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Remembering The Band’s Babies: Bella

When a baby dies, we are fragmented. Shattered, we must pick up the pieces and put them back together as we pay tribute to our children, our tables forever missing one, our families incomplete, our treasures in heaven, our babies alive only in our hearts.

It is through our stories that they live forever. These children were here and they mattered. They were loved.

They are loved.

I saw your pajamas last night.

No, they weren’t the exact ones, of course. I returned yours to the store, along with your bassinet and baby blankets.

These were the same though, your pattern. The ones I picked out to match your nursery. Bright teal, with lime green, hot pink, and bright purple flowers. And panda bears. Lots of pandas.

I showed them to Ian, tried to brush off the longing for you, and made some lighthearted comment. He could tell it upset me, though.

It’s been three years today, October 12. One would think it wouldn’t hurt anymore. Or that I would have tried to heal by having another baby by now. They’re wrong.

It does still hurt. In the lonely nights, when I feel the ghost of your movements, deep in my belly. In the unguarded moments when I let myself watch the baby shows on TLC. When I pass by someone pregnant, and I find myself passing a hand over my empty tummy.

I would have loved to have another baby by now, but it felt a betrayal of you. How could I insist that I missed you when I was holding a new child? Who would believe that there was a hole in my heart bearing your name when they heard my happiness over this new baby?

Is it wrong of me then, that I do crave to hold another baby in my arms?

I’ve given myself time, and I continue to mourn you. But I still have so much love to give. And Ian wants a baby. I want to give him this gift, to share this part of our future together. A part of me still feels I’m forsaking you to do so.

baby loss

So tell me, my sweet Bella, what am I to do?

How long am I to go on missing the sound of your heartbeat, the feel of your somersaults?

How long before it’s “acceptable” for me to want another child?

How long before I can say your name and not feel the tears in the back of my throat?

And when all these things pass?

How am I to go on living with myself?

You are invited to add your child’s name to our wall of remembrance. 

October 15th, 2019: Remembering The Band’s Babies

A person’s a person,
no matter how small”
– Dr Seuss

 

Today, October 15, 2019, we pause to remember the stars of our soul that were extinguished far too early.

 

To the parents who are missing their babies today and always, The Band sends our love and prayers.

To our babies, the babies who never got to experience the joys of Earth, whose lives were cut very short, we miss you.

We miss you. More than anyone can ever know. We wish we could have one more moment – one single moment – with you, as we can’t have a lifetime.

Today, we honor the short lives of some of the brightest souls, souls that have touched many and have taught us to cherish all of life’s moments.

To our babies who we carry in our hearts, instead of our arms, we will never forget you.

Love,

The Band

Band Back Together’s Wall of Remembrance:

Miscarriage:

Ally’s Baby:

  • Mary Katerina, miscarriage March 13, 2008.

Amanda’s Baby:

  • September 23, 2010, miscarriage.

Amanda and John’s Babies:

  • Juliana, July 2008, miscarriage.
  • Charlie, November 2009, miscarriage.
  • Samantha, March 2010, miscarriage.

Ameila’s Babies:

  • Her 3 Littles, December 23, 2010, missed miscarriage/June 2011, miscarriage/December 6, 2011, Autosomal Recessive Polycysitic Kidney Disease

Another Becky’s Baby:

  • Baby Savu, August 2004 missed miscarriage between 3rd and 4th month.

Ashleigh’s Baby:

  • Baby Garrett, September 13 2012, Miscarriage

Aunt Becky’s Babies:

  • February, 2008, Baby 1, miscarriage.
  • March, 2008, Baby 2, miscarriage.
  • August 2017 ,Tuesday, miscarriage

Baby Boy:

  • February 15, 2000, miscarriage.

Baby Ian:

  • Pregnant October 2011, unpregnant January 2012, ectopic pregnancy.

Baby KJ:

  • July 15, 2008, miscarriage.

Baby Moll:

  • June 13, 2005, miscarriage.

Baby Noah Walter

  • January 2012, miscarriage.

Barbara’s Babies:

  • Malcolm, January 2008, miscarriage.
  • Ophelia, April 2009, miscarriage.

