Getting To Know a New Face

This is very hard for me to admit out loud, but I think it’s important to share how it truly was for me. I didn’t realize this through my pregnancy—I guess it was subconscious and not floating around in my thoughts—but I wanted Cora to look like Whitney. Somewhere in me, deep down tucked away, I was thinking I was going to see Whitney again when I gave birth the second time.

So when Cora didn’t look exactly like Whitney, I admittedly felt a little sad about it. And then quickly I felt like the world’s biggest asshole for feeling even a tiny bit sad that my perfectly sweet rainbow baby didn’t look like her deceased sister. Actually, Cora does look like Whitney in many ways (especially when she’s sleeping), but Cora is also her own person. She is unique and special in her own way—and that is how she will be raised. She is Cora, not Whitney. And now three months into having Cora and seeing her develop into a unique little being, it’s easy for me to love her exactly as she is and not compare her to anyone or wish she were something else.

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Giving Birth To A Miracle

On April 30th, I woke up just before 2am with that feeling. I was in labor. I had a false alarm about a week and a half prior, but this time I intuitively knew this was it. And, unfortunately, once again I was feeling it all in my lower back. Yes, back labor. Again. Just like with Whitney. But I didn’t panic. I was prepared for this to happen, I’d been through it before, and had talked about “if it were to happen” with my current doctor, Janine. It’d be painful, but it’d be ok.

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Counting Down The Days

Last night for some reason I was up till midnight reading all my posts on this blog from start to finish. I’ve never been one to go back and re-read my writing like that, so this was different and a bit out of the blue. It’s hard to describe how it felt to read my words. It’s such a tragically sad story, and at times I was like, “Did this really happen?” It’s surreal. I’m so glad I wrote as much as I did, and I can see the evolution John and I have made in a year’s time. Mostly I’m just proud of us. Proud of our healing, proud of keeping Whitney’s memory alive, and proud of the parents we’ll be to our second daughter.

We are nearing the end of my second pregnancy, and it sometimes still feels too good to be true that we’ll be having our second daughter join us in less than 3 weeks. I can’t believe the journey it’s been to get here—the journey to bringing a baby home. It’s been 2 years and 7 months in the making, including in that time two full-term pregnancies and the most heart-wrenching loss imaginable.

Currently, I’m doing whatever nesting is possible when not living in a longterm home, tying up loose ends, and checking things off my to-do list. Birth bag ready. Car seat installed. Baby clothes washed and folded. Arrangements for the dogs made when for we’re away. Maybe reading this blog in its entirety was an act of acknowledging the Whitney chapter of our life, and symbolically allowing myself to further open my heart to what’s coming without being overly stuck in the past…? I don’t know.

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A Lawsuit That Will Never Be

There is a part to our story with Whitney that I’ve never followed up on—our decision on whether or not to sue the OB and hospital. For so long this piece was a huge source of turmoil for me, but I found my answer and I have my peace with it. It’s taken me forever to open up about it because I just hate it. All of it. It makes me sick. But I feel drawn to write about it finally, so I can close this chapter, get it off my mind, and be done with it before the arrival of our next daughter, which will be taking place in six weeks or less.

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I’ve seen my trauma and grief manifest in a thousand ways this past year, including new unique issues that have popped up during pregnancy after loss.

The deeper I’ve gotten into this new pregnancy, the harder of a time I’m having with certain things that were once no big deal. I first starting noticing these things during vanlife travels in the fall (side note: there’s a huge post I need to write just on those three months of travel and how wonderful and valuable, yet, how difficult, that time was for us). Episodes of anxiety, paranoia, hypervigilance, whatever you want to call it… it sucks.

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A Poem

I was recently introduced to the poet, Mary Oliver, and her work. Unfortunately, I didn’t discover her until the week of her death on Jan. 17. Her poem, “Wild Geese,” practically fell into my lap one day—I saw several references to it in a matter of hours—and since then I’ve been reading more of her work. This poem of hers felt like everything to me:

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