My Pregnancy Loss and Fertility Story

Danielle D Jenkins PsyD
 
🦋
I have debated whether to share my story. Not because I think people should keep their heartaches to themselves but because I know I have clients who read my blog and listen to my podcast. My story is raw. It’s still in progress and everything I have learned in my training about being a good therapist is to only share hardships that have been fully processed. Here’s the thing though, I also strongly believe in reducing the stigma of talking about fertility concerns and pregnancy loss.
 
My story is real, it’s raw, and it might hurt to hear. It might also change the way clients, friends, or even family feel about me. People assume a lot about therapists and I’m sure most of my clients have ideas about me that may or may not be completely true. I caution any of my clients (past and present) to think through whether it will change our work together to learn more about my personal life. It might and that might be difficult. I...
Continue Reading...

I am (still) Here

A guest blog post by April Lovelace Simmons 

One of the most poignant emotions of motherhood, in my experience, has been longing. I have intense, heart aching longings that are as huge as the cosmos and as persistent and unignorable as birthing pains. Before becoming a mother, I wanted things, even longed for certain things- connection, true partnership, stability, motherhood itself. But I never experienced the overwhelming, conflicting, and indescribably intense longings that accompanied motherhood.

My entrance to motherhood was not simple, or natural, or beautiful. Becoming a mother took so many things from me that I never expected to lose- things that I didn’t even know a person could lose. All at once, in an avalanche of loss, my entire life and being slid into a mushy, yawning, all-encompassing sink hole of love and sacrifice. I loved my baby wildly, with complete abandon. But I also felt the betrayal of resentment at what this miracle had cost. I craved the autonomy...

Continue Reading...

Mother’s Love: A Mother’s Day Reflection

by Danielle D Jenkins, PsyD

As we round the corner into the second Mother’s Day in the pandemic I find myself struggling with celebrating Mother’s Day even more than usual. Don’t get me wrong, I love greeting card holidays. Love them! Valentines is my favorite, and the other non-religious ones like Mother’s Day follow closely. I adore days where we set aside time to reflect on certain types of people and say thank you for what they do and who they are. Even in times when I have been sad or at odds with the idea of motherhood, I have still liked Mother’s Day. I was still able reflect on the various types of mothers I’ve had in my life and I am totally a sucker for the sweet preschool Mother’s Day projects my friends and clients post on Facebook or show my in sessions. I mean come on that stuff is pure gold!!

However, this year, I am struck anew by the fact that we don’t listen very well to women and what they need and want. We glorify...

Continue Reading...

Healing Without Deprivation

by Nichole Eliason, FNTP, CCHT 

Have you ever left a visit from your provider with a healing plan for your chronic symptoms feeling hopeful, only to soon find yourself feeling so restricted by the long lists of comforting foods you cannot eat and overwhelmed by all of the supplements to take? Did you find yourself feeling deprived and exhausted? Perhaps reacting poorly to the supplements? Was it difficult being in the present moment with a sense of calm as your thoughts anxiously circle back to “what am I going to eat next?” When is my next handful of supplements? Am I eating the right things? And Ugh! Why do I still feel awful? “Maybe I’m not being strict enough?” Sound familiar?

When a friend invited you out for dinner, did you feel like you couldn't go because there wouldn't be anything that was safe for you to eat?

If you watched a movie and saw the characters happily drinking wine and laughing, eating cheese and cake, did you feel a sense...

Continue Reading...

The Goldfish Problem

by Danielle Jenkins, PsyD

I’m constantly talking to my clients about the idea that kids and their needs are like goldfish. Goldfish grow to whatever size container you give them. They can get huge. Same with children and their needy, snack-begging ways. These little people you lovingly made a five-course rainbow colored meal for will drop food in the randomest of places only to beg and borrow snacks of all kinds less than 30 minutes later in convincing narration of starvation.
 
These little ones we give our all to will ask what are we are doing next after you’ve gone ice skating, baked cookies, make holiday cards, decorated eggs, painted ornaments, and watched 7 movies. Don’t even get me started on the snacks. Have I mentioned the snacks? 
 
Kids will take and take and take and keep taking until we tell them no. It's what they are supposed to do. They will have one existential crisis after another until we and they are used up....
Continue Reading...

