Sunday, December 28, 2008

six weeks to go

until forty weeks - hard to believe - getting close. Liam is big as a pineapple. I saw his beautiful nursery last night, so rich in colors, every wall a different color. I also saw the dragonfly Ruth painted on her bedroom wall in memory of Mira - also beautiful, though sad. Circle of life and death continues to revolve.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

forty eight days

left until Liam's due date! Somehow "under fifty" days feels like a big deal - really close - almost made it! I know things can go wrong at any point, even after birth. I remember how terrifying it was when K.K. had meningitis as a newborn. But at this point, I'm thinking more about soft sleepers and tiny corduroy pants than I'm worrying

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sorting baby clothes

on my office floor with Ruth and Chris last night was sweet. A friend had given us bags of clothes for baby boys and baby girls. They picked out cute clothes for Liam, tie died shirts, a little jacket with ears, soft sleepers, even a baby flight suit that we half joked could be next year's Halloween costume, complete with aviator glasses. We laughed and talked and folded. Ruth picked out several girl items, darling little pink pants, a dress, and said how Mira would have "so worn those" and it was simply true - not a new sadness. Nobody cried. Mira would have... Mira could have...Mira wont. Liam will. (I hope, I pray.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Realer and Realer

these babies just seem realer and realer - Liam and his little cousin to be born a week or so after him, Andrea. Liam even has a red sheet on his crib mattress in his own crib and Andrea will have butterflies on her nursery wall. Plans for Liam's naming seem like plans, not dreams - and sometime this winter, we will hold him and kiss him - so sweet. I am still broadsided at moments by waves of sadness about Mira's permanent absence. I wondered last night when it snowed big fat flakes for HOURS if Ruth would have taken almost three month old Mira out into her very first snow. I look up at the menorah which I will soon be bringing down from the high shelf andfeel sad that Ruth and Chris will not be holding Mira in it's light this year - and then I think how Liam, inside RUth, is able to hear and enjoy the holiday usic already. Everything is a mixed bag - AND, AND, AND - and love is stronger than loss.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

And the crib has arrived and been assembled

Liam's Daddy said today "The only thing missing in the nursery is HIM!" and that isn't probably literally so - but they are very much ready - and I can hear the joy in Ruth's voice - really truly excited joy. Two months now and we'll most probably be holding the little guy. I ordered his stroller today - his chariot.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

30 weeks!

Liam is in week 30 - big enough to live if born - I think past "micropremie" at two pounds thirteen ounces last week. Ten weeks to go optimally - not a short time but not a long time. I'm more excited, less scared. Ruth made a blessing at the Thanksgiving table that she was thankful that this year was the first year all the kids were old enough for big person crystal goblets at dinner - and the last year for quite a while. I got tears and imagined how different it would have been with Mira at the table. Also that night, Ruth, K.K. and I talked in the kitchen while we put food away and just hung out while others watched football. We talked about babies and possible hair and eye color and the birth process and it felt so good - primal and female and tender. Ruth and K.K. look similar now - not baby and young woman, but two young women, one in the spring of early puberty and the other in the early summer of pregnancy, both with glowing skin and red hued hair. I hope Liam is a read head.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Two pounds 13 ounces!

That's what Liam was estimated to weigh at today's sonogram. Growing, growing growing - another blessing to celebrate at tomorrow's family table!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Coping mechanisms

I read today on the gizmo beside Ruth's pregnancy blog that Liam "would probably live if born prematurely now." And I realized that for the last couple of weeks, since "viability" I've been compulsively reading the blogs of families living with, raising, rejoicing in, prematurely born kids. It's funny the things we (I) do to keep going. Liam is now the size of a butternot squash. I intend to handle one at the store today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More dead babies -

A coworker of Ruth had her baby die in utero, second trimester, like Mira. Today I went to the doctor's to get my flu shot (of which the were out AGAIN) and was chatting with the young receptionist, who said she had to get her flu shot last year because she was pregnant. I asked her how old her baby is now and she told me she lost her - also second trimester. Birth and death really do dance close.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

When I least expect it...grief

Ruth is in her third trimester now. All is well. She says Liam dances jigs to music - such a joy. Mostly I focus on the joy and am less anxious as Liam becomes more and more likely to join us in this life. But grief can strike me from the oddest directions. It is cold tonight for the first time of the season so, before walking the dog, I went to the hall closet and took my heavy coat off of it's hanger. I slipped my hand into the pocket and felt loose beads from a bracelet I gave Ruth the night I learned she was pregnant with Mira. I also found a sticker from the Hilary Clinton rally that marked the last tie I saw Ruth pregnant with Mira. It was a happy night - hopeful - a cold night like this one. Now Ruth is pregnant with Liam and Mira died before we could know her. She will never vote for a woman for President, or for anyone for President. She will not be affected by the success or failure of Obama's Presidency. I won't be able to tell her she was tiny in the year of "Yes we can." I will be able to tell Liam that he was born (probably) a few weeks after Obama's inauguration. And that is good and exciting. Love really is stronger than loss AND loss really stings.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Still good

Ruth does not have gestational diabetes - recovered from an infection last week. Chris did not get shot when a crime went down in the neighborhood near his school. Liam thrives, moves, grows. I'm believing in him these days, more and more - imagining touching a little foot, the new, totally original scent and texture of his particular hair. And then I think how I'll never know Mira's scent and feel sad - and then I wonder exactly what color Liam's eyes will be.

Friday, November 7, 2008

President Obama

will be innaugurated before Liam is born - (given normal lengrh pregnancy). Wow! He will be born into a world in which there is no color line regarding the Presidency of his nation - a world with many economic, social, political problems, an uncertain world, but a world into which a breath of hope has recently blown.

Monday, November 3, 2008

double digit days

left til Liam is expected - 95 to be exact, not any triple digit number. Somehow that makes his coming seem more probable and imminent - (and he probably weighs over two pounds. I'm not sure when they stop being micropremies, but two pounds is sure better than one pound but still, we have a while.)

Purchases made

I bought Liam an outfit for next Halloween - green courdoroy pants, spider socks, a darling little shirt with a truck full of pumpkins, an excessively soft orange hat. So Liam, you have to live now, and be here next Halloween, ya hear.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bittersweet brisk afternoon

It's really cool for the first time this season, breezy, brisk - my favorite weather. I find myself imagining Mira, if she were here, in courduroy and a hat and that maybe I would have taken her out this cool afternoon and let her touch a pumpkin. It didn't even occur to me that Friday would have been her first Halloween - just didn't think that far until right now. I wonder how Ruth and Chris would have dressed her and how they will dress Liam next year. This season feels more than half full to me - and the shadow of Mira's absence is very real.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Actually week 25

I didn't just sit here waiting (at least not that big a dork) but I did come back after my bath and hair washing and it is officially week 25 for Liam - Hooray - and he probably weighs over a pound - still a way to go and grow - but over a pound feels ecouraging.

