I like to count things. Over the past four years and a half years I’ve become quite skilled at counting babies. I count months: “Oh, someone else had a living baby! During which month would he have been conceived?” I count weeks: “How many weeks would it have been since our last baby was born (if she had lived)?” I count days: “When I took that pregnancy test, how many days had passed since my period?” There’s something about counting that soothes my anxious mind; a mundane distraction from our troubled world.
Now, let me count the number of times I’ve attempted to start writing this post: 5. The number of pages I’ve written below (without really saying anything at all): 3. The number of times I’ve had challenging thoughts about pregnant women, babies or mothers in general: innumerable.
Continue reading Baby Hate and Other Non-Pretty Thoughts →
Anyone else feeling utterly exhausted these days? It feels like the state of our world and the deep and troubling complexities of life (in nearly every sphere of my existence) are wearing me down, moment by moment. I’ve found myself recently describing my state of being as “flat,” blah,” “without a spark.” In Spanish, one might say sin ganas.
Continue reading Shame in the Throat →
¿Alguien más se siente totalmente agotado estos días? Parece que el estado de nuestro mundo y las profundas y preocupantes complejidades de la vida (en casi todas las esferas de mi existencia) me están desgastando, momento a momento. Últimamente me he encontrado describiendo mi estado de ánimo como “plano”, soso”, “sin chispa”… tal vez diría totalmente “sin ganas”.
Continue reading Vergüenza en la garganta →
120 months (ten years) ago today, I moved to Mexico. One year and two days ago, I started to share openly that I was pregnant. Four days ago, my husband’s mom died. It is almost inconceivable to me that in less than 6 months, Yeyo lost his son and his mother… and both of them, so very unexpectedly. I only know how it has been for me, the departure of my mother-in law, María Ofelia Arruti Hernández. I can only talk about the way that one grief touches and stirs the other. I can only share that every time I imagine Ofelia on “the other side,” I see Rafa in her arms, the two of them smiling and enjoying themselves. Every time I think of this, I weep. They are tears of sadness and joy, pure emotion. I have no idea if a place like heaven exists. I doubt it. But it gives me so much solace thinking of Rafa with his grandma, that I am forced to suspend my disbelief.
Continue reading Awe Embodied →
Twelve hours passed between the mid-day visit to the doctor’s office confirming that Rafael was no longer alive inside my womb and the beginning of full-on labor. That time was both sacred and a total scramble of consciousness and memory. I had several realizations during those hours that I have come to see as “Truths” (for me) in the months since Rafa’s death. I now live with the lessons that came to me during that precious time as guiding principles. One of them has to do with the mystery and miracle of life itself.
After the doctor’s office, I asked my midwife to drop Yeyo and I off at my parents’ hotel. My mom and dad had come to Oaxaca from Salt Lake City for the birth. Once we had delivered the devastating news, we sat stunned on the uncomfortable couches in their condo-style hotel room. I think it was then that my wise husband said, “We have to remember that this little baby was a miracle. His very existence has no medical explanation.” Followed by: “And why he died is a mystery. It’s something we will never understand.”
Continue reading The Mystery & The Miracle →