It’s here. The eve of the first anniversary that marks when life was good to when life was permanently scarred with my grief for you.

One year ago, Avi was sick and I was distracted and I failed to notice you weren’t moving inside me. My body was sore, I was tired, and I slept a dreamless sleep…my last night of sleep that didn’t include blowing you kisses up in the stars where you now live.

Today, I was distracted with packing and moving boxes to our new home. Avi threw up in the car and is sleeping fitfully again. I’m tired, I’m sore. But I’m haunted with thoughts of you, and how much has happened in this past year.

Manav, you have permanently altered who I am for the rest of my life. Your short life elevated me in ways that words cannot describe. Your death shattered me into countless pieces…but I am slowly rising from the ashes, my son. I am rising despite my broken heart, despite the pain I feel when I only see one of my children at the breakfast table each day. I rise my son, to honour you.

Losing you felt like the biggest betrayal from the universe. It felt intolerable. I felt fear I never knew existed, and a darkness that felt eternal. I was paralyzed, I was suffocating. I felt so robbed. I felt like someone ripped you from my body and stole you away. I felt violated. I felt shame.

Today, it is different. I’ve watched the days go by on the calendar and knew I would need to face tomorrow eventually. I knew that I would need to think about that darkness and fear and remember every second of those horrid days of discovering your life had ended, to birthing you, to holding you close while I sobbed, to letting you go, to your funeral. I will need to face these memories forever. I cannot escape my worst nightmare.

However, I can breathe a little easier again. I can laugh, I can smile, I have hope again. I can believe that there is goodness in the world. I can appreciate life, and beauty, and love. Losing you has taught me to live differently. I see things in a new perspective – through the eyes of a grieving mother. As your mother, I am forever holding you close to me. When your big brother runs to me and throws his arms around me, my heart misses you. When I hold a young baby in my arms, I remember your peaceful face. When I see nature bloom around me, and see the world grow, I imagine what you would be doing at almost one years old.

There is no me without you. There is no going back to who I was before you entered my world. You have been my closest confidant as I crawled out of the ashes and fought to regain my strength. Only you saw my struggle, my fears, and my determination to survive. You heard me cry in the middle of the night and you felt my ache when I relived your birth over and over. You are my witness to my rebirth as a loss mom.

Manav, you have such an important place in our family. As I sit here and dread the dawn of January 20th, I also see how deep of an impact you’ve had on us. You are counted as my child, and your grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and society honour your memory. We miss you. We think of you everyday. As we prepare to move into our new home in just over a week, we have found ways to include you in the fabric of our new reality. We constantly search for ways to incorporate you into our everyday life so that we can remember how much you mean to us.

Baby, thank you for the honour of letting me be your mother. Thank you for giving me the strength and guidance to find a way to carry the burden of grief and the purity of my love for you while continuing to put one foot in front of the other for the sake of Avi and Anuj. Thank you for handpicking a sweet baby girl and sending her to us to help us believe in the universe again. Thank you for always being close to me so I don’t feel any further from you than I have to be.

I will survive the next few days. I will remember you. I will love you harder than ever. Stay close to me, ok? Because the fear of child loss doesn’t ever fully go away…I need you to help me get through the rest of this pregnancy and to the end of my days. Only then will this fear ease – once I can see you and hold you again.


March on!

Life is a whirlwind and I can’t keep up.

I haven’t written for over a month, and I think it is because I wasn’t quite sure what to say…I didn’t have words to string together to tell this story of mine. But I feel like my feet are touching the ground again, so here is an update on where things are at.

We have found a new home. We will be moving in January to a new place so that we are closer to family and community supports, and it will be a fresh space to bring little Rainbow to. The new house has filled me with excitement and a great distraction from my anxiety and stress. Packing and moving feels daunting but much more doable than surviving a long pregnancy after a loss. I feel like anything is better than getting through those months.

Secondly, our little Rainbow is doing well. We found out the sex of the baby (which we have never done with our previous children) and we found out we are expecting a little girl! I am over the moon with gratitude to the universe for such a wonderful blessing. I am still stunned at this news and still feel doubt in my heart until we see another ultrasound confirming this but for now, I am grateful for these two big moments.

Rainbow has had me thinking a lot about Manav…I am thinking about him so much and his role in our family. I feel like he is older in my mind now; he feels like my guardian angel who knows me intimately and who hears my heart’s thoughts. I feel like he is sending us all this joy and love and it is knocking me down. I feel unprepared for these positive feelings; I don’t think I’ve ever felt so excited and confident in my life before! It scares me to death though…but I strangely don’t doubt it the way I used to.

