MacKenzie Kozlowski (Miller)@mackenzieyoga

email: info@mackenzieyoga.com — 📍Red Deer, AB. Sponsored by @aloyoga.

www.mackenzieyoga.com/

2,296 posts 235,553 followers 682 following

MacKenzie Kozlowski (Miller)

One of my favorite parts about summer is tending to and watching my garden grow. Since marrying @steelponyfarm I’ve acquired quite a green thumb. This year I’m extra excited because I’m going to have an outside garden and my very own greenhouse!! I got my seeds yesterday and did a happy dance when the package arrived. This year I’m going to grow tomatoes, hot peppers, cucumbers and basil. Do you have a garden? If so, what do you grow? I love canning tomatoes and salsa for the winter in addition to pickling garlic. I am fortunate that I’m married to a vegetable farmer so by extension I get an abundance of squash, kale, zucchini, spinach, potatoes, carrots, beets, thyme, sage, swiss chard, collard greens, cilantro, garlic, onions... to name a few. Do you grow your own food or buy from local producers? I’m biased, but food tastes way better fresh. I normally wear @carhartt’s gardening but until then I live in my @aloyoga gear.


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MacKenzie Kozlowski (Miller)

I can’t believe that it has been a month since I last post on Instagram! Considering that when I started my account in 2013 I haven’t ever taken a break longer than a week.. Looking back I realize how unhealthy that was for me. This break was much needed. As most of you probably know by now I had a miscarriage on Feb 6th when I was 19 weeks pregnant. The miscarriage turned my world upside-down. I am still figuring out life after a miscarriage, but am mostly doing really well. I’ve gotten much clearer about my priorities. The past month I’ve focused spending more time face to face with my loved ones and decreasing screen time to heal my heart. In doing so I’ve realized how much I prefer investing time into my life than scrolling on social media. As I reintegrate social media back into my life I’m going to be much more mindful and use it intentionally verses mindlessly scrolling, checking emails, etc without an intention of taking action. The weather is slowly getting better and better here so Adler and I have been taking full advantage of being outside. He is getting so independent and adventurous, but getting him to pose for a photo, keep dreaming. This photo was the result of me trying to get him to be in the photo with me. He is my daily reminder to live in the present, feel and EXPRESS my emotions and to love big. There is no doubt in my mind that he has made my healing easier. I gave my body time off from movement to heal per the suggestion of my doctors. Now that I’m cleared for movement to heal my body I’m enjoying light gym sessions and am humbled by how much strength I’ve lost. Two pregnancies back to back rocked my body. To heal my mind I’m going to a grief therapist. It’s been really helpful to share the processes I’ve explored on my own (journaling and meditating) and also get recommendations of other healing practices. Talking to someone unbiased, being able to share all of my irrational thoughts no matter how crazy and help give them a place in my mind to rest peacefully has really helped me. Thank you to everyone who has sent me sweet messages checking in on me. Please know that my absence is good, but I look forward (CONTINUED IN COMMENTS👇🏼)


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MacKenzie Kozlowski (Miller)

One of the most off putting things about openly sharing my miscarriage to 200k people is that most people I run into in real life know about it without me telling them. I know it’s not out of ill intentions but when I am approached by someone with a sad face asking, “How are you?” in a tone and facial expression which makes it obvious they know but don’t want to say the words miscarriage out loud makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable like maybe I should be ashamed of it and that it shouldn’t be talked about. I want to reiterate that I know this reaction and discomfort with the subject isn’t spiteful. Our society is ill equipped to discuss grief and loss. What feels best for me is when people acknowledge the loss right away. “I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriage (loss works too if miscarriage is too hard to say).” Even admitting you don’t know what to say is better than nothing at all. I would far rather someone try to converse with me about it and say the “wrong” thing out of good intentions than say nothing at all in fear of saying the wrong thing. Hugs are great too, but then again I’m a hugger. Text check-ins feel nice. It is hard to discuss messy subjects like miscarriage, but I think it’s important that women don’t feel like they are a failure because they’ve had a miscarriage. The deafening silence around the subject can be so isolating.
From this experience I have learned how important it is to acknowledge people’s grief and loss. In the past I know I could have been better about doing that. My lack of acknowledgement came from my own discomfort and concern of saying the wrong thing. Going forward I am changing that. Nobody should feel like they have to process grief alone.
Yesterday Mike and I took Adler to this really awesome ice slide that was built because of the Winter Games going on here in Red Deer. While at the park we ran into two women who are also momma’s that told me they had experienced at least one miscarriage. The ability to discuss the subject with other women who have gone through something similar really helps me. For all my friend who’ve never experienced a miscarriage(CONTINUED IN COMMENTS)


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MacKenzie Kozlowski (Miller)

Last night Mike and I decided to name our sweet baby angel 👼 Iris. I haven’t mentioned it yet on Instagram but our baby who passed on February 6th was a girl. 💞 Iris is the Greek word for rainbow. 🌈 Rainbows are signs of hope and good luck. When I’ve been looking up at the sky I sense Iris’ presence and it lights up my soul. Mike and I held a ceremony for Iris last night to honor her life. If it calls to you it would mean a lot to me if you’d light a candle in honour of Iris and let her know how much she is loved. 💐

