Light, Words, and Gathering

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The only event on my calendar yesterday was a Luminary ceremony hosted by the loss support group of which I am a member.  My nanny’s exclamation of “Cinco de Mayo!” and various photos I saw of the Kentucky Derby reminded me that many people had very different celebrations yesterday.  Whereas for my circle, we gathered to light up the Angel Garden at the hospital and say our babies’ names out loud, in recognition of International Bereaved Mother’s Day. Continue reading

At the Conference Again

I am incredibly tired.  After hosting a conference for two days, wearing heels that I do not normally wear and sleeping in a bed that wasn’t my own, I could probably nap for days before I feel rested.  But when I want to write about a particular experience, I find that it is best to capture as immediately as I can so as not to have the details dim.  Even if the details are already dim due to fatigue… Continue reading

A Tree for All Seasons

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A month after losing Nelle, we scattered her ashes to the coulee where I grew up.  I was still in a dense fog of grief.  It was Ger’s suggestion to bring her to the tree where my grandfather’s ashes had been scattered in 2011.  The Sheltering Oak is nestled back on my aunt and uncle’s land and on that day in early October 2015, Ger and I walked back there alone.  It was  crisp, Fall day with a bright, cold sun.  Leaves were making their descent from the branches to the ground.  We sat in silence for a long time.  Just sat.  I couldn’t bring myself to leave the tree, and leave her there. Continue reading

Another Name for the Book

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Part of seeing a new therapist means rehashing many details of my life, and over the past few years, grief. I saw my previous therapist for two years. During the first session, I had to share with her all of the details of how we lost Nelle. I had a session the day after I found out I was pregnant with Iris. She gave me the tightest hug after I lost Iris saying “This isn’t what I wanted for you.” She heard a recap of every doctor’s visit. Every stressful moment during my final pregnancy. And when Autumn was born, I brought her to a session. Continue reading

They Were Included

Last April, my sister got married. I was the maid of honor, pregnant, constantly worried that I would lose the baby, as I lost Nelle and Iris in the two pregnancies before. I did the absolute best I could to be present, participate, while carrying fears that something would happen and ruin her special day. Her day came, and everything was fine. I used the portable heart-rate monitor to listen for the baby’s heartbeat in the morning, tracked movements throughout the day, and smiled through well wishes in the evening. The day following her wedding was the 24-week mark: medically significant because it was a marker of “viability” should something happen. Continue reading