Tears to joy

Last night I went back to the birthing center that is both the home of the amazing midwife who was a wonderful support to us, and the weekly Pregnancy Circle that I was attending before Ben died. It was for a needle felting class and I was ridiculously excited but wasn’t sure how I would feel being back in that space with a group of pregnant women and new mamas.

Of course the only other person there when I arrived was one of the mamas from my group and her 3 month old daughter. And I was fine. I sat down and got the quick version of the birth story before more people began to arrive. She did not mention Ben. Neither did I.

I did talk about him later, sitting next to friends. One of the two other women at our table expressed sympathy. The other was quiet. The first then said she’d known two women who had experienced the same loss – and I caught a quiet wink across the table.

There are thousands of us. We are everywhere. The baby lost.

At home afterward, Steve and I had a conversation that sent stress coursing through my body. This morning I woke up feeling as though I’d been hit by a truck and it was spinning its wheels on my chest. Finally I got in the shower and the tears came, tributaries running into rivers as water washed over my body – this body that bears the scars of both birth and death, one directly on top of the other.

There are times when his presence is soft and comforting. There are days when he sits quietly in my heart, in the background of my life. And then there are days, like today, when missing him rends my heart in two, chokes my throat and pulls me away from the living. Just shy of 8 months after his death, those days are less frequent, often taking me by surprise.

As my head and heart whirl back towards center, I want to share that I fell in love with needle felting. This healing journey has brought cravings to create with my hands and needle felting was on my 40 before 40 list. Here is what I made last night, complete with fairy wings, beehive and magic wand.

I love her.

I couldn’t wait to share needle felting with Ada so we ran out this afternoon for supplies. Here is her first attempt.

She loved it too.

To see some really amazing felted fairies, mermaids, and animals click on over to BoriDolls on etsy. Borbala taught the class last night and I could have easily come home with a number of her gorgeous creatures. Her Easter creations are adorable and I’m madly in love with this mermaid and this Mama Earth.

Today, once again, I was taken from tears to joy. I bow to the power of love and creativity.

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6 Responses to Tears to joy

  1. Lindsey says:

    What a beautiful story of the power of creativity, and of simply letting the emotions flow. You are an inspiration in the way you surrender to what IS in the moment; it seems to me that what that takes is a real trust that what is will change, and that joy will return (of course the reverse is also true…). Your needle felt woman is beautiful. As are you. xox

  2. Stereo says:

    Precisely what Lindsey said. This touched my heart. It gave me hope. Things are getting and will continue to get better, Alana. Trust the steps that you are taking: towards creativity, towards peace, towards happiness.

  3. holly says:

    It’s beautiful, Alana! I love what Ada made. I volunteer in Zoe’s classroom on Thursdays with Borbala. She and Bernat were working on their own birds today. It was so nice seeing a child create with the texture and the color. Can’t wait to see what else Ada and you create. 🙂

  4. Pamela says:


    Every time I feel as though I might have an inkling at what losing Ben was like for you, I read a post like this and I realize that I will never know this horrible wound and I hate that you have to suffer through this. I just can’t even fathom what it must be like. You are SO BRAVE to go out in the world as you do, welcoming experience. I swear in your last life, you walked over hot coals.

    Love the needle felting. I can’t believe you made this in one night! I am in a handwork group at Oliver’s school and it would take me a month to do this. It’s cool, right? Yours is beautiful.


  5. Christa says:

    Look at you! Amazing, on all fronts.

    I love that you are finding comfort and ways to heal through creativity. Works for me, and I’m thrilled for you. Welcome to another aspect of my world.

    Love to you.

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