A List of Five Positive Things in My Post Loss Life.

April, Jensen’s month, has come and went to very quickly. The fact May will be here next week is absolutely crazy. A mix of the lingering sadness of Jensen turning one and the anxiety to what May brings has almost pushed me over the edge; and I only just got back from vacation.

This morning I was super triggered.

A big thought that circled my head was, I didn’t deserve Jensen and he was taken away from me because I was a failure. This was obviously emotionally charged. I don’t believe any of our babies died for a certain negative reason. BUT that didn’t stop my thoughts from making me feel like the worst mom in the entire world. I cried the entire way to therapy and even when I sat down on the couch to tell her about everything this month held.

She calmed me down. Told me my anti-self was in control right now and I knew she was right. After I spilled everything that was weighing on my heart, she gave me a list of suggestions to help my anxiety. It included laughing, reading out loud, and smiling at myself in the mirror. One really jumped out to me today and I wanted to share it with you all.

A list of five positive things in my post loss life to remind me there’s more in this world than grief, anxiety, and depression.

1. Jensen

Obviously, right?

The most love I’ve ever felt in my life revolves around him, even in death. From the moment I found out he was growing inside me and for the rest of my life (and beyond), I knew he would always hold the biggest piece of my heart. He brings me so much happiness and peace when I think of our time together. I literally use his name for grounding techniques during anxiety attacks. He walks with me through my life and I’m so happy he’s mine.

2. Family and Friends

Every family member and friend I have is as unique as they are to my grief journey. No matter if it’s a text to see how I’m doing or a whole day spent with them, they are so important to my life. They make me smile, laugh, and feel so very supported. Even when they don’t know what to say, they’re there for me. To listen and let me know that I’m going to keep moving forward. Most of all, they let me know Jensen will never be forgotten.

3. Leo and Poe

My two little kitties are such a positive light in my life. When I’m sad, they let me hold and pet them. They will find me wherever I’m crying and just sit there until I stop. Both of them are so different, but each know how to make me smile. Let me tell you, pets are such a stress reliever. It’s actually well talked about and proven that when you stroke an animal, your stress decreases.

4. Nature

The sun, wind, flowers make this heavy air feel so much lighter. Maybe being by the beach has this on the top of my head, but even today in my small, Ohio town, I felt so much peace. Seeing the trees and feeling the sun’s warmth on me relaxes me. Every part of nature is positive and healing to me. I’m so ready for summer to be here though!

5. The Loss Community

Without the loss community, I don’t know where I would be right now, besides feeling like a complete crazy person. Support is necessary and when I’m hurting I can reach out. The projects that take place throughout the year are so perfect and really help an aching heart. Through my tears today, I told my therapist how I was able to look forward to next month and it’s challenges, just because I know my tribe of beautiful mothers will be here to help me along.


The Hollowness I Feel in Motherhood. 

I wish I had mother tattooed right on my forehead. Minus all the judgement I’d get with a giant word on my face. 

There’s moments where I feel like my motherhood is not validated. Especially with Mother’s Day coming up and the feeling there’s kids all around me lately. I can tell people are starting to forget. They don’t see me and instantly think, ‘her baby died,’ anymore. Which isn’t a bad thing, but the ignorant, mindless phrases feel like they’re surrounding me again. 

The year mark didn’t make me feel as if I was all better now. Most moments lately, I feel worse. As if I’m still waiting for him to start crying in his room so I can go pick him up. My life is a nightmare I’m still trying to wake up from. Losing Jensen and the aftermath that has come is the most uncomfortable experience. I haven’t stopped thinking about him. Not even for one second. Which makes it hard when people forget him or my motherhood. 

‘Danielle, those people’s opinions don’t matter. You’re the only one who gets to control your emotions,’ I constantly tell myself. 

This is your journey, your motherhood. No one can take Jensen and his memory away from you. You carried him for thirty-eight weeks and two days. All he ever known was love and the sound of your heartbeat. He loved you. You did your very best growing and birthing him.

But here I am. Lost in this grief wonderland and wondering if I’ll ever get out. 

