Our Story

{Friendly warning : Sensitive content on stillbirth.}

On October 5th, 2011, my first child, a beautiful and perfect baby girl, was born with no heartbeat in the middle of the night.

The days following were the hardest I've experienced in my life thus far. Hormones raging and sadness and pain so deep you could fall into the dark crevices of your own soul and be lost forever...it was a dangerous time for my mind and heart. Carrying a living, kicking, moving child, going through labor and delivery, holding your baby, saying goodbye, and leaving the hospital in less than 24 hours with nothing but a death paper with tiny hand and footprints, a throbbing, aching body, and a shattered heart...is possibly one of the most tragic injustices this world can offer.

My mind wandered into all of the things I must have done to have caused this. How my mothering skills were obviously inadequate...as doped up on pain meds and with panicked grief, we didn't name her right there at the time. We didn't know how to make funeral arrangements or make decisions about when they took her from us, or how, or when we would last see her. I told myself obviously I wasn't worthy of a child if I couldn't even make the right decisions (in the 12 hours I had to make them when she was born.) I continued to torture myself with these thoughts for weeks after, and even now, despite knowing how awful and untrue that is, those thoughts still creep in once in awhile.

I didn't shower for 11 days after giving birth, because I thought I might still have some blood or fluid on my body that could be hers...ours. My milk came in fast and furious, so painful, but I did things to try to keep it. I was more of a real mom somehow if I had breastmilk. Late hours of the night were spent reliving those past months, days, hours over and over...googling graphic images of stillborn babies at every gestation, which led to horrific images of aborted babies and terrible visuals that I couldn't stop. Looking for photos of tiny baby hands...feet...bodies that looked like hers. Desperation. Just anything and everything no matter how morbid or disturbing to feel somehow closer or connected to this child, and putting some kind of visual to the painful longing I was feeling inside. A child who had moved inside of me for months, but that I barely laid eyes on before being asked about funeral plans on a delivery floor full of screaming babies. This self inflicted torture went on into the late hours of the night as the moments, hours, days passed so slowly.

But one thing stood out on these drives back and forth to the hospital, and seeping through the curtains of our dark home in the long torturous nights that followed...the moon. There was some type of moon phenomenon happening at the time of this loss, that made it bizarrely radiant. Wild colors of deep pinks, perfect golds, and beaming so much light. Kevin and I (and many others) noticed it right away, we talked about it, and he said, "it's our moonbeam." And that light was there with me, through those dark nights of horror that followed, through sitting on the back step sobbing at 3 a.m., through walks around the house or laying sleepless in bed for days wiping tears and snot from my raw and chapped face. There were two things that were a constant during that time in our lives. Despair, and moonlight.

Time and life, despite slower than imaginable, moved forward. Scar tissue formed, spring came, new friends who shared in my pain emerged, Kroy filled our empty arms and home, smiles happened. I laughed again. I found joy in happy things and chose to pick up and keeping going. Nothing can prepare you for burying an infant 6 feet below the ground in the cold, hard earth. Some of my heart is in that ground...in that coffin, and that piece of it will never be available to anyone or anything else, as every mother who has ever lost a child can attest to.

Since that time in life, the moon in some form, whether the physical moon, moonlight, or some type of symbol or image...shows up, comes around, pops up in strange or different places. Whether or not that's just my heart and mind, or really her presence, I don't really know or care. I still torture myself with thoughts like...despite not making decisions then that I would now, does she know how much she was loved and wanted? Will the longing ever go away, especially on these birthdays when the feelings come back like a wave crashing against you. Not a beautiful, peaceful wave...no, the kind that slam your body into rough sand, flips you over, and leaves you choking and gasping for air.

I've always been a night owl. It's when I do my best work, have my most creative thoughts, and now, it's when she's with me. It's when she came and left. It's when she beamed light for me through those cold dark times, it's what I need when life is too stressful and painful from all of the hurt that hearts feel at the hand of others or ourselves.

My Moonbeam. My Moonlight.
You'll always be my first.
I'd relive every single second of horror and agony, just to hold you again for 1 minute.

I wish to all of you, whether you've lost a baby or not, whether life is just hard or not, whether you feel alone, empty, insecure, ugly, or worthless. Whatever that pain is lurking in the dark corners of your spirit...keep breathing. Keep going. Keep laughing. It will be okay, and you will find your peace. I wish you that...peace and love...softness, kindness. And may you always dance by the light of the moon.