Something That Feels Normal

One thing I have always loved doing with my family is “getting out and going places.”

Over the years, we’ve held memberships at Brookfield Zoo, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Morton Arboretum. Never have we held all of these memberships simultaneously! — but we would rotate through and make the most of the memberships we had in any current year. Rainy Saturday? Go to a museum. Gorgeous weather? Head to the zoo.

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It’s Never Just Valentine’s Day

2020-02-15 The Day That She Died

In the passing of years since my daughters died, I have become more prepared for the “hard days” – the hardest being their birthdays.  Nelle’s birthday was Labor Day weekend that particular year, so it ushers in multiple days of grief in the subsequent years.  And Iris’s birthday is February 13th – the day before Valentine’s Day.  As our family prepares to shower love on each other, I am slammed the day before with how she is not with us. Continue reading

Sometimes a Bit Lucky


These past few weeks, we have felt very unlucky.  Ger had a nasty bout of pneumonia that put him out of commission for about 8 days, leaving me struggling to juggle work and the kids.  Then a week ago, with finally everyone healthy, we were driving to Noodles and Company for dinner, only to have our minivan die on the side of the road. Continue reading

Broken Clock

The clock broke for us. Time has been standing still since May of 2015. I first learned that I was pregnant with Nelle early that month. I remember taking the test in the early morning darkness before everyone was awake. I chose to let Ger keep sleeping until about 6:00, and at that point I couldn’t stand it anymore and woke him up.

She was due on January 14, 2016 – the same day as our ten-year wedding anniversary. Theo would have been six years old, and Quentin turning four that March.

I found out I was pregnant with Iris the week before Thanksgiving that year. She was due on July 28, 2016. Theo would have been a few months shy seven years old, and Quentin well into his fourth year.

Instead, I now have a third due date: August 20, 2017. Theo will be almost eight. Quentin is five.

I gave birth in September of 2015, February of 2016, and now sometime again in 2017.  Three years of hospital visits.

On May 2nd, 2015, I attended a Kentucky Derby “high tea” with my friends.  I suspected I was pregnant, but it was too early to take a test.  I didn’t drink, and one of my friends was suspicious.  The following year, on May 7th, 2016, I was at the same event, after having lost two babies. I drank way too much and at one point had to go outside because I started sobbing.  This year, May 6th, 2017, I’ll be at the Derby event yet again. Two years to the day since I found out I was pregnant with Nelle.  Now nearly 25 weeks pregnant with Baby Three.

Ger and I have talked about how time has stood still for us. It has been two years since that first pregnancy test. We have had no forward motion. We have been in a perpetual fog. Yet the world keeps moving. Our kids have gotten older. We have gotten older.

Right before I became pregnant, I was looking at buying a bicycle. I had done some research, looked at Craigslist options. Then the positive pregnancy test and a bike was an unnecessary purchase until After. That was now over two years ago.  My bike dreams resurfaced recently, and I remember how much I wanted to start riding the trails around my house.  I looked at bikes again, along with helmets and accessories. Still on hold.  Still no forward motion.

Time continued to crawl by during these weeks of pregnancy. 39 weeks seems agonizingly far away. One day closer seems like a shadow of what comfort should be.

Ger commented that he hopes so much that this baby is born fine so that our lives can go back to normal. I quietly corrected him that our lives can never be “normal” again. He quickly agreed and tried the sentiment again, saying that he hopes that this baby is born so that we can move forward. One loss was staggering; a second was soul-crushing; a third…. Another loss seems like we would continue to be stuck with our broken clock.