In earlier American rural life, communities raised barns because many hands were required. These events occured in a social framework with a good deal of interdependence. Members of rural communities often shared family bonds going back generations. They traded with each other, worshipped with each other and celebrated with each other. Barn raisings were an integral part of life and socializing.

In our modern American life, communities don't mean nearly as much as they did back then. It is our family's goal to bring a sense of community back to our lives and those lives that touch ours.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


   This is a post I have deliberated over doing for a while now. Despite having a public blog, I am not very good at sharing emotions. Actually, in non-blog world, I'm not very good at this either. The day to day business of being alive is one thing, but to actually share a deep, heartbreaking emotion is something else entirely. But because it has been such a major part of our lives and because I am feeling it extra hard this year, I have decided to share with you our loss. A warning to you though. It gets messy. It gets sad. It gets very personal. Read at your own risk.
   Three years ago today we lost our third child. I was sixteen weeks into a very rough and troubling pregnancy. The moment a woman finds out she is pregnant, all kinds of dreams start for the new life she is carrying within her. This time around for me, I was especially thrilled since it had taken us more than two years to conceive. Only a few days after we had found out we were expecting, the trouble started. I thought I lost the baby. I went to the doctor after the terrible weekend had passed only to have the doctor find a heartbeat and say that I was still pregnant. I was elated, but still sick with worry. I would be fine for a week or maybe even two and then start bleeding again. I would go into the doctor, she would find a heartbeat and the whole process would repeat. I was more exhausted than I had ever been in my life. Between sleepless nights, busy days with a then three year old and five, almost six year old, blood loss, and worry, I was barely functioning. I felt at the time that something was dreadfully wrong. Despite all of this a week would would pass and then another. I was eight weeks and then twelve weeks and the window for miscarriage should have been narrowing. At about fourteen weeks, Hubby was working out of town in Casper, WY. I was feeling pretty good, so I took the kids up there to go camping at Fort Casper. We took in the sights, including a hike around Independence Rock. Everything was fine. The Fourth of July came and we rode our bikes to downtown Fort Collins for the festivities. We rode out to a friends' house, which included riding past the cemetery. S said something at the time about headstones that I thought was sweet, not knowing that in just over a weeks' time, I would have to be considering a headstone myself. He noted all the headstones that were in the shape of hearts. He said it must mean that the people who buried them loved them very much. I agreed and we went on with our day. The following week I had a doctor's appointment. I was now sixteen weeks. All was well. The heartbeat sounded strong and I was measuring where I should have been. That day I took the kids to music lessons. I ran a solo errand to Home Depot. I got home and started cramping and bleeding. I laid down while Hubby called the doctor. She sent us to the hospital to get a high level ultrasound. We went and everything looked great. We saw the baby moving and wriggling around. The doctor called me at the hospital and said to go home and to take it easy. I did. By bedtime, the pain was worse and I knew these were no longer cramps, but contractions. I stood up to use the bathroom and felt everything shift. I knew I was losing this baby. I got in the shower to rinse the blood and tears away and didn't get out again until Hubby took me back to the hospital. He was Superman, arranging for the kids to go to our friends/neighbors house for the night. I don't remember that part very well since my eyes were shut tight from the moment I stepped into the shower. As if not seeing would make it all go away. The rest of the night is permanently and cruelly seared into my brain. The ER experience is not one that I have shared with those closest to me and will not be shared here. We will skip from that part straight to the delivery room. And even these moments will only be shared in brief. My doctor, with whom I had an up and down relationship with, proved that night why she was successfully in her profession. So did my anesthesiologist. I wouldn't remember his face if I literally ran into him on the street, but he saved me that night from losing my mind. I have never before been in the amount of pain that I had to experience that night. I hope to never be in that particular pain again. It was as if my soul was being torn from my body in bits and pieces. When it was over and Hubby was allowed to rejoin me, they brought us our perfectly formed, beautiful daughter, whom we named Dafnee White. Dafnee had been her name from the get-go. Our children's middle names in ways hold more weight for us than their first names. I have dreams or experiences during pregnancy that lead me to believe that each of my children have spirit animals. While this is not reflected in their actual names, it is something I hold dear to me. In all of my dreams and prayers and meditations for this baby girl, the only image that ever came to me was a beautiful, calming white light. I knew once she was gone that I needed to reflect that in her name. While we will never know why our baby girl had to leave us so soon, we are thankful for the brief time she gave us. We are thankful that she strengthened the bond of our family. We love her and miss her every day.
   Thank you for reading this. I don't believe you needed to read it, but I know that I needed to write it.


  1. Though her time was brief, she lived through your hopes and dreams and immense love for her. Her gifts were small as she was, but as important as a full lifetime of living. Her presence will be with you always; You will always be her mom.
    You are a dear friend for sharing this difficult and personal experience. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for sharing. All love we give or experience, no matter how brief, affects our lives in so many ways. I am sorry to hear that this year is exceptionally hard. My heart is with you.