Navigating the Holidays

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The day before Thanksgiving, Ger made a comment to me that Thanksgiving was an “easy” holiday.  Unlike the anticipation of Christmas or the stigma of Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving was just a day to be grateful for what you have, in his mind.

I responded “But what about people who are hurting?”  I pointed out people that we know who are going through or newly divorced.  Families with tensions and forced interactions.  People spending a first holiday without a parent who passed away within the last year.  And of course, the countless families in our world who are spending the day missing a baby that died. Continue reading

Travel with Different Ages

When I was a child, my family used to take huge trips during the summer.  Lengthy and carefully planned, we would pile into the minivan and drive to places like Yellowstone Park, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and the Badlands.  Sometimes these trips stretched into ten days or more, testing our ability to tolerate each other in the car and stamina in hitting landmark after landmark.  But I did see many different parts of the country as a result. Continue reading

In Honor of a Father

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This past weekend was Father’s Day.  Celebration, reflection, and sometimes hard.  I cannot make it through Mother’s Day without thinking about the two babies that we lost.  How can I not, when their birthdays are tattooed on my back, an ever-present reminder that I have five children?  I need a day of distractions. 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