Blazngfrye’s Babies:

  • Caden, miscarriage, May 1989.
  • Aubrey, miscarriage, December 1993.

Courtney’s Baby:

  • Kaycie, miscarriage, 6/14/2011.

Courtney’s Son:

  • Joshua, D/C 16 weeks

Dawn’s Baby:

  • Baby Jones #1, February 2007, miscarriage at 12 weeks due to blighted ovum (Empty Gestational Sac).

Debbie’s Babies:

  • Michelle, November 1991, miscarriage
  • 2 babies, miscarried in 1994 and 1999.

Elsie’s Ten Possibilities:

  • Nine Embies, 2008
  • Lola, 2011

Erin’s Babies:

  • Baby 1, September 2006, miscarriage.
  • Baby 2, January 2007, miscarriage.
  • Baby Girl 1, December 2008, late miscarriage.
  • Baby Girl 2, August 17, 2009, born still at 18 weeks.

Ewokmama’s Baby:

  • March 2005, miscarriage at 13 weeks.

Fibi’s Baby:

  • Biscuit, July 18, 2012, miscarriage.

Heather’s Babies:

  • Unnamed baby, 6w1d, September 18, 2010, miscarriage.
  • Unnamed baby, 6w2d, June 22, 2011, miscarriage.
  • Unnamed baby, 5w, August 15, 2011, miscarriage.

Her Almost:

  • Pregnant in December, 2007. Unpregnant by February, 2008.

Her Highness:

  • Forget Me Not #1, February 2009, miscarriage.
  • Forget Me Not #2, January 2012, miscarriage.

Hubbit:

  • Two boys.

InDueTime’s Baby:

  • Baby M, September 10, 2011, miscarriage.

Jenna’s Daughter:

  • Stella, February 13, 2011, miscarriage.

Jennifer’s Baby:

  • June 8, 2008, early miscarriage.

Joules’ Babies:

  • November 2007, early miscarriage
  • November 2011, early miscarriage

Justine and Boo’s Baby:

  • June 2009, miscarriage.

Kallay and Ryan’s Baby:

  • Baby C lost to a partial miscarriage, May 17, 2010. Baby C is survived by twin sisters, Lily and Molly who were born on December 7, 2010.

Kate’s Babies:

  • Mari Elizabeth, September 2003, miscarriage
  • Noah Douglas, October 2004, miscarriage.
  • Twin Angels, July 2006, miscarriages.

Kathryn’s Baby:

  • Rebecca, June 3, 1995, miscarriage.

Katie’s Babies:

  • Baby Sluiter A, April 2007, miscarriage.
  • Baby Sluiter B, May 2008, miscarriage.

Kelli’s Babies:

  • Baby 1, September 2009, miscarriage.
  • Baby 2, May 2010, miscarriage.

Kelly’s Daughter:

  • Lola, October 9, 2012, miscarriage.

Kelly and Brad’s daughter:

  • Lily Catherine, February 18, 2010, miscarriage.

Kelly’s Babies:

  • Baby 1, April 2003, miscarriage.
  • Baby 2, October 2004, miscarriage.
  • Baby 3, February 2006, miscarriage.

Kendra Pocock’s Baby:

  • Baby JJ Pocock, July 13 2012, Miscarriage/Ectopic Pregnancy

Kim’s Baby:

  • Baby, October 1996, miscarriage.

Krista’s Babies:

  • Baby One, son late term miscarriage at 15 weeks.
  • Baby Two, second-trimester miscarriage at 14 weeks.
  • Baby Three: miscarriage, 11 weeks.
  • Baby Four: miscarriage, 13 weeks
  • Baby Five, late miscarriage, 16 weeks.

Kristin’s babies:

  • Eva, miscarriage
  • 7 other babies lost through miscarriage due to luteal phase disorder and clotting disorder.

L. Moses’ Baby:

  • Baby Moses, July 17, 2008, ectopic pregnancy

Lara and Brandon’s Son:

  • Tallon, August 14, 2011.

Lauren C’s Angels:

  • Baby, August 27, 2007, miscarriage.
  • Baby Boy, January 13, 2011, miscarriage.
  • Baby May 9, 2011, miscarriage.