My flashbacks have came back. Not of his birth or finding out he didn’t have a heartbeat, but the emptiness in Jensen’s home in those following weeks. It felt like this huge chunk of me had just be ripped out. The pain and hollowness was so eerie. I didn’t want to look in the mirror and see me so broken; maybe I didn’t look any different on the outside, but I saw what was missing. It was heavy and light all at once. The feeling was so unnatural. Maybe that’s what it feels like to be gutted. Trying to put everything back to where it goes, but you can just tell it’s not where it needs to be. Then there’s the urge to mother your child, by they’re not there. Everything happens. Your milk comes in, you can’t sleep, and your arms literally ache. The body naturally does those things, which makes losing your child even more unnatural. 

Those weeks, which would be this time last year, keep replaying. It doesn’t help with the story I heard last night on our ghost tour. 

The first woman hanged in Georgia was pregnant at the time she was convicted. Of course they wouldn’t kill a pregnant person, so she had to wait until her child was born. Her whole pregnancy she knew she was going to die. She had no idea what was going to happen to her baby afterwards and had no control over it either. The last months of her life, she grew this beautiful life inside her, but she couldn’t feel anything but dread until the day her child was born. I can’t imagine what went through her head. Would she have tried to bond with her child or be unattached? Did she have a name for him or her? What wishes did she have? Maybe there’s answers to all of these or none at all. 

After months of waiting, it was time for her child to be born. The baby was born and taken straight away from her and right after she was taken to meet her fate. She hung there in those last moments, wondering what was going to become of her baby and her soul. Her labor of love was taken right away from her. I wonder if she felt that emptiness and hollowness as she died?

What’s even more tragic about the story is her baby died a few hours after his or her mom. The guide didn’t say how or even the name and sex of the baby. Just that he or she died. I hope the baby didn’t feel that same feeling. After only feeling love and warmth for all those months, then being taken away from that to who knows where. 

I remember just feeling the pit in my stomach as I did last year. A big part of me wishes she knew her child died, so she didn’t have to worry about him or her. They’d be together in the end, but she had no idea. She thought she was just leaving and the baby would never understand why. And the baby only wanted his mother. I don’t know whether it’s terrible or happy that they got to be together so quickly. 

When the story settled down on me as we drove home, I kept thinking about how her whole love was forgotten. No one says her child’s name, just that their mother was the first woman hanged in Georgia. 

I know that’s not my situation, but it resonated with me. The emptiness after giving birth and her knowing she’d never see her child grow up… I feel that. I want Jensen’s name to be remembered too. Maybe not in a ghost tour, but through the love I have for him. I don’t want it to be poor Danielle, her babies death caused her so much pain. It should be the love Danielle has for Jensen has brought her so far in his absence. He has brought her so much happiness in her tragedy. 

Or maybe I’m just being overly dramatic and none of this makes sense. Yet, this is how I’m feeling and I always keep it real with you all. 

This Still Mother’s Thought from the Beach. 

Guilt. It manifests in forms you never knew existed until it smacks you right in the face. Believe me, I’ve went more than ten rounds with it in the past year of grieving. Even when a person shouldn’t feel guilty about their actions and thoughts, grief puts it out there for them. 

Being at the beach should be relaxing, right? In some aspects it is. The sun is shining so brightly and is warming me more than I’ve felt in a long while. I smell the salt from the ocean and the sound of the waves almost puts me to sleep. This is a dream spot for so many people. The beach has always made me so happy. I can escape from everyday problems and just focus on the healing vibes. Well, I should say Danielle from before could escape her everyday life problems. The bereaved can’t just escape the immense loss they continuously carry. 

Let me just say, I love my son more than anything. I smile every time I think of him and can so vividly picture him in my mind. He truly is my everything. Even when I feel his absence crushing me, I can pull myself back with my love for him. 

That being said and widely known, the grief and guilt I feel without him is miserable. Yes, I get lost in my Jensen moments, but when I resurface and it all hits again, I feel so exhausted. I can’t relax. It feels like trying to jump the crashing waves over and over again. This vacation I’m on is beautiful, but I see where he is missing every moment. And it’s not as simple as pushing him out of my mind. I carry him wherever I go and will never deny these thoughts or feelings. 

This is just how my life is. I won’t apologize for loving and missing him. 

But this guilt and the thoughts I’ve had sitting on the beach trying to focus on it’s healing aspects make me want to break down. I know you’re thinking, what could possibly be that terrible? I’ll always answer the death of my child, but it’s so much more too. 

If Jensen was alive I wouldn’t be here on the beach. 

