baby boy

‘Instead of decorating a nursery or washing tiny clothes, I had to explain to your toddler sisters why you’re an angel.’: Family shares 1 ‘quick, beautiful’ hour with newborn son before his last breaths

“Little Fitz, oh how I wish we could bring you home. It pains me knowing we won’t be able to see you take your first steps or spit out mushed-up peas. I won’t be able to see a brace-faced boy awkwardly place a corsage on a girl’s wrist before a high school dance, freak out in a parking lot when teaching you to drive, or help you move into your college dorm. I wonder what you would’ve been like, what you would’ve done, and how you’d change the world.”

‘I heard two words: ‘fugitive felon.’ I caught my son’s eye. His shackles made my stomach flutter uncontrollably. His public defender smoothed her beige suit, and approached him.’

“The severely criminal charge was, in fact, a reference to my 24-year-old. I never imagined that term would apply to him. An unexpected call helped me through his transfer to prison. It had been weeks without contact when I answered the unfamiliar number. I fought back tears. He told me how much my son loved me.”

‘Is he gone?!,’ I yelled. It wasn’t my husband. He was so excited to be a dad. He was born to be one. I held his hand, telling him how much his unborn son and I loved him.’

“Scott just started a new job. We bought a house and were moving. He started not feeling well, but we attributed it to the stress of everything changing in our life. He went to work after getting me settled in the hospital. When he came back, he looked pale. I told him to get some rest, I would be just fine.”

‘Here we are in a hospital having just met a very pregnant woman that day holding the child she delivered and calling him our son.’

“As I stood beside her while she birthed my son, the connection deepened even further. I could not believe the strength she had within her. Not only the strength to push out an almost 10-pound baby, but the strength to watch as that baby was placed into my arms and shortly thereafter wheeled out of her room and into the room where my husband waited. Describing how bittersweet that moment was is impossible. It is not lost on us that she broke her own heart to complete ours.”

‘We are forgetting about our boys and that’s not OK.’

“Article after article is about raising daughters, not sons. And, when I do come across an essay on raising sons, it’s about how and why we need to raise our boys with particular values for the sake of the females and daughters of the world. This is something I’m not entirely on board with.”

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