Motherhood

Motherhood Mondays: ‘I Had a Stillborn Baby.’

Kate Suddes lives in Portland with her husband Jimmy and daughter June. She gave birth to a stillborn baby boy named Paul a year ago today, and she was kind enough to share her moving story with us…

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Nice Baby Boy
By Kate Suddes

We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them. —Kahlil Gibran

There are not many things I can stand to remember about that day. I can relive all the moments after he was born. But the hours before and between, 36 to be exact, feel too big to bear. Except this: I can hear the doctor say, “I can confirm there is no heartbeat,” and then I remember seeing a painting on the wall to my left. It was entitled “Mother and Son.”

Paul Thomas Hilliard was born on November 11, 2012, at 10:56pm on a cold, rainy Sunday night. He weighed six pounds, two ounces. He was beautiful. And he was gone. The Chicago Bears lost to the Houston Texans. Skyfall was the number-one movie in theaters. We were five days past the national election and I had been awake for the last two of them.

He had died the day before on November 10, 2012, sometime on Saturday morning. I was reading People magazine in bed. My cousin turned 29. I had pumpkin pie for breakfast. I often think like that now. I may be having a cup of coffee or taking a shower, but somewhere; it’s the worst moment in someone’s life.

His heart was beating and then it was not. I had two kids and then I had one. I was pregnant and then I was postpartum. There was a baby and then there was not. How do I explain that he died before he was born? How many times do I have to tell my daughter June that he’s not coming back? How many times do I have to tell myself? Now I make lists.

I fill out forms like this:
Number of pregnancies: 2
Number of live births: 1

I think in numbers:
1 out of 2
50%
Batting .500
1-1 for the season
Half of my children
One alive, one dead

I keep track of people’s responses:
At least you’re not dead.
You can always have more kids.
I had a miscarriage.
Do you want to hold my baby?
You’ll figure it out.
You’ll move on.
My friend’s cousin had TWO stillborn babies.
At least you still have June.
You should eat.
You should sleep.
Pray.
Exercise.
Write.
Vacation.
Meditate.

Certain questions are no longer straightforward. How many kids do you have? Is she your only one? Do you think you’ll have a second?

I had a dream that I walked into a room with many dead babies wrapped in blankets. He was there too and I was so happy to see him. I wanted to hold him so badly. Somehow his blanket came undone and he was covered—head to toe—in blue icing and sprinkles. You know me so well, baby Paul.

Was it all the Diet Coke I drank that summer? Is it because I wrote a short story about a stillborn baby in 9th grade? Was it the positive pregnancy test on April Fools’ Day? My fear of handling two kids? My joking about him being a neglected second child? Packing and moving four weeks before he was born? Was I overconfident about how well my first birth had gone? Did I have too much pizza? Watch too many sad movies? Eat too few vegetables? Was I ambivalent about having a son? Did he know something that I didn’t? If I write him letters, will he respond?

March 26, 2013
Dear Paul,
My body is heavy. And I’m being mean to it. Feeling sluggish, slow, and fat with grief. My tummy is full. I can’t quite figure out what’s in there. It’s not you. But you’re not out here either. I had no idea about this thing called grief. How all consuming it is. How slow and syrupy and invasive. Turning plain old regular moments into painful, sharp, little things. Out of the blue. June put drawings, make-believe cupcakes and donuts on your special table tonight. She said you needed cupcakes. Sometimes when I’m not quite asleep, not quite awake I imagine you here. What you would be doing. Sitting in a bouncy chair, squealing. Nursing. I miss nursing the most. And smelling you like a hound dog. Making out with you, newborn style. Instead I just walk around in a daze. Sometimes milk leaks. Sometimes I cry and I don’t know why.
It’s March. This is the month we made you. And it’s all coming back to me. The smell of the weather changing. The smell of clothes I’m finding from last year that remind me of being pregnant with you. I’m so used to missing you that I forget you were here. In my body. Moving around. Listening to my voice. I only ever felt you move. I never saw it from the outside of my body. I’m so sad, baby Paul. I’m so terribly, utterly sad.
Love,
Mama

I dreamt that I had a really nice talk with Gwyneth Paltrow. We met somewhere in Los Angeles. She was visiting from London and we talked about grief—the loss of her dad and the loss of my son. She was really sweet, gentle, and compassionate. She talked about how long it takes, how you feel disconnected from the real world. Or rather the real world is disconnected from you. Then she bought me a beautiful ceramic bowl.

I watch June sleep. I make sure she’s breathing. I look at her mouth and it reminds me of his. And I can’t remember which came first. Does her sleeping mouth look like his still one, or does his still one resemble hers? I read. I grocery shop. I try to pay attention to my marriage. I attempt to answer emails. I do laundry. I quit Facebook. I look at pictures. I check Twitter. I listen to the Dan Patrick Show. I watch Louis C.K. I bake. I count the days since and the days until.

April 11, 2013
Dear Paul,
Today is the 11th. The 11th comes every month. And with it, a little knot in my stomach. An avocado pit. A lemon. A key lime. Not unlike the fruits used to compare growing babies in the womb. I think about what you would be doing. How my day would inevitably be different. You would be 5 months. People keep saying things like “I hope it’s getting better” or “I hope that you’re adjusting more and more each day.” As if this were a straight line. As if the day you were born was the absolute worst and each day gets incrementally more tolerable. But I can name dozens of days that have been worse. Sometimes I’ll be doing something, anything. In a pretty emotionally neutral place. And then this deep sadness just stabs me. Somewhere in my chest. And I remember all over again that you’re gone. That I carried you all the way until your death. That your life was 9 months long and from there I birthed you out of my body. It’s not a straight line. There’s no beginning and no end. Today you would be 5 months. And then you would be 1 year. 2 years. 3, 5, 10, 16, 21, 35. When I’m crying, usually late at night, all I can think to say over and over is “I’m just so, so sad. I just want him to come back.” And Papa says, “I know. But he’s not coming back.”
Give a girl a sign,
Mama

There is one question that feels useless to me. Why? Others ask it. But why? What did they find? What went wrong? Are there medical explanations? I didn’t even know stillborn babies happen anymore? My midwife Catherine says, “He didn’t give us any warning. Like a child running out into the street.” But I was lulled into thinking he was a sure thing. Sometimes I think I can still negotiate his death. I fantasize about a time where his presence doesn’t feel absurd, audacious, cocky.