Almost 25 weeks

I'm doing it again - sitting here at the computer waiting for the week counter to flip over - bet Liam is flipping around inside Ruth much more satisfactorially. When I wake in the morning he'll be in his 25'th week - more viable every day now. (and a little less than twice the lifetime Mira had)


This would be a sad and difficult month for me if Ruth and Chris had not conceived Sprout - if Liam were not thriving. The babies who were Mira''s contemporaries have been born or are about to be. I'm getting the birth announcements and seeing the pictues and that is wonderful - precious every one. Within a week or two I probably will have gotten to hold at least one of these babes in my arms (and I won't ever get to hold Mira). I'm wondering tonight how this time would be in my life, in the life of our family if she had lived and been born healthy. But I am not weeping, because Liam is thriving, Ruth and Chris are thriving - and feeling hopeful is easier than weeping. Still, I am very accutely aware that this could have been a very happy month, or a very sad one.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

William James revealed

Sprout is male!!!! William James. No more Lilliam - though I've loved that name Liam. Boy child. Grandson. Coming soon but not too soon (please not too soon). Ruth called and left me a message right after the sonogram revealed William's sex, and I called the house later and asked a very happy daddy to kiss the tummy over his son for me. He agreed sweetly. Sweet sweet day - one more healthy pregnant day.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Ruth writes that Sprout has reached viability- VIABILITY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The chances are she/he could live if born now - though I know it would be a long time in the NICU, and scary - but possible, possible. Please little Sprout, stay inside a couple of months more. And thank you for living so far.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Premie twins

An acquaintance had premie twins this week - babies due in late December and weighing two and three pounds - they have a long way to go and remind me how very far Sprout, and Joanna's baby atoo, have until they are ready to be safely born. I feel gratitude for every healthy day every baby spends "inside" and send my prayers for the evening to these particular two tiny girls, born early - may they thrive.

Friday, October 10, 2008

almost 23 weeks

Moving as Ruth posts with her fruit of the week from a babe the size of a spaghetti squash to one the size of a mango - definitely getting sizable. I loved this whole High Holy Day cycle with Rut, Chris and Sprout - pretty perfect. It's good to be at a point that, though we don't count on any good outcome and still superstitiously knock on wood, we do talk about meals and visits after Sprout is born, stroller preferences, details of the shower. All of that is good too.

Monday, October 6, 2008

22 week no comment blues

I laugh at myself that I wish people would comment more on this and my other blogs. It's silly. It's ego. I write to have my thoughts down. And yet the human part of me is a little bummed every time there are no comments. That whole balance beam between love and ego is slippery at times. At any rate, Sprout's at more than 22 weeks now and of the four babies of whom I learned about the time Ruth announced she was pregnant with Mira, one other was lost to miscarriage (before Mira), one is healthily and happily born, and the other two are due shortly. Life is what it is. More joy than sorrow at our house these days.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Family meal

Our family meal for Rosh Hoshannah was so happy - great food, great talk, Rtuh looking healthy and pregnant and enjoying her pumpkin pie. It wasn't until afterward, when I was washing dishes, that I remembered that, if all had gone well, we would have had less than a month old Mira at the holiday meal. I forget most days what isn't and focus on what is - and of course, both the loss and the joy are real. Right now the joy sings louder.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rosh Hoshannah with Sprout

In services last night and today, standing next to Ruth, surrounded in song and chanting, I remembered that Sprout can hear, and that these are some of the sounds - community voices chanting and singing, that this child is hearing already - and I was both touched and pleased. I caught mysef imagining next High Holy Days - looking at babies present this year and wondering if Sprout will be bigger or smaller, will sleep through services or need to be walked - such wonderful happy things to be able to wonder.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Alive and kicking

at twenty one weeks - a cliche I like. Rut and Chris both have felt SProut's movement now - a very good thing!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thankful (even though Ruth is frustrated)

Today at work I learned of a couple who have just learned, at 20 weeks, that their baby has anencephaly and cannot live. Ruth had an extra ultrasound today which failed to determine Sprout Lilliam's sex. It did confirm the normalcy of Sprout's development. Ruth is really frustrated about the unknown sex, and frustrated with herself for caring. She just wants to be able to call her son or daughter by name already. I think I might be frustrated too if I hadn't learned today of the other family, with a baby just Sprout's age, who is facing sure death. I keep writing here over and over, life is so uncertain. And tonight I'm more thankful than frustrated.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Twenty weeks (such a nice round ring to it!)

Half way to due date with Sprout - Ruth has been pregnant longer than she is likely to be pregnant with this baby. Wow! And Sprout is estimated to be about the length of a banana, may weigh as much as a pound, and can hear and is likely to cover her/his ears when alarmed by a sudden sound. I remember that with my babies, how they jumped and seem frightened when their was a loud noise in our environment. Bob and I are buying Sprout's stroller as a welcome gift and I am keeping my hands and eyes off little outfits until we have gender identification (at the parents' request because they have enough tiny gender neutral outfits already) I still get scared, still remember Mira with tears, still know how much could go wrong with this baby - but most days I have nurturing cuddly hopeful thoughts - new baby in my arms come winter thoughts. Sweet sweet thoughts!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A change ( toward hope with tears)

When Mira died I set up my AOL icons with dragonflies, the symbol Ruth and Chris chose for that sweet baby. Today, as we pass the time that she would have been born into our arms, I am changing those icons to sunflowers for Sprout. And I'm hanging a silver, amber and garnt dragon fly for Mira permanently in my kitchen, where her memory will be triggered many times a day as I go about my business. We humans (at least this human) sure depend on symbols and rituals to get through the tough emotional stuff.

I know Ruth and Chris spent this night quiety together mourning their daughter and I feel so sad for them. I hate it when the people I love hurt. And I know they also have rejoicing and hoping in them. Love really is stronger than loss. And loss hurts like hell.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mira - on the day you shoud be born

I wonder what tonight would be like if you had lived, little one. You might be here already, safe in your parents' arms. I might know your hair color and the taste of your neck. Or we might still be waiting to meet you. But we will never know. I'm sad tonight that we will never know.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Ruth and Chris brought beautiful grandparent journals to Bob and me today - like them not standard cutesy, but really deep and full of meaningful questions. I am touched and eager to start weoking on my journal for Sprout - Lilliam

Saturday, September 13, 2008

contrastng feelings

Ruth wrote a beautiful post in her blog about her contrastng feelings about Sprout's development and Mira's death, as contrasted by her sonograms experiences.

