I’ve been getting a lot of Facebook memories from Audrey’s first few weeks as our daughter. I’ve been fondly remembering the snuggles and precious coos of a newborn. I’ve also been blown away by how fast life seems to go and how in what seems like the blink of an eye, our daughter is 2 years old and our son has been gone for 2 months. As I look back through pictures of Audrey’s firsts, I realized that in the anxiety and chaos of George’s day, I wrote my son’s death announcement before I had even gotten the chance to write a birth announcement.
After we said see you in heaven to our precious son, we left that NICU room and neither of us knew what to do next. There was the logical things: getting Audrey home and putting her to bed, taking more medicine. But when I walked back into my own hospital room, I had so many text messages asking for updates on how labor was progressing, or how George was doing, or how I was feeling. There had been a few updates on Facebook throughout the day by my sisters, mostly asking for continued prayer for our little fighter, but those text messages were still there; people who love us wanted to know how we were all doing and how they could pray. My son had just died and I didn’t know how to answer the texts. Any answer I gave was going to hurt. It was going to feel like a sucker punch to the gut no matter how I responded. So through crocodile tears and whatever energy I had left, I wrote the following:
Our sweet George Mason has gone to be with Jesus. His life on this earth was short but he has impacted so many people and will forever be remembered as a fighter with attitude. He has showed more people about Gods love than most of us could even dream of reaching. His fight for life in the womb was an inspiration to myself and Adam and we are so grateful to have gotten 38 weeks to learn about his personality and 16 hours to enjoy his sweet smile.
His big sister got to snuggle with him and he passed very peacefully in the arms of his parents. We have very heavy hearts tonight but we are so very thankful for a Lord who will see us through this. A Lord who will give us the strength to get through each day. A Lord who loves our little boy more than we could have ever imagined.
We love you George Mason, you will forever hold a special piece of our hearts.
I wrote those words, turned off my phone, and asked the nurse for a sleeping pill. I didn’t want to toss and turn all night going back over what I had said. Was it perfect? Did it live up to my son’s wonderful, perfect life? Did I tell the world (my small little world) how much I loved him and he meant to us? Did I share the worst news possible in the most gentle way possible? I slept that night; not well, but I slept. It had been almost 40 hours since I had slept and those 40 hours were some of the worst and some of the best in my entire life. I haven’t read those words again until today. I still don’t know if those words did justice to my son’s life but they were all I could come up with in the moment and since they are part of George’s day, I’m glad I have them written down.
It seems weird, after 2 months, but I feel like my son deserves a birth announcement. I want people to know how proud I am to be his mama. How wonderful his short life was. So, with the help of distance from the initial emotions, worries, fears, and frustrations, I’d like to announce the birth of my sweet son.
Adam and I are so pleased to introduce you to our son, George Mason McGough. He was born February 10, 2017, at 4:53 in the morning. Weighing in at 7lbs 3oz and 19in, he is perfect. He has a full head of curly blonde hair. He has his daddy’s ears. His hands look just like his sister’s. We are beyond thrilled to have welcomed him into our little family and cannot express how much he is loved by his parents and his sister. Our lives are changed forever because of his. Thank you, Lord, for this precious child.
"For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them."
Psalm 139: 13-16