Art to my embryos

I thought I’d share a few of the little pieces I’ve made since Christmas at the Dwelling Place, all of which live in a 8×10 sketchbook, along with journal entries about my visualizations, meditations, studies of the chakras, and recent astonishing energy-healing work with my new therapist, Ann.

These are sketches—drawings and paintings made mostly with acrylics and ink. They are variations on a theme, and they’ve helped me connect to my embryos in Atlanta, and prepare my mind, body, and spirit for this upcoming transfer.

I’m just going to grab what I find and present them out of chronological order, but I’ll start with the first one I made:

art 1 this one

That’s me and DH in the upper right-hand corner. Our children in the middle. And a spirit guide. I notice that when I began making this art, DH and I seem almost timid in the background. (acrylics and ink, and the angel is a magazine clipping.)

*** ***

art 2

This is one I made when I was feeling impatient for transfer-time. While making it, I thought of all of the good things that were happening in me and in my life during the waiting period and how important those changes are. (acrylics and ink.)

***

art 3

This is one of my favorites—I derive such power from it! I am pulling up the molten energy from the earth’s core and pulling down energy from the cosmos for my two little incubators, safe inside their fiercely loving and fertile mama. (acrylics and ink.)

***

art 4

This is another one I cannot stop looking at. I’ve covered it with a glaze so I can rub my fingertips over my smooth round belly. I did that for about ten minutes yesterday while staring at the image in the sun. I gaze at the swirls of color, following each line and watching it swirl with the others—root chakra red, sacral chakra orange, solar plexus chakra yellow, heart chakra green, throat chakra blue, third eye chakra indigo, crown chakra violet. The two babies are deep inside here, where it is very warm. (acrylics, ink, oil pastels, compressed charcoal.)

***

art 5.5

This is one I made very early on as a memorial of sorts to my seven pregnancies—yes, seven. In my calculations of my pregnancies, I usually only include the six I have had since age 37. But I became pregnant when I was 17 and I had an abortion. I had at first thought I would have the baby and place it for adoption, but it soon became apparent to me that I would not be able to do that: it was either motherhood at age 17 or abortion. I chose abortion. I didn’t handle the experience well and had a nervous breakdown about it (if only someone had suggested therapy to deal with my emotions! But this was Ohio, and this was 1992). So I included my first and often-thought-about pregnancy in this sketch, along with the others. (ink and markers.)

***

art 5

I made this one shortly after the one above. The two babies connected by rich blood-cords to me, their tree of life. (acrylics and ink.)

***

art 6

A connection to the seed of DH that made our embryos. (acrylics, and the central image is a magazine clipping.)

***

art 7

My anatomically perfect uterus, vibrating with healing color, babes nestled into the richness there. (Also kind of looks like a space alien, doesn’t it?) (acrylics, ink, markers.)

***

art 8

This is an interesting one, the second sketch I did—notice that I am separate from those two baby birds below, dreaming about them, although they clearly exist. I think this speaks to the mix of hope and timidity (as in the first sketch) I was feeling back at Christmastime. So much has changed so quickly.(acrylics, ink, and magazine clippings.)

***

art 9

And finally, the celebratory, playful cover of the sketchbook, with white flowers raining down on the two siblings, whispering: This book is for you. (acrylics and ink.)

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36 Comments

  1. these are amazing! like awe-inspiring! keep sharing them please!

    Reply
  2. Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your intimate journey and growing connection to your and DH’s little embryos. Thinking of you, always.

    Reply
  3. Robynne Maii

     /  February 8, 2014

    M: CB and I are in love with your art work. He says you have wonderful composition and an exquisite color palate. Thank you for sharing your beautiful, beautiful work–takes my breath away! xoxoxo, r

    Reply
    • That’s so nice! I’m blushing. This stuff comes from a deep, deep well. Was the first time I’ve felt inspired to make art in a long while. So happy you really “felt” it. Of course you guys did. Love you both hugely.

      Reply
  4. Ciara

     /  February 8, 2014

    Wow! Those paintings are soooo incredibly powerful! It brought about soo much emotion for me.

    Reply
  5. Thank you for sharing this intimate part of your journey with us. Your art is beautiful and powerful. It got me teary eyed (but in a good way). It almost makes me want to take out my crayons. I’m surely not as talented as you but I can colour within the lines. Thinking of you.

    Reply
  6. Kay

     /  February 8, 2014

    Absolutely beautiful, and so very meaningful..

    Reply
  7. I particularly love the one with the lady’s body with a big tummy. I love the vibrant colors and the warmth that comes out of it.

    Reply
  8. AndiePants

     /  February 8, 2014

    The third one just took my breath away and made me grin. So lovely!

    Reply
  9. Wow these are exceptional. The fourth one took my breath away. You are so gifted! You are so brave to share such a personal journey with us. Wow, I am just so speechless, beautiful. Simply Beautiful.

    Reply
    • I’m very attached to that one, too. Thanks for saying I’m brave—to be honest, I *was* a tad bit hesitant to share these. I said to DH: “Well, I just shared some artwork. Guess I’ll find out if everyone starts to think I’m completely insane.” (:

      Reply
      • I’ve learned that anything fertility related makes us all a tid bit insane. :) That’s what makes us all so connected! I think we love you more because you decided to share with us! LOVE ya girl, XOX!

        Reply
  10. wow! you have a gift. Thank you for sharing your intimate journey with us.

    Reply
  11. So beautiful, so heartfelt, so creative. Thank you for sharing such an intimate aspect to your soul. To me this just makes this upcoming cycle all the more special. Takes my breath away. Love you! xxx

    Reply
    • Thanks, honey! Yeah, no matter what, it will be a special cycle, different from the rest, because of all of this exploration I’ve been able to do. I’m a little scared that my hope and love and attachment will backfire, but then again, not—I mean if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it all the way, with full heart.

      Reply
  12. These are beautiful and powerful. Thank you so much for sharing your art work.

    Reply
  13. Wow, you are very talented! It must mean so much to be able to express your self that way…as a person with absolutely no artistic skill I’m jealous :).

    Reply
  14. Gorgeous, just beautiful. You have such a talent and this must be such a healing and powerful exercise for you. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing! Peace to you!

    Reply
  15. These are absolutely beautiful and so rich with meaning. You are incredibly talented! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  16. Clare

     /  February 10, 2014

    These really speak to me. I really believe using visualization like this can be so powerful. In particular, the one of the uterus with the 2 embryos reminds me of a breakthrough I had with my naturopath when I was preparing for my transfer. She asked me how I see my uterus and I just started bawling! I was so surprised by my reaction and it showed how I had internalized my experiences with infertility. I never even thought about it before. I told her I saw it as a cold, grey, hostile place and that I see it spitting my embryos out. She did a meditation with me and had me give my uterus a colour. From then on I would make sure and meditate on seeing my uterus as a warm, healthy pink place.

    Reply
    • That is powerful Clare. It reminds me of when I read people describe their uteruses as “death chambers” and to themselves as “baby-killing machines.” I’m so glad your naturopath helped you in that way.

      Reply
  17. Kali

     /  February 11, 2014

    I can’t stop looking at the one with your breasts and belly either!

    Reply
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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    DOR
    Abnormal embryos

    Blood:
    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8

    History:

    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    ***
    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Protocol:
    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Zoloft
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:
    Pregnant

    Protocol:
    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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