Family resemblance
I was reluctant to say anything about this when first posting Sprout's most recent picture because I didn't want Lilliam's debut to be overshadowed by Mira's death.... but it's reality that the two are connected and it seems artificial to try to avoid the inevitable points of connection between the two pregnancies so I've decided to post.

We had the scan done at Seton Medical Center--the very same Seton to which I checked in for Mira's D&C. We were there less than a week before Mira's unfulfilled due-date and walked in the same door we last entered for her memorial service. The last time I'd had an ultrasound at a hospital was the last time we saw her and Sept 11th (for which the appointment was originally scheduled) marks the 6-month-a-versary of her death (and the 12th, on which we did have the appointment the 6-month-a-versary of the D&C).

It would have been impossible not to be thinking of Mira when we were walked back into the hospital imaging area. I remember thinking how grateful I was to be walking under my own volition instead of riding a gurney. Chris stood on the same side of me holding the same hand he had when we found out that our Miraculous Mira was still alive and kicking despite the hemorrhaging. And when the first image flicked on the screen we saw the sweet picture I posted last night--the tech smiled and pointed out the hand by the face. I smiled too--but in my mind I saw this:

Sprout's first image is a near perfect mirror image of Mira's last.

I think part of me was waiting for the similarities to continue--I KNEW that Sprout had a strong heartbeat. In my gut I really did feel that everything was okay (I've felt remarkably certain about this pregnancy even before we actually conceived--I KNEW we'd get pregnant that month and I was certain the early "negative" tests were wrong, etc.) But there was that part of me that kept expecting the tech to turn to us and say that something was wrong... that, yes the heart was beating, but that Sprout was not growing properly or that really we'd been mistaking my heartbeat for Sprout's all those months, or something..... but none of that ever came. I saw Chris get misty and shed a few tears and I watched our little guy wiggle and writhe on the screen-- alive and healthy and waving his hands about as if putting on Broadway show and let myself bask in the happiness and relax a little more into the reality that we are having a baby in February (or maybe January).

It's a strange thing to see the Mira parallels so clearly and to, at the same time, feel so unafraid for Sprout. It feels like hubris to feel so comfortable. I know that my gut feelings aren't a guarantee. I know that the current diagnosis of "no obvious abnormalities" is not a promise of perfect health. After all I am a logical person and I have had people I love die when they weren't supposed to... I KNOW that anything can happen and that anything can destroy the world as you know it in a single breath. So I will continue to say more "if"s and think up more bad scenarios than other people are comfortable with. And I will fill out the advance directive paperwork before I go into labor because I DO believe in planning for the worst--but for right now I'm enjoying feeling so good.
Posted by Ruth at 7:48 AM

Friday, September 12, 2008

Still "Lilliam" and healthy

The anatomy scan today did not show sex, but did show a healthy babe developing on schedule with all appropriate parts in apparent working order and the ability to move about - I care much more about health and presence than the sex. Happy day!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Ruth posted that today is day 130 of her pregnancy with Sprout and day 260 is full term. Halfway home! Home to waiting arms and a painted nursery and all kinds of hopes and dreams and kisses and rhymes and LOVE - so much love.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Eighteen weeks and smiling

Ruth and Chris and I wto our small, sweet synagogue last night and, during the "joys and oys" segment, when people talk about what's going on in our lives, Chris told the congregation both about Mira's death (the last time he made an announcement was of pregnancy with Mira) and of Sprout's presence and apparent good health. The group responded warmly and with support. I'm glad Ruth and Chris are making progress feeling at home in a community (something I'm not very good at). Ruth looked beautiful last night in a dress bought hopefully when they were trying to conceive - which now flows gracefully over her slightly changed shape. I kept wanting to stroke her hair and kiss her shoulder during service ( refrained at least two thirds of the time I wanted to). I love the way she loves Chris, the way he loves her, the whole welcome net they are building for this babe.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Normal Quad -Screen for Sprout

Ruth got the call today telling her that the results from Sprout's Quad-Screen look "normal, normal, and normal". Apparently that means no signs of Down's syndrome or spina bifida or some other problems. No guarantee of safe passage for sure - but so far so good. And Sprout even owns a car seat - a gift from her/his other grandmother. A baby with good test results and a car seat is seeming more and more real.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mira's month

It's September, the month Mira would have been born. I imagine how excited the family would have been with her birth approaching, and remember the September 31 years ago when I was pregnant with Joanna. I wonder what Mira woud have looked, felt, smelled like, and I grieve for her presence in our life. I also think about Sprout, due in February, and think how much sadder I would be this September without Mira if Ruth and Chris had not conceived this new little hope for life. Circle of life and death just keeps on spinning. Life is hard and life is good.

Missing Mira

September 18 should be your birthday
but you died in March, unborn, unseen,
unheard, unknown, unsung, unkissed.
But mourned and missed - so missed.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

week seventeen - uneventful

Uneventful is good. Ruth started school believing she would have a much heavier load of kids, but seems to have had a delightful first week. A week from Monday we will know the sex of Sprout (and anatomic details). Back when I was pregnant we didn't find out anatomic details - and I guess it's good to know but also gives me another milestone to get anxious about. I choose to focus on all well right now and curiosity about the sex. Exciting to think that in a week and a bit I can start choosing baby clothes that are not unisex.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Crazy hopeful Grandma

After a long work week, here I sit at the computer, waiting up for the ticker on Ruth's pregnancy blog to jump to week sixteen. Now I now that's nuts. I'm doing it anyway. She's starting back to work after school summer vacation and that scares me. I want to wrap her in cotton batting until this baby is born full term and healthy. And she's fine and there are no warning signs of any kind and loving is all I can do.

