Very few people know the real story behind the pregnancy production I created a two years ago- a production that enabled me to get to know who I am, to love myself and to build my self confidence through flowers. It allowed me to touch my soul, heal the pain and to be complete with myself. To express myself in a way that I loved most and to see the beauty, glory and power which exist in pregnant women.
In the past few years, my path has not been easy. In addition to the daily hardships, Nimrod, my partner and I were forced to deal with a devastating situation that hit us twice; pregnancies that did not come to full term. I found myself rushing to hospital with contractions, pain and inner upheavals but long before the due date, at around 18-21 week gestation.
At the first miscarriage, the crisis was unbelievably difficult. I did not believe I could experience such pain- a personal, feminine, spiritual and physical crisis that was that big and overpowering. I thought I had hit the lowest point in my life…until it happened again, exactly a year after the first unforgettable nightmare.
After the second miscarriage I was supposed to be more experienced, “used to it” even and better able to deal with it. However, it turned out that it led to the biggest crisis of my life. I felt everything close in on me, everything seemed black and hopeless. I was aware that everyone around me knew I was pregnant; that my stomach was showing and my body was changing. It was no longer a secret, when suddenly I found myself going through this nightmare once again.
The crisis – I did not believe something like that could happen to me, let alone twice?? To experience contractions and to reach labor knowing that you are delivering a dead baby, it was so unjust and so very wrong. I was ashamed- I felt I was a “broken” woman; infertile, doing the opposite of bringing new life to this world. A woman that can’t do the most natural thing in the world – have children. The breakdown was so deep that it affected my relationship and led to a fiscal crisis and a feeling of total helplessness.
The fear – On the outside I was smiling but inside I was burnt out – I tried to continue with my daily routine, but the whole episode created an internal nightmare, a huge fear. The act of creation – the unborn child – the pregnancy turned into a trauma, a terrible experience. I experienced the exact opposite of the excitement of pregnancy, of having a child alive within me. It became a nightmare – sleepless nights, physical and spiritual aches and pains. When I’d see a pregnant woman, the first thing that came to mind was, “poor thing, what she must be going through”. Instead of seeing the beauty and the wonderful emotional experience most women go through, I simply could not offer my congratulations; I could not be happy for my pregnant friends until I would see the baby healthy and knew that all was well. I simply stood on the sidelines; I could not get close to them, or get emotionally involved with the pregnant women that were around me.
Support – during this period, the only thing that I focused on that allowed me to pick myself up and find the way to deal with the crisis was my son Itamar, who was my whole world. My maternal duty to care for him and make sure my crises do not hurt him led me to place myself and my breakdown aside and to find the strength to lift myself up- to mend my relationship with Nimrod and to try and move forward.
Comfort – Flowers were my comfort, my confidantes. They were part of the same soul that allowed me to express myself, to be who I am without trying to prove my strength. Through flowers I was able to express the deep emotional and physical pain that I experienced- pain that rips through the soul and tears her to shreds; pain that I could not share with anyone. Through flowers I finally figured out what I was feeling, I was able to express myself and to feel comfort from their scents, colors and textures.
The light – five years ago, after the two miscarriages, I once again got pregnant. The difficulties and fears were so great that I could not sleep at night; I was stressed and upset and so scared that this too would end in tragedy. I would jump at the smallest sign. I’d run to get an ultrasound frequently and I’d meet with my OBGYN every week. After a difficult pregnancy of tests, follow ups and blood clot preventing shots, on November 2010, the amazing and beautiful Matan was born. We finally had the gift we so wanted – a sister for our wonderful Itamar. Happiness and light returned to our home!
Healing – On September 2013, three years after giving birth to the divine Matan, I decided it was time to heal and to treat the traumas I carried around within me related to my failed pregnancies and the miscarriages. It was time to heal myself though my great love of flowers- through my private works of art which have become very much public. I asked a friend I truly love, who was in her seventh month of pregnancy to join this unique and special production. I designed a clothing collection made of flowers for the pregnant woman. Here too I used orchids as my medium; they have such a strong impact on my soul, filling it with colors, growth, vitality, and many other positive emotions. The entire production took place using Shirley, my pregnant friend, as model.
The Contact – The design work required numerous fittings – the need to touch her belly to fit the design to her body. The need to experience her and to make sure she was ok, that it was not too difficult for her. At first I was terrified of the experience and the process but as I worked with her I became exposed to the pregnant side of Shirley; the feelings of how she was experiencing her pregnancy and how she felt about being pregnant.
The discovery – I suddenly discovered that this lovely lady that I truly love was actually enjoying her pregnancy and that things were not hard, but were rather positive experiences for her. She was happy and was enjoying every moment of it. That realization was so strange to me, so distinctly different and opposite from my own experiences. It was a wonderful way to rediscover these things anew; to understand that there is so much beauty in the process. Perhaps I was not fortunate enough to experience it myself, but there are many women for whom pregnancy is magical and wonderful, complete with a happy end, like in the movies. This was a powerful and incredible revelation and experience for me.
Surroundings – to experience the photo shoot I chose people I love, people whose company I enjoy and who are pleasant to be around. It was important that the surroundings, the environment be pleasant with positive energies. It was a moment of blossoming growth for me; I succeeded in expressing the pain that turned to happiness and joy in full bloom by the end of the project. And I accomplished all of it through my art, through my ability to see things differently and to focus on the positive in every hardship.
Giving Thanks – Today I say thank you- thank you for my wonderful children, for Nimrod, my unique and amazing life partner. Thank you for the ability and opportunity to treat and heal myself through my art and my love. I acknowledge myself and the support I received from Nimrod and Itamar and the incredible people that were with me, Bat Sheva and Shirley.
Insights– The entire production process helped me grow and develop. Through a process of healing and by connecting to my inner self, I got to know myself better and I started loving myself again. I fell in love with who I am, with my strength, with what developed within me from all the loss and huge pain I had suffered. I found immense inner power to grow, to bloom, and to feel like a healthy and vibrant woman that has so much to offer the world. The ability to successfully communicate and excite through flowers is a wonderful and powerful sensation that I cannot express in words.
In Conclusion – I will never forget the children I did not get to raise. They will forever be etched on my heart and in my soul. Sadly, there are many women who have had similar experiences, and so I decided to share my story and my pain. I write especially to those women that are currently in this very difficult place, where everything seems black and they can see no light at the end of the tunnel. It is amazing how, from within such pain and hardship, I could not even imagine the place I am in today- to be after the big crisis and to rise up a stronger happy woman; one who acknowledges herself and appreciates every moment of this beautiful life that we’ve been given as a gift.
Photograpy: Meital Solomon | Hair: Yair Shtern | Model: Shierly Sieref | Makeup: Michal Ofir
Floral Designer: Orit Hertz Floral Assistance: Batsheva Shfadov | Soloshtil Orchids