'My 10-month-old went to bed happy, but never woke up'
MY 10-month-old baby died on July 31. He was healthy and flourishing, not terminally ill or sick. He didn't drown or suffer a horrific accident.
My husband found him in his cot, having a seizure. We rushed him to the hospital but the seizure proved catastrophic. He never woke up.
We now know he was only ever going to shine for a short time on this earth - he had a rare genetic flaw that meant his death was determined before he was even born.
I am grateful that we didn't live with this knowledge.
But one day, suddenly and without meaning, he was no more. So now I must make peace with the speed of his short life.
Even if he is everywhere, my arms cannot hold him. Even if I can still feel the weight of him or the touch of his chubby fingers, his absence is screaming and echoing inside.
He was our firstborn, a perfect baby
He slept, he ate, he rarely cried. He was happy and joyous. He adored watching the trees swaying, catching his reflection in the mirror and the beauty of the ocean.
He hummed and haaahed his contentment at all the small wonders around him.
He was an absolute delight, and now he rests peacefully.
Emotional shock is an intensely confusing state of being.
Some moments hit like a wave. I found some clothes that I had bought for him a few weeks ago. He won't wear them. That brought on sobs so physically overwhelming I could not stand.
As did the first load of washing without three little jumpers, five mismatched socks and six food-stained face washers.
These small innocent moments remind me of that 10 incredible months that were strung together by other small innocent moments. Microseconds that made up our short forever.
I flounder in the emptiness that is grief.
How can you create something, and love it so much, and then let it go? Death is so final.
This hollowness cannot be described
There is so much beauty in the science of creating a child. Any mother who has borne a child knows the intimacy that is built whilst the baby grows inside.
I experience this now as another baby swells in my belly so close to my broken heart.
This little love sits on a knife-edge; feeling new life thrive and kick when a life has been lost is, at times, unbearable.
My heart is no longer mine, I am directionless.I have been tossed into a chaos of darkness and disbelief and heaviness. I don't know where the future lies, or at what point that anything I do will have meaning.
My world has been blown up and there is no help coming for me
I hope that the future holds learnings and wisdom and the light bulb moment as to why I was chosen to lose my baby.
Though I don't wish to compare my pain to anyone else, I know I am not alone: there are many who have shed similar tears.
Grief is soul-destroying, private and all-consuming, but the navigation to brighter days is a well-tread path.
I seek nothing except the promise that one day I will thrive again.
That when I hold my new baby, I will have the strength to love and feel loved again.
I live with no regrets as a mother
I know that my baby knew he was loved and adored, and that is all that matters. I now treasure every photo, every video, everything he ever touched.
But when I get to that page in the photo album where the pages become blank, it hurts. Those pages will never be filled, and for the moment our home is a museum to the beautiful boy who lived here for an infinitesimal time.
Every night, I light his room and read him a bedtime story. These rituals may fade with time, but not inside my heart.
Forever be reading him his favourite bedtime stories and kissing his soft, angelic face with my mind.
My love for him will endure. I am a mother without. My baby is resting, somewhere above. I cannot hold him, but I see him in the stars, and I feel him in the wind and the waves lapping our beaches.
If any solace is to be found, my baby's perfect, unblemished kidneys gave life to a young man whose days had become a waiting game. I ache when I think of how our sadness was directly proportionate to the joy that special family felt when they received this fateful phone call.
I am so happy that a piece of my baby lives on. I hope to meet them one day to tell them about the little boy who changed our lives, and theirs too.
If you haven't already, please register to become an organ donor today.
This originally appeared on Kidspot and has been republished with permission.