OK, the gimo is up - sixteen weeks - in reach of quickening. Grow Sprout, grow!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


A friend on a message board titled a post about the death of a friend and the birth of a family baby "Circle of Life." Nothing odd about that - beautifully appropriate. I remembered though that that was the title Ruth used for her blog post right before she told me she was pregnant with Mira. It is a circle, birth and death, a cycle, and being reminded today in this way made me want to knock on wood.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

NOT a nightmare phonecall

Last night about midnight, as I was climbing into bed, the phone rang. Turned out it was Bob sweetly wishing me goodnight. We had talked earlier so I wasn't expecting his very loving bedtime call. I panicked when the phone rang and relived answering the phone the night Ruth called from the emergency room bleeding, the night before Mira died. I talked with both Ruth and Chris on the phone in the middle of that terrible night, both of them brave and composed and shaky sounding. Last night nothing terrible happened. I was reminded one more time how sweet and fragile life as we know it is.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Week Fifteen

Hard to believe. Ruth looks beautiful every time I see her. They are fixing up the nursery since life will get busier once the school year starts. I still know how much can go wrong. I know we can't count of a baby in February - a healthy baby home in the comfortably and meticulously designed nest. But oh, am I hoping! I am consciously focusing on the probable good outcome not all the scary possibilities.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Consumer Grandma fantasy

I haven't bought anything yet for Sprout, or for Joanna's babe either. But I caught myself today in the gift store at the Texas State Aquarium looking at "first" puzzles and a sweet stuffed octopus and I probably would have bought something if I hadn't been needed to help my already living grand children figure out how to spend their money.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Fourteen weeks

I'm sitting up too late and jumped back to Ruth's pregnancy blog and saw that the boxes on the side have changed in the last hour - not thirteen weeks, fourteen. She's never been fourteen weeks pregnant before. Apparently Sprout can feel pressure on Ruth's abdomen at this point and will wriggle away if it is poked. I'm trying to remember if I felt that with the girls - the wriggling away. I guess the mom can't feel it at ths point - soon though - soon.

Double vision

Mostly these days I think about Ruth and pregnancy in terms of Sprout, not Mira. But occasionally I have a disturbing sort of double vision. Today, when I read in email of a friend's daughter who got pregnant at the same time Ruth got pregnant with Mira, I was hit hard by the realization that, had all gone well, we would be having baby showers, finishing up the nursery, and excitedly awaiting baby Mira in September. It won't be like that. We are awaiting baby Sprout in February. If Sprout hadn't been conceived, we would probably be grieving Mira hard right now. I cried for her tonight walking home from the bus stop in the sunset, gazing at the waxing half moon in the indigo sky. So much you missed little dragon fly girl, by flying away so soon. I wish it had been different.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Blessings for Sprout

Ruth wrote a wonderful blessing for her children back when they started trying to conceive five years ago. She posted it on her blog, today. It, and the beautiful Fred Small blessing Bob added in the comments section inspired me to write my own blessing for Sprout, really for all the grand kids born and unborn. My blessing is based on the teachings of my mentor and teacher Dorothy Satten about the basic rights of children, and on Abraham's destiny to "go out and be a blessing."

Blessing for Blooming

May you rest, feeling safe
confident you are welcome
cherished, protected,respected.
May you trust that you belong.

May you thrive, trusting
knowing we see your needs
and seek to meet them
as reality and reason permit.

May you grow, daring
to claim your personality
trusting us to trust you.
May you separate in strength.

May you explore, knowing
we honor you as you are
support your dreams and path.
However different from ours.

May you touch the divine
in your way, on your terms,
feeling infinite connection
with power beyond understanding.

May you delight in loving
and being loved, your way,
rich in intimate connection,
needed needing giving receiving.

May you know we celebrate
you for unique, precious self.
and sure of this, may you go forth
in love, not ego, to be a blessing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy but not complacent

Ruth and Chris ares slowly starting to buy things for Sprout. They bought a darling, hilarious and probably very soft stuffed animal (composite, primary colored, manyfooted, named Sir Galumpalot) while they were in Seattle. I laugh at the beastie's picture and Chris' play threat to claim the soft one for himself. And I am so relieved that Ruth and Chris are in a stage of being able to laugh, play, hope, even start to plan a little. And every time I hear of another pregnancy loss, another very premature birth, a pregnant om with severe complications, I stop breathing. My spiritual discipline is to say a prayer for that person, that family, those circumstances - and then tell myself with gratitude "That isn't us, today." and go back into the discipline of living fully in the moment, which at this moment is good.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sprout, The name

It's funny how, as I get less scared about Sprout, (Though much can still go wrong at least death can't come exactly as it did to Mira and that's something) I find myself having more ordinary thoughts about this pregnancy. One such thought is that, though Ruth doesn't know it, "Sprout" is one of the many nicknames my Daddy, who loved terms of endearment, called me as a little girl - right up there with "Little Squirt". It always pleases me when patterns unintentionally repeat.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Day 91

New territory - past Mira's lifetime. As far as I know, all is well with Sprout. And with Joanna's babe too. So many question marks in life. Today at the grocery store I enjoyed all the babies and little ones. Zachary's six, so it's been a while since our family has had arms full of little one - now two are coming. I'm excited, and suffering from an irrational desire to learn to knit soft things.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Day 90

This is Day 90, the day Mira died. I'm home in Texas and Ruth and Chris are still up in cool Washington, much better location for a pregnant daughter. I'm anxious tonight, checking and rechecking Ruth's blog for entries, trying to assume Sprout is alive still. They do have the Doppler with them to check. I know there's no magic in passing day 90, no guarantee, but it does seem significant. I find myself reliving the days right after Mira dies, the sorrow I felt then and the desire to ease her parents' pain - such hard days.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just for fun

With two pregnant daughters due within a week of one another, I was amused (sweetly) when Ruth told me she plans to buy me two red onesies she saw on line labeled "Thing One" and "Thing Two". We do love our Seuss. And pray please please, for two healthy "things" to wear the two onesies.

Monday, July 28, 2008

hoping and remembering

Ruth and Chris are on vacation with us, so last night she let me listen to Sprout's heart beat on the doppler for the first time - like a frisky pony thundering behind the steady loping beat of Ruth's own heart such a joy. And then Ruth and Chris and Bob and I had at least an hour of happy discussion of choices regarding stroller systems, nursery colors, and baby clothes. Ruth looks great and is feeling good, fewer smell and food issues as she enters her second trimester. And we are happy and excited about this baby - AND I keep remembering August 1 is day 90. Mira died on day 90. as a symbol for Mira. Ruth and Chris use the dragon fly Beautiful dragon flies flit about the deck where we are visiting and every time I see one, I think of Mira and how she should have been born in September, and won't be - and I feel sad about Mira and thankful for Sprout. On one level it will mean nothing when Sprout has lived longer than Mira did. And yet, that feels like a milestone - Ruth and Chris entering uncharted pregnancy territory.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Second trimester!