I feel like I am evolving…I am shedding my skin and growing into something else that I don’t know what will look like. My mind is processing so much and I am exhausted each day. I feel like whatever it is that I am turning into, it is a good thing.

The new house is very symbolic for me. It is a symbol of rebirth, victory, letting go and the future. It is a symbol of Manav’s love for us – a shelter we desperately need from the grief we have been carrying on our backs. The house represents my hopes and dreams of “growing up” and the permanency of being a homeowner steadies me. I feel ready to lay down roots there and to let the house be the home base for our future life chapters.

I like to imagine my children playing together in the new home, I like to picture Avi doing his homework there, or snuggling up to watch a movie at night. I imagine Christmases, family dinners, regular days, exciting days, dreadful days and all the days we experience in between. When I think of my kids together, Manav is in the picture too, but more about my internal thoughts about him (if that makes sense). Like, when I imagine seeing my son and daughter playing in the backyard, in my imagination, I feel Manav’s spirit on my chest, as though he is a silent child who is forever wrapped against me but quietly watching the world go by and we are both linked and aware of each other. I always feel his energy against my chest like that, where my memorial necklace for him sits. I think of him when I’m angry, or frustrated, and he is my witness to my life without him in it. He sees my struggle, he sees me victorious, he sees me missing him. He knows he is a part of this family and it comforts me so much. I no longer feel the desperation to “include” him anymore; he is always there.

Christmas is coming up and I feel the weight of his absence increasing with each day. I know it will hurt when Avi celebrates opening presents alone, for last year we happily dreamed of two children in 2016. So we have decided that every Christmas we will buy Manav a present and will donate it to a child his age in the community. It gives us peace and it spreads love.

I finish work on January 6th and I cannot wait. My heart is not at work anymore…I don’t care anymore. I just want to be home with my thoughts and nest in my new home. I want to leave the house that I lost my baby in. I want to leave it all there because it just reminds me of the experience and not of Manav himself. Those memories of him are internal and I have them anywhere. But when I see his half-painted bedroom, or I open the closet and I see his clothes, diapers and supplies that I was on the verge of setting up just days before we lost him – it crushes me. It is a bitter, painful stab in the heart and I don’t need that. I don’t like remembering that jolt of the brakes in my life. I rather remember the kicks from him, or the sweet smell of his skin, his tiny fingers and serious pout. I like to remember his soft hair, or the way he bounced around in me when I ate ice cream. I miss him.

No matter what happens in the day, no matter how good or how bad, the sun sets and rises right on time and there is nothing we can do to stop it. So I rather march on holding my angel against my heart, my toddler by my side, and my rainbow in my womb. Nobody will stop this mother from surviving for her kids.

Sweet relief

Dare I say it?

We saw our sweet little miracle baby at our ultrasound today. It was amazing! This baby was moving and kicking and I just stared in disbelief that this little life was really inside of me. My womb has been a graveyard for Manav, but now, I got to see that there is new life emerging in that very place – it was so bittersweet. It made me miss Manav so much, but it really hammered in the truth that with grief there is also hope now. Undeniable hope.

Seeing baby didn’t make me cry…I didn’t feel emotions well up in me the way I thought I would. Instead, I felt stunned. I still do. It is as if I have forgotten how to believe in life. I understand it on an intellectual level, but not an emotional one yet. Emotionally, I still feel frozen.

I am slowly letting my mind grasp this idea that I will need to come to terms with this child impacting my life in one way or another. This baby is undeniably real to me now. I can’t keep shutting down like this. I need to figure out how to love this baby the way I did my other ones and let myself have permission to feel joy again. It just feels so foreign to me.

I hope to feel the warm rush of maternal love flood my soul very soon. I live for my children and I would die for them. This one needs to know that too. I just need to accept that I am a mother of six now!

Heart stopping fear

The fear is so real now. The intensity makes me feel so vulnerable, and no matter how hard I try to comfort myself with statistics, or logic, or chocolate…it continues to haunt me wherever I go.

Ultrasound is a week away…next Thursday morning I find out if this baby survived this crazy trimester with me or not. It will be a yes or a no. Simple. It will confirm if I will be okay or not. Yes or no. I have faced the 12 week mark many times, and 50% of the time I either lost the baby before I even got to this point, or I went for the ultrasound and saw that baby had died but my body hadn’t realized it…this is my ultimate fear.

This missed miscarriage I refer to happened in the early months of 2010. I had already lost one baby, and we were lucky enough to conceive right away the following months (this was long before our fertility problems). That trimester I was extremely excited!!! I had a lot of nausea and vomiting, no bleeding, no cramping, lots of cravings – this was it! I remember the night before feeling too excited to sleep. I wanted to have a baby so badly. I really thought that I was 100% definitely pregnant and that this baby would arrive on October 2oth 2010.

