Dear TJ…

Hi my baby!

Look at what you’ve inspired. The world will know your name. You are so magical even in spirit. I can’t believe I’m doing this, but you’ve changed me son. I truly wish I could be telling the world how beautiful your first steps were. I wish you were here to radiate your beautiful moonlight amongst us. I’ve learned and accepted (most days) that you were created for heaven and meant to change the world through your Mommy, Daddy, Niya, Jayla, and Tobias. Thank you for the time you tried to stay strong in me, and thank you for loving me from above. I love you so much. My heart still aches from your physical absence. My eyes still fill up with tears when I write to you.

You will never be forgotten my son. You’re forever in my heart and a part of our family.

Love,

Mommy…

It’s Not Just a Pregnancy Loss

 It’s been a while, but life has been lifing! I’ve just been trying to live. So many things have happened since I last wrote—so many incredible milestones as well as so much loss. However, the most recent “big” moment for my family was November 8, 2022. If TJ had lived, his birthday may have been November 8, 2020. Every year my family honors him on his due date because his angel day (day of death) never hits me as a day of excitement. 

This year was the first year my husband was able to be home and celebrate our son with the rest of us. We kept it chill, made breakfast, took naps, made tacos since it was also “Taco Tuesday,” sang happy birthday to the moon, and wrote our letters to him. Each year we put our letters in his keepsake box. Every single day of the week the moon was big and bright! It is so reassuring each year to see the moon shine bright on his due date. When he died, the moon shined bright outside my window each day for a month. It was a clear sign to me because his middle name is Titan (which is also a moon).

I miss him though. I miss him so much. When I think about how much I miss him, I think about how my loss wasn’t just a pregnancy loss. The day I lost TJ, I lost my newborn. I lost an entire baby. I lost my toddler. He’d be two. I lost my big boy, tween, teen, and adult son. I’ll never get to be his tooth fairy. I won’t get to witness his voice change due to puberty. I won’t witness my son get married and become a father… The moment the pregnancy test came back positive, I immediately had high hopes, dreams, prayers, and wishes for him. I added him to my living children. We named him early because we’d never imagined he wouldn’t be earthside with us. Every single time I watch my children laugh, play, reach milestones, and grow, I wish he had the chance to do those things also.

So if you know someone who has suffered a loss and took it hard, please understand that it’s not only about the loss of their baby. It’s their loss of birthday celebrations, first words, first steps, holidays, family photos, laughs, smiles, and more. That mother is grieving all stages and ages of her baby. Her angel is a newborn, toddler, teenager, and adult all in one because she still allows that child to grow in her heart. But at the same time… it’s still her baby that she yearns to hold in her arms. And because she’ll never have those moments, she is reminded of the painful moment she heard the words “I’m sorry, I can’t find a heartbeat.”

My dearest TJ. I can’t believe you’re two! I love you so much, my beautiful boy. I wish I could kiss all over you and sniff you.

Love, 

Mommy

Does The Fear Disappear After Having A Rainbow Baby?

I became pregnant 3 months after I lost my son TJ. Among other emotions and thoughts, my main thought throughout that pregnancy was to make it to the end of my pregnancy and to hold a living, healthy baby. I skipped learning the gender of my baby because I personally believe people make having a daughter a negative thing. That pregnancy was so personal to me, that I refused to have any negative conversations or thoughts surrounding it. But if I’m being honest, my anxiety and worry didn’t end once I held my son and rainbow blessing in my arms.

I had the immediate relief of “Yes. My baby is here!” I whaled when I held him in my arms and thanked God repeatedly, but a part of me still worried if it was too good to be true. I loved the sound of my son’s cry because it was an indicator that he was alive. When he slept for “too long” I worried. Why? Because when you become immersed in the pregnancy and baby loss community, your vail is removed. You learn that not all babies live after they are born. So I operated the same way I did when I was pregnant. I didn’t share many pictures of when my son was born. I didn’t talk about how he was born for a long time because I was still a little paranoid. What if I share the news of my baby’s arrival, and then I have to quickly share that he’s no longer here? But… THERAPY & GOD.

My therapist challenged me to stop my intrusive thoughts as quickly as I could. My intrusive thought would tell me “So many moms have birthed their rainbow babies who are no longer here on earth.” I would intentionally remind myself of what my reality was. “My son is here, alive, and healthy. I am grateful for his existence.”

