A Title Eludes Me.

My dad died last week.
The funeral is tomorrow, thus in between his dying and his funeral fell the holidays, which were honestly joyful; the day he died was also the day I saw an apparently healthy and obviously human baby at my nuchal translucency scan. It would be nice if events occurred in emotionally coherent groupings, but as I am all too aware, they seldom do. To be fair, even my emotions seldom occur in emotionally coherent groupings, especially when it comes to my father. I suppose this is fitting, then.

More, much, anon.


  1. Amy_Rey says:

    Aww, I’m so sorry. I lost my dad when my son was 1, and he doesn’t remember his grandpa at all. While New Baby won’t know him, at least Simone will have her memories of your dad.

  2. Amanda says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, and so joyful for the baby news. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster, I’m sure. My thoughts are with you.

  3. dinei says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, all the more so because your relationship with him was complicated. I’m so glad to hear about the good ultrasound. I echo the hope that peace and clarity come eventually.

  4. sharon says:

    I’m sorry to hear your Dad has died. Whatever the faults in your relationship, he was your Dad and it’s a horrible thing to happen especially at this time of year. Actually, to be honest, it’s horrible at any time.

    Totally overjoyed to hear of the mini-human residing in you. Will admit to some anxiety with the long silence but now see why that was so.

    Will look forward to more when you feel ready and able to share.

  5. StacieT says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your father. Many hugs and warm thoughts to you as you wade through the days and weeks to come.

    Congratulations on a decidedly human baby!

  6. JJ says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your father, such an emotional holiday to have to endure. My father passed away when I was 4 months pregnant with my first. I had to be strong for baby and for my family, which resulted in nearly 9 months of PPD. My thoughts are with your family as you remember his life…

  7. Ruth says:

    I am so, so sorry, Alexa. My dad recently died unexpectedly, too (on the 10th), and I am beginning to wonder if the shock will ever wear off.

    Please accept my deepest condolences … and heartiest congratulations on the NT scan. Small wonder your emotional state is incoherent.

  8. Sarah says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. What a difficult time to go through this.

    Congratulations on the little person, I am glad things are looking well on that front.

  9. AussieAndrea says:

    Oh Alexa, I am sorry to hear it. Hope you are being supported by loved ones. Take care.
    And congratulations on the human baby!

  10. Serina says:

    Oh, Alexa! I’m so sorry to hear about your dad! Sending love and good wishes to you and your family. Thank you for letting us know your good news as well <3

  11. May says:

    My thoughts are with you at this Emotionally Complicated time. Delighted that the baby is sweetly human and looking just fine. So very sorry for the loss of your Dad. The death of a family member whose relationship with you has always been fraught is hard, all that unresolved feeling now all tangled with grief. Again, I am so sorry, and thinking of you.

  12. Swistle says:

    “It would be nice if events occurred in emotionally coherent groupings” is wonderful.

    I’m so sorry your dad died. I’m so happy the little fetus is chugging along nicely.

  13. QoB says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your father. A death is a big thing.

    And I’m also delighted to hear from you and to know that Nature Baby is healthy and human.

  14. Nicole says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, its seems strange to congratulate you at the same time but I hope you have some comfort knowing the pregnancy is going well. You are very brave to share with your readers.

  15. a says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s hard to lose your dad at any time, but the holidays make it seem so much worse.

    Glad to hear your baby is human and healthy, though.

  16. Leigh says:

    I am so, so sorry about your father, and thrilled that your baby is doing so well. Hoping you can breathe this week, and deal with each moment as it comes.

  17. Val says:

    Wow. That’s quite a lot of up and down to handle. I am sorry to hear about your father. I imagine when my dad dies it will be a weird pile of emotions too. But the bottom line is this – we’re all thinking of you and your family and hoping for a calm and peaceful 2012. :) /hugs/

  18. GingerB says:

    Hey guess what? Most of my favorite people had “complicated” relationships with family members, especially parents. Maybe the extra scarring is what makes us so much fun? I am super glad you got to have someone you enjoy as much as you enjoy your mom though – that helps you, I bet. I remember once attending a morning funeral for my friend’s not-that-old husband, a soldier struck by leukemia probably caused by chemical exposure in combat, then in the afternoon watching my best friend take her oath of office to become a public official in the same place where I am a bigwig official – all while not telling anyone about my pregnancy which excited me beyond words but which I didn’t dare believe in yet (why what you wrote about not feeling “real” resonated so much with me). Many tears were shed and my emotions were like a roller coaster and it all felt so very unreal and strange to have such highs and lows within minutes and viewing it all through the lens of my secret baby who was about to get a CVS test.

