Jensen has taught me so much in the time he was with me and after. He taught me a new kind of love and appreciation for life. My time with him brought me so many smiles and tears. I learned Jensen would much rather have a gallon of chocolate milk instead of water. He most definitely would have been a night owl who slept all day. His stubbornness even inside my belly made me laugh. I could go on and on about all the things I learned about him and how it effected me to this day. Even though he didn’t take a breath on this earth, he still lived. My little guy was a person who had his own emotions and personality. He’s the amazing, little baby that I would never been able to dream up. Jensen is my son, my first-born boy.
His death taught me others.
In fact, I learned that September sixth is Stillbirth Remembrance Day. That’s today, which falls on his twenty-second week. If you hadn’t noticed, a lot of important dates fall on Tuesdays this year. Honestly, before Jensen’s heart stopped beating, I didn’t realize what a stillbirth was. I mean, some part of my brain knew babies died and they were still. History documents so many women and families having multiple stillbirths, but that was way in the past. In my mind, it didn’t happen with all this technology we had or in this time. A baby’s heart just didn’t stop beating. No matter all these horrible things that can happen during pregnancy would never happen to me and my baby. Until it did.
Those words still ring in my ear, “I’m sorry there’s no heartbeat, you need to go to the hospital.”
Then the, “Do you understand what this means?”
I wish I could go back to this moment and scream at the doctor. No. I didn’t understand what that meant. How could he die? I just saw him dancing around on the screen four days before. He was just moving the previous day. It hit me as we drove over to the hospital that I’d have to go through labor and birth my son. Just as we practiced, but he wouldn’t be there. Instead of the screams, there would be nothing but silence. Some part of me believed the ultrasound machine was lying. That he would come out screaming and just faked everyone out. He didn’t, the room was silent.
Our time at the doctor’s office and the hospital still hasn’t come back to me; well not fully. I do remember being home the week after his funeral and it was the first time I looked up stillbirth on Google. What I found was so surprising. One in one-hundred and sixty pregnancies end in stillbirth. That’s a huge number of babies dying everyday. It’s another mom and dad losing their child. Another childhood that won’t be lived. A mom who feels like she’s unable to grieve the loose of her child because stillbirth is so taboo. Death is so taboo, yet it happens to so many babies before they’re even born. Yet, we’re told to ‘get over it’ and ‘just have another one.’ Jensen was not a statistic. I’m not a statistic. We are both human beings. Our lives have a purpose and we’re not defined by death. This happened to me and my family, but we’re not just this number in a study.
On this Stillbirth Remembrance Day, I remember Jensen and all his friends in heaven, just as I do everyday. Our angels are not just a number in a scientific study. Their lives are so meaningful and our motherhood is real. Don’t ever forget.
I made this for Jensen. The modern wreath and his name are written in his colors, navy blue and orange. Triangles represent the shapes that flooded his nursery. He is remembered and honored everyday. My son will never be a statistic. His life will always be celebrated. I love seeing Jensen’s name and today I want to reach out to all my angel mom friends and ask if you’d like me to do a wreath for your angel. To see their names and remember they are not a statistic. My heart goes out to you mommas on Stillbirth Remembrance Day and everyday.