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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Anxiety

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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11 Things Loss Has Taught Me

I’ve been reflecting on this past year, a year I never imagined would be a chapter in our lives. There are moments when the weight of our loss still leaves me feeling suffocated, but then there are times when the light shines through and my mind sees peace and calm. I can honestly say I’m doing pretty well overall… and I have to believe that’s because there have been so many lessons, so much growth, and invaluable gifts we’ve received from our Whitney June.

I was thinking recently, there are probably parents who just now facing the loss of their sweet baby and are feeling the initial shock and horror that we felt a year ago, wondering if they’ll ever be able to survive, how they’ll ever live without their little person, and if their days of happiness are gone forever. I remember being in that position and seeking out anything and everything that could help me understand and comprehend, feverishly reading everything I could find on baby loss. I also had to pave my own path, doing what I felt was best for me in this situation.

Now, a little more than a year into our journey, I’ve marked the most important lessons that loss has taught me; things that may be helpful for anyone who’s grieving the loss of a loved one, baby or otherwise.

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One Year Later

Happy 1st birthday, my angel.

On January 25, 2018 we met you and had to say goodbye to you all in one day. For the past year you’ve been on my mind constantly, not to mention every moment of the 40 weeks leading up to your birth. I knew your birthday would come eventually, but it wasn’t until Wednesday the 23rd that it hit me like a ton of bricks—you were about to turn 1. It’s been a year.

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