At my 20-week ultrasound we found out he was a boy. I knew it. Technology confirmed it. June was three years old. We said “June, it’s a boy. You’re going to have a brother. What do you think we should name him?” She replied, “Nice baby boy.” It feels strangely prophetic now. Like an idea or a wish. Like “maybe someday we’ll get a nice baby boy.”

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Q&A with Kate

Today is Paul’s one-year anniversary. I was honored to ask Kate a few questions about her experience over the past year. Thank you so much for sharing, Kate.
Joanna

How has your grief felt over the past year?
Surprising. I remember thinking, ‘Okay, so the day he was born and died will be the worst, and then it will get progressively better.’ It just didn’t happen that way. Physically and hormonally, I had that post-birth high that mothers get for the first few weeks. When the doctor put him in my arms, I remember seeing him and thinking, Oh, he’s so beautiful; and it sounds dumb, but there were a few seconds where I forgot that he was gone. I remember looking up toward the end of the bed and seeing my midwife, a nurse, my husband Jimmy, all these people, and they were all looking at me and crying, and I remember thinking, oh, right. It was like being told all over again.

What was it like after you went home?
Those six weeks after he was born, I was doing okay. I was functioning. I was writing thank-you notes. People were really present. We were still getting meals and flowers and cards. It wasn’t until a couple months later—January or February—that things got really bad. I started mourning and grieving in a way that I hadn’t fully done until that time. I wasn’t sleeping, I was staying up all night crying, I didn’t want to leave the house. The rest of the world has this unspoken expectation that you should get better and move on; I felt like I was nowhere near that. It was still so recent—I kept thinking, Now I would have had a three-month-old, a four-month-old, a five-month-old…I was still scratching the surface understanding what this loss meant for me as a mother, for our daughter June, in my relationship with my husband.

What was helpful for friends and relatives to say?
The most shocking thing was when some people in our lives pretended nothing happened. I think a lot people truly did not know what to do and I often get the feeling that they didn’t want to bring it up and “remind” me which, from my perspective just feels so absurd.

People just remaining interested, present, thoughtful and curious is so important to me. I’m always so touched when people say things like, I think of you all so often, I think of Paul, I’m so terribly sorry, etc. I want people to ask about Paul, about how he’s doing, how we’re doing, how June is doing…

I wanted them to ask the questions they would have asked if I had had a baby who was healthy and lived—where did the name come from? What was the birth like? Who did he look like? But people must have thought, ‘Don’t remind her.’ Nobody asked all those “normal” questions that come with having a baby. That felt like a huge loss for me. I wanted to talk about that. For me, when people ask questions, I feel comforted. It makes me feel more connected to him, as well.

He is so present in every moment for us, but I fear sometimes that he has just disappeared for a lot of people. I still feel him around. It’s hard to describe but I feel like I’m still parenting him from far away.

What do you think Paul was like?
He was really different from our daughter June. I knew that right away. He had a very different personality—I think he was a lot like Jimmy, my husband. Curious, stubborn, quiet, very witty with a dry sense of humor, but coming across as kind of serious. He was an old soul. That is how I “felt” Paul. Jimmy was born in the year of the dragon; Paul is also the year of the dragon; my brother is also the year of the dragon. The three men who I’m closest to in my life happen to be dragon babies.

His death was a loss of potential, too. I think about all the things I know about June that I never could have predicted. How much she loves olives and hot peppers—all the tiny things that make us who we are. That loss feels really big and sad to me, too. Not knowing his quirks, the words he would use, the things he would like.

Where did the name Paul come from?
Right after we had the ultrasound and found out for sure that he was a boy, we thought we should get June an anatomically correct boy babydoll. So we got a doll named Paul from the French company Corolle; he even had a little “Paul” T-shirt. We got so used to saying Baby Paul that the name stuck.

Today is his birthday. What are you going to do?
We are going make him a birthday cake; I know for sure that we will do that. My husband Jimmy took the day off. People keep asking, what else are you going to do that day? I don’t know. I don’t have an answer. I thought about maybe going back to the hospital room. I feel nervous about the day.

Why did you want to share your story?
A big part of me wants to write about Paul to keep him and his story alive, to keep him present in our family. But equally my desire to write about him stems from wanting to provide comfort and support to women who very suddenly find themselves in this situation. Almost immediately after he was born, I tore through every stillborn memoir and story I could find and it was SO COMFORTING. In ways I can’t even explain…it was like they were written in a secret language that only I could understand. And it was immensely soothing to know that I was not the only one, that there were all these perfectly healthy babies out there who were just gone. I know how lonely and isolating it was. And if I can put a book or even just this essay out in the world and one new mom can read it and feel even a tiny bit comforted, I feel lucky to provide that for someone.

Did you get to hold Paul?
We did get to hold Paul. I tried to memorize as much as I could, but it didn’t feel like enough. Jimmy, my mom and I were all able to hold him. June actually came to the hospital to meet him too. It’s actually one of my biggest regrets that I didn’t keep him longer. Of course I didn’t know at the time, but I read in some stories after that many women kept the babies and slept with them until the morning. Part of me wishes I had done that, but Jimmy felt ready to say goodbye. None of it would have felt like it was enough time, so I try not to beat myself up.

When did you find out that he had died?
One morning, three weeks before my due date, I didn’t feel him moving. I was with June in bed, reading books, and he was usually very active in the morning. But I didn’t feel him moving around. So I pushed against my belly and felt his arm or leg and pushed against it, and there was no resistance. That was the first moment that I had a twinge that something might be wrong.

I made some tea, and ate pumpkin pie for breakfast, and I called my midwife. She said, Drink your tea and lie down for thirty minutes. I lay down and waited for him to move, but he was still not moving. My midwife said at that point that I should go right into the hospital.

When we got there, the nurse looked for a heartbeat. I heard a really loud heartbeat and thought, There it is! But it was my heartbeat. She kept looking and looking. Finally, I said, “Look, you just need to tell me.” And she said, “I can’t confirm anything without the doctor, but I am having a hard time finding the heartbeat.” She left to get the doctor and I lost it.

When he came in, he said almost right away, “I can confirm that there is no heartbeat.”

Did you go through labor?
Yes, that’s something people don’t realize—that you still have to give birth. Jimmy said I could wait a few days, and my midwife and the doctors said I could take some time, but I wanted to do it right away. It’s funny, I thought it would go really quickly, like a few hours. I remember thinking, Okay, I’ll be home by midnight. But I was in labor for 36 hours.