I am very aware that everyone’s healing journey is not the same. For some women, the worry ends the moment they birth their healthy rainbow baby/babies. For me, it took me a little longer to accept that my baby wouldn’t be taken away from me again. I was still learning to trust God again. I had to take baby steps and have my support system remind me that my baby was here, alive, and well. What I appreciate the most was that my support system didn’t invalidate my feelings and tell me to “let it go, it’s not that big a deal.”

So does the fear disappear after having a rainbow baby? As with everything in life, it varies per person. Give yourself time and grace. Surround yourself with supportive loved ones and a village. Keep up with your therapy sessions so that you have help navigating motherhood after loss. Restore your faith and trust in God. Separate your fears from reality, and affirm yourself and your babies each day. By babies, I mean angel, rainbow, miracle, or whatever you deem appropriate.

I affirm that my son, Tobias, is alive and healthy. God has blessed me to hold him every day.

My son TJ,

I know that God gave you healing in heaven with him. You are safe in His arms.

Love,

Mommy…

Mothering While Grieving

If you’re a mother to a living child(ren), you already know being a mother is no walk in the park, and if you reading this as a support person or mom in waiting (praying or pregnant), I’m sure you’ve heard a mom say that before. I had no idea what I was getting myself into at 21, but I know for sure I thought majority of the journey would be filled with laughter, matching outfits, extracurricular activities, vacations, etc. I soon learned those experiences are moments that take place throughout a very challenging journey. Sleep becomes a thing of the past, blowouts, tantrums, screaming, tears, urgent care visits traumatize you because of wait times, cooties spread like wildfire, matching outfits get destroyed the moment you leave the house, vacations can feel like work when traveling with multiple kids, etc. Nevertheless, those tough moments are nothing in comparison to grieving and healing while being a mother.

The day my son passed was traumatic in so many ways. I remember letting out a horrific scream with tears that followed. I whaled at the sight of him because I still had an inkling of hope that he’d live. My children and mother ran to the bathroom and knocked on the door. I muffled my cry to reassure them I was okay so they’d walk away and allow my mother to come in and help me. I sobbed in the bathroom while I went back and forth whether I would flush him down the toilet or toss him in the trash. I did neither of those and spent enough time in the bathroom to gather myself so my children would leave me alone when I walked to my room.

I was in so much pain mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I felt empty physically and emotionally. I was embarrassed, ashamed, confused, in disbelief, and traumatized. But I had to continue mothering my living children while going through all of this. Truth of the matter is I couldn’t the first week. I couldn’t mother my children initially. I couldn’t smile, laugh, or talk. I couldn’t fake or hide my pain. I told them “Mommy isn’t feeling well, my stomach is hurting really bad.” I’d literally took my husband back to work two days before our loss happened. As he was making his way back to our side of the country, my mother took care of my daughters and I. I didn’t realize until I began writing this… both my mother and I were mothering while grieving.

My mother was grieving watching me go through a pain she’d never seen me experience or experience herself. She was also traumatized and in pain from witnessing and experiencing the loss of her grandchild. As I write this, my heart truly breaks for her. She was my strength while I waited for my husband. She continued to work her full-time government job at the peak of the pandemic, cooked, cleaned, and kept my girls occupied. She would keep them away as long as she could, and then they’d all come in the room to eat and watch TV with me for a little. She mothered me in a way that I can’t even put my gratitude in words. Thank you Mommy.

When my stomach no longer hurt, but the mental and emotional pain remained, I told them, “Mommy is really sad and will be for a long time so please be patient with me. I’ll tell you why when I’m able to.” It was the start of my journey in mothering my living children and my precious child in heaven. Nothing can prepare you for such a time. Attending therapy on a computer sobbing next door to your children screaming because of a pandemic is exhausting. Pausing your tears for your deceased child to cater to your 2 year old is soul crushing. So much to talk about in future posts…

Dear TJ,

I was never embarrassed or ashamed of you. I was embarrassed because I felt like I failed you. I had given life to your sisters but not you. I was ashamed because I couldn’t understand why my body didn’t do what it was supposed to do. But I’m much better baby. You and I did EXACTLY what we were supposed to do.

Love,

Mommy…