One year ago, Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner had a tragic miscarriage four months into the pregnancy.
The Married At First Sight stars grieved and mourn and shared their loss with the world.
Now it’s a year later, and while they are excited to be expecting again, they haven’t forgotten their son who would have been, Johnathan.
We see a photo of the two of them standing by Johnathan’s memorial tree in their backyard, but it’s the heartfelt caption that really hits home for fans of the family and for those who understand their loss.
In an emotional message, punctuated by emojis, Jamie Otis took to Instagram to share how she and her husband are feeling, one year later.
“A year ago from today was our last full day pregnant with our first born son.”
Calendar dates can be wonderful for birthdays and anniversaries; for remembering a loss, they can be cruel.
“Johnathan was delivered on July 13th, 2016 at just 17 weeks, 1 day. He was way too little to survive outside the womb.”
That must have been agonizing in ways that most of us cannot even imagine.
Though we have seen Jamie and Doug in that hospital photo, seeing and feeling are different things.
“I remember feeling so helpless – there was nothing I could do to help my baby.”
That’s every parent’s nightmare.
“I swore to myself, to my hubby, to God, to my baby boy, and to ANYONE who would listen that I’d never let him just be forgotten.”
She’s really keeping that promise.
She also talks about coping mechanisms, which are important to have and also important to share with others who might need them.
“I blogged a lot to help cope with the loneliness; to numb the pain.”
No matter how loving and supportive a spouse and family might be, a miscarriage hits home in ways that most people can’t understand or provide comfort for.
“I will forever be thankful & I’ll never forget the countless Frans – and even strangers – who reached out to me to offer love & support.”
“Frans,” as in fans who are friends or like friends.
And then she talks about the memorial.
“…I planned ways to honor our angel baby’s short, sweet life.”
There are a lot of ways to do that.
“One of the ways I wanted to remember him was by planting a tree for him & watching it grow.”
That will only grow more meaningful as the years go by.
“Now that we finally have our own home and our own backyard we can plant that tree. We researched and found a tree that blossoms all summer long.”
That’s absolutely beautiful.
She then invited fans and followers to join her in keeping her son’s memory alive, last night but also always.
Everybody grieves and mourns in their own way.
We’re sure that part of Jamie looks forward to the day that the hardest thing that she has to do is confront body-shamers.
It’s not for us — or anyone — to say if someone’s grieving too little or too much.
(Besides, you don’t know what’s going on internally)
But in Jamie’s case, it looks like she’s found a good balance and a healthy way to cope and to move forward with her life.
And such a sweet, tasteful way to immortalize her son’s memory.