As I come upon my son’s third birthday, I promised him I would write this article in honor of him and in honor of all of the woman in the world who have lost their unborn baby. It is a story that never gets easier, and it is a story that will never have a happy ending. All I hope to do is to acknowledge my son, acknowledge my story, and acknowledge the fact that miscarriages and stillbirths are still very real for many woman today.
When I became pregnant with my first child, I was through the roof. I wanted to shout to the world about this wonderful blessing and share this miracle with my family, friends, and pretty much everyone I met. I was so taken back when my partner had asked if we should wait until we hit the 12 week mark to make our official announcement. It had never occurred to my naive mind that this little being inside of me may be gone one day. So I said that was silly and decided to share the happy news with my loved ones anyways.
Twelve weeks came and went. I was happy, “glowing”, healthy, and ready for my son’s arrival. I made all of my regular check ups, kept up with eating healthy, gentle Yoga, and mild exercise, and was constantly told how healthy this baby was going to be. I followed week by week as my little lentil grew into an avocado, a papaya, and a pineapple. I even kept these symbolic foods on my kitchen table each week to remind me of this growing being inside of me. I was in a constant state of nausea and exhaustion, but I was happier than I had ever been in my life.
The third trimester suddenly was here and I was so excited to start getting the room ready for my new son. Although we were not fully prepared, we managed to get all of the basic necessities together, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of my family and friends. I was counting down the weeks and could hardly believe the big day was almost here. My check ups appeared normal, I was in a supportive pregnancy group, and despite having a bowling ball in my stomach, I really felt great.
On March 7th of 2017, I went into to my 38 week prenatal check up. As always I was super nervous, very excited, and ready for my baby to be out of my belly and into my arms. My pregnancy weight was measuring a bit low, but the baby’s heart rate was strong and healthy. All of my vitals checked out and my baby was kicking and seemingly ready to come into this world. I was so happy to hear that he had “dropped” which was the first indication of him preparing for birth.
The very next day I went about business as usual. I worked a bit, took my step-kids to and from school, and made dinner for my family. I had a busy day, but it was at the back of my mind that I had not felt a kick yet that day. As the due date approached, I had been overly worried about a thousand things otherwise, so this felt like just another thing I was overreacting about. I took a bath and although I still did not feel a kick, I was assured by my family that the baby is likely in a new position and will be back at it by the morning.
As I woke up on March 9th, I was hyperaware of my baby, and yet there was no movement. I walked my step-kids to school and then went straight home to call the doctor. They got me in right away, although at this point I was still being reassured that this happens quite often and the baby is usually just tucked away or resting. I was so convinced I was overreacting, I did not even ask my partner to come in with me for the ultrasound. If you thought I was clueless about the commonness of miscarriage, I was beyond clueless of the fact that stillbirth is a very strong possibility and unfortunate reality for many.
Needless to say, I went in for this reassuring ultrasound, but found myself in a bad dream when I heard the news. To hear the tragic words from the doctor as I watched the screen of my lifeless baby, I felt like I was in another world, out of my own body. This couldn’t be happening.
I called my partner and waited for him to come and help me home. We were instructed to pack up and check in at the birthing hospital at our own pace. I could care less what I brought and felt more like a zombie moving though the motions of life. After 36 hours of painful, life-draining labor, I gave birth my baby boy and held his “sleeping” body in my arms. My partner and I took turns holding him, crying for him, and taking in the loss we had never dreamt of. My loving mom and dad flew in to hold their first grandchild before we had to say goodbye. My mother-in-law also came to give her love and support, and to hold the grandbaby she will never know. We gave him a name – Paxton James Taylor; bathed him and swaddled him, as he laid lifeless in our arms. And then it was time. We gave him to the nurse and said our final goodbye to his physical body that was taken away from him, from us. Walking out of that hospital without my baby was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
Once I got home, the reality hit even harder. My stomach that was once so cute and ballon like, was deflated and empty. I was still in physical pain from the labor with no baby to comfort me and make me say, “it was all worth it”. I went through the physical and emotional pain of my breastmilk coming in with no baby to feed. I was in a complete and utter state of grief – body, mind, and soul. I tried my best to robotically get through day by day, but the tears came uncontrollably day in and day out. I received an abundance of support from my family and friends that I am eternally grateful for. I held my baby in my heart, sang songs to his soul, and prayed to God that he look after him since I was no longer able to.
After many months of reflection, self-care, and healing support, I was able to feel somewhat human again, although still a shell of my former self. I was determined to get my body, mind, and emotions in balance in order to prepare for a healthy pregnancy to come. As fearful as I was to have to live through another miscarriage or stillbirth, my need for a living child and all of the love I held for him/her was much, much greater.
On June 15th, 2018, I gave birth to my second son Maverick Grayson Taylor – alive, healthy, and full of life. He continues to bring me joy each and every everyday and I am beyond grateful for every moment I have with him. I will never forget my first son, his big brother. I will never stop praying for him, and awaiting the day we meet again. I know he is with me as I write this and I know he is a part of everything I do. The grief I feel for his loss has not become any less and I cannot say it has become easier, no matter how much meditation or pranayama I do. The grief and loss I feel for my son is a very real part of my being. As strong as the pain is however, I have learned to live my life again, enjoy my life again, and appreciate my loved ones and every moment I have with them. I love you Paxton James Taylor. Thank you for being here with me.
PS… Here are some songs my dad shared with me after my loss. They helped me, I hope they can help you too.
Thank you for writing and sharing this beautiful loving tribute to your son. It also opened my eyes to the very difficult experience of stillbirth.
Thank you for taking the time to read and write in Jane. It means a lot to me on this difficult day. It feels nice to shed some light on this subject, as difficult as it may be. Thank you again:)
Danielle, so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey with us. You are a truly gifted writer. Mentally I know you understand, from Sankya philosophy, that your little boy had a goal and a dharma that he must have accomplished through you. I am certain that wherever he is now on his journey, his soul is better for having been a part of you. And yours for having known him. Emotionally, I am certain it is still hard to grasp this truth, but know that he is there for you as you are for him, connected throughout eternity. Namaste, my friend.
Thank you for your kind words Karen. They always mean so much to me. Yes, I agree that our karma together was short and his purpose here had blossomed. Despite the short time, it is very comforting to feel how strong our bond is and the immense impact he had on my life. I hope I was able to change his life for the better too. No matter the reasoning though, it is a difficult and sad experience. But it does help to know that his spirit continues to live on and our connection cannot be broken by the parting of our physical bodies. Thank you again for taking some time to share your thoughtful insight.
MA…OM.. as my spiritual teacher says..
Sending you & your family many prayers. May you always know PEACE in the depths of your heart. 🌷🕉🕉🕉🌷
Namaste Terry! Thank you so much for your beautiful prayers. It is appreciated and deeply felt.
My heart still aches for you, and your precious angel baby. There are no words of proper comfort I can offer, but know you are loved & are covered in prayers.
Namaste Amy! Thank you for your blessings. I know they come from the heart, and I hope you know how much it is appreciated. Much love to you my friend:)
I appreciate you being so open and vulnerable with your experience. I always look forward to your emails, and this one made me feel like I know you a little more now. May you find peace in Gods unconditional love for you and your first son. Namaste
Thank you for the heart felt wishes Govinda. I am not used to sharing so much personal information to the world, but I know Paxton would want me to use this tragedy as a way to bring awareness to this very real issue and hopefully help other woman feel less alone. Thank you taking the time to read my story.
Hey Danielle, thank you for sharing this post. I know it wasn’t easy to do. I still find it hard to make sense of what happened, but the answer I keep coming to is that not everything has to make sense to us in the here and now. All we can do is try to find purpose and meaning in it all and carry on with the love and perspective such events bring, and you’ve done an amazing job of that. Honoring his memory and soul while still moving forward is the best case scenario and your strength in doing so is nothing short of inspiring.
Hopefully sharing this post was somewhat cathartic for you but I know others out there appreciate it immensely as well. Whether they can relate to this personally or have a different source of suffering they are experiencing, your balance of strength to carry on and ability to process/reflect on/honor Paxton’s at the same time is a beautiful example of what we are capable of. Sharing this has more of an impact on your readers than you may imagine.
Though in this life I never got to meet you physically, your soul will have a profound impact on my soul eternally. From you to RJ, Jared, Grandpa, Papa Steve, Helen and everyone else who has come and gone, thinking of you and the impact you all have had on me, directly or indirectly, brings me closer and closer to God. Ultimately we are all eternal souls made of the same infinite energy and we are all connected eternally. However at times I can forget that but it’s missions like yours that help me fully realize it and embody it. I can’t thank you enough for that, Paxton.
Love, Uncle Si
Thank you so much Uncle Si! That means a lot to me, and I imagine you have made baby Paxton smile… Thank you for thinking of my little man.
Thank you so much for sharing your life with us and my heart goes out to you and your family. I’m so glad you were able to hold your precious little Paxton James. The Bible is clear about these little ones going to Heaven! Safe with Jesus! What an amazing thought! In fact, the Bible tells us how much Jesus loved the little ones! I appreciate you and how you help us with wonderful information, recipes and products. You have a tender heart for people.
Thank you for the reassuring words Mary! They are so important to remember at these times. It is comforting to know his spirit is in safe and loving hands. Thank you for taking the time to share.
I read this a week ago and didn’t have the time to respond so I saved it to revisit when I had the time to respond.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I can only imagine what that must have been like. My heart ached for you as I read your experience. Reading your story brought back my experience of when I heart of the tragic news. I felt incredibly sad for you. How wonderful that you and your family gave yourselves the gift of such a beautifully loving goodbye to Paxton. No, the grief never goes away. We learn how to live with it and move forward. It sounds like you and your family have done that.
I am happy for you and your family, what joy it must be to have Maverick.
What beautiful songs your dad shared with you. He must be a special man. Music can bring such comfort in times of grief.
Love to you my friend ~
Your kinds words make my heart happy:) And you are right, my dad is a very special man. I am blessed to have such a beautiful being to help me through this life. Thank you for your thoughts my friend!
Dear Danielle Your post is the truth we all need to hear. Thank you for sharing an intimate and painful journey. It humbles anyone who reads it.. Your sharing makes us all little more grateful and gives us perspective of what we value the most ..each other . Very happy to hear you embodied the courage of heart to have a second baby and are taking care of life around you. Best Regards Nicole Fish
Thank you for reading and writing in with your thoughtful words. I do hope that my story may help others in whatever grief they may have gone through or are going through. Life is filled with ups and down and sometimes we must experience the bad to truly appreciate the good. It helps when we have others to support us through:) Thank you again!