Eight years ago on June 22, I painfully pushed my baby boy, Gus, into the world.
I'll never forget the strange rush of my water breaking while laying in bed after a long day of swimming.
I'll never forget the unexpected pain that overtook me while I was in labor.
I'll never forget the sound of my uncontrollable sobs of joy when the delivery was finally over.
I'll never forget the feeling of my Gus' precious newborn body carefully resting against my chest inside my hospital gown.
I'll never forget his colicky little scream that left echoes of sadness between each little whimper.
I'll never forget his determined little fingers, that never quite seemed to know what their place was in the world.
I'll never forget how uncomfortable and unhappy he seemed, till the very end.
I'll never forget the destructive and depressing thoughts my postpartum depression tortured me with shortly after he was born.
I'll never forget the guilt I felt about sending my two kids to be cared for by my mom while I figured out how to cope with my life as a 22-year-old mother with severe postpartum depression.
I'll never forget the look on my husband's face when he said, "Mel. It's Gus."
I'll never forget the phone call from the La Jolla hospital nurse telling us after all their medical staff could do, our five-week-old son had died.
I'll never forget the moment I entered the room that kept my baby's body, and the absolute anguish that washed over me the moment I saw my little boy's eternally resting face.
I'll never forget the exhausting exhibition of the funeral, or the many wonderful family members and friends that came to support me.
My family before we buried my Gus | August 7, 2007
I'll never forget the deep sting of loneliness that comes after losing a child, or the aching that consumed my arms and chest, making regular everyday tasks insurmountable.
I'll never forget the days of crying under the kitchen table, or sobbing into a bowl of cereal, just because it hurt so bad.
I'll also never forget how complete I felt after having another child, or how much happiness I've found in my other children, as a result of losing Gus.
Our little family a week before losing Gus | July 2007
I'll never forget my Gus. His loss has been my biggest trial, but he will always be my angel baby.