Summary of “A Birth Plan for Dying”

Around noon the day River was born, something changed.
We went to the soccer stadium and stood in the fan section next to the drums and trumpets, so River could feel the bass thrum.
In every minute we were aware not just of losing River, but also of having River.
“It’s making very difficult decisions with imperfect information, and trying to do right by them. You are River’s mother, and right now, you are being her mother.”
I needed to give birth to River, to say hello so I could say goodbye.
In some hospitals, River’s birth would have been impossible.
If words compose a kind of map of what’s possible – what it’s possible to think, to feel, to do – then my map has new territories on it I couldn’t have imagined before: The island called “I Held My Dead Child.” The ocean called “I Killed My Daughter” The volcano called “I Promised Myself I Would Not Feel Regret.” A new supercontinent, veined with rivers that murmur and murmur and murmur their own name.
Three months after River was born, I sat in a rocking chair looking at rain materialize from an endless grey cloud shrouding the Columbia River.

The orginal article.