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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far

A wild patience has taken me this far. … —Adrienne Rich


When Winslet was born she was so tiny. There is no way to convey just how small and fragile she was. I have searched through every photo I own to find a few, or even just one, that really puts her in perspective but I have nothing.

6 hours old

Maybe I never will be able to separate what a 25 week fetus at 2 lb., 12.5 in. is in real life, from what it is to a new mother flooded with fear and grief, devastated by such a cruel beginning.

1 day old

I wasn't ready to let her go even though my body did, and I wasn't ready to share her just because she had been born. I needed to protect her still, if not by my physical body then in some small way because we were both profoundly vulnerable. Burdened beneath a respirator, umbilical lines, monitor wires, and tape, she incubated seven miles away from me, six floors up in a high security ICU. At her bedside she was gifted unflinching nurses who, for the first three weeks of her life and 24-hours a day, orchestrated her bodily systems in real-time like physiological magicians. The omnipresent tension of life and death in the NICU is harrowing and it wanted to kill me. 

12 hours old

5 days old

2.5 weeks old, in the arms of brother Merritt

3 weeks old
The only salve to my anguish was to be with her. I centered her, pouring myself into every moment I could steal away from my "other life," the place outside hospital walls where my two boys and my marriage lived. She and I were supposed to be connected still, and my body yearned for hers. Our separation was unbearable for me, a physical pain. But there were moments of peace too.

36 hours old

2 weeks old, meeting brothers for the first time

In my wandering between worlds, it seemed that everyone outside the NICU wanted to celebrate at a time when our lives were so fraught. I knew we would have to endure the worst of it before we could answer the deep-rooted question that I had carried in my heart from the beginning: what would her quality of life be like if she lived? Nothing was certain. I wanted to celebrate my daughter but our reality in those early weeks was crushing.

6 days old

In spite of years of hesitation after Merritt’s early birth at 33 weeks, my desire for another baby had compelled me to risk the possibility of another NICU stay—though I'd never considered risk of life of future babies. My pregnancy with Winslet had been difficult from the start, with a heartbreaking trajectory. A complete loss of control for me and a realization of my deepest fears, the future unknown, but I could choose to hold close our most heart wrenching and tender moments together.

In her first days and weeks I didn’t share many photos of Winslet publicly or privately. I’ve since wondered if the way I saw her then—first impressions, lasting impressions—would be the only way I could ever see her. Fragile. Sick. Suffering.

Now when I look through the hundreds of images from Winter 2016, emotion still catches me in the throat, but it’s because we’ve since lived the story that came after and I know now that she is safe and thriving. It is hard to imagine that my sturdy, tenacious girl, bright with curiosity and fearless to her core was once ever so tiny and fragile. I look at her photos and study her features, her expressions—all the same then as now. I look at the photos and I recognize Winslet as my little girl then as now but my fear is gone, grief subsiding. Devastation clearing way for new growth and dreams fulfilled.

8 weeks old

9 weeks old

9 weeks old

9 weeks old 

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