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 it’s 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.

 

"Matthew was more beautiful than I had dreamed and more precious than I had imagined. I didn't know I could love him
so much."
"Love is stronger than death,
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.

Rest in Peace Matthew

Steven & Erica with Mommy visiting the cemetery

Steven & Erica with Mommy visiting the cemetery
Rest in Peace Matthew Steven & Erica with Mommy visiting the cemetery

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.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 
"His 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 don’t 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 everything’s 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.

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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.

www.lorraineash.com

 

Steven 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.

 

 

 

 

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God 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.

Mother Teresa