Learning Not to Turn Away

learning not to turn away

Turn turn away
From the weight of your own past
It’s magic for the devil
And betray the lack of change
Once you have spoken
Turn away
-Beck

It has become an almost automatic reaction.  See a pregnancy announcement – usually accompanied by photos – flinch, hide the announcement.  If the parents-to-be start to inundate my feed with cutesy photos, or complaints about the discomforts of pregnancy, then I am done.  I remove it from my sight until I am sure the baby is born.  I’ll provide the requisite “Congratulations” and then whether I bring that baby back into my feed depends on whether or not there are any other triggers. Continue reading

The Day That Should Be Hers

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The day crept up.  Stealth-like.  Amid fatigue, snow days, and household winter illnesses, I looked at the calendar and realized that it was February 12th.  The day that we found out that Iris had no heartbeat.  After 14 hours of labor, she was born on February 13th at 7:42 am. Continue reading

Getting Bigger

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Last night, I took a bath with Autumn.  She has been sick lately, and we had noticed that she seemed skinnier from not having much of an appetite, but last night her little belly was the roundness I would expect from a toddler.  She happily splashed and wanted me to keep filling a small, orange plastic cup with water and then pouring the water over her hands.  Each time, I clearly said the word “water” accompanied by the sign.  Eventually, she raised her hand to her chin in a faint copy of what I had been trying to teach her. Continue reading

Fifth Child Thoughts and Moments

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After starting physical therapy a few weeks ago, Autumn switched from afternoon appointments to morning appointments.  Arriving for an afternoon appointment after a long day at day care meant that she was often exhausted, crabby.  Morning seemed to be a much better fit for her rhythm.  But it meant that she would begin seeing a different therapist. Continue reading

Reliving a Year

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I have had a pit in my stomach over the past few weeks.  I finally realized that I was reliving a lot of the anxiety I felt in the days leading up to her birth: a gnawing fear that something would happen.  This time, I feared that she would never reach one year old, instead of the fear that she wouldn’t be born healthy.  I envisioned a car accident, the day before her birthday, that would take her life.  I imagined the words that people would ask me, like “How old was your daughter when she died?” and I would have to forever respond “It was the day before her first birthday.”  Never able to say “I have a one year old daughter.” Continue reading