Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Parker at 5 days old, the closest we could get to holding him.

I wish I could say I love holidays as much as I am supposed to. Hanging six stockings instead of seven and filling one less Easter basket is enough to make me want to pull the covers over my head and wake up once the fridge is full of leftovers.  But I have a wonderful husband and four living children who would not dare let me stay in bed while their eyes are open, so I have learned to shape our holidays into what I can handle.  I don't have it in me to manage the craziness of big parties and the hustle and bustle of all the holiday happenings that were our life before. But Thanksgiving I can do.  Actually I think I'm pretty good at it. If there is one thing losing a child has taught Continue Reading

Holiday Clothing Drive 2014

holiday clothing drive

For the last two years I have hosted a Holiday Clothing Drive and it's time to get things started again! Together, we've clothed over 100 kids for the holidays and I hope we can double that number this year. Are you in need of holiday clothes for your children? Holiday clothes can be the last thing we splurge on and so often there is just not enough money to buy everything. If a donation of clothing would help your family this year please let me know, we would be happy to help! Are you able to donate? We all know our kids wear those cute holiday dresses and handsome dress pants once, maybe twice a year. Around here dress pants seem to be the only pair that don't have holes in both Continue Reading

Bragging rights

preemie then and now

I don't have a photographic memory but I can tell you exactly what I was doing on November 1st, from 2008 to probably 2012. My head was tilted to the side, probably leaning on some doorway, either in reflection or in search of a two second nap and I was watching my kids, in a moment when they were calm, and marveling at how far they'd come. I was probably even saying to myself "look how far they've come" then turning to NICU pictures, reminding us all about bilirubin lights and suck-swallow-breath prayers. Still very anchored to their beginning, I knew the moment Prematurity Awareness Month started, I probably woke up at midnight to pin a purple ribbon somewhere and visit the March of Dimes Continue Reading

The truth about writing about the truth

deciding what to share when writing

I just finished the book Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned" by Lena Dunham which was mildly exciting because there's raging controversy about the book right now and I usually don't hear about controversy until Cliff Notes are available. This time I was actually reading the book that was the center of trending tweets and Facebook posts. I was practically pulling off the slouchy hat and huge glasses look while ordering a double espresso, immersed in the thick of entertainment news analysis with my trendy hat wearing friends. To retain my level of mildly cool and almost-informed, I had to stop myself from raising my hand, shouting "Pick me! Pick me!" whenever Continue Reading

Breaking news from last month

dressing up a new puppy

We lost our little Ruby at the end of the summer. I'm late with the news but she was attacked by dogs and McKenna saw it happen and I can't think about it for long before I hear the screams echoing all over again. Mark and I always joked that she was a therapy pig but it wasn't really a joke. When McKenna couldn't process emotions she went to Ruby, pulling her to her lap or climbing into the space where she slept. She talked to her and pet her until she was calm again. Animals seem to offer McKenna an escape from her anxiety that we cannot. Luckily, we had been talking about getting a dog long before Ruby's accident. We had visited a few pet adoption fairs and researched what kind of Continue Reading

Seven times three

triplets in nicu

Once or twice when Parker and McKenna were babies I came across people who were one of boy/girl twins. I went way past my social comfort zone and delivered my How Close Are You To Your Fraternal Sibling? survey. After losing Hadley, I needed to know that McKenna would still have someone. You see, I had dreamy plans for how close my two girls would be. Giving my daughter a sister her own age felt like winning the lottery. And then our prize was taken away. I wanted these boy/girl sets to tell me they shared a room for years on end, went to the same college and could complete each other's sentences. I was new at having more than one child, my diaper bag packed with grandiose dreams of Continue Reading

How to survive

name plaque

When we found out we were expecting triplets I avoided the horror stories. I clicked away from tales of early labor, grim statistics and the unthinkable... losing a baby. I couldn't bear to think anything could happen to my unborn children. Truthfully, I wondered how women who suffered the loss of a child continued on. I could not imagine life after loss, burying a child and having to move forward. It was all too heart-wrenching to think about, so I never did. Then came the day it was me, when my husband and I found ourselves debating over a casket or an urn, trying to decide if we should hold a funeral or wait and organize a memorial when our heads were more clear. The Continue Reading

Rare Bird

Rare-Bird-Blog-tour

I've had this book on my book shelf for months. Admittedly, I put off reading it. I knew Anna's tragic story of losing her son, had read her beautiful words for years on her blog and had met her in person and talked and talked and talking about mothering and grieving. I was afraid to read because I didn't want to be pulled down by the devastating sadness in her story. What I didn't know would happen was that I would be lifted up by the hope. Rare Bird shares the intricacies of motherhood, the push and pull of parenting and of wanting to keep our kids safe while teaching them resilience. I found myself not only comforted by the universal truths of grief Anna shares so openly but by Continue Reading

What to Give

what to give to someone who is grieving

I am often asked for ideas on what to give someone who has experienced pregnancy loss or the loss of an infant or child. I wish this question never had to come up but am so glad there are thoughtful people out there who want to do something to ease the pain of others. I thought I would put together a list of my favorite products and ideas I have come across over the years that may bring comfort to someone who is grieving. 1. Molly Bear- Molly Bears is a non-profit founded by a fellow loss mom who creates bears the exact weight of your infant at the time they passed. Words can't express the feelings that rushed over me the first time I lifted my bear out of its box and there are a Continue Reading

Under the category of grief

Reading for LTYM

I have a list of categories for my blog, everything I write is divided into a few main subjects. Autism, Motherhood, DIY/Pinterest-y stuff and Grief. Before I publish a post I check a box next to one of the topics, classifying under what category my writing falls. A few years ago, I checked the box next to "grief" for nearly every post. It was all I could write about. The only thing I needed to talk through, to make some kind of sense I rarely check that box anymore and I know this is a good thing. It means life goes on and the pain, as so many told me, does get easier to live with. You make room for it in your life. It cozies up and sits down beside you and you don't push it away like Continue Reading