First, I’m so honored to be a part of the Still Standing writers community. I wish I wasn’t here, but so glad I am. Hopefully that makes sense.
I’m Diana, and blog at Diana Wrote (formerly Hormonal Imbalances), Babble, Liberating Working Moms, and She Reads Truth. I’m a mom of Bella, almost 4, and twins boys in heaven, Preston and Julian, born last May at 20 weeks, and a son Kaden who left us on his 3 week birthday this August. He was in the hospital his entire short life, fighting a virus and cardiomyopathy caused by it. His pregnancy was high risk but perfect. We never expected to lose him too.
These past 18 months have been one heck of a mess to work through.
My husband and I have been married 10 1/2 years. I was 19, he was 20. I’m pretty sure our chances of making it for even a year were pretty darn slim, but here we are. We waited 6 years to have our first child, unsure if we even wanted any children. I was a nanny and then a teacher, Sam was in the Marines and then worked for the state before he joined the Army 2 1/2 years ago.
Once we had Bella, and got past that first tough year, we knew we wanted more. A houseful.
It hasn’t quite turned out that way. In between losses, we even tried to adopt – and that fell through as well.
I write this with my son Kaden’s memorial service just 4 days away. We’ve also been asked to help the CDC and the HHV-6 foundation help with a case they opened on him, because he died from something no other infant in the world has ever had. We’re heading back to therapy next week. We planned all year to move to North Carolina (we’re an Army family!) but that ended after we lost Kaden. I homeschool Bella and work from home nearly full time writing.
We have people ask us all the time how we’re doing this again, a second time in such a short span. I don’t know. Some days are better than others. We have a little girl to get up, live, and find the joy in life for. We are loved. We have a deep faith in our God. But I think that having already gone through this once, you know that there is light not only at the end of the tunnel, but along the way as well.
Sometimes you just have to really look for the light – like get out a telescope.
I find myself experiencing just about every emotion at just about every moment. Anger, sadness, happiness, frustration, excitement, hope, despair. There are days I feel exhausted from simply replaying the why’s and how’s through my head. Not only from losing Kaden but my twins – and never being able to separate it all.
I turn to writing in those moments. My little space on the computer that my fingers have typed words into so often. Thousands of words trying to write out my feelings and emotions. A community of people reading that have gathered around and lifted us up time and again as our lives shatter and re-shatter.
When I walked down that aisle at 19, and became a mom at 26, I couldn’t have fathomed this was going to be my life at 30. To have 3 of my children take their last breaths in my arms. As hard as it is to walk this path, as much as I did.not.want to be a baby loss mom, I’m here. We’re here.
We all prove every day to the rest of the world watching, wondering what losing a child is like, questioning how anyone survives this – that we are all still standing.
Diana is owner and editor-in-chief of Still Standing Magazine and blogs her own life story at Diana Wrote. She and her military retired husband have two girls and three sons who passed away after birth; Preston and Julian, identical twin boys who were born at 20 weeks, and Kaden, who unexpectedly had cardiomyopathy due to a rare virus called ciHHV-6. He died in her arms at 3 weeks old.
In 2014 she traveled with World Vision to learn about maternal health and infant mortality in Zimbabwe, and later with them to Ecuador. She is working on a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. You can also find her work on Babble, Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post.