"Never has my heart truly felt the pain that the word empty can hold until now, my arms are empty as is my heart."
Today, August 15th, was Maddox’s due date. He came early on April 22nd, at only 23 weeks and 3 days. He was my 3rd baby, and 3rd child I’ve lost. It was discovered almost 10 years ago during the complications of my first pregnancy that I had a uterine abnormality, to which I was told I would more than likely never be able to carry a baby to term without corrective surgery. The first time I had the surgery, unbeknownst to me, it was done incorrectly. It wasn’t until 9 years later when we were ready to start a family that I learned my second baby too would not get a chance at life. After losing that child I would need a specialist to have surgery again. Maddox was our rainbow baby, I got pregnant 3 months after the second surgery. I cried in excitement when I found out I was having a boy, I had always wanted a little boy. I imagined his giggle, the hilarious things he would say as a toddler, and how much I would unconditionally love him more each day just as I had since the day I found out I was pregnant. But the complications came only 19 weeks into the pregnancy. My cervix was dilating and quickly, my water was leaking and I was put on strict bedrest for several weeks. Three days after being admitted into the hospital the contractions came on like a freight train and the medicine to stop them wasn’t working. He came into this world with the sound of a tiny cry that changed my life forever. He weighed only 1 ½ pounds. We thought because we made it past “Viability” of 23 weeks, that we were just in for a long NICU stay. Maddox showed great progress in his first week, we would hear from doctors and nurses how great he was doing. I even got to reach inside his isolate and hold his tiny hands and feet at times when his stats were stable. Our eyes were glued on him, he was our amazing miracle baby, so perfectly beautiful and strong. At 10 days old he opened his eyes, I have never felt love like I did when his gorgeous dark eyes gazed at mine, it was a feeling of complete, true happiness. Maddox’s health started to decline around 2 am on the 2nd of May, and at 2:15 pm I held my baby for the first and last time as he took his last breaths. It was the best and worst moment of my life all at the same time. I held him 5 hours, I didn’t want to let him go, he was finally in my arms, but the heartbreaking reality was that he was gone. My body failed him, it wasn’t his fault, he fought so hard, his tiny soul could finally rest. He lived for 11 days, but will live in me and bring purpose to everything I do forever. Never has my heart truly felt the pain that the word empty can hold until now, my arms are empty as is my heart. An unimaginable pain I am overcome with a magnitude of sadness and anxiety I never knew could exist, and succumb to a permanent feeling of hopelessness. My whole being aches for him every single day, I would give anything for one more moment with him. I cry so often it just become a part of who I am, I will never be the same. It’ll never be understood as to why this had to happen, he deserved a chance at life, and I would have given him, and his two siblings mine, for them to get that opportunity.