Back in August, when I began to communicate more about what I’ve been going through, I started posting on Instagram and on this blog at around the same time. Prior to that point, I really tried to minimize what I’d experienced. My thought was that it was awful enough that Sacha and I (and Amilcar, and our families) had been exposed to such a horrifying and brutal aspect of life. Why would I want to expose anyone else? But eventually I realized that I couldn’t live an authentic life if I kept myself in a little “me” box, separated from the “everyone else”, the “normal people”. I can’t be a functional person while I quarantine and dissociate my most significant experiences. I had to learn to integrate my experience into my daily life, and especially into my social interactions.

That’s what people do when they’re healing from trauma and grief, I’ve learned. They don’t “get over it”. They integrate it. Which means thinking about it, and talking about it. So people who already feel exceptionally vulnerable and wounded, have to try to open up and be trusting with their stories – even though their trust in the universe and humanity has recently been enormously violated, in ways that others really can’t begin to understand. Dude. That is hard.

Anyhow. I’ve found amazing outlets and communities both here and on Instagram (among people I know in real life who are accompanying me through this, and among other moms who have lost their precious kiddos). I keep trying to cross-post my Instagram feed to my blog, but it hasn’t worked!

If you want to look me up on Instagram, I’m @kvanarsdell (and Sacha is #sachamayu).

If you’re a babyloss mama who hasn’t checked out Instagram yet, I highly recommend it. It’s been a good place for me to go throughout the past year. During the first months after Sacha died, I spent hours looking at the beautiful pictures posted by @usinterior in attempt to calm myself down and get to sleep (I had to rapidly scroll past the pictures of baby animals, and even budding plants, because any sign of young and continuing life was so upsetting to me — luckily, there were plenty of pictures of rocks and rivers to balance out the plants and animals). Now, I’ve found all kinds of women sharing their stories of grief through pictures (usually beginning with a happy, innocent pregnancy announcement… followed by pictures of a growing belly and then, a few months later, by the horror story and the aftermath). It’s a wonderful normalizer. Seeing others who are brave enough to speak up has helped me find my own voice.

Come find me and check it out!