Meet Lex, our last mama featured in “Knowing Other Mamas” interview series. This was a tough one, readers--she’s an infant loss survivor. The bravery she’s got demonstrated by the loss and other previous challenges is insurmountable. I hope getting to know her motherhood story reminds you--as it did for me--what a privilege it is every day to be a mom and love on our littles. Please, fellow mamas, read on.
THE KNOWN MAMA: Lex, thanks for your willingness to be open about an unimaginable reality in your life--the loss of your baby boy, Dakoda. There’s a lot to unpack in your story.
TKM: I’d love for readers to get to know you--could you share a little about yourself and your story?
LEX: I want to share my story because it’s important for moms to know that tragedies like these do happen, and life shouldn’t be taken for granted.
If you would’ve asked me a year ago who I was, I would’ve described an entirely different person. I’d say that I was a strong woman that dedicated her life to being a mother and a wife. Someone who is trying to do her best in every way. I’ve always wanted to be a mother. As a young child, I dreamt of what it would be like to raise a family and to give them everything that I wanted growing up. Creating beautiful memories and life long traditions was a goal that I couldn’t wait to accomplish.
I now have four kids total--Dakoda (who I consider still a part of our family, of course), Jace (5 years), Kayden (2 years), and Ashtyn (1 month). I got pregnant with Jace when I was 18, and had him at 19. I was a young mom, and to be honest I was petrified. I knew my life was different the moment I saw the two pink lines on the pregnancy test, and I was panicked. Being a teen and knowing that responsibility was nine months away was heavy and scary--I had to let go
of a lot of what I thought my life would look like. Now, of course, I wouldn’t trade it for the world and I’m so thankful I didn’t listen to those that said during my pregnancy “I had other options.” Faith that I would love my child and that he would be worth it all is the truth I held onto.
My children are all special in their own way. I cherish each of them, but it's hard, really hard some days. My husband on the road the majority of the time for work, so I feel like I've had to parent on my own. But I keep going because that’s what moms do.
But after losing my son, Dakoda, in January, every day feels heavy. He was only 5.5 months old. Losing a baby becomes a part of you that I don’t know if I could explain unless you’ve experienced this yourself.
On January 22, 2020 I woke up around 4am and realized I had missed Dakoda's feeding. He was still sleeping in my room at the time since he was so young, so I went over to him put my hand on his chest, but there was nothing. Next thing I knew I was crying in absolute fear while driving to the hospital. It wasn’t long after I got there that the doctor sat us down to tell us that he was gone. Forever. One of the worst things about it was that my husband was on the road for work so he wasn’t there for any of it. It was like a scene out of a movie the way he delivered the news--every part of me broke. I didn’t understand because things aren’t supposed to happen like that in real life.
All I wanted to do in the days after was be alone, and be angry. I tried to bargain with God, and I sh
ut down in many senses. I lost a part of myself when he left Earth. Even now, almost a year later, I’m triggered to sadness when I least expect it--I’m not sure if I can ever find a new “normal." Just being real here, I’m just taking it one season at a time.
TKM: Your mothering journey has been intense, Lex. Weaving throughout your story is obviously strength but it had a high cost. I speak for myself and readers when I express how sorry I am for that dark heartache. It’s your biggest fear come alive, losing your child. And that’s just one piece of your story of resilience.
LEX: Yes, it’s one part of my life to this point but the one that has maybe shaped me the most. I love my children even more deeply as a result of losing Dakoda. And I’m grateful for that, and for my mothering to be that much more intentional because I’ve faced it all.
TKM: What’s the best advice you’ve received?
LEX: “Don’t stress over things you can’t control.” I can’t tell you who told me this or when, but it’s something I’ve kept in mind for years. I constantly would stress about every little thing instead of living in the moment and it created so much anxiety in my life. Now I’m living day to day and embracing every moment. None of us can control life. We can just control how we respond to it.
TKM: What’s the hardest part of your mothering?
LEX: Not being able to protect my children from the hard parts of life. In some ways I want to shield them the painful things of the world but, as I said, I can’t control everything. I’ll do the best I can to protect, but at the same time I have to let go because it’s what’s healthiest for me personally.
TKM: Exactly--the hardest part of mothering such as not being able to put them in a protective bubble is ironically not the best thing for them. We spend our whole motherhood trying to find that balance of giving them independence yet safety.
TKM: What do you want to be “known” for as a mama?
LEX: I want to be known for being loving and always being transparent. I want my kids to know me as that, but to also be known for that in my public presence.
TKM: And lastly, how can people find and follow you?
LEX: People can find me at my IG @alexamarquis. There’s also a link to my blog on that profile.
TKM: Thanks again, Lex, for your vulnerability and kindness. We’ll all be sure to send you virtual love throughout January as it marks a year since Dakota’s passing. Wishing the best for your beautiful babies.