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For My Son Nathan

by Pam S Scaggs
For my son Nathan - Stillborn on September 25, 1998

Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998

I've always been a believer in God but never thought I would realize the degree of my faith until the morning of September 25. It started out like the prior 2 mornings - me up with contractions - wondering if again the pains would subside or if indeed we would make a trip to the hospital. I was up at 2:00 am timing contractions and also waiting for my parents to arrive, they were making the trip from Pennsylvania to be here for the big event. My father suffered a stroke back in May and as a result was for the first time in his life sober. He regretted not being here for the births of my first two children and had an overwhelming need to be here for this one. My first two children were both born two weeks early and hard labor lasted only 30 minutes. My due date for my third child was Monday, September 20; when it came and went, I was a little concerned but thought nothing of it. By Wednesday, my husband and I decided that God must know how badly my father needed to be here and was letting me hold on until they arrived - they were due to arrive that Friday morning.

My parents arrived at 4:00 am and we left for the hospital by 7:00 - this was the real thing. I felt Nathan move inside my stomach that morning and although movement slowed down I thought little of it because I knew that movement slows close to birth. We got to the hospital and was checked in and waiting for the nurse to hook up the fetal monitors. I could tell by the look on her face that something was wrong - she couldn't find the heartbeat. She called in another nurse and also got a newer monitor, she thought maybe something was wrong with the one she had. My husband and I were frightened but still thought everything would be okay. The second nurse came in with the newer monitor and she couldn't find his heartbeat so a doctor was called in. He too could not find the heartbeat and an ultrasound was brought in to confirm that indeed my son had died inside of me. We were shocked and couldn't believe this was happening to us. This sort of thing happens to everyone else but not to us.

After my husband and I accepted what was happening to us and that it wasn't a nightmare - there were calls to be made. Lying in that hospital bed listening to my husband make those calls I thought that there was no way our marriage would survive this. My next fear was "What about Lindsey and Larry?" They were expecting a baby brother when they got home from school. My third thought was - my parents didn't NEED to be here with me . . . I NEEDED them here for me. I believe that God knew that I couldn't keep my sanity if my parents were not here with me. I not only had my parents in the hospital room with me, but my husband's parents and so many friends.

We clung to the hope that when he was born he would cry but there was no crying. There was no explanation for his death. He looked like a perfectly healthy, normal boy; nothing wrong with the cord. They suggested an autopsy but we didn't want to put his tiny little perfect body through such a thing. We simply had to accept that God called Nathan home to him. I held my son for a short time but I regret not holding him longer and giving him a bath and just touching and looking at him. He was here and gone in the blink of an eye. I also regret not giving my other two children the opportunity to say goodbye to their baby brother. We buried Nathan that Sunday and the hardest part for me was seeing his name in print in the newspaper and on the grave marker.

I haven't had a good day yet and am an emotional roller coaster. I know that I've a long road ahead of me but I'm not traveling alone. God is walking with me and I believe Nathan is our Guardian Angel now and he walks with me too. I gather strength >from my faith in God, my husband and my two beautiful, healthy children. I don't know if I'll ever have the strength or the courage to have another child but I have plenty of time to decide that later. I do know that Nathan is where we all want to be and someday I'll get to hold Nathan again for as long as I want.

I love and miss you Nathan.

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