If we were here, we’d have so much fun making sand castles. 

I wish I had to wipe of his sandy toes instead of the sand of his footprint on my foot. 

How much sunblock would I need to put on him today?

Flinching every time my twenty minute alarm goes off, knowing another baby is stillborn in the United States. 

Would he be playing with all the other children here today?

All these kids look so happy and their parents are proudly watching them. 

I wish they could see the little boy that’s always in my thoughts. The one that’s playing with their children right now. 

How many more babies would be here? 

Frantically counting how many women are here and thinking of the one in four statistic. 

Can I just got push their kids down so I don’t have to see what he’d be doing. 

You’re a jerk for even thinking you want to push a kid down because of your pain. 

How can you be enjoying your time when Jensen’s been gone for more than one year? 

When will this ever get easier?


I can’t lie, grief and child loss is exhausting. A little over a year out, it has not gotten easier. There’s no ‘fixing’ me or these thoughts. This is my reality now and I’m learning how to live my life with it. Living without your child is something I would never wish on anyone. Even with that said, there are people battling internal wars all the time. 

Even at the beach where they ‘should be’ relaxed. 

This mama is going to try her best with not feeling guilty. I’m wishing you all gentle weeks as we approach Mother’s Day. Always remember, you’re never alone.  

The Last First.

Easter. The one holiday my anxiety decided to take a vacation on. I didn’t feel the sadness of not taking Jensen to get his picture with the Easter Bunny and I only once wanted to buy this perfect navy basket for him. Honestly, this has been the only holiday that hasn’t bothered me during my whole grief journey.

Or so I thought.

When I woke up this morning, all the usual build up hit all at once when I opened my eyes. All the pain and anxiety paralyzed me and the should be’s flooded my mind.

I should have been the Easter Bunny and hid his basket.

Jensen should be waking me up and be in his Easter outfit.

He should be quizzically looking at me while he dug into his basket.

We should be going over to his grandparents house, getting ready for the Easter egg hunt.

All the littles should be taking their picture together.

I should be taking a picture with my son on his first Easter.

My life should be so different.

All of the moments today I wish I could have that I never will. It hurts. I never had a certain outfit picked out for him for his first Easter, but I can imagine he’d be in blue and a hat. He would be stumbling while trying to pick up the eggs that will be scattered in the yard. They’ll still be scattered, but one little egg hunter won’t be physically present.

I’ll tell you, it’s normal for me to picture where Jensen would be every day. But on the days where everyone’s there and I can so easily put him where he needs to be… it takes my breath away.

The other part of today that I wasn’t prepared for was how this is the last first. I thought when his first birthday passed, so did all the other firsts. He was still here during Easter last year. Safe inside my belly. I didn’t take in account that Easter moved around, that I would have to face his first Easter after his birthday. It hit that it was the last first that I’ll encounter with Jensen. That feeling I wasn’t prepared for and I don’t know if I would have ever been able to prepare myself. There’s also a feeling of Easter last year being the last, last. Of course there’s the last movements and the last time seeing him, but this was the last holiday with him.

I can remember that Easter so vividly. We were talking about what would happen if our children would pass. At that point, I never imagined he could die before he was even born. I’ll never forget what I said.

“If Jensen would ever die, I wouldn’t hurt myself or go to be with him. He wouldn’t want that for me. He would want me to live my life to the fullest for him.”

Those words ring in my ears during my lowest lows.

I’ll keep doing my best for him. This last first will be lived to the fullest for the boy who can’t get the Easter eggs laid out for him. The boy who will never get a picture with the Easter Bunny. The one who will forever hold my heart.

Gosh, I miss him. So much it hurts every part of my body and soul. I’ll never stop missing him or remembering the time I spent with him. It was the happiest thirty-eight weeks of my life. I’d never, ever give them back, but I’ll always wish something could have changed so I could have him here with me.

Thank you so much to everyone who has helped honor Jensen with me today. It means the absolute world. 

Happy Easter to you all. 

Happy Birthday, (Grand)Dad! 

There are people who are meant for certain roles in their lives. Some are meant to be mothers and fathers. Some are meant to be teachers or firefighters. There’s an infinite number of roles a person can be. 

