by Ashley Weeks Cart
When you spend your days tethered to a nursing and/or napping newborn, you wind up taking a heck of a lot of selfies to capture all that delicious squish.
I’m definitely feeling sadder this week than I’ve felt since my mom’s death 10 weeks ago. The shock has worn off. The baby is safely and healthfully here. I’ve weathered her memorial and our birthdays. And now, I’m settling into a routine. And processing a normalcy without her. And that has peeled back a new layer of grief.So I spend mornings lying in bed nursing and snuggling. I go to yoga class. I see my therapist. I take my medications (that I started shortly before Sander was born preempting the postpartum depression my midwives knew was coming given the devastating circumstances). I go on long hikes with the dogs. I meet friends for coffee and laughter. I cry. I read extra stories to the girls at night. I write. I hold James close. I watch trashy TV. I stick my face in the sunshine. I delight in baby smiles. I document. I remember. I love.
We don’t talk honestly or openly about loss in our society. The vulnerability and permanence, instability and unknowing make us wary and scared. But I must be candid to survive it. And I must do all these other things in the name of self care and thus being a stronger parent to my children, partner to my husband, and loving friend and family member.
Birth and death are the most universal elements of humanity, and we can be carried and supported and elevated by the candor and experience of others as we each find our way through these deeply personal, complex life moments. Thank you to all those that have been brave and shared their truth with me. The human spirit is far more resilient than I ever imagined.