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Our son, Angel Gabriel Saladrigas

by Marybel Saladrigas

Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000

Angel Gabriel was a blessed surprised. Unplanned, but very much wanted. I had remarried 3 yrs. ago. Had 16 & 11 yr. old daughters. My husband had no children of his own. Our lives, routine.

In October of '99 we planned a trip to Disney World. A week before we were to leave my older daughter got her period and commented that the timing was great because she wouldn't have it by the time we left for Disney. I commented, that with my luck I'd get it on one of the rides. (We were usually on the same schedule). Well we went on our trip and I got sick, blaming it all the time on the rides. Came back home and starting thinking I had calculated wrong or some how forgotten I had had my period. Just to be sure I would take a home pregnancy test. Then I took another one, because I was sure the first one was defective. The second test also read positive.

I told my husband and he was sure I had done the test wrong. So, I went to my doctor and had another test done. Third test finally convinced us we were going to have a baby. Healthy eating, no lifting, I got totally spoiled by my husband who was thrilled. It was a perfect pregnancy, no complications. A big healthy boy, we were told when we had our sonogram. I drove each day to work with him inside me. Dreaming of what he'd look like. I posted his sonogram picture at work. Everyone at work felt him kick. They all loved him. They called themselves his aunts. My mother said she could tell how beautiful he was even in the sonogram picture. He kicked and was very energetic. At 36 weeks, 2 weeks before my due date, we sat that Sunday afternoon looking at my stomach. Our son jumped and moved, it seemed he was impatient to be brought into the world. Monday, I spent the day driving around with my aunt doing errands. Lunch was fast food drive-thru and when we finally got home that day I was feeling sick. I got into bed but something gnawed at the back of my mind. What was wrong? I didn't sleep well and was up at around 2 am. I didn't want to disturb my husband so I sat in the living room and waited to feel the baby kick. I didn't feel him. Please, God!! Let me feel him kick, I'm sure he's asleep I thought!! I kept pushing away the thought that kept trying to scream in my head. I called the doctor and told him I was sorry for being so silly, because I was sure it was nothing.

But, the baby was asleep and he wouldn't wake up. I tried drinking cold water, rubbing my stomach and he still wouldn't move. The doctor told me to go to the hospital. I woke my husband and reassured him there was nothing wrong, but the doctor wanted us to go to the hospital. When we got there they confirmed what I already knew, but had refused to admit to myself. Angel would not be born into this world. I was given the option of a C-section, and took it willingly, for mentally I was unable to cope. They discovered that he had moved around so that he had made a knot in his umbilical cord. It was something my doctor had not seen before. Lots of babies wrap the cords around themselves, but a knot like you would tie your shoes was rare indeed. All that day he was given to us and we marveled at how perfect he was. All 8 1/2 lbs. and 19 1/2 inches. Flawless skin, beautiful lips, with a dimple in his chin. What a handsome man he would have turned out to be.

May 25th, will be a dark day that looms in the passing of each year. We are left with the pride of having held him in our arms and knowing he was our son. A child loved by all that awaited his coming into this world.

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