Babies Are Not Suppose To Die
Anticipation of Baby's Arrival
This Mothers Day falls on the anniversary of what would have been my son Jude's 9th birthday. Until this day I have not read all of the cards that were sent to us or even sent thank you notes. It's not that I am not thankful for the outpouring of support we received, its more that I could only bear thinking about him and the situation in such small doses to preserve my sanity.
My husband and I were so innocent and full of hope and dreams for our son's arrival. We did everything in the order that our grandparents would approve of degrees, jobs, marriage, new house, and then baby. According to the March of Dimes website 4 out of 1,000 births in the US result in neonatal death. His room was hand painted with murals of Whinnie the Pooh, car seats were installed, and his closet was full of new clothes.
Happy Birthday Jude
On May 12, 2010 a beautiful and healthy baby boy was born. I'll never forget the depth of how he stared into my eyes. It was like he chose me and he had been waiting to meet me for so long. Until this day I can remember it was as if time stood still, our eyes locked and I felt like he was saying so much but no words could describe it. Maybe he knew his life was going to be so short so this moment is forever imprinted on me.
He Lived for 5 Days
We had lots of visitors to the hospital. I can remember going home my worst fear was that I wouldn't wake up to feed him. Those fears are so silly once I realized that I was wired for motherhood. Waking up to feed him was so natural. During our short weekend together I read him every book in his shelf, Daddy gave him a grand tour of the house, and I played him all the mozart cds.
Monday morning as the blue twilight light filled the house I brought him to his room for a diaper change. He didn't look well his color had changed very orange and his eyes were rolling up and staying suck. I rushed him to Albany Med. By Gods will we stood in limbo of whether or not he would live for only one day. Jude passed away in the neonatal intensive care unit at Albany Med at 5PM that evening.
Grieving Differently is Hard on a Marriage
My husband and I grieve differently and that in itself can cause a lot of tension. It was clear to the world that my husband was angry with life and felt our child was cheated of his future. I dove into spirituality and thought I could find the meaning of life through his death. I wanted the freedom to still laugh if something was funny or feel content in the beauty of nature but my husband was not going to experience any other feeling than anger for many years to come. I was trying to dance in the rain but he wouldn't dance with me any longer. We lost each other for some time.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
You can be a Mother Without a Baby
My son gives me a rainbow for every special occasion. When TJ and I found out we were having another boy we saw a rainbow. During the anniversary of Jude's life each year I see a rainbow either on his birthday or death date. It wasn't until the 3rd year after he passed that I started to feel complete again. That year we had a memorial bench put in at the bike path. We had a healthy baby boy Alex only 13 months after Jude passed. His funny antics and bold personality were exactly what we needed. Being a mother without a child is the most broken feeling on earth, because being a mother never goes away. Turn to March of Dimes if you need help navigating the death a new born. Many Blessings.