Leah’s Babies:

  • Cameron, born and died May 22, 2009 at 10 weeks.
  • Jeremiah Oliver and Jillian Olivia, twin babies. Second trimester loss July 9, 2010 and July 14, 2010 respectively.

Lisa’s Baby:

  • July 1994, ectopic pregnancy resulting in emergency surgery.

Lisa’s Baby:

  • Natasha Anastasia, September 7, 2011, miscarriage.

Maresi’s Baby:

  • Baby B #3, September 1, 2011, miscarriage at 5 weeks.

Marlowe Corrine, September 19, 2006, early miscarriage.

Melissa’s Baby

  • June 11, 2011, miscarriage

Melissa’s Babies:

  • Baby Angel, February 8, 1998, blighted ovum/miscarriage
  • Albert Eugene, October 31, 2000, miscarriage

Mindy’s Three Angels:

  • Angel One, September 9, 2005, miscarriage.
  • Angel Two, July 17, 2007, miscarriage.
  • Angel Three, September 25, 2010, miscarriage.

Miranda’s Baby:

  • Peanut, August 7, 2011, miscarriage.

Natalie’s Baby:

  • Baby One, February 2, 2011, miscarriage.

Natalie’s Baby:

  • Hosanna Joy, June 18, 2011, early miscarriage.

Nicole’s Baby:

  • Cody Ryan-Price Grodan, February 14, 2012, miscarriage, 12 weeks.

Nicole and Jake’s baby:

  • Baby One, September 19, 2011, miscarriage.

Rachel and Jesse:

  • Babies due Aug 2008 and November 2010. Both lost to miscarriage.

Rachel’s Baby:

  • Alivia Mason, March 21, 2012, miscarriage.

Rachel’s Babies:

  • First Angel April, 2013, miscarriage
  • Second Angel July 2013 miscarriage

Renee’s Babies:

  • Isaac Ephraim, miscarriage August 2006.
  • Isaiah Jeremiah, miscarriage January 2007.
  • Ella Alicea, ectopic pregnancy June 2009.

Sarah’s Baby:

  • September 2006, miscarriage.

Sarah’s Babies:

  • April 12, 2002, miscarriage.
  • September 3, 2008, miscarriage.

Sarah’s Baby:

  • Baby Bun Bun, April 2017, miscarriage

Susie’s Baby:

  • Baby #3, June 2000, miscarriage from a blighted ovum.

Suzanne’s children:

  • Athena Rose Moore, Girl Twin B

Tammy’s Daughter:

  • Grace, 10/29/2001, miscarriage

Tammy’s Baby:

  • October 1990, miscarriage.

Three Angels:

  • September, 2002, miscarriage
  • July 17, miscarriage
  • September 25. miscarriages.

Tiffany’s Babies:

  • 2008, Little Soul 1, 2008, ectopic pregnancy.
  • 2009, Little Soul 2, 2009, ectopic pregnancy.

Yvette’s Son:

  • Sean Michael, April 14, 1987, miscarriage.

Stillbirth:

Allyson’s Son:

  • Nolan “Shepherd,” stillborn at 17 weeks on September 15, 2009.

Amanda’s Baby:

  • Jamie, 4/6/2010

Angie’s Daughter:

  • Madeleine Rose, stillborn July 7, 2009 due to incompetent cervix and uterine infection.

Ann’s Son:

  • Orion, stillborn May 8, 2004

Beka’s Son:

  • Benjamin, September 4, 2012, stillbirth.

Beryl’s Daughter:

  • Bella Rose, stillborn on September 9, 2009.

Brenda’s Son:

  • Emerson Allen Behrends, July 10, 2001, stillborn.

Danielle’s Baby:

  • Micah Rachel

Debbie’s Son:

  • Jonathan Edward, June 4, 1992, stillborn.

Debbie And Jeff’s Daughter:

  • Chloe Eva, September 12, 2008, stillbirth.

Heather and David’s Daughter:

  • Clara Edith, July 1, 2012, Stillbirth at 42 weeks, 3 days due to meconium aspiration and uterine infection.

