This has been one of the hardest things of my life to write about. To find the words that match the experience we have just had, that Meg and Alex have had… I have thought so much about it. I have thought that perhaps I would simply not write about it at all, or perhaps write about it, but keep it private for just us. In the end though, there is no person in this family can change what happened, which is that we had the most wonderful thing happen, and then the most terrible, but one does not erase the other. Charlotte’s birth was a most welcome, happy, beautiful time for us, full of emotions and moments we would never want to forget. She was our little Charlotte, my most darling wee granddaughter, and though we feel robbed, it doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate having her at all. Meg and I spoke about writing this, and Meg said she was looking forward to reading Charlotte’s birth story, I said that I was having trouble writing about her birth because I felt it had a sad ending. Meg, showing far more wisdom than I could have ever hoped for in a daughter, reminded me that the birth did not have a sad ending. What happened 48 hours later was sad, but not the birth- and that event deserves to be remembered and celebrated as much as we are able, just like when Elliot was born. She’s right, so I’ll write.

Even while Meg was pregnant this time, I wondered how I would end up telling the story of this child’s birth. I am constantly surprised in my life by what ends up being important and what doesn’t, and my spectacularly crappy ability to predict it. Before Elliot was born, I thought that when I was at his birth, it was him that I would be most interested in – him that I would adore and delight in, and I did – no doubt, but it was the strength of my daughter that ended up rocking my world.  Her strength was the defining thing about that birth, and I was so proud watching her become a mother. So graceful and gentle and strong. In the hours that it took to move her son from one plane to another, she was amazing to me.

So it was this time, that I got another big surprise. We had high hopes for this birth. Meg and Alex had planned for it, arranged for it as best as people can, considering that you’re trying to plan for something that you can’t predict, and they had weighed and chosen their options carefully. Everyone has their own ideas and dreams and realities about what constitutes a perfect birth, and in my not insignificant experience as a birth worker, not very many of us get it.  Labour and birth involves the powers, passenger, passage, and psyche, and there are so many times that the fates conspire outside the influence of the dancers that it can be a pretty serious mistake to hope for a perfect birth. Meg knew this – and had absorbed all my messages about having a birth philosophy, not a birth plan. To hope for as few interventions as possible, not to say that there would be no interventions. To know that saying she didn’t want medication was a hope that could be shifted if they were needed, to know that (at least here in Canada) home birth with a provider is the safest place for healthy low risk mums and babies to do this, but to understand that risk is an ever evolving thing. You can hope and prepare all you like, but birth is complicated. You have to be prepared to roll with it.

Meg was ready for that, but as things unfolded everything just kept going their way. From the way that labour began before the pandemic limited the number of people who could gather and I was able to attend her as we’d hoped, to the way that it started at night, and ended before morning, so that Elliot was asleep. The timing of my arrival and the midwives was perfect – and music Meg has loved since she was little played in the background while she was supported by candlelight and people who love her best. Alex was confident and comforting, present and grounded, and as Meg had hoped, the midwives played lifeguard – keeping to the background and letting the family do their thing except when they were needed – which wasn’t much. The labour didn’t take long at all, but never felt rushed or surprising for a minute. Sometimes when a labour is quick it’s a little like getting hit by a truck, but this one felt like it was perfectly timed. Not so fast that Meg couldn’t keep up with its rhythm, learning to cope as she went, and never so slowly that we wished it would be over. Every time I looked up, someone was smiling, and a lot of the time, that was Meg. It was difficult to be sure, I think that no matter how a baby comes no person has ever described whatever shape it takes as easy, but I could tell that not for a single moment did she feel fear that she wasn’t able to do it. Her confidence was inspiring.

Gently and joyfully, her daughter crept closer, moved by the miracle that was her mother, and as she came closer, Meg concentrated more fully, relaxed more intently, softening, opening and welcoming and slowly, slowly, Charlotte found her way to us, until at last she was lifted from the water by the hands of her own parents, and the room dissolved into the purest form of happiness. She took her first breaths in her mother’s arms, holding her father’s hand, listening to voices of welcome that she’d come to know as she grew. It could not, and I do not say this lightly… have been a more perfect birth.

Meg stepped strong and unhurt from the water with her babe in her arms, that wee mite so beautifully built and delivered that she was ready to nurse, ready to know all of us, ready for anything. Meg settled on the couch and got cozy, and we set about tidying up. As I passed one of the worlds most charming midwives something she wanted, we caught eyes for a moment, and I saw that she felt what I did. This – what had just happened, almost never, ever happens in a birth. “This is the nicest birth you’ll attend this year” I smiled. “Maybe ever” she grinned, and I could see that it had been magic for her too.

The sun began to peek up, the sky lighten just a tiny bit, and things continued to be… perfect. The babe nursed, Meg and Alex celebrated, the midwives wrote things in the chart like “beautiful water birth” and Charlotte continued to shine with radiant health. Alex weighed his own baby (7’14”!)  Alex’s mother held her, and I did, and then we heard a little stirring in the other room as Elliot woke up. I crept into the room and darkness, and swept him into my arms. “Ellie” I whispered. “Guess what happened in the nighttime.”

I had worried that Megan’s son would be a replay of Meg herself, for when she met her little sister Sam the same way, at home in the living room… she took one look at the little interloper and the first words out of her mouth were “put her down and pick me up.” Not Elliot though, I shouldn’t ever have doubted our sweet guy. He was captivated. He smiled, and wanted her in his arms, and commented on all the right things. That she was tiny, that she was nice, that she was soft and beautiful. That she was his sister.

Meg got tucked up in bed and the grandfathers (anxiously parked in a car outside, waiting for the moment when they could meet their bairn) were finally welcomed by the grandmothers and trouped joyfully in, bearing food and pride and more happiness than that apartment could contain. “Is she okay?” Joe asked me, with Ken right behind him. I wasn’t sure if he meant Charlotte or Meg, but it didn’t matter. The answer was the same. “She’s perfect” I said.

Blog, I can’t tell you this enough. It was perfect. It kept being perfect. Charlotte was the picture of health, Alex was delighted and taking such good care of them all, and Ellie was adoring in a way that usually only appears in children’s books about being nice to the new baby in the family. He called her “my baby” and seemed to be charmed. All well, the midwives left for home, and Joe, Ken and I looked at our girl and her little family and baby in bed, had the presence of mind to take a perfect family photo, and then took our grandson home with us so that his Mum and Dad could get a little sleep. We even baked Charlotte a birthday cake to have with supper when we took him home.

I don’t know how many of you have been to a birth, be it your own or someone else’s, but I have been to lots and I find myself unable to describe the sacred rarity of what happened that night. It was not a good birth. It was not even a great birth. It was a perfect birth, and I’m not saying that because it was at home, or gentle or attended by midwives or any of that. Those things were what Meg and Alex wanted and values our family embraces but they’re not the point, we’re all going to have different ideas of what a perfect birth looks like. We’re all unique, shaped by our own experiences, beliefs, fears and choices. What makes something perfect for me isn’t at all what you may dream of, and what I’m trying to tell you is that what happened that night was perfect because it was such a good match for all Meg and Alex wanted, for the way Meg’s body worked, for how Charlotte arrived. It was a very special thing, and one that was amazing to witness, and amazing too in how long we were carried on that wave of perfection.

Charlotte glowed with perfect health, nursed perfectly, cried perfectly, was soothed perfectly, scored perfect on every test, was given an exam on the morning of her second day when the midwife smilingly pronounced her perfect, again. She seemed to enjoy her knitwear, and I tell you this, the smell of her head, the warm heaviness of her in my arms, the beauty of her in her parents arms… it was all so perfect. We kept saying it like we all couldn’t believe it. “She’s perfect, this is perfect.” She slept perfectly, and she woke up perfectly right as she should have until she was just forty-eight hours old and then….she didn’t.

