Every year, 26,000 babies are stillborn in America. In 2003, one of them was my son.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Boys Who Could Have Been Mine

I met a Ben yesterday, a sturdy little towhead, 3 years old, whose big sister is in the same first grade class as my daughter. Most of the time I don't think about the kids I meet who are the same age as Ben; I feel time stopped when he died and that his life and death somehow belong to a separate universe, and that all the children born thereafter are of a different time and place. Mostly.

I can't help wondering sometimes, what my Ben would look like now, and I can't stand that I just don't know. He was very long - 19.5 inches, 7 lbs, 10 ozs. He had the longest hands and feet; feet just like his father's. I expect he would have been reasonably tall, like me, and thin, like his dad. He didn't have much hair, which was a medium-brown color, though he may have gone blonde like his brother and sister did. Or would he have been dark like his father? And what color were his eyes? I will never know.

I have thought, from time to time, of trying to find someone to do an age progression on his photos, like they do on the missing children posters you see at rest stops on the highway and in flyers that come in the mail. I want some idea of who he was - though I don't suppose they can do much with photos of dead babies, and an age-progressed photo of a child who never opened his eyes won't tell me who he was. How could it?

Here's what I know about Ben, from the time I had with him:
  • He loved music, and kicked a lot when he heard it;
  • He was quiet in my womb, quieter than his sister, and he pushed more than he kicked;
  • He was beautiful;
  • He was never mine to keep.
And I miss him.


Monica H said...

That was beautiful! He is and always be yours to keep. He's just not with you in person. I believe that he is with you everywhere you go. Open your eyes a little wider, he's the little blue bird singing in the morning, the butterfly fluttering by just to make you smile and the cool breeze in the sweltering heat. He's there, you just have to believe it!

niobe said...

It's so sad to think about what might have been. But I know I think about it all the time.

Debbie said...

My heart breaks with yours, at thinking about what could have been.
I know those feelings too well.
I wish no mother had to know how this feels.