pregnancy loss, single mom by choice, SMC

leaning in

This weekend was the first time I didn’t have to keep my chin up. I kicked it off on Friday night with rapid-fire spicy emails with a paramedic from OK Cupid, a glass of bourbon, way too many Hint-O-Mint Newman-Os, and went to bed early. On Saturday, I woke up despairing and crying and disgusted with the state of my apartment, and then took the bull by the horns and found a housecleaner online who could be here in two hours. I also made an appointment for this Friday for a cut and color. Little by little, re-engaging with cleanliness and personal hygiene after a brief plummet. Teresa did an amazing job and I felt that between the stacks of pregnancy books and my puffy-eyed, greasy-haired state she figured out what I was going through and transmitted a subtle but motherly vibe in her delicate and thorough transformation of my space. Afterward, I took a refreshing walk through GG Park with L as the fog rolled in, took a bath to warm up (yes, this is our SF summer), and then received an upsetting and outrageous phone call which, due to limited emotional resources, I placed on indefinite hold. Then my sister came over with homemade delicious food and we caught up on Olympics gymnastics which we had both missed when it was happening and which is now fully available on YouTube.

I downloaded a book about first-trimester miscarriage from amazon onto my iPad, written by a woman who went through more or less the same experience as me from a medical point of view. In her case, however, she completely lost her mind–I am 2/3 of the way through and she is 110% cuckoo bananas. She is yelling and screaming at her husband and her health care providers, hiring lawyers to sue for malpractice, planning a memorial service–I mean it’s over the top and makes me feel like I really have my shit together on this. I have a feeling this is precisely why so many women gave it 5 stars.

Everyone handles this differently–I personally am trying to find a balance between honoring this loss while remaining optimistic and looking ahead and taking really, really good care of myself (which unlike the super-healthy habits of pregnancy are more along the lines of ice cream, cookies, and bourbon).

Everyone is saying all the right things. I’m up and down. It’s hard and it’s OK again. There’s the dark place and then there’s the growing hope.

I am a renewed fan of the expression, “My heart goes out to you.”

I posted this amazing quote from Pema Chodron on facebook yesterday:

“The next time you lose heart and you can’t bear to experience what you are feeling, you might recall this instruction: change the way you see it and lean in. That’s basically the instruction that Dzigar Kongtrul gave me. And now I pass it on to you. Instead of blaming our discomfort on outer circumstances or on our own weakness, we can choose to stay present and awake to our experience, not rejecting it, not grasping it, not buying the stories that we relentlessly tell ourselves. This is priceless advice that addresses the true cause of suffering- yours, mine and that of all living beings.”
(Taking The Leap)

Lean in–it’s so counter-intuitive but once you remove the resistance it just flows.

Today was all about running errands–got to have lunch w/ M before she jets back to Mexico, then braved Ikea for the first time in years (have you ever noticed how many pregnant women are in Ikea? it’s pretty much everyone), then saw my other friend M briefly and held her cutie pie F, then returned something at Macy’s and shopped for groceries. Check, check, check.

My final to-do before Rio requires some audience participation. Here is the fabulous dress I’m wearing to the wedding:


No offense to this hot model, but I make a better hourglass in this dress. Now, I need to find the right shoes. I’ve been trolling on Zappos and there are a kerbillion options but I wonder if you have ideas on the perfect color to go with silver sequins? J said silver sequins but that’s too matchy matchy. Obviously, the sandals in the picture are just a huge missed opportunity. This is RIO, let’s go for it. C’mon, people! Work with me!


2 thoughts on “leaning in”

  1. Bravo! Lean into life, Rio, your new dress–not sure a gal leans in as much as is zipped in but ‘work with me’–and just know that our life force, with all its smooth and jagged edges provides the friendship buoy for whatever comes next. Love and all good things to you. Photos–tasteful and tasteless–from Rio are a requisite assignment, should you lean into the mood!! Tim and Mary

  2. THAT is a beautiful dress. I think you could go with striking red, bright blue (?) or green sandals. I’m just leaning into the dress and celebrating moving on without an extra insanity.

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