This of course, is the part where this story becomes unbearably sad. I don’t want to speak to grief right now because I feel like it goes without saying that it hurts, so I’ll tell you in so many ways, we were lucky that even in this terrible moment… things were as perfect as possible. Despite their shock, Meg and Alex took instant action that was perfect. The response by emergency services was perfect. The responders that transported the whole little family to the hospital were perfect, that they live so close to the best Children’s Hospital in all of Canada was perfect, the screening agent who let Joe and I into the hospital so we could be with Meg despite Covid-19 was perfect, and perfect was what the doctor said Charlotte was, when she came to tell us that she had died. “I am so sorry” she said. “She was perfect.” We’ve learned since then that Charlotte was indeed perfect, and that she is dead for no reason except that sometimes little babies simply die, and there is nothing that anyone could have done to change it.

Nothing has been perfect since. This hard time has been compounded by the escalation in the pandemic response, and after spending a week together here to recover, Meg, Alex and Elliot are at home now, taking care of each other. A service for Charlotte will have to wait until this is all over, and we are able to make it as perfect as we can, since things are obviously pretty far from that now. It is a terrible time for our whole family to be parted from each other, but we are doing our best.

I can’t think of anything else to say about this. It is so far in so many ways from the hopes and dreams we all had, so I will just tell you what I think. I think that if a baby must die, and I freely admit that I cannot understand or condone any system where they must, let it be as this was. Having only known love, having never known hurt, sadness, pain or disappointment, a tiny little life of absolute happiness and amidst a family who could not have wished for any experience or any little person more perfect.

Thanks for stopping by sweet Charlotte. We miss you.

399 thoughts on “Perfect

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Stephanie. I’ve been holding your family in my heart. Wishing you each healing and peace.

  2. Thank you, to you and Meg and Alex, for sharing Charlotte’s perfect life with us. I’m deeply sorry for your loss, but am glad that her time with you was so wonderful.

  3. I am so sorry that your little angel stopped by for such a short time. May her life be a blessing to the whole family however short. My love is sent over the distance to you and your family.

  4. Stephanie, thank you, again, for letting us into your lives. Thank you and Meg and Alex and Elliott and Joe and Ken and the whole family for your generosity in sharing Charlotte and her story with us. I do not know what else to say but that your words have brought me comfort, challenge, and catharsis more times over the years than I can count. If the blog’s comments can do anything, perhaps we will be able to return just a tiny bit of that catharsis your way.

  5. And I meant to say: “return a tiny bit of that comfort your way” — catharsis is, I think, perhaps not just right just now.

  6. Thank for Stephanie for sharing a perfect birth, a perfect baby, perfect love. The loss is profound and I pray that all of you may gather together to go forward and heal, imperfectly because she is no longer here with you. Much love to you all.

  7. Your story of Charlotte Bonnie is also perfect.
    Please accept sincere and heartfelt joy for her being and sympathy for her dying. You and your family have been thought of often and will continue to be held close in thought.

  8. I am so sorry, Stephanie. Deepest condolences to you and your whole family on your loss. Your essay was also perfect.

  9. I’m so sorry for your loss, but I am glad that you all had that time, however brief, when everything was perfect and filled with love and joy before she went away. Though her time was brief, no one could ask for better.

  10. And this story of your beautiful granddaughter is also perfect. There could be no better tribute from your love for her and your family. I wish you all solace and way forward to peace in your hearts.

  11. You know what else is perfect? This essay – such a loving tribute to little Charlotte Bonnie and her amazing family. Thank you for sharing with us. I hope all of you find peace and comfort.

  12. Thank you so much for the story told so lovingly of your little Charlotte. It’s such a blessing that you have photos of her with her beloved family. They are a treasure.
    I had a full-term stillbirth with number 2, utterly devastating. I had stopped feeling the baby move, so was admitted to the hospital as it was a weekend. While my husband and mother were with me during delivery, our then 3 year-old never met or held his younger brother. We were so unprepared – never returned home to grab my bag, and it was way before cell phone cameras. The nurses took a Polaroid shot of him with my husband. That’s all we have. Our son, now 24, has very little memory of the event. I would encourage you to allow Elliott to craft his own story about his baby sister, as he will likely experience emotions that are unfamiliar to someone his age. Blessings to you all as you walk this path that you never intended would be part of your family history.

    • I have also lost two children, and our other children have been encouraged to craft their own stories about their brother and sister. It is an endearing thing to learn, years later, that your living child has shared stories about their sibling with their friends, unbeknownst to you at the time.

      Stephanie, although I don’t think your family needs encouragement to continue to talk about beautiful Charlotte Bonnie, I want you to do that. You already know that everything…EVERYTHING…about Charlotte was perfect, until her death. I know that our family talking about our beautiful Brian and precious Lisa has helped so much in making their presence in our family a reality. It has been almost 43 years since we lost our first, and close to 30 years since we lost our second. While the pain is as if it happened yesterday, the joy of their presence in our family is also as if it happened yesterday. Make it so in your family.

      Love and prayers for each of you.

      • My prayers are with you on your loss. I worked with a nurse who lost a baby boy named Brian as well 43 years ago. My heart breaks for you.

        • Special prayers for your family, Stephanie. Such joy & such sorrow. May God’s angels hold your little Charlotte safe & warm.

  13. Stephanie that is such a beautiful piece of writing. I have been grieving silently and unreasonably for you all since I saw your IG post. Charlotte’s arrival was such a joy and distraction in these alarming days and my heart has been aching for Meg and Alex and you and Joe and everyone. Sending you all lots of love.

  14. Thank you for sharing. Charlotte touched my life in profound ways, truly. I’m so happy that her life was all warmth and love and milk and wool, and just so sad it was so short. We love you all.

  15. I keep thinking the words of a Paul Simon song: “Never been lonely, never been lied to; never had to scuffle in fear; nothing denied to. Born at the instant the church bells chimed. The whole world whispering, ‘Born at the right time.’”
    Thank you for sharing. Know that you are all thought of with much tenderness.

  16. Thank-you so much for sharing this with us. Its hard to express the grief I felt when I read this, how aggrieved I felt on your behalf. The world seems like such an unsettled, sad place right now but your telling this story of love and perfection brought needed light. I hope you are comforted and consoled by these wonderful memories.

  17. We all appreciate your sharing Charlotte’s story. And we know you will always a remember her special birthday and keep her in your heart. We lost a full term baby in our family and we always remember to wish her happy birthday and think of her a lot each time her August birthday come around. Hugs and prayers for you all!

  18. Thank you for writing this. I hope you and your family continue to find strength and comfort in the days and weeks ahead. Charlotte Bonnie will not be forgotten.

  19. Love, peace and strength: in whatever form, from whatever source, and for as long as you need need it.

    Thank you for writing this. In the past, I have been at a loss for words when dear friends and family have experienced the loss of an infant or child. You have given us those words.

  20. My heart breaks for you all but know you were blessed to have met Charlotte and have in your lives for such a perfect time.

  21. Last night my first-born baby (who is 42) had symptoms of COVID 19 and I thought she would die. She is the mother of 3 and the (IMHO) adulting one. She didn’t and I am thanking the Life Force Above, but I am Angry right now that your precious Charlotte cannot taste of the joys of life. My heart is breaking with you all. XXXXOOOO

  22. Stephanie, thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing such a wonderful essay and sharing Charlotte’s life with us. What a lovely baby girl. Such grief that she is no longer with her family in this world, but you are right – it’s perfect that she knew only love while she was here. My heart aches for all of you. I am so grateful for your message.

  23. It is moments like this when the magic of online connection fails. There are no words. Know I am here, holding your family in my heart.

  24. Much love to you and your family at this difficult time. Thank you for sharing such an intimate post with your Blog family – I hope in some small way it helps to know that so many hold you in their hearts.

  25. I am so very sorry for your loss and deeply grateful that you could share this story. It is beautifully and truthfully written.

  26. Sending love to all. You have been on my mind every day since you shared the news of your loss. Thank you for this. It is beautiful. She was clearly perfect.

  27. Much love to you all, Charlotte’s passing and it’s heaviness during this already difficult time has been felt by all us of who feel invited into your lives.
    Thank you for sharing that perfect birth story, having 2 of my own, I’m a sucker for them

  28. Oh, Stephanie. Perfect is what your telling of the tale is as well. Thank you for allowing your readers this glimpse of such a very private and difficult thing. I know we have all been thinking of you in your grief, and especially of Meg, Alex, and Eliot. I wish you all comfort.

