Miscarriages, Depression & Reiki

Reiki is another one of those things that found me.  I wasn’t searching for it – at least I wasn’t consciously.

I started managing all-ladies gyms months after we got married.  In one of my locations, I had a resident massage therapist named Sue.  Sue also saw clients at home.  One day at work Jacob injured his groin moving some heavy boxes.  He started seeing Sue in her home-practice to help with his recovery.

One day after a massage, Jacob came home and told me about his expierence, “In the middle of her session she asked if it was ok if she practiced Reiki on me.  I asked her what it was.  She said it was a form of ancient energy healing that came from China.  So, I said, ‘sure.’”

“What did it feel like?” I asked.

“Well, she stopped massaging and she held her hands over me in different areas.  Her hands were just above my skin.  She wasn’t touching me, but it’s like I could still feel her. I’m really not sure what she was doing, but it did help me relax more.”

I was intrigued, so I asked Sue about it.  She introduced me to her Reiki Master, Barbra Kelly.  Barbara practiced Reiki and Polarity and she did a few sessions on me.  As she held her hands over me, I could feel the warmth of her hands radiate into my body and sooth my muscles without even touching them.  It was powerful!

…………Fast Forward…………

I struggled to get pregnant.  Not because of infertility, but because I was treating my body poorly.  Back then my body image was horrible, and I was coming off a supplement addiction.  I was eating more supplements than real food.  My body-fat was at 4 percent and my periods were nonexistent.  No periods, no ovulation, no pregnancy.

A doctor suggested I get off supplements and start using real butter to raise my body fat.  Thus, it was a process to start having periods again, so I could get pregnant.  After a year of trying, it finally happened!

At my 14-week checkup, there was no heart-beat.  A miscarriage was imminent. I had the choice of allowing my body to pass the baby naturally or having a DNC, which is basically a fancy term for an abortion.  They simply go in and clean you out.

I just wanted it to be over, so I opted for the DNC.

I know the baby was only 14-weeks, probably the size of a soft-ball, but I could feel it inside of me.  I could feel a slight fullness that wasn’t there before.  It was crazy – I went into the hospital pregnant, went to sleep and when I woke up I wasn’t anymore.

{Side Note on “passing the baby naturally.”  I feel the need to touch on this, because I truly didn’t know what that meant.  We had a 2nd miscarriage between our 2 boys.  Because I blamed a big part of my depression from the 1st miscarriage on me not physically processing the loss, I opted to “pass the baby naturally” at home.  Oh my, holy fuck!  No one ever told me I would GO INTO LABOR AT HOME!  To pass the fetus, your cervix opens.  Your cervix opening is labor!!!  Sure, the baby was only the size of a baseball and not a watermelon – but still!!!!  Why did no one tell me this????  Why do women not share the details of these experiences publicly?  All I know is, it was one of the worst nights of my life.  I was in excruciating pain alone.  Jacob tried to offer emotional support, but eventually I sent him to bed around midnight.  Someone had to take care of our 2-year-old the next day.  So, ladies – now you know what your true options are if you ever find yourself in the same heart-breaking situation.  I wish someone had told me!}

Grief was an unfamiliar emotion at this point in my life.  I had no idea how to handle these deep, dark emotions.  I’m an emotional eater and I’ve smoked pot since high school, so I proceeded to numb myself with smoke and whatever food I could get my hands on.  I wanted to feel full again, but I didn’t want to feel the pain in my heart.  I binged like I’ve never binged before.

Here’s the thing…

It was my 1st expierence with anesthesia.  No one ever told me, “Hey, anesthesia shuts down everything in your body.  It takes a while to get your system running again.  Don’t be surprised if you get constipated.”

On top of that, I was prescribed hydrocodone to deal with the inevitable cramps after a DNC.  So, between the anesthesia, the hydrocodone and the uncontrollable food binge I found myself with the worst case of constipation I had ever experienced.  I mean, it was BAD!

On Monday I pumped my system with laxatives, but still hadn’t pooped by Tuesday.  Jacob suggested I take his weekly massage appointment with Sue, hoping her healing touch would help my body relax enough to release.  Honestly, my system was so distraught I stopped being able to pee on Tuesday.

I’ll never forget the drive to Sue’s house…

Every bump in the road was excruciating.  I didn’t know if I was going to piss or shit myself.  I wasn’t sure if Jacob needed to pull over and find a bathroom or drive faster.  I sobbed the whole way.  My body was so desperately clinching yet needed the release.  I could feel the toxicity of my system rising and I got the shakes.

Sue worked on me with loving, compassionate hands.  I could feel her motherly care radiate into me.  The tears didn’t stop.  I screamed in aguish.  Her touch was almost too much.  I kept running from her massage table to the bathroom, hoping for my release.

I can’t remember when I finally pooped – but when the physical pain was finally gone, I woke up in a dark hole – the darkest I had ever known.  I couldn’t find or access my own light.  I was in a state of true rupture.  I couldn’t fathom connecting with Jacob, but I yearned for his support.  I couldn’t make it through this alone.  How were we going to do this?

One day I found myself in his arms, my head on his chest saying, “I feel so lost, because I feel like we need to pray together or something, but I know that’s not what we do.”

We needed a common spiritual language.  I needed a way to find my way back to myself, back to us and I knew it was going to take something greater than my or his own will.  I couldn’t do this alone.

I reached out to Barbara, Sue’s Reiki Master.  She came to our house for a private attunement, but we were given a “homework assignment” several weeks prior.

“After your training, practice is important.  Before then, you need to acquire an alter and create a sacred space in your home.  Have something that represents you both.”

Here’s the beautiful part….

For the first few years of our marriage, Jacob and I lived in apartments.  We moved into our first house the week we found out we were pregnant.  We designed and built the home.  It was awesome to watch it take shape.   I even had a “yoga room” until baby #2 came.  At this point, my yoga room was still empty.

We found the perfect piece at a Chinese market.  The antique alter was covered in hand carvings and paintings, with a few drawers and compartments.  I couldn’t have imagined anything more ideal.  We found a small bronze statue of 2 sitting, laughing Buddhas with their arms around each other at the same market.  This became the representation of us for our assignment, so we went on a search for something to represent ourselves individually.

One of my co-worker friends gifted me a white Madonna.  My maternal Grandmother is whom I had most of my “God talks” with.  She was a devout Catholic and Mary was a prevalent figure in her life.  Mary-inspired art was all over my mom’s childhood home.  Although I didn’t have a relationship with Mary yet, I felt strongly that she was perfect!  Many of my longings toward spirituality were made stronger and more pronounced after every visit with Granny – and somehow, I felt energetically nurtured and supported through the memories and ideals that Mary represented in my life.

In the move, Dogma, a satire about Christianity, the church was trying to “rebrand” Jesus.  Instead of showing Christ nailed on the cross, they decided he would be more accepted by the younger generating through a softer representation.  Jacob acquired a “Buddy Christ” for our alter, posed with his thumbs up, smiling at you.  Jacob wasn’t and still isn’t a fan of organized religion, so he thought Buddy Christ was a hilarious, perfect representation for him.

Through my personal attunement, I could feel my heart pounding in my chest.  The energy was real!  We were given the assignment to practice every day for 20 minutes for 40 days.  We could both feel the energetic shifts in our bodies through our committed practice.

We invested in a massage table, so we could comfortably practice on each other.  He now had a way to lovingly support me that didn’t require words or hashing through emotions.   He was just with me.  Present.  Allowing the loving energy of the Universe to flow into him, through him, and to me through his hands.  I slowly opened to receive his love.  And through this practice, we found our version of prayer – a place where our energies and souls could meet while still having our clothes on.

Jacob only maintained the practice through my healing process.  He slowly let it go and I incorporated small doses into my daily spiritual practice.  Sometimes when you experience new levels of pain, you open your heart to new ways to heal.  Through my rupture I expanded to new possibilities, and through grace, I now have another tool in my tool-box that brings me peace, slows me down and inspires a greater aspect of presence from within my being.

No, I wasn’t looking for reiki – but often the most amazing treasures are found off the beaten path.

Until next time…

Peace, Love & Fairy Dust!

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