Mother to Son

Dear Dakota,

I was watching The Fault in Our Stars during that awful smattering of days when I knew I was losing you. Following Gus’s death, Hazel is inconsolable. Her father finds her crying, wraps an arm around her shoulders and says,

But it sure was a privilege to love him, huh?

It was a privilege to love you, my star-crossed boy. You were exactly as we had imagined – spunky, difficult, a devil-may-care terror waiting to make a playground of his world, just like your uncle. You were the product of a high-stakes pilgrimage to the Rocky Mountains, conceived and frozen by world-class doctors, flown two thousand miles home to us and lovingly received into a warm place we meticulously cultivated for you. And oh how we fretted over your life, the beta, the heartbeat, the bleeding. I gushed apocalyptic pools of blood that nearly stopped my heart with panic four separate times in those early months, and you remained unfazed in your little amniotic bubble, churning out powerful waves of hormones that left me crouched over the toilet most nights, but I was so happy to suffer for you. We survived a major car accident together, spinning, rolling, scrambling out of the moon-roof, riding in the ambulance like VIPs. Your watery acrobatics frustrated the endeavors of nearly every ultrasound and MRI tech in your path. You were so charming on the screen, sucking your thumb, holding those little feet, kicking away at the corners of my pelvic bone, mugging for profile shots to show off your perfect nose, even in the early days when babies still tend to look like alien lifeforms. Some of the sweetest moments were in the quiet minutes after waking, lingering in the soft blankets and twilight, feeling you knock on my belly from the inside as if to say, “Good morning, Mama.”

I’m sorry that your body, my body (the mysteries of the universe) failed you. You were our miracle, a bright light of happiness stumbled upon at long last “in the middle of the journey of our [lives]…in a dark wood.” You were wanted and loved beyond measure. Dakota – the Sioux word for ‘friend’ or ‘ally,’ an honorable name that resonated with so many of the virtues we wanted to engender in you, strength, loyalty – it was my privilege to feed and protect you, to watch you grow, to share this symbiosis, your cells with my cells in an ancient dance. I just wish I could have loved you from the outside.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)

Forevermore, my sweet baby boy.

48 thoughts on “Mother to Son

    • I am mortified, I just realized that my entire comment did not get posted.It was supposed to go on to say:
      It’s amazing that you are able to use such beautiful words to share such a heartbreaking loss. I am so sorry for all that you are going through right now, this is beyond unfair.


  1. I don’t know you but seeing your post pop up on my screen i stopped everything , took a moment to read.. hoping..
    I am in floods here, having followed your journey through the words you so courageously share.. I don’t know what to say.. i am so deeply sorry. The love that spills from those words you write are some of the most beautiful i have ever read.The loss is unimaginable, the pain you must be in, I’m so sorry. This little soul will be with you forever and you with him. Deep bow to you. Holding you in my heart everyday.


  2. I’m so sorry for your immense loss. Been keeping you in my thoughts since your last few posts. I am sending you much strength to endure this impossible time, and wishing you some peace and comfort while you work to mend your heart.


  3. I’m so sorry. There’s nothing I can say except how unfair this all is. I’m crying for you and your sweet boy. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I feel so helpless sitting behind my computer and typing these words. I wish I could wrap my arms around you. Thinking of you and hoping you are ok.


  4. I’m so incredibly sad and sorry. Wishing you strength, peace, and love in the coming days and forever more. You honor Dakota with your words and your love for him. I’m so very, very sorry.


  5. I’m so very sorry… Said so plainly to such a beautiful and heart wrenching post. There are no words…just know we are all sharing a tiny bit of your pain and you are cared for by so many. Dakota you were loved and prayed for by countless strangers…peace on your journey little one.


  6. And, for this, there are NO words, none, that I can think of to express my heartbreaking sadness.

    I hope that this post brings you a measure of comfort in the days, weeks, months ahead as you navigate this immense and deep loss.

    My heart is heavy for you and what should have been.


  7. I’m so sorry: for you, your husband, your sweet boy; for all of us here crying out against your news; but most of all, for the loss of what should have been.


  8. I stumbled on your blog looking for encouragement after the first of three family building cycles at CCRM. My first CCRM cycle ended in miscarriage. I am incredibly sorry for your loss and will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.


  9. The browser has been open to this post all day, and I keep rereading it, but I can never find the words. My heart breaks for you, hon. Chance is cruel and you and your son didn’t deserve this. I’m honoring him today, lighting my wave of hope candle for your baby. He will live on in your heart, and in the hearts of those who love him. You’re in my thoughts.


  10. I am so, so sorry. My heart is breaking for you and the tears are flowing freely. There are just no words. Thinking of you and your precious Dakota and wishing you strength and comfort in this time.


  11. Oh my god. My heart is broken for you. I am so sorry. I wish there were words that could help to ease this pain, or some way to help you carry this heaven burden. I will light a candle for Dakota, and keep him in my thoughts.


  12. This is just…I have no words. I am so truly and deeply sorry for your heartbreak …I can’t imagine. Your words to your son are some of the beautiful I have ever had the privilege to read. Sending you peace …


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  16. I am so, so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful post to share such heartbreaking news. I am just brought to tears by, “I’m sorry I never got to love you from the outside.” Thinking of you and your family at this time of loss.


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  18. I found this post through Mel’s blog. I am so, so sorry that you had to write this. Simply unfair and unimaginable. Wishing you peace and comfort.


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