When Birthdays are Reminders

Nelle was stillborn on September 4th.  A mere 16 days later was Theo’s sixth birthday.

It is a painful contradiction to find your own child’s baby photos difficult to look at, but I spent that year quickly looking away from images of his tiny newborn cheeks, fingers, and toes.  All I could see in those pictures of the first few days of my son’s life were the reminders that I would never have any pictures of Nelle.  That overjoyed look on my face in those photos – the induction into motherhood – seemed like a completely parallel and disparate experience from where I sat after my baby girl had died. Continue reading

Tell Your Story


Let me tell you what I wish I’d known
When I was young and dreamed of glory
You have no control:
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?
-From ‘Hamilton’

For the third time, I appeared before a group of hospital staff to tell my story of being a patient in Labor and Delivery who would not be taking my baby home. Continue reading

Pass It On


It took me 406 days after Nelle was stillborn and 255 days after losing Iris to attend my first SHARE meeting.  The first meeting is always the hardest, even more than a year after my losses.  Being in the room with so many other parents, all of whom knew that pain, brought much of the hurt to the surface again.  I cried for days after.  I didn’t go back.  It wasn’t until I was pregnant with Autumn that I started to attend Sharing HOPE (Having Optimistic Pregnancy Expectations) and that monthly meeting became a necessary part of surviving the months until she was born. Continue reading

Familial Laughter


This past weekend, I went to Wisconsin for a wedding shower, staying with my aunt and uncle.  Meeting Autumn for the first time was a flurry as I dropped the carseat into their entryway and headed back to my vehicle to retrieve all of the stuff.  My aunt peered into the face of her “griece,” as she calls her (great-nice).  Autumn began belly laughing, and didn’t stop.  She continued laughing and laughing as we settled into their home.  My aunt decided that it must be the laughter of recognition: looking into the face of family and knowing there is shared DNA. Continue reading