I was a lucky little girl. My dad did everything he possibly could to make our family’s life the best it could. He would work to get us whatever we wanted. There have been many weekends he took us on surprise trips, just to make memories. He let us bury him in the sand and ran around in his Superman towel to transform into the hero we all knew him to be. My dad made us smile whenever he could and that’s the best gift he could give a little girl. 

Although it seemed like he was destined to be a Dad, I would beg to differ. To me, he was destined to be the greatest grandpa ever. Which I know I shouldn’t say because my grandpa was pretty great. BUT I know deep down that the best grandpa title goes to my dad. 

I can’t tell you how excited he was for Jensen. How much he helped me during my pregnancy. He helped with his nursery and even put together the car seat and stroller. Thankfully because I would never have gotten it by myself. He joked how I should be painting Jensen’s room black and yellow instead of orange and blue. When I would come home from an ultrasound, he would look at every picture. Most times I’m not sure if he knew exactly what he was looking at, but he did anyways. 

When Jensen was born, he held him. Not once, not twice, but three times. He told me how perfect he was and that he looked like me. The loss of his first grandchild, ever, hit hard. On all of us, but I know for him for sure. He read all the pamphlets and let me know this was one thing he wouldn’t be able to fix. But no matter what, he’d be there for me.

And he was. 

I remember when we got Jensen bear in and he took a selfie with him. He held him and I knew he remembered that weight from the months before. My dad was there with me when we walked the remembrance walks. A proud grandpa remembering his grandson. He said his name with me at Jensen’s brick ceremony and laid the flower down at the Angel of Hope’s feet. During Christmas time, he lit candles in honor of Jensen, most of the time he was helping mom and I keep ours lit. On his grandson’s birthday, he did everything he could to keep it running. He brought over chairs and got the fire going. When we sent the balloons to heaven, Dad was right there making sure Jensen got them. 

This whole year my dad has honored his grandson in every way he could, so beautiful. 

Today we honor my dad on his birthday. I wish it was so different and that Jensen was with us too. In some ways I know he is, wishing the best grandpa the happiest of birthdays. 

So, Happy Birthday Dad! This day is all about you and how great of a person you are. To me you’re the best dad, but I know your best role is Jensen’s grandpa. 

We love you so much. 

What Happens Next?

I didn’t know if there would be some kind of epiphany that would happen when Jensen turned one or what? The anxiety driven part of my brain told me this day would be a turning point. For some reason, I felt like I had to decide between these two extremes of how to honor Jensen during year two and beyond: privately or publicly. Which sounds really crazy because I’ve shared almost everything in the past year. Yet, in the lead up, I kept questioning if I should keep going on.

Is this still helping me?

Is this still helping others?

Do I just seem like a crazy person?

Maybe the question I was meaning to ask myself wasn’t if I wanted to keep sharing or not. I think it was more of me questioning if it would be socially acceptable to keep sharing in the way I am. Even though I’m the person that will tell someone else not to worry about what others think, I worry. In our culture, a year is well passed time to ‘heal.’ Although, I can tell you I wept most of the weekend because I missed Jensen so much. Year two is going to hold a lot of hard moments. Ones that will knock me on my feet, just like year one. It will also hold light moments full of love. Just look at his birthday celebration. The notion of me needing to be completely healed is ludicrous. What is completely healed anyways?

Throughout this whole time of sharing, I’ve felt healing with every word I’ve written.

The answer to my let-me-question-everything-I’m-doing to honor Jensen and have me heal seems pretty simple. Just because Jensen turned a year old doesn’t mean everything has to completely change. There wasn’t a sign to tell me to stop sharing or anyone who told me I was crazy for sharing his birthday. It all felt like my new normal.

So, what happens next? 

In short, I keep writing and sharing as to what I see fit. As long as it’s still helping me and other parents who are experiencing loss, I don’t see why not. But what will she write about?

Fortunately, I was numb this time last year. That’s how I was able to get through Jensen’s funeral and Mother’s Day. Easter is coming up this Sunday and it’s the first one I’ll spend without Jensen. There’s going to be a lot of grief that I have never even thought of that will happen and I want to share those moments. In May the May We All Heal Project is happening, which I’ll be sharing everyday (hopefully on here, but definitely on Instagram).  There’s also Bereaved and regular Mother’s Day, which will be interesting to feel and experience past the numbness. SO many sharable moments just in the near future.

