Thursday, June 11, 2009


Yesterday, while chopping vegetables, I noticed something sticking out of the dog's mouth. The two little bitty legs of an acorn girl.

Sometimes I act insane.

I saved the acorn baby. Her little acorn shell hat still intact, and her twisted body could be molded back to girl shape. If only we had cute hats, and wooden heads, and wire bodies to mold back into a semblance of health and happiness.


It is rainy and gray here, and yet I am okay with the sweaty coolness of this particular type of day in early summer. I've been crying a lot lately, thinking about my life as it is. Thinking about how much has changed about who I am, and what I want out of people, out of myself, out of my family. Every aspect of me is different.

I used to want to write novels about identity. Being an identical twin means I have questioned my identity a lot. So varied. I grew up with virtually no one knowing which person I was. My identity was simply my unique birth. The twins. That is what we were, and in the 70s/80s, there weren't as many around. And now, my identity is different. It is dead baby mama. Grief. Loss. Sadness. I hope it is more than that, deeper than that, but right now, it is all I read in the pictures I see. My identity keeps getting all tied up with birth.

When Lucy died, I couldn't comprehend the ways in which I would change. I remember thinking, "Nothing is ever going to be the same." But what that meant, I had no idea. I feel bad when I am still flaky, out of it, recovering from a bout of sobbing and trying to appear as though I were sneezing. I feel even the most patient of my friends are growing impatient with me. Sometimes I cannot believe how tired I am, how obliterated my brain is, despite doing the most menial of tasks. And I know it is the grief catching up with me, reminding me that I am not who I think I am.


Yesterday, I noticed the woman behind me in line staring at the pile of stuff on the Target conveyor belt. She looked at me, and back at the stuff, then back at me.

I had a pregnancy test, condoms, Hello Kitty band-aids, ziplock sandwich baggies, and three boxes of cereal. A two year old, who looks nothing like me, in the cart talking about her milkie, Mami's milkie, my milkie, your milkie...all milkie. "Oh, please, lady," I thought, "don't tell me you have never seen someone buy condoms and a pregnancy test before." I'm thirty-five. I have shit to take care of here, and no time for your petty judgments. Everything I do is respectable. But still, I had the sudden urge to explain that I had a dead baby.

I thought it would be a long time before I would start in with the hysterical pregnancy crap. I'm not sure this is an indication of steps towards or away from normalcy. For those who know me in real life, know that just about every cycle, I believe at some point that I am pregnant. Whether I had sex or not or whether I used protection or not. I blame my mother for this trait. Teen pregnancy was pretty much the root of all lecture conversation in my teenage years. She instilled the fear. "If you have sex, you get pregnant, honey," she said in her combination Panamanian/Pennsylvania Dutch accent. And really, being an honors student obsessed with the Cure, dressed all in black and wearing dorky buddy holly glasses is pretty much the best birth control out there for a high school student. But still, when I did get pregnant at age 32, as happy and wanted as it was, I felt a little like I had done something wrong.

Since Lucy died, it hasn't really occurred to me that I could become pregnant accidentally. But yesterday, in the parking lot of Target, it occurred to me that I could be pregnant. I sat there after eating a soft pretzel very quickly, puking into the car garbage bag. It came on suddenly. And as it was happening, and it was that liquidy biley puke of early pregnancy, I thought, "Oh, man, I had sex. I am pregnant. Just like Mami said."

And so, I went in, and bought a pregnancy test, along with the rest of my list. And I continued from Target to my other errands. I felt fine after that, which only enhanced my conviction. And yet, I had to sit with this possible reality. What if I am pregnant.

I am not pregnant. But for those two hours, I was okay with it. I asked Beatrice, "Do you want another sister, or brother, Beatrice?" And she said, "Okay." As though, I were going to hit the baby aisle on my way from Target. I'm not saying that we are going to actively start trying, but I'm just saying, I didn't freak out at the idea of it. Small steps.


