Since the day Wayne invited me to participate in this blog carnival, I knew who I wanted to send out a tribute to, while I loved doing the ones for my dad, my mom, and Chuck... This is the one I was holding out for. Today, I pay tribute to my first born son Matthew. He was born on February 21, 1990 at 4:44 PM. He was late, two weeks late. I was being induced to deliver him, the doctor broke my water and nearly no water came out, this she told us later concerned her a little. After a long labor, and some really good drugs that had me talking about five car pile ups on Rolling road. Matthew was born. no sound. nothing. I saw his eyes, but never heard a sound. They handed him right off to a NICU nurse who began to work on him, they put him on a ventilator, they rushed about and never said a real word to me. I was 18 years old, my son was born and that was all I knew. A short time later, our doctor came back and sweetly held my hand as she told me, "your baby is very sick. He has diaphragmatic herenia, he needs surgery right away" the words were a blur to me. I remember signing some papers and my father asking if he could see him, to baptize him (my father was a deacon), they let him and they wheeled me in, we were not to stimulate him, we could touch his leg, but nothing else, we could not hold him. That was that. We watched as my father baptized him, in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit. We said a prayer and they sent me to a room, they got him stable and packed him up to be airlifted to Fairfax hospital, they brought him to me to say goodbye, I kissed my hand and placed it on his leg. It was the last time I would see Matthew alive.
Matthew went to Fairfax hospital, they did his surgery, they called me at the completion and Dr Askew told me she was able to patch his diaphragm but he needed to have another life saving thing done, they were going to reoxygeniate his blood, they sent him off to Georgetown University hospital, and at 7 AM, I received a call, they told me in very gentle terms that my son was too sick to live, and he was going to die. They told me to get there as fast as I could, my doctors released me but as we were heading to leave, we received another call. Dr Kessler called to inform me, "I am so sorry to tell you, your baby has died" February 22, 1990 at 11:11 AM. GW had given me a rose and I carried it out the hospital door. There is nothing worse then going in to have a baby and carrying nothing out. We drove to the hospital with my parents, we went up and laying in an isolette was this little baby boy. No longer here for us on earth, but now in Heaven. They asked me if I wanted to hold him, and gave me an envelope of items (3 books 'When hello means goodbye, Still to be born, and Empty Arms, two pictures of my son, a lock of his hair and his bracelets) I told them no. My mother quickly said she did, and they put him in her arms, I asked to hold him, and they gave me my little boy, I looked at him and said "From my heart to Gods hands" They gave us all the time we needed, and we left him to go home.
He had a beautiful funeral, and a beautiful send off to the Heavens. He would be 19 on Saturday and the pain is as real today as it was that day, I don't ache for him, I ache for what might have been. I wonder what our world would have been like if he was here. But today, I pay tribute to my first born Matthew. Your time on earth was brief, my love for you is forever.
Matthew Stephen Claassen
February 21, 1990 4:44 PM to February 22, 1990 11:11 AM