This is not my usual upbeat post, and you may not want to continue to read this, as it mentions the loss of our son. It is not a polished up post, it is a cathartic rambling of my thoughts two years later…
Two years ago, on August 9, 2011 I gave birth to our beautiful stillborn son, Max Anthony. He was absolutely perfect in every way possible, 10 fingers and 10 toes, two ocean blue eyes, a button nose, and cute little lips…except he wasn’t alive. You can read the full story on the about us page here.
Here I am two years later, and I still cannot grasp that fact. I cannot understand how I carried death inside of my body, and gave birth to death. Giving birth is usually to bring new life into the world, and somehow my little boy never got a chance to take even one breath outside of his cozy home inside of my belly.
I looked through his pictures a few days ago (not something I do often, but something I am glad I have) and I’m still at a loss as to what happened to him. He was alive one minute, and then I suddenly didn’t remember the last time I felt his kicks. Then, he was born and it was all over. It was over before he was born.
The days following the loss of our son were a blur. We were lost and didn’t know what to do. I mean, what are you “supposed” to do after you lose a child?
The afternoon before he was born, I stopped at Panera to grab something quick to eat, on the way to the doctor’s office. I ran into a friend from high school who had recently lost his mother. I said hello and asked him how he was doing. He said “I’m doing the best that I can.” His words resonated in my mind, and I instantly felt bad that I asked. Of course he’s not doing well, why would I say that?
Once Max was born, the phone calls and text messages started pouring in…and the visitors, too. I think it is hard for someone to grasp what exactly had happened, if they hadn’t been through it before. I was tired and wanted to be left alone. At the same time, I just wanted to know that people cared without being subjected to two million questions. My friend’s words “I’m doing the best that I can” really helped me through some of the early days. No, I wasn’t ok, and that was the best way to phrase it.
I really had some hard days, days that I couldn’t or wouldn’t get out of bed. I would go into Max’s nursery and just sit there, usually cry, sometimes it would turn into a full-on panic attack, or wishing I wasn’t alive, too. Usually, it was just confusion and wondering why.
The thing is, we never found out why or what happened to our son. Why his little heart just stopped beating. Why he couldn’t have been born alive and come home with us. I grappled for many months with the guilt of having to leave him; having to leave his little body alone in the hospital. I had endless amounts of guilt. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. He was supposed to be warm and full of life, and come home to live with his mommy and daddy, and be a big brother in the future.
In the beginning it was hard to picture that I would be in the place I am now, two years later. I could never have pictured the good and beautiful things that life had in store for us, beyond those horrible, tormenting, black-cloud days. I never imagined in the depths of those raw, seemingly endless, sleepless nights that we would go on to have our Baby J 11 months later. There are so many days that I wish Baby J had his big brother Max here to play with him and teach him, and guide him through life…but I know that he will forever be watching over our family and we will get to meet him again someday.