Tonight @steelponyfarm and I are headed to Calgary and are leaving Adler with his grandparents for the evening. Besides last week’s trip to the hospital it will be our first night away from Adler together. We are spending this Valentines Day nurturing our relationship which is abundant in love. A love so strong that it has carried us through extremely challenging times together. I believe that loves heals all. 💞

I want to take a moment to continue to express my heartfelt gratitude for the overwhelming amount of love and support we’ve received since Iris’ passing from this worldwide community. I hope that in my lifetime I can pay it forward one hundred fold. My new goal is to find ways to support other women who have experienced loss. I have so much to share about what I’ve found useful throughout my grieving process. It’s taking a little bit of time to put the jumbled thoughts in my head onto paper. It’s coming though. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you, I love you, I love you. 💞

Lastly I would love to get a piece or jewelry that either is the flower Iris or is engraved with the name Iris. I’d love to support a small business. If you have any recommendations of companies I’d greatly appreciate them. 💞

This beautiful stock photo of an Iris was taken by Paweł Czerwiński.


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MacKenzie Kozlowski (Miller)

I’m in no way surprised by the overwhelming amount of love and support our family has received the past few days. You guys are the best. I’ve spent most of my time since getting home from the hospital surrounded by family and friends. In many ways the days feel like any other day would, but then we are faced with tasks like going to the funeral home to make arrangements for our sweet angel and I’m slapped in the face by reality. That day was mostly spent in bed sleeping and crying. If you take any amount of time to read through the comments of my last post you’ll see how common miscarriage is. In no way does that make the loss any easier, but I’ve found comfort in talking with women who’ve been through a similar experience. I’d love for those of you who’ve been through a miscarriage or supported someone through one to share what helped you through the darker moments. Currently I’m reading a book about reoccurring pregnancy loss. My mind processes science and facts best. Learning more about common factors helps me feel like I could have a sense of “control” for the future. It may seem silly and I know in many ways it is, but it helps me. I intend on doing some journaling about the experience but right now it still feels too fresh and raw to relive the gritty details. Mike and I share every day, multiple times a day how our hearts are feeling. Sharing and listening to Mike really helps me. Knowing I can say my thoughts no matter how irrational and not be judged is so powerful and healing. What I’ve felt are extreme highs and lows. One moment I’ll be fine and the next something will trigger me into sadness. I let myself feel that sadness when it comes up. I’ve done a lot of crying. I’ve set up a therapy session with someone who specializes in grief counseling, miscarriage and birth trauma. I look forward to exploring both Adler’s birth and the loss of our baby. Ok let’s be honest I’m not looking forward to it, but I know it will be therapeutic over time to share and explore these experiences. Every time I open Instagram I’m flooded with new comments and DM’s from you kind loving people and they help (CONTINUED IN COMMENTS)


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MacKenzie Kozlowski (Miller)

Mike and I learned yesterday at my 19 week ultrasound that our baby passed away around 14-15 weeks. We went to the hospital, I was induced and spent all night and morning labouring babe. Now I am home resting and trying to heal (body, mind and spirit) - a process in which I feel completely lost. I’m devastated, in denial, and honestly so confused. I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. To those of you who have sent me love it has given me strength to get through this challenging time. Thank you in advance for respecting my family’s grieving process. I truly see my community here on Instagram as family and cherish your love and support through my life’s highs and lows. Any comments, texts or DM’s will be seen and apppeciated but likely not responded to. My capacity to hold space for anyone but myself right now is really low. 💔


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MacKenzie Kozlowski (Miller)

Tomorrow is a big day for me. Any positive thoughts you could send my way is much appreciated. 🥰 I’ll share more details once I’m ready. Until then, here is an adorable photo of Adler. He’s walking all over the place, stacking blocks, making tons of animal sounds these days and brings smiles to people’s faces daily. ☺️


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MacKenzie Kozlowski (Miller)

It took me probably ten takes to capture this video. 😂 If my phone is on the ground Adler books it, since he doesn’t get screen time besides Facetiming his loved ones and an occasional Instagram appearance. This flow is one I filmed while pregnant with Adler when I was 21 weeks pregnant. Head to my story to compare the difference. I’m currently 19 weeks pregnant. It’s so fascinating how different my body looks and feels this time around. Definitely watch this video with the sound on so you don’t miss Adler’s cuteness. Wearing my flamingo @aloyoga set. Their 7/8 leggings are perfect for my extremely short legs!!


