One complicated conclusion

One complicated conclusion

How did this outcome possibly happen? In my case, I was quick to implicate myself. I needed an answer, so I dissected every aspect of my pregnancy, from my nutrition to my outlook, to try to solve the puzzle. But even if I had total understanding of the medical side, or total understanding of my own role—neither of which is the case—the issue remains. My daughter is dead. No explanation will ever be enough to make that fact okay, to truly make sense of it.

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The shining dead star

The shining dead star

Kate’s piece on positivity—and the ceremonious celebration of gratitude four days away—places me in a strange cusp, a crack in the veil of pristine white we are asked to gently wrap around us. As though positivity or gratitude is going to whitewash our lives into becoming those pretty pictures we put up on Facebook and Instagram. As though losing a baby is one of those elastic springs one can bounce back from.

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The opposite of pride

The opposite of pride

All the time, babies are born perfect and alive without prenatal care, vitamins, heartbeat monitors, ultrasounds, and tests. By doing these things, we think we have some control, when we don’t. We just don’t. So when something goes wrong (the baby is formed with a heart defect; no kidneys; neural tube problem; the cord knots; the placenta tears away; the cervix gives out) ….what do we have?

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Keeping my distance

Keeping my distance

As I walk to my car after work in the early evening darkness of winter, I realize that my shaky situational management has, what appears to me, a consequence. I cycle through the past moments of avoidance and self-preservation, replay the flashes of tense minutes forced upon me, of gritting my teeth through apathetic dismissals veiled in platitudes. I weigh them against the softer moments of kind words, timely gifts and acknowledgement, but find an imbalance.

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Enough

Enough

My gut instinct was to turn away from Agnes—along with everyone else—and I didn’t know why. However, at five months along, with the decision to continue the pregnancy, there was little to no room for rational thought, much less self-exploration. I didn’t have the slightest idea how to share her with the world, nor did I want to. It is hard to describe what it’s like to carry a baby you’re afraid to meet.

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