In July 2009, my husband and I were thrilled when we saw the positive results on the pregnancy stick. I had suffered an early miscarriage the previous fall, but once I made it past the first trimester, a lot of worry and fear felt lifted. I remember going to every doctor appointment with my husband slightly nervous, yet containing our excitement was an understatement.
Next appointment was Jan 14, 2010 — finally an appointment that conflicted with my husband’s schedule, so I told him that I finally felt comfortable going by myself, not to worry and proceeded with our day. I remember like it was yesterday (and not really — 4 years ago yesterday), the sweetest doctor had trouble finding Prentiss Jr.’s heartbeat with the regular heart monitor. I remember laying there without a care in the world, not that slightest bit worried thinking “here goes my son being difficult early on”. Then the doctor suggested going to look at him through an ultrasound. Not a problem I remember thinking, everything is fine.
The ultrasound machine came on, the room fell silent, the picture on the screen looked different, but still I hadn’t thought the worst. I remember looking back on this moment and think to myself, “Here is when all precious innocence is so abruptly robbed from my life!” Dr. Stallworth grabbed my hand, only AFTER shutting off the ultrasound machine, to inform me that we lost him. He apologized and said there was no longer a heart beat, my son was gone and no longer with us!
I remember staring back at him for probably 15-20 seconds without a response (really felt like ten minutes). Thinking he has to be wrong, I felt fine. Then it hit me — the exact words he just spoke to me. I remember what felt like walking in circles in that office thinking I need to get a hold of my husband before he leaves for work. I remember telling him over the phone from the doctor’s office and the silence that fell upon that call is unforgettable. The next call was to my mother, I remember the nurses suggesting I shouldn’t drive, it was a blur the rest of the day as my husband and I sat at my mother’s house with the few guest that she had called for support popping in and out. This is when the first offense and anger began to show. I remember one of her friends asking when I delivered — I hadn’t — my son is still within me. Now maybe the big t-shirt I had on made this difficult to see, but none the less I was offended.
I was scheduled to return to the hospital at 6 am on Jan 15 or sooner depending on my pain, contractions, etc. Wasn’t quite mentally ready for the delivery, I hadn’t digested the news I’d just received. I remember heading to the hospital about 3 or 4 that following morning due to the intense contractions. I pushed twice, and remember my husband holding his Jr weeping tears of sorrow, I can see it in his face, he would give anything to hear a cry, see his heartbeat again! this is when the reality of our lives became so vivid.
I miss my son terribly so, and although its been 4 years today. I find myself still having the rough days, being jealous, angry and at times judgmental. I’m angry that my life was sentenced to a grief and longing that will not go away. But it doesn’t take away the perfect precious thoughts that my first child will ALWAYS be the true definition and evidence of real love amongst a mother and child.
RIP Prentiss Antonio Kerry Powell Jr. I love you and again HAPPY 4th Birthday!
Photo credit: adapted from macinate | Flickr