Monday, May 30, 2011

Right Where I Am: Two years, nine months, and 1 day

The car stops and I pop out and open the door to the backseat where a little boy grins back at me from his carseat. 'Ready to go to a new playground?' He squeals and grins and literally bounces into my arms. 'Someone's excited about a new playground,' comments David. We walk the block toward Franklin Square park as Micah continues to squeal and point at the park coming into view. And my mind drifts....'this is all we ever wanted in the first place, just to be a family and do simple family things.' And my mind answers itself: "why did it have to be such a difficult road to get here?"
This is where I am right now. Happy raising my living child. The rainbow baby who came after. Content even.
And yet the grief is still there.
What it is to be inside my head these days is an ongoing dialogue between the light and the dark, the joy and the sadness. Invisible to almost all around me, I parent my dead son right along side the living one. I experience the world through my living child's eyes, and still wonder why my dead son didn't live to experience the world. I take joy in the simplest moments, a snuggle, a sloppy kiss, reading a book (even if its for the tenth time in a row)...and sometimes end up with tears in my eyes for the boy who never got to read the book once, who never gave me a wet sloppy kiss, who never learned to hug.
Grief doesn't overwhelm anymore. Its just a presence, an old friend who comes and goes, we can easily pick up where we left off. It doesn't prevent me from enjoying the world anymore - if anything it makes me appreciate the tiniest moments of joy all the more.
But it also underscores the impermanence of it all. I worried when I was pregnant with Micah that if he lived I would be an overly cautious parent - one who wouldn't let him out of my sight, who would be too scared to allow him to take risks. In many ways, the opposite has been true - I don't sweat the small stuff, so his cries from a bump on the head or scraped knee are ok - I know he'll survive and be just fine. But when he has a high fever or attempts to dart away from me near the street, my mind can't help but wander...what if this were it, how quickly he could be taken from me.
To my non-babylost friends these thoughts must sound so morose, so wrong in a way. But I haven't blogged in nearly a year for a reason...the grief is no longer at the forefront, these thoughts are no longer what drive my being. They are present daily but so is love and joy. What Ezra taught me is to love and mean it, to find joy and inhabit it. This is how I have come to live my days since he left.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Today, Ezra's 2nd birthday, I am reflecting on Two at still life 365

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Two Boys

Two years...

Two years ago today at this time, everything was fine. In fact it was more than fine, I couldn't have been happier. It was a glorious late summer day (just as it promises to be today). I still remember the spring in my step as I walked my enormously pregnant self to the hospital for the tests my doctor recommended 'just to be safe'. I loved being pregnant with Ezra, and swollen ankles and all, that day was no exception.

I had absolutely no inkling how drastically and completely the world was about to come crashing down around me.

In the two years since, I've come to own my new self...more sad, more cynical, more connected, more compassionate. But sometimes I do miss that naive happy woman.


But this day is not about me. It's been two years today since Ezra quietly slipped away. Two years since I was sent home from those tests as everything looked 'ok'. Two years since that car ride home where I started feeling 'stomach cramps', two years since I was balled up in bed with the worst kind of abdominal pain ever, much more so than my labor with Micah. Two years since that dreadful car ride back to the hospital. Two years since we heard those words 'your baby has passed away.'

And I still don't really believe it all happened. If I really focus in on that cruel truth, it makes me want to howl hysterically like I did in the first moments after we learned he was gone. How is it that my big boy, my first boy is not here?

My sweet sweet Ezra, I miss you and love you so very much. Every day. Especially today. Always.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Guest Post from Ezra and Micah's Daddy: Ezra in the September issue of Glamour Magazine

I wouldn't have expected this, with the second anniversary of Ezra's birth and death approaching, but Glamour magazine asked me to contribute a part of an article dealing with a woman who lost her baby after seven. months of pregnancy.  They wanted to include a section on what fathers experience from the loss of a child.  I'm happy, at least, that this subject is getting the attention it deserves.  Hopefully this will help others.  Please check out the September issue of Glamour (print edition) if you can.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


If life were a movie, it would have been the scene following a cataclysmic event the night before. The morning blurred by a deep fog which hugged the ocean, obscured the tops of buildings, and made anything moving or colorful a surprise, veiled until the moment you were upon it.

But life is not a movie and there was no catacylsm the night before...just some quiet stolen moments on a morning walk with my living son, who woke too early in a beach house filled with sleeping family members.

But it got me thinking about life...after. Ezra's second birthday is just weeks away. This month, August, my season of grief, I keep waiting for the cataclysm. Waiting to feel drawn back into the depths of grief that I experienced in the weeks leading up to Ezra's first birthday. Waiting to be reduced daily to a puddle of tears. Expecting a torrent of rage or deep despair. And while I still may end up there, its not where I see myself going this grief season.

The reason is this: every day now is a day after. Every day is a day without my son Ezra.

The sadness has settled into my bones, it is part of my everyday. Ezra is in my thoughts and heart daily. I continue to parent my lost son as I parent my living one. I push giggling Micah on a swing at the playground, taking note of the empty motionless swing next to him...wondering what it would be like to be pushing two boys on swings. I mentally cringe when I meet two year olds, calculating in my head the possibilities (would he have been that tall? would he be as articulate?). I feel deep stabs of jealousy as I watch siblings who are close in age interact, particularly when it is two boys. I treasure my "new mom" friendships with mamas of babes close in age to Micah...and yet can't help but wonder about the new mamas who should have been my friends had Ezra lived.

It is true I have refound joy. And yet the sadness is ever present. The sadness is every day...after.

Friday, July 16, 2010


I never intended to stop writing in this space when my Sunflower arrived.

I will admit that for much of the past six and a half months, I pretty much shelved my grief. It's not that it hasn't been present. I haven't had time to be present with it. Particularly in the first several months, I found parenting a living child to be far more challenging than I ever imagined. Not that I would trade it for anything. It just surprised me that I found it overwhelming...isn't this what I had been waiting for at least the last three years? This was supposed to be the easy part, the happy ending, no?

And it has been happy. Micah gives me a good reason to have a heart full of joy every single day. My Sunflower loves to smile and laugh...big huge belly laughs. It feels like he was sent to us to bring the laughter back into our home, to make sure we smile every day. I actually didn't know it was possible to be this happy again. And yet full of joy or not, my heart still has a hole in it.

Lately the grief has been getting to me, something about Micah turning 6 months and the slow march toward our grief season of August seems to have created the perfect storm. Ezra would be nearly two years old. And when I stop to try to wrap my mind around that, the idea that in a different universe I'd be running after a TWO year old while my 6 month old desparately trys to crawl, I just crumble.

I look back at these almost two years and I almost don't believe it is my life. How did I become this woman, the mother of two boys, one so wriggly and ALIVE, and the other so positively and absolutely...gone.

I just miss him, I really really do.