    Dear, I do not envy you all the living you are doing today – given the choice I’d settle for something less exciting, myself, but then you don’t get that choice, really. We’ll wait for you as we always do, because we love you so.

  19. lorak says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss.
    Wishing you peace while thinking of you and your brother, your family, and the little human.

  20. Stefanie says:

    Was so happy to see you post then sad to hear your first news but happy to hear the second part. I’ve been thinking of you and sending the most positive thoughts your way. I wish there were some way I could make this about me…guess I can’t.


  21. Halyn says:

    I’m so happy for the baby news; so sorry for the news of your father. I keep writing more and then deleting it because it doesn’t read as nicely as I would like it to, so I’m going to leave it at holding you and yours in my thoughts…but RE: Baby News…SO!! EXCITED!!

  22. Kim says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your father, and very happy to hear about your growing baby’s progress. Thinking today about my own father, who, as it happens, would have been 101 if today if he hadn’t died almost 30 years ago. Love to you. Take care.

  23. Sue says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, Alexa. I don’t know you IRL but I know how much your heart is hurting. I lost my dad (and sister, and step-dad) when I was younger. Keep breathing. Hold the ones close to you tight. And cut yourself slack for everything else. You’re no stranger to grief but each loss hits you differently, in ways you might not expect. Hang in there.

  24. Deborah says:

    So sorry to hear about your dad. And that really is a profound little paragraph you just wrote. I hope the happy makes you feel better about the sad, instead of just leaving you emotionally confused.

  25. Jodi says:

    So sorry to learn of the passing of your father. Poignant timing, indeed.

    Even in a brief post about the death of your father you give us a gift:

    It would be nice if events occurred in emotionally coherent groupings, but as I am all too aware, they seldom do.

    That’s what your writing is, you know. A gift. To us. I’m so embarrassed because I didn’t get you anything!

    Chin up, tits out. You’ll get through this.

    (There’s my gift — the completely misplaced and way-to-personal use of the words “tits”. You’re welcome.)

  26. MJ says:

    As I remember, you had a rather ambivalent relationship with your father (and apologies if I am misremembering), which makes all of this even more difficult. Good luck getting through this, and I am very happy to hear that your pregnancy is progressing.

  27. Gina says:

    My much awaited daughter was born the day after my mother’s funeral. We realized she was terminal the day before Mother’s Day.
    Have you read “Fortunately”? It’s a kid’s book that seemed appropriate.

  28. KP says:

    I am so sorry. My great-grandmother passed away two years ago around the holidays, so I’ve experienced the oddness of joy and sorrow and missing someone and also enjoying the presence of loved ones all coexisting at once. It was strange, but I suppose also better than having just the sorrow and just the missing-someone without the mingled joy and warmth of family (and, in your case, the live baby still growing away in there). Many congratulations on the baby!

  29. decemberbaby says:

    And thus, you get an emotionally incoherent comment: I’m so sorry for your loss. And I’m so excited for you about the obviously human fetus! Hugs, both happy and sad, from a frequent reader but infrequent commenter.

  30. Slim says:

    I’m just going to focus on your scan results (yay!) because I don’t think I have the emotional depth to say anything appropriate about the death of a parent who created the relationship your father did.

  31. Gaby says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your father and what I can only imagine to be your conflicted emotions/thoughts. We will be here if and when you need us. So glad to hear that your little one is doing well and quite human.

  32. CJ says:

    Oh my dear, I wish you peace and clarity. I am sorry about your father. It is wonderful to hear that the ultrasound showed a little human form. I remember our 11 week ultrasound like it was yesterday. A little person doing somersaults. Life marches on.

  33. Lut C. says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

    And indeed what a tangle of emotional events.

    Congratulations on the good u/s, I’m so pleased for you.

