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

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Right Where I Am: An Update

Over 160 parents have taken part in Angie's Right Where I Am project, and Angie recently shared Jack at Random's amazing blog post where he compiled a line from every single one of the Right Where I Am posts (Every. Single. One. As of July 18.) into a kind of poem which he calls Right Where We Are. Then, at the bottom, he included all of our baby's names.

It's beautiful. Go take a look.

PS: We leave the country tomorrow; I'm glad to know that, wherever I am, you'll still be here. I've needed you on this journey, and I hope I've helped you too.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hard to Say Goodbye

I've never liked goodbyes, since long before Ben died. But in the seven years since he died, goodbyes have gotten a lot harder to say because they bring back his life, and death, the first and only moments we had with him to tell him hello and goodbye all at once.

My family and I are in Pennsylvania right now, getting ready to have a party for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. This weekend also marks the last time we'll be seeing my family for quite a while, for in 11 days we are moving to England to begin a new life. In some ways an old life, too, as my husband is British, and we met, and were married, there nearly 15 years ago. We spent the first year of our marriage living and working in England until my husband was transferred to Ohio by his company. Thirteen years later, we are going back.

And tomorrow I have to say goodbye to my family, to our cats, who will be moving to Massachusetts to live with my sister, say goodbye to another chapter of my life. In a way, I feel I am leaving Ben behind too, for the only place I ever knew him was in Ohio, in the hospital where I delivered him and kissed him goodbye. I know I am not leaving him, but thoughts of pulling away from the hospital doors on the afternoon of the day he was born haunt me. They always have. I left him, not because I wanted to, not because I had any choice. Those moments ripped me apart and I've never been the same since.

And I wonder where I'll find him now, for this is where Ben is, where I feel him with me on those few occasions when I do feel him. I hope I'll find him again, 3,500 miles away, that those feelings won't be left behind.

But today, I just don't know.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The House I Keep

Jhene Erwin, writer/director/producer/actor, wrote and filmed a short movie, "The House I Keep," about overcoming the loss of a child to stillbirth or miscarriage. In her particular case, she lost two children to miscarriage. Trying to heal after those experiences led her to create "The House I Keep."

At The Gates Foundation blog, Jhene writes of trying to overcome the tension between grief and the outward, socially expected appearance of "normal." When there is no such thing as normal. She talks also about the stigma of losing a child, the very necessary work of talking about our lost children, of allowing women and men the space to grieve. To know that we did nothing wrong. To know that our babies are not forgotten.

Talking about our babies heals. Not ignoring them.