Two years ago, at this time, I was at the hospital in labor with our first child. Louie and I were alone. We were scared. We knew our baby was dead. We knew our baby had birth defects. I had finally agreed to the epidural when I started to feel something coming out. The nurse went to the get the doctor. The doctor asked me to lie back, but I cried, I can’t. They told me to hold Louie’s hand, but I couldn’t let go of the sheets, I was in so much pain. I cried out again and felt my child leave my body. I lay back and started sobbing. Louie cried and whispered, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, over and over again.
They took our baby to clean him up, and the doctor and nurse came back to talk to us. They told us we had a boy. We asked what he looked liked. She didn’t give us a clear response, saying she didn’t think her description would really tell us. We said we wanted to see him.
Our child was brought to us dressed in the tiniest of gowns. The doctor asked if he had a name. Calvin, we answered. Calvin is very special, she said, he’s very special. She placed him in my arms and I cried as I fell in love with my baby all over again. The first thing out of Louie’s mouth was Our baby is so cute. In that moment, an unexpected, overwhelming, and surprising peace washed over me. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t lost. I felt happy and content. I felt love. I still get glimpses of that, once in a while; a reminder of what life will be like in the next world, when I am with my babies again.
I started Calvin’s Cupcakes last year and made it official on Calvin’s 1st birthday.
Whenever someone else spent time with my son, whether it letting us know they thought of him, by sending us a picture of his name, or by creating something just for him, it made me feel less lonely. It lets me know that my child matters and is remembered. I wanted to do the same for others. I wanted to find a way to help parents honor and remember their children, especially on dates that could be more challenging—birthday, anniversaries, due dates.
Since then, we have made a total of 148 cupcakes, and I am so proud of that, of what my son has helped me accomplish.
Last year, Louie surprised me with this animation that he had been working on for his portfolio show. I love that Louie spent so many hours drawing our son over and over again. This animation contains about 300 drawings, all crafted by the hand of Calvin’s daddy.
My sweet boy, has it really been two years since I last held you? I don’t know how it’s possible, but my love for you continues to grow each day. Mommy and Daddy love and miss you so much, Calvin, and are so proud of you. Thank you for all the signs you’ve been sending us, letting us know you’re near. Give Rainbow a big hug and kiss for us.