Jill and Mark’s Baby:

  • Haven, November 26, 2003, stillborn at 38 weeks gestation

Jolene’s Daughter:

  • Ruth, January 3, 2013, stillbirth

Leslie’s Son:

  • Cullen Liam, born still September 11, 2010.

Lilla and Gareth’s daughter:

  • Pippa, born still on February 13, 2011 from listeria infection.

Lillie Belle:

  • Stillborn, born still  2017

Lisa’s Daughter:

  • Kaitlyn Grace, stillborn, born still, May 13, 1995.

Louise and Joseph’s Baby:

  • Alice Mathelin, born still on February 25, 2011, at 36 weeks and 5 days from Abruptio Placentae

Martha’s Twin Boys:

  • Owen died March 8, 2008 because his cord wasn’t properly attached to the placenta.
  • Joshua died one month later, April 6, 2008 because he couldn’t live without his brother. Both were born still on April 8, 2008.

Melanie’s Daughter:

  • Summer Lily, born still March 30, 2011.

Mel’s Daughter:

  • Jordan Ala, stillborn on November 13, 2006.

Melissa’s Twins:

  • Nicholas Aaron and Nathan Alexander, June 9, 2000, stillbirth

Nikki’s Son:

  • Sam, 1997, intrauterine fetal demise

Sarah’s Daughter:

  • Audrey Elizabeth, August 7, 1998, born still.

Selah Mae: born January 22, 2002, stillborn.

Stephanie’s Son:

  • Carter Austin Ross, March 18, 2006, stillbirth due to an umbilical cord anomaly.

TiaMaria’s Daughter:

  • Isabella-Rose Elizabeth, October 12, 2009, stillbirth.

Prematurity:

Amy and James’s Babies:

  • Jacob Bennett born and died on July 11, 2007 due to premature rupture of membranes (PROM).
  • Samantha Lauren born August 16, 2011 at 23.5 weeks passed away September 17th due to extreme prematurity and fungal meningitis.

Baby Helen: Born July, 1993. Passed from prematurity.

Celeste’s Son:

  • Christopher Robin Cote: Born September 25, 2009. Stillborn due to premature rupture of membranes and incompetent cervix.

Chantel’s Daughter:

  • Emily, prematurity born 19w 5 days – was too small for the equipment.

Christine’s Son:

  • Jellybean, born at 5:20 April 15th, 2009; and passed just four short hours later in her arms.

Heather and Aaron’s Son:

  • Aodin R. Hurd, October 7, 2007, born still due to premature rupture of the membranes.

Jenn’s Son:

  • Kevin William, prematurity, 2005

Kate’s Babies:

  • Baby S, March 2008, Miscarriage
  • Evie, December 14, 2009, Triplet Prematurity
  • Jack, December 22, 2009, Triplet Stillbirth due to Prematurity
  • Will, January 13, 2010, Triplet Prematurity
  • Baby M, May 2010, Miscarriage

Kristin’s Baby (Mama KK):

  • Ariel Grace, born on July 28, 2009 at 18 weeks 5 days. Lived 5 minutes.

Leleisme’s Babies:

  • Ayla and Juliet, October 20, 2009 at 20 weeks.
  • Bayli and Thomas on June 8, 2011 at 21 weeks 2 days.

Matthew Chase Sims:

  • April 25th, 2006 due to prematurity.

Melissa’s Son:

  • Born at 21 weeks in June 2011 due to a bacterial infection, lived for 30 minutes.

Melissa’s Daughter:

  • Hope, 1993

Nicky’s Son:

  • Samuel, August 8, 2001, prematurity.

Nina’s Son:

  • Coleman Parker Garibay, September 14, 2005, lost at 6 months gestation and passed from prematurity.

Paula’s Baby:

  • Reya, September 18 2011, Prematurity due to extreme Pre-eclempsia

Qudija’s Babies

  • Mikel Azariah and Willamina Azaria born August 12, 2019.
  • Mikel was stillborn,
  • Willamina was premature at 22 weeks 6 days

S & T’s Son:

  • William, November 2, 2013, 24 weeks, 3 days, prematurity

Vickie’s Son:

Collin, complications from prematurity, 2009

Yvette’s Son:

  • Erik Richard, July 29, 1981, prematurity.

