There are a few songs by Sara Bareilles that really speak to me in a sentimental way. “Send Me the Moon” is of course about Benjamin; every line describes those last days until the moment he passed with more clarity than I could hope to convey. Sometimes when it comes around on my playlist, it makes me smile. Sometimes it makes me cry. Sometimes I just skip past it.

The Light is another song of hers that has felt connected to Benjamin for me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it until just the other day. The lyrics didn’t fit from me to Benjamin, but I realized they do apply to Eddie.

The day we found out about the hernia, we were glued together under the covers for hours. Panicking. What was the right thing to do? How do we find the best care for him? Everything changed that day, and we didn’t even know how completely it had just yet. It was only the beginning.

Together, we switched into survivor mode. Calls were made, plans were finalized, our employers worked things out for us. We packed up and headed to Philadelphia, unsure of when we’d return and whether it would be two or three of us when we did.

Eddie was there for every appointment and test, just as he had been whenever humanly possible throughout the pregnancy when everything was good. He asked questions, held my hand, made sure I was always comfortable.

When Dr. Khalek delivered us the news of Ben’s translocation, she left us to process it alone. The room started spinning, and I swear I would have fallen off the bed if not for Eddie firmly holding me in place. He held me, and I held him, and together, we were once again glued together, watching our world change once again.

I remember standing in the packed elevator of the hospital on our way to the car so we could leave and wait for Ben to come. We had gotten separated by families as we stopped at each floor. Eddie was wearing his infamous “Go Ahead, Poke Me” shirt when a man, holding his child, took him up on his shirt’s offer and poked him. This happens pretty often when he wears this shirt, and while it’s usually a good icebreaker, it obviously was not a good time. I watched Eddie turn his head and give the man and his baby a half, brokenhearted smile, then look straight ahead at the elevator door again.

A couple days later, we were driving to the hotel. Eddie was singing along to “Then” by Brad Paisley, as usual.

Now you’re my whole life
Now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe
The way I feel about you, girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then

He started singing the next line, “I can just see you with a baby on the way,” when he realized what he was singing and quickly turned off the radio. Not for himself, but to protect me.

He packed up and moved us from hotel to hotel as we moved around while in Philadelphia, carrying bags and pillows and nonsense up and down elevators and garages and parking lots as the final days of pregnancy pulled my hips apart. He held me every morning and each night, worked out of the hotel rooms and dropped everything when the weight of what was happening crushed me. We snuggled and floated in the pool at night, and we kissed more deeply than ever–strong, passionate, tender, caring kisses. I love you. We can do this. We are strong enough.

When my water broke, I was in a fog. He maintained direction. He packed up our things, strewn about the entire hotel room, after setting me up in the car on a pillow.

He held my hand while I pushed. Stroked my hair and face. He encouraged me as if everything about the delivery was normal–good job, you’re doing great, you’ve got this. Gave me strength when I struggled through those final pushes, knowing that doing so would start the clock on the end of Benjamin’s life.

He spoke to Benjamin, held his tiny little hand, tickled his foot. Hearing him seeking a reaction from his son is one of the hardest things about watching the footage we have of Ben alive.

Burned into my memory is the shade of blue his eyes were, full of tears, looking back at me, holding our son after he’d passed, before making his way to the waiting room to tell our family. So much was said without words, and despite the sadness of what happened, it was beautiful. There was a vulnerability in that moment that connected us on a deeper level than ever before.

Together, we mourned.

We had both been changed in an instant, and we got to work on getting to know each other all over again. We kissed for hours every night, because it seemed like the only thing we could do to try and heal each other’s hearts.

We once again packed and moved back across the country to Phoenix–Eddie doing almost everything as I was only a couple weeks postpartum. And he never complained. He just did it.

The results from our karyotypes came in while we were driving through Texas. It was me. My chromosomes had done this to us, to Benjamin. Guilt squeezed at my heart, even though it wasn’t my fault. I still felt like if Eddie hadn’t met me, he would have never had to go through what we’d just gone through. I still obviously wish he hadn’t, but it’s almost overwhelming when I think about how lucky I was to have him by my side with me throughout it all.

The loss of a child can easily tear people apart. In our case, not only did we stay together–we became stronger. We became better to each other and for each other. And then we became parents to Paisley, then Oliver. His strength and resolve as a father and husband has only magnified since losing Benjamin, and Paisley and Oliver have the kind of father that we created the day Ben was born.

Eddie was my rock throughout it all. Still is on the bad days. I can only hope I afforded him the same level of strength and support. Looking back, I don’t feel like I gave him the credit he deserved throughout this blog. So I wanted to fix that.

Tomorrow is his birthday. I’m so happy he was born so we could make this life together. Thank you for being my center, darling hubby. Happy Birthday.

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You can check out pics of the kids via Instagram.

“The Light”

In the morning it comes, heaven sent a hurricane
Not a trace of the sun, but I don’t even run from rain
Beating out of my chest, my heart is holding on to you
From the moment I knew
From the moment I knew

You’re the air in my breath, filling up my love-soaked lungs
Such a beautiful mess, intertwined and overrun
Nothing better than this, oh, and then the storm can come
You feel just like the sun
Just like the sun

And if you say we’ll be all right
I’m gonna trust you, babe
I’m gonna look in your eyes
And if you say we’ll be all right
I’ll follow you into the light

Never mind what I knew, nothing seems to matter now
Ooh, who I was without you, I can do without
No one knows where it ends, how it may come tumbling down
But I’m here with you now
I’m with you now

And if you say we’ll be all right
I’m gonna trust you, babe
I’m gonna look in your eyes
And if you say we’ll be all right
I’ll follow you into the light

Let the world come rush in
Come down hard, come crushing
All I need is right here beside me
I’m not enough, I swear it
But take my love and and wear it over your shoulders

And if you say we’ll be all right
I’m gonna trust you, babe
I’m gonna look in your eyes
And if you say we’ll be all right
I’ll follow you into the light

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