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  2. oh angie. i feel like all i want right now is to be pregnant. like it will save me from myself.

    i am feeling the sadness in the continuous rain and cloudy weather. i want the sun so badly to pull me out of this awfulness.

    i hope we are not always identified as the deadbaby mama. that is too much to bear. i need to give this identity thing a lot more thought. thanks for that.

    lots of love to you angie xo

  3. Big steps, I'd say. Much love.

  4. So much here, but most striking is how active it all is, how active you are. Actively observing, actively noticing--yes, actively grieving--and actively loving, hoping, being. No wonder you're so tired.

  5. Baby steps, that's all we can ask of ourselves. I'm proud of you.

  6. ang, you really should a book. you're writing is this wonderful combination of happy and sad, funny and not. I laughed outloud because I have that certainty that I'm pregnant every cycle too, even though we're being very careful. That 6 month marker coming up is weighing on me, making me wonder what to do and when to do it. I'm so sad, so scared, so uncertain but then I can feel that little bud of possibility and hope too.

    Many hugs to you, Ang.

  7. Yep, so much in here and so familiar as always. Huge steps Angie. Walking with you all the way. Slowing down when we need to, and speeding up when we need to. Right by your side, friend.

  8. it's crazy how most of our lives we've been afraid of getting pregnant, all the protection and panic i had and then when that's all i want it doesn't happen for bizarre...

    too bad i can't just go and pick up my baby in aisle 5 at target. i so want to be pregnant again and it feels scary.

    and the identity, these days i feel i am purely a dead baby mama. i sleep it, breathe it, live it all the time. those moments that i'm reminded of the old me, or other parts of me are good, but like you i am forever changed...

    much love to you angie

  9. Oh, Angie. So much of this rang true for me. I laughed, I cried. :)

    I too felt a bit 'naughty' when I realized I was pregnant with my first. How does a grown, married for four years woman feel that way? Perhaps it's just arrested development for me. I still think I'm 18 sometimes. :)

    I would have lost it about the acorn doll. Damn puppies.

    I'm betting you were slightly disappointed by the negative pregnancy test. It's such a mixed bag of emotions.

    I like the rain. I can hide out more.

    I think of you often and pray that you find more peace than sadness in your days.

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  11. Oh, no, I meant that our relationship is NOT over! I skipped that word entirely and that whole sentence sounds awful. OOPs!

  12. The love you portrayed for those little dolls in the first post about them, had me scanning Etsy for hours trying to find something in those pages that meant a lot for me. No luck, but then again, you found them before Lucia died...sigh. I would have freaked too, I'm glad you smoothed her back into shape. What a beautiful metaphor.
    I am sure, one day, we will not be defined by our deadbabymommyhood. It may be a LONG time, but I believe with everything in me, that the longing we have for our dead children, is proof that our relationship is NOT over. I think the book is only closes and will somehow, re-open.
    Oh, it's early...why can't you just hop on over for coffee...I'm stranded down here!!
    Have a good day Angie. Know that I think of you often.

    *I fixed it ;)

  13. I think they are great big steps. great big steps that I am making on the other side of the world.

    Walking beside you.


  14. Dear Angie, I am so sorry for your loss of Lucy, andits best to just take one day at a time, just little steps for the moment. I have set up a memorial blog to honour our precious lost loved one's, and its called 'Eternal Names By The Sea'. While I was at my local beach the other day writing names by the sea, I was thinking of you and precious Lucy. I hope you don't mind, but i decided to write Lucia's name by the sea and I would love to email you the photos. I know the heartache of losing a precious baby, as I lost my son Nicholas in 1994, and I will never forget him & I always wish he was still here. If you would like to know more about my memorial blog, and what its all about, as well as reading my story of losing Nicholas, the link is: http;//
    If I can help you in anyway, please let me know, as I look forward to hearing from you.
    Kay xxxx

  15. It's amazing how we keep taking steps that only months ago we swore we would never take.


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