Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I am not necessarily desirous to send bad news out onto the wavelengths. But I find that if I don't talk about a lost child, it seems less like he was real. I wrote the following poem two weeks ago. We lost/had Samuel Nielsen two days ago.


I suppose numbers are easy, simple, clear,
a seemingly accurate measure of something, anything:
your intelligence, your appearance, your worth.
But I have been, and remain evermore skeptical of their truth.

Statistically, only 1 in 10,000 babies conceived have
Trisomy 13--
3 number 13 chromosomes in the cells--
as if that defines, measures
what happened to Annie's body,
as if it tells how she looked, and moved,
how I felt when she was born, dead.
How is it possible 1 in 10,000 was us?

Statistically,only 1 in 100 babies conceived have
3 of each of the 23 chromosomes,
69 instead of 46 in the cells
1 in 10,000 are born live.
0 live past 10 months of age.
0 known connection between Triploidy and Trisomy
So, how is it possible that 1 in 100 was us?

What are the chances?
Where is the number that describes the likelihood
of losing 2 babies this way?

What are the chances
that this baby will live long enough
that there will be 2 graves side by side?
Or, will this baby be gone in 1 month, 1 week, or 1 day.

Where is the mathematician, the statistician
who could calculate the probability
that I would feel this
heavy, sickening, chocking, ache

Too improbable to be accidental
Too random to be random.
Numbers, like me, can't answer or define this one.

But, I seem to feel that Someone can.
Someone who knows not only what this would do,
but why I should face it once more.
Someone who not merely numbers his children
like the sands of the sea,
But knows each one.

Already I have carried this baby
for 12 weeks
Perhaps someone could figure what the chances are that
I will carry my child one week more.
But no one can measure how this small number of
weeks, and days, and minutes with my child
will affect every other day of my life.
It will be measureless, numberless,


  1. My heart goes out to you and your sweet family. What are the chances that something like this would happen to you twice in a row. So, so sorry.

  2. Aww, Kelli, I am so sorry you had to go through this again. Again! Dearest little Annie and Samuel are yours forever, and my prayers are being said for you. And it makes me mad there is something wrong with the statistics. They need to get it right. Thank-you for telling all of us, we need to know. Hugs and more hugs.

  3. Oh Kelli, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My heart aches for you and your family. You are all in our prayers. May the Lord give you the strength to make it through this difficult time.

  4. I'm so sorry, Kelli. We're praying for you.

  5. We love you and are thinking of you and your family. We miss you and wish we were closer to help. Little Sam and Annie will be missed. Love you

  6. Well, that settles it. Statistics is officially my least favorite subject.

    I'm so, so sorry. Sam is such a beautiful name (we've considered it many times). I wish I could take some of the pain from you. You guys are in our prayers and in our thoughts.

  7. Wow, Kelli. That seems impossible. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this kind of thing yet again. Sending our love and prayers of comfort your way.

  8. Noooo!
    I am so, so sorry. I'm with LIz, I wish I could take some of the pain. I'll be thinking of you all.

  9. Thanks for all the comforting words. We feel and appreciate all the thoughts and prayers.

  10. We are so, so sorry for this profound loss, made more acute by its repetition. Samuel is a wonderful name. May he always be remembered as a member of your family. You are in our prayers. I wish we lived close enough to lend you a hand.

  11. I'm so sorry for your loss Kelli. I pray that God gives you all the strength and stamina to deal with this sorrow...I'm praying for you like everybody else. I wish I could do something to make it easier.

  12. My heart aches for you and your dear family. Im so sorry. We will remember you in our prayers.

  13. So sorry for you and your family's loss. Wish we could help. We will be praying for you a well.

  14. Kelli. I'm so sorry for another loss! You are in our thoughts and prayers!

  15. Kelli,

    This is Courtney's mom --she showed me your blog. My eyes are full of tears already for you and I can't help but feel the heartache of your sweet mother. How well I understand it and wish life could be more fair. I am grateful to know that Heavenly Father will make up all our losses, but it's sure hard to wait.
    You'll be in my prayers.