At 7:00 pm last night, we lit our candles. Well, close to 7:00 anyway. I was ready, but Quentin was still climbing out of the bathtub and shaking himself dry. It made the mood more lighthearted. I asked Ger if he had a song and he immediately said “Candle in the Wind” (1997 version). The lyrics weren’t exactly right for our losses, but seemed somehow fitting anyway. Continue reading
The day did not go as planned, but parents who have experienced loss know all too well that sometimes life does not go as planned. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, I submitted an essay to a website under a specific theme. The rejection email came with a simple sentence: “Thank you but unfortunately this is not what we are looking for.” It hurt more than it should have, as I know rejection is an unavoidable aspect of writing.
An opportunity arose recently for me to send my story to the Chicago Daily Herald through someone I know. I worked on it. I tailored it to the type of audience I knew would be reading. I went a long time hearing nothing, then was asked to submit a photo and the suburb where I live. Not unlike my pregnancy, I didn’t believe that it would actually be published until it happened. And today, it was included on the website.
It was validating, because it made me feel that my story was worth telling. Awareness about pregnancy and infant loss will come from sharing stories. Awareness about grief will come from talking openly and honestly about navigating loss, and the days, weeks, months, years, and lifetime that follow. Stories matter.
My pediatrician doesn’t know that I lost two babies. It was timing, really. Quentin and Theo have birthdays in March and September. I had only lost Nelle a few weeks before Theo’s well-child visit in the Fall and there was no reason to bring it up at his appointment. Then lost Iris before Quentin’s visit in the Spring. I was a few months pregnant with Autumn at the March appointment this year but, as I ended up doing throughout the pregnancy, said nothing out of fear that something would go wrong. I think it was a big surprise for the pediatrician when we showed up for an appointment with a five-day-old newborn. Continue reading
During this week eight years ago, I had a weird rash on my face. I went to walk-in care and was told that it was likely stress or hormones from giving birth. Theo was just fifteen days old at the time. Continue reading