Jeremy and Liz Lovy’s newborn son died 10 months ago. Since then, they have set small goals as they continue navigating through the grieving process.
Some days they just want to climb out of bed.
On more ambitious days, they want to leave the house or even cook dinner.
“You have to accept that you will have bad days,” Liz Lovy said. “And OK days.”
Any good days?
“Not yet,” she said.
Those two words probably describe the feelings many parents who lose a child, regardless of the age, experience. Their stories are as different as their children’s fingerprints, but in the end, they all share the same numbing loss.
July is recognized as Bereaved Parents Awareness Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness of the support necessary when one endures the loss of a child.
No one knows that better than Jeremy and Liz Lovy, a Lebanon couple who was expecting the birth of a child around Labor Day 2021. Liz, 34, has a teenage son, Mason, whom Jeremy, 35, adopted.
They were excited about having a baby after three years of marriage.
Liz, an executive administrative assistant for Premier Physician Network. found out she was pregnant in December 2020, in the middle of the pandemic.
“Gave us something to look forward to,” she said.
Logan Nelson Lovy was due around Labor Day 2021, 15 years after Mason was born.
It was a normal pregnancy and “everything was good,” Liz said. But on Sept. 10, her water broke in bed and later she couldn’t tell which way the baby was lying.
“That’s significant now,” she said quietly.
While in the bathroom, Liz felt the umbilical cord. Her husband, a registered nurse in the Emergency Department at Atrium Medical Center, called 911 and she was rushed to Atrium. They were met in the emergency department by a team of doctors and she was taken to the operating room.
She remembers hearing a doctor yell: “We got to go! We got to go!”
When she came out of anesthesia after the emergency cesarean section, she asked a nurse if she delivered a boy or a girl. She was told a boy. Jeremy was in another room with Logan and Liz was told a doctor wanted to speak to her.
“I knew that was bad,” she said.
She saw Logan for a few seconds before he was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. Five days later, on Sept. 15, when Logan’s brain never responded after frequent seizures due to the lack of oxygen, his medical care was withdrawn.
Logan donated life in the form of his heart valves for another child in need, his mother said.
She believes when Logan was breached, he kicked and broke her water. That’s just speculation.
“They don’t know what happened,” she said.
Death is hard enough to comprehend, but when it comes with unanswered questions, it leaves parents with holes in their hearts.
“The worst possible feeling I have ever experienced,” she said of losing Logan. “Every day is hard. Every little detail reminds you of what you should be doing. Every season change, every weather change, every new event, every holiday.”
Then they’re reminded they have a teenage son. They don’t want Mason’s life to end the day Logan died.
That has “helped keep us focused on being good parents,” she said. “We don’t want this to ruin his life and have his mom and dad lay in bed all day.”
So they lean on the Help Endure A Loss (HEAL) program and staff at Atrium. The staff has walked every step with the Lovys throughout their journey.
“This has opened my eyes we are not alone,” she said. “Regardless of when a loss happens, the loss feels the same. You have to take the time to slow down and process what happened.”
HOW TO GO:
WHAT: HEAL (Help Endure a Loss) Remembrance Walk and Benefit
WHEN: Registration: 12:30 p.m. today; Walk: 1 p.m.
WHERE: Atrium Family YMCA, 5750 Innovation Drive, Middletown
MORE INFORMATION: Park at Atrium Family YMCA on Atrium Medical Center’s campus. Registration for the walk will be at the YMCA. The ½-mile walk to the HEAL Memory Garden will begin at 1 p.m., followed by a memorial reading of names at the HEAL Memory Garden.
WHO BENEFITS: The HEAL Remembrance Walk and Benefit supports HEAL services, which are provided free of charge to anyone who has been touched by the death of a child, regardless of age or circumstance.
SUPPORT GROUP: HEALing Together, a support group for grieving parents, meets the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the office of Hilltop Obstetrics and Gynecology, located on the first floor of the Professional Building at Atrium Medical Center, One Medical Center Drive in Middletown. Registration is not required, but attendees are encouraged to RSVP by emailing HEAL@PremierHealth.com.