Thursday, September 19, 2013


so many facets of life to reflect. . .

the facet of Reproductive Drama: inspired by awesomeness, i made a spontaneous appointment with reproductive specialists. today is day 26, and I am waiting for my period. once i start, the doctors and staff will take magic pictures of my 40 year old ovaries, and from those pictures, as well as with some other data they collect in the coming month, they will give me some information about the likelihood of conception.

during my consultation, they already briefed me on things like
egg donors

but all i am really ready for right now is some data about the likelihood of conception. because i am sooooooo done with the emotional roller coaster of my menstrual cycle, and the heartbreak of no baby, every month. i don't know if i have it in me to go through ivf. but if the door of fertility is closed, i do have it in me to find closure, and start envisioning another life.

on the facet of The Farm: we have been harvesting birds. chickens, turkeys, and ducks. it has been a very real and cathartic process for me and my 18 year-old son. our freezer is full of meat. soon, we will repurpose a goose.

the vegetable garden and the fruit trees have kept our bellies full for months, and will probably continue to feed us all until january. currently, we get about 90% of our food from the farm, which was my goal all along. and i love that.


we have eleven acres. my husband works full time. i have other things i want to do. we're talking about moving. again.


it's like one of those questions - what dramatic thing did you do when your baby died? oh, we bought a farm. and moved to the farm. and now. . .it has become clear that we may have been crazy when (six months after nathaniel died) we signed the papers.

on the facet of My Life: i'm still lost. no rainbow baby to ground me to a schedule of taking care of a wee one, and the way that tethers a person to the cycle of the sun and moon. of course, in a good way. but. . .

now, i am just trying to figure out what i want. my living, loving son will be going to college. my entire adult life has been about taking care of him. and if my reproductive door has closed, and i have the rest of my life. . .now what?

what do i even want?

i'm trying to figure that out.

my husband's work is flexible to the point that we could, really, live anywhere. on the planet. is that what i want? i don't know.

do i want to travel?

do i want to become a foster parent and raise kids that way? do we want to adopt? do i want to go and volunteer and do good things?

i do have a short and focused bucket list, and i'm trying to focus on checking those things off. but without my kids to take care of, what now?

Thursday, July 11, 2013


i remember nathaniel

in my fingertips
my armpits
my chest
every single cell

if you cut off my head, i would still remember him.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

right where i am: 1 year, 11 months, one week, and five days

this post is part of angie's right where i am project.

last year's post is here

one year, eleven months, one week, and five days

i've started other right where i am posts this year, but i always get distracted before i am able to finish. and when i finally come back to it, so much time has passed that the writing is no longer right where i am. 

here's the gist:

a. i am terribly, terribly sad. still. and often. especially now that i'm closing in on nathaniel's second birthday. tomorrow was his due date, and i fear the echoing march between his due date and all of the days that passed before he was born.

maybe that is something to write about in the next few weeks.

b. and. i feel incredibly, breathtakingly lucky. my life is so much bigger than i ever imagined it could be. my path has taken unexpected turns, and as a result of our loss, we took the big leap of getting the farm. changing our lives completely. forging a new path. i have so much beauty in my life, and the opportunity to learn and explore and experiment and discover and create and play.

c. and. there is still a gaping hole in my heart. sometimes there is a dizzying light that comes from how much i love nathaniel. sometimes there is anger at how much it hurts. and sometimes, it pulls with the gravity and heaviness that he's gone.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

the grotto on solstice

the grotto on solstice was so verdant, and clearly celebrated the longest day of the year. with love and honor i lit nathaniel's candle. with love and honor i lit a candle for precious babies gone too soon.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

remembering babies - yours and mine

i found a newly bereaved mama and sent her some messages of comfort and love. she is sweet and newly heartbroken, with all of the rawness and all of the despair. i remember. i remember.

she lives in paris. she gave herself a mission to light candles in notre dame for babies gone too soon and their mamas. she lit a candle for nathaniel and her own little sun, and some other babies she's learned about.

i was so touched. i was in paris, i walked by notre dame, early, early in my pregnancy with nathaniel. i was pregnancy brain foggy and nauseated, but i remember. i remember how beautiful the church was. i remember being close to the river. i remember being with nathaniel. . .

i wanted to extend that offer here on my blog: here in portland, we have a place called the grotto. it's also "the national sanctuary of our sorrowful mother." it's an outdoor sanctuary just outside of town, and it is very beautiful and very peaceful.

i'm planning a trip there in the next week or two to light a candle for nathaniel and for little sun, but i'd also love to light a candle for your baby. leave a comment and i will make sure to light a candle for your baby at the grotto.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


i turned 40 last week. my husband and i went to berlin and prague for the week before my birthday. we walked around and ate our way through both of the cities. i spent most of the time thinking about people and the things that they create and destroy.

wandering around two large cities, i thought about people making more people. i thought about how people have babies who, most of the time, live, and grow into children who grow into teenagers who grow into adults who then make more babies. of course, i thought about me, on the edge of my reproductive years, about us, about our family, and wondered whether or not we'll have another baby. i thought about our living children who are both on the edge of adulthood, and wondered whether or not they'll have babies, and when.

life on the farm continues to unfold. we have a goose who is sitting on a clutch of eggs. i hope that at least some of them hatch. our ducks have started laying eggs, and i found two double yolk duck eggs last week.