Ruth entered her second trimester this morning and the little informational sidebar on her baby blog announced that the risk of miscarriage significantly dropped today. I remember when that happened with Mira, and the sweet last developmental comment Ruth made in her blog about Mira, that the baby now opens his/her mouth if the face is touched, was the same comment she made today about Sprout. She noted the connection of comments and it brought tears to my eyes. For whatever reason, when Mira died, that comment was one of the grief focus points for me, one of the things that made me more aware of the little life we lost. Ruth commented that she hopes she will have many more developmental milestones to comment on about Sprout, both before and after birth, and I hope and am beginning to increasingly trust that this will be true (though of course I am painfully aware you can never really trust life to continue inside the womb or otherwise). Sprout is at day 85 today and Mira died on Day 90, but there was spotting, significant spotting well before this point with Mira and all is totally well and routine so far with Sprout.

I'm so glad I chose to write this blog and post it here in Lost and Found, Connections Abound. I wish other family members would start blogging here too. It feels so good to have a place to unabashedly write the details of my feelings as they change during this pregnancy of my daughter after her loss of her first pregnancy after five years of trying to conceive. Thanks Mel for creating this community. And any moms, sisters, friends dealing with secondary mourning for babies or pregnancies, if you're lurking, I'd love it if you piped up.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

maternity pants

Ruth bought her first pair today! I remember buying my first pair of maternity pants when I was pregnant with Joanna, and a little top with strawberries on it. Hope is sparkling, sparkling here.

Friday, July 18, 2008

eleven weeks

Sprout is now supposedly about the size of a lime - a much more substantial seeming fruit than a kumquat or a grape. I ca imagine a lime - ral and solid in my hand - and that makes me smile.

seeming more real

Ruth and I talked about shower plans and diaper service yesterday, and she's blogging about gender hunches -three boy, one girl and a number of abstentions so far. This is all so normal and happy and I am finding myself more and more able to just be happy about Sprout. I don't know when a hope becomes an expectation, and I know so well how much can go wrong at every minute - any minute - but I'm imagining Sprout developing, blossoming into a real live baby in my arms next winter. I will get scared at times, I'm sure, but I don't want to lose one moment of happy baby thinking that I don't have to lose. An old favorite life motto is flaming in my brain - "No unnecessary losses!" So here we go, step by step but with a smile.

Monday, July 14, 2008

pretravel jitters

I am especially nervous tonight because Bob and I are about to leave on a road trip - leaving my practice and grand kids and friends is hard enough but leaving two pregnant daughters is harder. I know my being here didn't save Mira and in no way reduces the risk of miscarriage or any other problem. I will get in the car tomorrow and go. Probably all will be well. If it isn't, we will all cope.

I hate it that I think about Ruth's pregnancy with Sprout in terms of her pregnancy with Mira - who died at ninety days (In eighteen days Sprout will be older than Mira got). This is Spout's turn, Sprout's time to be baby in utero for Ruth. Her sister has a new sweetie growing too, a few weeks behind Sprout, but with Ruth regnancy is about Sprout right now, not Mira. There is no reason to expect parallels.

I'm at a place of wanting again to do something special in Mira's memory - to cherish the hope she represented. I will give a small contribution to March of Dimes the day Sprout gets older than Mira got.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I don't like the elevenths of months - four months today since Mira died and Ruth is ten weeks (or in the tenth week - pregnancy math is confusing) with Sprout. She wore a beautiful loose green smock top to K.K.'s performance today, not really showing in clothes but dressing pregnant and beautiful - and I thought how much bigger she'd be if she were still pregnant with Mira. I'll always wonder about that little girl - who she would be in my arms and in her life. And I'm so happy that Sprout's little life is started and keep hoping all will continue to go well.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

keeping perspective

Title of this blog is "one step removed" and I often need to remind myself that my daughters' lives and mine really are seperate and I need to keep that step removed and not call incessantly to find out that everyone is well and pregnancy continues. I really don't do the crazy Jewish mother stereotype phone calls (much). I just want to. There is absolutely no reason for me to be worried at this time (other than that life is uncertain and you just never know...) Both daughters looked radiant when I saw them just a few days ago. It's me that wants to manage my own anxiety by knowing what's going on every minute and I need to just go read a book or something. Loving from an appropriate distance is tricky choreography.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hopeful Courage

Bob and Ruth and Chris and I went to the restaurant where Ruth and Chris told me they were pregnant with Mira. A reclaiming - a happy lunch. We talked about raising Sprout and I was so respectful of their ability to love again in the face of loss. (And SProut is still making him/herself heard on the Doppler!)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Probable Names

It is wonderful to see Sprout more real since the sonogram and the heart beat on Doppler. Names are out there for possible use - of course could change, but I like imagining this little one by name. William James or Liliana Abigail or Liliana Jean - sweet names all.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sprout heard from

Heart beat on Doppler today - what a sweet and reassuring sound.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Sweet Fourth

Today was good. The whole family spent the afternoon and evening at Ruth and Chris' house, in the pool, shooting off legal fireworks, eating barbecue and S'mores - happy day. The big kids are truly getting big - needing so little care and supervision. I keep thinking, next year will (I hope! I hope! be so different with little tiny Spout in arms.

As much as I am so ready for Sprout, I like our family the way it is now. We went years with no big changes, just gradual developmental changes, and now this last six months, changes have been enormormous and not easy - Mira conceived and dying, Ruth's sister's divorce and developing new (apparently happy and strng) relationship, numerous illnesses in the family. I am feeling our of sorts even though today was truly a sweet and happy day, maybe the best Fourth of July we've had (absent the prickly energy of Joanna's X husband). I just hope there are no more unwelcome changss I don't feel strong and flexible.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Relief - Sprout lives!

Ruth saw the beating heart today on the eight week sonogram. So far so good - no problems - another appointment in a month with the new Dr. Baby who she really likes. Sprout is apparently growing right on track --looks just like the diagra of an eight weeks embryo. I could hear the relief in Ruth's voice when she left me a message at work about having seen the beating heart. My own relief just floods through me.

I know Mira lived longer than this - I know there is no assurance of continued life for any of us in or out of the womb. But tonight, I'm going to just be happy that Sprout is alive and RUth is feeling happy in her pregnancy and her work as she finishes out a summer session teaching on the college level for the first time.

