The 28th of July is a date that is forever engrained on my mind. On that day in 2010, my sister had her baby. My first niece was welcomed into our family and we were all delighted.
However, July 28th 2010 was also the day we lost our own little bean.
We found out a few days previously that our much wanted second baby no longer had a heartbeat, and the miscarriage was “completed” on 28th of July that year. I’ll never forget that feeling. That almost emptiness I was left with, which was swiftly followed by emotions of grief, anger and then ultimately overwhelming sadness.
But in that grief, my niece was that piece of positivity I needed. Having been through their own sadness, I was delighted for my sister and brother in law. It could have been easy to focus on our own loss on that day, but I remember the genuine feelings of happiness and love I felt when I heard of her arrival. We had our son who obviously still brought fun and laughter into our lives, but there’s that feeling of hope that the birth of a new baby brings. In that moment of darkness, her birth was that little ray of light I needed.
The following year, 28th of July 2011, I was in labour with our rainbow baby. If you’re not familiar with the term, a rainbow baby is the name used for a baby born after a loss. After the storm, comes the rainbow.
Our very own rainbow baby kept us waiting an extra day and our little Ben was born on 29th July 2011. The happiest little boy you ever could meet!
Eight years on from that day in 2010, it is my niece’s birthday. She has turned into a clever, funny, kind little girl and she’ll forever have a special place in my heart. It also means that our little Ben turns seven tomorrow. The eve of his birthday is always bittersweet for me. Amongst the excitement and preparations, I can’t help but take a moment to remember the baby we never met. It’s a humbling reminder of how lucky we are to now have three healthy children. It’s a reminder to never take anything for granted and to give them a little extra squeeze before they go off to bed.
So tomorrow will be all about our little Ben. A day of happiness and celebration.
But tonight I will remember that day in 2010.
Here’s to you little bean.