Anyone sensitive may not want to read this post. There will be some sad pictures in it. It is also very open, honest, brutal and LONG. You may learn more about me than you wish. If so, don’t read any further.
Jes mentioned on a comment in her blog that she would like to talk more about my son that died.
I started this blog because the more I focus on the fun, zany things in my life, the easier it is to deal with the very real,disturbing, dark and large problems that are in it.
So this post is kinda unusual for here.
2 years, 5 months, 6 days, 8 1/2 hrs. and 20 minutes ago, my 3 1/2 month old son, Matthew David Choate died from SIDS.
I LOVE babies. LOVE them. When I was pregnant with my first I was convinced I liked kittens more than babies and was so scared. I just fell in love with him and all my babies are the same way.
Matthew was the only “Planned” baby out of all three. I told Jonathan I wanted ONE child where the stick turned blue and I didn’t break down in hysterics. We knew it would be risky. After I had Christopher, I developed a massive blood clot that almost killed me. It turns out I have Leiden V factor-a clotting disorder. I so wanted him anyway.
This picture means a lot to me. My sister Linny and her partner Nancy (Who I ADORE) came to see him in the hospital. Nancy had NEVER held a baby until Matthew and she let me take a picture(top one, isn’t it sweet?). I am so glad. It is one that means the most to me.
My WHOLE family got to meet Matthew. EVERYONE I loved. Aunts and Uncles, my nephew and niece from California, people who never got a chance to meet my other kids when they were babies. My brother, Rhett moved to Alpine from LA and so for the first time in 25 years, our family was all in one state.
He just made me so happy ALL the time. I even scrapbooked for him (Which if you know me is NOT something I usually do. I caved into my sister, Melly who also loved him to bits)
Matthew’s blessing was so happy. I found the perfect (But NOT white! Gasp!!) blue blessing outfit. Nordstrom actually moved hell and high water to get us the only remaining duplicate of this so that we could bury him in it. I couldn’t part with the original. We got duplicates of everything we buried bug with for that very same reason. I could’nt let go of ANYTHING of his.
We were just a family at it’s happiest, I think.
Which brings us to Sept. 23, 2003. A regular Tuesday. In hind sight there was actually LOTS of things that ended up being “Spooky With premonition” but at the time, it was just a happy, active day.
I asked Jon if he would look after Bug while I went to Melly’s to help her fix dinner and look at my nieces homecoming dresses. I kissed Bug who was asleep in the swing and left.
I got a call 2 hours later, my nieces started screaming Matthew wasn’t breathing. I started screaming and screaming and screaming until my body literally gave out. I remember a voice saying, “It will be okay”. NOT (and I thought it at the time) HE will be okay…IT.
My sister just lives up the street from us, but it was the longest ride of my life. When we pulled up to my home, there were so many people and emergency vehicles everywhere I thought my whole family had died. They were taking Jonathan and Bug away in a red ambulance (Which give me panic attacks to this day), Melanie and I were put in a police car.
It was all wrong. The cop was going to slow, and wasn’t on lights and sirens. Melly said she thought it would be ok because they said he spit up. I knew better…that just means excess air in the stomach from CPR.
When we got to the trauma bay, I about broke the door/my shoulder trying to get in. There were people everywhere and I was referred to as “The Mother”. You would have to have had a very ill or dying child to understand the tone that was used.
My poor, little one was naked on a gurney except for one little blue sock. Horrible, huge needles here in each calf and there was tubing everywhere. Jon was a mess, (No wonder. He found Matthew-a HELL I am so grateful to not have in my head) I was fairly analytical, not what you would think.
The monitors were so wrong. So were the doctor’s actions…I have spent my whole life training as an actress and I can tell when someone is putting on a performance for my benefit. I KNEW it. So I asked the brutal question and was told it didn’t look good. I made the hardest decision of my life and told them they could stop.
I laid over my little one.
THEN I cried and cried and cried.
Matthew Choate, “Our Little Bug”
Our beautiful redheaded boy, Matthew David Choate, was born June 7, 2003 in Logan, Utah to Jonathan David and Loralee Mitchell Choate. He passed away unexpectedly at his home on Tuesday, September 23, 2003.
Matthew came into life at a dark, sad time but brought so much joy and delight to all. He loved bath time and standing on his DadÃ‚Â’s chest, while holding his hands. His Mom loved to hear his sweet little sounds as he snuggled with her.
In his brief time, he brought endless hours of love and joy to his home and was a bright spot in our lives, touching so many hearts.
He is survived by his parents; two brothers: James Rhett and Christopher Bradley; grandparents: David “Mickey” & Marilyn Choate, Logan; Robert C. and LaRee Mitchell, Logan; great grandfather: David P. Choate, Onalaska, Texas and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins.
The family wishes to thank the paramedics, staff of Logan Regional Hospital and Share Parents. We also would like to thank Dr. Mark D. Heiner for bringing Matthew so kindly into the world, and Sheryl Roper-Hodges, PNP for taking such good care of him after he was here.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, September 26, 2003, at the North Logan 12th Ward, 2540 North 400 East, with Bishop Dell Olsen conducting. Friends and family may call at the church from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. prior to services. Interment will be in the Logan City Cemetery. Condolences to the family may be extended online at www.nelsonfuneralhome.com.
FYI-Everyone asks what the “Dark, sad time” was. We found out my niece was being horrifically abused by her martial arts teacher and his trial was 2 days after Matthew was born (He is currently spending 15 to life in prison. yea!). My family NEEDED that baby to have some goodness around. He just rocked.
The funeral is a bit of a blur. Bug looked so sweet, though not “him”. We put all his favorite little things all around him and put his very soft, green chenillee blanket that was a gift from Little Amy(Also a duplicate) in the casket along with letters from his family. One of the sweetest things is the white blanket he is laying on (He needed something to cover the head-autopsy incision. Sorry. Brutal). My friend, Heather gave me this white blanket from Bethlehem. Her daughter was also wrapped in one when she died.
The church was PACKED. I guess with all my family and friends, Jon’s family and friends, me being PTA President, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was. And grateful. It was a sweet funeral. Exactly what I wanted for him.
Matthew was buried in Logan Cemetery, which is beautiful.
We had a bagpiper. The Scots have a custom that the piper plays, circles the grave and leads the soul to heaven.
It was a tough thing to leave him there. I was the last to leave and I only did so because the back hoe guy drove up. He felt horrible when he realized who we were and I threw up.
Matthew dying triggered the slowest, most destructive spiral of my life. I slowly cracked into pieces. I threw myself into my PO Presidency, neglected my family, neglected to mourn. It all got so bad that I checked myself into a psych ward to find out what the hell was wrong with me. THAT is another story, although the part where I am left to eat spaghetti in the dark with a plastic spoon because a bird flew into the hospital generator, is kinda amusing.
I hated god, not just for taking Matthew but for many, MANY reasons. I still have major issues of religion, God, right and wrong, and what I do and don’t believe.
My husband was trying to deal with his own pain, things fell to complete destruction and we separated for 6 months. I tried to take my own life. The last time was extremely serious. Damn near worked. I have vowed to never be so stupid and destructive ever again.
I take full responsibility for what happened. I don’t blame my little guy, not his fault and I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to think I laid any blame on his sweet toes.
Now that I have VOMITED on you all, you need to know that I am doing better. I am actually fairly…happy. I am taking baby steps to undo all the damage (There is a lot) that has accumulated. No other day but today, I guess.
Oh, dear…looks like I have to go get my son from school. He’s cracked a molar.