- Posted May 25, 2010 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
New life after loss
A Time to Heal
We were the parents of a beautiful 3½ year old daughter when we found out I was pregnant with a boy. Anthony Ryan was born on November 24, 1989, the Friday after Thanksgiving. Perfect pregnancy and a pretty normal delivery. I went back to work after 8 weeks and we settled into the routine of work with a baby and a toddler. I got the call at 2:00 p.m. on March 2, 1990 from my husband that our caregiver had called and said something was wrong with the baby. That something turned out to be SIDS. Our baby boy went down for his morning nap and never woke up. We had his funeral on March 7, 1989. The pain of losing a child is so profound that your body’s defense mechanism is one of total shock to protect itself. Any loss of a child is inconceivable, but to lose one to something you have no control of, or even to this day, have no real answer for, is a wound that never heals. My personal pain was so great, I couldn’t shed a tear at the time. My psychiatrist told me later, that if the pain had been allowed in, I may have quite literally died myself.
On March 10 following everyone’s “advice” we went away for the weekend, just the two of us. Unbeknownst to us at the time, I conceived that night. It was not some big romantic get away, nor was it some soul inspiring experience. There was no planning, no talking about more children as we had just buried our son. Those thoughts and conversation never came up. Almost the exact opposite -- we were both filled with so much pain we could barely talk or hold a conversation. But, with the help of a little wine, we “bumped” into each other in the middle of the night, almost as if we were “suppose to” because we went away for the weekend and we were in a hotel.
So the news of the pregnancy was pretty shocking. In a few words, it could be nothing else except God’s Will. As a further testament to that, it was to be the last night my husband and I were together. Our marriage was not the strongest and the additional pain of losing Tony was just too much for it.
Nine months later I gave birth to our second son Nicholas Matthew. Oh what a joy he was/is. We were both totally elated and frozen by fear at the same exact moment. We however held our breath until Nick reached his first birthday. So many mixed emotions all these years have been hard. It’s like living with a handicap that no one can see. If Tonyhadn’t died, there might not be a Nick. How in the world can a parent possibly make that right in their mind or heart? I gave up trying years ago and left that with God.
I think of Tony every single day, as I know his dad, his big sister and his little brother do also. In my life I have been graced with two sons. One I am blessed to see and talk to every day, and one I will see and talk to a little bit later.
I am unable to offer advice if a couple should attempt to have another baby if they have lost a child at any age. It is a deeply personal and private decision. I can only say that without my amazing daughter and the birth of Nick, I may never have made it this far after the loss of Tony. Nick is my single biggest blessing and to discount him in anyway is also inconceivable.
Sometimes the best decisions are ones we don't consciously make ourselves.