Celebrating the #internationalwaveoflight; 24 hours of burning flame honoring children lost too soon. Light a candle from 7-8pm every year on 15 October.
Pregnancy after loss is a complicated journey. These are 10 things I learned about hope, grief, fear, & love, and how my two children can coexist. (Guest post at Pursue Today.)
Life is full of choices, and we aren’t required to all choose the same way. It can still be hard sometimes, to lose the option of choice. This is still grief.
In recent years, home dopplers have become a popular way both of connecting with your baby and of providing “reassurance” that everything is okay. Unfortunately, any reassurance provided by home dopplers is false—a fetus may have a perfectly normal heart beat, and still be in danger of dying.
Integration is waking up in the morning because Peanut is hungry and needs to be changed. Integration is wondering what life would be like with a living second child. Integration is making plans for the future with acknowledgment that things may change. Integration is love AND sadness; grief AND joy. And it’s okay to have ALL of these things, and all at the same time.
To those with children in their arms, and those with children in their hearts: Happy Mothers Day. You are so loved.
Parenting, even parenting after loss, isn’t just sunshine and roses. It’s reality too. And I love this little girl with every piece of my soul, AND I feel overwhelmed sometimes. It’s okay to acknowledge the reality of life after loss. It’s okay to be cranky.
Although I had a funeral for Adrian, I also wanted to do something special to celebrate his life on what would have been his first birthday. I wanted something not so much focused on grief, but more on his impact; a type of celebration. I had already decided to build this website, and so it seemed natural to have a party and document both its launch and my son’s short but beautiful life.
We are often told to focus on positive thinking when going into major life changes like having a baby. But I was literally the most positive person possible when I was pregnant with my son, and he still died. Positivity doesn’t prevent tragedy; it only keeps you from preparing for it.
Home birth can be dangerous. I think it’s important to acknowledge that. But the gist of this doctor’s post today was to criticize a celebrity who recently lost her child during a home birth; to call her an idiot.
We are all living in uncertainty. We are all scared. We are all doing the very best we can. And you have every right to your feelings, even if they seem silly.
I put Penny to bed tonight, and I had another image of a rambunctious toddler jumping up to join us. I can’t see his face at all, it is mostly just a feeling. A feeling like he’s just right there.
Our children are not shameful. They are beautiful, real people. In my opinion, the only shame comes from the perception that they should hidden away. I will never stop sharing photos of my deceased child, simply because he IS my child.
You think, “Okay, this is normal; necessary. This is the process of millennia.” And you stop thinking, and then you moan; deep and low and primal. And your moaning is an outlet, and you surrender to it, deciding to become physical.
I look back on that time now, and it’s like I’m looking at a different person. That old Miranda lived in a different world, where everything felt like it was possible. And even though it has been almost 3 years since then, I think a lot of people don’t understand I’m not that person anymore.
Now imagine I took this example of reckless behavior and used it to justify drinking and driving? Imagine I said that because I did it and I was fine, then of course it must be okay for others to try. This is called survivor’s bias.
Grief is awkward, and when we talk to the bereaved, we often want to say anything at all just to fill the void. Here are some things to avoid.
What I found most interesting in my interactions with all of them, was the amount of commonality in our experiences. In how much I could identify with experiences I had previously thought were just mine.
Since I first starting researching safe pregnancy practices following Adrian’s death, I have wanted to put together a road show to share this information with the world. Today I ran my first booth at the Monterey Birth and Baby Fair.
I think people are conditioned to tell bereaved parents it isn’t their fault because they are worried. If parents blame themselves, what might they then do?
Having a child subsequent to loss is a beautiful thing. It’s not, however, required. It’s not the immediate next step after the burial. It’s not a “cure” to the “problem” of grief. Please stop asking bereaved parents if they plan to “try again”.
The shock wears off, and we keep talking. You ask for details, or maybe you don’t. You start thinking. And now you are afraid for your child.
Let’s try thought experiment: Don’t think of an elephant. What are you thinking of right now? Of course, an elephant. Why? Because thoughts don’t work that way. Now think about this analogy as it applies to telling bereaved parents that their child’s death was not their fault.
I think the problem with using words like “rare” in place of actual numbers is that it’s a description that renders those numbers abstract. Our brains are so unused to thinking about statistical concepts that we classify these things as either likely, e.g. I’m likely to have a flat tire at some point in my life; or practically impossible, e.g. I will never win the lottery. But we do a really poor job of thinking about all of the possibilities that lie in between.
Of course you can imagine. You look down at your living child and the possibilities rush over you. You imagine everything, and it terrifies you.
Walking along the pier with my daughter where I used to walk alone, I think about the drastic changes of the past two years. Despite the sweetness of her new life, I don’t feel thankful for the hardship that preceded her. Life doesn’t work that way.
My daughter’s pediatrician tried to diagnose me with postpartum depression today. They use a generic screening form, one that doesn’t differentiate between the stress of being a new parent and other types of depression or grief.
This car seat and the matching stroller were both Adrian’s. They were two of the few things that felt “okay” to use for his sister; things that would have handed down anyway. And when the car seat was ruined, I felt a surprising tug of pain. These were HIS things! I have so few of them.
I think we subconsciously want all parents to be superheroes. From the smallest scratch to the largest mistake, parents are blamed and take on the blame for every misfortune in their childrens’ lives. When we think about hot car deaths, this trend is dangerous. This death could happen to ANY OF US.
Spent the past few days going through items in storage, and tonight I can’t shake this heavy feeling. And I realize, of course, that it’s him. These were his things, and some are now his sister’s, and many are now finding new homes.