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: http://www.threekidsonehusbandandabottleofwine.com/