Hey, my name is Carly Reisman. I’m a 35-year-old mom, and let me tell you, my road to motherhood has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Back in 2019, everything seemed perfect. I easily got pregnant with our daughter, and she’s now a spunky four-and-a-half-year-old who keeps us on our toes.

But life, as it often does, threw us a curveball. After our daughter came into our lives, we dreamed of expanding our family. Both my husband and I grew up with siblings, and I’ve always envisioned a big, bustling household filled with laughter and love.

But then came the heartbreak—five miscarriages, one after the other. Each loss felt like a gut punch, tearing at the seams of our dreams.

Just when things seemed darkest, a glimmer of hope appeared—a rainbow baby boy. Every appointment with my OBGYN confirmed that he was healthy and developing just the way he should. On March 6th, I went to a routine checkup and saw him on the ultrasound, moving his arms in front of his face, making it impossible for my doctor to get a good photo. I left feeling hopeful and out of the woods. Little did I know that at 3 a.m. that same night, I would wake up in intense pain. Immediately, I blamed myself because I ate junk food before bed and thought I had an upset stomach. An hour or two later, I knew something was really wrong. I woke my husband up and told him I was going to the hospital. Within 45 minutes of being in the hospital, I was told I needed an emergency C-section because I was in full-blown labor.

His name was Benji, and he arrived prematurely at only 25 weeks, fighting for his life in the NICU. We held on to hope for five days, praying for a miracle. I had the privilege of feeding him my milk, changing his diaper, and holding his hands. But sadly, he died on March 11, leaving us shattered.

Grief hit me like a ton of bricks. It felt like I was drowning, suffocating under the weight of it all. But I refused to let it break me. Instead, I found strength in turning my pain into something purposeful.

In a few months, I’ll be taking my own leap and starting a support group for women in my community who’ve gone through similar losses. Opening up to others is a scary step, but I know it’s something I need to do. I want to create a space where we can share our stories, our pain, and our hopes for the future. Together, we’ll navigate the waves of grief, holding on to each other for support and understanding.

Grief isn’t easy or neat and tidy. You have to move through it each and every day.  It’s messy, unpredictable, and hits you when you least expect it. But through it all, there are moments of calm where you catch your breath and find the strength to keep going.

Today, as I stand at the beginning of my own healing journey, I’m filled with a sense of purpose and hope. It’s a long road ahead, no doubt, but I know I’m not walking it alone. With the love of my community and the memory of my angel Benji guiding me, I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

If you would like to contribute to our healing process and our plans to memorialize Benji, please consider donating through SupportNow, an amazing platform built to make things a little easier for anyone going through a challenging time.