I’d also like to talk more about mental health, like I did about PTSD. It was good for me to share my experiences with that and to let others know they’re not alone in those thoughts and feelings. Maybe I could even delve into more about PTSD and bereaved parents. Who knows? Most topics are just going to happen naturally. Nothing in the last year has been forced and neither will this second year of blogging through grief.

Most importantly, I’m going to share more about Jensen. I’d love to share his close up picture and maybe even more. There has been so many memories from my pregnancy that I didn’t share last year, that I may or may not get to this year. I just know that I’d like to be able to share and show him off as much as I can. Obviously I’m one proud mama, so I have a lot to talk about.

No matter what I write about this year, I’m going to keep sharing how Jensen continues to walk with me through my life. There will be a plethora of footprint pictures and ones of his ultrasounds in nature. I’m not done sharing and I don’t see it stopping any time soon. It is my hope that you all keep walking with me through this messy journey of loss and love.

The Day We Said ‘Goodbye.’

April showers bring May flowers was the only phrase I kept repeating this day last year. It was a rainy day, but the sun was peaking out. My room had been pitch black, but I laid there never wanting to wake up. This day felt unreal. I knew when I turned the light on I would see the outfit I had chosen over the chair waiting to be worn. The bag the hospital gave us would be there too. If only I could keep my eyes closed and not have to face what challenges I knew today held. My buzzing phone made sure I remembered.

‘We have Jensen here. You guys can pick him up whenever.’

The baby that I had grown for thirty-eight weeks had been cremated and his ashes in his urn were ready to be picked up. It was especially important to have him cremated by today, since it was the day of his funeral. I remember getting the courage to get out of bed and I just went straight down the stairs to tell my mom and dad. They quietly decided they should go get him before the funeral, so I could see his urn beforehand. Probably not to make the experience at the church even more emotional.

I can remember them making me eat, but have no idea what I ate. My body was just going through the emotions. I didn’t disagree with anyone because I had no energy to do so otherwise. The TV was just on, trying to quiet the storm that was playing out in my head.

April showers bring May flowers. Your son’s funeral is today. April showers bring May flowers. Jensen really died. April showers bring May flowers. You have to do this.  

Honestly, I had to look like a zombie. I sure as heck felt like one. Everyone was scrambling around. My dad ended up going to get Jensen. Mom frantically was looking for a frame to put an ultrasound picture in for him. They got some of his hand and footprint seashells to show. Each were doing their part to help and they did amazing.

When dad got him with Jensen, I remember thinking his urn was so shiny. He was in this bag and it had this slip with his name on it. My dad didn’t really know where to put it, but I remember just wanting to hold it. I finally had Jensen back with me and I needed him right beside me. So that’s where he went. Right beside me, but he was on the table and I was sitting on the couch. I kept staring. In between my series of constant thoughts, I can distinctly remember wanting to say how disheartening it was that my baby fit into this urn. All of who he was and should be, just forever resting in his urn.

That was hard.

My mom had to force me to get dressed. It didn’t feel real until I saw myself in the clothes I’d wear to my son’s funeral. It rained on me as I got in and out of the car and I just protected Jensen’s urns and things. My dad had the umbrella over me when he could, but I didn’t care about me.

We sat there in the front row to the left. His urn candle was lit and people started filling in. I was at a loss of how to greet people to something like this, so I just sat there and let people come to me. Still, my eyes could not leave the two birds that were flying on it. The candle made it even shinier too. I can’t even tell you who was all at his funeral. Almost everyone came to me, except two people. Those two people I have not talked to since before that day and never will again. It felt like everyone that was important came though. I don’t feel like anyone else needed to come or maybe they did, the numbnesses really blacks those emotions out. Mostly because it wasn’t that important.

The service was as nice as a baby’s funeral can go. Our stand in pastor and I came up with how it would go a few days before. We decided there would be songs sung and Footprints in the Sand read during the service. The verses his picked were spot on and when I think about that day, my cheeks can still feel were the tears fell that day. I heard every word he said and sung. When others rose to singalong, I stayed seated. If I would have stood up, I think my legs would have given out. I felt so weak, I didn’t want this day to be here.

After, there was a lunch for us. Everyone ate and laughed. I can remember being able to talk then, I even laughed at one point too. Even though we did this big ‘goodbye,’ I didn’t feel any different and I didn’t feel like he was gone. Instead, I knew he was back on the table he was at the service. I remember showing his seashells off to whoever would let me. My body and mind was still trying to normalize something of this… motherhood, but I didn’t feel like I was one. I had prints and an urn, not a baby.

