It was a bittersweet day today. I drove my daughter to one of her final exams today, then came home and puttered around on the computer, not completely focused because today is a special day--and a sad one.
June 12th, 1989...
After a perfect pregnancy, I gave birth to a son. Within seconds I knew that something was wrong. His legs were dark purplish gray and there was no response when the nurse lifted them and let them go. I could see it on everyone's face--the nurses and my doctor knew it too. My baby--my firstborn--was dying.
He died 4 hours after birth--in an ambulance heading for a special children's hospital.
I never held him.
My husband did, but I never held my son. After they first took him away, they put him in an incubator. I was afraid to touch him. The minister from our church came to the hospital and baptized our son. Sebastien Pierre Tardif--"Pierre" after my husband's father.
Today was Sebastien's birthday. He would have been 19.
This afternoon I thought about him. I wondered if he would have looked a bit like our daughter, if he would have looked like my husband Marc.
Would Sebastien have had a girlfriend he really loved? Would he be getting ready to go to college, university...or would he be joining the company where his dad works? Would he have liked fixing cars like his dad? I like to think so. Would he be getting ready to leave, to move out?
Would he have skipped school, tried pot, beaten up the neighbor's boy, taken my car for a joyride before he got his license? Would he have had a wild party when Marc and I went to Mexico? Would he fight with Jessica over everything?
I wish he would have had the opportunity to do ALL of this and more.
I have made peace with all that happened, with his death, and the hole in my life is not so big. I have learned very early on to accept it for what it was--mercy. Sebastien had a brain aneurism minutes before he was born. If he had survived he would have had no use of his legs, possibly his arms and his brain was damaged. In fact, he would not have done many of the things I would have dreamed for my son. He is at peace now, at rest.
And I will never forget him.
Happy birthday, my beautiful son.
Cheryl, I cannot even begin to imagine the loss of a child. It may have been 19 years ago, but I'm sure that in some ways, it seems like yesterday. My thoughts and prayers go out to little Sebastien, to you and Marc, and to Jessica, who never got the chance to know her big brother.
Thank you so much for your very thoughtful words.
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