The Hardest Things I Have Ever Done

The hardest thing I have ever done was watch my home of joy and laughter turn into a house haunted by nightmares and pain.  Ghosts visit the quietness of a Sunday afternoon, creeping into the sunlight as a reminder that there is a hole in my heart.  The most taunting of the voices whisper “You wanted this.  You wanted this.  You got what you wanted.”  The house with three living children.  I never specified that three children should come from three pregnancies – a one-to-one correlation.  Three children from five pregnancies was the cruel answer to my unknowingly vague prayer. Continue reading

Triggers, Loud and Soft


Last week, I attended a Share meeting.  I found myself the “furthest out” in the room: the most time had passed since my loss.  Now heading toward three years ago this September since Nelle was born.  I was that voice from the “other side”: somehow survived.  The days are not awful.  The moments come and go, but are not constant. Continue reading

A New Permanence

I got my first tattoo five months after losing Iris.  Eight days before her due date.  I wanted to carry an acknowledgment of all of my children.  After perusing photos online of various tributes from parents, I found one and it was perfect: birth dates, done in a square formation and typewriter font, in the upper part of my back.  It was simple and I could show or hide it as I pleased.  I used a tattoo artist that a friend recommended, at a little hole-in-the-wall shop several suburbs away. Continue reading

Planning a Party


Photo by Katya Austin on Unsplash

After learning that I was pregnant with Nelle, I created a “secret board” on Pinterest called Baby Girl.  I added photos of nursery designs, parenting ninja moves I wanted to try “this time around,” baby gear I knew I would need – a wide assortment associated with the excitement of planning for a baby.  Included in my collection were ideas for a first birthday party. Continue reading

What I Had Tucked Away


For over 20 years, my family gathered every 4th of July for a croquet tournament.  The exact number of years is unknown, but I have photos going back to my grade school days.  My family lived tucked at the end of a coulee in southwestern Wisconsin, with my aunt and uncle living up the coulee, and another aunt, uncle, and cousins across the street.  My uncle’s side of the family were also nearby so on the 4th, rain or shine, we gathered to play croquet.  The winning team took home a “trophy” – an odd, metallic art sculpture.  And in addition to potluck, my uncle would roast an entire pig in an enormous pit. Continue reading