Beautiful and Terrible

Somewhere out in the darkness, a phoenix was singing in a way Harry had never heard before: a stricken lament of terrible beauty. And Harry felt, as he had felt about phoenix song before, that the music was inside him, not without: It was his own grief turned magically to song…” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

It seems to be an infinite juxtaposition, this pregnancy: beautiful and terrible.  Writing has been my transcription of the clash between the two.  The experience has been something like the Russian sage that grows around my mailbox: lovely and sweet smelling, while also wild and uncontrollable.  The beautiful enmeshed with the terrible somehow makes it bearable? Read More

Carry The Belief

Use the belief others have in you until you are strong enough to carry that same belief in yourself.

Last night, I said to Ger “I’m doing ok.”  Then I woke up shortly before midnight, drenched in sweat, and realized “I’m really not ok.”  It is now five days. And by the end of the day, it will be four and a half.  Read More

Time is a River

Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire. -Jorge Luis Borges

I remember so distinctly those first few hours in my hospital room after Quentin was born. One minute, I was feeling constant movement of a baby inside of me, and then he was born and that feeling gone. I have been feeling this baby move for months. Much as I tried to keep myself detached, thinking that distance would help if something were to happen, it became unavoidable as a steady stream of movement captured my attention throughout the day. In those early days of movement, I had to place my hand on my abdomen to feel it, since the anterior placenta made it tricky. It became easier. I could see the movement from the outside. A constant reminder. It doesn’t mean that I loved Nelle or Iris any less, but the time I had with them was shorter. The bond here has had more time to develop into something tangible.  Read More

The Gifts

After losing my baby girl, a friend sent me a gift. It was a shawl, knit by a member of her church. I tried to wrap myself in it several times, but I just couldn’t. It hurt too much.
The shawl sat in my closet, neatly folded, all these many, many months. Recently, I pulled it from its spot. I tucked it into the bag that I will be taking to the hospital. Though I could not wrap myself in it, I intend to wrap my baby in it.  Read More

The Seeker

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”  -TH White, The Once and Future King

I have needed distractions for months. Years, really.  After losing Nelle, there was hardly time to regroup myself before becoming pregnant with Iris, and then I lost her too.  Then there was the doctor-mandated waiting period.  How to cope with the empty waiting?  And then, once pregnant again, how to cope with the insanity of how slowly the days passed? Read More