  34. Oh, my dear, I’m so very, very sorry. I wish I could bound over and give you my biggest category of Hug, but I must settle for offering my sincerest sympathies. You poor girl. I do wish there was something clever I could say. My absolute bestest love to you all; you are in my thoughts even more than you already were, which was lots. Chin up, lovey.

  35. Karen says:

    Many condolences to you. My grandpa passed away shortly after the new year. He waited till after he had his birthday as well. It’s not easy at all. HUGS.

  36. Elizabeth says:

    It almost seems like there wouldn’t be room in one human heart to hold and process all those different emotions at once. All in time. So glad you got to see your healthy baby. So sorry for your loss.

  37. J in Eire says:

    Alexa, my deepest sympathies to you and your family on your very sad loss. You are such a gifted writer, this is a very beautiful sad post. Julie, Ireland

  38. Chickenpig says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss, and incredibly elated at the good news at the same time. I can only imagine how the strange mix is affecting you. I wish you peace and for your pregnancy to continue to be healthy and wonderful. You are in my thoughts.

  39. Editdebs says:

    I’m so sorry about your loss. As someone who had a complicated relationship with her father, I know how difficult the loss can be. But I also am so excited for your healthy, human baby. Life is complicated, but I’m glad you’ve found much joy where you can.

  40. DRM says:

    Ugh. The circle of life has some weird flat edges when you look at it real close. Sending wishes for a more symmetrical circle for you in the New Year.

  41. Allison Piques says:

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss. What is it about the weeks before and after Christmas? I have to preface by saying that this comment is actually about your book. I’m writing here because my younger and more socially-aware and literary brother informs me that blog writers actually read comments, and enjoy them.
    I am a neonatal nurse practitioner in Virginia and greatly enjoy being referred to in terms of Greek mythology, so thanks for that. I am passionate about what I do; I like to think that I am some family’s “Wendy.” Your narrative descriptions of everything from IVH to chronic lung disease to capillary leak are amazingly clear given their complexity– I humbly request permission to steal them when I talk with parents. My father is a close-to-retirement pioneer in reproductive endocrinology; I simply had to share some passages with him. We laughed out loud at the descriptions of him and his specialized specialists reading back issues of Fertility and Sterility at lunch. Indeed, I recall my father perusing these captivating pages while en route to Virginia Beach during summer road trips circa 1983.
    Your journey, both through the darkness of Ames’ death, the brightness of Simone’s birth (no matter how early) and your army crawl through the obstacle course of a 24 weeker was one of the best memoirs I’ve read (I’m a memoir-junkie). I go to work every day, work with 24 weekers and their families, yet have never quite seen this perspective. My favorite part of the book, however, was not Simone’s convalescence, but your own. Your transition and growth, your realization that you cannot sweat the small stuff (and it’s all small stuff)- it was the lunch with your best friend that brought tears to my eyes. It must have been cool for her to see you so happy. By the end of the book, I was smiling and calm. Your writing is brilliant. Thank you for that.

  42. Laura says:

    Aw, sweetie. I am so sorry for the loss of your father. I am thrilled that your baby is doing well. Praying for solace and peace for you.

  43. Alexicographer says:

    Oh, Alexa, I’m so sorry about the loss of your dad. In my experience, anyway, losing someone about whom emotions don’t group in emotionally coherent patterns can be more deeply sad than losing even someone who has been a source of nothing but joy and support … perhaps because the loss eliminates the possibility (however improbable and elusive) of achieving emotional coherence. I’ll be thinking of you, and am delighted to have the news of your NT.

  44. Lauren says:

    I am so very late in adding my condolences, but I couldn’t let it pass without saying something. I’m so very, very sorry. You and your family will be in my prayers.

  45. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking of you, trying to tabulate just how long it has been since you’ve posted. I can imagine this has been such a difficult time for you, the juxtaposition of your father’s death and the new life growing within. I hope that if you find a few minutes, you’ll let us know how you are.

  46. Andrea says:

    Dear Alexa,
    I’m a long-time reader and very infrequent commenter. I just wanted to say that I’m so very sorry about your father. My father died on January 6th, so I have some idea of what you are going through.


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