Updated: May 23
This blog contains the story and pictures of two brothers; a stillbirth, as well the birth of a rainbow baby. Both of these boys are the beloved children of Brooke and Logan who deserve to both have their stories shared.
My phone rang and on the other line was my friend Michelle. I made a joke upon answering and she laughed but the energy immediately felt uncomfortable.
I was asked if I could be put on speaker phone and this shaky little voice said, “Hi Melissa”. It was Michelle’s pregnant stepdaughter who had checked in with little questions throughout the pregnancy, but I hadn’t heard from her recently. I wasn’t ready for what would come next…
”I went for an ultrasound today after not feeling the baby move and they said he doesn’t have a heartbeat. Do you think they could be wrong?”
My heart sank. I took what felt like the longest pause ever and then I asked, “What does your intuition tell you?”
Then I heard her start to sob.
She later told me that everyone she came in contact with that day, after they received the news, had been telling her things, but I was the only person that suggested she check in with her own mind/body and baby.
There’s no right thing to say when someone has lost their child. So I offered the only thing that I could and that was to support them during the birth of their son.
They were understandably unsure what they needed or wanted and inviting a stranger in at this moment wasn’t an immediate yes.
Later that night Michelle would call and tell me that they asked her to be there, but she wasn’t sure if she could be the support they would need. I talked through all the things she could do and what to expect. Then she asked me if there was any way I could be there with them tomorrow.
It was peak Covid. Michelle was already an accommodation the hospital was making and I couldn’t imagine them allowing a third person. I told her that I might be able to sneak in for a bit at the beginning. When I arrived the hospital staff agreed to allowing me in to see them.
They were quiet. Logan holding Brooke tightly laying in bed with her. I asked if they wanted to know what to expect and Brooke grabbed a tissue and nodded her head.
Logan later asked if I could stay. I was honored to have earned their trust.
The universe is complicated and at
times seems so wildly unfair. This induction would take days. I did what I could to balance the sadness and support, with laughter because it was the only way we were going to survive this.
Brooke and Logan had a beautiful son,
Luca, in the wee hours of the morning. All the birth workers took time leaving the space to cry, to realign, and to change our wet masks.
I was later honored by Hope After Loss for, after being nominated by Brooke, for the support I provided their family during Luca's birth. Attending a stillbirth as a birth worker is truly one of the greatest and traumatic honors that you can be given.
The 3 of us attended the honoree dinner together where Brooke wouldn't be able to hide her little secret any longer, as her bump was in full effect! She was once again pregnant, this time with Luca's little brother.
Since losing Luca in week 39 of pregnancy, Brooke knew that her anxiety would grow too big everyday after the gestational date they lost Luca. Brooke and Logan, along with their care providers, had decided that an induction at 38 weeks, would be the best option. Brooke's anxiety during the pregnancy and her fear would be something we would work on constantly. We texted, talked and FaceTimed almost daily.
They sent me this pic just a short while after they arrived for the induction. (Gosh I love them so much.) As I was driving to meet them at the hospital, I knew deep down that everything was going to be fine, but I couldn't help to have a sense of worry. I knew they would get a crying wiggly baby this time, but I hoped that they were ready. I hope that we could all feel Luca with us, in a joyful way, and rather than in a ‘I wish it was him way’.
While often times 2nd time birthing people have faster births and faster inductions, I prepped both of them for another long haul. I don’t think that anyone else was prepped for it in the same way though. Statistically, things should move faster than her first induction, but bodies are not the biggest component in the way labor goes, our brains are.
It would take days to get Brooke’s body into labor. Luckily, there were very patient providers on staff, who weren’t interested in rushing things.
While I could feel the excitement of Logan building once Brooke started contracting, I could feel the fear creep up in Brooke. It wasn’t the fear of contractions or labor, she was handling that well, it was the fear that only someone who has been through a loss can understand.
“How can I possibly love this baby anymore than I love my other child?” “How does this child not cause me even more grief as a mourn all the things I didn’t get to have with my first child?” “I’m already a mother, but I’ve never had to mother a living breathing child. Can I do this?” “What if I lose this baby too?” The list goes on and on.
When Brooke reached 10cm she began to sob. “I’m scared.”
To which Logan lovingly replied, “There’s nothing to be afraid of. You did so good at pushing the last time. You’re amazing at this.”
To which I replied, “She’s not actually afraid of pushing. She’s afraid of something much bigger.” Brooke then buried her face into my body and we cried together for a bit.
She needed a pause and luckily her body gave it to her.
Everyone in the room got themselves together and it was time to finally meet their 2nd son.
Brooke would push for minutes before a head started emerging. The nursing staff began to rush to find a doctor to catch the baby.
It would be only minutes before we heard Beckham announce through loud and healthy cries that he was earthside.
The tears began to flow again.
Beckham was born into the loving arms of his mother, on day 3 of the induction at 12:22am.
This is little boy is so loved and cherished. He picked the perfect parents for himself 💕
Brooke and I are forever bonded in the heartbreak that is Luca, but Beckham gave us the gift of also being bonded in joy and for that I will forever be thankful to be a part of his birth story 💕
While there is so much to be grateful for, I want to take time for a little PSA.
Once you have been through what Brooke and Logan have you realize just how precious life is. Truly in a way that anyone who hasn’t lost a child will never understand.
The anxiety doesn’t decrease now that you have a wiggly baby in your arms; it increases.
If you’re a doula or a support person/family/friend of someone who is now parenting for the first time, even though they’ve technically been parents for years, make extra space for these loved ones. Be patient with their questions and inquiries and create a list of positive responses to help ease their anxious mind ahead of time.
Take their calls, answer their FaceTimes and watch their “what is this baby doing?!?!” videos.
“This is totally normal!” followed by the facts as to why/how is the best response tool in your tool box.
If you’re a loss parent who needs a little support @brooke.delorge on IG is a loving ear who is always willing to discuss her journey and if you’re a doula who is wondering how to best support a family in stillbirth or in the birth after a stillbirth don’t hesitate to email at email@example.com
Also a random siting of me holding a baby. Beckham and I are besties.