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MacKenzie Kozlowski (Miller)

TGIT... this morning I threw out the idea to @steelponyfarm that we head to the mountains for a few days while the weather is nice there before the arctic freeze hits in Red Deer. It’s supposed to be a high of -26C on Sunday. 🥶 Mike agreed, so we are driving to Canmore, AB! 🗻 This photo is me and my main squeeze Adler at the gas station stretching our legs. He’s such a freaking awesome kid. I know, I know... I’m biased. 😍 All trips take waaaaaay longer with kids and you pack 500x more stuff but IT’S ALL WORTH IT. We are thinking about going to @fairmontcll tomorrow for a family skate on Lake Louise! It’s on my bucket list, so I’m excited by the prospect. ⛸ Who has been to Lake Louise? If you haven’t, add it to your places to see in this lifetime. Banff/Lake Louise/Jasper should be on everyone’s bucket list. If you want to visit let me know and I’ll meet you there. I’m always looking for an excuse to go to the mountains. Hint, hint friends! Come visit while I’m pregnant and stuck in Canada!! 😜 Wearing my standard @aloyoga outfit. This new Layer-Up shirt is my go-to! Can you spot my mini bump? Almost #19weekspregnant!! 🥰


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MacKenzie Kozlowski (Miller)

The other day I posted about my desire for a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) if I’m deemed a candidate this pregnancy. I had several people ask why I want a vaginal birth verses a c-section. First, let me mention that I had a fantastic experience with my c-section. We were so well taken care of at Asklepios Klinik Altona when I had to have an emergency c-section 8 weeks early after my water broke and I started showing signs of infection. Second, I do not feel like any less of a woman for having not given birth vaginally. I believe that women become mothers in all different ways. Some give vaginal birth, others have c-sections, some aid in the foster system, others inherit children, some adopt… the list goes on and on and on of how women earn the title of mother. I think this message is really important for some women to read, especially within the yoga community, where there is a lot of shame around the fact if you can’t have an unmedicated vaginal birth. I am so grateful for my c-section because it kept both myself and Adler healthy and alive. That was my goal in giving birth and becoming a mother. The reason I want to have a vaginal birth is that if I can avoid a needle in my spine from an epidural and being cut into surgically I choose that. I have done my due diligence of scar care postpartum and would prefer to not be cut into again and build up more scar tissue on top of the already present scar tissue. This is just my preference. It does not mean it’s right or wrong for anyone else, but I thought it was important to share this message. To all the mother’s out there you are so incredibly strong from the moment you become a mother going forward. We do our best at nurturing and making decisions to facilitate growth and thriving of our little humans. You are doing your best and it’s imperfect. We all are imperfect. It’s so beautiful isn’t it? I see you. I support you. I feel you. I love you. ❤️ Photographer: @stephaniegreenephotography.


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MacKenzie Kozlowski (Miller)

It feels surreal that I’m #18weekspregnant pregnant as of yesterday. The next few weeks are important ones for us. We have our anatomy ultrasound, an appointment with our midwife and an appointment with an OBGYN to begin to determine if I’m a candidate for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). I’d love to attempt for a vaginal birth this time around but more important than anything is this baby’s health and safety (including my own). Although this is my second pregnancy I didn’t make it past 32 weeks and 3 days with Adler so once I pass that marker it is going to feel completely foreign. What are those last few weeks like? What is vaginal birth like? I have so many questions and am really curious. Pregnancy and birth is the wildest journey but also the most incredible. I feel most powerful while pregnant. Likely because I’m creating life. Seriously, women’s bodies are magical. Every day Mike and I still pinch ourselves that Adler chose us as parents. He is a ball of giggles, mischievousness and cuddles. What will his sibling be like? We are so thrilled K4, thanks for the nickname Ole, is joining our circus, but are happy to wait until full term to meet you. My acupuncturist is going to do a holding treatment on me that helps keep the baby cozy and in place. My left SI is killing me today, so I’m grateful for my massage this week. I’m very thankful for good healthcare and access to fantastic practitioners who are assisting me and keeping me well throughout this pregnancy. Isn’t Adler’s little hand the cutest? He’s obsessed with my belly button. 😂 I’m basically living in my @aloyoga sweats these days and don’t foresee that changing anytime soon. Thanks for listening to my random ramble. How are my other pregnant mamas out there feeling?


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MacKenzie Kozlowski (Miller)

Many of you have asked what my PT had me do for my diastasis recti postpartum with Adler. The truth is that my DR was likely caused because my obliques were too strong and tight. In fact most of my abdominal muscles were really tight and strong due to do being in the fitness industry for 15 years and subconsciously sucking in my stomach 24/7 for, lets be honest, my whole life. My muscles didn’t know how or when to turn off. This included my pelvic floor. We did a lot of release work where she worked on me manually but the technique I show in the first video (which is sped up 4x to fit) is one of my favorite things to do to free up the tension around my trunk. It really helps with my low back pain too! The second video I’m doing a diaphragmatic vacuum. Isn’t it cool how you can see where the baby is? This pregnancy I am not doing much in terms of ab work to be proactive in avoiding DR this time around, but I do work for my transversus abdominis (TVA) and my diaphragm. This technique helps me strengthen but I also feel an incredible stretching sensation. After my breath feels so alive and full. Not to mention my back feels incredibly supported. The ball I’m using is my @yogatuneup Coregeous ball and the techniques I show were covered in the Core Immersion I did over the summer with Jill. Both techniques are great during pregnancy, postpartum and not pregnant as well. Basically they are great for anyone and everyone. I did ball work on my c-section scar once it had time to heal too. My abdominals have never felt more supple and healthy during this pregnancy and I love it. Wearing all black @aloyoga makes me feel like a ninja. #18weekspregnant


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