Mommy Minus One

I felt ready to come back to our mommy group today. Honestly, if I didn’t, I would have honored that and stayed home.

It’s important that we, as grieving parents, honor every emotion and every feeling as it comes up. This is a healthy way to mourn, by showing ourselves grace and giving ourselves the space to mourn when we want, the way we want. (Don’t worry. I have plenty of unhealthy grieving habits too.)

I was excited to see my mama friends today. But when I pulled into the parking lot, the weight of our reality hit me so hard.

Wait a minute. I’m supposed to be unloading 5 kids right now. I’m supposed to be wrapping a 2 month old baby Sterling up to my body before heading in.

I wept into a napkin from the glove compartment, as my 3 oldest kids unbuckled their seatbelts and crowded around me.

“I’m sorry, guys” was all that would come out in a whisper. They all laid their hands on me and my oldest and very wise 6 year old, Cadence, rested her head on my shoulder.

“It’s okay to cry about Sterling,” she assured. We sat here for almost 20 minutes, before I pulled myself together and dropped the kids off to their classes.

Then I got to my table and I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing as I hugged the other mamas.

I’m supposed to be introducing him to my friends today. And instead, I arrive empty handed.

I did end up having a great time. I enjoyed being around friendly, familiar faces.

But loss just hovers over every little thing we do. Life will never be the same for any of us. And as sad as this is, I still wouldn’t change it. I would willingly choose every second of pain, every moment of heartache, every tear that is shed to have Sterling for the 6 days he lived.

Time Doesn’t Heal – 2 months down

“Time heals,” they say. Well, they’re wrong.

I keep waiting to feel a tiny bit better, for time to make it a bit easier. But the further away we get from December, the more it hurts.

62 days since I held you, since I last kissed your face.

Right now, it feels impossible to survive, like I will literally die from a broken heart.

Sometimes, I can wrap these words up in hope. Wrap this grief up in a neat little package and tie it with a bow, with the promise of heaven. I know we’re one day closer to heaven. I get it. And I’m grateful for it.

But there are moments when the darkness swallows me whole and the best I can do is just to feel. To give myself a break from searching for silver linings and just allow myself to hurt. So, I’ll sit here in this grief until I’m ready. And when I am, I will muster up every bit of strength I have and crawl back into the light.

2 months since I kissed you goodbye and I am hurting more than ever.

I love you, sweet boy.

Questions.

Today has been a rough one.

Sometimes, I just want to pour out all my feelings, but it’s hard and scary. I don’t know, at this point, what’s too much too share. I don’t want to make anyone sad or come across like I’m fishing for pity. That’s just not my heart, not my intent.

However, I would be doing the baby loss community a disservice if I only shared the beautiful, without the horrible, grief stricken moments. I think of the other baby loss families who have found our story. It wouldn’t be fair if I only shared encouraging words and left out all the heart wrenching, painful moments. That would be isolating.

So here’s where I’m at today- I’m angry. I’m confused. How is this my life? Why did Sterling have a spontaneous mutation that caused his disorder?

Just the shittiest luck. A total freak situation. But why? Why do people have deadly random mutations at all? Why couldn’t the doctors figure it out in time to save him?

I have so many questions that won’t be answered this side of heaven and I’m learning how to be okay with that. But for now, I’m not okay. 

💔

Drowning

Dear Sterling,

You died one month ago today. Sometimes it feels like yesterday, but most of the time, I just wonder how we’ve all survived this long without you. 

Time crawls by so slow, it feels like I’ve already lived a lifetime without you.  This moment was one of the most excruciating, but still somehow incredibly peaceful. You were gone.

Your physical body was here with me, but you had already crossed over into paradise. There was no amount of time that would’ve been long enough. I knew no matter how long I chose to spend holding your little body, it would just never be enough.

Even with all the pain this moment brought me, I would give anything to go back to this moment. Even just for a minute, to feel the weight of you on my chest again.

They say grief comes in waves.  Right now, I’m drowning.

I love you, forever and ever.

Just One

One day. We had you for one day, Sterling. Everything was normal. Your newborn exam was perfect. You nursed well. You cried when your swaddled opened up and the cold air hit your soft newbie skin.  It was pure bliss for one day.  21 hours to be more exact. 

This mama had no idea what heartbreak and turmoil was coming her way.  I’m so grateful that we had 21 hours of normalcy with you, to snuggle you and sniff your little newborn head.  21 hours before everything changed.  21 perfect, beautiful hours of you.  Some parents don’t even have that with their babies and I will be eternally grateful for this day.

Randy and I want to express our deepest gratitude for the amount of support we’ve received during the darkest time of our lives. ‘Thank you’ doesn’t even begin to cover it.  During this time, there have been little blessings sprinkled all throughout.  Sometimes, they have come in the form of love and support from friends, family, and even complete strangers.  And sometimes, they have come in the form of comedic relief- just funny, little things that have happened that brought laughter and joy to a painful situation.

I’m keeping a journal full of all the beautiful things that have come out of this nightmare and I would like to start sharing them with you soon. In the meantime, please know that every text, every call, every DM or PM, every comment, every prayer, every meal, every gift, every card, every donation, every share, even if we’re just on your mind, all of this means the world to us.  From the bottom of my shattered heart, thank you.

Photo taken December 5th, just an hour after birth.

Gone

As much as I wish I could be reporting a miracle, I have devastating news.  Our beautiful Sterling was ushered into heaven last night, while being snuggled in his daddy’s arms. This has been the most excruciating pain we’ve ever felt, but we also feel the Lord’s presence, His hand holding us together, and His strength, peace and comfort. 

Precious Sterling was born with a rare metabolic disorder that shut down his entire little system.  We’ll never understand why we were chosen to walk this road, but we trust in God’s plan for our lives and for Sterling’s little life.  It was short, but impacted many. Thank you for all your support, love and prayers.  We wouldn’t have been able to go through this without you guys by our side and we love you all.


I love you, sweet boy.  I’m so sorry for all the doctors, pricks, pokes, tubes, tests and scans. It killed us to see you that way, but truly, you’re a lucky boy.  You had a fast pass to heaven and now I know you’re at peace. No more pain, just peace.  Daddy and I will be here taking care of your sisters and brother, but we will be thinking about you every second of every day until we go home to be with you.  The Lord sent us an angel for Christmas and although it has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done to have to give you back, my son, I wouldn’t change having you for the world.

  Thank you for the 6 days we had with you.  I love being your mama, Sterling.