the story of Lochlan
This is the big ‘why’ for my passion to spread awareness around death, grief and navigating life after loss.
One of the last days I remember living without a weight in my heart, was when I was 6 months pregnant for the first time. It was a blissful time. My husband and I had just moved back home to the province we grew up in, we moved into a new home and we began to prepare for a life with a child. It truly was a marker in time where I was a different person. Up until that point there had been no real worries in my life, no real struggle, no true sadness. I had lost loved ones, and I had been sad, but not truly - not with my whole being. And not in the way that was coming.
2 months later I was sitting in a hospital room in the most agonizing pain I have ever felt. I was not in labor, but Baby was in critical condition and I had developed Polyhydraminous to the point that it felt like my ribs were cracking open. I screamed in pain while a doctor performed the ultrasound that would tell us our baby boy was incredibly, terribly sick.
Hours later he was delivered via emergency C section as his heart rate plummeted. Not only was I thrust into open surgery with very little details about what I would go through, my husband and I were told that our baby might not survive delivery. But our boy had other plans. Not only did he surprise everyone and survive delivery, he lived a miraculous 22 days. His condition was so rare it was almost impossible to diagnose him. Just before he passed, we discovered that Lochlan had a very, very rare genetic mutation that would not allow him to live.
We made the impossible decision to remove life support and hold him close in his final minutes - that’s what we were told, that we would have minutes to look at his sweet face with no tubes and wires. But once again, my Lochlan had other plans. He lived in our arms for 17 beautiful hours - we held him, rocked him, slept with him, loved him. As I cried tears of agony it felt like I had just birthed him again, that I was finally getting those precious moments I had dreamed of as soon as the stick turned pink.
There is so much here that I am leaving out, so many days worth of agony, of joy, confusion and terror - but over time (5 years in fact) all that unexplained emotion I felt in the NICU has boiled down to one thing… I was with my son, my first born, my baby forever.
The loss of Lochlan has changed me, rocked me to my core, shattered my heart and altered any path I might have been on before. Life holds different meaning to me after holding my child and feeling his life slip away, I simply cannot be the person I was before. But because of him, because of this little beating heart that was grown inside of me, I have walked a path both murky in despair and glowing in warmth. I have begun to rebuild the house inside of me but the shattered pieces fit differently now. There are cracks between each piece, jagged edges and smooth corners.
Sharing his life and sharing our journey not only helps me heal, but it puts to words what other freshly broken hearts cannot say out loud. I wish I had found a place to read all the words I was thinking after Lochlan died, I wish i could have had someone whisper the description of the turmoil deep inside me, just so I could cry and feel a moment of release. I hope my words can do that for another, I hope they crack a broken heart open even wider so that it has a chance to breathe and crumble. Only after we fall apart completely can we see how the new us will fit back together.
For each birthday and holiday, we make donations to two organizations that were monumental in helping keep Lochlan alive, and helping us to let him go.
If you have anything to give, we would be forever grateful if you could donate in his honor.