My son's name is Lennon Rhys. He was born sleeping.
Loss has always been a part of my journey to become a mother. My very first pregnancy ended just as soon as I learned of the little miracle that was growing inside of me. As the truth set in of the fate of my first little one, I began to fear the worst. Maybe I would never become a mother, the only dream I remember ever truly wanting fulfilled as a child.
Luckily, I was blessed with a living son shortly after. However, my reproductive story continued on in that manner. Miscarriage, then live birth.
When I became pregnant for the fifth time, I remembering fearing history repeating itself. When I passed the first trimester, I recall breathing a sigh of relief, knowing I had changed the pattern of joy and woe. Finally, I would have a healthy pregnancy that wasn't marked by loss shortly before it.
Every milestone that I successfully passed in my pregnancy with Lennon felt like a victory. Twenty four weeks came and went without incident, and there was no containing the joy of knowing, that this baby had made it to viability! No worries remained, even when a routine ultrasound found a slight in-discrepancy between Lennon's head circumference and the size of his belly. Having been told by amazing professionals, that my child's measurements were well within normal range, and that I should go home and await the arrival of my healthy child, made me feel as if his delivery was all but guaranteed.
Until it wasn't.
On Saturday, October 15th of 2016, I woke up in the middle of the night, chilled to the bone. I rushed to gather layers, begging my husband to hug me so that I could find some warmth. Then the moment passed and I fell back to sleep. When I awoke the next morning, I noticed that I hadn't felt him move. I drank orange juice and ate food, yet still not a whisper of a wriggle or nudge.
We went into the hospital after a shower, calmly, thinking the worst possible outcome was a long NICU stay. After all, my child was long passed the 24 week mark. I was thirty one weeks and five days pregnant; surely nothing bad could happen. I was healthy; he was healthy.
At the hospital, I was quickly taken back to triage. In the small room, my nurse worked diligently to find a heart beat. All the while, I could hear the steady drumming of a healthy baby's heart beat in the room next door. Soon, the doppler was exchanged for an ultrasound. The moment I saw his still image on the screen, I knew my baby had passed away within me. My brain knew, but my heart needed to hear the words, to believe this horrible new reality.
"I'm sorry, there is no heart beat."
With that, my world ended. Crushed by the news that my sweet boy, somehow, was no more. Guttural screams soon began, only to be replaced with sobs and endless questions.
How did this happen?
Why did this happen?
Did I do something wrong?
Can they somehow save him?
Most of these questions remain unanswered. I, like many loss moms, am forced to live, not knowing why. Somehow, I walked into the hospital pregnant and left with just a simple box full of with memories made with my sweet boy.
My world may have ended that day, but the outside world, somehow, kept moving forward. I was forced to rebuild a new life around the shattered pieces of my heart.
My son's name is Lennon Rhys. He passed away suddenly, without any known cause, at thirty one weeks and five days. Not a day goes by without missing him.
I am who I am now because of him. A woman who has sewn her soul back together through grief and loss, with the love I feel for ALL of my children, determined to shed the stigma and silence that tends to engulf those who have lived after their child has passed.