You know that moment when you meet your beautiful baby for the first time? Well, realizing the beginning was also the end was heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking. And then regretting that I didn’t take 80 pictures instead of 75, or more photos from different angles, or that I forgot to take a piece of his hair…

This will never go away. He will always have his birthday. I had a child—a full-term, fully formed baby, with hair and fingernails—who was about to be born. Our son and June’s brother. He’s part of our family.

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Kate, thank you so much for sharing your incredibly moving story. If you’d like to see photos of Kate, baby Paul and their family, click here. Kate is working on a book about motherhood, which would be so wonderful.

xoxoxo Lots of love to everyone today.

(Illustration by the wonderful Samantha Hahn for Cup of Jo)

  1. Thank you for sharing this. We just lost our son Thomas last Wednesday after prematurely delivering at 23 weeks. It means a lot to know we’re not alone.

  2. Such a powerful and heartbreaking story – prayers to you.

  3. I am crying as I type this. Your story is so touching and the words you chose so palpable. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss, and wish you peace, although it feels inadequate to say.

    I am 6 months pregnant with my second child, and up until a few weeks ago, felt that same cockiness and assuredness that everything will be perfect this time around, too. But we recently learned that my daughter has an issue with her umbilical cord that increases the risk of stillbirth, and truthfully, I’m terrified of that. I’ve been reading websites and memoirs from mothers who have gone through that experience, and am not quite sure why. Do I want to torture myself? As I read your story, I realized that maybe it’s a self-protective mechanism, I don’t know. Regardless, thank you for sharing your beautifully written story.

  4. Kate, I am so sorry that you do not have Paul here in your arms. Thank you for bravely telling your story and his. I lost my eight week old daughter last June and being able to know we are not alone in the grief of losing a child is SO important. Wishing you comfort and strength and you continue to swim these turbulent waters of grief.

    Joanna, this is my first visit to your blog. Thank you for sharing Kate’s story.

  5. Thank you for sharing. You literally took the words out of my mouth. I still wrestle with writing a post like that…you have a lot of strength and courage. xoxo

    Ranya Adkinson

  6. Our stories are similarly beautiful and heartbreaking. I, too, have a daughter named June that was supposed to have a baby brother. Her brother, Moses, died a few hours after birth. My June now gets the attention and love that was meant for another.
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Kate, I’m so sorry, so sorry, for your loss. Paul is beautiful.

    I also wanted to thank you – there are so few places and spaces, to paraphrase David Hlavsa in the NYT, for people talk about their “lost, lost children” – grief so many more of us carry around than we ever realize. And so few of us can share. I’ve had three miscarriages – one was second trimester, and the hemorrhaging that came with it nearly took me, too. So thank you. And again, you have my sympathy.

  8. I feel like this is one of the most important things I’ve ever read. I’m the mother of a 6 week old at long last after 2 miscarriages which for the most part weren’t shared outside very close friends/family. This “story” tore me up, I bawled as I read it & thought to stop reading midway through but knew i was looking into someone’s soul & could not look away. It was like I was bearing witness to this life & loss. I cannot imagine your pain & suffering & pray you will be comforted through sharing this & knowing that you have touched so many people. May God richly bless you & your family.

  9. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am so sorry for your loss.
    My friend had a stillborn babygirl this year and I realized I wasn’t there for her, I didn’t know kow.
    God bless baby Paul and all your family.

  10. Thank you for sharing this story and reminding us that love and goodness exists all the time, even when we experience the most devastating heartbreak. I am not a mother yet but I’m hoping to get there soon. There seems to be so much to be excited about, but at the same time so much worry and uncertainty. There is, however, comfort that somewhere out there, an entire sisterhood of strong and loving women have shared the same exact anxieties and joys.

  11. Paul is beautiful… Happy birthday Paul~ Thank you for sharing Kate. I am so sad/sorry that his life was so short-lived.

  12. finding no words. i am thinking of you.

  13. having no words. i am thinking of you! love, anne

  14. I’ve heard many stories of mothers who had stillborn babies. Every time, I still cry reading about the pain each mother goes through. I’m so sorry for your loss and hope that time will heal as much as it can.

  15. I lost my son at 37 in July. You really put to words how it feels. Thank you. A very happy birthday. I hope that day was..okay. I hope it was okay.

  16. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family. Baby Paul will always be loved and remembered! Count me in as one of the many, many people praying for you!

  17. I can’t imagine what this must feel like, but you wrote so beautifully about your experience. I am in tears.

  18. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I too lost my son. He was our first child. I was 32 weeks pregnant when I delivered him. I have since had 2 healthy children and am so grateful but, not a day goes by when I don’t think about him. It’s been 4 and a half years and I still miss him. I see him in my children. I wonder why I don’t dream about him any more and where he is if that makes any sense. But I think he’s become part of my little ones in some ways. The loss of him was harder than anything I had ever experienced. It’s something that has changed me forever. I hope because of it that i’m a better person, a better mom…i’m not sure but i hope.
    Everything you wrote resonated with me so well. I can’t thank you enough for sharing so much about your sweet boy Paul. Happy Birthday to him. Much love to you and your family.

  19. Happy 1st birthday Baby Paul. You are beautiful and we will never forget you because your brave mom wrote so eloquently about you. Your sister June is also a beautiful child and we hope that your entire family finds peace and love.

  20. Thank you for sharing your story. I too lost my son (my first child) at 32 weeks. I’ve since have had two, healthy children and am so grateful but a day doesn’t go by without remembering our son, Luc. I still miss him. I see him in my children. It’s been 4 and a half years since i delivered him and my eyes still well up when I think about the whole experience. It’s something that never leaves you. I am still so touched when my close friends remember his birth date – it means so much.

  21. i am a few days late on this, but happy belated birthday to paul. kate and family – i am so sorry for your loss. and at the same time – congratulations on making it through this first year. it has been almost a year since i lost my daughter (she was born at 39 weeks and lived for just over a day). i read your words and interview with joanna, completely nodding my head about your experience with grief and tearing up. you are not alone.

  22. Thank you for sharing your story. I feel your loss and am thinking of your family on baby Paul’s birthday.

  23. Thank you for sharing your story in such an eloquent and heartfelt manner. Although I am not yet at the stage in life where I have experienced pregnancy or being a mother, I do completely understand wishing you had more time with a special guy named Paul. My dad, who passed away a little over a year ago shared your son’s name and also passed from this life at a time that felt too soon. Very different situations, but underlying them both is the love for someone else that you miss which you so beautifully articulate. Thank you.