Birth Defects:

Aaron and Kristine’s Son:

  • Luke Ervin Seitz, born July 21, 2011 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, and passed on June 28, 2011.

Amy’s Babies:

  • Mateo, Anthony, and Ian born on May 6, 2008 at 23 weeks and 3 days.
  • Mateo was born still.
  • Anthony passed away from Transposition of the Great Vessels.
  • Ian passed away after a short stay in the NICU.

Amy’s Babies:

  • Nathaniel James, August 24, 2001 – August 29, 2001, Citrullinemia
  • David Henry, May 11, 2010 – January 24, 2011, Citrullinemia, passed away after becoming sick post liver transplant

Baby Khalil, born August 14, 2009, stillborn, born still from birth defects.

Baby Kober

  • Kyle William Kober July 22, 1994 due to Hypoplastic left ventricle syndrome

Beth’s Son:

  • Ethan Connor Brockwell, May 3, 2006 – August 17, 2006. Born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

Christopher: November 4, 1979, due to pulmonary atresia, a congenital heart defect.

Christopher’s Son:

  • Aidan, born with brain malformation on December 16, 2008 and passed on December 19, 2008.

Cora Mae McCormick:

  • November 30, 2009 to December 6, 2009 from a congenital heart defect.

Ellen’s Son:

  • Shane Michael, born October 10, 1971 and died October 11, 1971 from heart complications before his mother could wake from anesthesia. She never saw or held him.

Julie’s Daughter:

  • Brianna Elizabeth, born January 29, 1998 and died March 7, 1998 from a heart defect.

Kathryn’s Son:

  • Seth Douglas Bonnett, Our Little “Tough guy”, March 27, 2008 – October 12, 2008. Died from Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

Raquel’s Son:

  • Austin Skylar Gregory, born July 3, 2005 and gained his wings August 29, 2005 from Multiple Complex Congenital Heart Defects.

Ruth’s Son:

  • Corbin Walker, born February 20, 2011 and died May 17, 2011 from heart defects brought on by Williams Syndrome.

Shannon’s Baby:

  • Chloe Walker, born November 29, 2000 and died June 4, 2001 from multiple congenital heart defects and heterotaxy.

Suzy’s Son:

  • Starbaby, born still February 2008 due to Trisomy 18.

Venita’s Son:

  • Matthew Connor – February 26, 2005, born at 26 weeks, passed from Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC).

Wendy’s Baby:

  • Reed Allyvion Miners, passed away July 5th 2003 at one hour old from Primary Myocardial Disease, a congenital heart defect.

Infant Loss:

Amy’s Sons:

  • Nathaniel, born August 24, 2001 and died August 29, 2001 from an undiagnosed metabolic disorder.
  • David, born May 11, 2010 and Died January 24, 2011 from a myriad of complications resulting from a liver transplant.

Angie’s Daughter:

  • Leia Sky Williams, born October 6, 2011, passed away from Group Beta Strep.

Baby Dominic:

  • January 16, 2002, SIDS

Baby Kash Michael:

  • Born June 3, 2011 and died September 28, 2011.

Carey’s Triplet Sons:

  • Rudyard, Desmond, and Oscar, June 4th, 2011, born at 22 weeks due to of E. coli infection.

Cecily’s Sons:

  • Nicholas and Zachary, October 27th, 2004.

Heather and Joe’s Twins:

  • Jonathan Michael and Samuel Joseph, identical twins born alive and died on May 6, 2004 from extreme prematurity and twin-to-twin transfusion.

Jana’s Son:

  • Charlie: Born May 21, 2003 and died June 14, 2003 from late-onset Group B Strep.

JennK’s Son:

  • Will, born (today) October 15, 2002 and died on September 16, 2003 from complications of late-onset Group B Strep.

Jenni’s Babies:

  • Malakai Zachary born still March 10, 2007 due to Anencephaly.
  • Five more angels, July, 2007 – May, 2010. Miscarriages.

Jessie’s Daughter:

  • Jolien, March 28, 2019

Kara’s Daughter:

  • Catherine Grace, born August 10, 2012, passed August 12, 2012, due to prematurity brought on by HELLP syndrome.

