It's hard to believe that a month has passed since I've been able to hold Matthew's warm body and feel his chest go up and down with each breath.
Life has been different. He was loved so much and there is an emptiness here that was never here before. It breaks my heart time and time again to know that he will never come home to us again.
Matthew lived here on Earth for 10 weeks. 4 weeks were spent in the NICU and another 4 days in the PICU. The 6 weeks and 3 days we had with him in our home were wonderful. We can never say we didn't spend enough time with him. He spent hour after hour being held and cuddled and sang to and fed. Because of the need to pump with him in the NICU, Daddy got to feed him his fair share of bottles.
We were given 10 weeks to get to know him and we are grateful that we took the time to do just that.
We learned that Matthew was stubborn and demanded to have his way all of the time. He loved to be sung to, but not just any ol' song would do it. He loved Twinkle Twinkle and the ABC song the best. If you dared to sing something else that he wasn't in the mood for, he let you know.
Matthew was always hungry. He would eat 24 hours a day, every day if we allowed him. He did not like to be teased with Daddy's finger :P or with that pacifier. Matthew was incredibly strong. When he had tummy time on his boppy pillow, he would push off with his feet until he crawled over it. Matthew loved to be swaddled and held tight as can be. I think it was the cramped womb without any water for him to swim in that did it to him.
Matthew had the softest skin. It was just starting to fill out as he started to plump up, but when you rubbed his back gently while he slept on you, you could still feel the extra skin wrinkles.
Matthew loved to take baths. It was his favorite time. He liked to be changed quickly. We typically dressed him comfortably in onesies and little sweats. He seemed to like socks and rarely kicked them off. He had big feet for his size and while he was still in preemie clothes he had outgrown newborn shoes. He had thick hair that was already set for a trim. His fingernails grew so fast yet his toenails grew so slow that I never had a chance to clip them.
Matthew smiled all the time in his dreams. It was like there was a party going on and he was the star.
Not once ever, did Kaitlyn show an ounce of jealousy towards Matthew. Not when I was in the hospital on bed rest, not when he was readmitted to the PICU, not when he cried at night. She wanted to be a part of everything that had to do with Matthew. She insisted on helping with every diaper change, every feeding and every song. She always wanted to hold his hand and to kiss him and to tell him how much she loved him. The only thing she got in trouble for was kissing him too much. Her response was always "But, I love him, he's my brudda."
I am sad that we will never see him smile at us, never hear his giggle, never hear him talk, never see him crawl, walk, jump or grow up into the happy man we knew he would be.
I am sad that Matthew didn't get to have all of the fun he was owed and destined in life. He'll never know the joy of scaring daddy or being tickled until he begs Daddy to stop, only to ask him to do it again. He'll never know the joy of having Kaitlyn help make him Spaghetti and Chocolate Milk for dinner, he'll never know the pleasure of having lunch with Mommy at a big people resturaunt.
I am grateful that we had the time to know him. I am grateful that his life was spent being loved. But, I do miss him more than I could ever describe and I always will.
We love to be thought of. We love for Matthew to be thought of. If you are ever wondering how we are doing, please don't hesitate to ask. Even if I don't answer right away, I will. Thank you, with your thoughts and kindness Matthew's spirit can stay alive outside of our home as well as inside.