Monday, April 30, 2007

In Memory of Gabriel Trey ~ 10 years

Today is the 10th anniversary of the birth and passing of my son, Gabriel Trey. I truly cannot believe it has been ten years already. There are times when I think of what he would have been like. Who he would have looked like. How different my other children's lives would have been had he survived. If he had been normal....if he had been different would my own life have been. I can still close my eyes and so vividly remember the events that happened all around my pregnancy and loss. I remember distinctly, things people said and did. I remember feeling so numb, and yet so ultra sensitive and aware of all that was going on around me. I remember holding him, so tiny, in one hand. I remember smelling him and just not wanting to let him go. Not wanting to believe it was really happening. I remember so well the nurses that cared for me during that time, in particular, Vonnie, who had been an RN on the ward when I was a student there. She, herself, pregnant at the time of Gabriel's passing. She came in and sat on my bed and just talked to me, she was so kind and caring. It meant so much to me. And the other nurse, whose name escapes me at the moment, who took Gabriel and dressed him and baptized him. Her name is on his baptism certificate. She took his tiny, perfect little foot and made a print on the back of that card, so I would always remember that despite his profound anomaly, there were parts of him that were perfect. And I remember Donna, the RN who was my mentor a year later, when I preceptored on Labour & Delivery on that same unit, who encouraged me to look at and take home the pictures that had been taken of him that day...while she and I were preparing another stillborn infant for a family to hold. I want to thank all of them.

The following is a copy from a webpage that I had constructed back then, to chronicle the events as they unfurled. It is hard to re-read it, to relive those events. But I feel the need to go back there today, to remember, and to be grateful. Yes, GRATEFUL. Because, you see, if it had not been for this event in my life, so many other things may not have happened. I for sure would not have had my daughter. I would not have gone back to nursing school after a six year break and finished to become an RN. I would not have been the one, that night, to help that other family go through a tragic loss, to have the experience to know just what to say to that baby's mother. I also would not have been involved in an online community of women who were all Pregnant After Loss. And from there, would not have met another wonderful group of women whom I have come to love over at the DHS bulletin board. I believe also, that had it not been for that very sad event, I may never have had the courage or confidence to have picked myself up after the failure of my marriage, and may never have allowed myself to be loved by NewMan, who was a source of support and comfort even back during those difficult days surrounding my loss. I have often believed that Gabriel was really never meant to be an earthly being. I believe he was sent to me by God to give me a nudge in the right direction. He was my angel, my messenger, bringing me the message to start doing things for me. Thank you, my son.......thank you.

Written in May 1997
First of all I really want to thank everyone who has written to us and has kept us in their thoughts and prayers. It means very much to us that so many people care.

For those who do not know of our situation, I will tell the story.

On Friday April 25th, 1997 I went for an ultrasound of our third baby. On examination, it was found that our baby has a severe congenital defect called an encephalocele. We are awaiting more tests on Monday and then we will know further of what our options will be.

On Monday April 28th, 1997 we went to have a more in depth ultrasound done. The scan showed that the defect was even worse than first suspected. There was no hope for this baby to live. We met with our obstetrician and were given two options. One would be to deliver the baby now and lessen the risks of complications to me, or to wait until I went into labour on my own and deliver a full term baby. We were told to go home and think about our decision. To take as much time as we needed. We are Roman Catholic and found the decision a very difficult one to make.

On Tuesday April 29th, 1997 after talking most of the night, we decided to contact our priest and find out their views on the matter. The priest came to our home and talked to us. He told us that in our circumstance that if we chose to deliver our baby now, that it would be viewed by the church as a miscarriage because there was no chance for a viable life. He blessed us, said a prayer and gave me the anointing of the sick. At 2:pm we were admitted to the hospital and the delivery was started.

On Wednesday April 30th, 1997 at 12:40 pm, my baby was delivered. We had a baby boy. They took him away to clean him up. They brought him back to me wrapped in a little flannel bunting bag and blanket. I got to see him and say goodbye. The nurse had baptized the baby and we named him Gabriel Trey.

On Friday May 2, 1997, we held a small memorial service in memory of Gabriel Trey.

Thank you again for thoughts and Prayers

by Elizabeth Denton

Go ahead and mention my child,
the one that died, you know.
Don't worry about hurting me further,
the depth of my pain doesn't show.
Don't worry about making me cry,
I'm already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing,
the tears that I try to hide.
I'm hurt when you just keep silent,
pretending he didn't exist.
I'd rather you mention my child,
knowing that he has been missed.
You asked me how I was doing,
I say, "Pretty good" or "fine".
But healing is something ongoing,
I feel it will take a lifetime.


Sheri said...

Hugs to you on this day. Remembering sweet Gabriel with you.

mum2brady said...

Rissy - thinking of you today. I think that time helps, but that there is always a piece of you that will be with Gabriel. Sending lots of thoughts and hugs your way!

Mel said...

Iris, I was not aware that you have another child... know that I'm thinking of your boy today.

Cammy said...

Thinking of you today.

sara - The Estrogen Files said...

Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry for your loss. I really like that you remember him with such love and faith. My thoughts are with you.

luvmypeanut said...

Thinking of you too! Gabriel is always with you.

Luv ya hon!

Gabriella said...

I am so sorry for what you went through. Know that your son is up in heaven looking down on you and smiling.
Wishing you all the best.

moodswingingmommy said...

Yet another well-wisher who is thinking of you!

jessica said...

Oh the wisdom you have! I'm sorry for your loss, but I am glad that you were able to use this experience to help others.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I didn't know. It does make you a better nurse. I'm a much better nurse since I had Katie, kinder, more able to put myself in another's shoes.

crazymumma said...

Oh. I am so sorry. Thank you so much for sharing him with us, the more people who read and hear about him, the more his spirit lives.

I am so sorry.