  29. A beautiful story. That picture of Elliot holding Charlotte and looking into her eyes is priceless. My deepest condolences to you and your family during this most difficult time.

  30. Thank you for sharing this amazing account of Charlotte’s birth and life. My heart grieves for the loss of this precious child and what you all are going through.

  31. Thank you for sharing Charlotte Bonnie’s story with us. We have no right to it, no right to ask for it. You sharing her story is a gift. A perfect gift of her perfect life. I am so, so sorry for the pain and grief all of you are enduring.
    Our love to all your family.

  32. Hi Cuz Steph
    That is such a touching & beautiful writing of dear Charlotte coming into the world 🙂
    Sending love & tons of it everyday 🙂 xoxoxo
    Cuz Diane in Kelowna

  33. Weeping. Thank you, sweet Charlotte, for giving your family such sweet memories, thank you, Meg and Alex and Elliott, thank you Stephanie and Joe and the other grandparents. The radiance in your love is a blessing to the world.

    I’m so glad you got to have her and meet her and love her. I’m so terribly sorry she’s gone. But she had the best she could possibly have had in you all.

  34. I am so sorry for your family’s loss. You wrote Charlotte’s story beautifully. I am so grateful you were able to share it. I am in tears after reading it. I wish there was something I could do to help with the pain your family is feeling . You are in my prayers.

  35. Thank you for sharing the story of Charlotte. May you find your way through this loss in joy and in sorrow for the perfect little girl, Charlotte.

  36. I’m very touched by your enormous love as you count your blessings for the sweetness of this little life. For the love in her family as she joined you through that perfect birth. I am so sorry for your family’s loss.

  37. Stephanie, this beautiful essay both breaks and heals the hearts of those who read it. Please know that I am sending tons of love and so many hugs across the miles.

  38. Absolutely perfect. Again, my deepest condolences to Meg, Alex, Elliot, you and every other member of your family.

  39. I’ve never felt so sad for a family I’ve never met. Thank you for sharing Charlotte with us. God bless. X
    “A tiny flower, lent not given, to bud on earth, and bloom in heaven”

  40. I really appreciate your sharing this profound story with us. It helps to know that all of you, and Meg especially, had these two wonderful days with Charlotte, and of course all the joy anticipating her arrival too. It’s a terrible, terrible loss, but not meaningless. Thank you.

  41. There is nothing much to say in these circumstances, but you and Meg and everyone are in our thoughts. Farewell, Sweet Charlotte. Fare Thee Well.

  42. well fuck. thank you for sharing your perfect birth story, it is beautiful. may her memory be a blessing. may you hold each other in love.

  43. Thank you for sharing Charlottes short but perfect life with us. What a wonderful entrance to the world. And devastatingly quick exit. Sending much love xx

  44. I am deeply touched by the love that transpires througout the story of Charlottes birth and her perfect by so short life.

  45. Thank you for sharing the story of Charlotte’s perfect life. What wonderful memories you hold of her. My love to you all.

  46. bless you all bless you all bless you all. i can not even read this all, but oh my dear, i’m so sorry i just posted a wee bit ago on your glorious sweater, i had not realized the loss, though my words and sentiment remain the same, it is with heavy heart that i fear what the celebration within them might bring to the spirit of the lost and loss. bless you all with the ability to fill the space created by losing such a joy with the wonder of the world to fill that space which has been ripped wide open with more things to love simply for knowing charlotte

  47. Charlotte will always be with you in spirit as long as you remember her. Bless you and your wonderful family.

  48. Thank you for writing this. What a beautiful and loved little girl. Sending so much love to you and your family.

  49. Thank you to you all for sharing this.
    What a beautiful thought that she only knew love in her life.
    I may have something in my eye right now, sorry.
    I wish I could hug you all in person, so sending virtual hugs instead.

  50. Stephanie, thank you for sharing sweet Charlotte’s story with us. Along with you we waited for her to come into the world, we anticipated seeing her grow with beauty and grace while adorned with lovely handmade knitwear. And we were devastated by her loss..
    Two days of perfection. A legacy of love. Charlotte Bonnie has touched us all.
    My heart hurts for Meg, Alex and all of you. Deepest sympathies ❤❤

  51. Beautiful baby….beautiful family…beautiful birth story….beautifully told. Charlotte’s life will be lovingly remembered. Thank you for writing this and love with all my heart.

  52. I have held you and your family in my heart these last weeks, knowing you would share what you could at the proper time. We have shared grief before and surely will again. Thank you once again for giving us this intimate and loving view into your family life and this extraordinary time, and for showing us what is truly important in life.

  53. Thank you and all of your family for sharing, and showing us that it is possible to continue to function after loss. The rest of us can benefit from that lesson.

  54. Glad you were able to write. You and yours have been in the thoughts of many these past weeks. Thanks to you and Meg and Alex for sharing your perfect little girl with us.

  55. Dear Stephanie, Thank you for sharing Charlotte Bonnie’s story with us so beautifully. She was so many things in her short life–a beloved sister, a daughter, a niece, a granddaughter. We the blog loved her too. She will be terribly missed but never forgotten.

  56. You did not have to write about something so intensely painful and private. You did not have to share it with the world. But I thank you for doing it and for sharing with us these beautiful words. May time and these memories be a comfort to all of you, and may Charlotte’s memory be a blessing.

  57. You have the most beautiful way with words, Steph. My heart goes out to all of you. May you all be as well as you can be, under these imperfect conditions.

  58. That’s one of the most beautifully written stories, I feel your joy and your pain. I hope you can all take comfort from this. Take care and my heartfelt hope that you and your family get to heal.

  59. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us. I continue to send prayers and love to your family, especially during this hard time of being apart.

  60. Thank you Stephanie for allowing us to know and share this beautiful child. My heart is aching and I am sending you all healing thoughts and my love.

  61. I am writing through my tears.
    My prayers and sympathy to you and your family
    Your words captured the experience perfectly

  62. My first grandchild’s name is Evelyn Kifferly. She, also, was perfect so there was no reason for her to die. But she died while being born. There really are no words for the pain. We had a service for the immediate family. But how do you memorialize someone you haven’t had the chance to know? I chose my daughter’s favorite book (We’re Going on a Bear Hunt) and read it through. I wanted her to have a smile to cling to as the days went by. I celebrate Evelyn every year with a donations to the March of Dimes in her name.

    My heart is there with you and your family.

  63. My heart goes out to you all. (wipes tears).
    Thank you for having the courage and strength to share this with us.
    Sending love and light.

  64. Your telling of Charlotte’s perfect birth was beautiful. So sorry that she was with you physically for such a short time. She will remain in yiur hearts forever. You and your lovely family have been in my prayers.

  65. I am so deeply sorry. I wanted you and your family to know, you are not alone in this time. I’ve been in a similar situation and I know how hard this is. Thank you for sharing and know that I am sending my thoughts and prayers your way.

  66. Crying for you and your family. You don’t really know us, but you make us feel like we know you and we care. Thank you for sharing not just your knitting but your life with us. The small ray of sunshine in your story for me was the doctor who broke the rules and let you come into the hospital with your daughter to support her.

  67. That was a beautifully written post, and altho I know it cost you dearly, thank you for writing it. Everyone in your Blog universe enjoys celebrating your triumphs and multi-layered fiber life; we also share your grief at this heartbreaking loss. I am sad that we’ll never know Charlotte as we came to know Elliot, Hank, and all the other babies in your amazing family, but thank you very much for sharing your pictures and memory of her.

  68. Thank you for sharing this. I am so sorry this happened. I cannot imagine the pain you and your family is going through and how hard it must have been to write this.

    I am currently 21 weeks pregnant and have a 2 year old daughter. I have been struggling with depression for years and this pandemic is the worst, I cry almost everyday. I am nowhere near as strong as Meg. I wish I was! You’re right to be proud of her.

    Take care

    • Erina, it can be so hard to be pregnant and have a toddler even in normal/nonpandemic times; depression and quarantine layered on top could understandably be just way, way too much. My kids are all 1.5-3 years apart–I get it. The phrase that gets me through difficult days is “She believed she could, so she did”. You can do it.
      hugs to you~

    • Erina, struggling with depression while you are pregnant and dealing with a toddler is very hard. In depression, everything that you manage to do, including getting out of bed, is a victory. If you get yourself and your daughter up and dressed and fed, know that it was a huge challenge and you rose to it. When you make it through the day, be proud of yourself. It’s a major achievement. Take care.

    • I hope there is someone in you real life who is proud of you too. If not: let it be us.

      As others have already said :every bit of parenting you do in fog of depression is super-parenting. It takes great strength in depression to just get through the day, let alone make sure a toddler makes it safely to the end of the day too, all while growing a baby!

    • Erina,
      I don’t have children, but I have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a very young child. It’s a hard road, but the secret I learned about depression is that there is strength in it, too. I’m sure you’ve found your strength. We all have it; it just may manifest in different ways for each of us. Wishing you baskets of goodness overflowing and happiness creeping in.

  69. There are no words. You have beautifully told Charlotte’s story, and my prayers are with you and your family. Many weep with you, and I am just so very sorry.

  70. Love and hugs to you and your family.
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story about the birth of Charlotte Bonnie.

  71. Thank you so much for writing this impossible entry. My deepest sorrow to your family. Good night sweet Charlotte.

  72. I am so sorry for your family’s loss. I wish you all peace and comfort. You all are in my thoughts. Charlotte looked perfect. Hugs.

  73. Steph, as this most certainly was a family decision, thank you, Meg, Alex, Joe, Ken, Sam and Amanda for sharing Charlotte’s perfect birth and short life with us. She epitomizes love, grace and peace, and her presence is now felt out here in the world. She will certainly not be forgotten. And I have a feeling we’ve only had a glimpse of Meg’s strength so far, she’s an amazing woman. Much love to you all.

  74. Thank you for sharing your story with us, the blog. My thoughts are with you.

    I am not a religious person, but, perhaps, the angels just wanted her to be with them right away.

    Love to you all.

  75. I am blown away by your grace, and Meg’s, and everyone in your family’s, at this difficult time. Thank you for sharing this story– the joy and the sorrow, both. I will not forget the joy even while I feel the sorrow deeply.

    You wrote perfectly.

  76. Thank you for sharing this with us. I have been grieving and praying and sending love from afar. What a sweet and perfect little life.

  77. Thank you so much for your courage in sharing this. Charlotte was indeed perfect in every way and I hope you will all be comforted and supported in the days to come.

  78. So many unanswered questions, the biggest question of course, being why? To which there can obviously be no answer. I have admired you for so long, for so many reasons. For your skill as a writer. For your unmatched talent as a knitter. For your endless capacity to think of and do good for others. For your strength on that bike rally which blows me away every summer. And now for something new. For the courage to tell this story and honour Charlotte and Meg and Alex. The courage to tell the story through your own pain and loss and suffering.
    Love to all.

  79. Writing through my tears. Thank you for sharing with us.

    I thought it was so fantastic of Meg to share a family picture of the four of them on Instagram, they looked so happy, and even though they are heartbrokwn now it felt nice that she acknowledged that they were happy and for a short while everything was perfect.

  80. thank you for thinking of the blog at this time and sharing both the deep joy and unimaginable grief attending little Charlotte Bonnie’s brief time with you. I can’t find the right words to let you all know what I would like to say to you but know that I am sending as many virtual hugs and much love as the wave lengths will allow

  81. Such a tender, precious story of Charlotte’s life – her arrival, being wrapped in the love and warmth of her family. These moments are things that keep her close in your memory and in your hearts. Your piece touched me deeply.

  82. This was so beautiful, thank you. Thanksgiving day 2005 I was very pregnant with #3 and the day was perfect – unexpected time with my little family, snow to play in, just a day of joy and love. I remarked at the time that we’d never seen such a perfect day. The next day my baby stopped moving and he was stillborn shortly after that. I still hold tight to the memory of that perfect day, the last time my family was truly complete. I have had you all in my heart these past weeks, especially Meg and Alex. Love to you all.

  83. I’m tearing up right now, for both the loveliness of her birth and the sadness of her passing. Thank you for sharing her life, and yours and your family’s, with us.

  84. I have thought of your family constantly after reading of Charlotte’s passing. Know that we all grieve with you and your family. I’m so sorry you have known this sorrow, and thank you for sharing with us. Love, prayers and big hugs, my friend I have not yet met.

  85. Over the years your words have broken and also expanded my heart in so many ways. There really are no words to express how much I admire you and your family, most especially right now, and I wish you all as much comfort and peace as the world can send your way.

  86. This is such a lovely record of Charlotte’s too short life. I am glad you wrote it for Meg and Alex and for yourself. To know she was so anticipated and so loved and will be so missed is a good thing to remember through these difficult days. My heart goes out to all of you with sympathy, sorrow and love.

  87. In spite of this enormous loss, you have crafted a story of love, demonstrated the beauty in a tragic situation. I am so very sorry your family must experience Charlotte’s loss, in spite of her perfect arrival. Our family has a similar story and our hearts go out to you. Sending love and light your way.

  88. I have been shedding tears for you all, and for the little girl I was when my mother lost a near term pregnancy. I was eleven. My dad told my brother and me that there would be no baby, and not to talk about it as it would make mummy sad. So we didn’t. And since then, I have missed that baby, and mourned him or her. I had named her Robin. Your telling of Charlotte’s story in such a beautiful way, has helped me understand my sadness, and I hope it has helped you with yours. I’m sure your family will remember, and talk about baby Charlotte Bonnie always, the happy parts and the sad. Your little girl will always be in your heart, as “my” little lost sibling has always been. I send caring and love to you all, and much sympathy.

  89. I don’t have any words, except to tell you how sorry I am and to thank you for coming back to us. We missed you. ❤️

  90. Charlotte really was perfect! I don’t know you or your family except through this blog but when you posted the picture of Charlotte in her little grey hooded sweater with that sleeping baby smile, I thought, “Oh my, she is a perfect little baby!” So her perfection even transcended miles, and borders and technology. I continue to be so sorry for your loss. Please know that even though we’ve never met, that I send as much love and healing as possible.

  91. What a beautiful tribute to a moment in time and a perfect child. I was touched by by her naming and wish that you could all huddle together to heal. Love the mental image of the whole blog sending their warmest hugs to you all. Please take care.

  92. So much love to you all in this awful time. You write, as always, with grace and shine a beautiful light on the life of your perfect granddaughter. Thank you for sharing the anticipation, the joy, and the sorrow with us – I hope it brings you some peace to do so.

  93. Thank you for sharing such a perfect story. I do not have words for the ache in my heart for you and your family. It is big and multi-faceted. I am grateful she was perfect, that you had 48 perfect hours with her. And grateful that you took so many lovely pictures of Charlottes time on this earth that you may remember the perfection. Sending you all lots of light and love

  94. What a beautiful birth indeed, Thank you for sharing your family with us and know our love and prayers are there for you all.

  95. Thank you for sharing this, despite how hard it must have been. You and your amazing family have been on my mind, and I will continue to carry you in my heart in the days to come as you grieve.

  96. What a beautiful story of Charlotte. I am so sorry for your loss. I know Charlotte has a special place in all of your hearts. My prayers are for you all in this difficult time.

  97. Stephanie, thank you for sharing your family time with us. My heart goes out to all of you. Charlotte was perfect.

  98. I read of little Charlotte’s birth and death while waiting for the beginning of labor for my second grand child. I can’t begin to have words for how sorry I am. Guiding my daughter in law through her own labor in the midst of a pandemic with all the fears that that held, I continued to think of you and yours. My thoughts are with you.

  99. I, too, lost a son & I, too, know that to lose a child is to feel an unhealed wound forever. Nothing can compare-the order is so wrong.
    Blessings & hugs to your and your entire family. Your time with Charlotte Bonnie was too short. May you continue to somehow heal together.

  100. Continued hugs, sympathy, and caring for you, Meg, Alex, Elliot, Joe, Ken, and all your amazing family. Your essay was perfect, so right for the perfect being you all have lost.

    Thank you, and Meg, for sharing her and those beautiful moments with us.

  101. Thank you for sharing this sad but beautiful story with all of us who have come to think of your family as an extension of our own. May you all take this time when the world has shut down to hold one another close in love.

  102. Thank you for sharing. Sending warm thoughts. I can’t even begin to imagine the profound grief in your family. My heart is with you. What a lucky child to have you all as family.

  103. What a precious gift you have given to your daughter and son-in-law and grandson in this story of your granddaughter’s perfect life. May you all find peace.

  104. Thank you for trusting us readers with your heart. May peace come to you all eventually and your tears be healing!

  105. I’m so very sorry. My parents lost a baby at two days many years before I was born and I never understood their sadness until I myself was pregnant, had children, and also had a miscarriage…then I understood the kind of grief that could still make you cry 30 years later. Something I wish no person would ever have to go through. No words can help, but love and understanding to everyone involved.

  106. I am deeply moved by your perfect writing, and grieve for your family. Take care and all the very best wishes in the world to you all.

  107. Beautiful and perfect. My heart aches for you all during this time. May the warmest thoughts, prayers and blessings felt by so many for you bring comfort.

  108. whatever reluctance you may have had to share this story, know that it will bring comfort to other families like yours. Sending you all much love to add to the abundance you already have.

  109. So many hugs for you, Stephanie, as well as Meg, Alex, Elliott, Joe, Ken …

    Such a beautiful story, and you are correct. A perfect baby, a perfect birth, and if she had to go — it was a perfect life, short as it was.

  110. Thank you to the entire family for sharing your story with us. Your generosity of spirit in doing so is awe-inspiring.

  111. What a beautiful and heartbreaking tribute to you daughter, granddaughter and your family. Thank you for allowing us to share in this perfect moment, despite it being far too short.

  112. My heart breaks for all of you. This is the most beautiful, perfect tribute to such a beautiful, perfect family. I’m so sorry this happened to you all.

  113. thank you for writing this. I know it could not have been easy. I am thinking about you and your family. my best friend was murdered by her boyfriend on new year’s day this year. I am devastated. i can only imagine how you, your family, in particular you daughter feel. I am numb. I know my friend would want me to go on and kick ass but it’s so hard. I don’t know when i will be able to feel again. I have picked up my needles and completed a project, so i feel some progress. I’m waiting for the flood of tears to come. I just wanted to let you know that your entry has helped me. thank you

  114. Thank you so much for letting us know how this happened. No one knows why, but it was somehow comforting, and at the same time disturbing, to hear the nurse say she was perfect. How can a full term baby who was delivered without drugs and in a reasonably short labor, who was obviously so healthy, just cease to be? And yet. All Bonnie’s family grieves her loss, including her extended family. I wish you all a clean healing.

  115. Thank you for sharing Charlotte’s perfect life with us. Sending you and your family much love as you get through these days.

  116. Thank you for sharing this with us. We are not really family, though you all feel like distant relatives, the kind you hear about but never really get to see or hang out with. Our love goes out to you and your family. We share your grief, though not to the extent that you all are obviously feeling. Words escape me, but yours were perfect.

  117. This was beautiful, thank you for sharing it with us. I continue to think about you all daily, holding a space in my heart for you, for baby Charlotte, for her parents. Sending you all so much love.

  118. There are no words. Instead I send my thoughts and prayers to you and yours during this time of grief which is exacerbated by social isolation. Please stay healthy.

    Vickie from WA state

  119. I am thankful to you for sharing the story of Charlotte’s life with us.
    It is a privilege and an honour to read your words.

  120. Thank you, Stephanie, for writing this, for the beautiful photographs and for telling us the reason for Charlotte’s passing. My first granddaughter passed away the same day she was born and although I did get to hold her one time, my son and daughter-in-law never will talk about her. Never had a memorial service, no burial. After almost eight years I’m still gutted. Thank you for your words, they help me. You are wonderful and so is your family for sharing such a private moment.
    My sincerest sympathies to you and your family. I send prayers for you all. Charlotte Bonnie will never be forgotten and will always be loved. Now she is your angel.

  121. Words fail me.You and your family have always been people of action and conviction. So I will take action and send a check to my favorite charity in honor of little Charlotte Bonnie. Bless you all.

  122. The only words that began to approach the grief of my darkest days came to me in an essay on joy, of all things, by Zadie Smith:

    “The writer Julian Barnes, considering mourning, once said, “It hurts just as much as it is worth.” In fact, it was a friend of his who wrote the line in a letter of condolence, and Julian told it to my husband, who told it to me. For months afterward these words stuck with both of us, so clear and so brutal. It hurts just as much as it is worth. What an arrangement. Why would anyone accept such a crazy deal?”

    The pain, it’s still there, but the love is greater.

  123. Thank you, Stephanie, for a perfect essay. May peace come to your entire family as perfectly and your beautiful Charlotte Bonnie came to you.

  124. Thank you for the beautiful words. I have thought of you and Meg and your family many times over the past couple of weeks. My hope for all of you is that the sweet memories of her birth and the time you shared with her will some day out weigh the loss. Sending peace to all.

  125. Thank you for this beautiful post. I’ve been thinking about you so much over these past few weeks, as I know so many people here and in my real life have been. I loved getting to know Charlotte and hearing her story and I’ll never forget her or your family.

    There were so many things in your story that resonated for me about parts of my own and I feel you’ve given words to things I never understood, let alone was able to articulate. I vividly remember the incredible impact of your words when you described Elliot’s birth and I’m sure I’ll never forget Charlotte’s either. I feel so lucky to “know” you and to now “know” Charlotte a bit too. Thank you.

    I wish I could do something from afar, but all I can really do is to remember Charlotte and send good thoughts your way and hope that the collective good thoughts find their way through the universe to bring you some comfort.

  126. Thank you for sharing Charlotte’s short life with all of us. I can only imagine the grief and heartbreak the family is going through.

  127. Thank you all from all my heart for your perfect generosity. Much much love to you all from someone you don’t know on the other side of the world. As someone who had a little sister who died, it is so lovely to see your Charlotte’s story told out loud with her name and perfect beauty talked about alongside the terrible grief. I think it will help down the track.

  128. What an absolutely beautiful tribute to your daughter, to Charlotte, to the birthing process, to your family. I am heartbroken for you and send you as many happy thoughts as I can muster.

  129. Thank you for sharing. I am at once so happy for you and so sad. This post will serve as a perfect encapsulation of this experience.

  130. What a perfectly beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing your story. So very, very sorry for the loss of your dear Charlotte.

  131. Thank you for sharing this experience with us. Like someone else said, she knew nothing but love – what more could one wish for….except some more time with her. My heart breaks for Elliot and “his baby” and how bereft he must be to not have his sister and how he must not completely understand this development. Lots of love to all of you.

  132. Thank you so, so much for sharing her perfection with us. Holding you all in my heart during these strange times.

  133. My deepest love to you all. As beautiful an expression of love and sorrow as ever I have heard. Thank you for this.

  134. I can’t even imagine how hard this must have been to write, but it’s beautiful and so, so sad. My heart is with you and your family.

  135. I am a birth worker. Your description of Charlotte’s arrival made me weep. I have been lucky enough to be there for that rare lovely delivery and it is an experience beyond words. I am so glad that you experienced that with her and am devastated that she is gone. There are no words.

  136. Steph, thank you so much for writing about this momentous time so honestly. It means so much to your blog followers to know about it. We love you, and we love your family. Last night, after reading this latest entry, I searched YouTube for the video when your family sang All You Need Is Love to your sister (?) and her spouse at their wedding. Although it was sad to note those who are no longer with us, the obvious joy and warm embrace of your family was a reminder that the happy times will come again. Thank you, thank you for being so brave and sharing with us.

  137. Prayers to Meg and all of your family. I can’t imagine how hard this time is for all of you. Thank you for letting us all have a moment with Charlotte Bonnie.

  138. What a beautiful family! And what a lovely, perfect, little girl! I am so thankful that you have these enchanting photos. Charlotte was adorable. Eliot was the best big brother. Everyone was so perfect in the moment. I am so happy that you have these perfect photos to capture this delightful spirit who was here for too short a time. No one who is loved is ever really lost. And certainly never forgotten. Peace be with you all.

  139. Stephanie, thank you for such a beautiful post regarding little Charlotte’s time on this earth. Your words were powerful and yet soft, and I felt I was there with you all for the birth and subsequent tragedy. Thank you to Meg and Alex for letting us all share in the story and grieve along with you all. May your light filled memories come to be a comfort in the days ahead. Blessings and healing light cover you all at this time.

  140. I am glad that Charlotte Bonnie had such a warm and welcoming passage through our world before joining her relatives that have already transitioned.

    I am glad that those left behind to grief don’t have any “What if…” To wonder about because of problems over Charlotte Bonnie’s passage through your lives.

    Our utmost sympathy in your family’s loss.

  141. Thank you for sharing these words and photos with the Blog.
    Really appreciate that you felt we were included.
    Thinking of you and your family.

  142. Stephanie, You and your family have been in my thoughts each day. Your grace and strength at this heartbreaking time bring such comfort to all of us, and I hope that our support from afar is a source of comfort for you. Sending much love to you all.

  143. Oh my goodness, thanks so much for sharing this beautiful story, how wonderful things were with Charlotte’s birth and short little life, until the totally unexpected death. Wow. Stephanie you and your family are so very special. I have been thinking of you, thinking how hard it must be for you now with the Covid-19 situation. It’s unimaginable how painful this must be for you all. So know that the blog is here caring for you and wishing you peace in a painful time. May love and the good memories sustain you and your family as you navigate your grief.

  144. Oh Stephanie, what a stunning sentence, a sentence that so many mothers over all of time have had to accept: “She is dead for no reason except that sometimes little babies simply die.”
    It’s just so sad. Life is just so sad sometimes.

  145. The tears in my eyes blur the words. But I wanted to tell you “thank you” for sharing this beautiful, perfect, happy, and terribly sad event with us. Sending you and your family love at this difficult time.

  146. So much love to you and yours. She is the brightest star now, twinkling back all the wonder that she is, and thank you so much for sharing her and her lovely story.

  147. “If a baby must die…let it be as this was.” The most perfect thought for the most anguished moment. May her memory — every frame of it — remain perfectly indelible fo all of you, always.

  148. Our family has a story, while not the same, is vastly similar. I will miss my grandson for all of my days. My heart is with you, Stephanie, as a grandmother who knows your pain.

  149. I am so moved by your story of Charlotte’s life. You are so right that few (to none?) births go as planned, let alone perfectly. That Meg’s birth was perfect, that her family had two perfect days together as a newly expanded family…I’m deeply glad that the universe blessed you all and baby Charlotte in that profound way, before the tragedy of her death.
    I send you and your whole family my prayers for peace and light~

  150. I am so glad that in this time of separation, you and your family had at least some time to be with each other, to hold each other as a family, united in love and in grief. My thoughts have been, and remain, with you all.

  151. Your family has been so much in my thoughts. I grieve for you, the whole big, loving knot of you. I’m glad you had your sweet Charlotte for a little while.

  152. This is one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful stories I have ever read. A story of love beyond measure for a beautiful, perfect little one. I am sure the depth of your grief cannot be measured, but I pray the perfection of Charlotte’s debut and short life bring comfort and peace to your family. Love and virtual hugs to all of you.

  153. I’ve been a long time blog reader but not commented. I just wanted to break that now by, for what it’s worth, sending you and your family much love.

  154. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You all have been in my thoughts ever since you posted, and especially since I remember so well those unspoken fears I think we all have when our babies are babies, the ones we can say were foolish when they don’t end up coming to pass, and which now seem much more grounded in awful reality. I have said many times in the difficult years that have followed that I would not want to imagine a version of my life in which I had not had them. But it doesn’t make that pain less acute in the present, nor relieve us of the grief we feel in times of loss. Much love to you and your family.

  155. I am glad that your Charlotte has stopped by and I am so sorry she couldn’t stay. Thank you for sharing, I cried while reading your story. It’s heartbreaking, my thoughts are with you and your family (it’s hard for me to find words as English isn’t my first language, and it’s so hard anyway, so please excuse me if I say something wrong).

  156. though it probably is not even a whisper of help, know that your beautiful Charlotte was loved at first glance by all of us as well, and we are deeply pained by your loss.

  157. You have the gift of finding the words for events for which words are so hard to find. Thank you for sharing that gift with us. Love to you and your family.

  158. Thank you for sharing this with us. I don’t know how anyone gets to be as wise and strong and beautiful as you. Stay well and take care of yourselves and each other.

  159. Thank you for sharing this extraordinary story with us. Life – and death – are such profound parts of every person’s journey, but rarely are so clearly perfect as dear Charlotte’s were. May her memory be a blessing as you all walk the path of grief and healing.

  160. Thank you for sharing the beautiful story of Charlotte. I am so sorry her time here was so short. I am grateful, that her time here was so rich and so perfect. My heart aches for each one of you. Wishing you all much peace and healing.

  161. You and your family are good humans. Thank you for being so generous as to share this wonderful story with us, The Blog. Much love to all.

  162. This is one of the most beautiful pieces of prose I have ever read. It shows the courage, love and profound caring within your family which will carry you through this time. Thank you for sharing this with us – you are brave and awe-inspiring.

  163. I wrote this when your mom past and Elliot was born, but was to shy to post. I found it accidentally and knew I should. ❤️

    How does a Doula grieve.
    When you hold your newborn infants face it seems the most beautiful thing that you have ever seen, the love in your heart is so enormous that you think it will break. And so it is with passing. When someone you love has left this world you hold their face they seem the most beautiful person that you have ever seen, your heart is so huge..and it does break.
    Dearest Doula, instinctively you know that grief is labor backwards. You understand the numbness of the push as you deal with the ugly business of death. You remind the mom in the heat of transition that she is not drowning as you help her to take the time to notice the little breaks and regroup. You remind her that this is the hardest part and she will be ok.
    As you drown in the pain of this not perfect posterior labor of grief, I remind you to notice the moments… remembering the babies smell, the sun hitting the side of your face, Elliots sweetness, a laugh, how much you love…. When a waves of pain come, respect that, sit down and breathe and love and cry. Don’t hold back, she is worth every tear. All griefs are unique, but at some point you will notice the brakes are longer, the pains more controllable and that you have been born a different person, into a different life. You will be ok.

  164. …and as I should be writing something comforting to you, instead your writing is comforting to me. Thank you for sharing your joy and grief. I believe your words will comfort many who may not have had the ability to see it this way.

  165. Well-sung. Well-celebrated, played on the instrument you are most adept with–Words. Good for Meg, craving the forming, the sense- and pattern-searching that can come in a Life Song well-crafted.

    And profound thanks for allowing us to read your song, share this part of the journey, carry you all in our hearts in the odd distance-shrinking ways that have become possible in our digital world…

  166. Thank you for sharing this. My daughter is due soon with a long awaited babe, and it will not be perfect as she will not be able to have family around her due the pandemic. Peace little Charlotte. You sure were a bonnie lass.

  167. There are very few people who have never known a not perfect moment in their lives. Charlotte Bonne is one of that few. My sad love to you and your family.

  168. I am so glad that Charlotte Bonnie had a perfect birth, and that your family is able to celebrate that, despite the sadness that follows. I’m so glad that you are able to share it us. I also do not condone any sort of system in which babies die sometimes, and also I do not believe in any sort of organising personality in the universe (and I would be feeling pretty bitter about them lately if I did). I’m glad you have all the love and support you do following such a devastating event at a horribly difficult time (both for the world and your family) and that if you can find anything helpful in the messages of support from people who only know and love you via the blog, I’m glad to be one of those people.

    Greif is love with nowhere to go. You all had a lifetime of love stored up ready for Charlotte and now it has nowhere to go, and you can only give it to each other. I’m so glad you can, and so sorry you must.

  169. Anything I can think of to say will sound inane. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so sorry for Meg and Alex and Elliot and the aunties and the grandpas and the rest of the family.
    I’ll hold you in the light.

  170. Just like no birth can be called easy, I’m aware no family is without its challenges and flaws, but I don’t think this tragedy could have happened to a more perfect family. I’ve been visiting with your family for over a decade through this blog, and the love you show for each other and for your world shines through everything. Charlotte could not have chosen a more perfect home. We’re all carrying some of this grief with you. I hope for warmth and healing for each of you.

