Thursday, August 20, 2009


I'm still learning how to be Owen's mother. I'm sorry to say it has not come naturally to me.

I struggle to find a way to make him part of our lives in a current way. To somehow confirm to myself that he was here and that his life and death mattered.

That he was more than just loss.

Thank you to Carly of To Write Their Names in the Sand for this beautiful image. As she knows only too well, sometimes words aren't adequate.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Owen, today I am going to try to celebrate you.

To remember only how it felt to hold you in my arms. To remember the love and joy, yes joy, I felt when I gazed at your face for the first time. The sadness and sorrow came before and after, in those moments there was only a love so all encompassing that I knew I was in the presence of something larger than myself.

Owen, I had been so afraid of what would happen in those moments- would I be able to look at you, hold you, love you? But when I saw you, it was like looking at the face of G-d. You were so beautiful. You were perfect. You were an angel on earth. I am thankful that for a short while you were mine to hold.

Happy Birthday little man.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Two years ago today I woke up and knew he was gone. I tried to pretend for as long as I could, but I knew. I still feel physically sick when I allow myself to remember how in instant I knew I was suddenly alone. That knowing was the worst part and in some ways I have been alone ever since. Although Owen was born tomorrow, today is the day I lost him. This is the second anniversary of the worst day of my life.

All those terrible moments, just frozen in my mind. I wonder will this day always be like this?

Monday, July 27, 2009


We went to the cemetery this weekend again. I like that J & K get more and more comfortable there. Is that wrong? We planted some new flowers for him and cleaned his stone. Its morbid but I can't help but wonder what if anything is left of him.

It will be two years on July 30. God, two years, how did that happen? I remember him and I wonder how I kept going, how I keep going; how life kept on, keeps on moving. At the same time, I know there is a part of me that is frozen there. A part of me that will continue to relive July 29 & 30 2007 for the rest of my life. As if somehow, sometime I will remember those days with a different ending. One where I get to keep my baby boy.


It still takes my breath away when I think about what happened, what I lost. The memories are different now, fuzzier around the edges. I think about it sometimes almost like watching a movie. I remember each detail but in a softer way.

All too often I find myself remembering and feeling sorry for that poor poor woman and then it hits me again like a brick wall.

That poor woman was me, is me.

I gave birth on that day to a beautiful little boy with dark hair and big feet. He was perfect and he was dead.

I loved him.

I love him.

It takes my breath away.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quick Update

* Warning there is a picture at the end of this post*

The last couple of months have been busy. The mundane sort of busy that I am grateful for now. We've had a few ups and downs with Eden (she had RSV in December and was pretty ill for awhile and was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy that has affected her weight gain), but (knock on wood) nothing super serious. She continues to be a delight. J & K are wonderful and growing up more and more each day. I cannot believe that K will be 4 in a few shorts weeks and J 6 not long after. JD was promoted at work recently which given the current state of the economy was somewhat unexpected and give us some pretty exciting options for the future. This summer will be 2 years since Owen died. Two years, its forever and then again its just the blink of an eye.

I have realized that as much as I don't necessary fit into the blogosphere the way I used to, I miss it here. I have a lot I need to write about and I hope to start posting again more regularly. I haven't yet decided whether I will write here or create a new space. I guess I'll see what feels right. Right now this blog feels like Owen's space and maybe I need to find a space that's more suited to where I am right now.

So that's my quick update. That, and of course this:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Still Around

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I'm still around. I have more that I probably need to say but I'm not sure this is the right place for me to say it. I'm still trying to figure out where I belong. But mostly, I'm just busy being happy. It still sometimes feels like a betrayal to admit it, but I am just really happy with my life right now, deadbaby and all. Who knew?

Monday, January 12, 2009


It's not all angst, I swear. There is a lot of good in post-loss mothering too. I was just surprised by how much more aware of my loss it has made me. I know I said over and over again that I knew a new baby wouldn't take away that pain of losing Owen, but on some level I must have believed it would. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been surprised when it didn't, right?

I was talking the other day to another deadbaby mama and she was telling me that after her daughter died she had a physical. During that physical, her doctor discovered a heart murmur that was never there before. I can't stop thinking about it. It's like losing her daughter literally left a hole in her heart. I know it's crazy of me, but I think its the most beautiful thing I've ever heard.

It got me thinking about the hole Owen left behind. I see it more clearly now, since having Eden. When I look at her with J & K, Owen's absence is more glaring than it was before Eden's birth. I can actually see a hole in our family now. It's become more concrete for me. Between the preschooler and the infant, there is a toddler missing. I know that nothing, not Eden, not any other child, can fill that gap.

What Eden does, though, is fill up other spaces in me, holes I didn't know were there.

She makes my heart sing, holes and all. I've missed that.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Question Unasked, Unanswered

So with the New Year, I guess it's time for this post. The real reason I haven't been writing much since Eden was born. It's not really because of the day to day stuff, or fear of hurting others (although there is some of that), the real reason I've been avoiding writing is because I knew that if I started blogging here regularly again, I would eventually have to write this post. I mean, how long can words circle around in your head before they have to come out? It seems for me that answer is about 5 months.

I think I killed my son.

Let me back up. I didn't always think this. In fact, I know the exact moment that phrase came in to my head for the first time. It was August 11th, I was in the hospital and the hematologist was explaining my diagnosis to me. I.TP or idiop.athic thromb.ocytopenia pu.rpura, or in layman's terms low platelets for an unknown reason.

Dr. R was reading over my medical records and said to me "I see you lost a son to abnormal bleeding in utero- so you've had episodes of this before?" It was half question, half statement.

"No." I said quickly. "or...not that I know of..." A feeling of horror swept over me. "Could I have had this and not known?"

He looked at me. Then he shook his head. "Oh no, they would have tested you here before you delivered him. It's just that the intracranial bleeding....well that is not uncommon with ITP pregnancies. But it must have been something else."

"He wasn't born here. I had testing after he was born but not for a few months. I don't think I was tested when he was born." I was getting frantic.

"No, no. I'm sure they tested you. Let's deal with what's going on now." And he changed the subject. Not unkindly, he was just preoccupied with getting me safely through the current crisis. (In appointments since then Dr. R has confided how afraid for me he truly was those first few days. He didn't sleep and he and the OB did not leave the hospital until my platelets started rising.)

In every quiet moment since then I have wondered. What makes me crazy is that I do remember having lots of bruising that summer. I remember remarking to JD about it. I remember one of the midwives asking me hesitantly if I was "safe at home." But I don't remember any platelet testing.

I shared all this with JD after Eden was safely home. "I have all my records in the trunk with Owen's things. I could look...."

"Ashleigh, don't go there. What would it help? What would it change?"

"No. no. You're right. I should let it go."

But I didn't. I didn't let it go.

In my records are the results from all the various tests they ran the day Owen was born. No where among them is a simple CBC. No where is a platelet count.

I think I killed my son.