  24. Wow. Thank you for your courage to share your experience. Many thoughts to you and your family.

  25. The way you’re able to convey your story, your love for Paul, and your grief with such power, clarity, and honesty is just amazing. Thank you so much for sharing – it’s clear you are a wonderful mama. Sending strength and love to your family, and happy birthday wishes to Paul.

  26. Crying in my office…
    As a mother of 2 (2 years & 8 monts old), I can’t imagine what you’ve been through.
    Paul is a beautiful baby.

    Lots of love

  27. I already commented yesterday night (French time), but I keep thinking about you Kate, about your courage and generosity. And I like how this community of women spontaneously emerged to comfort you. This was one of my first comments yesterday. I usually don’t really get why people reply to someone they don’t know but yesterday, I felt this need from all my heart. Paul has been coulouring my thoughts,feelings and dreams all the night and all the day. Thank you for making me feel more human, for opening my conscience to a new experience. Thank you so much.

  28. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Our baby was diagnosed with triploidy at our 20 week ultrasound, and though the labor was nothing like full term with my daughter, I still had to deliver. We never even knew if the baby was a boy or a girl, because with triploidy there are three sex chromosomes, so they told us it was impossible to say.

    I felt the same way about the questions—no one wanted to talk about the labor or delivery or what the baby was like. They just wanted it to be “better”.

    Sending love your way..xo

  29. ola kate,
    reading your story was reading what i felt two and half years ago…and couldn´t write it…somewhere in the world there´s someone that can understand your feelings and emotions!
    thank you for sharing,
    andreia

  30. ola Kate!
    Reading your story i felt like you had put on words what i felt 2 years and half ago…in a way its conforting to know that somewhere in the world there is someone that can understand your feelings and emotions!
    thank you, beijinhos

    andreia

  31. I’m weeping. And praying. For you and for Paul.

  32. thank you very very much for your beatiful story.. Paul looks so peaceful on your pictures… Send you all, all of your family, our good thoughts and bright days!! we also lost our baby girl almost 9 years ago… we wish you all the best,from our hearts !!

  33. that was so completely heart breaking in every way. my condolences and love to you and your family. this has got to be my very worst nightmare. whenever you think of miscarriages, you always imagine it to be around the first trimester or so. usually once you hit 37 weeks, you can breathe easy knowing that your baby should be fine. oh my heart is hurting.

  34. I am exactly three weeks away from giving birth to my second son & I can’t even fathom the loss you and your family have gone through Kate. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing your story.

  35. Kate, I’m moved to tears by your story and cannot imagine your grief. My heart breaks for you and your family. Your courageousness is inspiring and I wanted to say thank you for sharing.

  36. Wow, what an incredibly moving story. I’m so sorry for you and your family’s loss. I have a friend who recently went through a similar experience and reading about your feelings will help me be as compassionate as i can be for my friend.

  37. Kate,
    I have known grief intimately and terrifyingly and you hit my heart with a shovel when you said there is no end-no beginning-no straight line…. everyday is a new grief, a new loss. I imagine that the womb is the most comforting, loving place we know in our lives… you showed Paul all the love in the world there, those nine months, and you continue to show him that love now.

  38. Joanne, thank you so much for letting Kate share her story. My beautiful nephew was stillborn last October. I can’t even begin to experience the grief you and my sister in law, and anyone else who has delivered a baby still has. I know as an Aunt, it was devastating. I loved that baby, I was so excited to meet him and spend time with him.

    Kate, Paul was gorgeous! I’ve shared this post with my sister in law as I know she will understand like so many people cannot.

  39. Kate, I was nodding all the way through your beautiful, tragic story – the awkward questions, the wishing you could talk about it, the questioning if it was something you did, the pain trying to explain to your other child, the wishing so hard you could have known him more. Seeing your son’s mouth on your living daughter. (Our Sebastian was born still on July 9th, 2011, when our firstborn son was two.) Thank you for sharing all this, especially the pictures. Oh, the pictures. We have pictures too, thank heaven, but I’ve never had the guts to post any. Writing has been the most therapeutic thing for me – I hope it has comforted you too. Our stillbirth experience starts here if you’re interested: http://itsdilovely.com/2011/07/14/a-different-kind-of-blog/ Also, I have found solace reading posts at http://www.glowinthewoods.com. And just in case you would want to know… we now have a third-born, completely healthy. Big hugs to your whole family.

    Joanna, thank you for posting this, and helping the world be less silent about baby loss.

  40. Kate,
    I believe every baby deserves to be celebrated and honored. Thank you so much for doing just that for your little Paul.
    Take good care,
    Sara

  41. http://www.hopefulconnections.com is a non-profit that helps mothers mourn, continue to mourn, remember, and celebrate their child(ren) who left this world too soon. Please share with your friends and family who may need a little light.

    Also, this month, they are doing a small project of inspiring others during the holidays:

    “I do not live less, I live in your light”

    Hopeful Connections will be sending hand painted candles to any family this holiday season who has lost a baby. We need your help! If you would like us to send a candle to you or a friend, please send us a private message through our Facebook page or send an email to maura@hopefulconnections.com. We will need to know your name, mailing address and baby’s name. If you did not name your baby, we will send you a special hand painted candle as well. We will be sending the candles throughout the season as requested but would love to have it to you for December so please submit your requests by November 20th if possible.

  42. Happy Birthday Paul!

  43. This is such an important read. It’s a shame that our culture can’t talk about death. It is so taboo, yet it will affect each and every one of us at some point. For people like Kate who suffer an unbearable loss such as the loss of her baby, it would probably be a vastly different experience if the people around her knew how to help through the grieving process, which I guess never really ends. This story has made me more understanding, so thank you and I am so so sorry for your loss. x

  44. Kate, thank you for your courage in sharing your story. I have looked at pictures of Paul and he is a gorgeous baby boy. I will think of all of you often.

  45. happy birthday paul.

  46. Thank you for sharing your story and Paul with us. Sending love your way.

  47. THANK YOU for sharing. My husband and I lost our little girl, Jane on September 16th at 31 weeks. We have a 3 year old as well and he is the one I am most sad for…not fair that he never knew her…not fair that none of us really knew her. It is so strange how comforting it was to read your story…so good to not feel so darn alone.
    Ironically, I am also an OB and have been back at work for a few weeks. In fact I delivered a baby girl today who had the same due date as I did. It always feels so unfair, but it’s never Jane.
    Thank you again for sharing…I get it too…you are not alone. Sending all my love to you for continued healing.

