Sunday, March 6, 2011


When I think of "amethyst", the first thing that pops into my mind is that it is February's birthstone... Nicholas and Sophia's birthstones.  I have two of them in my mother's ring, one flanking Peter's birthstone (peridot) and one flanking mine (alexandrite).  They are a deep purple and quite lovely.  The stone represents spirituality and peace, and, in many cultures, is used to help one connect with the Divine.  Fitting for them, I think...

But now, "amethyst" also has another meaning to me.  The Amethyst Network was formed as a way to support parents going through a miscarriage, stillbirth, or death of an infant, as well as to educate doctors and midwives in loss and parental bereavement.

When I initially had the idea for Mending Heart Bellies, I applied for affiliation with them, in their network of lay and trained doulas.  And I've been accepted!

It's strange.... I dont want to be called.  That means that someone has lost a child (or is fearing that the death of their child is imminent).  No one wants that.  But, at the same time, I am glad that there is someone to call...  That there is a group out there facilitating it for all those parents who are wondering "what do I do now???" or "how do I do this???"

I'm in the process of mentally drafting out the letter of introduction to the local OBs and midwives...  It's something that I know I need to spend a lot of time on, not just to convey things to them, but also for me... I need to continue to search to make sure that I'm ready to put myself out there in more ways than just my name on a website.  If I'm going to send this information out to care providers and volunteer as a lay doula in a situation as heartwrenching as these situations will be, I need to know that I am ready.  Honestly, though, will any of us know we are "ready" until we are called upon to serve?

To serve...  That is what doula means in Greek.  One who serves.

"Grant that I may never seek so much to be consoled as to console... To be understood as to understand... To be loved as to love with all my soul..."  The prayer of St. Francis...  The words on the back of Alexander's memorial card.

And all things come full circle one day, I suppose.


quadmom said...

I am just in awe of what you are doing, Michele. I am happy to help in anyway I can with this -- if you can think of a way I can spread the word or do something for it, please tell me.

Thanks for your offer of help -- I am just terrified of giving your babies RSV (I suspect all 4 of ours have it, but Liam just always gets hit hardest). I really do want to get together with you though, it has been so long since we've seen one another and I miss Bobby and Maya, too. Want to set something up in another couple weeks? Right now I need it to be over here because I am still overwhelmed with handling 4, but I am working on hiring help and then we might be able to get out to you. We could take the kiddos on a walk or whatever you think. I miss you! =)

Anonymous said...

what you are doing is truly amazing!!

Unknown said...

I'm with you Michele, I don't really want to be called either (and I'm the founder of The Amethyst Network!!!) But I see such a need. I've ended up being the one there for several friends when they miscarried, and I know how much it helped to have the little support that I got during my losses... so I know it is important work, even though it is so so hard.
I'm thrilled to have you join our network. I hope that we can continue to spread the word and make this a big (and highly effective) group of doulas and mothers, so that no other mother has to go through miscarriage alone. :)