On Thanksgiving Day of 2008 I gave birth to my first child, a stillborn son. In the 11 months that have followed that horrible day, my sweet husband and I have continued to grieve and process the loss of our child. Most days we are doing well and carry on with life as (our new) normal. Then there are other days when we are stricken with the heaviness of the reality of what occurred and the ache seems like too much to bear. We take each day as it comes and do our best to support each other through the highs and lows that grief brings our way.

Before and during my pregnancy I had read Pam England’s “Birthing From Within” and was elated at the concept of creating birth art and using that as a form of expression throughout the ten months. Just as I was getting more comfortable with the idea of myself as an mom-to-be-artist, I learned that we had lost our baby (at 27 weeks). I never picked up a pen or a paint brush or let myself explore my creative self.

I’m currently pregnant with our second child and these 21 weeks of pregnancy have been wonderful. My husband and I are filled with a renewed sense of hope, joy and peace for the little one to come and for the most part, we’re excited to meet our daughter or son. I am determined to make birth art a part of the rest of this journey both with my husband, but also on my own apart from him. I know there are things from last year that probably need to surface that might come out through art and there are things about where I am in life now that I want to express in a meaningful way.

Does anyone have suggestions for how to get things started? I've sat down, dedicating time to art and nothing comes. Maybe I'm thinking too much, maybe I'm expecting too much, but I feel crippled. I don't want to let this pregnancy slip away without using the creative juices that are deep down inside me, but I think I might just need some nudging. Anyone?

Thanks for reading all of this. For some reason, I felt compelled to share our story with you strangers. ;-)

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I love Pam England...I think the best thing to do is just put some lines on paper. I used to make scribbles and then just play around with lines and shading and stuff. Eventually it would make it's way into something...
I am so sorry that you had to endure such a loss. Have you considered using your expanding belly as a canvas? Perhaps with paint as a medium?
Sometimes it takes the hands to lead the way and the heart and mind will soon follow.
Another perspective: Your upcoming birth experience may allow you to express yourself afterward in ways that will become a part of your healing process.
Your words of sympathy are kind and your ideas are greatly appreciated. I like your take on how this upcoming birth might bring forth new things to express from my last childbirth experience. Thank you.
there are so many different forms of art! photography, paint, decoupage. explore and find a medium that works for you in the moment and expect nothing!! listen to music, maybe try meditating?

I've found that i've created my most memorable pieces when i was feeling emotionally down, or needing an ego boost (taking pictures of myself that made me feel beautiful!) these pieces can seem dark to look at them, but they were so healing to create!

maybe try taking an art class solely for the purpose of being in a creative environment. or go to a pottery class to try something new.
try telling your birth story in art form? or create pieces in honor of your angel. your interpretation of the beauty of your son. what his birth means to you, how your body reacted. all ideas of course, an art therapy of sorts.

create pieces that represent the positives of what you want for this birth and this baby.

no matter what art means to any one else... i've found that it is such a personal medium. anyone can look at it and interpret something meaningful to them. i was most frustrated in school when people would ask me what it meant, why i did it... it wasn't something i could explain, only something that i felt.
use your feelings as a guide?
it doesn't have to be bright and beautiful. dark and moody is just as healing. =)

have fun creating!!
Thank you for these thoughts and ideas, I really appreciate them. I just might try signing up for a class to get the creative juices flowing. I'm no stranger to art - I love photography, music, film, pottery, etc. and have dabbled in all of those things at one time in my life. My husband is a videographer for a PBS station and freelance still photographer on the side, my father is an amateur photographer (but quite good), and I'm surround by dozens of creative friends in many mediums. When I sit down though, I feel blank and hollow. I long for things to come out, but don't want to force anything. Again, I sincerely appreciate your insight and hope that something will come from me soon!
any time!

for myself - all my art is self taught. i went to college for photography. lucky i got in! i had taught myself black and white film development.

i feel like i haven't done much with it lately and i'm dying to get back into it. i feel like something's missing. i love painting, but i'm such a perfectionist that i get pissed off if it doesn't turn out "right" lol.

i'm sure we'll both find out way again. =)
you like Henna? if you don't know how to henna it's easy and you can just doodle on your belly. Or maybe make a belly cast and draw all over it? Don't make your self do art; forcing it is not the way to go. If you just relax your mind and start to doodle on some paper your belly using whatever type of medium you want you will create something amazing. I am an illustrator and graphic designer; I also play around with Sumi and acrylic painting. and like Michael R. said Art comes in many different forms try a class or something. maybe make a scrap page to more your loss and welcome the new?



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