One month after her newborn son’s death, Sarah Herron is finding the words to speak about her anguish and path to healing.
On Feb. 28, “The Bachelor” alum shared intimate photos and words about life since she and fiancé Dylan Brown’s son, Oliver Brown, died. Oliver was born at 24 weeks on Jan. 28 and passed away soon after his birth.
“It’s been a month since Oliver was born. This is him, this is his sweet little face,” she began the post shared on her official Instagram page. “Perfect and covered in bright blonde peach fuzz. All 2lbs of him.”
The SheLift founder and CEO's post featured a carousel of pictures of her son and partner, the first of which shows her pressing a kiss to Oliver's forehead. Included in the pictures are one of Oliver's small handprint in ink, a photo of Herron lying in the sun with her dog, Rio, while on a couch and a photo of a sea turtle hatchling nest created for Oliver in his memory.
“I’m not sure how to summarize the last month,” Herron continued in the caption of the post. “Or how we’ve managed to survive — it’s required a certain type of Wintering that only a grieving mother knows. But somehow, we’re here.”
Herron then detailed the surreal experience of giving birth to her baby boy and ultimately becoming a new mother who has lost her child.
“What I hate is that as more time separates us from the night we met Oliver, sometimes I can’t distinguish if the last month has been a nightmare or if my pregnancy was all a dream,” she admitted. “And as each new day brings increments of space and healing… I am gutted that we are moving back in a direction of life that physically looks like the one we lived before Oliver. My body is healing, yet I remain in maternity jeans — a paradox of relief and grief at the same time.”
Having given birth to Oliver in January, Herron described her desire to cling to the season that brought her hope for a lifetime with him. Then, she wrote of the bitterness of knowing such an experience with him will never come.
“Although it’s still snowing, spring is peeking its way through and I am not ready. The minutes of daylight gained each night is an insulting reminder that life carries on despite my grief still being held in January,” she added. “I don’t want the snow to melt or the trees to bud. I want to Winter with Oliver forever.”
Through the darkness, Herron admitted to loving “that joy has come back sooner than I gave it credit for. I didn’t believe people when they told me it would. And we’ve been laughing — a lot, actually. We’ve started cooking again and going for walks. And Rio, sweet Rio… he has been my lifeline. He is my witness.”
For now, Herron says she’s healing in solitude, keeping away from speaking to or seeing people as days begin to “outnumber intolerable” ones and “good days” start “to find their way in.”
In the final passage of her post, she admits to finding solace in meeting her baby boy, even briefly. More, she shares that she's been able to find moments of amusement in the way she has chosen to keep him near her.
“Oliver is home on my nightstand in a white gift bag until his urn arrives,” she wrote. “I have to find humor in even this because, honestly, it is kind of funny. I feel his spirit all around us, people all around the WORLD feel his spirit. And though his body isn’t here, I know this isn’t the end of Oliver Brown.”
Herron ended her post by telling her son that she loved him and wishing him a “one-month heavenly birthday.”
In the comments section of Herron's post, words of support and love for the former advertising executive poured in.
“This whole tribute is so beautiful and the 3rd & 4th paragraphs are ELITE level writing,” one user replied. “Your ability to put your emotions into words is truly incredible. I love the documentation of Oliver’s story. Happy 1-month cute boy!!”
Many of the responses came from mothers who endured the same as Herron and who found shards of peace in her words.
“We are one day behind you in our loss and it still takes my breath away when the sadness overcomes me,” another replied. “The hardest days are the ones that should be celebrated and for that, I feel immense guilt.”
Herron disclosed the news of Oliver’s death earlier this month, on Feb. 1 with a post on Instagram.
At the time, she described Oliver as an “IVF miracle” who “defied so many odds and fought through so many hard milestones.”
“The stars aligned to create Baby Oliver 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,” she wrote at the time. “We’ll never understand the cruelty of it all, but through the darkness, Oliver remains so so bright. We love you so much, baby boy. You will never be replaced. You are so perfect and awesome. Love, Mommy and Daddy.”