CNN correspondent René Marsh is holding her new baby girl extra tight, having welcomed her two years after the painful death of her two-year-old son.
The journalist's son, Blake, with husband Kedric Payne, passed away in April 2021 after a battle with pediatric brain cancer.
Now, though grappling with feelings of both joy and pain, the couple are getting to enjoy having a baby again in their home, after the arrival last month of their daughter, Siena Marsh Payne.
René opened up to People about the bittersweet nature of little Siena's arrival, and tells the outlet: "It's been great to just have this role of mother in the physical sense, in the present sense, again, to this little person," adding: "We are just so happy and grateful that we have this new life in our house again, and we have sounds in our house again of this young child."
Looking back on the time her home went from being filled with a family-of-three and suddenly one without a child running around the house, she says: "The silence of a home that had a two-year-old and then to come home to that child no longer being here, that silence was really striking," and that: "We wanted to have that sense of family again."
Nonetheless, it wasn't easy grappling with the joy of being pregnant again, the excitement of once again becoming a family-of-three, while still grieving Blake's death. She admits: "It was a constant tug and pull, with joy and pain and hope and heartbreak."
She further explained: "While grieving the loss of my son daily during my pregnancy I waited in great anticipation for the birth of my daughter," adding: "Through the tears, her gentle and sometimes not so gentle kicks in the womb reminded me more was on the horizon. I will tell her one day how her kicks gave me hope at a time of great heartbreak."
While a difficult contrast, her pregnancy and the subsequent birth of her daughter filled her with hope: "I felt happy to be able to have this chance again to be a mom again," she says, noting: "It was finally happening for us, the fact that I was pregnant again gave me hope. It gave me something to look forward to that was positive. This pregnancy really renewed my spirit of hope."
"It was just grief and I was just flying up in the air and I had nothing kind of holding me, grounding me to the day-to-day," she says of the months before Siena's arrival, though now she notes: "I'll never get over the loss of my son, but now I have the love of my daughter to at least give me the balance that I was lacking before she got here."
Siena's arrival marked a major milestone for the mom. She says: "To have made it through the grief, to get to motherhood again, it felt like I had accomplished something huge.
"I think that's where the tears were coming from," she says of her emotions soon after giving birth to her daughter. "There were tears of relief, there were tears of happiness, but there were also tears of reflection of just all the battered, bruised journey that I had taken to get to this point."
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