April showers bring May flowers I thought when I stepped in a water puddle while carrying his urn to the car. Then again while I sat inside afterwards and heard it tap on the roof. It was the only thing that stopped me from refusing the tears to fall down my cheeks. I wanted to believe there would be a May for me. That all of these tears would bring me some kind of flower, that my little boy in his urn would mean something.

This day last year we formally said ‘goodbye,’ but he’s never really left.

Jensen’s Birthday Celebration.

On a day I never imagined surviving without my son, I did.

Jensen and my grief both turned a year old. It was never the year I had planned or envisioned. If I could go to myself a year ago, I would brush my hair, listen to the tears, and tell myself this journey is the hardest one you’ll ever be on and it is unending.

Yet, through all the sadness and pain of the past year, we celebrated Jensen on his birthday. Everyone said his name and reassured me he’d never be forgotten. I was sent cards, presents, and pictures of his name and candles lit. Family and friends came over to my house to make his day as special as it should be.

Huge ‘ONE’ balloons covered one of my walls and his room was stuffed with blue and orange ones. The food that lined the countertops smelled so good. Everyone ate and laughed. The little ones colored Jensen’s coloring pages and drew pictures of him and I. We played games outside. Conversation was light and there was laughter. It felt like a first birthday party and that’s all I wanted.

All of us were outside for a long while, until it was time to eat cake. This cake was handmade and iced with love and by me. It was the cake I dreamed of making him while I was pregnant. A three-tiered, blue cake. Of course with his cake topper and four silver sparkler candles. I took it to the island and everyone gathered around. All the lights were turned off and the candles were lit. This moment felt like it lasted an hour for me. I should be holding him or at least right behind him keeping him steady as he blew them out. The ‘one’ really set in for me. My baby’s one and I can’t ever bring him back. I think my brain could have been stuck in that moments forever, but it started.

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday dear Jensen.
Happy birthday to you.

I started choking up when we were singing. I thought I was going to completely break down right then and there, but I kept singing. When I started back up, I sung loudly and proudly for him. He would have really liked that. My favorite part is when all the kids yelled his name as loud and proud as they could. All I could think is, he is remembered.

After the candles were all blown out with the assistance from a few little helpers, we cut the cake and ate away. Not to brag or anything, but I didn’t hear any complaints about how it tasted, everyone said it was very tasty.

We then had an orange and blue balloon release. I wish I could tell you the sky was filled with Jensen’s colors, but the wind took them right into my tree. We watched as the escaped the tree and flew into the sky, eventually. I laughed at this. Of course the balloon release for Jensen’s party would get blocked by a tree. It is my life anyhow. These moments are light, where we can laugh and tell the little ones that the balloons are going to heaven so Jensen can play with them. When there were only seven left stuck in the tree, we went back inside for a special activity I had planned to honor Jensen and my support people.

I wish I had a certain name for this project. Maybe something like, ‘In the Hands of Support’ or along those lines. Let me tell you, this was messy, but well worth it. I only need one more hand print on there for it to be complete, but it is one of my most prized possessions. All these handprints are my family and close friends. They have supported and loved me throughout this year in the best way they could. Even in the moments I resisted it, they never gave up on me or stopped talking about Jensen. I’m so thankful to always have a little piece of them, on his first birthday, forever.

Jensen’s first birthday made me feel so at peace. His day was full of love and light. I wish with all my heart that he would have been here to experience  smashing his cake and blowing out the candle. I’ll always wish for those moments.

Thank you all so very much for the love you’ve sent me this past week and year(!). Seeing all the birthday love for Jensen made me smile and I have saved every pictures and screenshot every “Happy Birthday” comment I received. It means the whole entire world to know he’s being remembered.

A Letter to My Son on His First Birthday.

Dear Jensen,

Happy First Heavenly Birthday!

I cannot believe it’s been one whole year since you were born. Time works in funny ways, my sweet boy. My mind keeps remembering the first time I saw you. You were just a little kidney bean with your heart flickering on the screen. In that moment, I was full of so much love for you. I knew you would always have me wrapped around your finger. At that first appointment, they told me you’d be arriving April seventeenth. As soon as I left, I remember marking it on every calendar I had.

You grew so beautifully. Always measuring a little above average and of course posing for a picture. I remember seeing your long hair around the thirty week mark, I was happy you were happy, heathy, and had hair. We spent a lot of time going to ultrasounds, but I know we both will always treasure those moments. Just as I’ll always cherish reading to you every night. Feeling you kick me when you were pleased at the end of the book or verse. I think you would say your favorite time was when we jammed out to Usher and danced in the shower. All those moments are so priceless and no one can ever take them away.

Those thirty-eight weeks and two days were the best in my life. It was our little infinity together and I’ll believe we’ll be able to have another infinity again. You see, when you give me moments like this morning at 4:25, I know you’ll always be there. Always protecting me and providing me strength.

I wish I didn’t need that strength from you. I wish you were learning strength from me and maybe you did when you were safe in my womb. You’re braver than I’ll ever be.

Oh Jensen, I wish this could be different. Not just today on your birthday, but every single day. Although I know we’ve made memories in this first year, I wish we could have physically made them together. From brushing your hair for the first time to helping you take your first steps. Those are the memories you and I deserve. In some ways, I have brushed your hair from the lock I have in your drawer and you’ve taken many steps with me now, with your foot tattooed on mine. It’s not that way I planned. It’s not what I wanted to give you. But I know you know I’m doing my very best to be the greatest mom to you.

Today, in honor of your life and not your death, we will celebrate. We’re celebrating each day you were with us and all the love and light that you bring to so many people’s hearts. Your whole family will be here to look at your pictures and smile. All your friends in heaven’s moms have wished you happy birthday and let me know you’ll never be forgotten. Our little infinity will live on forever and that’s all because of the love we have for each other. I’ve made a cake for you and have planned an art project for your party. Your traveling scrapbook is all done and room is back to its glory.

It’s all done for you.

Jensen, I just want you to know how much I love and miss you. Everyday I live is so you can live through me. Through everything, I’ve wanted to be the best I can be so your as proud of me as I’m proud of you. I look at your beautiful face every single day and am in awe that I could make something so beautiful. That your pure innocence and beautiful life was made entirely from love. When I talk about you, I beam with pride and instantly smile.

You will forever be the reason I smile and I’ll always carry you in my heart.

I hope your first birthday is everything you imagined and more. Your great grandma is making sure you get the star treatment as you smash into your cake. Make sure to get pictures, little love. I can’t wait to hold you so I never have to let you go.

I love you with all my heart and soul,

Your Mommy


The Day Everything Changed.

It was a Monday.

The weather was surprisingly nice being in April, but I felt off. Being thirty-eight weeks pregnant takes a toll on a person, yet this was a different feeling. I couldn’t quite tell what was wrong, but my body was telling me I needed to lay down. So Poe and I laid on the couch while Anthony left. I remember Poe laying super close to my belly and me talking to Jensen. A little part of me was wondering why he wasn’t moving as much as he normally did in the mornings. I kept pushing it out of my mind since I’d be going to the doctor at one.

On the ride to our appointment, I remember saying I thought something was wrong.

‘What would we do if he was still?’

Honestly, I thought it was just me worrying. Now when I look back, I think I knew. Anthony told me not to worry, Jensen is just fine.

He still hadn’t moved when we were in the waiting room. I was talking to him and remember walking into the bathroom three times while waiting. Finally we were taken back to the room, it felt like another appointment. She had me lay down on the table and put the jelly on my belly. I distinctly remember making a joke that there wasn’t much room left in there. She nervously chuckled and told me she’d be back.

I was worried at that moment, but everything was going to be alright. He was moving and passed his ultrasound less than five days ago. My comforting thoughts calmed the worrisome ones until my doctor came in.

It didn’t take him anytime at all to see that Jensen’s heart had stopped beating.

‘I’m sorry there’s no heartbeat. Do you understand what I’m saying?’ 

The world has come crashing down around me. I understood exactly what he was saying, but I didn’t know what happened next. He was talking, but I couldn’t hear any sound coming out. Just that we needed to go to the hospital to double-check and they would let me know what to do there.

