About

This is a space for sharing stories.
For sharing joy and gratitude.
And for sharing pain and grief.

This is a place to share my experience conceiving (in cahoots with my beloved husband, Yeyo), gestating and preparing to give birth to our son, Rafael. And the story of learning that Rafa died in utero some days after he was due. And the stories of what happened before and after all of this. This is also not at all about me. This is a virtual sanctuary for sharing our many griefs and connecting in the universal messiness of it all… for finding ways to honor our emotions, our souls, our thoughts (even the crazy ones… or maybe, especially the crazy ones), our experiences, all of it: in communion with humility… together. Ceremony, ritual, tradition, practice: these all are strands in the plaits of this work to grieve and ache and feel and bow our heads before the mystery of life and death, truly in awe of what we won’t ever understand but are still fully part of.

Let me tell you a little more about us before we begin. I am a 44-year old United Statsian, white, female-bodied person (gender is somewhat of a mystery to me these days). I have called Oaxaca home for the past 10 years. I moved to Mexico for love (this always makes me blush a little). Yeyo is from Mexico City but has lived in Oaxaca since 1997. He has a nearly 18-year old son, Rodrigo. Yeyo and I have been together for 11 years. We got married in 2015. The first two years of marriage were full of challenges and growth, sometimes incredibly painful growth. I have never, ever, ever (as far as I know) been pregnant before this.

Rafa’s conception was a miracle. I was told in 2016 that I would never be able to have a child (biologically speaking) because both of my fallopian tubes were totally blocked. One year later in October 2017, Rafael miraculously came into this world: the dark aquatic womb world within this brighter, louder outer world. We lived as one for nine beautiful (and sometimes not so beautiful) months. He was to be born around the end of July 2018 but Rafa died in utero, a fully formed, healthy, full-term baby. We discovered that he had no heartbeat on July 30st when I went to see my midwife after a nerve-wracking weekend of sensing that something was not right. I gave birth to his beautiful, lifeless body before sunrise on July 31st 2018. It was my husband 49th birthday.

In awe of death and life,
Aerin

Rafa_About

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Photos by Maria M. Caire and Úrsula Hierro, respectively.