At the ultrasound, we instantly knew something was wrong, as the baby looked too small for a 12 week fetus. It turns out, our baby had died at 8 weeks, but my placenta continued to produce hormones so I still had pregnancy symptoms. I was tricked by my own body to think I was healthy and pregnant and the baby was fine. I remember the betrayal I felt, the embarrassment, the shame. I felt the sadness, the anger, the vulnerability. Anuj and I went to our car and just cried together for so long. Our life changed that day.

I know too much, I’ve seen too much. I cannot naively tell myself that because I’m vomiting and I’m not bleeding that the baby is okay. I know that babies can have defects. I know that my body has failed 4 of my children to make it into the world. I don’t have any trust left. I have no armour against the pain and loss I might feel next Thursday.

Up until this point, I have barely thought about Rainbow. I joke about it; I say things like “if Rainbow is there” or “if Rainbow stays” but that’s as far as my connection goes. I don’t picture a little fetus inside me. I don’t let myself talk to the baby, or have expectations that it will actually survive pregnancy. That’s stupid. I’ve done this a hundred times before, why should I believe now??

But the thing is, if I go to the ultrasound and it shows baby is totally fine and healthy – I have no idea what to do with that information. I don’t know how to process that. I’m not even going to bother worrying about that yet. If baby is fine, then I will figure it out after the scan. But right now, I’m pretty convinced something will be wrong.

All my care providers keep urging me to be positive…they say to have hope and to have faith. They say I’m too stressed. They say that I won’t have another loss. Random well-meaning relatives tell me that this baby will be fine because it is Manav returning to me…they say that God is good and will give me another child. I try to speak out and say no, Manav will never be here. I try to honour my feelings and say no, I don’t feel positive. I feel scared. I feel terrified and alone. I feel so intensely stressed. I feel like I am carrying my family on my back (or rather, my uterus). I am the key to everyone’s happiness. If I can bring this baby into the world safely, Avi gets his happy mother back – free of the vomiting and exhaustion and the tears. If this baby makes it, Anuj and I will find joy again. Our friends and family will breathe again. I can return to work and give it 100% again. I can smile again. I can close up the baby making business and never have to go through pregnancy again. I will win.

If the baby doesn’t survive…my family and friends will be pulled into a hurricane of grief again. I will fall apart again. I will break inside all over again. Avi will watch me unravel and I will need to find even more strength to crawl back to him. Deep down, my worst fear is that I will refuse to try again. I will refuse to hope again for another child. Despite the 6 healthy embryos waiting for me at the clinic, I don’t know if I can do it again. I don’t know if I can face the pain again.

I’m scared. Please universe, I need next Thursday to be a good day for us. Please.


The complexities of this pregnancy continue to astound me.

I’m grappling with things that my brain just can’t keep up with…decisions I need to make, conversations about painful things, advocating for myself while also desperately wanting someone to take care of me so I don’t have to. My emotions are heightened so much and I just don’t feel like me.

I’m just over 9 weeks along and I have no idea how the baby is. I have to wait another 3 weeks to get an ultrasound but I haven’t had the energy to even schedule it yet. I have blood requisitions, iron deficiencies, I need to make a decision about whether staying on my antidepressant is a good thing or a bad thing…I need to work, I need to sleep, and I need to keep my bloody breakfast down (haven’t been too successful with that one). I’m a mess.

I feel myself withdrawing from the usual busyness of day to day life; I don’t want to actively think about this baby (too much) and I hate that I am the person who has to make medical decisions about how this pregnancy will go. Even little things, like taking my pills – I can’t remember which ones to take at which time of day and how to always have them on me when I need them. I feel my brain just silently slipping away from the world.

I’m struggling to get work done. I’m struggling to complete chores, to complete tasks at work, and to pay off our bills and do the groceries. Anuj is left to figure it all out and he is overwhelmed. We are just a big mess.

I don’t know how to get through this tough time. I don’t know how to comfort myself, or feel positive, or get my fire back to stay on top of these critical details and manage my health. I just end up going to sleep so my brain can escape the reality of my world. It is too hard some times, to be exposed to this chaos.

A big gaping hole 

Oh Manav your absence is killing me. It hurts so much my son, it hurts so very much…

Tomorrow is our Avinash’s third birthday. I had this gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach all day and I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I had a busy day at work and I was also making a shopping list of everything I needed to buy for Avi’s special day.

I paused.

What is it that I’m forgetting? In my head, I’m picturing Avi with presents and cake, and decorations all around him. But it didn’t feel right. It didn’t satisfy me enough…something is missing.

