Friday, July 22, 2016

Dear Finn...

How much more heartache can one family take?

Actually, I don't want to know the answer to that question. 

When I got the call Monday morning telling me that you were already gone, I was shocked. Shocked. 

To be honest...I thought we'd already met the statistics. Babies just don't die that often after the second and third trimester. I mean...the people that I've met that it's happened to? I know them because of Luke. Those are the types of circles I run in. 

But you were MY nephew. This wasn't supposed to happen to us again. We already paid our dues. We already lost Luke. 

First was the shock. Then the tears came flooding back. Every thought I had that day we were told Luke was gone ran through my head again. How? When? Did he struggle? What happened? He has to be delivered! When? 

Oh my god. 

Except this time, I knew what was coming. Because these are the circles I run in now. I know people who've been through this at all stages of pregnancy. 20 weeks. 34 weeks. 42 weeks. How fucked up is it that I know these things? That I knew Finn probably wouldn't be considered a stillborn at 19 weeks + a few days. That that MATTERS. That I knew he'd have to be delivered the hard way. That questions about autopsies and mortuaries were coming. 

I got to the hospital, and watched again as hearts broke each time a new person walked through the door. This time, there were new faces. But the pain was all the same. 

We'd have to wait for Lauren to start labor. Which is absurd when you're just 20 weeks. This journey would take much longer than ours meeting Luke. But it was still so unfair. 

No mama should ever have to give birth to death. To their own, much-wanted baby. To silence. 

Soon enough, it was Wednesday. And things were still progressing slowly. I called a photographer, knowing there was no way my brother could possibly document any of what was coming--no matter how talented of a photographer he may be. 

We waited at the hospital for hours. And soon enough, you were here. At 9:41pm on July 20, you were born. With the cord wrapped too tightly around your neck. 

When we heard the news about your cord, heart felt like it stopped. How? How could we have lost you to a cord accident too? We already HAVE a cord loss in our family. How was this possible? At 20 weeks? How is it possible that two out of seven babies in my immediate family have died before birth from a cord accident? 

What I know is that we will likely never have an answer. 

What I know is how to survive this. How to work to remember you. How to be there for your parents. Who to call at the mortuary. When to bring cookies. 

I will never understand this. It will always haunt me. It will always be absolutely absurd that my family has had to go through the death of two babies. It will never be ok and no matter how much I've been able to help others through this, I'd trade it all to just have both of you here, somehow. 

The paths that are paved for us by life change so much about who we come to be. We didn't choose the path that brought us Luke, then Lena and Lainey. And we would never have chosen this for you, Finn. You were supposed to be Lainey's BFF. Like E and Lena. And now all of those dreams will be tucked away with our dreams we had for Luke. 

I still have a hard time putting away those dreams, 4 years later. I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever stop wondering, but I'm positive the answer is that I won't. Now we're short two boys in our family. Which seems like a gaping hole at this point. 

I mean, we've been through enough right? 

I'm still in disbelief. I still can't believe we're surviving this again. How can you really be gone too?

I know you and Luke will be BFFs, wherever you are. In some ways, it's comforting to believe that the two of you are traveling whatever forms you might be in. Maybe now your lights will be twice as bright... 

I love you, always, sweet Finn. You were perfect. And so, so, so loved. 

I hope you know that--wherever you are. 

All my love, 
Auntie Jen

(And Heather...there aren't enough thank yous for this picture. We needed it so much. You're the best BFFBLM I could ask for.)