As I looked through my drafts of post ideas, I saw my “Baby Bumpdate” post sitting in the queue… as I stared at the title, for what seemed like an eternity, I realized something… when I was pregnant and my baby was present and healthy, I had no problem happily posting “bump pics” and sweet little taglines on how much we loved him, how excited we were to meet him, how we couldn’t wait for him to join our crazy family. He was real. He was my son. We dreamed of his future, how he was going to be my little buddy, how he was going to love cars and hockey just like his dad, and how he was going to be just what our spunky little Gianna needed. I was going to have 2 babies under 2 for a few weeks… man was I ready for the challenge!

However, sometimes life plays out a lot different than you imagined. Just because Michael’s life on earth ended early, doesn’t mean he had less of an impact on our lives or that because he never breathed a breath out of my womb meant he was not our son, Gianna’s brother, or my baby. No, quite the opposite actually. God helped me see that while my “bump dates” were designed to help anticipate his arrival in the earthly sense, we can now anticipate and look forward to our reunion in heaven.

Now that I have an angel baby of my own in heaven, my heart aches even more deeply for those women who have lost babies at any stage. When you are past the point of pregnancy where your loss is no longer considered a miscarriage, but a stillbirth, not many people can relate to you, and many people have no idea what happens when a baby dies – I know I didn’t.

Michael was considered a stillborn. I had to be induced and deliver him in the hospital. We held him, loved on him, and prayed over him. We had to fill out a death certificate, make funeral arrangements, and leave the hospital without our baby. Instead of our newborn son, I was wheeled out with a box of his memories in my lap.

Deciding to make our grief public has helped my husband and I recognize our baby Michael and his place in our life. Talking about him and what we have been through as a family has helped free some of my emotions, making it seem less like a burdensome secret that no one can know about. Sharing my story and the little legacy my son left behind is a complete honor.

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