The Link Between PMS and High Histamine Levels: How Working with a Nutritional Therapist Can Help Ease Symptoms of PMS

By Nichole Eliason, NPT, C.Ht

Many of the common mild to moderate symptoms of PMS can be eased with diet and lifestyle changes. These changes can include eating for your specific needs, limiting sugar and alcohol consumption, getting adequate amounts of magnesium, and tracking your cycle to support shifting needs for rest and movement.

For some of us it’s not quite so simple. We may feel like we have tried everything and still struggle with overwhelming symptoms. It can feel hopeless and lonely, but there is a path for you to find healing. I struggled for years with debilitating PMS symptoms that derailed my life every month. My stomach distended so far after meals that I looked like I was six months pregnant. I had itchy rashes on my feet and legs, terrible anxiety, panic attacks, migraines, mood swings, and crying. Lots and lots of crying. I felt so unsafe in my own body. It was a nightmare. I am so thankful to now have an understanding of what is going on in my body and to...

Continue Reading...

It happened to me too

 

By Danielle D Jenkins, PsyD

There is a club no one wants to be in that is filled with women of all kinds. Until it happens to you, you may not even realize how many people in your life have experienced miscarriage. Once people hear about your situation, they often share, “It happened to me, too.” It’s one of the loneliest large groups around. Miscarriage happens in about one in four recognized pregnancies and about one in five women have experienced this type of loss, yet many women do not talk about it or even share their loss with anyone except their partner and sometimes their provider.

There’s so much mystery, and confusion around miscarriage. I want to be part of reducing the unnecessary stigma around this sensitive issue. So I thought I’d begin by sharing some of the things I am learning in the process of healing from my own loss (and from supporting other women in their losses).

 

Grief comes in waves

You may be fine one minute and...

Continue Reading...

Loss

 
By Danielle D Jenkins, PsyD
 
People call the holidays the season of giving. In 2020, I am calling the holidays the season of loss. So many of us have been experiencing loss after loss this year, winding up with many of us being unable to have the holiday experiences we wish we could. Traditions that help us get into the spirit cancelled. Finances pinching our gifting or worrying us for what is coming. Seeing others making choices we know to put themselves and others at risk.
 
With loss comes grief. It is okay to grieve. Even if you know people who have things harder than you or who have lost more, it is okay to feel sadness, anger, irritability, apathy, and dread. Grief comes in waves no matter the cause. We have been grieving all throughout this pandemic. We may be experiencing all the stages of grief and that certainly affects ability to enjoy things we usually enjoy. It’s ok. We are all just doing our best.
 
If you have somehow managed to feel fun,...
Continue Reading...

Seasonal Support

By Danielle D Jenkins, PsyD 

As seasons shift, many people feel worsening mental health. Particularly in the fall and winter in places like the Pacific Northwest where I live and work. The days go from being full of opportunity to spend outside with lots of light to short, dark, and wet. It becomes more difficult to get out and move one’s body in positive ways. It’s cold and damp for at least part of the day. We begin the running here and there for various activities. The leaves are blowing with frenetic energy. And the sweet and spicy drinks and cookie snacks are everywhere beckoning with their promises to feel better after a treat.

Depending on the year, sometime between September 1st and October 15th I start giving my fall mood talk. We go over how much sugar they are eating/drinking and how they are taking care of their bodies. This year, I know it’s been harder for me this year to practice what I preach so I’m guessing I’m not alone...

Continue Reading...

Look For the Helpers

By Danielle Jenkins, PsyD            

If you know me or have followed me on social media at all, you’ve definitely heard me quote Mr. Rogers a time or two. My favorite Roger’s quote is “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'” This quote is one that I live by and has helped me support myself and my therapy clients in times of stress chaos, and trauma. This week as the entire West Coast has looked like something out of an apocalyptic movie, I had another reminder that helpers are everywhere.

This week, my hometown was burning down amidst the unprecedented fire events all up and down the West Coast. Most people who know me now know that I live and work in Washington State and believe that Portland is my hometown. I don’t usually correct them because hardly anyone outside of Oregon has ever heard of Molalla,...

Continue Reading...
1 2 3 4
Close

Busy mama...

We know you have lots to do. Let us send you help, connect you with resources, and give you encouragement for the hardest parts of motherhood. Well drop into your inbox periodically with tips and support for this wild ride. 

Get support today
Close

Sign up for the mamathrivevillage newsletter

so you won't miss anything