 24 we lost our sweet, sassy Tiger Lily after being my companion for over 14 years. It was a very hard blow for me but also my family unit even though they only knew her for about four years. It seemed very sudden and I wasn't near ready to let go. 

tiger lily.jpg

I took her time with me for granted. I thought she would never leave and I couldn't imagine myself with another cat because Lily was such a different kind of girl. I know people always say that about their fur friends but seriously...what cat loves car rides across the country?! Can survive roaming around a reservation for nearly nine months without her front claws and never came home with so much as a scratch? I hosted an event at the studio shortly after that focused grief of all kinds. I was mending from her death and the reminder of my unexplained infertility. It was a lovely evening with artists, writers and musicians. We all cried and shared our stories. You can see some of it here: Art in Grief.

The pain I felt took me to erratically getting another four-legged friend in the form of an odd little doggie we named Maxine. NO ONE stopped me in my grief, however. It was an impulse adoption to be honest. I fell in love with her on site and then in person but she is and has proven to be a lot of work. Dogs always are though and I was really ready for it because I had finally abandoned the idea of having child of my own. Being a bonus mom to older children means that you raise these kiddos but you didn't get the chance to nurture them as babies.  They don't have your traits or personality quirks to grow with along the way. With Lily gone I felt like I just didn't have a little being that was my responsibility from the start. Maxine was going to be my "baby" and I was going to roll with the punches.


Lately Miss Maxie has simmered down a bit. Being a rescue, she doesn't know any better and previously were going back and forth on what to do especially when our lives were about to change forever...

I guess this is what they call "burying the lede [how journalist spell it]." Meer weeks after adopting Maxie, apparently David and I conceived. Yes. You read that right. If you quickly did the math (something I never can do well or fast!), you just realized right about now that I'm 5 months pregnant. As of today 24 weeks, which is the milestone of reaching viability. 

Everyone has their theories about the miracle of our Miah coming to be -- more notably I've heard I needed to baby something for a while (Maxie) or that Lily was waiting to leave to give me room for our miracle or that I finally just relaxed. There's the word. Relax! ( See former post mentioned to get the joke.) We just know that Miah was prayed and wished for by many loving people along with us. She took a while to get here but she's an actual being now. We just have to get through the next four months (or three if you ask my husband who has predicted a day-after-Christmas birth) and pray she delivers as a healthy, strong and happy baby girl. 

So what does this mean for the studio? I've been working through the pregnancy and plan to continue to as well as after she arrives. I know there will be a little bit (or a lot) of time where that is simply impossible and I'm making room for that possibility in my spirit. I've never not worked but I also know that this baby will give me plenty to do! I am also increasingly inspired creatively by her already -- so much so that I can't even imagine what kind of art I will bring once she's here. About two years ago, almost to the date, I wrote the following on my personal Facebook page: 

Honestly I just want to be pregnant with a little girl, working in my studio...And when she is born, I raise her around art and reality. Teach her how the world owes you nothing but you give anyway. About how the world will misunderstand you but you speak anyway. That not all smiles are genuine but you smile anyway. That she doesn’t need anyone but herself but will have the love and support of the people in her life if she stumbles. I want her to travel as much as possible before she is 40. I want her to not depend on one doctrine. I want her to wait to fall in love because it’s a distraction. Basically I want to raise her to be a badass woman whom when she hears “you can’t” or “you aren’t”, she works extra hard to prove you wrong — not because she gives a shit about what you think but because she knows her worth.

Being two years wiser now I would add that I would love that she would always know she has no limitations but understands that being flexible can lead to so much more for her life if she follows where Spirit takes her. I would add that she'd love beyond barriers society will try to place around her. That she remains open and welcoming but not to her detriment. I mean this is a big, ambitious and lofty list! We want so much for our children. But, until then, I'll just keep creating this art called life. In all aspects of what that means.