My Sweet Son

Brie G. Godinez

It has only been 2 weeks. Yet it feels like longer. Two weeks ago, I buried my sweet son. I close my eyes and I remember the little white box in front of me. And the feeling of wanting to grab it and run away with him. The feeling of my husband holding me up as we walked away. And the guilt of coming home a wreck and having to take care of my other son. It seems like yesterday, but it was 2 weeks ago. And I still feel like a puddle of water.

I was 33 weeks and I was finally letting my guard down. I thought of all the hard times we have had over the last months and let out a sigh. Early on, my AFP test had come back showing Spina Bifida and possibly Down syndrome. But after a fetal sonogram, all was OK. We feared the possibility of our son having a congenital heart defect, like our 4-year-old. But that was dismissed. I allowed my friend to throw me a baby shower, even though I thought I didn't need one. Little did I know that a few days after that celebration; tragedy would hit our little family. Monday night, I was watching television with my husband and I felt a cramp. I hadn't felt Taylor move in a while, but that wasn't like him. He was a lazy kid. I had been overprotective with my eldest son, so I just ignored the pain and went on. Thinking it was just ordinary Braxton-Hicks, and knowing that they happen from time to time. I had another a few hours later, but no more that night. So I went to bed.

The next day they started up again. I thought that I might be constipated, it happens with us pregnant types so I took some Correctol and rode it out. But by Wednesday I was thinking that this was too weird, my friend was timing the pains and they were now every 20 minutes. I called the doctor and he said I should go to Labor and Delivery, but that there was nothing to fear.

So my husband, our 4-year-old and myself climb in the car and make the long drive to the hospital. Now the contractions were every 15 minutes, but I still wasn't worried. I had been through this before, though I never had labor with my first son. I had complete confidence in my doctor. And if he was OK, I was OK. They get me into a bed and lay me down, put the jelly on and start looking. Nothing. But that wasn't like Taylor. He loved hiding. Sometimes took the doctor 10 minutes to get him in a corner and listen. So the nurses get the ultrasound machine and try to find out where he is. Now I am getting worried. The looks and the quietness were overwhelming. My son holding my hand and my husband looking petrified is almost too much to stand. Another doctor comes in and looks and finally I ask what is going on.

Unfortunately Taylor got himself tangled in his cord, the doctor said. And he can't see a heartbeat. I can't believe this. My son was escorted out and I was left with my husband to try to make sense of all this. I was never supposed to have Taylor, we beat the odds and he was here. So why did God take him back? I agonize every day with that question. And sorry to say, there is no answer.

But I take comfort in the things I have. My 4 year old and my husband. And the thought that I will raise Taylor someday. Just now was not the time. I think he must have been very special for God to come and take him so soon. Sometimes Angels walk the Earth for a lifetime, and sometimes an Angel's lifetime is done before he ever breathes a single breath. Mine was the latter. And I know he is happy wherever he is.

Today is the first time I will go back to his little grave and talk to the mound of dirt that holds my son. I do not know how it will make me feel. But I know that I am ready to go back and see him. In a few months, he will have his headstone, and under his name it will read´┐Ż"Some people only dream of Angel's, We held one in our hands." Taylor is our Angel. Though we would rather have him here, it was not in God's plan. And we have to respect that.

And my husband and I decided to try again right away for another baby. We know Taylor can't be replaced, and I don't want to. I just think that it will be hard no matter what I do, and I am too young to roll over and die. Like my Grandma says, when you fall off an horse, you have to get back up and ride again till you get it right. And that is what I will do, I will get up and go on. Can't stay in this moment forever, and I know that time does heal all wounds. So I will live for Taylor, because that is the only way I know how to do this thing we call life.

Brie G. Godinez

You can send email to Brie G. at: [email protected]
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anniversary date August 1998
date of post 09-02-98

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW