So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I remember the exact moment as if it was yesterday.

“One more push,” the doctor said.

It was about to get real.

Way too real.

“My baby is almost here,” I thought excitedly.

And there you were. Seven pounds and seven ounces of pure perfection. They immediately put you right on my chest. I will never ever forget the feeling. I loved you so much I felt my heart might burst. This was the way it was supposed to be all along.

Mama and baby.

The best day of my life.

That was, until they took you away. You were immediately rushed to the “transitional nursery”. Next stop would be NICU.

In the span of a minute, I went from being the happiest mama in the world to the saddest.

It just wasn’t fair.

It wasn’t fair I didn’t get to hold you longer.

It wasn’t fair you were born with only half of a functioning heart.

I am so, so sorry, my sweet Liam.

When I finally did get to see you, my heart broke even more. You were hooked up to all these machines. Tubes were placed up your nose.

“What did I do to my poor little baby?” I thought.

Nine days later, I said the same as held you in my arms.

This time, you were free from all the machines and tubes. You were at peace in Heaven.

Ten years later, I know it wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t your father’s, either.

Early on, family and friends urged us not to blame ourselves. They told us it would make your little soul sad. Maybe they were right.

Even still, it didn’t make your loss any easier to take.

Liam, we think about you every single day. Since your loss, we have had two beautiful rainbow babies, Julia and Owen. They ask about you a lot. They wonder why they never got to meet you.

For that, I have no answers. Perhaps I never will.

And then, there is fifth grade.

This year you would have been 10 years old and going into fifth grade!

I often wonder what you would look like. You were born with a beautiful head of red hair. Would it have gone lighter or darker?

Would you prefer the Yankees or Mets?

Would you be going crazy over Fortnite, along with the rest of the nation’s youth?

What gifts and talents would you be sharing with us today?

I also wonder about your quality of life. Would your schedule be filled with constant doctor’s appointments? What about surgeries? How long would it take you to bounce back? How limited would your physical activities be?

Today, 10 years later, my heart has not fully healed.

I tell your little brother and sister all the time they have a guardian angel watching over them.

Although we have moved on, our lives will never be complete without you.

Liam, even though you are not here physically, your spirit remains with us. You are, and will always be, my firstborn child.

I continue to tell people I have three children.

Throughout the years, we have found unique ways to remember you,

We release balloons ever year for your birthday.

We decorate your grave seasonally.

Each Christmas, we donate a toy in your honor.

We talk about you a lot. As far as making people uncomfortable, we don’t care anymore. As soon as anyone enters our home, your beautiful picture greets them. Some people initially assume the image is of your younger brother. We quickly correct them and say proudly,

“That is Liam. He is our first baby.”

Thus, the conversation begins. While people are always curious about what happened, I prefer to share how wonderful you were.

And how wonderful you continue to be.

Surrounded by the love of your family.

You are always in our hearts; where you should be.

Big brother Liam.

Our firstborn son.

When I pray, it is you I pray to.

When I cry, it is you who lifts me up.

When I am nervous, it is you that gives me the confidence to go on.

Everything wonderful that our family has, I owe to you.

And I thank you so much for that.

I just wish you were here to share it with us.

Baby, I miss you so much and I yearn to hold you soon.

Please continue to shine your light until we can all be together again.

I love you to the moon and back, my sweet boy.

Happy tenth birthday in heaven.

Love forever and always.
Your proud mama

Kathleen Sullivan

I am a freelance writer and full-time mom. My work has appeared on: The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Brain, Child Magazine, Mamalode xoJane, Parentco., Mommyish and Your Tango. I can also be found blogging at:

How Grateful I Am for a Mother Who Believed in Me

In: Cancer, Grief
Mother and grown daughter, color photo

It was a hot summer day sometime in the middle of high school. I was young and naive, but the ugly six-letter word was looming over our family: cancer. Although I didn’t know it then, this would be our last normal summer before my mother’s health would worsen. Cancer would give way to terminal cancer. It’s funny how something so big can seem so small in those moments. My mom and I were sitting on our back porch, encased in a narrow hedge of yew bushes. It was a yellow, lazy Saturday, and my brothers and father were at Cub...

Keep Reading

A Medical Diagnosis Challenges a Marriage

In: Cancer, Living, Marriage
Bald woman holding clippers over husband's head, color photo

It is no secret now that Albert Pujols and his wife have announced their divorce shortly after she had surgery to remove a brain tumor. As a breast cancer survivor, this news hit me in a special way. As I was reading through an article from Today, there was a quote that hit me hard, “But a marriage falling apart is far more common when the wife is the patient, researchers have found. A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer or multiple sclerosis than if a man in the relationship is...

Keep Reading

Dear Grandmother, I’m Not Ready to Lose You

In: Grief
Elderly woman and granddaughter touch foreheads

I had a visit from my grandmother the other day. It wasn’t a regular sit on the porch with a cup of tea kind of visit. It was more of an “I have something I need to tell you” type of visit. She’s been unwell for some time, and I guess I had sort of hoped she would get better, and she would be back to herself soon enough. I noticed when she sat down and tears filled her eyes that it wasn’t going to be a normal conversation. Her eyes widened and she struggled to get her words out without...

Keep Reading

Love Carries On in the Ones We Raise

In: Grief, Motherhood
Mother and son hug

From a very young age, two of the most important men in my life were my grandpa and my brother. I never could have imagined that I’d lose them both within nine months, nor could I predict the profound effects the magnitude of those losses would have on my life. My grandpa was my father figure and shepherd. I have endless memories of him— from splashing in the ocean together to shopping each Easter season for my Easter dress. He was always there. Every choir concert, musical, or school ceremony, I could easily find his face in the crowd. I...

Keep Reading

Friends Can Be a Sanctuary

In: Friendship, Grief
Group of friends hugging

A sanctuary is defined as anywhere people go for peaceful tranquility or introspection. My friends became my sanctuary when my husband, Frank, died. They became my refuge and my safe place. Friendship is one of the most wonderful gifts in this world. It is beautiful, comforting, ever-changing, and, for me, a fixed point.  My friends seemed to know exactly what I needed and when I needed it. Their love and constant support got me through the worst of times and gave me the courage and confidence I needed to move forward.  I could never give an adequate thank you to...

Keep Reading

All I Wanted Was For My Baby To Stay Alive

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Sad woman with head in hands

Today is the day I’ve dreaded and resisted for almost a year: the day I face going through the white plastic bag the hospital sent home with me after my D&C, 10 months ago. This bag held my clothes, shoes, and wedding ring for the short time I was in surgery, but I rescued all of those precious items soon after waking. The items that remain show the paper trail of that difficult day—receipts from my hospital admittance and anesthesia, general post-operative care instructions, and a consent form for “treatment of incomplete abortion.” That last part brings tears to my...

Keep Reading

My Husband Makes Me a Stronger Woman

In: Grief, Loss, Marriage
Daddy standing over hospital crib with infant, black-and-white photo

A little over a year ago, my husband and I went through the unimaginable. We lost our child, Lillian, to a congenital heart defect. The days following that, and even to this day, people will comment on how strong I am. How well I’ve dealt with this darkness. How they can’t imagine what I am going through. The truth is I was never alone. From the day we found out I would give birth to a child who had complex heart defects, my husband has been there. Always in the background of what others saw but ever so present in...

Keep Reading

Mothers Don’t Teach Us How To Live Life Without Them

In: Grief, Grown Children, Loss, Motherhood
Woman in dress with corsage, smiling color photo

When you’re a little girl, you dream of marriage, children, a career, and memories that you will cherish forever—and you want your mother by your side at all times. Our mothers teach us how to live a life we will enjoy, but they never teach us how to live a life without them in it. Our mothers don’t tell us that one day they will not be here to answer the phone when we call or go on spontaneous dinner dates. My mother never told me there will come a day when she will be gone and how bad it...

Keep Reading

When Mother’s Day Feels Awkward, Find Comfort in Community

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood

Mother’s Day can be beautiful for some women. It can be hurt filled for others. Or in my case, it can just feel plain old awkward. I felt eight years of awkward Mother’s Days. In my late 20s to mid-30s, I felt like the woman no one knew what to say to or what to do with. I felt a double whammy on Mother’s Day. My mother was home in Heaven. My womb was empty and always would be. My desire to have a child was filled with an intentional choice to go a non-traditional route to motherhood and was...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Mother’s Day Hurts

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding baby near grave, black-and-white photo

I see you moms. I see the moms who will never see all of their children together on this earth at the same time. The moms who dread the question, “When are you having children?” or “Will you have any more?” The moms who pray for that second line, month after month. The moms who are seeing that positive test and don’t know how they are going to make this work. The moms who can’t shake the blues or depression, who feel guilty for not feeling happier about their baby. The moms who feel as though they are doing it...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids


Proven techniques to build REAL connections