Finding your RETREAT

Let’s start by asking ….

Do you have a retreat?

Do you have your special, calming space where you are able to retreat, restore and refresh when the world gets too crazy and overwhelming?

Having a place where you find comfort when your grief gets too much is important in our healing process.

WHY?

Our minds and nervous system needs a break so that it can restore and fight another day. If we don’t have that, we will stress our adrenals and feel ill.

A special retreat place either at home or at work, is a place where you will be able to feel safe to cry, to think, to grieve and to love.

It is a place that you bring you comfort and remind you that LOVE is there.

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EMOTIONS. SO MANY FREAKING EMOTIONS.

I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS PREGNANT AFTER LOSING OUR TWINS THAT ALL I WANTED TO FEEL WAS HAPPY BUT COULDN’T.

I REMEMBER I TOLD MYSELF THAT THIS IS IT AND THIS IS OUR RAINBOW BABY. I EVEN WENT OUT TO BUY A BIB AND I WAS PLANNING ON TELLING MY HUSBAND THAT EVENING. SADLY, I MISCARRIED THAT NIGHT AND I HAD TO HIDE THE BIB AND TOLD MY HUSBAND A DIFFERENT STORY.

WE WENT THROUGH A FEW OF THESE AND EACH ONE I STARTED TO HIDE EVEN MORE. I STARTED TO FEEL FEAR LIKE I NEVER HAD BEFORE AND I WAS GETTING LOST IN THE JOURNEY OF GETTING PREGNANT AND GRIEVING ALL AT THE SAME TIME WITHOUT ANYONE KNOWING AND NOT BEING ABLE TO REACH OUT FOR SUPPORT.

NOW THESE 5 THINGS, DON’T MEAN YOU WON’T FEEL FEARFUL OR ANXIOUS BECAUSE YOU WILL. HONESTLY, YOU CAN NOT AFTER LOSING YOUR BABY, BUT MY INTENTION HERE IS TO CREATE MORE EASE AND UNDERSTANDING SO THAT PREGNANCY AFTER LOSS ISN’T ALWAYS FULL OF FEAR, SADNESS AND ANXIETY.

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Halloween Self Preservation after Pregnancy Loss

We are reminded once again of the memories that we are unable to make with our little ones. For me the sadness starts to creep [ Halloween word] in, when I start to realize that Loey will never be able to dress up like a super hero or a princess. Of course, a bad ass princess and super hero, because she is tough and brave like that. And, the fact she won’t know what a chocolate bar taste like or I won’t hear her begging for more treats before bed and of course me giving in at least once, because life is short.
I won’t be holding her hand as we walk the cold streets and knocking on doors. 

I know I’m not alone in my feels.

So I thought I would share what I am doing this Halloween, and some tools from my grief ghostbuster’s toolkit for Halloween. 

[ did you see that - another Halloween word]

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Grief and Boundaries

I know, it’s the last thing you want to think about at the moment - setting boundaries and telling people what to do, but I found this to be one of my saving graces after losing Loey.

 

So much of your health and general wellbeing depends on our ability to set and maintain good and healthy boundaries.

I think, and I am totally guilty of doing this, that women automatically default in taking care of everyone else and become the caretaker during loss and they forget about their own healing process.

Yes, sometimes it is justified but I do invite you to be conscious of your own healing process because unattended grief does not go away. It will stay in your body and create havoc.

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Getting Pregnant After Loss

Those words are full of so many emotions.

Thinking about trying again can be full of guilt, sadness and joy.

We want to be able to think about a beautiful baby in our arms, but after baby loss we don’t have the luxury of not knowing what could happen.

I remember after losing our twins, I was incredibly anxious about getting pregnant again.

The doctors, my family and even my husband kept reassuring me that it would be okay to start again.

So, we did and we tried IUI, IVF and the old fashion way of having sex on those 2 days.

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October - Pregnancy + Infant LOSS Awareness Month

Did you KNOW …

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan designated October as national Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month to bring light to an issue that affects so many people. Each year in the United States, approximately 1 million children die in utero or shortly after birth, making it 1 in 4 pregnancies that result in a loss.

1 in 4 !

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My God Daughter and Loey [ Life after baby loss ]

This photo was taken after M had a melt down and we started to look outside into the clouds ️ and I could
feel Loey with us. 

It was a magical moment and a moment I will not forget.


I believe that making new memories for the ones that were taken away is part of living a life with loss. 

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Go on Parent yourself !

As children there was someone who told us what we needed to get done, what we shouldn't be doing and how to clean our room. However as adults we don't have our parents telling us to get up and live our life. 

We need to get up on time ourselves, we need to take ourselves to the gym or for a walk and we need to eat sensibly. There isn't someone telling you what you need to do. It is all up to you. 

When we have experienced trauma or a loss, the need to live is really hard. Don't get me wrong, it's not about life or death, but more about living our life in the shit of it. Having to get up in the morning, having to feed ourselves, head into work and survive. 

There is a time to grieve and to heal and there is a time to parent yourself to get yourself out of bed. 

Personally, I know that I use to use grief as a crutch or as an excuse not to leave my flat, not to experience life and not to see friends. 

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10 things I wish someone told me about pregnancy after loss

1. Trying again after loss is challenging beyond words and extremely heartbreaking. Remember those days of peeing on a stick and not seeing the 2 lines? Well, combine that with grief and the anxiety of trying again. 

2. A positive pregnancy test doesn't mean the same anymore. Okay, so now you have the two lines, but you feel even more anxious and scared but then the joy starts to wiggle its way in.

