I’ve been writing Owen’s story. It has been slow-going because there’s grief to process with each paragraph. Some day I will post the whole thing, but until then, I’d like to share my beautiful boy with the world. Our pictures of Owen outnumber the minutes of his life, so there’s plenty to share.
My sweet, handsome, amazing son
He was never alone, even in the anxiety-filled moments right after his birth.
Dr. Khurana, Owen’s neonatologist, was emphatic that Owen breathed easier when Zach was with him right after delivery. When Zach held his hand, Owen’s oxygen saturation went up, and he responded better to interventions. The first time I said Owen’s name, he opened his eyes and looked straight at me. He had the most beautiful brown eyes. For months before Owen was born, I slept with a small blanket. My intention was that if Owen had to leave me, he would have the blanket with my smell for comfort. Zach put it right next to his head when they went to the NICU. When I first arrived in the NICU, I called out to Owen. He let out a little cry and snuggled his little face into his mama blanket. When Zach and I talked to him, he was so much more restful and content. He knew us. It was wonderful.
When we knew that Owen would soon be leaving us, we dressed him in his train jammies and settled him onto my chest. We read a bedtime book, sang Happy Birthday, and thanked him so much for being with us. We told him how proud we were of him for fighting so hard and how glad we were to be his mama and daddy.
We loved him, loved him, loved him.
We love him.
That was Owen’s life: beautiful and love-filled, however short.
He was a tenacious little baby. He put the whole force of his body behind his cries. He joined our family with a wail and cuddled fiercly. Then, when he was ready to go, he left us with so much peace. I hope, one day far in the future, to meet death with the same grace my son did. I hope my life will be as full of love as his was.
Our beautiful Owen Jude.