why, there is no perfect place, yes i know this is true; i'm just learning how to smile and that's not easy to do

I would be lying to you if I said I slept much last night. At least not intentionally. I dozed off a couple of times, but still recall watching most of the hours pass by. This morning was an appointment with my OB that I'd been dreading. On second thought, 'dreading' is a little harsh of a word. I was nervously anticipating walking through the door and being told that I should just tie my tubes because the sheer concept of my reproductive future is as extinct as the dinosaurs. The unknown in all of this -- and, believe me, there has been so much unknown -- is what has been eating away at me most when I try to will myself into recovery. Was I mourning the loss of not just my beautiful daughter but also any future children? It was this thought that began to haunt me the most. When people asked if Ethan was still in diapers, I nodded almost excitedly and protectively; it was as if I wasn't sure if I would ever have the opportunity to change diapers again and I wanted even that to be something I cherished. I was so nervous walking into my OB office that I excused myself to the bathroom twice before my name was even called by the nurse. My limbs were all but shaking. I joked with the nurse that I was going to break her blood pressure meter and I probably wasn't that far off. As soon as my doctor stepped into the room, I felt a little calmer.

We sort of hit the doctor lottery when it comes to our OB who is as kind as she is an amazing physician. I joke that I could never move because I'd miss the beach but, the truth is, I could never move because I'd just be returning to Florida for healthcare purposes since no one could ever remotely compare. I could see in her face that she wasn't about to tell me that a tubal ligation was the only thing left for my body to be put through and everything else just sort of melted away after that.

Of course, there are still risks. Any subsequent pregnancies will mean being under the watchful eye of a perinatologist and cardiologist just enough to probably make me a little crazy. Or crazier, since there's no possible way to go into a subsequent pregnancy with a clear mind and free of neurosis. ("Worry" was too mild a word.) But in my wonderful doctor's confidence, and in her care, and in the care of the amazing team of doctors we have backing us, I found more of my own confidence. I have been saying that in the back of my mind, I saw myself bringing home another little baby, a baby who was awake, but I was so nervous that would pan out to be a pipedream. I now feel free to let my mind wander to a place where everything isn't continually dark, cold, unknown, vacant. A tunnel to trek through on our journey to comfort, completion, solace. I know Wylie will be with on this journey because she is a part of our family. She always has been, and she always will be.

Of course, the idea of conception isn't an immediate reality for both medical reasons and emotional reasons. I have my ideas of when we would like to try again but I can't tell you for sure. As anyone who has experienced a loss like this before can tell you, it isn't easy to recover from and we all grieve differently. I need time to soak it all in and try to fumble my way back into normalcy.

Tonight Ethan and I spent the hours before dinnertime sitting at the skate park watching the children skate. This has long been our special bonding time, our mommy-and-son tradition, though when the school year is in the skate park tends to be dreadfully empty on most nights. The summertime is our time to sweat and breathe in the muggy air, swatting off gnats and watching the skateboarders do their thing. If I'm being honest, I'm usually watching Ethan and the joy and amazement that washes over his face with each trick by the skaters. This was my first step towards normalcy, my first push into trying to fit back into the place where we were before our loss. Not because we could ever forget her, or want to, but because life doesn't end just because you want it to. Life goes on and it somehow manages to still be beautiful, even when you have moments where you can only spot it's ugliness. It was hard to not sit on those bleachers and think I have so very much missed this, because I have. I don't want to miss things anymore. I want to be present and receptive to this fragile life that we live. I miss my daughter. She was taken from me by something with no rhyme or reason, a big "oops!" by nature and I'm never going to get an explanation. I'm never going to get her back. I am battling acceptance of this as can be proven by the seemingly permanent orange Doritos stains around my fingernails because I'm a stress eater. I try to squash those thoughts, breathe in Ethan's sweaty, sticky hair. I have so very much missed this, my heart says, as Ethan claps his hands together for the teenage boy who mastered the skateboarding trick he'd been trying to do for the past ten minutes.

I have realized that I can dwell on the ugliness or I can focus on the hope that I have been given today.

And I'm going to focus on the hope.


  1. Ashley Ponder RichardsJuly 1, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    Your strength is amazing! I'm glad you didn't get the worst case scenario news. I'm happy that you have decided to push your heart forward. You will never forget your beautiful little girl. Ethan is lucky to have a mom who is so willing to push through her own pain for him. I'm really not sure I could.

  2. Jamie@HandlingWGraceJuly 2, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    All you can do is get through each day. Thinking about you.


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