April 12, 2019

One year ago right now, you were still inside me. A machine spat pages to my left—my heartbeat and yours, jagged mountain ranges side by side. I was four hours away from holding you, and I will never forget that moment: how warm you were, how slippery and solid, how suddenly you were in my arms. Your eyes were dark and wide, your gaze calm. Your dad and I were laughing and crying, and I can’t imagine what the world looked like...

September 6, 2018

 Last night, on the eve of the 10-year anniversary of Nanny's passing, my daughter recognized her name for the first time.

We were lying in bed, and I was trying to feed her, but lately, as she's become more aware of the world, that world fascinates her endlessly. She turns from my breast to watch evening shadows lengthen on the wall. The click of the fan draws her eye, makes her smile. She glances toward the bathroom, where a...

March 13, 2018

 Photo by Adrian Collins Photography

Early on, when mornings were still surreal with the idea of you inside me--when you were the size of a poppyseed or even smaller, when my nurse spoke of you with caution, as if you could disappear at any moment, become reabsorbed into the darkness--that early, your dad predicted that you were a girl. 

"Look at the odds she's overcome already," he said to me. "A boy would've quit: 'Nah, t...

November 7, 2017

The first time I heard the phrase "birth plan," I had no idea what it meant. Then I found out, and honestly, I thought it was silly--the idea of planning to a T an experience over which I always assumed you'd have very little control. My birth plan? To get through it, with a healthy baby in my arms at the end. 

This morning, I see the smugness behind the "be flexible" veneer. Because I just realized that while I may not ha...

October 16, 2017

Fifteen weeks. I'm 15 weeks pregnant. 

Every morning in bed, I curve my palms around the little hard globe of my lower belly. Good morning, I think, smiling at the strangeness of this new part of me, wondering what else will have changed, grown, stretched overnight. On the scale and in the mirror, I take stock of these changes, still mostly unnoticeable to anyone besides Adrian and me. But something invisible has also chan...

September 7, 2017

Every year on September 6, I make tortillas. And every year, they're wrong in a slightly different way.

The first year, they were as hard as tostadas and twice as thick as they should be. They tasted like burned flour. Another year, they were so salty the tongue curled upon touching them. Still another, they tasted like nothing, like air--as if I'd produced the physical form of something that did not exist. 


June 7, 2017

Dear Charlie,

The night before you were born, I woke up every two hours to check my phone for a text message from your mom. She’d been having contractions since the afternoon before, a Sunday, and making my heart stop since Saturday with texts like, “She’s coming!” and “We’re heading to the hospital!” These were jokes, because your Uncle Adrian had surprised me with a trip to Big Bend the weekend before you were due, and your m...

March 25, 2017

Photo by Adrian Collins Photography 

When I made a "Health" category for this blog, I sort of hoped I wouldn't have so much to say. But after the close calls of last year, I made a New Year's resolution to be proactive about my health. That meant admitting to myself that, after sixteen months, it was strange that I had not gotten pregnant. It meant making an appointment to investigate, instead of continuing to make excuses. It...

November 3, 2016

As a birthday gift, my mom wanted to take me shopping. So we were in the Nordstrom shoe department and I had one leg deep in a black over-the-knee boot when my phone rang. My mom was still smiling from whatever we'd been talking about before. She took a fraction of a second longer than I did to realize: this could be the call we'd been waiting on for almost a week. The results of my biopsy. 


Last year was a year...

September 6, 2016

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” —Ann...

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