September is always a hard month for me. I hit Nelle’s birthday on September 4th, and then spend the rest of the month being reminded of how hard that first month in that first year was. How I spent days on end crying on the bathroom floor, with my back against the tub and my head pressed against my knees. It was a dense fog of survival, followed by stumbling through Theo’s birthday a few weeks later. A true testament to parenting: putting aside my own feelings, however anguished, to celebrate another one of my children. Continue reading
Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve
Last week, I was picking my kids up from summer camp. The day was blistering hot, so I was wearing shorts and flip flops. The kids are always outside when I arrive and so I walk up to the teacher and he yells out to the kids running around on a large soccer field to come over and get their backpacks. He usually says something to me in the minute or so that it takes for my kids to appear at my side; most of the time, something about what they did that day. Continue reading
After our Walk to Remember was rained out last year, I was looking forward to this year’s event. The Walk raises money for the SHARE program that supports parents who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death. While being the largest fundraiser for the program during the year, it is free to anyone who wants to participate. Continue reading
Last week, I attended a Share meeting. I found myself the “furthest out” in the room: the most time had passed since my loss. Now heading toward three years ago this September since Nelle was born. I was that voice from the “other side”: somehow survived. The days are not awful. The moments come and go, but are not constant. Continue reading
Recently, I asked Sue if she remembered the first time that we spoke.
“It was on the phone,” I said, “And I screamed at you.”
Sue is the perinatal bereavement coordinator at the hospital where I delivered Nelle and Iris, and also a labor and delivery nurse. While I was in labor with Nelle, her name came up over and over. “Sue’s not working today, but you should really talk to her.” The nurses, the social worker – everyone kept telling me that I should speak with her. My only thought was “Well she’s not here.” I was handed a folder of information on What To Do When Your Baby Dies. It included a list of funeral homes, information on depression, and a brochure about the hospital’s support group, SHARE. I threw the folder away. Continue reading