Then a horrible, sinking grief settles over me, and I realize I can’t buy that missing piece. My Manav isn’t there with us…we are missing our sweet angel. It won’t matter if I throw the biggest party or play the music super loud…in our hearts there is an ugly, gaping hole and the silence in that hole is deafening.

I went to the store and quickly started filling my cart with anything I saw that would make Avi happy. My phone rang, and it was Anuj, who was in tears. “Manav isn’t here for Avi’s birthday,” he cried. “How do we celebrate this milestone with Avi when Manav will never have a birthday?” I stood there, surrounded by decorations and cards, and silently cried with him. I had no words. How do we face the day tomorrow? How do we laugh and sing and celebrate life when parts of our family aren’t there? Manav is still invisible to Avi; he doesn’t yet know that he has a little brother in heaven. How do we honour our baby’s absence as we celebrate our big boy’s life?

After I hung up with Anuj, I noticed the song playing in the store. It was Meghan Trainor’s “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” with John Legend. This song is my ultimate trigger for Manav’s loss. It was a top hit in January 2016 and was annoyingly stuck in my head the day I found out Manav died. My first night in the hospital, while the world slept, I realized the lyrics to the song actually were a total reflection of my feelings for Manav (lyrics can be found here at This song blared in my head through labour and birth, through the funeral and for days after too. It haunts me.

The song rarely comes on now, I never hear it…and yet here it is, playing as I cry for my little boy in the middle of an ordinary store on an ordinary day. I pay for my purchases, get in my car and immediately, the next song is “No Pressure” by Classified (a peppy hip hop song!) and it is also a Manav song – it is the song he ALWAYS kicked super hard to whenever it came on! I just fell apart crying with so much love, so much pain and so much gratitude…it felt like Manav intentionally made me hear that song to tell me he is happy and with me. As much as that song makes me miss him, it also cheers me up; I know that Manav loved the song so it comforts me.

So here I am, sitting quietly and reflecting on how I will face the day tomorrow. Our family photo will forever be incomplete. He will never get to enjoy birthday cake, he will never help his brother open gifts or sing happy birthday. Manav will be missing at our first family event…and it destroys me. But, one thing Anuj and I did is buy a gift for Avi from Manav; it helps us feel like we are including him in our celebration. Avi won’t know it is from his brother, but down the road I’d like to make this a tradition.

Goodnight my little angel…come play with us tomorrow and comfort our broken hearts…

Dare to daydream with me

This last two weeks have been a blur. Life is moving so fast and I have no energy left at the end of the day to ponder how I feel…I just fall asleep being grateful it is one day closer to meeting our Rainbow.

I’m so grateful that my world isn’t solely full of paralyzing fear anymore. I do feel moments where I’m sure I have lost this dear baby, or that the second I relax something awful will happen, but…I also have moments where I let my heart indulge in a daydream of what it will be like to hold this baby in my arms and never have to let go. Anuj and I nervously try to plan our future, and try to assume  – when we can – that this baby will be there in that future.

We dare to talk about Rainbow. We make jokes about how this baby likes crazy foods, and is so dramatic with the mood swings! We don’t say it aloud, but we made the exact same comments about Manav one year ago as well. I feel a pang in my heart when I recall our early days with him; we had no idea how much pain we would endure when we’d lose him. I don’t know if that tells me I should caution myself, or feel every second of this pregnancy in case it ends prematurely. How does any parent decide that?

The truth is, we can. We had a wonderful talk late one night as we drove home from a dinner party and we whispered to each other how we feel, so that Avi doesn’t notice as he fell asleep in the backseat. Anuj and I cried, we held hands and we shared our darkest fears. We asked the difficult questions. How are we going to get through this? How do we not go crazy? We are admitting that it will never be without fears; but we committed to believing in our child as well. As much as we fear our baby dying, we love our baby more. My love for this baby has to weigh more than my fear for this baby, right? So let’s take a risk and put our bets on this miracle baby surviving. I know I’d want my mother to do the same for me.

So we move forward. We grit our teeth, we wipe our tears, we hold on to each other for the most terrifying 9 months ever. We direct our energy to this baby and silently celebrate every sign that I am still pregnant (yup, even through the vomiting).

I can’t say I am confident, or that I am relaxed. I can’t say that I don’t think of Manav every single day and blow kisses to him when I wake up and see his photo by my bed. I can’t say that I don’t imagine what will happen if we lose this baby too…but I know that I somehow managed to survive the death of my child – and that is 100% thanks to Avinash. He is my ultimate motivator and I can do anything for him without hesitation. I know that I have a responsibility to Avinash as well, to show him how to be resilient and to fight for all the good in the world. In my dark hours, I cling to my gorgeous symbol of hope and light and let his laughter permeate my soul.