When we walked out of that room, I felt Jensen’s weight just hanging there. I felt numb and in shock. As soon as I sat in the car, I cried and just kept saying the doctor was wrong. That they would tell me this was all a joke when we got there. After gaining somewhat of a composure, I called my mom. I needed her there with me. I don’t know what ran through her mind when I told her Jensen was gone. He doesn’t have a heartbeat. But she was there at the hospital way sooner than she typically drives.

At the hospital, they ushered me into a room I never been in before. They had the portable ultrasound in my room, three times, just to make sure. Each time I had my hopes up that his heart would start back up again. That I would see my boy’s heart flickering as it normally did.

It didn’t feel real.

When my mom got in there and they explained everything to her, I knew by her face that this wasn’t some sort of elaborate prank. The heaviness of the day crashed down on me. My blood pressure, which had been perfect before finding out, skyrocketed. I could only see huge black dots and my arms were numb. Everyone was quiet and giving me options at the same time. This isn’t what I had read in the baby books and it’s definitely not a situation they warned me about in baby class.

I don’t remember breathing, seeing, or feeling anything until they told me I needed to go back to the delivery room. Before I blacked out, the decision was made that I would be induced that night to deliver him when he came. I begged for a c-section. I was adamant on not seeing Jensen. I couldn’t believe that death had stolen the one person who meant more than anything to me. My mind couldn’t wrap itself around seeing him born lifeless. Yet, I still had to walk to my room.

At that time I needed to be alone, so I walked ahead with my nurse. I can remember taking a deep breath then. The next time I walked those halls, I wouldn’t be taking Jensen home with me. He’d be left there and it hurt.

She told me she was going to ask uncomfortable questions, but they had to be answered. I just kept nodding my head. It had to be done. I can remember her asking me about where his funeral was going to be, who could pick up his body, what his name on the death certificate would be, who I wanted in the room, if and when I wanted an epidural, and the most important at that time, if she could write his name on the white board. It was information overload all at once. I literally was going through the motions and my parents had to answer most of her questions.

I’ll never forget the room I gave birth to my son in. The bed was on the left side and the couch in the back left corner pulled out to a full bed. A bathroom was located in the back right and along that wall had the TV and whiteboard where she wrote Jensen’s name. To the right of the bed the hospital brought in snacks for the family. I thought it was ridiculous at that time. They ate and read the pamphlets about losing a grandchild. When I got my bag, I remember telling them to get it away from me.

Deep down inside me, I still thought there was hope. I thought somehow through labor and birth he would jolt back. That death didn’t creep inside me and take my son.

They decided to induce me at eleven at night. The doctor and nurse told me I would probably have him the next evening or longer. I was scared and I thought I had time. Not that you can ever prepare for a silent birth. Everyone kept telling me to try to sleep. That I would need my energy for the next day. They dimmed the lights and played Game of Thrones for me.

I’m not sure exactly what time it was, but my parents had gone home to take care of their dogs. Anthony had been sleeping and I was awaken by strong contractions. My whole stomach felt like it was violently vibrating and clenching all at one. So I went to the bathroom to scream, cry, and try to keep breathing. I called my mom to tell her she needed to get back to the hospital. For some reason, I felt like he was going to come a lot sooner than twenty-four hours. The nurses must have heard me or Anthony went and got them. They frantically knocked on the bathroom door and I told them I was in pain.

When I was checked in to my room I was only one centimeter dilated. Only a few hours after I was induced, I was fully dilated and contracting every one to two minutes.

Somehow my mom and dad got to the hospital just in time. It felt like as soon as they came in, Jensen was right there. The nurses kept telling me and my mom that it couldn’t be time yet. It hasn’t been that long at all for her first birth. But I felt him, he was right there and I kept telling my mom. After she yelled at them to check, I was right.

‘He has a head full of blond hair.’

Within a few hard pushes, he was born. My hopes that he would somehow come back to life were gone. I can remember them calling out his time of birth, 4:25. Then nervously I asked if he had ten fingers and toes.

I wanted nothing more to wake up from that nightmare. The nurses kept telling me how good I did. That I should be proud of myself for the ‘easy’ birth I had. But my son… he was gone and was never coming back.

Nothing in the world could ever make that right again.

Tomorrow, at 4:25am, Jensen turns one.

I’m planning on sharing something extremely personal with you all. Although I’m still questioning myself with it, I know you all will be here to support Jensen and I’s journey. Thank you all for reading my story once again. It is so healing to be able to share.