Every year, 26,000 babies are stillborn in America. In 2003, one of them was my son.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Turn Around

Where are you going, my little one, little one?
Where are you going, my baby, my own?

Turn around and you're two

Turn around and you're four

Turn around and you're a young boy
Going out of the door

. . .Where have they gone
My babies, my own
Turn around and they’re young
Turn around and they’re old
Turn around and they’re gone
And we’ve no one to hold.

* * *

My baby boy "graduated" from preschool this week, and I wonder, like the words of this song, where my baby has gone. I miss him even as he is with me, as every minute seems to bring changes and with every passing moment he grows up. As he should. 

Because I lost Ben, maybe I love my children more, now. Maybe I appreciate where they are in every moment, how precious they are. But I still wish I could keep them small for a little while longer. If I could change one thing about myself, it would be this: how hard it is for me to let my babies go, how sentimental I feel with each milestone. How much I wish I could squeeze this time into a bottle and keep it with me forever.

How much I will miss right now, when it's over.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Life is Too Short

I think those of us who have lost a child know a little too well just how short life is. And I could write a sad, serious post about just how short life is after you've lost a child, but that's not what I'm going to do today.

How about a little comic relief instead? I'm writing this post in conjunction with TwitterMoms, who are giving away copies of a new book, "Life is Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets: Your Ultimate Guide to Domestic Liberation" by Lisa Quinn. About the author: Lisa Quinn is known as the House Doctor on the ABC San Francisco show, "View From the Bay."

So here's my list for what life is too short for:

1. Life is too short to hold a grudge.
It doesn't do anyone any good and sucks up time and energy you could use for happier pursuits.

2. Life is too short to worry about the dust bunnies under the bed.

3. Life is too short to polish the furniture.

4. Life is too short to drink bad wine. (I might argue that it's too short to drink Californian wine, but to each his own.)

5. Life is too short to NOT each chocolate every day.

6. Life is too short to not say "I love you" on a daily basis.

7. Life is too short to worry about what other people think. And let's face it, they're probably worrying about what you're thinking, so it's all wasted energy. If you're happy with yourself, that's all that matters.

8. Life is too short to put off the reunion with your college friends. (This is a reminder to myself. I miss my girls.)

I could go on for quite a while on this topic, and as it turns out, I wasn't as funny as I thought I might be. I'm sure that won't surprise many people.

What is on your "life is too short" list?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Blessing for Mothers

My virtual friend Sula Lee posted this prayer on her blog on Mother's Day. I really liked it and thought I'd share it with you:

Today we bless mothers who sat up all night with sick toddlers saying, "It's OK honey, Mommy's here.

Today we bless mothers who gave birth to babies they may never see. And the mothers who took those babies forever to be their own children.

Today we bless mothers who attended ball games, recitals, rehearsals, etc. etc. and said, "I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and meant it.

Today we bless mothers who show up for work with milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

Today we bless mothers who put pinwheels, teddy bears, or flowers on children's graves.

Today we bless mothers whose children have gone astray, who haven't the words to reach them, and yet have never put them from their heart.

Today we bless new mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation. And today we bless mature mothers who are learning to let go.

Today we bless all mothers: working mothers, stay-at-home mothers, single mothers, and married mothers. We also bless all women in life giving and nurturing roles. We thank you. We honor you. We bless you. Amen.

- adapted from a prayer of Dan Bottorff

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

* To the mothers whose babies aren't with them.

* To the mothers whose children don't get along with them.

* To the mothers hoping that their relationship with their children will be better than their own relationship with their mother.

* To the mothers who are waiting, and hoping, to bring a baby home soon.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Study Finds Couples More Likely to Break Up After Pregnancy Loss

Well, duh.

A study from the University of Michigan discovered that yes, couples who lose a baby are highly likely to break up. Not really new or startling, but I suppose we can be grateful someone is drawing attention to that fact. This is the link to the study and a few paragraphs from the press release:

"ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Couples are more likely to break up after the loss of a pregnancy and unmarried couples are at even higher risk, according to new Universityof Michigan Health System research published today.

The study published in the journal Pediatrics is the first national study to look at the effect of pregnancy loss—by miscarriage or stillbirth--on relationship outcomes. It’s also the first to establish that parental relationships have a higher risk of dissolving after miscarriage or stillbirth compared to those who have a live birth.

Over a 15-year period, couples who miscarried had a 22 percent higher risk of experiencing a break-up while couples who experienced a stillbirth had a 40 percent higher risk of their relationship ending. For a miscarriage, the risk persists up to three years after the loss. For stillbirths, it persists up to nine years after the loss, according to research data."

I know my marriage suffered greatly after Ben died--we almost didn't survive his death. What was your experience? Did your marriage suffer as a result, or bring you closer?