  48. Another sweet comment that wasn’t initially posted:

    I would like to thank you for sharing your story, your lovely baby boy Paul and your grief. It is such a love letter!
    I guess nobody knows or can know why something like this happens, but I have a feeling that Paul was a really happy baby boy in your womb. He must have felt all the love and caring you gave him and your entire family gave him. This 8-9 months he spent inside you, he was nurtured and surrounded by love and that’s the best we can wish for any living being. You gave him your best, you gave him all that is most precious in the world through out his entire life. You are a great mother and he knows it,June knows it (and what a brave example of motherhood have you given her), Jimmy knows it and everyone else too. He will always be with you and he will always be a part of your family and now he will be in our minds and hearts too. Thank you for sharing, you amazing mama!

    Love,

    Sarah

  49. Wow, my heart broke reading this story, Kate. So much love for you.

  50. Thank you Joanna for sharing Kate’s words on your blog. Kate – thank you so much. Birthday wishes to Paul. I know he feels your love and is sending you his love right back. Thank you for your beautifully written account of your pregnancy, labour, birth, and after Paul was born. As a mom to an oldest daughter (8 now) and two stillborn sons, I understand your pain and grief. It is through sharing our stories that our babies, in our cases, our boys will live on. It was an honour to read about Paul and June and your family. I started writing a blog myself this past summer, after the stillbirth of my second son. It can be found at: http://onerunstwosoar.blogspot.ca/2013/07/stillbirth-is-still-giving-birth.html
    I am saddened that others know the pain and grief, but I am grateful that through sharing, we know that we are not alone. Thank you.

  51. Thank you for sharing your story. Paul was such a beautiful baby and is so lucky to have you as his mother.

  52. Oh, this is heartrending. Thank you for sharing your story, Kate. Your description of grief is so familiar. I lost someone this spring – not a child, but someone who (still, today) feels very much like a father, and you’ve described so much of what the past six months have been like: getting blindsided by a sudden shift from “okay” to “emotional wreck,” the way the world feels disconnected (I’ve been using the word “hollow” – it’s surreal how the air feels thinner since he left), the way a beautiful sunrise (like the one on the morning he died) makes me wonder who else is out there, grieving. He also died on his birthday, and I have no idea how I’m going to handle that next spring. I hope Paul’s birthday was special, intimate, and I hope that you felt his presence with you.

  53. This is so heartbreaking. Thank you so much for sharing Kate. I hope you feel comforted and healing continues to come to your heart. <3

  54. I am so sorry for the loss of your baby boy and amazed at your strength to share your story with others. Lots of love to you and your family.

  55. JJ says...

    Thank you for sharing. Your experience is heartbreaking and your story is so beautifully told. My birthday is 11/11. I will honor and remember Paul every year. Please know you’ve touched so many people by sharing Paul.

  56. i got a couple emails from people saying that they couldn’t comment, so i’m posting a few of them here!

    I cried so many tears after reading this. It was so poignant and beautiful and honest and so, so painful. I had 5 miscarriages before giving birth to a son, but then I had a friend who experienced a stillbirth and I realized that I had no idea what grief truly was. The path to motherhood isn’t always a straight line and I appreciate women who can give voice to that. The world is full of grief and we can all use a roadmap. The path to healing isn’t always a straight line, either, but I wish you all the comfort and peace you can find in this world.
    —suzonnestirling

  57. I was beautiful to meet Paul through your words. Thank you.

  58. Thank you for sharing, such a beautiful post. My heart aches for the loss. I know it well as my brother and sister-in-law experienced a loss very similar. I want to share with you a place called Faith’s Lodge started by a family who went through the loss of their daughter, and it is a special, healing place. I encourage you to go there when the time is right!
    http://www.faithslodge.org/
    Blessings to you!

  59. This was heartbreaking to read. I’m at work trying my hardest not to break out into uncontrollable sobs. Thank you to Kate for sharing this story. My heart goes out to her.

  60. I wish I had focused much more during my english classes so that I would be able to share with you all my feelings and all my support. Paul is such a beautiful baby with his perfect eyelids, perfect lips, perfect nose. He is just perfect. I have had two boys and I am so amazed by my motherly aptitude to have felt their personality during the pregnancy. Each day reinforces my intuitions. So you are right: Paul is exactly the nice baby boy you” have felt”, you “feel now” and you so beautifully portray. I also think that your are a wonderful mother and I feel like I have so much to learn from your parenting: you are so kind and attentive, so sweet and so sincere. You are such a loving mother for both Paul and June and I am so admirative of your capacity to love so radically, to give you entirely despite the sadness. So from now on, November 11th will be Paul’s birthday for me too: a day of celebration for this perfect little guy and for your endless love. You can count on me! I send you all my love.

  61. Thank you for sharing. You and your family are in my thoughts. Paul was a beautiful baby.

  62. Thank you for sharing your story … In the sadness, there is beauty & inspiration. You’re a brave woman, and it sounds like you have an amazing partner to go through this life with. Paul is a beautiful, beautiful soul.

  63. Kate, this is incredibly moving and heartbreaking and so beautifully written. Thank you very much for sharing. Happy birthday to your sweet baby boy. Sending you, your husband and your children so much love. P.S. I lost my first child at 20 weeks; a little girl named Emma June. I don’t believe there is any pain greater than losing a child. P.P.S. I live in Portland, too :)

  64. Kate,
    You are beautiful mama of two blessed children. Thank you for your grace, compassion, strength and honesty in sharing your journey. I’m sending you all my love in celebration of Paul’s day. We’re thinking of you.
    xx
    mary

  65. Wishing you strength and support – everyone around the world wishes you strength and support, and to Paul too. You are taking care of each other xx

  66. This story is just so beautiful and heart wrenching. It made me weep. So incredibly sorry kate.

  67. Sending love from a fellow loss mom. Your story brought me back to almost 3 years ago when I lost my son Andrew at 38w5d and birthed his beautiful body. So heartbreaking.

  68. Thank you for your story, Kate. And thank you for sharing, Joanna. I too am about to celebrate the first birthday of my twin girls Sadie & Josie, who died shortly after birth. Your words bring comfort in this difficult week.

  69. I just thank you for sharing your story. I can’t stop crying for your family’s loss. I am so sorry. Paul was beautiful. Your family is beautiful.

  70. I agree. Reading the words of another mother who has lost a baby is one of the things that helped me work through the loss… Just hearing another person voice the thoughts in my head helped me in inexplicable ways. Like they were speaking directly to me or reading my thoughts. I’m like you Kate- one in my arms, the other on my mind. Lost a sweet baby girl in the L&D room… It’s so terrible. I’d give you a hug and share a bottle of wine with you if I could.

  71. Happy birthday to sweet Paul. I hope for all the best for your family. Thank you for sharing such a personal and difficult story – I too appreciate hearing what questions to ask and how to talk to someone who is experiencing such profound grief.

  72. Thank you Joanna for sharing Kate’s story. I had a stillborn, my son Charlie, 3 months and 4 days ago. He was my second son. My grief and devastation are still so real and at times all encompassing. Thank you Kate for telling the story that so many of us can’t put into words. I too ask myself these same questions and long for an answer. Sending you love and hugs, xoxo

  73. Kate, I was awake at 3:30 this morning thinking about and hurting for your family. Words can’t say how sorry I am for your deep loss. Thank you for sharing Paul with us. He is beautiful, and you are am amazing woman and mother. I send thoughts and prayers of comfort to you.

  74. I’m not quite sure what to write to someone like you. I have never met you, and yet you have touched my life in an immeasurable way. My keyboard is blurred and my lunch has gone cold reading your most touching words. Your courage and honesty, your strength and your fragility are astounding and awe inspiring. You have managed to make your experience about baby Paul. He was present. He was born. He was beautiful. And he will always be yours. Your family will forever have a small piece of my heart.

  75. oh my goodness. my heart goes out to you. sending you & your whole family so much love.

  76. I have such an ache in my heart for Kate, Jimmy and June, thank you for sharing your personal, heartfelt life experience with us. My heart also aches that Paul did not get to experience time with his family. Sending so much love and comfort your way!

  77. Dear Kate, I have a friend who gave birth to a stillborn baby girl in August 2012. She has told me many of the same things you wrote about – she wonders if she did something wrong along the way (she’s one of the healthiest people I have ever met), she’s frustrated that there was nothing medically wrong with her daughter and she’ll never know what happened, she appreciates when people ask her all the usual baby questions and wants to stay connected to her daughter through talking about her. I now ask questions when I think of them. Bless you and your courage to share your story in such beautiful and honest words. I do hope you write that book.

  78. This was so beautifully written and I’m so sorry you had to lose your sweet baby Paul! Such a beautiful little boy and he will forever be in your heart and mind.This is truly one of the hardest things I think someone can go through, you often have to go through it alone because people around you don’t know what to say and are worried they are going to say the wrong thing. I know this because I have a daughter and then I lost my twins Harper and Nora at 28 weeks and then another daughter Spencer at 29 weeks a year later. They weren’t full term and for that reason people sometimes didn’t realize they were actually babies but a bit smaller. I knew my one of my twins had died prior to having them and the other wouldn’t survive because they were identical so I still remember every single moment prior to the birth. Going through labor and knowing the outcome is horrific. I heard all the same things, the filling out the medical forms was literally a punch in the gut when I had to list and say out loud my medical history every visit to the doctor. The pain is still there and it still comes out of no where. I also see how uncomfortable people get when I mention them. It’s been 4 and 3 years since my losses and my baby boy just turned 1 years old (he’s my miracle) and I have heard the you wouldn’t have him if the other babies had made it but I don’t and will never think that way, because I am a mother of 5 not 2. Just like you are a mother to 2 beautiful children. Thank you so very much for sharing this personal story with all of us and introducing us all to your son.

  79. I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. You are a strong and resilient woman.

  80. Beautiful Post. Thinking of Kate and baby Paul today.

  81. Absolutely heartbreaking. With tears streaming down my face I am saying a prayer for you and every other mother that goes through this.

  82. I had a big old bedtime cry to this. So beautifully written and unbelievably heartbreaking. So sorry for her loss:(

    Dakota
    dakotabee.wordpress.com

  83. thank you for sharing your story.it makes me so emotional reading it.sending love to you and your family all the way from Malaysia.

  84. sk says...

    Oh wow. This made me cry. I just can’t even imagine– now more so that I have a child of my own. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! Wishing peace for you and your family!

  85. Dear Kate, Thank you for your story. It brought tears to my eyes, because I lost Mike 14 years ago December. Your story is so, so similar to mine. Mikey was due in two weeks on Dec. 24th. On Dec 10th, also in the morning, I noticed he wasn’t moving like usual. I called the doctor and they said to come in, though it probably wasn’t anything. I knew different. Moms just know. Mike would have been my 4th boy. He was a 9 lb beautiful boy ( my other boys were 10 lbs, so he was right on schedule). They never found a reason as to why this happened. Usually when it is that late in the pregnancy they don’t find anything wrong with the baby. I heard all the comments you heard and went through all the guilt, replaying my movements leading up to that day. The baby will always be a part of you, though the intense pain and numbness subsides. My sister and my husband still acknowledge his birthday which helps. Thanks again for sharing. It still helps to hear other stories of women that unfortunately had to go through this.

  86. This made me sob. Paul is beautiful. I’m so glad you told your story.

  87. My heart goes with you. I had a miscarriage in the fith month of my second pregnancy and I feel I am forever pregnant with the baby I lost. I was so sad for a long time eventhough I knew my baby could not have lived long .I cant even imagine what you may feel like… so sorry for your loss. I had another babygirl one year later, and that soothed the pain. Thank you for shearing.

  88. Another sobber here. Kate, thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful son Paul. I’m so heartbroken for your family’s loss and pain, and the daily struggle for acceptance when it just makes no sense.

  89. What a heartbreaking, tragic loss. You are so brave to share your story. Thank you. Sending love to you and your precious family.

    Joanna- Thank you also for featuring this incredibly moving story.

  90. What an appalling tragedy, and to endure such a long labour, knowing the sad outcome – i fear I would have lost my mind. You are a wonderful mother.

  91. Wow. My tears are flowing. You are a beautiful person, bearing your vulnerable soul; thank you for sharing your personal story, so honest and raw. I’m so sorry for your loss of sweet baby Paul.

  92. Thank you for your grace and courage. And thank you, Joanna, for sharing this with us. I am struggling with infertility (after a painful miscarriage). I never got to hold my child, but I know we will meet one day at some other place :)

  93. Thank you so much for your grace and your truth. And thank you, Joanna, for sharing this with us. I am so moved by this story. I am struggling with infertility (after a miscarriage). I did not get to hold my child, but I am sure we will meet someday in some other place :)

  94. thanks for sharing this. You’ve been so brave to open your hear to us. I truly believe that people can live forever in your heart, so don’t let him go. Hold him in your heart, talk to him, feel him, hold him, love him. With love. Alice.

