It's been two and half years now since our
baby son passed on and I decided to update this page:
We remember our son everyday, especially having his beautiful
and adorable (and sometimes mischievous, LOL) brother Steven.
We still get our ups and downs during holidays/birthdays
as these times seem to remind us of the pain we feel of
not having him here with us. Time does help and we are coping
with this death much better. Having my son and daughter
at home keeps me busy and my mind occupied. However, those
moments in the hospital, the funeral and burial are so tragic
that I will carry them with me for the rest of my life.
Life does go on but life is never the same. I still love
life and want to give the world to my kids but I look at
things just a little different now. I know that I did everything
that was humanly possible to protect the pregnancy and bring
two healthy babies into the world. What happened to us was
not my fault and what happend to us was clearly a tragedy.
However, it was a tragedy that could have been avoided and
that is still the hard part to accept. In an age of technology
that we live in, my doctor could just not be bothered to
set up an appointment for me to get the extra testing that
I had requested.
The first weeks and months that followed Matthew's death
were very hard for us. There were high levels of stress
from grieving and on top of that, I was learning to be a
new mom to my other son. It is such a complex situation
that sometimes I don't know how we made it through. Sometimes
I think that it would have been easier to die than to watch
him die. And I now realize how painful the loss of a child,
no matter what age, can be. It can hurt one so much that
I honestly think someone can die from a broken heart.
As Matthew died on the same day he was born, Steven's birthday
will always be one of happiness and sorrow, as it has been
the last two years. We have celebrated Steven's two birthdays
with parties, family and friends but when we sing that line,
"Happy Birthday dear Steven..." there's always
a moment in my heart that pauses because I know his brother
should be celebrating his birthday right by his side.
All our dreams for Matthew have vanished, we lost our child,
we lost the future. And although we are so happy with Steven
and our daughter Erica, it is still painful for us. No other
child will ever replace him.
Mourning the loss of a loved one is a very personal process
that varies amongst individuals. Some people have this illusion
that because I have Steven and Erica I should forget and
move on but the truth of the matter is that grieving is
a journey, not a destination. Grieving is not about forgetting
but instead its about remembering with less pain.
And that is exactly what is happening, we are moving on
but not forgetting.
I still remember that afternoon when the nurses handed
Steven to me and then Matthew. One crying baby in one hand
and one lifeless in the other; there are no words that could
ever describe what that felt like. Nothing could be worse
than to be given a live baby and a dead baby at the same
time. This is true especially when they were both perfectly
well when I walked into the hospital that morning. We saw
Matthew a couple of times during the days I recovered in
the hospital. We held him close kissing him, telling him
that we loved him and cried so, so much. We took pictures
and even introduced him to our relatives that same night.
I remember saying, "This is Matthew...he's very
pale". I was so devastated by the whole thing but
I am glad we took those pictures and have them as memories.
I hope he was there in spirit and could feel our warmth
and our love.
more beautiful than I had dreamed and more precious than I had
imagined. I didn't know I could love him
|"Love is stronger
love is forever"
"We love you Matthew."
For the most part everyone has been very supportive
and it has given us comfort to know that so many people care. Although
over time, we have become closer to some people and have distanced
ourselves from those who couldn't understand or didn't want to.
Matthew is at a nearby cemetery. He is in a baby
section in the mausoleum. I still visit him every week. In the beginning
I was going almost everyday. Families that have their babies also
in the same section have loss through different ways but we all
share the same grief. I have met a few parents, we have shared our
stories and comforted one another.
Everything we had planned for this pregnancy was
in two's . We had matching clothes and extra baby equipment to return
to the stores. Not only did we loose a baby but all the special
feelings that go along with having twins. My situation is different
than most mothers who loose a child because of the grief I experienced
with Matthew but I rejoiced in the birth of his twin Steven at the
same time. Those first few weeks and months grieving the loss of
Matthew were at times stronger than celebrating the gift of Steven.
But I love Steven and Erica with my all heart and soul. They give
me a sense of peace and comfort and we are so grateful to have them,
they are truly a blessing!
Faith is taking
the first step even when you
don't see the whole staircase.
tiny feet go before us to teach us the way home"
To have lost him and in the way that it happened
was more than devastating. It was just so unfair the way it happened.
We didn't even get to spend an hour with him. Sometimes I think
that because he didn't take a breathe in this world that he was
truly an angel. I don't know why this happened to us, someday I
know I will. I do believe he had some reason to been created, God's
plans I guess. Yet it is something I will always have a hard time
accepting, not necessarily that he passed on but how it happened.
It was more than a shock, it was completely unimaginable to us.
The way everything happened, I really think it is one of the worse
ways to lose a baby. In truth, I will say that part of me died with
Matthew that afternoon and it has changed my life...not for the
better or for the worse but losing him has certainly changed me
as a person. Not a day goes by when I dont think of our son,
telling him that I love him, I miss him and wish that his death
could have been avoided. Matthew will always be loved, never forgotten.
Time does allay the sorrow and the desire to continue
ahead with life has taken place. Thus, the love and support of my
family and friends, my willpower, and learning more on vasa previa
have given me the virtue to overcome this tragedy and turn it into
a source of hope and strength. God has guided the right people into
my life to help me get through this. And I also have a strong bond
with Matthew after his passing. It is a renewed closeness I now
feel. Although the physical connection is gone I believe his spirit
is with us. He is in Heaven watching over us. When Steven and Erica
are playing and laughing or they hug me, or even when I look at
them when their sleeping so beautifully, I feel that they each have
a little of their brother as if Matthew is smiling through them
to let me know everythings o.k.
Many a time I have seen Matthew in my dreams and
he is always calm and happy which makes me believe he's in a safe
and peaceful place - I like to think of it as Heaven. And I do find
a sense of peace knowing that one day we will be reunited. Perhaps
when that day comes I will know why this happened to us and will
finally find true closure.
There is a wonderful book I recently read called,
Life Touches Life, written by Lorraine Ash in memory of
her daughter Victoria who was stillborn. With her permisson, I wanted
to share with you a beautiful quote from one of her chapters entitled
"Finding Peace" (p. 107):
When pregnant I looked
forward to the day when I would take walks with Victoria, her delicate
hand in mine.
I imagined squeezing her hand and looking at her lovingly as she
studied her shoes, or pointed at a bee,
or squinted in the sun. One day, we will have our walk.
I have a vision of my
own death. I am walking into the light, being led by my daughter,
forever a girl,
her little hand in mine. "Hey, Piccolina," I will say.
"It's Mommy." She will know and we will
walk into eternity. Together.
being Baptized at 5 months. Alongside Steven's candle, we
also lit a candle
in memory of Matthew at the church. Both moments were very
special to us.
to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.
is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers,
grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and
the sun, how they move in silence...We need silence to be
able to touch souls.