"It has been beautiful and simultaneously tragic. We've been surrounded by love and have never been lonelier," Herron wrote.
Sarah Herron is discussing how she is coping with the loss of her son shortly after she gave birth to him. The 36-year-old former Bachelorette wrote an essay about her experiences around the death of her son, Oliver Brown, who was born in her 24th week of pregnancy after a protracted in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process, for National Infertility Awareness Week (April 23–29) in Women's Health Magazine.
"Our time together was short, but we are grateful for our days with Oliver in my belly. He has taught us so much about the integrity of life, love, and death," wrote Herron, who shared Oliver with fiancé Dylan Brown, per PEOPLE. "He's taught me what it means to be a mother: to honor, celebrate and show up for your children—regardless of their time on earth. Oliver filled our home and hearts with so much love and optimism."
Herron continued, "The stars aligned to create our son with a deep, meaningful purpose bigger than we'll ever understand. His body was small, but his legacy will always be larger than life to us." Herron also noted that although her heart is shattered and she would much rather have the child with her, she is "comforted knowing that our son's soul only ever knew love and will not suffer in a body that wasn't built for this life." She concluded, "He wasn't struck by lightning...he was magic."
In another section of the essay, Herron opened up about how it felt when she returned home following Oliver's passing and stated that "there is no way to prepare yourself for the subtle inconveniences of pregnancy vanishing—without warning." She described, "Like the way you can suddenly zip your winter coat or reach down to tie your shoes again. Or how the elastic band on your sweats suddenly fits on your waist—not below it. Or the way you accidentally roll onto your belly in the middle of the night," she continued. "And worst of all, catching your new reflection each day and no longer seeing a bump."
The healing process has called for what Herron refers to as a "certain type of wintering, of retreat, and rest that only a grieving mother knows." She further added that "there are no words for the magnitude of loss and pain you experience when losing a child. It was messy and ripped us apart, yet it was an important part of our experience as parents," she wrote. "We had to face Oliver's death head-on and let the grief tear through us. And somewhere, in the chaos of loss, we found our survival instinct and could sustain our love for Oliver while moving forward with our life," she said. "It has been beautiful and simultaneously tragic. We've been surrounded by love and have never been lonelier."
Cover Image Source: Instagram | @sarahherron