  95. Thank you, Kate, for sharing your story and telling us about your beautiful son, Paul. Thank you, Joanna, for allowing space for these kinds of stories in your parenting community. I lost my first child, Lorenzo, on June 2, 2012. I delivered him stillborn at 24 weeks. I think, miss, and write about him every day for similar reasons–so that other mothers like me don’t feel so alone and to honor the life he did have here with us.

    My heart goes out to you, Kate. Thank you for your bravery. These are the stories people don’t often talk about when they talk about childbearing and it’s vital that we hear them.

    Jenn <3

  96. Thank you Kate, for your beautiful story and for answering Joanna’s questions. My daughter Elspeth died during labor after a perfectly healthy nine-month pregnancy. I recognize everything that you are describing. I hope I can offer you some words of comfort – nothing is as sad as the first year, or the first anniversary. You won’t know how it happens, but one day there will be more happy days than sad. And you will always love Paul.

  97. Thank you, Kate, for sharing this story. I was really touched reading this. You gave Paul a beautiful birthday gift by telling the world what a great baby he is! All the best to you and your family.

    Thanks Joanna, for featuring this story.

  98. Thank you for sharing your story, I wish you all the best with the book. It has been 9 months that we said hello and goodbye to our Lillian. My heart breaks daily. xx

  99. Thank you for sharing Kate. I am heartbroken for you and your family but at the same time feel very grateful to have been able to hear about your son Paul and the place he has in your family.

  100. Kate, a beautifully written and such a diffucult journey. Light and love to you and you’re family.

  101. Dearest Kate,
    Your words are so moving and powerful. I knew but I didn’t know all at the same time. I’m so sorry you’ve had so much pain and sorrow. I imagined you all were hurting terribly but really didn’t grasp the magnitude of your suffering or how it was so all-encompassing in your minute to minute breathing and living.

    I’m speechless and overwhelmed, impressed and yet not surprised, amazed and I don’t know. What I do know is that I love, love, love you and that’s for certain. Your story is remarkable and your pain palpable.

    In your sadness Paul has given you the strength to share your heartbreaking experience, and by doing so you will help, educate and show the path you’ve traveled to many. Your courage will take you places you never knew you could go. I think Paul has given you this power. Paul is your son, your family and always will be. He is perfect.

    I hope the words of thanks, love, sympathy, understanding and appreciation from the many who comment will feed your soul in return. Happy Birthday Paul!
    Love, Aunt Sher

  102. I am holding my baby boy with tears and boogies running down my face. Full on ugly crying for your loss. My heart goes out to you. Xx

  103. This made me sob. How heartbreaking. Sending love to this family.

  104. that was beautiful. thank you for sharing. you’re honesty is an inspiration. i can’t imagine the pain you went through. you’re in my thoughts today…

  105. Wow, this was absolutely moving. Thank you for sharing.

  106. Kate, my heart breaks for you and your family. Thank you for sharing, you have a beautiful way of explaining this. I would have never known what one might feel like after going through such a loss.

  107. Thank you, Kate.

  108. Wow. Brought tears to my eyes. Beautifully written and so real. So honest. Thank you Kate for sharing your story. One many women wouldn’t share and I’m so happy you did. As an expectant mother, it’s good to hear the bad and the good.

  109. JW says...

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your son is beautiful. You are a wonderful mama.

  110. kate,
    i am picturing everyone here, from the whole world over,
    standing together with you in the candle-glow,
    singing your sweet baby paul a happy birthday.
    eleven-eleven is a special date, indeed ♥

  111. JW says...

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. The memory of your son will live through all who were close to him, and through all of us who have read your story. Paul is beautiful. Although he may not be physically here, he certainly lives.

  112. Kate, i think that you are so brave and so strong. I’m so sorry that this happened to you and I’m sorry for all the other women and their families for who this is also a heartbreaking reality. I too lost my baby, my very first baby, in December last year. I was 7 months pregnant. It was just before Christmas. I remember feeling like i had been hit by a train suddenly. It was so unexpected, it’s shaken me to my core and truly tested my strength. Now, almost a year later, i am once again expecting a baby and here I am facing the holiday season that last year became so hard, almost impossible to get through. I’m so glad i kept on going. That my husband and I were able to support each other. We hold on to hope and happiness for our future. We trust that it has to get better, slowly but surely. I feel like the eye of the storm is getting further behind us and now it’s just thick fog some days. Now I have so much hope growing inside me. I hold both my babies in my heart, with equal love for both of them. I have strengthened and made some beautiful new friendships since living through such a difficult time. I know who i can count on and I know how strong women and true love can be. For that i am so thankful. Some days are still so hard, but the pain is mostly less raw. I try my hardest to hold on to the good memories and happier moments from the past. I like to believe that when i see a glimpse of natural beauty each day, or i feel the wind helping to carry me along the pavement on a particularly difficult day, that this is my first baby letting me know that things are going to get better and that life is mysterious but so beautiful. I finally know what it means and how it feels to live for the moment. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration to others & for sharing your perfect son Paul with us.

  113. This post is so beautiful and so heartbreaking. I am so sorry for your loss.

  114. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and being so honest. And most of all, thank you for sharing Paul. I will be thinking of him tonight. Sending love.

  115. Paul is such a beautiful baby! Thank you for sharing your story.

  116. Kate, you wrote so beautifully about the terrible loss of your perfect little boy. I am so very sorry for the loss you all continue to suffer.

    While your post was so hard to read and I’m sitting here crying, I am also grateful for the reminder to be kind and patient and available for any person in my life who is hurting, and not just initially.

    Again, I’m so sorry for your loss of precious Paul. While I know the grief will remain, I wish for you to have joy and lots of love in your life too.

  117. Kate and Joanna–thank you for this. Loss is still a common part of motherhood, but we rarely speak of it. I cried giant tears reading your words, Kate. Grief is indeed a jagged line. I lost a baby at 18 weeks and know all too well the deep, DEEP sadness of holding a lifeless baby. Thank you for your openness. It is so encouraging to see in the comments here how your story is already creating a more empathetic community around mothers.

  118. You are a gift; your family is a gift. Thank you for opening your world and your tender and beautifully strong heart. From the comments here, it’s so clear how very much you’ve touched many. Sending waves of peace and love…

  119. Kate, you wrote so beautifully about the terrible loss of your perfect little boy. I am so very sorry for the loss you all continue to suffer.

