Sarah Herron, a former contestant on “The Bachelor,” announced the death of her newborn child this week.
Oliver Brown, whom Herron called “our IVF miracle,” was born prematurely at 24 weeks on Jan. 28 and “passed away in his dad’s arms shortly after,” Herron wrote in an Instagram post Wednesday.
A photo of Herron lying on a hospital bed accompanied the post. In it, she’s holding Oliver against her chest while her fiancé, Dylan Brown, kisses Herron on the forehead.
“There are no words for the magnitude of loss and pain we’re experiencing,” she said. “It’s beautiful and simultaneously tragic. He had my nose and his dad’s mouth and long fingers.”
Last September, Herron and Brown announced their pregnancy, telling US Weekly they had tried to conceive naturally, but decided to do in vitro fertilization after testing revealed Herron had diminished ovarian reserve.
Herron regularly shared details about her pregnancy on Instagram, including medical complications. In Wednesday’s post, she recalled fond moments Oliver experienced with her during her pregnancy, such as swimming with sea turtles, recovering from breaking her knee, enjoying Brown’s cooking, and spending time with their fiercely loyal pet dog, Rio.
“While our hearts are shattered beyond comprehension, we are comforted knowing that our son’s soul only ever knew love and will not suffer in a body that wasn’t built for this life,” she continued.
The reality TV star was a contestant on the 17th season of ABC’s “The Bachelor” in 2013, and after being eliminated, she returned the next year for the first, and later the third, season of “Bachelor in Paradise.”
During the first “Bachelor in Paradise” season, Herron spoke out against the drunken behavior of one of the male contestants, Chad Johnson, who insulted Herron for her disability. Herron was born with amniotic band syndrome and has one full arm. Johnson was kicked off the show after Herron complained to producers, calling the incident “poor form for the franchise” that was “jeopardizing our safety for ratings’ sake.”
Many former “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” contestants have shared their condolences since the post, including former show host Chris Harrison, who wrote in the comments, “God Bless you all Sarah. We love you.”
“I would do anything to take away this pain for you,” wrote Ashley Spivey, a contestant from season 15. “Oliver will always be with you and I know you and Dylan will keep his memory alive no matter what. He will visit you in small ways and you will live for those moments.”
Clare Crawley, who was Season 18‘s runner-up and lead of Season 16 of “The Bachelorette,” called Herron “the most amazing mother,” adding that her “strength through everything to fight so hard for your son has been nothing less than beautiful to witness.”
Catherine Giudici Lowe, who competed alongside Herron in the show’s 17th season, wrote, “I wish I could hug you right now, what a heartbreaking experience for you, precious mama. Sending you so much love and praying for you both right now.”
Herron finished her post by promising that Oliver “will never be replaced,” calling him “so perfect and awesome.”