SoLongPTA Empty Nest Blog

also know as


September, the month the Battle Girls, my sister Renee, and I, call SUCKTEMBER


This is not a feel-good, light, funny story. There’s no way around Sucktember.
So here it is.


The moment in time that changed everything.  We lost a baby. Funny thing, September started out being our favorite month!  Blind Date on Friday, September 13 (Friday the 13th!!!) and married 3 years later on September 24. It was our favorite month until it really wasn’t.

The following is my 1997 post to a Mom’s & Loss internet group:

The shock of the next day will never leave me.  The nurse couldn’t find the heartbeat.  She said they would call my husband Jack and get him there.

They took me directly to Ultrasound.  I was in a fog.  Two or three technicians and my doctor gathered around the ultrasound machine, now hidden from my view.

Then everyone left.  Except for my doctor.  My very, very busy doctor.  She just kept saying she was so sorry, she didn’t know what was wrong and that we would have to deliver “now.”  It did not register.  Something was wrong with the baby, and we had to deliver “now.”  She walked me back to an exam room and asked if I wanted to lay down. “Of course I need to lay down, I’m on bed rest, and we have to deliver “now.”  But she just stayed there.

Then, it hit. I got it.

I ask her in disbelief if the baby was the d-word (sorry, but still can’t say it).  She said, “I’m so sorry, I thought you knew.” I guess it was a blessing it took me so long to realize, at that exact moment Jack arrived. He actually knew before I did.  God knew I needed Jack with me to manage.

September 28, 2 devastating days later, we delivered.  We had a perfect baby boy.  He was 4.6oz, 19.5”, a square face like mine and a turned-up mouth like Jack’s.  He should have been screaming & crying, but he was silent.  The umbilical cord was around his neck. . . twice.  He had a furrowed little brow that let me know he was a real fighter.

We named him Jeb from Jack’s and his father’s initials, both John E. Bailey.  Hopefully, we will have a “third” one day, but we also wanted a special name for this precious angel.  We found it.

We are still healing the only way there is day-by-day.  We are waiting, and when we have the doctor’s go-ahead, we will try again. I am very nervous.  I will be running on pure faith and adrenaline.  I thank you all for your post, your memorial pages, and most of all, your courage to share your stories.
May all our sweet angels sleep in peace.

Mom to Jeb Bailey
Died 9-26-97
Born 9-28-97

That was 22 years ago.  I still cry every year.  We have celebrated Sucktember, 28 for 22 years.  I’m crying now. What’s the Bright Side?
  • Emily McKenna Bailey, our precious, sassy, “I’m doing everything my way” girl, was born 2 years after Jeb. John Everett Bailey, III, yes, we got our “THIRD” or as Renee calls him “Thurston,” sixteen months later!!!
  • I may not be a great mom, but it’s somehow made me a better one.
  • Since 2009, I have been a digital retouch artist for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, an organization that provides the gift of remembrance portraits to parents experiencing the death of a baby. I hope my experience with PhotoShop and my own loss will help other moms get through the next day, then the next, then the next. . . 

Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray to God my soul to take.

LoVe, Robin