Maya Vander is getting candid about celebrating the holidays after suffering a pregnancy loss.
Earlier this month, the “Selling Sunset” star revealed the tragic news that she had a stillbirth at 38 weeks. On Friday, December 24, Vander posted a photo of her and her husband along with their two children, Aiden, 2, and Elle, 1. The foursome all smiled for the camera, but Vander made it clear that she was still suffering from her recent loss.
In the caption, she penned an emotional note detailing the emotional aftermath after pregnancy loss.
“This is not the Christmas Eve I had envisioned,” she wrote. “This was the day Mason would have come home with us. It’s been two weeks since I lost my child. I am smiling in the photo but I got to tell you, it’s been difficult.”
Vander explained that she had “never experienced grief this way,” adding, “Our family is taking it one day at a time and we are just trying our best for the kids.”
“I am extremely grateful for all the kindness and messages I have been getting. We are thankful for our children and know that it will be ok…” she continued. “I want to wish all of you happy holiday season! I hope and have faith that after the storm comes the 🌈.”
The 39-year-old publicly revealed her loss on December 10, sharing a photo of a box containing multiple pieces of baby clothing. In the caption, she shared the heartbreaking news, calling it the “hardest day of my life.”
“I had a still birth at 38 weeks. I always heard of it but never imagined I’ll be part of the statistics,” she added. “Instead of delivering a baby, I get to go home with a memory box… I do not wish this on anyone.”
She shared that the day began as a standard weekly checkup before it “turned into a nightmare.”
“Given I share my pregnancies in the show I knew I’ll have to post about this and avoid the ‘when is your due date' question,” she concluded the post. “You will always be in our heart baby Mason.”
One week after she lost her son, Vander penned an emotional essay for TODAY, opening up about trying to understand the loss she experienced.
She recalled everything going “exactly as planned” in the weeks leading up to her checkup. As she already had two children, she explained that she knew how the weekly appointments were meant to go. However, when she was in the room for the checkup at 38 weeks, they were unable to hear the baby’s heartbeat in the ultrasound room.
“I asked the doctor, ‘What do I do?’ I had to go to the hospital to deliver the baby,” she explained. “I called my husband to tell him the news. He had COVID-19 and couldn’t come with me. I went home, got the suitcase that I had already packed and drove myself to the hospital. It was like I was on autopilot. I just needed to get it done.”
Vander explained that she had to deliver her son vaginally, but it wasn’t the same as her other two children. She wrote, “Those were such exciting times, so special. This time it was so painful, so hard to understand.”
“It’s such a strange time for me,” she described the aftermath of loss. “Sometimes I’m OK, and then something will trigger me and I’ll break down.”
Vander said that while she’s still working, it’s been difficult for her because she is not in a good place, both physically and mentally. She shared that she and her husband plan to go to therapy to try to understand their grieving process, but they’ve been trying to “lift each other up” in the meantime.
“One thing that gives me hope is that many women in a similar situation have gone on to have more children,” she shared toward the end of her essay. “I was very much ready for a third child, and now there’s a void. But they give me hope.”
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: