I am struck by the pull of the public and private. Knowing everything versus trusting in the unknown. In the age of sharing, and social media, I find myself torn. How to be in the present moment? How much to give outwards? It is a decision Mike & I have been faced with repeatedly as contemporary parents, and I don’t doubt that it requires all partners to dig deep.
So when I was presented the opportunity to share more about our loss, I checked in with Mike and then went ahead. I have been eager to keep a dialogue going about baby loss, but I have also wanted to protect our experience. Recently I participated in a short interview with ParentMap about abortion. A friend connected us through the organization Shout Your Abortion. The article was conceptualized before the election, and needless to say, there was a collective palpable urgency to share in the weeks and months after. It is my hope that by adding one more voice to the mix, I can help normalize. SYA’s mission is simple and direct, and the new website creates a space for all that is abortion. In our story, and in many others that are a part of an alarming statistic, two loving parents often stand behind it.
You can read the article here.
Mike & I declined all genetic testing during our second pregnancy. Ultimately, we wanted to restore faith in the natural process of things. Having access to these tools didn’t mean we needed to use them. Having terminated once didn’t mean we would do it again. Conversely, being a married couple with the best intentions to parent didn’t mean we would not consider terminating. For in 2013, we had found ourselves in that space. As my friends simultaneously go through the joys and difficulties of growing families, some are stopped short. They too have chosen paths that would bring their pregnancy to a halt. It is raw and it is unraveling. And there is not a moment when I doubt our right to choose.
My first pregnancy with the twins was very transparent (with ultrasounds every 2 weeks) and their birth very medicalized. With one ‘failed’ attempt behind me, and like all other pregnancies at 35 years and older, there was a very small chance our baby could have challenges. Our doctor checked-in repeatedly as the weeks ticked by. We were willing to risk it, willing to let hope guide us. And for both pregnancies we decided not to find out the sex. I have found a sense of buoyancy in not knowing absolutely everything.
In many ways I am healing. It’s as if Ramsey was plucked out of the sea, and placed into our laps to light up our lives. I do still impulsively dip into the nursery during nap time to check for his breathing. I know I’m not the only one to do this. But it is impossible to shake a loss. I simply cannot have another child taken from me. That might be the crux of it. I perceive that the twins were taken from us, not that I had an abortion to take them out of me. Because we did it out of love.
Many of us moms feel overwhelmingly moved to write, to travel, to yoga, to move, to activate, to march, to challenge the status quo, to speak to those who will listen when we lose a baby. Whisper, murmur, sing or shout, we find our ways to share. And the more loss and abortion are talked about, the less women feel alone.
I am fine-tuning my voice in floral to use it in a personal and powerful way. With every blog post shared pertaining to loss, I carve out more space for Flowers Heal within July Floral. The healing power, both in working with blooms and teaching floral design classes is rewarding. I’ll soon offer a floral to send specifically to grieving parents who lose a baby, or two. I want to share, and it’s on me. Stay tuned for this addition, and please spread the word.
From the Seattle Womxn’s March on 1.21.17.
p.s. For those of you who came to our Holiday Relief party in December, we raised $200 for Planned Parenthood!