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  • Writer's pictureJen Chappell

Share Your Story Tuesday- Rhys

“How many kids do you have?” “Three” is

always my response. “My son would be five. He passed away at four months old. My middle daughter is three, and my youngest is a few months old.” The blank stare I get in response is the same blank feeling I have inside when I say it out loud. I know he’s gone, but I also know he is still here in many ways. Although he only spent four short months here with us, my sweet Rhys had a massive impact on everyone who met him. Finding out I was pregnant came as a huge shock, I was terrified. When I let his dad know, he asked “why are you crying? This is a good thing!” From that moment on, I knew he was going to be the best dad ever. My pregnancy was smooth sailing, becoming a mother was amazing. Becoming Rhys’s mother was even more amazing. There were nights I wished he would just fall asleep, now I just wish I had sat there a little bit longer and held him a little bit tighter. His smile lit up the room, his giggle was contagious. Then in an instant it was gone, our entire lives changed forever. I put my sweet boy down for a nap and when I went to wake him, there was no response, he was gone. We were rushed to the hospital after what felt like hours of waiting for the first responders to arrive. In that moment holding my baby boy’s hand, begging him not to be gone, the doctor said words no mother ever wants to hear, “I am sorry your son is gone.” There’s that word again. Gone. How am I going to navigate life without him, he was my life.

Luckily for me his daddy was, and still is, my rock. His first birthday happened to land on Father’s Day, and my rock was working out of town. Off I went on a four hour drive to spend that precious day with him. I also got to share the news with him, we were pregnant! Nine months later our wild child daughter came along. To say we were terrified is an understatement. She proved to us that we could be parents, that we would be okay. Now at three years old she loves her brotherly dearly, even though she doesn’t completely understand.

Our story doesn’t end there though. July 2018 we were just over 15 weeks pregnant and yet another doctor had to tell us more devastating news, “your baby stopped growing at 10 weeks and your body has not recognized it, a missed miscarriage.” How, why us? There is no knowing for sure but we held on to knowing that Rhys was lucky enough to gain a sibling in heaven with him, even though it left us with even more heartbreak.

Just two months later we found out we were expecting again. Holy crap, what is going to happen, can my body handle this? Is it going to happen again? We counted our lucky stars as we welcomed our sweet third child, another baby girl, to the family in May. Life got a whole lot crazier, and our hearts got a whole lot fuller. We finally got to experience what it was like to have two kids together. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions. So many “what ifs” and “I wish.” But instead we try to focus on his memory, so that the grief doesn’t absorb us. We speak often of him and remember how amazing he was. I am so thankful he made me the mother I am today.

SIDS has no explanation, so to us November 9th, 2014 is a unexplainable day. However, the days prior to that were some of the best days of our lives.

For all the mothers and fathers out there living with a broken heart, I can promise you it will always be missing a piece. However, over time your heart grows bigger and allows for more amazing days and laughter, because our little ones would want that for us.

We are so grateful for everyone that has stood by our side and continue to say his name with pride. We love you more then words can say, Rhys.

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