Two Stories: Irene and Willa Raeburn

Earlier this year, I read a horrifying, heartbreaking account of a stillbirth in the pages of The New Yorker. I was a mess all day after that. I couldn’t imagine what the author, Daniel Raeburn, and his wife, Rebekah, must’ve gone through. I didn’t want to imagine it. Kaylee was not much more than a month old and the images of her birth were still fresh in my mind. What would Stephanie and I have done, if we’d been placed in the same position as the Raeburns, who were told their daughter was dead before she was even born? I didn’t know. I didn’t want to know.

Anyway, thanks to a link from Kottke, I’ve just learned that the Raeburns have much happier news to share with the world nowadays. Their daughter Willa was born on May 22, about three weeks after the article about Willa’s sister Irene appeared.

Raeburn closes the piece with a passage that so perfectly captures what I was feeling as a father in the hours just after my daughter’s birth that I simply have to share it:

After midnight, I went to get water. As I passed the window of the nursery, I spied a dozen newborns. All were swaddled in pink-and-blue blankets and capped by pink-and-blue beanies. All were still. Each face looked puffy and jaundiced, but peaceful and somehow Asian in mien. The babies were as alike as larvae. Any one of them could have been my daughter. I wanted to hold them all.

So, congrats to the Raeburns. And thanks to The New Yorker for providing an update, albeit an online-only one.