Still waiting

Ruth went to her appointment yesterday and likes the new doctor, but an emergency in that office delayed the sonogram until today. I keep reliving the happy day they first saw Mira's beating heart. But mostly I continue to hope. (Sprout, please have a beating heart.)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tomorrow is a big day

Ruth and Chris go for the first sonogram of Sprout. (Please be alive Sprout, and whole and well and in the right place. Please, please be alive.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day by day

is definitely the way I am taking this pregnancy. I think back to how in the pregnancy with Mira I called Ruth my pregnant daughter every time I saw her. I asked her if that was alright with her and she just smiled and expressed pleasure with the earned label. This time I'm less open, less playful, and I hope that doesn't take away from the joy of this pregnancy. I am eager to hold Sprout in my arms, hopeful, excited - but keeping my emotions down, biding my time. Truth is that's no protection from grieving a loss though, every loss is a loss. I'm letting myself attach more and more to the idea of Sprout.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

And Ruth is nervous too

waiting for the ultrasound. We both hope more than anything that Sprout is still growing and alive. It doesn't help that I talked to a woman today who was miscarrying at seven weeks. We have no symptoms, that I know of, no reason to be nervous, just are.

Monday, June 23, 2008


No reason to be. Ruth seems fine. I've read a few other pregnancy loss blogs - people who were just fine at seven weeks and had later losses, like Ruth did with Mira. I'm sad for them and just hoping that this time, this little one, called Sprout by loving parents, will thrive.

Monday, June 16, 2008


This pregnancy is now further advanced that Ruth's pregnancy with Mira was when she learned she was pregnant. It's still early, but reassuring - first small reassurance for me. i commented to Chris yesterday that it was his first Father's Day pregnant and asked him how that felt. His answer was essentially if not verbatim, "nerve-racking." But all seems well. Ruth looks beautiful and I find myself more excited and less worried - and of course nothing is ever sure. Right now it just feels good to enjoy each day she's pregnant as a day she's pregnant.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Important correction

Eight years. Ruth and Chris have been maried EIGHT years not six. Time and numbers have never been my strengthe but the axiom that time flies faster as I get older seems true. Blessings to that beutiful sustaining marriage even if I can't gget the numbers right.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

mixed musings

Mira died three months ago today. And Ruth and Chris have been married six years. The new baby's heart, according to the books, should have started beating.
I talked to Ruth last night and all seems well, with appropriate and impressive doubling rates on betas, which mean a growing babe (babes?). It's so odd for me. In the pregnancy with Mira I went around with bounce in my step reminding myself every few hours "Ruth is pregnant!" and smiling involuntarily. This time (and it is earlier than we knew about Mira so in a way it makes sense), I feel more a whisper than a shout, a "Ruth is pregnant - please - still." Life seems even more precious and hope both more tenuous and more vital.

I have a friend who is pregnant too - due at Halloween, and the secondary mourning concept applies to that pregnancy too because her husband is in the middle of chemo for a very deadly cancer. When he was diagnosed a year and a half ago the odds of his living this long were about nil, but they got involved in an experimental trial of treatment at Duke and his tumor has shrunk dramatically and there seems real hope that he will hold his baby - even live years to see his child grow. I feel myself struggling not to kill him off in my head, not to assume a sad result, to see every good day as a good day and to enjoy and celebrate without thinking "for now". I know this situation brings up memories of my own first husband's cancer treatment days and they were far too short - ended in death seven months after diagnosis. That's the thing with secondary experience, way too easy to paste one's own on somebody else's. That was then and us. this is now and them.

And the biopsy results of my sister-in-law with metastasied breast cancer don't look hopeful - and yet they are hoping -taking life in twenty minute chunks (sometimes literal, someteims metaphoric twenty minute chunks). Again, I am thinking about the secondary mourning theme, keeping the focus on and taking the lead from them. We are going to visit them in July and I'm scared. I want to carry the tone they need into this situation, not what I guess I would need or what I needed years ago in another situation. My prayer is that I can follow not try to lead - that I can abide.

Monday, June 9, 2008


I whisper "stay".
I whisper"grow."
I whisper "please."
Please live. Don't go.

Friday, June 6, 2008

still pregnant - more hopeful

Strong pregnancy test this morning and Ru feeling better regarding symptoms of possible ectopic pregnancy - monitoring with blood tests for a few days, more comfortable with doctor's office. The line that showed the baby's presence on the home pregnancy test this morning was dark and visible, like the test line. She says she sees two lines for two lives, hers and the babe's. That touches me. Second little line, please please grow into someone I can hold and know.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Ruth had an ob appointment today, supposedly to see if the pregnancy is uterine and maybe to see a heartbeat on the sonogram - but her belief that it was too early was right. The doctor miscaluculated and sent them home (after charging them). THen Ruth started having back pain and cramping and was feeling faint started worrying about an ectopic pregnancy, was told by the doctor's office that it didn't sound like she was in danger, got an apology phone call from the doctor, and now is feeling better physically. I'm scared. I don't want to fear everything will go wrong and can't trust everything will go right. I do trust Ruth will go to the ER if symptoms worsen so I'm not really scared for her life, just worried that this dream will blow apoart now or any other moment during the next eight months - such a fragile dream.

Monday, June 2, 2008

odd (good odd)

Its so odd that Ruth is pregnant again. I'm saying the words in the same sentence again - Ruth and pregnant. It scares me. I don't believe in jinxes or that we can control outcomes one way or another. It still scares me. I am reserving my emotions, its so early, but there is definitely hope.

Today Ruth took me with her to try on a bridesmaid's dress she will be wearing in late October and she folded a scarf into the belly area to simulate a five month bump. I felt sad thinking she'd be bigger than that with Mira now - and also hopeful. She looked lovely in her golden mermaid dress, and will, pregnant or not.

And I hope she will still be pregnant. I hope. I hope.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


Faint Pink Line

Any line is a good line
and this one, a shadow
four days ago, is clear
now. Visible. Strong.
First milestone of life
barely begun. Please
stay, grow, let us know
and and hold and love you.

Definite line

on Ruth's pregnancy test - Wow! Wasn't expecting this so soon - not even hoping though obviously I could have been. I'm realizing how much I used to translate pregnancy as "going to have a baby" - more now a "hoping to complete cooking a baby". But clearly the journey has begun again.

