My Baby Boy...
As October is here I am reminded that it is Infant Loss Awareness Month. I want to take some time as a mother who has lost a child to give this the time it deserves.
I am putting the story of my child's passing away in my upcoming book "UnMothered."
Although this story can be hard for some to read, please know that my story doesn't end here. I want you to know that even through the darkness of your life, there is joy again. It doesn't replace the pain, you will never forget those dark moments. There will be a light that will guide you. In the Bible, God talks about light in the King James Version of the Old Testament 177 times and 95 times in the New Testament.
It is important to remember the light. We need lightness in our lives. We will need it when moments of darkness come. But light always wins. Hold on to that.
Here is an excerpt;
It is a very long labor. 24 hours of deep contractions. I am ready for this baby. This baby is going to save my marriage and make me happy. I have planned out life in my head like a program of "Leave it to Beaver." I was June Cleaver. I am in a pretty dress, cooking at the stove with my white pristine apron on. I have my sweet cherub of a baby sitting in their high chair snacking on some fruit. My husband would walk through the door, I would kiss his cheek and waiting for him with a warm home cooked meal. There would be no fighting or screaming. Not in my perfect home. This baby will seal the deal to my happiness.
The first year of this marriage hadn't worked out the way I thought it would. I left him. I was done. Then, I am pregnant. Just like that, I am drawn back into a marriage I wasn't sure I wanted anymore.
This baby is going to change that. My dreams were in my head of a different home life. There is no conflict. No indifference. My heart is one balloon burst away with joy. My baby is coming.
After 24 hours and seeing some distress in the heartbeat of the baby, the doctors decided to give me a c-section. Moments later, a 9 lb. ,13 oz. baby boy is pulled out of my belly in one large suction cup of a "pop." They lifted him up and I realized the depth of a love for another human being. Linton Miles Kludt is born January 16, 1984 at 2.35am.
The reality of being a mom washes over me in warm pool of joy and peace. It jolts me awake of the responsibility that this little human needs me in ways even I can't quite comprehend. I am in love at once.
Linton is a large baby no doubt. He is very sleepy. He is not eating very well. The morning nurse is not happy with me. She rudely tells me my child is keeping all the other babies awake because of his screaming. It's my fault because I am not feeding him enough. She shoves my baby boy to my breast in an attempt to "teach me" how to breastfeed correctly. I hate her.
My sister comes in to visit a few hours later. "Can you go check on Linton? I have a weird feeling. I'm worried about him." Is my mother's intuition kicking in already."Sure, I'll be right back." my sister responds as she leaves for the nursery. It didn't take long for the walls of my heart to come tearing down piece by piece.
"He's not there!" she is pale and breathing heavily. My universe is sideways. Is he kidnapped? Did they take him somewhere else? What is going on.Very quickly, doctors start appearing in my room.
"You're son is very sick. We are running tests. We will let you know as soon as we can." the doctors do not look reassuring to me. I can't breathe. I don't cry. Not yet. I'm dreaming and I will wake up from this nightmare soon. It will all be okay.
"Don't be dramatic!" I hear my mother's voice in my head. But she is not here. She has once again decided not to participate in my life.
A doctor comes in. He is a heart surgeon. He looks grim. I am not prepared for what he is about to tell me.
"Phylis, your baby has been born with congenital heart disease. He needs emergency open heart surgery immediately. We don't know what the outcome will be until we operate, and that is if he even makes it to Stanford Hospital. We will have a team in the ambulance to watch over him. You will want to come and say "goodbye" to you baby before we take him"
I know what he means by this "goodbye." It's not a "see ya later" kind of goodbye. It's a "hold him tight and kiss him goodbye forever" kind of goodbye. My heart can't bear it. I'm 26 years old. I've already been through so much. Why can't I catch a break? Doesn't God understand I want to be a good person and live a normal life? It doesn't matter what I think; the reality is I am kissing my baby possibly for the very last time. I only said "hello" to this sweet boy 3 day prior. How can I live without him?
My upcoming book "UnMothered" will be published in January of 2019.