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My Angel got his Wings

by Karina Swanepoel

Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2000

In loving memory of Liam Martin Swanepoel
Born: 28 October 1999
Died: 09 February 2000

I fell pregnant unexpectedly, but was overwhelmed and excited from day one. There was no doubt in my mind of how much I wanted this baby. My husband and I got married soon after, and our long wait began. My belly started "showing" soon and I was so proud of carrying this angels in my tummy. I stuck my stomach out as far as I could. Everyone had to see that I was pregnant!! The due date arrived soon, and my mom said she has never seen such a relaxed mommy. The day came and went and still no baby.. The gynea said I should come in for an induction. I did, but it failed. I got no cramps, and 6 hours later, the doctor decided to operate. My beautiful baby boy arrived at 18:20, on Thursday 28/10/99. My hubby cried, and so did everyone at the hospital. This was the first grand, and great-grand child in the family!

We loved him from the day he was conceived! He was the most relaxed, friendliest baby, and never gave me one day's discomfort! I enjoyed him soo much. I always had this fear in me, and never put him down to sleep if I wasn't in the same room. My mom said I was paranoid, but deep inside me, I knew...

The fateful day came too soon! I was at work, and my husband at a training course. He had my car, and Liam was at the daymother. She stayed 1/2 hour away from my work. We only started taking Liam there 1 1/2 weeks before. He seemed to adapt to her nicely, and she was really good with kids.

At 09:30 I got a call: "Your child can't breath!!!!" She was yelling into the phone, and was hysterical! I just threw the phone down, and grabbed my colleague. I phoned my father and told him to just drive. I couldn't explain were she stayed, and couldn't remember the address. The girl that drove me was in shock and it felt like hours! I just prayed the whole way... I asked God so nicely to please spare my baby! Please don't take him Jesus, not him, I have waited my whole life for this angel, don't take him now!!

As we came closer to her house, I spotted my dad, he followed us there. I jumped out of the car, and ran into her yard. Her son stood on the grass, crying and holding his hands over his face. I will never forget that sight in my life! I started screaming for Liam, and a man came running out saying they took him to hospital. I ran to my daddy's car, and we raced there.

My father parked the car and I ran into the hospital. The lady at the emergency counter ignored me, and I got hysterical. A nurse came and said I should calm down, everything is fine. I said "where is Liam, where is my baby! Is he alive...?" She said yes, he is fine, the doctor is just busy putting in stitches! I immediately felt relieved, and thanked God.... I thought, maybe Liam fell, and lost his breath due to the fall...

Soon the doctor came out, and my father came running in. He looked me in the eyes and said... "I am soo sorry." But how, why I asked. He explained that the pediatrician and himself double checked, and they couldn't say why. It was SIDS! How I hate that word!! I remained calm and asked to see him.

He was in a back room, covered with a blanket. My immediate thought was "My child can't breath under that blanket!". They removed the blanket, and my angel was sleeping. He looked the same way as he did that morning when I woke him.

You slept in my arms just the night before, and that morning when daddy woke you, you were so excited to see him... how can you be sleeping forever now? Open your eyes baby, open them please!! He was warm, and his mouth was open a bit. I turned to my dad and cried uncontrollably... I screamed for my baby, and it broke my father's heart. I asked everyone to leave, and sat with my angel. My father went to make a couple of phone calls, and tried to get hold of my husband Hans. I kissed Liam, and told him how much I loved him. I put my head on his tummy, but his little heart didn't beat any more... Everyone came and went to the hospital, and soon Hans was there. I had to be the strong one. He broke down, and the daymother was there as well... Hans saw her, and hit her.. "What have you done?" he asked her. I left my baby at your house happy and healthy, now he's dead! "What have you done". At that stage Hans didn't know what happened, my father just told him to come to the hospital urgently, Liam has gone... We phoned and apologized that same day, and luckily they understood..

That morning while driving in the car, Liam suddenly started to look at "something".. We couldn't find what was soo amusing to him. He was laughing and "talking" to this "thing". We now know that it was his angel that came to take him to Jesus...

The funeral came and went, and my father did all the arrangements. My parents went to identify the body after the autopsy. I wanted to, but my dad knew that it was best I didn't. A friend went to the mortuary, and made hand and foot prints of Liam out of pottery clay, and framed it for me.

I played the song "You are my Angel" by Celine Dion at the funeral, and read a poem. It's been the worst year of my life! Only four months have passed, and still I can't face the reality of it all... I desperately want another baby.... Hans wants to wait a while...

But I know, more than anything else, my baby is in heaven, and God just needed him soo bad, he had to take him. He was just too special for this earth, and God had an extra pair of wings, and Liam was that special baby he had to give it to.

We miss you more and more each day, and our lives are empty without you. We love you baby, and one day we'll see you again... watch over us closely ...

Mommy and Daddy 

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