Living with the loss of stillbirth and learning to live in the sunshine of our new normal.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


My dear. Sweet baby girl.
   How can it have been six years? Six years since I held your little body in my arms. Six years since we bought a tiny white casket. Six years since I listened so hard for anything, the smallest movement, a breath, a cry. Six years since I held onto hope long after you were cold. How can it have been six years when I can still remember exactly how it felt when you would dance in my tummy. How can it have only been six years since all of the lights in the world went out?

I wish I could find more words right now to tell you much I miss you. I can only hope you hear me when I read your books to your sister. When I whisper your name in my prayers. When Sophia tells the world, "did you know I have a sister?" I can hope, I have that when it feels like I have nothing else. When I know I could live forever if I just had the sound of your voice, if I could put my hands on your cheeks and smell your hair. If I could tell you one more time what a huge piece of me you are. If. If I knew where you are. If.

I love you, my first and always princess. I love you. I need to keep saying that so I can imagine you hearing it. I love you. I can pretend the wind carries it to where you are. I love you. I can close my eyes and believe you are standing in front of me. That you understand. I love you.

I love you.

I love you.

Monday, February 25, 2013

"I'm Sorry"

Six years ago today, Mike and I were driving to the hospital. Something was wrong. We didn't know what. We'd had an easy pregnancy. We'd gotten pregnant on our first "try". It's like, we thought about having a baby, and we were going to have a baby. That easy. We were like a golden family. Lucky. Easy. Simple. But that day, she wasn't kicking like she always did. She was a gymnast, but that day, our daughter was so quiet.

There is this one stretch of road on the way to the hospital. Only a few feet, but every time I'm there, I'm there six years ago. That is the few feet of road where I knew something was wrong. Mike reached over and held my hand, and we drove the rest of the way to the hospital knowing.

How many nurses said, "I'm sorry" that day? How many times have we heard it since?  What else is there to say? I almost feel like I need to apologize to people when I tell them. Because they don't know what to say, they feel trapped. But we're trapped too. I've thought over the past few weeks, that it's been six years. I should be better at this. I shouldn't be on the floor, curled in a ball, falling, falling.. After six years, shouldn't I be able to stand up? How do you do this? When does it become just another day? When will I not have to take time off of work, because this is the day my daughter died. Try writing that on a time off request form. I do, every year.

Sophia and I were out today, and I ended up on that road. I don't know how or why. Suddenly, I was on that highway, heading nowhere I wanted to be. It's almost as though I was forced to drive those few feet again. After I shook it off, we turned around and drove home. We were going to go to the cemetery, because the snowstorm tonight will prevent us from going tomorrow. But we're at home instead. I can't drive to Bountiful, drive up those winding, steep hills, and stand in front of that headstone today. I feel unprepared and selfish. I'm exhausted from the short conversation I had with Sophia about going.

"We're going to the cemetery today because it's going to snow tomorrow." "What's a cemetery?" "It's where she's buried, baby." "Oh! I know! That's how she died. Someone buried her." "No, baby. No."
She wants to know why her sister died, and we will never be able to tell her. So she comes up with her own ideas, and they hurt. They hurt. And now I can't face the thought of going up there. Not now. Later. I'll go later, and trudge through the snow, and place some trinkets on her grave, and stand there feeling useless, like i do every time.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's been 7 years since I've watched the Oscars. 6 years ago when the Oscars were on, I was lying in a hospital bed dying. My daughter was dead. My heart was broken. I could not move. I could barely speak. Our baby was gone, and so was I. We were trying to prepare ourselves for what was going to happen next. Our family was there. I was being poked and prodded and hooked up to machines that would get my body ready to deliver my baby. My dead child. The little girl I had thought we would watch growing up. The little girl we would watch as she learned to walk, talk, laugh, cry. She was dead. Her whole life was gone. Not just the 9 months I had carried her, but her entire life. Gone.
So tonight is Oscar night again. The tv is on and I cannot watch. All I can think about is that Sunday night 6 years ago. I don't care who wins. I don't think I will ever care again.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


This week has been long. I go from calm and reasonable to a raving lunatic just like "that". I can feel, especially today, that my blood pressure is sky high. My whole body can feel it. I'm shaky and dizzy. It feels like someone is sitting on my chest. My head is pounding.

I keep thinking about Laura. But I make myself stop. I can't cry now, I can't cry now. I feel like now is never the time to cry. So I have this pressure in my chest and in my head and behind my not crying eyes. I'll think about it later. I'll be sad later. I'll miss her later. I've been living my life in laters for 8 years. I suppose that it helped me survive losing my sister and my daughter. I suppose it is the reason I blanked out of reality (and I don't think I've quite found my way back) when my daughter died, less than two years after my sister died, instead of going completely and irreversibly insane. But what happens when my later crashes? How big will the explosion be?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Week. Weak.

This week its the week I dread. My whole life will be spent running away from this coming week. A week from today is the anniversary of Charlotte's death. So it starts today. The countdown of unbearable pain. Laura's birthday is this Friday. And she has been everywhere in my head lately. I'm better at hiding from things than I am at dealing with them. But I miss my sister and my daughter and this week there is no running away.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Falling fast. It started yesterday with an innocent reminder. The kids who she would have grown up with are turning six. My cousin's birthday was yesterday. Its a reminder. He was the first baby I held willingly after we lost ours. He will always hold a special place in my heart. I like to imagine Charlotte and Caleb in heaven before they were born. They would have been friends there. Family. I wonder if he'll ever know that, if he'll ever miss her. He and his brothers release balloons for Charlotte every year. My aunt is wonderful. She was my best friend growing up (we're only 2 years apart.)

But these are the days and the minutes and the seconds and the reminders. Gone forever, and I am falling fast.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Today is one of the days I should have kept driving past the parking lot. I should have turned around and gone home. Back in bed, I could have spent the whole day crying. It's just one of those days.

But today I have to talk to my 5 year old about how/why her sister died. Today I have to explain things that I don't understand myself. She's been asking questions. Every day, she's more insistent. She needs to know. How do I do this?

Friday, February 1, 2013


It's february again. I hate this month.

Sophia asked me yesterday who her favorite kid in our house was. Usually an easy question. But she threw in, "me, or Charlotte?" I said, Charlotte isn't here, sweetie. She insisted. Persisted. I told her I loved them both, she got huffy and kept saying, "me or Charlotte?" I gave up and went mute. I know that she has no idea how those types of conversations hurt us. I know that its not fair to ignore it. I know that she's just being a kid. I don't know how to handle it. You'd think that after 6 years, I would know what to say.