being on the farm is not about people, and i think that is informing the way i view the world right now. a few months ago, i would leave my house and i was surrounded by other people things: other houses, other kept yards, streets, cars, shops, libraries, restaurants. here on the farm, i mostly interact with seeds and dirt, trees, plants, birds, and dogs. our farm is not people centered, and i am starting to experience the whole world so differently. the rhythms of my life are shifting.

i talk to nathaniel. i miss him with every cell in my body. my skin and senses keep looking for him, all of the time. it's exhausting.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

29 weeks 1 day

Nearly there. The bloom of life is so close. I am holding you all in my heart <3

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

back to work

i (finally) went back to the yoga studio where i was teaching through my pregnancy. i had exchanged emails with the main teachers there during my loss. i emailed them as we found out about nathaniel's conditions. we've had a few email exchanges in the last year and a half. but i hadn't been able to go back to the studio.

i have been mad at yoga for not saving me from the pain of my loss. before he died, i knew how to ground myself and breathe deeply. i have survived hard things before. i could sink my energy and breathe. but when he died i couldn't breathe. every breath was so, so painful. and my breath cycle adjusted to accommodate the pain. my nervous system was destroyed like i had survived a bomb explosion.

but in truth, my very sick baby boy died peacefully in my arms.

none of it makes sense.

my first class back as a student, i was held by friends who knew what happened to nathaniel. i sobbed for a bit, but i made it through the whole class without exploding.

my second class back, i ran into an old friend who didn't know what happend. the last time i saw her, i was big with nathaniel. she came up to me with a big smile and said how is your family?

i thought fuck. she doesn't know. i was hoping that she had found out through. . .someone else.

i had to tell her that my baby died. where do i even start?


few people know his story. i have shame, or something, about the fact that he was sick and we didn't know. i'm absolutely embarrassed, even here, about the fact that i was 37 years old and i didn't have any kind of ultrasound or genetic testing. please know that i wanted to, but i didn't for complicated reasons.

the truth percolates down to the fact that my husband is afraid of doctors and the mainstream medical establishment. he has a degree in science from an ivy league school, so ignorance is not the issue. just fear.

in retrospect, i should have had the testing i wanted, the testing i knew was best practice, considering my age. considering his. but i wanted more to have a baby with him. i wanted for us to be together. and he wasn't going to get on my side of the issue.

so i agreed to a homebirth, for him. i agreed to no testing. and then at our 36 week appointment, when the midwife suspected our baby was breech, she requested that we get an ultrasound as soon as possible to confirm position.

and the story of our loss begins there.

and now i don't know how to tell nathaniel's story to my friends. the fact that he was sick absolutely colors the loss. the fact that he was sick somehow doesn't ease my grief.

it doesn't make sense.


my third time back to the studio i talked with two different friends, both of whom knew about nathaniel. one of them had gone to nathaniel's service, and i hadn't seen her since. we hugged and kissed and hugged and kissed and laughed to see each other. the other friend was the photographer at my wedding, and i had run into him at the grocery store about six months ago. i told him there that my baby had died. i don't think he knows the details.


when i think about how to tell other people about the loss, i don't want the fact that he was sick to dismiss or diminish the loss. i don't know what details to include. i don't know what details to leave out. i don't know if i can show them his picture. some people think that a photo of a dead baby is morbid.

how am i supposed to talk about nathaniel? it's still so awkward and the narrative is pocked by vulnerabilities, shame, embarrassment, and challenges within my relationship. it's also marked with making difficult medical decisions. about life. about resources and statistics, about complex and controversial medical procedures. about severe, global disability. all of that is part of nathaniel's story as well.

how do i tell his story? what story do i tell?

Friday, January 25, 2013

18 months

nathaniel would be 18 months old today. the only other person who acknowledged this - who remembered it - is my 17 year old living son. i know that it's unreasonable to expect other people to remember something like this. but had he lived, 18 months is a huge milestone in development. without the milestone, there is something else, and i don't know what to call it. 

what do you call these days? 

Saturday, January 12, 2013


we went through the move. i went through the move. there are days that i want to call the movers back to take everything home. but the day of the move was fairly peaceful.

all of nathaniel's boxes and things waited in the front room for the movers. a blanket draped over his car seat. a mover came in and asked, "is there a baby in there?" before he picked it up and took it to the truck.

i found a closet for nathaniel's boxes and oddly shaped baby things - his brand new stroller, his bouncy chair. i thought to myself, how can a dead baby have so much stuff? but here i am, still keeping it all. moving it from one house to another. i've wondered, if we end up having another baby, could i let the other baby use nathaniel's stuff? i honestly don't know.

it's a crazy babyloss moment, keeping all of his stuff.  

so now the farm house is full of boxes. i'm taking part of my saturday to catch up with blogging, because isn't that better than unpacking? the farm is on an island called sauvie island. it's located about 20 minutes from downtown portland in the columbia river.

it's peaceful here. very dark at night because it's away from the city. my neighbors have cows.

we still talk about having a baby. whether to or not to. we weigh the many risks of age. we are both haunted by the truth of life and death and all of the stories of loss we now know. we fly around the lands of yes, no, maybe.

i dream about flying away.