Lisa’s Daughter:

  • Kaitlyn Grace, born sleeping at 38 weeks on Saturday, May 13th, 1995. Died from a true knot in her umbilical cord.

Matt and Lauren’s Baby:

  • Isla, born 14 weeks premature on August 23, 2011 and died on October 10, 2011.

Rachel’s Daughter:

  • Mina Kathryn, born February 18, 2009, died February 24, 2009, due to complications with her PICC line.

Scribbles412’s Baby:

  • Baby R, May 24, 1998, Medicine Administration by RN who didn’t know or ask.

 Stephanie’s Son:

  • Silas, prematurity.

Venita’s Son:

  • Matthew Conner Webb, born January 11, 2005 and died February 26, 2005. He was born at 26 weeks and faced many obstacles in his short life.

Child Loss:

Aimee’s Babies:

  • Ziggy Ann born sleeping on January 21, 2009.
  • Frank born sleeping May 21, 2010.
  • Liberty Ann born March 30, 2011 and died on April 19, 2011.

 Ally’s Son: Collin

  •  Collin: born on August 9th, 2008. He passed away 30 minutes later from cardiac arrest after an emergency c-section due to a placental abruption.

Amy’s Baby:

  • Nicholas, born December 14, 2005, died April 19, 2006 from SIDS.

Claudia’s Son:

  • Max Corrigan, born November 14, 1987 and relinquished to adoption on November 18, 1987.

April’s Daughter:

  • Brianna Ann 3/19/2018, car accident – donated the gift of life to 5 people through organ donation

Brianna Ann

Colleen’s Babies:

  • Bryce Philip born May 26, 2009 and died September 1, 2009 due to SIDS
  • Ashton Karol, stillborn on February 24, 2010 at 17 weeks.

Jenny’s Daughter:

  • Addison Leah, June 13, 2008, accidental death.

Jessica and Mark’s Daughter:

  • Hadley Jane, born October 9, 2001 and died October 11, 2007.

Julie’s Babies:

  • Halsey Douglas Dukes  December 31, 2016, Halsey passed from hemophaygocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)
  • Halcyon Grayson Dukes was born September 1, 2011 Halcyon failed to develop after 9 weeks

 

 

Lanie’s Sons:

  • Jake, born August 14, 2005 died August 27, 2005 due to prematurity and hydrops.
  • Sawyer, born November 17, 2009 died December 26, 2009. His cause of death has not been determined because he is part of a study at the Mayo clinic for heart arrhythmias – SIUDS (unexplained sudden infant death)

Leslie’s Son:

  • Cullen, September 11, 2010, stillbirth.

Mindy’s Son:

  • Brian Vitale, accidental death, September 4, 2007 – June 3, 2010. We miss him more and more each day.

Nancy’s Son:

  • Patrick, born April 10, 1977, Adoption

Pharon’s Daughter:

  • Sophia Lu Boudreau, born December 21, 2006 and died October 9, 2007 from SIDS.

Rebecca and TJ’s son:

  • Rafe Theobald Calvert, born on October 11th, 2009 at 26 weeks. Spent 3 months in the NICU and underwent an intestinal obstruction repair. He was released on January 11th, 2010 and we brought him home for 6 weeks. He passed away at 4 and a half months old from SIDS on February 25th, 2010.

The Stamm’s Daughter:

  • Adrienne Mae, May 7, 2006, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

 Suzie’s Son:

  • Nathan Michael King, died from SIDS November 2008.

Vanessa’s Daughter:

  • Kendra, April 23, 2005 to March 24, 2006. Died from Jacobsen Syndrome.

Homicide:

Chance, July 25, 2014, homicide

band back together wall of baby loss

Remembering The Band’s Babies: Sarah

This year on The Band Back Together Project, we are curating and adding the names of your children who are no longer with us and we will be posting our Wall of Remembrance on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. 

We welcome you – any of you – to share the names of those you are missing.

Please click this link to add the name of your child (or a child you love) to our wall so we can remember them.

I never expected to be a mother at 17. I also never expected to be joining the baby loss club at 17 either. Walking out of that hospital in Tucson on that late August day, I knew that my life had fundamentally changed.

Instead of a baby in my arms, I carried a potted plant and a heavy heart out of the doors of University Hospital.

Sarah Beth Sluszka was born on August 22, 1991.

She died August 24, 1991.

I don’t know what caused her death. I refused an autopsy; I didn’t want my baby being cut up like a science project.

Knowing what I know now, I believe her death was related to a lack of oxygen due to a cord accident.

Sarah never cried, opened her eyes, or moved on her own.

Making the decision to take your child off of life support is heartbreaking.

Making that decision at 17 changes the trajectory of your life. I had no life experience to draw from. My parents only advised, but did not make this decision for me. I alone chose and therefore changed my life forever.

While I miss wanting to know who Sarah could have been over these past 28 years, I am happy with the person and parent I am today.

I went on to have four sons, a (step) daughter, and one granddaughter (so far!) and they have truly been the lights in my life.

In them, I see who Sarah could have been, what she would have been like. Like her siblings, she would have been an amazing human.

August 22 is Be an Angel Day.

Every year, I ask my friends to do one random act of kindness in Sarah’s name on that day.

It helps me to know that people are thinking about her and doing good in her name in the world. I’ll ask you all to do that next year through.

The Band, just put your children’s names onto our wall.

Together we can spread kindness and remember our children with happy hearts.

 band back together wall of baby loss

This Is For Nicholas

“It snowed the day you were born.”

So starts the story I tell my firstborn every April 13th. She is twenty-two years old, and her eyes still light up when she hears it. I have a similar story that I share with her younger brothers. I love my kids’ birthdays – I always celebrate them with joy and near abandon.

But my youngest child, my little Nicholas, has never heard his story.

SIDS took Nicholas from me when he was four months and five days old. SIDS is what the doctors say when what they mean is, “We don’t have a fucking clue what happened to your beautiful, healthy baby. All we know is that he’s dead. We went to medical school for four years, and all we can tell you is the same thing you knew the instant you saw him in the ER. Your baby is dead. It’s from SIDS.”

Thanks to SIDS, my Nicholas never got to hear his birth story. I never got to see his eyes light up while basking in the attention of his adoring mom. I never got to hear him vying for his own story on his brothers’ or sister’s birthdays. I never got to hear him ask for anything. He was taken before he learned to talk.

But I need to tell his story. I need to remember the good things and not just the tragedy that overwhelmed my life. I want to reclaim the joy of his birth. I learned to grieve after I lost my son.

Now I want to embrace the wonder and excitement that preceded the horror.

This is for Nicholas.

I was patiently waiting for you to be ready to be born, but my midwife was anxious. Mommy has lupus, and even though it’s just the annoying skin kind of lupus, everyone was worried about you. So even though both your sister AND your brothers were born late, the midwife and doctor insisted that I have you by your due date.

Which meant I had to be induced.

The day before you were born, Mommy and Daddy went to the hospital to get started. I know how long my labors last, and once I got into the hospital, no one would give me anything to eat until after you were born. So Grandma Carolyn and Grandpa Ed met me, Daddy, Anna, Eric and Carter at the Golden Corral for dinner. After dinner, the other kids went home with Grandma and Grandpa while Daddy and I went to the hospital.

We waited an hour or so for a room, and then another three hours for the doctor to get me started on the induction. It was a long, trying night. In the morning, I was not any closer to having you. I knew you would come when you were ready, but the folks at the hospital were stubborn. The doctor gave me an epidural, broke my water and gave me some more medicine to hurry things along. Margaret, my doula, was there. Grandma Carolyn brought Anna to the hospital so that she could be there when you were born.

After a very long day of waiting, I was so happy when it was finally time to have you. You were born at ten o’clock the night of December 14. You were such a beautiful baby: pink and healthy and perfect. The nurse cleaned you up and handed you to me for the very first time. You snuggled into my arms and nursed just a little.

