(Due to a few glitches, this post is 2 days late)
A year ago today,
I gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy.
My birth experience, however, was nothing to gush over. It was not joyous.
It was not exciting. Nothing went the way I had planned it to be. Nothing.
But the last thing I would have ever thought would happen, would be leaving that hospital
empty handed to join my son in another hospital.
Today was supposed to be filled
with happiness, laughter and joy. I was supposed
to have had the perfect first birthday theme picked out. I was supposed to
have the most awesome cake on the block made. I was supposed to go overboard on
buying presents. He was supposed to be wearing the cutest little man outfit. He was supposed
to be thrown off from his regular schedule because of the hype of the day. If he already wasn’t getting
enough kisses, he’d be getting a million more. Torry and I were supposed to pat each other on the back
for making it through the first year without any major catastrophe happening to him. We were
supposed to reminisce over all of the milestones he hit in his first year. He was supposed to be a little
prince for the day.
Instead, this house sits cold.
It’s empty. Instead of hearing the giggles and babble of a
one year old, we hear nothing but the creaks in the walls and the motor from the fridge.
Instead, this is a day we were not looking forward to. This day is more of a painful reminder of
what we don’t have, and will never have with our son. It’s a reminder of the trauma we went through
when we learned our son wasn’t breathing when he was born. It’s a reminder of the next 3 weeks
that followed his birth. 3 weeks of hell. Actually, I think hell is paradise compared to the horror we
have had to endure. The thought of Brecken’s first birthday approaching was more of thoughts
riddled with anxiety and fear. It has now been a complete year, a milestone I was hoping to never
have to push through.
I beat my brain for months trying
to figure out what we were going to do for his birthday. But my brain
would not break away from the realization that we are trying to celebrate the birthday
of a child who is no longer with us. Where is the joy in that? How can we be happy over this? How
can this be celebrated? I found myself searching for ideas via Google and it made me sick to my stomach
to see what I was typing in the search bar: “How to celebrate a deceased child’s birthday”. I had to stop
searching after that. I couldn’t handle the bile creeping up my throat any longer. Besides, all of the
ideas I came across were so generic and not meaningful to Torry and I. A lot had to do with sending
notes up to ‘Heaven’. We don’t have a grave, as we cremated our son, so visiting his grave and leaving
balloons wasn’t an option either.
Being the parent of a deceased child
is the most torturous title to live with. Ever. This raw pain and emptiness
is something we have to live with every minute of every day for the rest of our lives.
We are forever bound and chained in our own form of prison that we will never be released
from. One year later and I’m now starting to realize I have PTSD tendencies. I’ve fallen into patterns
and habits that if they get screwed with, I lose it. At the thought of doing something different
or changing up to what I have settled myself into, I begin to have an anxiety attack. I’m a night owl,
and though I have always been one, the reasoning behind it now is much different. My average bedtime
is anywhere between 12am-3am. Usually, on average, I go to bed about 4-5 hours after Torry does.
I do a whole lot of nothing in those 4-5 hours. Sometimes I cry a lot. I try to avoid going to bed because
each and every night that I lay my head down on the pillow, I am overwhelmed by the trauma I have
been through. There has not been one night that I can recall that I have not been haunted by this
trauma. It will take me sometimes hours to fall asleep because of this.
This past year has gone by
incredibly fast. This day last year seemed so far away
at the time. Even after his death, it still seemed so far away. Now it’s here and I honestly
wish it wasn’t. I am no longer in the year of Brecken’s birth. I no longer can measure time by months,
it now will become years. I’m still trying to comprehend everything Torry and I have been through.
I’m still trying to comprehend that my perfectly healthy baby boy was hurt at the hands of the Dr’s who
were supposed to keep him safe. I’m still trying to comprehend that I actually carried him. It just feels
like a dream. A terrible, terrible dream. My body has seemed so confused. It knows it carried a baby,
but seems to not understand that he’s no longer here. I haven’t been able to stop lactating since his
I have two items of Brecken’s
that still has his smell on them: his hat & his elephant blanket he was
always wrapped in. Sometimes I’ll go in the nursery, pick up his hat, and put it to my face
and inhale. That smell is the last physical thing about his presence that I still have. I literally fear
the day it no longer smells like him. His blanket, I’m surprised still has his smell as I have been
sleeping with it every night since he died. It has never been washed. In fact, nothing of his has been
washed. His going home outfit he peed on the first day home, has now faded so much, that it’s hard
to tell where the stain is. I have no idea what I’m going to do with all of his things when the new
baby is here in July. (Yes, incase any of you have not seen the video I made, we are expecting our
2nd child July 11th)
Though our hearts will
be filled with a new baby, part of our hearts will forever bear a hole
of our son who cannot share in the joy of being a big brother. We will always feel
his strong absence no matter how many more children we go on to have or how many more years
For a recap of Brecken’s pregnancy, birth & life and also our new pregnancy
announcement, you may watch this video.
*Note, some people, especially those who are mobile, have a hard time viewing the
video. Some have found if you click the 3 lines in left corner and select ‘desktop’ that