An Interview with Amy Ostropolec of Seeded Hope
October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month and I’ll be sharing a series of posts related to the topic.
M: You have, unfortunately, endured miscarriages and battled infertility. Could you tell us a bit about that?
A: My husband and I walk through infertility-thankfully we were blessed to be connected to an awesome fertility clinic where after 2 IUI’s we were so blessed to get pregnant. When we were ready to start trying for a second, we went back thinking it would happen quickly again. Unfortunately, after 6 failed rounds of IUI and early chemical pregnancies on our 7th and final IUI round we got our positive! But after blood work the doctors told us we would lose our baby. We were just waiting because we knew that we would lose that baby and I remember what that felt like-- like so much shame. You feel like your body is not doing what it's meant to do and you feel like less of a woman because you can't carry a baby. I remember passing a clot and knowing in my head that, that was just our little baby. I scooped it out of the toilet and I looked it and held it in my hands just like I would hold a newborn. And then I had to make a choice. I still feel so shameful and guilty about this. But I said to my baby I love you and placed it back in the toilet and flushed it. As soon as you see those two pink lines they are yours, and forever that baby will be a part of our family.
M: I’m so sorry! That must have been so trying. I know that you’ve been very open about your experiences. What made you decide to share them?
A: As I walked through infertility and loss I had some very special people in my life who were there speaking into my story and over my life. They let me vent, cry and share my dark feelings of bitterness, envy and heartbreak. I think that’s the only way I got through. And I believe when you leave things unspoken they slowly eat away at you and can consume your every thought and area of your life. My husband and I realized that so many people were struggling in these areas and we should share our story to help encourage others to know they are not alone. We wanted to be a light to those who felt they had to sit in silence. Who feel their story doesn’t measure up to the next person. We wanted to encourage others the way we were encouraged while walking our journey. To have someone walk alongside you, who may totally get it (or may not at all) but they are willing to say “I’m here — in whatever way that looks like” is a true treasure and blessing.
M: I completely agree my husband and I felt so similarly and once we started opening up it was amazing how many others went through very similar experiences.
M: That leads to my next question. Do you find that many women have a difficult time talking about their experience?
A: Yes! So many have confided in me saying they are just not ready to talk, but in the same breath saying deep down they want to or know they should. Everyone has their own reasons why they share or don’t—each so personal and immersed in deep emotions.
M: It’s so true. It’s such a personal experience that’s not easy for everyone to be so open about. I do hope people have someone they can confide in though as I found it so cathartic to talk about. And cry about!
A: Absolutely, I think because we had great support people it allows us to be free to just feel and talk and cry in whatever way that looked like. It’s hard to imagine not having that.
M: I noticed you say “we” and refer to your husband as well when talking about these experiences. What are ways that we can encourage and comfort husbands who endure this trial?
A: Honestly, I think too often they are forgotten about. He’s the one that held me when the tears never seemed to end, he’s the one that gave me the shots even though he was terrified, he’s the one that read the test because I couldn’t look at another negative one again, he’s the one that had to give the sample at just the right time under so much pressure in a clinic room. He’s the one that was my biggest encourager, and the rock that tried to fix it all when he knew it was out of his hands. He’s the one that cried silently because he didn’t want me to worry about him too. So often they are forgotten, not intentionally, but they are. And I don’t even think I realized it until after. But it’s important for them to know how appreciative we are of all they do. It’s also important they have their people they can talk to outside of us. Because I know my husband held a lot in because he didn’t want to put more on my plate. They are just as important and that’s why my husband wanted to start a men’s line as a way to remember and encourage them through this whole journey!
M: Oh I just couldn’t agree more. My husband was my rock through it all. I honestly couldn’t have made it through without him.
A: Yes! I think most women feel the same!
M: What advice can you give someone who has gone through similar experiences?
A: You may not be where you planned or wished or hoped to be by now. You’re on a journey you never thought you would be. To each one reading- I want to jump though the screen and give you a hug and tell you I’m so sorry. I have so much hope stirring in me for each new day that’s coming your way. Hope never dies. Even if you can barely feel it. I want to tell you that you matter, and so does your story. You are not forgotten or broken. Your story is not finished; it’s not done!
M: Can you tell me a bit about your company Seeded Hope?
A: Seeded Hope was birthed from a passion deep inside of me to bring healing and hope to those feeling like they are walking alone and sometimes forgotten. I wanted to create unique pieces that meant more than just another piece of jewelry-- something that tells your special story. That gives hope to the weary and encourages you though each step of your journey. It was created from an idea to host an event where you choose a seed that you can plant in remembrance of your precious baby & in hope of coming joys. A way to give grieving families a place to celebrate the life (no matter how short) with their loved ones. A way to acknowledge and remember their journey.
I laid in bed awake late one night wondering how I could make this into something families could tangibly have as a reminder every day and that is where I had the idea of making jewelry. Each card that goes along with the piece was hand written by me with my journey and yours in mind. It’s hard to put into words what our heart wants to say, so this way people can give a piece that helps the recipient know they are deeply cared for.
M: I just love the thought and detail behind your necklaces. And it’s so wonderful that you add in a little note. It can be so hard for someone to know what to say! Especially if they haven’t gone through a similar experience and are giving it as a gift.
M: Can you tell me a bit more about the details of your event?
A: This event is being held on October 27th from 2:00-4:00pm in support of pregnancy and infant loss month. It will be held at Fernwood Hills (Komoka, ON)
If you have walked the journey of losing a precious baby during pregnancy or after please join us.
You will have the opportunity to come choose and plant a seed as you walk the beautiful grounds with those you love. You can take time in your own way to remember your precious babies. The grounds are large so you will be able to have your own space to be able to talk about, grieve, remember and celebrate their life however you would like.
This is a come and go event that is intended to be self lead as each family is very different. We want to provide a place where you feel comfortable to acknowledge, remember, and celebrate the life of your baby.
Please RSVP to Amy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A huge thank-you to the wonderful Amy Ostropolec of Seeded Hope for allowing me to tell her story.