Today is a hard day for me. Twenty-one years ago today, my life was shattered with such intense pain and loss. On this day every year, I remember June 12, 1989, like it was yesterday. It's a day I remember becoming a mother for the first time. And it's the day my son died.
I don't talk about him as much as I used to. But that doesn't mean I've forgotten him. I haven't. I never will. After a "perfect" pregnancy with no health problems except heart burn, I went into hard back labor. It lasted 16 hours. I was monitored throughout, but the montior only picked up a slight increase in heart rate about 20 minutes before my baby was born.
As soon as he was born, that very second, I knew something was wrong. I could see it in the doctor's eyes. I could feel it in the stillness of the room...and the silence. I caught a glimpse of my son as the doctor and nursing staff attended him. He was a purplish color from the waist down. I saw my doctor pick up his tiny foot and let it go. It dropped and stayed still.
But he was alive.
He lived for four hours. They did everything they could to save him. They sent him by ambulance to a better hospital, but he died before arriving. My deepest regret. I was so drugged, so devastated, that I hadn't thought to demand they send me with him.
He's with me now. Always. In my heart.
I often wonder what life would've been like with a son turning twenty-one. Jessica would've had an older brother. What would he be doing now? Would he be in college? Would he join the military, like both of his grandfathers and his dad? Would he look like his dad, sound like him?
I miss him. I never got the chance to even know him and I miss him.
Yes, the loss of a child never goes away. But it does get easier to bear. I've made my peace with Fate. I made it twenty-one years ago today. On the day my son was born...and died.
My daughter Jessica was born a year later. On a Monday morning, just like her brother. Geminis, the two of them. She had a head of hair just like him too. In fact, they looked identical. Even down to a small red splotch in the middle of their foreheads--a mark my doctor told me was called an "angel's kiss".