It started with pieces of me gone with my babies, pieces left behind by grief. I'm in fragments, but it's a beautiful mess, so I'm blessed to be broken.

The Spaces of Missing

Louie with Calvin and Charlie This is Louie holding our first baby, Calvin Phoenix, after he was stillborn in 2009. This is Louie holding our fourth and only living baby, Charlie Bastian, after his birth in 2012.

It’s not often that Louie is recognized as a father of more-than-one, as a daddy to FIVE wanted and loved babies. I’m grateful that we could honor that tonight. I was too choked up to say their names at the mic, but it was so powerful to see each of our babies names during the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital remembrance ceremony.

One of the speakers said that it was healing and human and humane to maintain our connections to the ones we’ve lost, that our love that held them continues to hold them, that this love is not destroyed by death but reshaped. Another speaker said that we should speak our children’s names as much as we want, that we should remember them as much as we want — despite how others might feel — because they are our children. I needed to hear these words. I’ve heard them before, though perhaps said differently, through people who have experienced heart-altering loss. The further away time moves me from when my children died, the more it feels like I’m no longer allowed to enter the space of grief.

It’s been over 5 years since my first baby died. It’s been 4 1/2 years since my second baby died. It’s been 3 years since my third baby died. It’s been 7 months since my 5th baby died. No matter how much time passes, it will not erase or negate the lives that once existed. Yes, time does weather away the sharp edges of grief, but it does not fill the void — It’s in those spaces of missing, the spaces that continue to hold my children, that love and pain abide.

For My Pixel in Heaven

Pixel's ultrasoundI never came into this space — my sacred space — to share that I had gotten pregnant again. That I had lost a baby again. That for a very short while, I carried a baby girl, who’s formation was disrupted by both Trisomy 18 and Turner’s Syndrome.

I didn’t know what to say. Or how to say it.

Is there a new way to say that I had another miscarriage? To say that another one of my babies died? To say that a fourth piece of my heart has yet again disappeared beyond my reach in this world? Or that I died a death that, though so familiar, had grown foreign in the joy of having — finally, a living child — miraculous Charlie in my arms?

Last November, I broke in a new way that was further fractured by the guilt at thinking (for the first time) the timing of this new baby “wasn’t right.” Shame on me for not having remembered this lesson: the timing is only “wrong” if my baby actually makes it out of my body alive and survives. Shame on me for forgetting that, ultimately, each baby (living or not) is an absolutely perfect blessing. I am especially reminded of this today, on the fifth anniversary of learning my first child had died in my womb.

Pixel Clementine, your timing was absolutely perfect, baby girl. And I’m so sorry momma didn’t realize that sooner.

No Small Miracle


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Carrying my babies


Carrying my babies in heart and in arms

…all five in my heart, one in my arms.

Happy Holidays from our Family to Yours


Happy holidays from our family to yours

Snackey Chains


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: My #homemade #YankeeSwap gift for the #usfca OCM holiday party. It was voted "swappiest gift" aka "worst" gift. So did I win? Or did I lose?

Eeeeeeek!


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ZOMG. Spider.

October 15th

Three of my babies died. I miss them. I love them. I remember them — not that I’ve ever forgotten. It’s just that today, I am allowed to be a bereaved mother, to mourn, and to speak of the babies I carry in my heart. No one can tell me I need to move on, because today, on National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I need to remember.

Really, this is my everyday. But especially today, I am honoring my Calvin, my Rainbow, and my Gaelen. I am remembering all babies who have died too soon, including those of relatives and friends. I am abiding by these families who must endure a lifetime of mousing.

Happy 16 Months Charlie Bastian!


Carrying Charlie on my back

This is one of our more successful attempts at a back carry using a woven wrap by Little Frog. I’m getting there.

Mmmm Feet


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Who took his first solo steps yesterday then refused to do it again? This guy!

Happy Birthday to my Husby


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I’m so grateful to have shared the last 14 birthdays with you. Love you more than cake and cookies and ice cream and doughnuts and bread and cheese and chocolate and bacon combined!

Happiness


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That Charlie Bastian, I think he just might be the Happiest Baby on the Block.