Ryan Kendrick Russell was born in Ajax, Ontario on September 7, 2015. He came silently into the world after an unmedicated labour lasting only 8 hours. We were induced shortly after learning he had no heartbeat on September 6. At 1:02am the next day, he was in our arms.
5 lbs, 14 oz. 20.1 inches long, with the darkest and softest of hair, he looks shockingly like his dad, although recently I've started to see similarities in our noses. A little nose I kissed more times than I can remember. And yet still, not enough. Long and skinny, with big hands and feet that we only got to see in moulds and prints. We only ever held him clothed and swaddled -- a regret I carry to this day. We got just under 12 hours with him before we had to say a physical goodbye. Many of those hours spent sleeping... a horrible waste, but one that was unavoidable after the trauma of the day before. Waking up that morning, you could see he had started changing. He wasn't ours to hold on to for much longer. He got to meet some family, and then we had to let him go.
I wish I knew so much more about him.
And yet, I do know that Ryan is a bright light in our life despite the darkness that surrounds the circumstances in which we came to meet him face to face.
He is our first born son.
He is our baby boy. And he always will be.
He is an important part of our family.
He is forever a part of us and our story.
He is a big brother.
He is a big piece of my heart.
I love that today's Capture Your Grief prompt is "Who They Are" and not "Who They Were." It's so hard for me to refer to him as past. Because for me, he will always be present.
He is an is, and not a was. Because we work hard every day to keep his memory alive.