The Normal Day: Afton’s Story, Part Ten

This post is part of a ten-post series I’m sharing about the life and loss of our son, Afton. Click here to read more of Afton’s story.

Afton's Story

The first time I felt Afton kick was on a tour bus in Lyon, France. We were driving by the river, all lit up at night – and with two teeny tiny pops, there he was. I smiled and cried because I was in France with my favorite person and our baby was saying hi for the very first time. It was too awesome.

I became obsessed with trying to get Bjork to feel the kicks, but I was never fast enough. It became a routine – we’d lay in bed reading, and every three minutes I’d grab his hand and say: THERE! There he was! Did you feel that? And every time, Afton would get still and quiet. It was a game. That stinker.

Our last “normal” day before the hospital was everything I would have wanted it to be. Bjork and I drove to the studio together – a rare event. We met with our builder to finalize the details of the baby-inspired remodel that was supposed to start in a few days, and we laughed about finishing the remodel before April 26. “Please don’t come early, baby!” I joked easily. I took Sage for a walk around the lake and listened to an audiobook on breastfeeding. (Sweet Afton: your mom is nothing if not a nerd.) Bjork and I worked late, until 8pm, saying outloud how sweet it was to enjoy these last months of having such a flexible schedule before our lives would get changed by the miracle of a newborn. We got dinner at a cheap Mexican restaurant and came back to snuggle on the couch with Sage.

As soon as we sat down, Afton started kicking. I grabbed Bjork’s hand, expecting more of the same shyness, but as soon as I put his hand on my belly, Afton gave a strong, direct kick. Bjork’s eyes popped and we both laughed with wonder. There he was! Introducing himself to his daddy on what would be our last night together at home.

Our last normal day with Afton was just that – normal. Sweet, precious, normal. That’s what I want to leave as my last story, because our normal days with our baby were some of the best days of my life.

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.” – Mary Jean Irion

Afton – we’re celebrating your life today and every day. 💙 I’m so proud to be your mom.

I’m sharing more about life with and after Afton on my personal Instagram account. I’d love to have you follow along here.

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81 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Aere

    Thank you so incredibly much for letting us be a tiny part in this incredibly enormous event in your lives. I’m at the same time so very sorry that this had to happen to you and glad for all of the beautiful moments and love that you got to share throughout this journey. I wish you both and your families so much love and happiness and the very best of memories for all eternity.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Mariana

    Lindsay, I am deeply touched by the intensity of your feelings and the profoundness of your wisdom. I feel that your precious Afton had chosen the perfect mom and dad! – tender, loving, brave persons. I believe that in its journey his bright soul needed to meet you and to experience your immense and unconditional love. Celebrate the life of your sweet Afton – live for him. Your souls are bound for eternity. With much love for you and Bjork!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Such beautiful words. Am in awe of the grace and strength that emanates from your posts. Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Appreciate you touching on your faith in these posts, it’s easy to be the cliche Christian. But when it’s tested, that’s when it gets hard and you have to figure out where you really stand in faith and if you believe what you thought you did.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Leonie Smith

      I agree. It broke my heart to read the sad news and your comment made me think

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Barbara

    My heart goes out to you and your husband even though I know neither of you. May God wrap his loving arms around both of you and pull you close because there is not a better place to be. Thank you for sharing your story about your precious son Afton. I wish both of you and your families the best.

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kirsten J

    Oh my heart continues to ache for you. I know you’ve heard a zillion stories by now – here’s some hope: I have a friend who delivered a premie at 28 weeks. She had a dr visit at about 20 weeks and didn’t even know she was dilating – so scary – but they were able to perform a cerclage, put her on extreme bed rest, and she made it that crucial extra 8 weeks. Still didn’t bring Katie home for 2 months, but it was a miracle. She also asked those questions “what was wrong with her body?” – no good answer, but her 2nd pregnancy they went in knowing what to expect. Another cerclage, earlier partial bedrest and a delivery at 36 weeks. So much easier. And the third time? she went over due. There are no clear answers…but Afton is lucky to have such an amazing family.

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    terry

    thank you for sharing sweet afton’s story. it was a heartbreakingly beautiful journey that i’m sorry you had to endure.

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Christine

    Just beautiful, through al the tears your stories have moved me beyond. I’m so sorry for you loss. Sweet Afton.

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Tammi

    I have found myself going through so many emotions reading your life story. My heart aches for your family and you all are in my prayers. Even through this devastating time, you radiate love. God bless you.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    vivian

    You are brave and wonderful, both of you, for reaching out at a time like this. You are so blessed to have each other and to have n Afton. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Mary

    Thank you so much for sharing this story — I could not comment at other times because the intensity was so overwhelming. As a mother of four I ache at your loss. You and your dear Bjork have taken it and reached out to the world so we can understand and reach out to others who may be suffering as you are. Many prayers for your strength in the days ahead. God is good and you are working hand in hand with the source of all goodness by transforming your sorrow into comfort for yourselves and other families who so need these words and photos. Cry, laugh, and cry again. Many blessings to you.

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you for sharing the story of Afton’s life Lindsay and Bjork. I know just a little of how hard it must have been for you. (I miscarried.)

    Every post brought tears to my eyes. I loved reading them all and really do hope that your future will be bright and filled with love.

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Diana G

    Dearest Lindsay and Bjork:

    I am so sorry for your loss, and have cried with you and for you both at your loss.

    Bless you in the future and may life bring you both much joy and happiness. Afton will always be a wonderful memory of love, caring for you both.

    Thank you for sharing your loving words, worry and sorrow. So eloquently expressed and loved.

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Alexis

    I’ve just finished the last post of your ten part series. Every day my heart broke all over again for you and your husband. I applaud your brave decision to write about your sweet Afton. Thank you for allowing me to mourn his life with you.

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Ellen

    Thank-you for sharing the beautiful story of Afton. I have followed this ten part story everyday and cried for all of you and for myself too. More than 40 yrs. ago I too lost a child at birth and times were so different then. You were supposed to grieve in silence, alone. It made people uncomfortable to talk about this loss. Well intentioned comments like “your young and you’ll have more” were meaningless, as I wanted this one. While the loss of a child is no less painful now, I am glad that the burden can be openly shared. You have written Afton’s story from your heart and I’m sure it will help you and hopefully others to begin the path to a different “normal”. I do envy you for all of the beautiful photos that you have of Afton, it is something I wasn’t able to have. Your hearts will heal, but there will always remain that space that belongs to Afton. I know this because I still have that space today. Bless you for having the courage to share this journey.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Debbie

      Ellen, your words were eloquently written. I lost my daughter 32 years ago 9 days before her due date. It was so different then. We have learned so much and come so far. I love the support we are able to share. Bless you.

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story of Afton. I cried and smiled my way through the whole series. You are wonderful parents and you documented Afton’s precious life so sweetly. Thinking of you and your family.

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo
    RH

    Thank you for sharing your amazing and heartbreaking journey. I stumbled across your blog looking for a cookie recipe. I had wanted something that signified comfort after undergoing a surgical removal for a miscarriage. My third in less than a year. Your story has been an unexpected gift to read. I admire your strength and openness.

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Matilda

    I ̈́’m so touch, so moved, so blessed to get to share the story of your beautiful son. As a mother of a premature child of 26 w and 3 days it’s impossible to shield one-self from the pain and love you are experiencing.

    I started to visit your blog frequentley about on year ago as a friend suggested it for one of our weekly dinners (a little short for inspiration). Ever since I’ve been popping back for inspiration and amazing recepies and not until this after noon on the comuter train did I realize about your loss. It’s been on my mind since and I just wanted to let you know how beautiful and meaningful your story of your son is to me. I count my blessings in haveing my own little boy just here on my lap, getting ready for bed. Now 3 years old and he amazes me every day, and I know that it could just as easily have been his faith. Makes you realize how fragile it all is and how important it is to share love and compassion. In the face of tradgedy we’re all equal. But never alone.

    I send you all my love and compassion in your difficult time and what an amazing gift you have to be able to see the loss of your son from so many diffrent perspectives, it’s definitely your story and you own it.

    Love and light
    /Matilda -Lund, Sweden

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Dear Bjork and Lindsay “You are Beautiful for you are Fearfully and Wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Mary

    Dear Lindsay and Bjork, thank you for sharing with us your poignant and beautifully written love story for your beloved sweet Afton. Love is eternal and can never die. God bless you.

  21. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sabrina

    bless you both and your son Afton, heartbreaking to the core, I can only commend you both for the courage to describe all of this, which seems to me to be the best possible way forward for each of you, God Bless!

  22. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Pam

    Lindsay – these ten articles that you have written have touched my heart. I have never experienced what you have, but I am a mother, and I can only imagine the grief that you are going through. Your writings are beautiful, and they have made me smile, cry and then always be thankful that I know a God as well, that sees exactly where we are, what we are going through, and helps us through it. You ARE wonderfully and beautifully made and HE holds you and your husband in the palm of His hand through this time of loss, readjustment and life as you now know it. Blessings, peace and promise for the future for you and your husband.

  23. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Breanna

    Thank you for your transparency and vulnerability and for sharing this beautiful, tragic, incredibly hard story. I have learned so much from it, and you have challenged, encouraged, and inspired me. I am praying for you and your family! May God surround you with his presence, comfort and peace that surpasses understanding.