Forwarded from a friend?
Alfred arrived safely on the numerically pleasing date of 7-14-21. His name means “wise counselor.” We chose it, in part, because we wish Alfie wisdom in his life. The process of getting him here has already added so much wisdom to our own. Twelve hours after Alfie was born, my dad texted me that “It seems like he’s been around forever.” I feel the same. Alfie’s alert, peaceful presence seems like everything our family has been waiting for.
There is an unfortunate coda: Despite initially coming home the day after Alfie’s birth, I have logged on to click “publish” for this newsletter using hospital wifi. I have been here for six days so far. I was admitted on Saturday, 10 days postpartum, because I wasn’t recovering from the birth. I ended up having emergency, life-saving surgery. We are still trying to get a handle on things so I can home home.
Good vibes welcome.
New From Me This Month
For my first experience with a new-to-me type of service journalism (product reviews!) comprising of a detailed review of the best maternity leggings on the market today for Reviewed (a division of USA Today), read The Best Maternity Leggings of 2021.
For a personal essay about anxiety and fear and how I’ve come to see these feelings as facts to accept rather than problems to be solved, read A Bear Hunt: Managing Fear in Pregnancy After Loss.
Pregnancy After Loss Support commissioned me to write a series of service journalism pieces covering different aspects of physical and mental health during pregnancy after loss. Last month, I shared ones I wrote about coping with a traumatic birth and perinatal mood disorders. This month, for everything you need to know to prepare for a surgical birth during pregnancy after loss, you can read my piece Preparing for a C-Section Birth during Pregnancy After Loss.
Your Curated Reading List
For a beautiful, grounding book about how mindfulness can support activism, caregiving, and other real-world action, read Real Change: Mindfulness To Heal Ourselves and the World by Sharon Salzberg.
For a collection of gorgeously rendered essays reflecting on Black performers (but that’s really about what it means to be a person and an American) read A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib.
For a collection of linked short stories featuring keenly observed characters, read Brandon Taylor’s Filthy Animals.
When we were deciding where to get married, my husband and I wanted to pick a place that we could return to year after year to mark and honor our time as a family. That’s part of how we settled on Minnehaha Park, home to huge gorgeous oaks and an enormous urban waterfall in Minneapolis. The rocks, water, and trees are far older than we are, and I expect all to outlast us. Given how small we are in the face of all of it, the fact that we’ve been able to come back each year, exactly as planned, fills me with humility and gratitude. This year, for our tenth wedding anniversary, we decided to come a few days early, given that our family was slated to grow by one on or around the actual date.
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