Updated: Jul 31, 2018
"Even though Benjamin never took a breath of air, he existed. He is just as much my son as any of my other children."
On November 9th, Rachel and her family began an unthinkable journey. At an ultra sound the midwife could not find a heart beat. There were no indications throughout her whole pregnancy that anything would be wrong, so even in those moments they never thought it would be because their baby nicknamed Daisy had no heart beat.
But it was a nightmare, a deep loss that would mean delivering her sweet boy on November 11th without breath.
Rachel found herself in the grocery store shortly after Benjamin's birth. A friend, who was in the same due date club approached her and asked her about her baby. She had not heard the news that Benjamin was stillborn and when Rachel told her what had happened, this friend did an amazing thing.
She asked about Benjamin.
This friend wanted to know who Benjamin was. She asked all the questions you would ask if a baby was born with breath. What did you name him? How much did he weigh? Was he tall? What did he look like?
Questions that let Rachel be the mother of Benjamin.
" Death, especially death of a child, is almost considered a taboo topic. Don't bring it up because you might upset the bereaved parent. As if we will be reminded that we have a giant hole in our hearts. As if we are able to, even for a second, forget that it is there. But then we are also forced to keep silent about it. Don't bring up our loved child. Don't mention them for fear of upsetting someone. That is unfair to us, to our child, and to anyone else that has lost someone and feels alone. Nope, I don't play that game. I speak of Benjamin and I don't care who I make uncomfortable. It's my story, he's my child, it's my experience. It doesn't make me uncomfortable or sad to speak of him so it shouldn't make anyone else either. And if it does then I'm sorry, but I don't want to hear about religion, politics, zombies, or financial issues. Those make me uncomfortable, sad or scared but that doesn't stop people from openly speaking about them. Why should speaking of someone that I love with every fibre of my body be taboo? "
Rachel wants to talk about Benjamin. She wants to show photos, to talk about his tiny fingers and to be met with understanding that his life is a part of her. And it isn't just in those first months. 9 years later there are so many "firsts" that go by and that need to be grieved as well. People can be afraid of mentioning a deceased child. It is as if they are afraid of reminding someone their child is dead or making the person sad. The opposite is true. In those moments, it let's us be their parent.
"Even though Benjamin never took a breath of air, he never lived outside of my belly, he existed. He is just as much my son as any of my other children. It wasn't a pregnancy loss, it was the loss of my child."