The Tangible Things

I laid in the hospital bed wondering how I was going to deliver my son, silent, into this world.  I mean, I know the mechanics of it.  The medicine they were pumping into my veins would start the labor process and then my body would do what it was meant to.  My mind, however, was not at all prepared for going through all that pain only to leave empty-handed.  One of my nurses, Pam, handed me a teddy bear.  In my medically-induced buzz, I named him "Squishy" in "i shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall by my Squishy" from Finding Nemo.  My husband says I repeated this several times.  Growing up, I never had a stuffed animal that I always had to have with me.  I had my toys, yes, but none that meant the world to me.  Since she handed him to me, I have not spent one night without Squishy.

I have realized that he means so much to me because he reminds me of my son, my little lost one.  That bear is something I can hug, kiss, and hold in my aching arms when I miss Owen (which is often).  Owen.  His name means so much to me now.  I write it everywhere and I write it often.  While others have pictures of their children as they grow, I am left with one set of photos...his first and his last.  What I have is his name - Owen Henry Cao, my Peanut, my <3 ohc <3 - those photos, and my memories of those beautiful 39 weeks we had with him.

Owen Henry Cao. The one that wasn’t to be.  Why not sooner?  Would I feel better if we lost him sooner?  No, I know I wouldn't.  No matter when my loss would have happened, my heart would still be just as broken.  From the moment we found out about him, he was our son and we loved him.  That is many of the “what ifs” that wander my mind aimlessly – never having an answer.  But a week before his due date?  At the point where we were just waiting for the onset of labor.  That seems so cruel.  The moment that I thought, “this is it” I was told it wasn't to be.  My son’s heart stopped beating.  An unsolved mystery that only few still care about.  The hospital, the medical examiner, they've all moved on.  They did their part and went on to the next case…and left me behind with a million questions that have no answers.  This is what it must feel like to be obsessed with something.  I constantly think about my son, whenever the water calms at the end of the day thoughts of him rise to the surface. The happy memories of my pregnancy, the devastating news of his death, and the beautiful aftermath he left behind.  

1 comment:

  1. Hi Melissa;

    I just found you through the Small Bird Studios Sisterhood links list. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my son at 22 weeks in September 2009, and not a day goes by that I don't miss him.

    I'll keep checking in to read what you've written about your son. Sometimes it helps me to know that other people know about my own son. Maybe I can do the same for you, even just a little.

    Take care.