My Story

“It’s just a day”, I told myself that all throughout the day yesterday. Usually, I repeat it several times to myself in the days before July 1st. Yet, I laid in bed last night with memories running through my head. The smells, the sounds, the feeling in the back of my throat, the new baby jingle they play in hospitals when a baby is born, and shortly after “Code Blue in The NICU” screaming over the loudspeakers, then it stops at the moment they call his time of death. ‘Stops’ is a word I should use loosely; it just pauses for a moment before it begins to replay.


You see, on July 1st, 2011, I ended my first full-term pregnancy. With three miscarriages proceeding this day, the doctors told me they wanted to induce me just to be cautious. His heartbeat was healthy. He was moving in my stomach. He reacted to contractions. We went through the whole pre-labor conversation, who was cutting the cord, did we have a name, and so on.


Finally, it was time, everything looked great, and he was ready to come out. It was fine until one moment… where it just wasn’t. We knew something was wrong when the doctors cut the cord instead of allowing my husband to do it. Suddenly, he was gone. After 45 minutes of the doctors doing as much as they could, it was suddenly just quiet.

Healing

I am not sure I can really say I have survived. Ten years later, the wound is still very much there. I have, however, healed. Not necessarily in a sense others would want me to, or that is considered “healthy” by a mental health professional, I’m sure, but more in an, I’m still learning to survive tomorrow kind of way. The way after a severe injury, you walk with a limp and have to learn how to do things all over again.


Somehow no matter how far I have come, the night before, I constantly relive that moment. It’s amazing how a part of me walks out the morning after, and I am still surprised the sun rose, the earth is still spinning, and there is still air to breathe. Somehow every morning on his birthday, the sun slaps me in the face, and I realize it’s a time to celebrate his life, not mourn his death.

Brothers of an Angel

I now have 2 little boys that did cry, that did come home with me after, and that have a cake every year on their birthday. My oldest, being 6, knows that every year we remember his brother, and even though we debated not telling them or waiting until they were older to explain, I am glad we didn’t. He wishes a happy birthday to his angel brother before he rests his head the night before.


We let off a sky lantern every year, with birthday wishes and loving scribbles decorated on it. They know because we wanted to celebrate with them. We wanted them to know how special he was and how special they are. They know because he is and will always be a part of our family.

The Aftermath

I wear a small bear around my neck that holds part of his ashes, just as his father does. We kiss it, we think of him, and sometimes I can tell the thought crosses his mind just as it does mind, that there should be three little boys playing at our feet.

We have lived these past 10 years; we have made memories, raised children, worked hard, and played harder. Yes, we have lived every day since the passing of our son, but you never really survive it, at least I never will.


I have to remind myself it is okay to be sad. It is okay to miss him, just as I do every day. It’s even okay to be mad. The true strength doesn’t come from the pain or the hurt; it comes from the love. The love that has survived 10 whole years without a hug. The love that moved mountains and got me through the most challenging days. The love that assured me there was hope in trying again. The love that tells me I will wrap my arms around him again someday.

All I Ask

Give your babies an extra hug for me today. No matter how old they are or how far you have to chase them, tell them “I love you” just one extra time. Do it for all the parents that can’t. Do it for my little angel. Do it for you too.


Let’s spread around so much love and good vibes today that my little angel can feel the love on his birthday, no matter where his spirit may be.

Also

For any of you who can relate to my story, I am so sorry. I wouldn’t wish this kind of pain on my worst enemy. It hurts deep down in your soul, and some days you don’t know you can make it through, but hold on to the love, the love you had for your child, and the love you showed them. Your love will carry you so much farther than your grief ever will. No one should ever outlive their child, and I do have resources and support options I would be happy to pass along if you need help.


Just remember, every breath you take is a step forward, and there is no wrong way to grieve or survive such a loss. Cry when you need to, even scream, then take it one breath at a time. Every breath you take proves how strong you are. Anything else is amazing.

-The Un-Traditional Mother

R.I.P Angel Boy Damien July 1, 2011-July 1, 2011