Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Well, it finally happened. I always knew it would- I've been waiting for the panic to arise, and honestly I've been surprised at how calm Dave and I have been since the twins' birth.

I turned 29 on Friday. We made an impromptu trip to Louisville, spent all day at the science center and then went to dinner. It was our first dinner out as a five person family. We sat in a crescent shaped booth, and the babies were right next to me. Next to Dave. Next to each other.

I sat down, figured out the appetizer I wanted, looked around and momentarily forgot that they were there. That happens sometimes, and I always look around quickly for them and make sure they are still breathing. It's just my second nature. I saw Callie breathing. I put my hand on Wendy's chest, nothing.

Her face was cold. Her hands werent moving. Her eyes werent darting under her eyelids. Her face was so cold. And I panicked. My head was shaking, my mouth was saying words, "No, no no no no no no" that I couldnt hear. The whole restaurant stood still, I felt like a camera zoomed in and it was just my face looking at Charlie all over again. Blue streaks appeared, her jaw felt tight like when I tried to open his, I put my hands on her face and squeezed her cheeks, whispering, "no, no, no, not again. Not again."

And Dave took my hands and said, "Holly, she's fine. She's breathing." It all happened in a matter of seconds, I imagined something was wrong but it wasn't. I lost my shit. Out in public. I was sobbing, and people were staring. Adaline was hugging me, and Dave was looking at me like I was crazy. Because for just a moment, I was crazy.

Welcome to year 29. In the past 5 years I've gotten married, moved to a farm, had 4 children, buried one child, and seen both the best and the worst days of my life. And it's just part of life that the worst day sometimes overshadows everything else.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Appropriate Response

"We lost our son last April to SIDS," is something I have to say to people fairly often.

Well, I don't have to say it, but it's something I say a lot of times in response to "Oh, I bet Daddy wants a boy!" and "Are these your only three?" The appropriate response is, "Im sorry," "Wow, that must be really hard," or maybe even "I don't know what I would do." Because, honestly, no one knows what they would do if they lost a child.

It's so easy to think you know. In the past few months I've heard or read some responses that people think are appropriate that just really - mainly people eluding to killing themselves if anything like that happened to them. Don't you think I've thought of that? Contimplated it? Hell, even planned it down to the last detail and then beat myself up for ever thinking it would be okay to put my husband and daughter in that situation.

Don't say to me, "Oh, I'd jump off the bridge if something happened to my baby," because aside from the fact that suicide has been tempting enough, it makes me feel like you think I didn't love my son enough because I haven't killed myself in grief. Honestly, you don't know that you would jump off a bridge or have to be committed, or lose your mind, or any of the other things that people regularly say in response to hearing about child death.

How can I act normal? Because I have to. Because there isn't another option. I have three other children that need me to be normal, a husband that needs support just as much as I do, and a community that expects me to reach out if I need something instead of just spiraling inward to the point of mental breakdowns or suicide.

And because I choose to. Because while losing my baby is about the worst thing I can imagine, it would be so much worse for my family to lose me too. Life goes on- there are times when it doesn't feel like it, but it has, and it will continue to. The whole world doesn't stop every time a baby dies, regardless of how unfair that might seem to grieving mothers whose world has come to a complete standstill.

So next time you hear about someone losing a child, losing a parent, losing their dog- just don't tell them what you would do if it was you. Because it's not you.