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

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


I should be asleep.  I'm in bed and my eyes have been closed and I was halfway there.  But I've gotten myself worked up with worry.  Talking myself down from an actual panic attack, but I should have made the doctor give me some xanax or rescue meds today.  I knew this was on the horizon.
It's been brewing for weeks, this unease in my mind.  It's just the time of year, it's just the weather, it's Paris, it's San Bernardino, it's the upswing of traffic at airport #2. It's the shorter days and the long cold nights, the ice on the roads and the constant drip that just freezes to drip again. It's my closest friends living miles away and my inability to fix the woes of those I love.  It's this damn headache that only subsides for an hour or two and then comes roaring back to blind me. The worry over bills to come and home repairs we just can't seem to get around to.  The loss of my daughter, my sister, friends, family. It's this time of year, but I need to go to sleep.  I should have asked for xanax.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A birthday, a year

My darling Charlotte,
   Another year come and gone.  Hundreds more days without you. 365 sunrises. Millions of heartbeats missed. I have missed your joy.  Your laughter and your tears.  I have missed watching you learn and grow and become a child from the baby I knew. 
   I write this letter to you every day.  You are in my mind every second,  your name stays on my lips with every breath.  Your birthday letters that you will never read,  like my prayers and my wishes,  scattered in the wind.
   Another year we have spent watching our family thrive and grow.  Your sister is becoming a young lady. She is so smart and curious.  I am amazed every day at the way she sees the world.  She is so bright,  despite my darkness.  Your brother is a handful.  He is my wild child, always running and climbing and yelling.  I talked to him about you and he looked surprised.  Do I not bring you into our home enough?  Or was he amused because he knows you?  Do you visit them in their dreams? 
   I wish I could hold your hand one more time.  Kiss your cheeks,  feel your breath on my face.  What I would give to see your eyes looking into mine,  your voice calling my name.  I love you, my sweet baby girl.  I love you wherever you are.  I miss you every day.  I miss you with us.  We are not complete. You are missing from us.  I love you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

But then she wasn't

8 years ago tonight, I went to bed carrying a healthy baby girl.  A strong daughter.  When I woke up on the morning of February 25th,  our world was forever changed.  Hopes shattered. A heartbeat stilled.  We will never know what happened in the night on February 24, 2007. We will never know why she didn't wake with me.  Tonight I go to bed with a heavy heart.  My senses are dulled and my heart is bruised.  Maybe someday I will dream of her.  Tonight I cannot imagine getting any rest at all.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Worry Stone

Saturday in the mail I received a gift.  Maybe I should start at the beginning.

When Miles was a newborn,  I started keeping up with the community on Baby Center.  The birth board I chose to join was a pretty terrible place. People bickering and being flat out rude for the sake of entertainment. It had very little to do with babies and very much to do with rotten attitudes.  Sometime in April or May,  someone mentioned drama on one of the other boards.  In the ensuing discussions,  someone brought up that this other board had a thread all about nail polish.  I was intrigued,  and even more so when people began to make fun of the very idea.  I've always had a love affair with nail polish. I thought it was just a girl thing.  So of course I decided to check out the nail polish thread and see what it was really about. It turned out to be about nail polish. No drama,  no bickering,  just shared joy over a cosmetic item.  Simple.  Straightforward.  I joined the women talking about their nails and just kind of stood in the background,  lurking for the most part.   In August or September, a new person began posting on the thread.  She introduced herself,  and told her story.
She had lost her first child in June.  Full term,  unexplained stillbirth.  I reached out to her,  She reached back.  We became friends.  We talk occasionally.  We text constantly.  She gives me strength.  I give her as much support as I can. 

In the mail,  I received a small fairy encased in a enamel star.  I put in it my pocket and rub my fingers across it throughout the day.  Sunday,  on my way to work I was thinking about how much I dislike the month of February.  Then a thought occurred to me.  Charlotte lived through most of the month.  I thought at that time,  8 years ago today,  she was alive.
Because,  I think,  of this worry stone,  Maybe I can begin to worry less about the month of suck. Maybe I can choose instead to remember how alive she was for the majority of it. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015


As silly as it seems,  February sneaks up on me.  I can feel it coming,  often as soon as October.  But the holidays speed the world up,  things turn so quickly that I blink,  and it's February.  This heavy weight on my chest.  The insomnia.  Waking up in the middle of the night and looking around for someone who isn't there.  I touch my children's faces while they sleep.  I count their breaths.  There is always someone missing. A heartbeat that thunders,  but only I can hear it. 

She would have been 8 this month. She would be halfway through second grade. She would have giggling friends,  favorite clothes and movies.  Her sister and brother would drive her crazy.  She would roll her eyes at me like Sophia does.  She would be her daddy's girl,  like Sophia is.  So many things that she should be. 

So many times,  I've looked at Miles when he's asleep,  and have seen Charlotte's face.  I always thought she'd have looked like me and Sophia,  but I'm starting to realize that she was a mini Mike like Miles is.  The cheeks and the lips and the nose,  this is what she would have looked like if she had lived.  If she had had the chance to be 14 months old.  If she had had the chance to live.