3. Bathroom time is never the same. You start to wonder if you are bleeding again every time you go to the toilet or when you feel something different in your underwear. Your partner rushes in to make sure you are okay because you are taking a bit longer than usual trying to get your breath back again

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Jennifer HeptonComment
Those FIRST few MONTHS after LOSS

I felt like a zombie in my own life. I didn't have the energy to think and eat or even think about taking a shower. I didn't know if I was going to make it or not. 

I had to ask for a lot of help, and I ate a lot of ice cream. I learned to not judge myself if I was too tired to do anything that day. I also learned to set boundaries around my healing experience. I had to find the courage and strength to live one day at a time. I had to create self-care moments each day to help me find purpose. 

I wrote an E-MAG about my first few months after my loss.

People have shared that after reading my e-mag they felt less alone, that it was an easy read to help them understand what they are going through. 

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JULY is International BEREAVED PARENTS MONTH

I bet you didn't expect to read this. 

Well, I didn't expect to be writing this.

But I am glad that you are here. 

My intention is to bring more awareness to this month, and you are helping me.

I share ideas below on how to help your friend who has lost a child. 

If you are a bereaved parent, my heart goes to you.

I hope this little blog resonates and helps in some way.

Losing a child is an unimaginable loss. 

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Power of Thought [ in a life after loss ]

MY BIGGEST CHALLENGE WAS WHEN WE LOST OUR BABY GIRL AT 39 WEEKS LAST MAY. MY WORLD BROKE INTO A MILLION PIECES AND I WAS ANGRY, FRUSTRATED AND SAD. IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED ANY LOSS, YOU KNOW THE DEPTHS OF SADNESS THAT CAN OVERCOME YOU.

 

A YEAR ON, I HAVE LEARNED A LOT ABOUT MYSELF AND ALSO HOW TO EMPOWER MY LIFE AFTER LOSS. CHANGING MY MINDSET AND CHOOSING A BETTER FEELING THOUGHT HAS HELPED ME IMMENSELY. I TRAINED MYSELF OUT OF ALWAYS SLIPPING INTO THE DOOM AND GLOOM PATHWAY AND PAVING A NEW NEUROLOGICAL PATHWAY, THAT WAS MORE HOPEFUL.

 

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What is it that I do ?

I am creating the thing that I wished existed in this world by bringing a modern contextual twist to the idea of loss and grief. I am creating a movement of women who are not afraid of loss and will step into the depth of loss to learn how they can heal and grow in ways that they never thought possible. I am creating language of acceptance, of space, of time and of awareness around loss and grief. I am coaching, holding space and loving every woman I meet that has acknowledged their losses, and are trying their best to move with it, and find their sovereignty. 

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What if you decided to believe that it could be no other way ......

It is the day after Mother's Day here in the States, and I think surviving my 6th mother's day after losing my twins and the first after losing my lovely little girl went well. 

As well as you can expect while living in grief and loss. 

Why and how .... 

I think truly it was because I had a plan. 

I had a plan of what I would like the day to be like, I had a plan that I could use as my go to, if all went completely pear shape. But, I  think most importantly I chose me. I chose to celebrate myself as a mom, and as a person. I also chose to honor my babies and my relationship with loss. I did what my soul craved most of - self care and love. 

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s l o w i n it d o w n ...

That's my ego trying to survive. 

I want to keep myself busy, because I fear the pain and emotions that are about to hit me like a massive wave - I am talking about a BIG STORM WAVE. When we slow down and when we start saying no to things that don't nourish us, that don't excite us - that is when the true healing comes. 

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my WHY

Grief is life changing and it can open up old wounds and challenge your belief system. 

When this happened to me - I felt alone and frustrated. I was able to find a grief therapist, however I needed someone to help me understand this crazy relationship with grief. I needed someone to help me move through this sense of incredible loss and live my new life with purpose. 

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Transitions suck ....

We just got home from spending time away in the California sunshine. 

I know. Who wouldn't think coming back to cold and wet Seattle wouldn't be challenging .. 

But, when you are coming home to your grief bubble AKA home - it double sucks. 

It sucks because the person that you that would be there - isn't.

It sucks because the life you thought you would have - isn't. 

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Easter :: creating new traditions with loss

Easter is my favorite holiday. I love the idea of Spring, the hunt for Easter eggs, the spring dresses, the sunshine and the excitement of family and friends sharing in the joy. 

But, I woke up this morning and I didn't know what to do. I usually wake up with excitement. I usually wake up with a curious little child like wonder hiding Easter eggs around the house ...


I was f*cking lost. 


I had thought that my little girl would be HERE. She would be 10 months ... smiling and looking at mom ... thinking what is going on here .... mommy has lost her mind with those chocolate eggs.


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a bit about me

Before, I start sharing more about how I got here, I would like to tell you about what brings me joy right now - you know celebrate the little things because right now THAT IS HUGE!    

  1. My two beagles [ Pips and Bea ] and their cuddles.

  2. Teaching restorative yoga and meeting new yogis in my community.

  3. Eating so much PASTA that I roll home [ well I can’t - but it would be fun]

  4. The gluten free donuts from Cartems in Vancouver.

  5. My matcha hemp lattes [come to mamma].

  6. My husband’s English accent.

  7. I have lived in Vancouver, London, Seattle and now Bellevue [ expat life for me]

  8. My new art piece, that my hubby bought me for my office and reminds me of my daughter.

  9. My mom’s Portuguese cooking [hello FOOD network  - we have a star here !!!]

  10. I think about my babies ALL the TIME. When I am smiling and when I am crying.

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