  171. Thank you for so eloquently sharing your family’s story. The knitting world lifts you up in prayer as you go through the unimaginable. <3

  172. I will light candles for Meg and her little family, and for you, and hold you all in the light. Peace. There are no words. Blessings to you all at this time. I have been at many births as well, as a doula, and RN, and IBCLC and I am glad there was joy in the albeit brief time … Love, so much love… Kathleen

  173. Thank you for writing this beautiful piece and sharing Charlotte‘s life with us. A tiny life completed. I am so very sorry.

  174. So sorry for all of you, and thank you for writing, so beautifully, the hardest thing ever. sending love and light.

  175. Thank you Stephanie, and also to your family. It was a privilege to read this. Continued healing thoughts and prayers to all.

  176. This was perfectly told.
    Such a beautiful tender sharing of birth and life.
    And Elliott with his sister!! Beautiful photographs.
    Amazing daughters comes from amazing mothers…you, Meg, Sweet Charlotte.
    To touch so many lives in so few hours….profound…and perfect.
    I’m so glad you were and remain part of this big beautiful world Charlotte-we are better for you having been here.
    “Click or touch the World”. Kismet.

  177. to be grieving under the extraordinary conditions we are all living under is extra hard. what an amazing piece you have written , filled with love and sorrow, light and grace.

  178. This post was simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing the story of Charlotte Bonnie’s short life. I cannot stop thinking of you and your family. Your daughters are incredibly blessed to have you as Mum. Sending love.

  179. As I read your beautiful story of Charlotte. I am struck by how blessed you are to have each other. Although you did not have her here for long, she was here. All that love added richness to all your lives. Thank you for sharing,

  180. Thank you for sharing the life of perfect little Charlotte. I am so sorry that it was so brief. Much love to you all

  181. Thank you for sharing this.

    I’m not going to say this exactly right, but I’ve been thinking over the past days since I read your previous post that I wish that for every person who’s out here hurting for you and your family, your pain were lessened a little. That’s not really how it works, but whatever comfort comes from knowing that there are hearts that are hurting with you – not as much, of course, and not in the same way – please take that comfort.

  182. Isn’t it amazing how such a tiny perfect baby that we neither knew nor held, touched our lives so profoundly? Charlotte was loved by many strangers in the knitting world who weep at her death. Stephanie, you and your family are part of a worldwide community that shares your pain and sends you love and hope for better days ahead. Thank you for sharing your joy and your pain with us.

  183. She was perfect. And born to the family that could deal with this perfectly.
    She will be honored/mourned by the fiber world as one who had loving knits made for her but does not out grow them.
    May the years blur the pain but keep the joy.

  184. How wonderful that you had two days of perfection together. That is something to hold in your hearts forever. The pain, I hope, will fade, and the perfect time and perfect baby will shine on. Many, many internet hugs to your whole family.

  185. Thank you for sharing Charlotte’s story with us. May her beautiful short time with you carry you on. Sending virtual hugs to you and your family!

  186. Sending tight, virtual love and hugs to all of you. Losing a child is horrible, I hope your family finds a way to heal.

    And yes, Everything was perfect from your birth story of her. She looks so sweet in your photos.

  187. Oh, what love you have shared! Thank you, and know that you are all loved and held by so many. May your sheltering in place be exactly the balm and the time you need to celebrate and grieve your perfect Charlotte.

  188. I’ve read every comment here, and really, there’s nothing to add except that I add my grief and condolences onto the huge pile of grief expressed here. I’m glad you waited a while to write about Charlotte Bonnie, so that you had time with your family to experience the raw grief that comes with such a loss, and time to think about what was important to chronicle about her perfect birth and perfect life. In the midst of your own sorrow, you have brought comfort to The Blog and the knitting world. Thank you.

  189. I feel honored to have been able to read this. Thank you for taking on what must have seemed like an impossible task and turning into a thing of beauty. You may never read this again without hurting but it will always give you joy.

  190. Thank you for sharing Charlotte’s story with us. We share your grief with you in the hope that it lightens your pain.

  191. You’ve touched my heart.
    Oh, who am I kidding? You scooped out my marrow until only tears were left. They are yours.

  192. Others have probably mentioned this, but one of the perfect things about this whole experience has been for Meg and Alex to have you to put it into words. Your beautiful words will be a keepsake for the whole family to have forever, and will guarantee that the details of little Charlotte’s tiny life will never be forgotten. What a gift….

  193. Dear Stephanie,
    This is an incredibly beautiful and brave essay. Meg is amazing in her ability to realize the gift in this terrible event. This was a joy to read, a cautionary tale of the unpredictability of birth, an insight into a terrible sadness. Peace to you and I am holding you and your family in my heart.

  194. Thank you for sharing your wise, heartfelt words with us, the complete strangers who feel so close to you. Thinking of you and your family often, and wishing you peace.

  195. The grace of you and your family in sharing this account with us is remarkable. Wishing you all peace and healing.

  196. Thank you for sharing Charlotte’s story with us, and your beautiful photos. The picture of Elliot holding Charlotte is another perfect part of Charlotte’s life. Of course this brought me to tears, and I wish your family love and peace.

  197. Dear Stephanie and family, thank you for sharing the beautiful story of Charlotte. May everyone be blessed by the brief but brilliant life of this tiny spirit.

  198. Thank you for being so generous as to share this. Your writing about your grief over the loss of other family members has been with me and helped me in difficult times with my own parents, and I know this piece, as incredibly hard as it must have been to write, will help others through an intense and lonely grief. My deepest condolences to Meg and your family.

  199. Dearest Stephanie,
    I do not have different words to say that could possibly make this easier, or that have not already been said. I will say, from my heart, that your post was quite possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever read. I work in anesthesia, and I, more than most, understand how little is in our control. We fight against the inevitable, but often fail to accept it. And that acceptance is the first step to healing.
    I have watched your lovely daughters grow into even lovelier young women. I finally understand how they came to be that way.
    All of our prayers and love are for you at this time. May you all continue to love and support each other, as you have, for all the years to come.

  200. I’m an MD in Washington state who performs deliveries, usually low risk, sometimes also unmedicated with minimal interventions. In the midst of such unimaginable tragedy as your family is passing through, I cannot think of a more profound and meaningful gift that you can give your family than bearing witness to such a delivery as you have done. You have used your gift of writing beautifully to create a captivating account of an event that changed your family forever, in a way that can be treasured forever, and you should be very proud of what you have created here. I wish you and your family strength and wellness during this incredibly difficult time, from across the border and across the country.

  201. So many thoughts, memories…all I will say I am sorry, deeply sorry for what will not be.
    You held her, you loved her…that will have to be.

  202. Oh, my heart! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and brutal (“brutiful” as Glennon Doyle says) story. I will never understand why little babies and children have to die…..I’ve seen a lot.
    Little Charlotte was so perfect, and your recounting if her life and death is perfect. I am so very very sorry for all of you. You’ve been on my mind since your post that sweet Charlotte had died. ♥️

  203. Congratulations on the perfect addition to your beautiful family. Thankful for the blessing that will ever touch your heart and lives. Much love and many prayers to all.

  204. Dear Stephanie,
    I held off on writing in the hopes that I could find something to say that could help to sooth the tearing grief that you’re all going through. Then I remembered telling my daughter, when my mother died and she was just shredded by the loss of her grandmother, that the pain was normal. We physically hurt from emotional pain and the deeper the love, the deeper our pain. It’s so hard to deal with but if we don’t face it, the wound won’t heal. Your post reveals that kind of pain but also the facing of it. My love and prayers are with you and your entire family as you mourn for Charlotte Bonnie. She was, indeed, perfect. May you feel the love and support of the Blog as you face this devastating loss.

  205. This post is just perfect, thankyou for sharing. I have kept all of you in my thoughts and in my heart. The midwives and Dr as well as this is a tragic event.

    I wish that I had better words to share and comfort but know that the blog is here.

  206. I’m so sorry that this has happened. Thank you for sharing your perfect words with us. I’ve experienced this with a family member and with a friend. The grief we experienced was very different from anything my family and friends had ever experienced before. It’s so devastating that you almost forget how to breathe. I hope that you all stay safe and surrounded by the love you have for each other. Thank you for bravely sharing your perfect words.

  207. I was reading this with tears in my eyes. I did not expect to hear / read anything much so soon, and thank you for sharing with us. Life is strange these days. I thik of you and your family often.

  208. In a terrible way I have been hoping you would be able to tell us Charlotte Bonnie’s story, and it is such a beautiful one. Thank you, through the tears. Meg’s wisdom shines through indeed, with the love and influence of you and her grandmother Bonnie and many other wonderful people in her life helping to form her into the incredible young woman she is. I am so glad that Alex also had his parents present to feel the joy of Charlotte’s arrival. As for the unimaginable sadness of losing her, may the circle of love around you all bring comfort in the hours and days and years to come.

  209. aww Steph, the way you write. Thank you so much for telling Charlottes story . It was lovely and no wonder Meg was looking forward to it. It still made me cry for all of you. Sending healing thoughts, love and whispered prayers…..

  210. My heart aches for you and your family. Thank you to you, and to Meg for being so generous in sharing this incredibly painful and personal story. I am keeping you all in my heart and my prayers. May her memory be for a blessing.

  211. I am so incredibly sad to read this post. May you all find comfort in your tight bond of you family and in the love of your community near and far.

  212. I just want to go and squeeze my own two children as hard as I can. My heart is broken for your family. Sending love to you all.

  213. What a beautiful story. I’m so glad you shared it. Sending love to you and your family as you figure out how to move forward together.

  214. I feel as though I have nothing to add to the condolences. I am simply sending my love to all of you, because it is all I have to offer in this time. I have a favorite author, Michael Perry, who mainly writes stories of his life and the townspeople he lives among. He writes about the death of his younger brother when they were both wee small children. As the family stood weeping at the graveside he simply said to his brother “Thanks for visiting.” And so his grave stone says “Beloved Visitor” upon it. This is how I will remember Charlotte, so wanted and so beloved.

  215. My heart is breaking. I know what it feels like to lose a baby you so wanted. I don’t know what it feels like to lose one after you’ve held her in your arms. And i know the loss of a child must feel different for everyone. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. each of your losses. Charlotte sounds lovely. My thoughts are with you all across the miles.

  216. I have very few things from my infant daughter’s death. I buried her in every stitch that i knit for her. I wish that i had this type of tribute to look back on for our painful milestones. This is perfect and it will remain a shining tribute that you can share and someday smile a sad but sweet smile at. The day does come.

  217. I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing with us both the good and the bad. There are no words that can soothe this kind of hurt for your family, we can only send you our warmest love and thoughts.

  218. So very sorry to hear this beautiful and then so devastating news. Please know that you are held in loving thoughts by many X

  219. She is beautiful. Your family is beautiful. And the love that shines through every bit of that post is beautiful.

    And I send you all the warmest hugs and sympathy.

  220. Stephanie, I’m a bit in shock right now, this is unbelievable loss, and I just can’t process it. Know that you are all loved and supported, and that your Angel Charlotte will be with you always, and we will remember her, too. I take solace in that her short time with you was obviously perfect, and Meg had her company, during pregnancy. It was a happy time, and that is important. I grieve with you, at the loss. It is an enormous loss. I never even met her, but I miss her.

  221. I have been thinking of you and your family and praying for you since your first post. My heart broke for you then and broke again in pieces just now. Thank you for sharing her story. You didn’t have to share something so private, I know, but her story was cherished even as I had to keep blinking away tears to keep reading – thank you. I am more sorry than I can say.

  222. Never were more perfect words written. Thank you for your generosity in taking us with you during this terrible time. Love to you and your whole family.

  223. It was a privilege to read this post which captures the sacredness of life and death. Stephanie, you didn’t have to write this or share it with anyone, but you did. You did the hardest thing you could do in this impossible moment. Thank you for sharing the beauty of Charlotte’s presence with us. To Meg, Alex, and Elliot, their strength and grace are amazing, and again I am grateful that we got a glimpse of perfect happiness. With love and tears.

  224. Much love to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your beautifully written story. My heart goes out to all of you.

  225. I’m so sorry that your family is going through this. Your writing about this is such a touching way to remember and honor Charlotte. I’ll be thinking of you all.

  226. Stephanie – As much as it must have pained you to write this, THANK YOU! I fully believe that this post will be treasured by all as a reminder of the perfection that you were able to witness in Charlotte’s arrival and departure from this earth.

    My heart breaks for your family as you come to terms with your loss and learn to live again with this new reality.

    May love and light be yours today and always!


  227. Having lost our precious granddaughter just a few minutes after her birth, I share your pain and are grateful that you had that sweet one for those few hours. Babies come from heaven and that is where they return.

  228. As always, dear Stephanie, your writing is such a gift – to us, that you should allow us a peep into these most precious moments of your family’s life – and also to you, as putting those thoughts on paper help make them stand forever. I’m so touched by your statement that the sadness doesn’t blot out the joy that was. May this strong truth sustain you all as you move forward. Loving you all to bits from over here.

  229. This post made me cry. I am in awe of your beautiful, brave Meg and Alex, and of your whole family. Please let Meg, Alex and Elliot know that we are holding them, and all of your family, in our hearts.

  230. I am so sorry for you loss. In my family we have struggled with infertility and seen a few miscarriages but never dealt with a full-term loss such as this. I cannot imagine your family’s grief. I feel your pain.

  231. Thank you! I’m heartbroken.
    My family lost our Brother during birth process. He is still my little Brother and part of out families and lives.
    I wish you patience ans peace.

  232. Thank you, but thank especially Meg and Alex, for allowing you to share Charlotte’s story here. Sometimes (a lot of times) life is unfair and makes no sense. I hope you will continue to cherish these memories of Charlotte, as mixed with sadness as they will be. How can we go one from a loss like this? But we do, we live one more day, and then another, and we carry that loss in our hearts, and we don’t get over it or forget. We just bring them along for our ride.

  233. To have known perfection is something most will never know. God bless your family and give you comfort. I cry with you. Charlotte was and still is, a beautiful baby.

  234. I’ve read this post and I wanted to write something to you that could convey the heartbreak I feel for you and your family. The truth is that there are no words. There is absolutely nothing I could say. I do want you to know that my heart is breaking for all of you. I read your blog and I’ve followed along since Megan was little and I watch your blog closely for Charlotte’s birth. She really had the most beautiful perfect little face and seeing Megan with her children was so sweet and wonderful. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  235. This is such a beautiful bravely written remembrance. I hope writing it helped to cradle and hold the joy of Charlotte’s arrival and presence close, and comforts Megan, Alex, Elliott and all of you now and long into the future. Thank you for sharing it with us and offering the younger ones of us insight into coping and celebrating the hardest of life events. Love to you all

  236. Just saw the IG post about Meg donating her breast milk and I wanted to cry. My son was born at 29 weeks because I had HELLP syndrome. He spent 2.5 months in the NICU, during which time he had donated breast milk (I couldn’t pump because of continuing health problems), and it was crucial for his health. It is such a wonderful, life-changing thing she is doing for strangers she’ll never meet, and I’m so grateful there are people like her in the world.

  237. A perfect angel surrounded by perfect love. As always, a beautiful tribute steeped in love but broken with tragedy. We love you and yours and send much love, peace, and light your way. Thank you for sharing Charlotte’s (and your family’s story) with us.

  238. Stephanie, what a beautiful, poignant tribute to your sweet granddaughter and your family. I am so very sorry. Sending love and prayers to you and your family. Fly high, angel Charlotte.

  239. This is heartbreakingly beautiful, like Charlotte herself. My heart hurts along with your family’s. <3

  240. You have done Charlotte and your family proud with such beautiful writing. My prayers for you all and beautiful Charlotte.

  241. Oh I am so sorry!!! I haven’t read the blog for a while and clocked back on today and found this — I just can’t believe it. And I can hardly believe that you had the strength to write this, nor how gracefully and with what dignity you accomplished it. I wish there was something I could do … but please know that I am holding you and all the family in my heart, and sending you love. And I will make a donation to a charity that helps children, in memory of your beautiful, perfect Charlotte.

  242. I know this is late, but I just wanted you to know that I think of you & your family often and keep you all in prayer. Thank you for sharing such a sacred moment in time with all of us.

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