I am sitting here seven years after the loss of Benji and my heart still aches for him. Benji why did you have to leave me? I do not understand what God's plan still is for me.
I can still remember the day I went to see Dr. Defabo. Friday everything was just perfect I will see him on Monday to make sure we can induce on Thursday. I asked (just to make sure) if it was ok for us to go to Winchester, VA for the weekend. Since my check up was ok and we hear the heartbeat really fast there was no reason why. So I finished planning the weekend for us to leave and Jim, Sarah and I left for the weekend. Benji was still moving and I was doing the kick counts. It is a beautiful fall day all the leaves are in perfect color and you can smell the fall air. Just knowing in a few days we will have that all-American family of 1 boy and 1 girl.
I went see Dr. Defabo on Monday like we had planned. He was having trouble finding the heart beat. He went to get another Doppler and we still had some trouble. He had no panic in his voice or gave me any reason to get alarmed. He sent me over the Ob wing at Latrobe Hospital to get a sonogram and to deliver. Jim was at work so I had my mom go with me while my Dad would keep Sarah. We got to the hospital and Dr. Defabo was there before us. WOW now my heart is starting to race. He was in the room with the nurse and hooking me up to the monitor and still no heart beat. I started to scream and cry. I wanted Jim to be with me not my mom. What is happening? Why is this happening? Now I am on the way down for a sonogram to confirm what Dr. Defabo was afraid of. Benji's heart was not beating. I am back in my room now and he is sitting here telling me my options but I am not really listening. My mom is sitting here with me holding me. All I asked is if I were your wife what would you do? He told me to deliver natural and that we can start the process now. Jim was not here. What if Benji was to come before he came. I needed to call Jim but I did not want him to drive 1hour and 1/2 knowing that our son has passed.
Oh my God Why? Take me and let my family have Benji. Make his heart start to beat again. Mom is helping me make the phone calls that I have to make while Jim is on the way. Mom is helping me with the funeral home and wee do not have a place for Benji. Mom said Benji could go on the top of my Grandpap. They are taking all this blood from me asking me all these questions, but I can not think. Jim finally arrived and Dr. Defabo came in to explain what we where doing and that he had no reason for our loss. He asked us if we wanted an autopsy we did not know but we can see when we deliver as to if one may be needed. How can a perfect pregnancy turn out this way?
I really needed to talk to Fr. Sam but no one knows where he moved to in the diocese. Ok, now everything I want or need is not available to me. I really hated all this. WHY? WHY? WHY? We were able to have Fr Alan from Holy Family come in. He would be there for us when Benji arrived. He did not understand what we where going thru I was so upset with everything, I was thinking “YEAH YEAH YEAH DO NOT tell me that God has this plan. I do not care about his PLAN. I just want Benji.” I had the most horribly long night and neither Jim nor I slept as we just cried and held each other. It was early am and I told Jim to go home to shower and I will be ok. Mom will come over to be with me. We went all night with nothing happening and I was sure he could shower and things would be ok. Mom came and he went to shower and finally change from yesterdays work. No sooner had he gotten home than Benji arrived. He looked so perfect not a thing wrong with him. “WAKE UP WAKE UP” I said. My mom was sitting with me watching her baby deliver her dead grandson. Mom, I am so sorry for all this. Jim where are you? I hate you for not being by my side where you should be.
We were able to see him and then they took him to get a bath. I was not told we could bath him. Latrobe hospital had nothing in place for a situation like this. We are taking photos of him. I did not want to be there, I kept saying, “I am ready to go home I want to go home now. I need to go home. “ Dad was kind enough to take the crib down and put things away for us so when we go we do not have to worry about anything. Oh Dad, what did I make you do. Dr. Defabo came in at 11 to see how I was and I told him I wanted to go home. He made me promise that is I need anything or anything happened I was to go to the ER or call the OB wing immediately. I agreed and was able to go home. Jim and I went to Kmart because I wanted to get my baby a cross and teddy bear. He is going to be buried tomorrow.
When I got home I was able to shower in my own bathroom. I was able to cry and hold Sarah and not let her go. All I wanted was my family to be with me.
How are we going to make it thru life? The burial was private and graveside. Jim and I, along with Fr. Alan where the only ones at the funeral home to view Benji and I say that his casket was so small. Father again is telling me of God’s plan and I should not question it well guess what.... I am going to question and he can be on my list.
My Mom and Grandma did not realize I needed to keep Sarah with me for the weeks and months to come. I know that they would not let anything happen to her but I need her with me I need to see her. No one understands this. Everyone is telling me I can have another baby, things are ok, and that God has a plan. I even heard people saying, “get over it and be thankful for the daughter you have.” If I hear any of those questions again I am going to scream. I am not OK my baby has died for no reason and I do not care about a plan it was not my plan.
Here I am seven years later. October 19,1999 is still a day I cannot forget. This is a day that has changed my life forever. Spilt milk is no longer an issue. Those things that are important to me are no longer. Today we celebrate Benji's birthday with the kids. We buy an ornament for Benji for Christmas. When the kids miss there brother we light a candle and say that prayer for him. I know with starting the foundation I have made more friends and can share this experience with knowing that we are not alone anymore.
Click the link below to read an article from the March 18, 2004
Pittsburgh Tribune Review:
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