Conversations at Home

We have “conversation starter” cards on our dinner table and every night we draw a card or two and go around the table and answer the question presented.  Topics range from “if you could change one thing about your school, what would it be?” and “how do you think your life is different from your grandparents?” Continue reading

That Conversation Again


I never go into Chicago during the week, but found it necessary on Friday.  I needed to visit some hotels as part of planning a work event.  It was bitterly cold, and I knew the city, true to form, would bring an unforgiving wind.  I planned the trip to avoid as much commuter traffic as possible, scheduling my first meeting for 10:30. Continue reading

Damage Control


We can be in constant damage control mode. Or we can get in a healthier lane and run. -Jen Hatmaker

I was walking to Quentin’s classroom at day care to pick him up. His former teacher from last year poked her head out of her classroom and stopped me, saying “I just have to ask, are you pregnant?”

I’ve said nothing to anyone at the school, and worn a large coat but it is getting harder to hide. I nodded and she said “Congratulations!” to which I quickly shook my head saying “No, no…” She misunderstood, thinking I was saying that I wasn’t pregnant and started to apologize to which I said “No, I am, 17 weeks.”

My eyes were watering, I said “Well, you know I lost the baby…. Actually I lost two babies…”

After losing Nelle, I had emailed the school’s director. I was worried that Quentin might say something, and at 21 weeks, everyone knew I was pregnant. No one at the school knew I lost Iris, because I had never even said I was pregnant. I had planned to do the same this time, at least for a few more weeks.

After losing Nelle, this same teacher told me how sorry she was. Quentin was in her class at the time. She told me that she had also had a stillborn baby, so she knew what I was going through.

When she saw my face in the hallway, my tearful eyes, she said “I know, you know I’ve been there. I wish the very best for you.”

As I gulped and turned away, I was angry with myself for reacting that way. Will I ever be able to be excited about this pregnancy? Accept congratulations, rather than crying? I had to tell someone on the phone the other day and could hear my voice shaking the entire time.

Quentin’s school concert/Spanish program was that night, and after the encounter with his former teacher I spent the entire time completely off balance and trying not to cry.



“Beauty sits beside you somewhere, even when your world is in deepest, darkest pain.” -Megan Devine

On my bed is a pillow that says “Always Kiss Me Good Night, Always Kiss Me Good Morning.”

If it is not my night to tuck in the kids, I lie in bed. Eventually, they come out of their room, usually one at a time, for “last hug and kiss.”

First came Quentin, on the brink of five years old. He always needs to climb into the king-sized master bed for his last hug and kiss, using a bench at the foot of the bed. I always give him a reminder to “be gentle” lest he fling himself on top of my baby bump. Then he laid his head down on my belly. After lifting his head, he patted my belly with his hand. “Last hug and kiss to the baby” he said, with a big smile on his face.

A few minutes later, Theo came in, my sweet big kid. He likes to nuzzle against my neck. After giving me last hug and kiss, he said “I want to say goodnight to the baby.” His voice rose an octave. “Goodnight baby!” He cooed, waving to my belly.

On the same night, they both decided to include the baby in their evening ritual. If only I could know how long these good nights will last. A few more weeks? Or many years to come?


What Hurts

Write hard and clear about what hurts.”  -Ernest Hemingway

I thought maybe I could spent these first few months focusing very little on my pregnancy; at least until I am further along and have a clearer picture of what is in store for us.  Other than the constant nausea, it had been easy to ignore for a few weeks.  But now into week 10, there is a more daily presence. Continue reading