• Birth,  Cancer,  death,  Grief,  Homebirth,  hope,  Life,  Pregnancy

    Ice Packs

    We took Bradley classes during my first pregnancy (highly recommend, they’re great) because regardless of whether or not your pregnancy is bliss or burden you are aware of something truly horrible: this baby is coming out.  I imagine for most women there is an initial euphoria with which a deep and primal dread sidles up beside and waits. Through bump photos and Target registries and baby showers and baby kicks, mild terror makes herself quite comfortable. The basic idea behind Bradley is that labor is natural, pain is part of the process to be embraced, and you are capable. In other words, “It’s gonna hurt like hell, kid, you can…

  • Baby Berry,  Birth,  death,  Family,  Grief,  Life,  Love,  Motherhood

    To the First Baby Born After Death

    As my fourth child, you were never going to get the fresh-faced version of your mother. You were never going to have all of my attention because you have three other siblings who really like to break things and make loud noises. You were never going to get rested Mom, well-hydrated Mom, sure-let’s-get-in-the-car-and-go Mom. Truly, every kid gets a different iteration of their mother. Your oldest sibling, for example, got the scared-out-of-my-wits version along with the young and energetic. But you, sweet boy, got me in an especially different way. A year and a half before you were born my mom – your GoGo – died and the 22 months before that I…

  • death,  Love,  Poems,  Poetry

    Winter’s Song

    Winter comes in quiet, stage left, light focused elsewhere, and waits. She knows her line is coming, her nerves tumble around inside her She is a subtle addition to a lovely scene of oranges and browns and dark green As the players fall back after Autumn’s brilliant number, she moves on shaky feet When she steps into the spotlight everyone gasps – she is stunning Her homemade gown flings sequins in an orb around her as she finds her mark Standing now on solid feet, knees bent so she won’t faint, she listens for her cue Which is up to her: a break in silence whenever she senses we are…

  • death,  Grief,  Life,  Love,  Motherhood

    Good Grief

    Every now and then some spirit of orderliness descends upon me and I tear up some corner or cranny of our house to take an inventory and reorganize it. Today the boxes of old notes and new stationary lured me in so I pulled them out from under my bed to sort. Before long I found myself scanning through the cards and letters for her familiar marks. My mom used a heart to end exclamation points and she mixed in cursive with her rounded print. She didn’t write a ton so what I have is essentially unicorn hair. The truth is some part of me is always searching for her…