For Connor

Mrs. Professor was due with our second child in late June 2022. She had a routine visit a day before 40 weeks and everything was fine. At a follow up visit a few days later he was gone. We have no idea what happened, and apparently that's not uncommon with stillbirths. It's just one of many things that I learned through this process that I wished I never had to find out. I'm sharing this and what I wrote on the night we sent him to be cremated for two reasons. First, never take things for granted. Tell those you love that you love them. Show them you love them. Give them an extra hug or a kiss -- you won't regret it. And second, there is help out there. Whether it's this type of tragedy or a different one, please seek the support you need. We are so very thankful to friends and family (and this community) for surviving the aftermath of our loss, and I know that there are people who would be happy to do the same for you if you're ever in need.

Below I share what I wrote when introducing Connor to the world.

Connor James Sides showed us his beautiful face on June 25th, 2022 in what was described by one nurse as "a beautiful delivery". Mrs Professor and I couldn't agree more with that sentiment, but the silence that came with it was the most haunting thing I have heard in my entire life. It was a moment I had been dreading for 32 hours, and somehow I lost it even more than I thought I would.

Connor looks remarkably similar to how his sister Maddie looked when she was born. While there are so many things we'll never know, I'm certain that she would have been a fantastic older sister to him. And I just know that he would have wanted to be a part of everything she did.

I don't know much else about how his life would have played out. What would his favorite sport have been? What type of books would he have enjoyed? When would he have had his first kiss, or first fallen in love?

We met you Connor, but we never got to know you. We never had our hearts melted by your smile, or grinned ear to ear at the sound of your laugh, or said "Y'all watch him do this thing!"

We met you Connor, but you never met us. We held you, and it was magical, but you never looked back at us. You never knew how much we loved you. You never knew that we would have moved heaven and earth to keep you safe and make you happy.

You were going to be my best friend Connor. Not right away, of course. Parenting involves a lot tough decisions, and many I'm sure you wouldn't have liked. But we'd have worked through it. We were going to go sporting events, play guitar together, and watch whatever the 2030s version of Boy Meets World is. We were going to have so much fun together.

But instead we said goodbye to you tonight, right after barely saying hello. It's not supposed to be like this. You were supposed to say goodbye to us. You were supposed to look at my hands one day and wonder about all the things they had done, not me look at yours and cry out in anguish about all the things your hands will never do. You had a whole life in front of you. Millions of adventures and injuries and lessons learned. Millions of moments of joy and fun and thrill. Millions of ups and downs that this cruel world has taken from you and from us.

Goodbye sweet baby boy. Goodbye dear son. Our hearts are shattered into pieces that the world never got to benefit from your presence. Goodbye my little angel. Goodbye Connor.

"Don't you think we would have been best friends?
You would be ten and I'd be driving you to school
You would tell all your friends that you thought I was cool
You would be out in the sun until it was gone
You would be watching Star Wars with your PJs on
You would playing tunes on your first guitar
You would be harmony to every single part of me
And you'd have all the love in my heart
Ya you would have all the love in my heart"