    While your post was so hard to read and I’m sitting here crying, I am also grateful for the reminder to be kind and patient and available for any person in my life who is hurting, and not just initially.

    Again, I’m so sorry for your loss of precious Paul. While I know the grief will remain, I wish for you to have joy and lots of love in your life too.

  120. Happy birthday sweet Paul! He is lucky to have you as his mother. This was such a lovely tribute to him.

  121. Thank you for sharing your beautifully written story with us. Happy birthday to Paul.

  122. oh my goodness. thank you so much for sharing so honestly and bravely. you”re amazing

  123. Heart-wrenching. Incredibly moving. brutally open and honest. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  124. Kate-
    Thank you for sharing your story and Paul with us. I am a fellow baby loss mom (I lost my daughter to stillbirth in February 2010). I commend you for expressing yourself so well, and taking people there with you. This line gave me chills and tears, “Well, realizing the beginning was also the end was heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking.”

    You gave Paul the best birthday gift…you kept him alive today!! Sending you love and hugs!!
    xoxoxo- Buckley

  125. My mother had a still born son 20 years ago. Every year we have a special family dinner and sing happy birthday to him, just like we do for everyone else. Its still a sad day but we use it to be thankful for what we have and the good news is it gets better with time. He is 18 months older than me and will always be the guardian angel for me and my 3 siblings
    My parents are some of the strongest people I know, anyone who has lost a child is, however there is not enough awareness about stillbirths and miscarriages. To lose a child before you have met them is very tough. Thank you for sharing you story.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you, Kate.

  126. Though I have no little ones, I feel your pain. Paul is wonderful, blissful and beautiful. Thanks so much you are a brave would. You are blessed.

  127. My first daughter, Eliza, was stillborn. It will be three years ago this December. I’m so sorry to read about Paul’s death, and I found myself nodding as I read this with tear-filled eyes. Yes especially to the part about people not asking questions, and how ridiculous it is that they were afraid to mention her when she was all I cared about, all I could possibly want to talk about. It’s such a hard road, and it helps even now to know I’m not alone, that other people are speaking my language.

    Thanks also to Joanna, for helping break the silence about stillbirth by sharing the heartbreaking side of motherhood.

  128. Beautifully written. I have no doubt her words are comforting many right now. But boy oh boy I should NOT have read that 8 1/2 months pregnant. Still, my heart goes out to her and all the mothers who have suffered loss and I am thankful she shared such heartfelt words.

  129. Thank you for sharing, Kate. This is very touching and sad and I’m glad you continue to talk about Paul. Your openness has helped so many others who have gone through similar losses.

    Hugs.

  130. Hi Kate, thank you so much for sharing your story and letting us know how we might be able to comfort loved ones (or ourselves) who might experience this.

  131. Thank you Kate for sharing and Johanna for hosting such a personal, heart wrenching and not often discussed experience. I am especially thankful as a ‘bystander’ for Kate addressing what people are missing socially when it comes to acknowledging and discussing this type of life experience. We do want to protect our loved one’s from further hurt and pain however, this post gives us all permission to look ‘Kate’ straight in the eye and ask her to tell us more about ‘Paul’ and maybe most importantly to share in her sadness and pain which in turn is also sharing love.

  132. This is so beautifully written.
    My second child was also stillborn.. a little girl called Grace. I think about her every day.
    I’m so sorry for your loss Kate x

  133. Thank you for sharing your story. Happy Birthday to Paul. (((hugs)) I gave birth to my stillborn twin daughters, Vivian and Annemarie, five years ago. Grief is a hard road. Be gentle with yourself and seek out others who have experienced this type of loss. Some of my best friends I’ve made have been because of my twins – it is not something I would have ever chosen, but it is what it is and I look for little silver linings now (five years later). (((hugs)))

  134. Thank you for sharing your story. Paul and June are very lucky to have you as their mum. Sending love to you and your family!

  135. My heart aches, like really aches, for this family. Thank you so much for sharing. May you take as long as you need to grieve in whatever way you need to grieve. hugs

  136. Joanna, thanks for being a place to not only share this beautiful writing, but also engage in supportive discussion. This is an incredibly important topic and I am so thankful you created a space to discuss and educate others as to how they can best support people in similar circumstances. Kate, thank you for sharing your journey and your beautiful story. June and Paul are so very lucky to have you and Jimmy as their parents. I hope you find peace in your journey and know that there are people out here, near and far, who walk along with you. Happy birthday, sweet Paul!

  137. Thank you so much for sharing.

  138. Thank you for sharing this story. As a mother, I cannot imagine the grief and how it must stay. Paul was a beautiful baby boy. Sending love to you and your family.

  139. You were able to pour words into the hearts and minds of others who have grieved, but not been able to express that grief. What a powerfully written and moving story. Thank you.

  140. Whoops! Sorry for posting twice! x

  141. My heart, tears, prayers and positive vibes are with you. So beautifully written. Happy Birthday to sweet Paul. He is with you. June has a sweet guardian angel.

  142. What an absolutely beautifully written story. You will always be his wonderful mama, and to June as well.thank you for sharing.

  143. so brave, so strong – Thank you for sharing your story Kate.
    Paul will be with you, Jimmy and Jane forever…
    My Mother-in-law also lost her first child, a boy, who was stillborn – she talks about him all the time…I sit and listen, it comforts her to talk about him.
    Thanks Kate and Joanna for bringing this issue to light and talking about it.

  144. I feel blessed to have read this beautiful love story from a mother to her son.
    My little boy William was born on the 22.11.12. We lost a baby boy at (3 months) the year before. As I grieved, I also devoured every book book I could find on the subject. This shared ‘secret language’ somehow easing the burden my broken heart.
    I wish both our beautiful boys a happy birthday.
    Sending love and hugs Kate. Thankyou sharing so eloquently.
    Thankyou Joanna for posting. xx

  145. I feel blessed to have read this journey through the life and love of precious baby Paul.
    Our little boy William was born on the 22.11.12 after losing a baby boy (at 3 months) the previous year. Through my (ongoing) grieving, I also devoured every book I could find on the topic. These shared stories somehow eased the burden on my broken heart.
    William will turn one in 10 days. I wish both our beautiful boys happy birthdays. Sending love, gratitude and hugs Kate.
    Thankyou Joanna for posting this most beautiful and eloquent of love stories. xxx

  146. Beautiful momma. Beautiful babies. Beautiful sharing. Thank you. Praying for you.

  147. Kate-Thank you for telling us about Paul. I know he is honored by your writing and your strength.