My baby died and so did I
My son, my only child, Atilio, died on his 45th day of life. He was diagnosed with Hypo-plastic left heart syndrome 16 hours after birth. When the doctor came in my room I immediately knew something was terribly wrong. That was at 4:30pm 18 July 2002. After surgery on his 5th day of life, the hoping and praying and faith that we might bring him home by Christmas, his little heart gave out on 31 August 2002.
Although I prayed for God to heal him or take him, at first I would have given anything to have those days back. Reading him books, playing him music, holding his hands, or caressing his head or the sounds of the alarms going off, the oxygen stats dropping, the heart monitor going crazy, all the ups and downs. I’d give anything to have it back, just to see my beautiful baby again. I remember one particular day when the nurse put him on an air mattress, he was still intubated, but he looked so comfy. I just sat there and looked at him, how beautiful he was, how strong he was, how terrible this must be for him. He looked so angelic; I’ll never forget that; I’ll never forget him.
I couldn’t believe this was happening. For the longest time I re-lived the moment of walking in the room with the nurses giving him CPR. I asked Atilio’s favorite nurse if he was going to be okay; she said No, with tears rolling down her face. Today I remember that angelic face and a dream where he came to me; no scar on his chest, in a diaper, wiggling his arms and legs. He smiled. I turned around and said, look, he smiled at me, and then he was gone. So I know he’s okay, in his perfect form, in a place just as beautiful as him. We planted a tree in his honor, and fed the soil his breast milk.
I miss him every day. I’ll never have the opportunity to breast feed him, bathe him, tickle him and see him laugh…and that’s just the beginning, I’ll never see him go to Kindergarten, grow up and fall in love.
It’s all gone. When Atilio died, my future died, my husband’s future died, my heart was broke in two. Since his death I’ve struggled with finding a life, a life that’s fulfilling. I’m a very different woman and find myself wanting to go back to the woman I used to be; strong, confident, and happy.
So I have my good days and bad days. I feel very much alone and alienated at times. For example a co-worker showed me her sonogram. I wanted to share that Atilio yawned in one of my sonograms, but how does one share that, then go on to say that my baby died when she asks about him? You don’t. I feel as if people think I should be “over it” and are frustrated with me.
The holidays are hard; I always envisioned him running around the Christmas tree. It starts at work before Thanksgiving and doesn’t let up until New Years. I thank God when it’s over. But I go on, my husband and I (yeah it’s been rough but we are still together). I am grateful for the life I have, but when my baby died, a huge part of me died too. Rest in peace Atilio. Mommy & Daddy love you.