Then Daddy held you. Anna and Grandma Carolyn came in and held you. Everyone cooed and smiled at you, touching your little hands as you stretched and reached into the world for the very first time. The next morning, Eric and Carter came to see you. They were so excited to meet you! And when we brought you home the next day, you were just the most loved little boy that ever was.

baby-loss-sids

I wish more than anything that I could tell you your story. That I had more than just a few months of happy memories of you. SiDS is a cruel mistress. That your father and I had been able to keep our marriage from falling apart. That your brothers and sister were still innocent of death and loss and grief and despair. That you were sitting here next to me right now, bugging me to use my computer to play Minecraft, or whatever it is that would have caught your interest. That you were asking for a ride to a friend’s house, because it’s almost the end of summer vacation. That I was buying you yet another pair of tennis shoes after you had outgrown the pair I just bought. But none of that gets to happen.

What did happen?

I started over after my divorce at age thirty-nine. I set up my own household, the way I saw fit. I raised your brothers and sister with love, compassion, and intention. I remarried, a man who harbored a cruelty of which I was unaware until cancer came calling. I cared for him until his death. 

I live my life fully, without fear. I look at myself with honesty. I reach out with empathy to other moms who have lost a child. I know sadness and depression. I know healing and redemption. I benefit from therapy. I see genuine love and kindness from friends and the family I have made. And I am back from the brink: better, stronger, healthier, and more complete than I was before.

I would trade it all just to tell you your story.

child loss day

Conversation Killer

Being a bereaved parent is lonely. We’ve been through what most people believe is one of the worst things anyone can experience. We are permanently, irrevocably changed. We’re trying to figure out who we are now that we aren’t the us of Before.

We are parents and always will be.

But when someone asks in casual conversation “How many children do you have?” what was once an easy question is now loaded with considerations.

I find myself doing quick calculations in that moment:

What is the likelihood I will ever see this person again?

Do I have any inkling of how they would respond to the full truth?

Is this just polite small talk?

If I don’t think I’ll see them again, if they seem uninterested, if this is standing-in-line just-passing-the-time talk, or if anything seems unsure, I usually keep things very simple.

“Three” I say. “Two boys and a girl.”

If this could the beginning of a longer or deeper relationship, the person seems genuinely interested and willing to stick around to talk awhile, or something just seems sympathetic about them, I’ll tell them the truth.

“Four” I’ll say. “Two boys and two girls, but our oldest girl passed away last year.”

But my calculations can be wrong.

And there’s no conversation killer quite like death.wall of baby loss

You Don’t Get More Than You Can Handle

Losing a child of any age is one of the worst, hardest things for a parent to bear.

Please, share the stories of the children you’ve lost with us. There is strength in numbers.

Throughout the past two years I have often heard, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”

Well, I have a bone to pick with God: I am NOT as strong as He thinks I am.

Somehow, I managed to get through my husband’s year long tour in Iraq. I had to. Late in the evening in September 2007, I hugged and kissed my husband, as he rubbed and kissed my h u g e pregnant belly and got on a bus. I didn’t know if I would ever see him again. I can still see his big, goofy grin as he smiled and waved good-bye. I stood there, watched the buses pull out into the darkness and I prayed to God that he would come home safely. I prayed that our son would get to meet his Daddy; the same prayer I prayed every day for the next year. I got into the truck, hugely pregnant, and I lost it.

I cried the whole way home.

27 days later, my son Robert was born.

I’m not so strong.

Now, seven months after Robert’s death from SIDS I can’t seem to “get it together.”

I’m pretty smart. I know that I am grieving. I know that everyone grieves differently. But I’ve had enough. I don’t want the panic attacks that happen for no reason. Panic attacks that I shouldn’t even be getting anymore because I take medication to prevent them.

Tired of being tired because I can’t sleep at night. Every time I close my eyes I see Robert in his crib when I found him, dead from SIDS, or in the hospital on the gurney.

coping with child loss

I’m starting to get mad, really mad. Mad at my husband because I had to go through another major event alone. Mad at the Army for not letting Joe be at home for Robert’s birth. I’m mad at God.

This is how my conversations with God have been lately:

Me: “Why did Robert have to die of SIDS?”

God: no response

Me: “Hrmph”

Me: “Guess I should have been more specific when I asked you to bring Joe home safe so Robert could meet him.”

God: no response

Me: “grrrrrr”

Me: “I’m a good Mommy, why do I not to get to have my baby?”

God: no response

Me: sobbing

Me: “I think you and I need a break!”

God: no response

wall of baby loss