Friday, May 30, 2008

50% more maybe

title borrowed from Ruth's blog entry today. Still a faint pink line - alittle less pink, still way too early to know but hopeful and frightening. I am nticing how mush I want to protect Ruth and Chris from a roller coaster of possible losses instead of focusing on the possible delight for them in good outcome. I am working on remembering to operate out of "love not fear" as the attitudinal healing people say. It does seem to help to notice when I'm operating out of fear.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

faint pink line

a barely maybe positive on the pregnancy test this morning for Ruth. It's way too soon to believe it will translate into a live baby or even a pregnancy, but it is a possibility. I'm staying quiet and still with this/ she'll test again on the fourteenth day of the cycle. We'll see.

And Heidi had her bone biopsies today - no news from there yet. I feel so helpless as she and Joe go through what they go through, taking the cancer experience twenty minutes at a time. Again, I don't want to minimize or dramatize - want to find the best way to abide for/with them day by day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

another hope?

Ruth had spotting today - implantation bleeding? Tomorrow is the first day she can take a pregnancy test for this first try after Mira. We aren't talking about it much. I hugged her tonight when they came over to watch a movie (The Great Debaters is wonderful) and I didn't want to let go of her - just wanted to rock and rock her. I don't want her to go through a roller coaster ride of losses - and I wish I could just hope she's pregnant and trust that if she is this one will keep. I want to love her and Chris as they best need to be loved. At this point just hanging out together when they choose seems right. I treasure every minute with them.

Heidi and Joe went to a favorite beach today She has bone biopsies tomorrow. in that situation too, I walk a razor's edge - not wanting to say too much or too little or the wrong thing - loving and not wanting to over dramatize or ignore.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Screwy Memorial Day thoughts

I went to the Memorial Day ceremony in the Capitol rotunda with my living grand children - felt all the sorrows of grieving war dead - all the sadness of living in a world that has not found a way to avoid wars. And Out of the blue I had the thought "Mira will never go for a soldier, live in a city besieged by bombs, bury her husband, son, daughter, as a result of war." I don''t know what I think about thinking that, but it seems right to record that I did.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

worry - another pifall in secondary mourning

I Worry/I Worry Not

Rurh won't get pregnant again.
Ruth will get pregnant again
and the baby will die unborn,
or born too soon, or the baby
will be perfect, and we will
all believe we are safe and
the baby will die of SIDS in
the cradle in the sunlight
or start kindergarten and get
run over in the crosswalk
or get leukemia or get addicted
to crack or kill herself over
some silly boy. I can't do this.
Ruth will get pregnant again,
or she won't, and the sun and moon
will rise and set and I will breathe
in and out, in and out - whatever.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Keeping it secondary

I learned today that my sister-in-law not only has a recurrence of breast cancer, but that it has spread beyond her bones to her lungs. I know that's very very bad news. I know that she and Bob's brother will go to the oncologist tomorrow and talk about treatment plans - or the absence of treatment plans. I want to get on a plane and go to their house and make them soup and throw my arms around them both, but I'd just be in the way and I need to be here. I know I have real empathy for them, real concern for them - as themselves, as the people this is happening to right now. And I rem amber so well when my first husband and I were getting his diagnosis - how that felt and sounded. I don't want to paste our sad outcome on
them. I want to wait and listen and understand and abide. And I also remember. I think that's a trick with secondary mourning, a pitfall. When somebody's situation is so like something I've been through, I have to fight getting my remembered pain mixed up with theirs. I need to keep my own grief (for their current circumstances and for my own past loss) bracketed so I can stand strong for them. Not easy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mira Memorial

Today the hospital where Mira died held a memorial service for the families of all the people who died "in their care." during the last six months. Ruth and Chris, our two oldest friend couples, and I attended for Mira. I was touched by the comfort of really old strong friendships - touched by how thoroughly my old friends love and are loved by my daughter and her husband, surprised by my own tears for the possibility that didn't make it to fruition in Mira. I was surprised and moved that Ruth asked me to got to the front and light the memorial candle for Mira on the family's behalf - speaking her name to the room was hard and sweet - strange to speak it to others and never to see her face or call her by her name to her face. I was surprises that we, normally a reserved group, were able to hug and cry and cry and hug - to hold tightly onto each other - to cry to the point of needing tissues. I'm not a crier, even when I'm really hurting, and especially not a public crier, but it felt right to cry today. I've had such an urge to rock Ruth in my arms since Mira died, and I gave into that urge for a minute in the chapel and she let me. I just wish I could keep my children and their children safe for ever. And I know that is utterly impossible and all we can do is hang in with and onto each other. It was good to be able to do that today in a formalized way.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

More than one cause for secondary mourning

I've been thinking a lot about the disasters in China and Myanmar, all the people suffering, all the places in the world that people I will never meet are suffering. And my sister-in-law, who I love, just found out her breast cancer is back after three years. There is always sadness somewhere - somebody facing something hard, life shattering. Keeping my balance, being able to work, laugh, enjoy a good book, rest, in the midst of all the suffering - doing enough to make enough of a difference, letting it be enough - stepping back, staying centered. Quite a trick.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Mother's Day Poem that Belongs Here

This poem was written by a friend whos first baby died soon after birth decades ago and who later build her family through adoption. I am using it here with her permission.

Mothers Day

To all the mothers
who wish they'd done
differently, to all the moms
whose children are lost,
to all the mothers
who couldn't be.
God loves you all.

Peggy Goetz
May 11, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sweet with a sad shading

describes our Mother's Day celebrations today. Ruth and Chris went kayacking this morning, first time since Mira died. They love kayacking, and I hear sparkle and energy in Ruth's voice when she talked about getting ready to go out on the river. After their adventure, during which they founda lovely photo shot spot involving wild hill country beauty and a random chunk of pink granite, they came to our house for a lunch. They brought the take-out from a favorite Mexican reataurant and a bottle of blackberry wine. I set the table fancy. I gave Ruth my Mother's Day present to her in memory a Mira. They use the dragonfly as a symbol for Mira and so I bought her a piece of dragonfly yard art - named it "the Mirafly" and both of them picked up the language. Memorials are sad, but there is a sweetness even when we should be waiting for Mira not memorializing her.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mother's Day Blues

I feel sad about Ruth facing this Mother's Day not pregnant (and thinking she hasn't ovulated this cycle with the clomid). I had been thinking off and on during her pregnancy about how sweet it is to be pregnant on Mother's Day, was thinking she'd really be showing by then. And now its not like that at all. I think we'll go out to lunch tomorrow, not do anything on the actual day. Its hard to focus on me being a mother when she is a baby-less after making a good start in the motherhood direction.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Better day

Ruth's feeling better physically and of course that makes me feel better emotionally. I see her focusing on ovulation testing in one breath and missing Mira in the next. That's so hard and so real - the way life is. We carry our losses into the future we try to create, don't leave them behind as we move ahead.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Trying not to worry like a Jewish mother

is a trick when you are a Jewish mother. Ruth is sick with strep for the second time since Mira died. I think she'll be fine, now that she finally has an antibiotic, but she does seem to be run down - from the pregnancy and loss I think and from the grief. Also very frustrating for her to be sick when ovulating, wast of a chance an a new pregnancy.

