Six years ago I was a Kindergarten teacher. I was fortunate enough to be teaching a coworker’s sweet son. As the school year progressed, I watched her adorable belly grow. She was expecting her second son around Easter. I talked to her son often about becoming a big brother and all of the joys he had in store. And then, out of the blue, days before her due date, we received an awful email. She had lost the baby. I didn’t even know something like that was possible. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to say. I just remember thinking “She is so strong. I would never be strong enough. I could never survive.”
After struggling with infertility I was finally pregnant. We were cautiously optimistic, and worried. We wanted it to work so badly. We were at one of our early doctors appointments and she was going through some of the dos and don’ts of pregnancy with Brett and I. We will never forget her telling us that one of her patients had ate feta or Brie cheese towards the end of her pregnancy and lost her baby. I remember thinking “There is just no way. No way I could go through anything as painful as losing my own child.’ (The anxiety skyrocketed for both Brett and I was we were on our way that night to a fancy French restaurant where each menu item had some sort of fancy cheese on top.)
Last August I was secretly drinking a mocktail while out with some coworkers “celebrating” the end of our summer vacation. My friend was telling me stories about her summer adventures. She had just gotten back from New York where she had visited her very close friends who had lost their son shortly after birth. She told me all about her weekend spent thinking about their son and how devastating, emotional and beautiful the event was. I remember thinking “They are amazing. They were completely broken but are still making it, step by step, day by day. I wouldn’t be able to do what they have done.”
In March, the last day of work before my maternity leave started that same friend shared with me a picture of her close friend’s son. Their second son. They were taking him home that day from the hospital. We smiled, we laughed and I cried for them. I was so happy for the two of them. I remember thinking “Wow. Just wow. They are amazing. I don’t think I could do it. I could never be that strong.”
Simon died just three days later.