Mommy to Gavin James
Born and became an Angel on March 24th, 2008
I have always heard you never experience a greater love for another human being until you experience the feeling of carrying a child inside of you. In my case, that joy was great but the grief that came all too soon overshadowed any joy I had.
I was 23 years old when I got pregnant with my son. He was not a planned pregnancy but his conception was one of the best things to ever happen in my life and at that time. My ex-fiancé’s mother was terminally ill after suffering a series of strokes and mild heart attacks so my pregnancy gave us something to be happy about. I was in denial during the early parts of my pregnancy but he wasn’t. He has two other boys from previous relationships so he knew all the signs and told me before I even went to take a test that I was pregnant. I was sick with a cold so I didn’t think I was. But, to make sure, I took two tests; both came out inconclusive! So I went to the doctor’s office for an official test and low and behold, I was pregnant. That same weekend, we buried my ex-fiancé’s mother. Because he and I weren’t married my family was happy about the new life but was very unhappy with that way he was coming into the world. For that reason, my mother and a few other family members were the last people to know. I suffered through horrible morning, afternoon, and night sickness and yet craved everything I could get my hands on. Because I have a thyroid condition my doctor monitored my hormones closely. I remember the first time I got to see my little Puffalump as I call him. He was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen; to know that there was a life inside of me growing and depending on me for everything still makes me emotional. I made sure I took all my medicine, watched what I ate, tried hard to keep down what food I could so he would grow, and looked forward to having my first child. Little did I know I would have him he just wouldn’t be alive.
I remember the appointment that day so very clearly. I wanted my mom to go with me so she could hear her grandson and feel the same excitement I did. We got to the doctor’s office and I went into the room for the doctor to examine me and the baby. He came in, had some small talk, and then took out the Doppler to listen to his heartbeat. There was nothing…slowly my heart began to sink. When he couldn’t find his heartbeat, he brought out the imaging machine to see what was wrong. He immediately found Gavin…and his heart wasn’t beating. The news of that was hard for my doctor to deliver and was the second time in my life I felt as if I had an out of body experience. He was talking to me and trying to explain to me that I was going to have to give birth to a child who was going to be lifeless. I immediately began replaying things in my head while trying to keep my composure. I made the appointment to go into the hospital and left the doctor’s office in a sea of emotions. I made it down the hallway and I then the tears started and they didn’t stop. I couldn’t even call my ex to tell him the news my mother had to do it. When she did, he immediately broke down crying. That night was one of the hardest because I grieved by myself. I went through that weekend physically present but mentally and emotionally detached. When it came time for me to go in to give birth, I was still mentally and emotionally gone. It was until the pain of labor kicked in that I was brought back to my reality. I was in labor for 12 hours before I gave birth to my son at 6:28 pm on March 24, 2008. He was only 11 ounces and because I was only four months his outer layer of skin hadn’t developed yet. One thing that was apparent however was his cause of death. On the back of his head was a sack-like protrusion called an encephalocele which is a neural tube defect. I looked past this and saw my son, a gift and an angel.
Since my labor was induced, my doctor was expecting the delivery to go smoothly but that didn’t happen. I delivered Gavin but my placenta didn’t come out as expected after he did. I was rushed away to an operating room and given a spinal block and anesthesia for a D&C procedure to remove the placenta and everything else. When I woke up, I thought I was in a dream until I remembered why I was there. The nursing staff was the best and helped me through the first part of my long journey of grieving. I was given information about his condition, material on stillbirth support, and I found a website that greatly helped me understand that I was not alone and that this happens to women everyday.
Shortly after Gavin was born, his father and I had a disagreement which led to the demise of our relationship. This was hard because I needed him to be there and he wasn’t. I buried my son a week after I had him without his father there. I decided on that day to let myself feel everything I needed to…this went on for four months. Then in the fifth month, my grandmother lost her battle with a lung disease so my grief doubled and I went into a major depression. Shortly before my 25th birthday, I sought out therapy and got my life back in order. I began to get back into my faith and belief in God to guide me through both losses. With time, I started to see that I was still here on this earth for a reason and EVERYTHING, big or small, happens for a reason. I started working again and on Gavin's 2nd Angelversary, I enrolled in school to get my Master’s degree. My main inspirations and driving forces were my three angels: my father, who was killed when I was eight, my son, and my grandmother. I completed my coursework for my Master’s not even a month ago and I’m in a much better place in my life. I owe it to my son to be better and do better with my life. I know that he is always with me and every so often I tear up when I think about him and then I feel a presence with me that soothes me…I’d like to think that it’s him comforting me letting me know he’s okay. With that, I’m okay and I know I can keep going!
You can contact Pam at email@example.com