Fear and love seldom
stand, shoulder to shoulder;
It’s rare to laugh and lie in the same breath.
But strength and weakness, failure and success,
faith and desolation – they are different ends of a
single stick.
To pick one up is to receive both poles – stark contrasts
contribute to a knowledge of the whole.
What is life but growing wide and deep, so
open from weeping that opposites, ambiguity, and a thousand
shades of gray can co-exist with out despair.

This post is written by Jason Magness.

I am listening to the beautiful sounds of a crying newborn, less than 12 hours old.  I am watching him climb to his mother’s breast and fumble for her milk in spectacular fashion, failing again and again until he is either too worn out, or succeeds long enough for a single drop or two.

I am also listening to the deafening silence from another newborn swaddled and lying in my lap.  A child that was carried inside  my wife for over 39 weeks, but had no heartbeat when we showed up at the hospital to start the induction process.

It is not necessary to go into details, and it is still so raw and painful beyond words.  Today we had twins, and lost one of them.  Baby A lost his brother.

Blaming ourselves is easy.  And real.  It has led to an impossible place, with no going forward, and no going back – stuck in a limbo of self hate and despair.  But our twins will not accept that choice and force us to reconsider.

I re-read the poem above and it may be the only thread keeping me sane.  That belief in the co-existence of vibrant love and absolute loss.  I am not sure how three of the four of us survived the last 72 hours – laboring to deliver twin brothers that would never play together in this world.

We have so many stories that we want to share.  Possibilities that we are working to turn into our truths so that we can celebrate the future, and the path that led us to this impossible place.  And we have so many doubts and failures.  We’ve held them together and wept for the future we will never have.

Through it all, I discovered such love for Chelsey that I never imagined possible.  Love that only travels hand in hand with pain so deep it drowns all breath.  I’ve cried more tears in these last three days than in my first 41 years of life.  Chelsey even more.

But here we are, with a 12 hour old boy and the resolve to take things one tiny step at a time.  I have been staring at the slowly degrading face of our passed son, and find it even more beautiful than his brothers rich pink cheeks and big curious eyes.

We do not know what death brings.  But we know that for baby B, it simply freed his spirit. So that it could do some amazing and powerful things.  I’ll tell his brother and mother (and maybe this blog) these stories in the years to come – all of the ways in which our spirit baby is still around us helping us through this life.

Rest in Peace – Spirit B. Magness.

We miss you and know you are watching.


14 thoughts on “Paradox

  1. Joy and Sadness intertwined and held fast to your hearts
    Weighing life and death in the same thought. You two are a tremoundous couple riding an emotional roller coaster. My best wishes for you Jason despite your emotions as you provide support to Chelsey as she works her way through both the joy and the loss of Motherhood all at the same time


  2. My heart breaks for you. We lost one of our triplets and as much as I wanted to be happy, it was just so hard. My prayer is for you to find peace and strength and that one day happiness be overflowing once again.


  3. Jason and Chesley,
    I’m a friend of your neighbor, Megan. I heard all about you and your twins when I was visiting thanksgiving weekend. Jason, that you shared you and Chesley’s deepest pain and thoughts at this time is remarkable and I will pray for all three of you , that you can go on but never forget! God bless you all…


  4. You, Magness family, are an incredible inspiration. Your raw honesty and positive energy are moving beyond words, your works and actions touch so many. My heart breaks for you as it delights in the wonders you give. Please find comfort in knowing the power of your being. As parents, this strength and inspiration will only grow. Look forward, love and live.


  5. My heart breaks hearing your story. And rejoices in your growing family. Your family has been on my heart for several weeks and I will continue to pray for you.
    Much love to you all.
    From an old friend from NHRG.


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