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Today Would Have Been Your Birthday

Written by April Bilodeau

After experiencing pregnancy loss in July 2023 while 7 weeks pregnant, April Bilodeau—a Massachusetts-based professional rider and horse trainer—has made it part of her mission to open up the conversation surrounding miscarriages and the emotions that come with them. Below, she shares her story via a letter to the beloved baby she lost.

Today would have been your birthday.

You would have come into this world loved by so many people. You would have been the first baby your dad had ever held. He was holding out for that moment with you.

You would have been wrapped up in blue or pink, we’re not sure, as when you’re just a little poppyseed, we can’t learn these things.

Our lives would have slowed at your arrival. You would come home to a brand new space that we spent the last nine months turning into your room. Your four-legged siblings would have greeted you with patience.

But today is different from what we once thought it would be.

The house is quiet, your room is still filled with a chaotic array of items, and your mom is mourning the loss of someone she was so excited to meet.

The months leading up to this day have been far more draining than any medical professional told me it would have been. In June, we excitedly learned of you, and just like that, you left us in July.

My tears, my blood, my energy, my will to do anything. All things that I lost in a quantity I never thought possible. And just when I think I’m over the bulk of the post-traumatic stress that has ensued since you left, I feel the weight through my lower half and remember only bright red and echoed screams.

I feel sometimes like my body is a shell of what it once was. I sink into a spot on the couch where I dreamed of holding you, but instead I sat on towels to prevent stains of what remained of your departure.

While I appear put together, sometimes the moment just strikes me wrong and there I am, morphed into a puddle, asking myself why you had to leave us.

There is no bright side to this. In this case, everything did not happen for a reason, it just is. And when people learn of your existence, the last thing I want to hear is “I’m sorry,” mostly because it won’t bring you back.

But I look for ways to honor you. A necklace, a candle, a Christmas ornament, a birthday cake. But sometimes I think it only causes me more damage. The tightness in my chest appears, I crumble once again, only to remember that even for that short amount of time, I was so lucky to be your mom, and to now love something as much as I love you.

So today, on what would have been your birthday, I’ll put a candle on your cake with a drawn-on purple butterfly that reads “Happy Birthday, Poppy” to remember the little poppyseed you are. Because even though you aren’t here with me, you will always be a part of me.

April Bilodeau is a writer, editor, and owner and operator (alongside her husband, Emerson) of Dove Hill, a farm that houses horses and a variety of other animals. 

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  1. Gloria says...

    Beautifully said!! Love you 😘

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