I had a poignant moment today. I went to a shop near my office to buy a few greeting cards and wandered into a new room of the shop to fincd a magnificent display of fancy baby clothes - mostly little girl clothes - everything smocked, embroidered, peach, and green and soft - all the things I would have loved to be buying for Mira about now. I didn't cry. I did stay and look at the clothes and imagine that I might be shopping soon for another new baby - another sweet possibility.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Halfway to Nowhere

I'm not really much of a numbers person, but it did hit me hard when Ruth wrote last night that she would have been twenty weeks pregnant with Mira this week -half way home. Except we're not.

Seems like a goot time to post the tribute poem I wrote for Mira.


wanted baby
hope begun in winter
died before spring
wanted baby

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Explanation and Beginning

I'm starting this blog tonight, as May begins - month of hope for fertility. The story I'm chronicling really began years ago when it became clear that my younger daugher and her husband weren't getting pregnant easily. She started using the word "infertile" and I winced every time in the beginning. I didn't want word to fit them. My own parents had been infertile and had adopted me after ten years of trying - obviously without benefit of modern medical techniques.

The story picked up speed in January when, out of the blue, my daughter found herself pregnant - apparently miraculous, an "oopsies!" pregnancy none of us believed possible. Her pregnancy ended in March at thirteen weeks (just the right side of safe) because the baby, a little girl they named Mira Abigail, simply died. Autopsy results don't tell us why.

I've been journaling all along - privately and on my general blog, "And Now" at Since I discovered "Lost and Found Connections Abound" right after Mira died, I've found comfort here and have wanted to participate more actively by sharing my blog. I've wondered if other parents/grandparents/sisters/brothers/friends read - other secondary mourners. I would love to share support with some of you.

How happy I was (when Ruth was first pregnant)

For perspective and to let you know me a little better - This is the first post I wrote after finding out Ruth was pregnant.

Funny week - Ruth's news about being pregnant is so big that I have trouble thinking of anything else to update people about. Work is good and busy for me. I am thankful everyday that I love what I do for a living.

Ruth's pregnant! (I'm so happy! I'm so thankful! I'm so happy!)

Bob loves what he does too, but its more stressful. He said this weekend that the idea of coming back to teach fourth grade nearer home with all the pressures of getting situated in a new school and initiating programs and handling classroom management without the wonderful support he has in his current school feels daunting and I think he's right and its best for him not to try it. He's still considering trying to come back to teach high school math which worries me because though I have great faith in Bob, he hasn't taught high school, and I worry that classroom management would be worse there without the dearness of the younger kids and the support of teachers and administrators who like, respect and care about him already.

Right now Bob's entering the painful push to get the kids ready for TAKS tests, especially writing, which comes first. The No Child Left Behind thing really doesn't seem to work and just creates pressure for an approximation of learning, more than real learning. I think Bob was one of the last people (especially teachers) I know who thought it had some merit and helped some kids. I trust we'll elect a Democrat for President and the TAKS tests will join myriad other failed and abandoned programs. I hope the education programs which come best work better.

Ruth's pregnant! (I wonder what school will be like when that kid reaches school age.)

I'm wishing hard that the Democratic candidates would all avoid trying to make each other look bad.

Ruth's pregnant! (I wonder what the state of the world will be for this grand child.)

All the grand kids are a delight and each is learning and progressing. K.K. has really wowed her jazz and tap teachers and is loving those variants on dance, though still spending most of her hours in ballet. She is about to get her pointe shoes. Zachary is writing his name and other letters better each week and seems to have gotten used to focusing on that kind of learning, and Danny is learning steadily and happily.

Ruth's pregnant! (I wonder what that grandchild will be like - what strengths, accomplishments, challenges.)

The temperature is staying right above freezing here and it feels colder because its gray and windy, but I don't much feel the gloom because Ruth's pregnant.

Hope all is well with you.

And after Mira died

And this is the first post I made after Mira died.


Water of life,
salt shed, shared
honoring loss
honoring love
I weep that
I will never dry
my grand child's
wet salt tears.

I don't want to write this entry. The Friedling is dead - sweet baby of promise and hope - little one who already brought us so much delight (and now none of us will be able to cradle you or laugh with you or teach you or learn from you). I hate this.

I don't believe anything about life happens for a reason or that concepts of fairness apply to medical situations, but Ruth and Chris should be happy not sad - no more trouble for them! I want to stand at the entrance of the cave and keep anything from hurting them ever again - and little Friedling too.

I wish I could bethe all-protective matriarch and keep my clan safe. Impossible.

So what do I know tonight?

I'm glad Ruth and Chris have each other.
I'm glad they conceived this baby and that she grew within Ruth for three months.
I'm glad they shared this pregnancy from the beginning and didn't try to protect themselves or anyone else from the possibility of having to grieve.
I hate it that Ruth has to have a D and C - don't want her to hurt physically as well as emotionally.
I miss deeply, achingly, the hope of this baby in my arms, nuzzling close. i've been imagining another flame haired little girl, (know that was not anything but an imagining but it was my imagining) toddling along after K.K., swung up on K.K's hip as easily as that little one rode her Auntie Ru's hip, and now that won't be, at least with this baby right now.
I trust that Ruth and Chris will thrive again - and I know they will hurt along the way.
I hate that

Where we stand now - gathering strength

Last Sunday - just as Passover ended, we had a sweet seder with Ruth and Chris (a week late I know but we aren't super traditional and they waited for me to get back from my travels). They made wonderful food and Ruth's haggadah - that she wrote - all the prayers customized, rang as true as ever. I had trouble holding my tears back several times, when I imagined how this seder would have been if Ruth had still been pregnant, abstaining from wine, showing - glowing. I kept wishing it was appropriate still to lean over and kiss her belly.

Ruth took her second dose of clomid the day of the seder. She even put it on her supper plate so she wouldn't forget. THey are hoping again. Trying again. Scared and aware that given infertility they want to start again trying NOW. I hate it that they can't just have babies easily. They will be such good parents. I don't want them to suffer loss again. I respect them for trying again and for standing strong with each other.