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Missing you

By Candace Herkins
In Memory of Zackary Shane Herkins

Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999

I could not believe that we were pregnant, again. I will remember tax day 1998 for as long as I live on this earth. My husband Adam was on the phone with the IRS, I came downstairs, crying, "we're gonna have a baby" I screamed. Together we cried. The pregnancy was rough, as I have lupus, an auto immune disease, and was considered high risk. I managed to graduate from College, move and start our life in a new community. This baby, we called OOPS, for we were not planning this one(we already had a 4 year old, Aly and a ten year old, Jessica) was a real trooper from day one.

I loved being pregnant, feeling his little feet, and watching him squirm in my round and soft belly. On August 12,1998 we were told that we were having a son, again we cried. Shock and disbelief set in, and the real joy began.

On December 11,1998 Zackary Shane Herkins made his proud entrance into this world. Weighing in at a healthy 7 pounds and 4 ounces, all 18 and 1/2 inches long, with eyes so blue, and the softest, whitest hair. He was perfect. Again we cried.

The next weeks proved to be a real challenge for all of us, we laughed as we said it felt like we had 20 kids all of a sudden, that we as mom and dad were out numbered by the little people in our lives. We were in love, all of us as a family. Zackary was a joy from day one. He fed every 2 hours, 24 hours a day. Mommy was tired.

February 10th ... the day that our lives changed in a moment. I was in the hospital recovering from a minor surgery, related to Zack's birth. It was Adams birthday and he dropped Zack off at our dear friend's home for a couple of hours to attend a meeting. At 11:00 am I called my friend to tell her that my doctor had just given me the green light to head home, when a chaplain from Placer County answered the phone. I could hear screaming in the background, I asked for my friend, he said she was busy, I said I don't care... then he told me" you son stopped breathing and is on his way to the hospital where you are... my world stopped. I was numb and fell to the floor in a heap of pain, confusion and shock. I think I screamed.

I ran down to the ER, dragging the nurses on my unit with me, my IV bleeding, as I was about to have it removed. I want my son... I yelled to whoever got in my way. I was hysterical and scared. I paced, and then paced some more, I wanted Adam, I wanted my mom. Then it was said---Your son stopped breathing, he is dead. The time was 11:33 am. I fell to the floor.

Adam came then, crying and yelling that this must be a mistake. Chaos was evident. No one knew what to do or what to say.

I held my son, his body pale, a tube in his mouth, they said they could not remove it. I cried from a place in me that I did not know existed.

I said goodbye. Again--we cried!!!!!!

I wish I could tell you that things are better, they are not. The autopsy was hard, almost as hard as the 10th of February. The coroner made so many mistakes... the hospital bills come, even though we are fully insured. They spelled his name wrong on his birth certificate-- my friends don't know what to say to us--so they don't call. It was said that the death of a child from SIDS will make you re-write your address book, this is true. The death of a child from SIDS re-writes you whole life. Marriage is harder now, being a mommy to our girls is harder, and tolerance for "stuff" is harder.

Missing you Zackary is the HARDEST.

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