"...suffering is one of the universal conditions of being alive. We all suffer. We have become terribly vulnerable, not because we suffer, but because we have separated ourselves from each other." -- Rachel Naoimi Remen

Sunday, June 30, 2013

What's in a name?

Our first thought was "A Doctors Prayer through Pregnancy."

And then, "Progesterone Prayers."  This one inspired the drawing (which I allowed my toddler to color), and is descriptive of how I feel pregnant. 
Progesterone Pray-er
Progesterone is the hormone that gives women many of their pregnancy symptoms, and I seem to be particularly sensitive to this.  One funny symptom of mine is crazy dreams.  For any of you who've ever taken Malaria prophylaxis when traveling to the developing world, vivid dreams is a commonly listed side effect and I experienced them whole heartedly on Mefloquine.  When I was pregnant with my first child, I had just come home from a mission trip to Nicaragua and had the dreams on the drug, so didn't realize at first that they were a product of progesterone.  [Let me preface this by saying that I love scary movies and watch mostly crime drama tv shows.]  So, when I was pregnant the first time, the week I conceived, I dreamt my sister was killed.  Later, my colleague from work and I were arsonists.  In my second pregnancy, before the (+) test, my best friend was raped.  Recently, I dreamt another colleague and I were tied up in a drug ring.

So, that's the "power of progesterone" as I like to call it.  But it has good side effects too, such as, making me more creative than usual (of course my spark usually comes in the middle of the night, or while in the shower or driving!).  Hence, the book and blog idea.

"Phantom Kicks"... where did this name come from?  Since my first pregnancy was a term live birth, I have the pleasure of knowing what it feels like to have a baby kick.  I didn't feel it with my first pregnancy until somewhere shortly after 20 weeks.  But, they say that in subsequent pregnancies you can feel it earlier.  In my second pregnancy, I was sure I felt her kick (lost her at 16.5).  After that miscarriage, and sporadically since then, I have had the sensation of a baby kicking.  Much like phantom limb pain, a pain an amputee feels after he looses a limb, I imagine this sensation has come to me, and others, as a subconscious reminder of what once was.  Although I'd never heard the term before I started using it, you can do a google search and find other moms, those who've lost and those who haven't, who use this phrasing to describe similar feelings. 

It's a friendly, and sometimes sad, reminder of what was. 

It's part of my reality.  And we thought it made a catchy title.  So, there you have it. 


  1. Thanks for sharing your blog. I have experienced "phantom kicks" as well...sometimes I have that feeling just like when the baby jumped inside of me...so strange. Looking forward to more....

  2. You are welcome. And thanks for sharing your experiences too! I actually hadn't told anyone this (except my husband) until just a couple weeks ago because I was embarrased and thought people might think I was crazy. It is so nice to know I'm not the only one! Thanks again for all your support and kindness :)

  3. I don't know if its just because I have Connor in my life, but I get so much more emotional reading anything like this now. Thank you for sharing what you are going through and I will keep your family in my prayers, for whatever it is that God has planned for you. I'm not sure if we will try to expand our family at any point in the future, but its good to know that there are people to reach out to in challenging times.

    1. Thanks Shannon! Great to hear from you and you and your family are so adorable. I'm happy for you. I appreciate the prayers!!

  4. Mary Ellen - I had no idea that you were having such a difficult time. I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriages. I will be keeping you in my prayers in the coming months. Patti Kreke
    PS I'm using my gmail account to identify myself but I rarely check that account.

    1. Thank you Patti. Great to hear from you and we appreciate the prayers very much!