Matthew Robert Conrad
for Matthew Robert Conrad
by Emily Conrad
reprinted with permission
He was our first child. Matthew was born through an emergency C-section, he had a problem with his heart that the doctors didn't know about until he was born. My husband and I didn't think that he would make it, they had to rush him to intensive care where he stayed there for almost a month. I didn't hear my baby cry...they just rushed him away, I remember laying in the operating room thinking that he was already dead. But Matthew was a fighter. He only weighed 4 lbs when he was born. He remained in intensive care for almost a month. Then we got to bring him home! What a joy he was. The doctors were amazed at how well he was doing for his heart condition. They planned to have surgery when he was a year old. Then one morning, Matthew never woke up. The doctors wanted an autopsy, at first I didn't, but they said maybe it would help to learn so it wouldn't happen to other babys with that heart condition. I agreed. The autopsy didn't attribute his death to his heart, but to SIDs.
It's been over 3 years since his death. I still grieve Matthew, but the pain does lessen. Sometimes I am sad that the pain is less, as if that draws me further from him. It is now easier, however, to remember the wonderful months that he was with us. I remember how he would smile with his eyes. I would be feeding him his bottle and he would look up at me and crinkle his eyes. I remember his sweet smell, the way he would purse his lips into an O, how he loved to swing in his baby swing, his fuzzy blond hair, the long nights holding him. I grieve that he won't know his younger brother who is now older than he ever was. But I take comfort that he is with his Heavenly Father, the one who loves beyond all measure. In heaven he has no tears, no pain, no sorrow...only joy. We will see him again in heaven, and he will not regret dying so young for he has been in paradise waiting for us!
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