The pain I experienced as I watched Callan die was excruciating. I gasped for air, screaming for the baby I loved and the life we were losing. In the hours following, I held my sweet boy, kissed his fuzzy head, brushed my fingers over his nose and delicate lips. I held him close, not able to accept that it was our last time together. My dreams were shattered.
In the hours and days following the death of our beautiful boy, the world crumbled around me. There was so much sadness and pain. I found myself yearning for something that felt good, something that helped me feel like I wasn’t always going to feel so fucking awful. Thoughts of another baby began consuming my mind. Could I get pregnant? Could I carry a baby safely? How could the doctors help me? Could I be a mama to a living baby? Could we be the family I had imagined? These questions poured out repeatedly to Dan, to my doctors and even to some friends and family. I heard everything from, “You need to be present, feel the emotions of losing Callan, and heal your body” to “I’m so happy to hear you say you want to try for another baby.”
But what I’ve discovered in the subsequent weeks is that focusing on gratitude, silver linings and happy endings simply suppresses the pain. And the pain isn’t going to ever go away. The sadness from losing our baby will be with me forever. When I see pregnancy and birth announcements, ride in the car and see my empty backseat, step foot into any store where there are a million different triggers, and live in the home I had planned to share, I think of Callan and all we have lost. I need to experience the heartbreak that comes with living without him. When I do, when I acknowledge how much this hurts, I feel more at ease. And with time, maybe a lot of time, I will learn to live my life and accept that this grief is part of me.
As for another baby, that conversation must wait. I just gave birth to a beautiful boy a short eight weeks ago. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, my baby captured my heart and I was in love. My pregnancy was full of hope and so much joy. When the medical staff announced that our baby boy had arrived, the happiness was palpable. Our baby was and still is so loved. He will forever be part of me and the life I share with Dan. I am learning to accept this grief, to hold space for Callan, to honor and celebrate him every single day.