Back in May, Will and I were elated to find out that we were expecting our first child, and four weeks ago, we found out we were going to have a baby boy. On Tuesday, we went in for our 22-week ultrasound, and the doctor gave us bad news: our baby’s heart was no longer beating and he had passed on. At around 2:30am on Wednesday, I gave birth to our son, Steven Eddy, named in honor of Will’s close childhood friend.
To say that this is a difficult time is an understatement. At five months pregnant, this was the last thing we expected to happen. We don’t know why or how, and we may never know the answers to these questions. They said there was nothing we could have done to prevent this; I know they said this to stress it wasn’t my fault. Knowing that this wasn’t in my control makes me feel angry and confused. It feels like this baby never had a chance for any other outcome.
I feel sad because my body is recovering from giving birth but my son is not with me. I feel sad that I’ll never get to hear him cry or laugh. I won’t experience feeding him or staying up all night trying to get him to sleep. I won’t be able to watch him grow up or be able to look into his eyes to tell him that I love him.
To be honest, my faith doesn’t feel that strong, but maybe the universe was trying to prepare me somehow. The past two messages I heard at church were about suffering and the redemption of dark experiences. So, in the midst of my grief, I also want to share things I am thankful for.
First and foremost I am thankful for Will – my perfect partner and Steven’s loving father. I could not get through any of this without him by my side. When it was time to give birth, I was so afraid and didn’t feel emotionally or physically ready, but Will was there and held my hand through the whole thing. As hard as this experience is, I am grateful that we have each other. We both lost our child but together we will get through this.
I am thankful that Will and I got to hold little baby Steven and spend time with him. Although he was born four months early and wasn’t fully formed, he looked so perfect in our eyes. He had my nose and Will’s forehead. His arms and legs were long and looked muscular – I think he would’ve been a great athlete like his uncles Aaron and Brian.
I am thankful that my parents and brother came to visit, despite everything happening so quickly. I feel thankful that my mom, Judy, got to hold her grandson. One of the roots of my sadness is that my son will never know the presence and touch from people whom I know would’ve showered him with love. My mom was so excited to be a grandmother and I am so glad she was there to see Steven and experience those moments with Will and me.
I am thankful that my son shares a birthday with his other grandmother, Will’s mom Martina. Any connection my son can have to his family brings me comfort.
I am thankful for the nurses and doctors at the hospital that talked Will and me through the delivery process, before and after. I am thankful for Nora, the nurse that dressed our son up with an adorable tiny knitted hat – it let us see him in a different light. Seeing my baby in that hat caught me off guard but it was something I didn’t know we needed, and I am so grateful that a stranger treated my baby with such love and care.
I am thankful for our families who offered support during this terrible time, and I am thankful for my closest friends – Susan, Aerin, Angelica, Jenn, and Jess – who were there to both support me and mourn with me through this loss.
To my beautiful and precious baby Steven – I loved you when you were in my womb, I love you today, and I will love you forever. Even though you’re no longer here with us, Will and I are always going to be your parents. I wish we could have had more time with you, and that things didn’t turn out this way. Nonetheless, you brought joy into our life, and I can only be thankful for the few moments we were able to spend together. You will always be part of this family and you will forever be in my heart. Love, Mom.