For MooMaw (To my mom for helping me through my pregnancy and stillbirth)

A few years ago my brother and I decided that if we ever had kids they were going to call our mom “MooMaw” because we thought it was hilarious and she hated it. She was so mad when my phone call woke her up at 3 am on 3/13/18, but when I told her she was going to be a MooMaw for real this time she was so excited. I wanted to go to my first OB appointment alone but she said “Hell f*cking no” and she listened to my baby’s heart beat with me when I was less than 7 weeks pregnant. She helped me buy all of the supplies and plan his gender reveal. She payed for the 3D sonogram when I was only 14 weeks and she’s the first person who knew the gender and kept it a secret. My mom wanted the baby to be a boy and she swore she knew it was a boy and she was right.

Half way through my pregnancy I moved in with her so she could help me take care of Ryche, she WANTED to help. She insisted on ordering his crib when I was only like 3 months pregnant, and she made sure I knew that she would be dressing him on game days. We live in Downtown and she would say that her and Ryche were going to go for city walks in his stroller and I would say it wasn’t possible because I would be wearing him in a baby carrier. We were fighting over him before he was even here. We talked about Ryche all the time and we couldn’t wait to love on him and share him.

She was prepared to take the night shifts when I needed help or sleep and she said if he didn’t wake up on his own at 5 am that she would wake him up and then give him back when she left for work..that’s her version of feeding him a bunch of sugar and sending him home. She said I had no choice but to pump bottles since I was planning to breastfeed because she was to get feeding privileges at least once a day. We had the days I was going to work planned out around her work schedule because she was so excited and happy to spend all of her free time watching her first and only grandchild.

My mom helped me plan my baby shower and we made all of the decorations ourselves and she rented the clubhouse at our apartment for the party. Her tiny one bedroom apartment was PACKED full of my stuff and her stuff and baby stuff until we moved into a bigger place a couple weeks later.

My mom is a surgical tech and she told her boss that if I went into labor while she was working that she would be walking out of surgery and she planned to take a week off whenever he was my son was born and they were ok with it.

Everyone knew how excited she was. My mom went to my doctors appointments, non medical ultrasounds, midwife appointments, and she is the one who drove me to the hospital when I was in active labor.

My mom was also in the room with me when the doctor told me my baby was “deceased” inside of me. I was numb and my mom was freaking out inside. After Ryche was born my mom stayed in the hospital with me for two nights. She would get up and spend 15 minutes adjusting my pillows so I could get comfortable while holding the baby I wouldn’t get to take home.

When we got home from the hospital my heart was so broken that I wanted to die. My mama never left my side. We slept in the same room for two weeks until I could finally sleep in the same room where Ryche’s things were still waiting for him.

My body was so sore and I was so sad and empty. My mom helped dress me, she helped me walk from one room to the next. She made sure I had the food I wanted if I felt like eating, and she had my medications ready at the times I needed to take them. My mom did everything for me. I don’t think she really even slept those first few weeks because she was so worried about me.

My mom went with me to exchange the hundreds of diapers that were given to me at my baby shower and she was there when the cashier asked how old my baby was and we both almost cried.

My mom has still been here as I adjust to this new version of myself and as I try to figure out what is next for me. Sometimes she gives me her opinion when I don’t want it and she says things when she just should not..BUT I have the best mama in the entire world and I cannot imagine surviving the loss of my son without her.

My mom was already my best friend but I see that she loves my brother and I the way that I love Ryche, and the love she has for my son is one of a kind. I am forever thankful I was given the mother I was given. Love you Mama.

This is one of the only pictures we got of all three of us. We had a lifetime planned. We love you ryche. I miss taking about you and thinking we would get to keep you forever.

My mom loves the song “Dear Mama” by Tupac and the song has always been a joke between the two of us and my brother. Just a couple of days after I got this tattoo I found out I was pregnant with Ryche. I love it even more because Ryche was literally a part of me when I got it and my mom has seriously earned my appreciation.

A letter to my stillborn son

My sweet boy,

I won’t get to change your diapers or breastfeed you and make your baby food myself. You will never wear the clothes or use the blankets and bibs I had clean and ready for you. I won’t get to see you roll over or smile for the first time. I never even got to see you open your eyes or hear you cry..I wonder what your cry would have sounded like. I wish your cry was waking me up all night but it’s not.

You will never crawl away from me when I’m changing your diapers and I won’t jump up and down when you take your first steps. You won’t make a mess when you eat and there will never be a stinky baby to bathe. You will never use the big boy potty and you won’t wet the bed or have even one bad dream.

You will never be a toddler who clings to me and sleeps half way across my bed every night. I’ll never have to fight you to eat your vegetables or to wash your hands after you go to the bathroom. I won’t get to read the same bedtime stories one hundred times or tuck you in and give you goodnight kisses. I’ll never have to chase monsters out of your room or help you put on your pajamas after bath time. We will never sing the alphabet song or learn to count to 10. You will never kick your feet and sing along to the radio from your carseat.

I won’t have the chance to cry when I drop you off for your first day of kindergarten and I’ll never get to embarrass you in middle school. I’ll never get to watch you play sports and you won’t wear a number two jersey like I imagined. I won’t be a nervous wreck while you’re sleeping over at a friends for the first time and I won’t wonder where time has gone when you graduate middle school.

You will never go on your first date and I won’t get to humiliate you in front of your little girlfriends. You won’t turn 16 and I won’t teach you to drive and then celebrate when you get your license. I’ll never get to take pictures of you and your date before homecoming and I won’t see you in a tux before you go to Senior Prom.

I don’t have to worry about being sad when you leave for college, you wouldn’t want to go too far from your mama anyways would you?? You won’t come home to visit on Christmas break or any other break. I won’t get to meet the last girl you would ever bring home. The girl you would give my ring to, the girl you would marry. You won’t have babies who look just like you, you won’t make me a grandma. You won’t be there when I’m old and dying and all I want is my baby boy.

You would have been such a funny, crazy kid. You would be half me and half your dad, which scared me to be honest. But I knew you would be a mama’s boy and I know you would have loved me so much, I couldn’t wait to feel that love from you. I loved you the very moment I knew you were in my belly and my love for you only grew while you did. I convinced myself that I was put on this earth to be your mama so it is hard moving forward without you. I miss you so incredibly much and I love you more than anything.

Love, your mama

I lost my brand new baby, my sweet innocent toddler, my fearless kid, my funny handsome teenager, and the good man my son would have grown to be. I lost a lifetime of memories we should have made together. I lost my Ryche..a part of me. I imagined a whole life for us and those dreams will never come true. Nothing will ever compare to Ryche and no one could ever replace him.