May 7, 2012

I have a new nephew, born thousands of miles from me, in the Midwest. Born early – he was supposed to have been a c-section as my lovely sister-in-law’s pregnancy has been shadowed by some abnormalities that showed up on her ovaries during a screening. But he came last week, really wanted to be born. And he’s a beautiful little mite of a thing – sweet, serious, baby face. Little brother to two amazing sisters.


He’s in the hospital. They’re testing for meningitis. He has an IV because he’s been struggling to nurse and to stay awake long enough to nurse. They’ll know more tomorrow.

His mom traveled out to Portland for Teddy’s birth and death in 2008. She’s born witness to our story and our story has marked her. I know that what she is going through now must feel like an overture to her worst nightmares, and I am hoping, hoping, hoping, that her little guy gains strength and alertness and that he is able to come home soon and that he grows up to terrorize those big sisters of his.

There’s not much we can do from way over here. Worry, wait, and hope for good news. I want to go grocery shopping for her family and weed their garden and make up stories for my nieces and give hugs and cook something and do background checks on all the doctors involved.

Instead, I clean my office and am grateful that my mother-in-law and father-in-law are traveling up to help.

I do my own version of praying, which is just the sending out of Please. Oh, please into the universe for whoever may be listening.

I hug Dot tight.

I think about her brother and how he was so strong and wiggly inside me and about how all his strength and spirit were no match for such compromised lungs once he left the safety of my womb. I know for so many of us, birth marks the beginning of safer times, but that wasn’t my story. I have a more than healthy fear of all that can happen in the hours and days and weeks after birth. I know that Teddy’s death doesn’t buy anyone I love safety or ease. I’ve let go of a lot of my old anger about this, but still…

Keep breathing, I pray. Just keep breathing.




  1. Adding my voice to the chorus of “Please” and holding hope for this little guy

  2. Here’s hoping with you.

  3. Hoping for good news with you. Hang on in there little one xo

  4. Oh, man. I’m sorry to hear this news and I’m sending as much hope as I can. Please, please help this little guy recover.

  5. Oh, all my love and thoughts to you. As you know, I had a terribly ill niece in the ICU of our local children’s hospital last week and at just two months old and so tiny to fight such a nasty illness, it was a rough week. She’s made a full recovery and it is my great wish that your precious nephew does as well.
    Sending you strength.

  6. Oh my. Hoping all goes well. (((hugs)))

  7. Thinking of your nephew. The fear is so much more tangible, I think, not just for us, but for the people connected to us.

  8. praying with you.

  9. Thanks so much, everyone. He seems to be on the right track – eating more, waking up a bit more, and they’ve ruled out some of the scarier possibilities.

  10. any update?

  11. Sorry for the belated update – He is home! He is doing well – stronger and more alert every day.

  12. Wonderful news—so glad to hear it.

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