Our Angel Benjamin

Our Angel Benjamin

My son Benjamin Michael was diagnosed with a rare condition called “Potter’s Syndrome “. When I was about 18 weeks pregnant, my ultrasound showed very little amniotic fluid. I was called back to the Maternal Fetal part of the hospital to have another ultrasound done that revealed to us that our son had never developed kidneys. The baby makes the amniotic fluid via his kidneys. Since he did not have kidneys, he would never be able to develop lungs because the amniotic fluid stimulates lung growth. I was told that my child would only live for a brief time after birth, minutes, not hours. This was all a major shock to my husband and I.

The doctor then informed us that I had become RH sensitized, making any future pregnancies very high risk and complicated. He continued to tell us that most parents would choose to terminate in this situation. I immediately told him that this was not an option for our family. I knew that our child would only have a few precious moments of life before passing. My husband and I were determined to fill these moments with tenderness and love. There was absolutely no way we would allow the barbaric procedure of termination to be his only interaction with another human being.

This was my son, my flesh and my blood. My pregnancy was keeping Benjamin alive. I saw his little heart beating, he was moving and breathing. I knew that as soon as he was delivered, he would never be able to breathe on his own. It was a bittersweet thought. I spent a lot of time during my pregnancy praying for a miracle, crying, and trying to stay strong. I knew that he would never grow to run around with his siblings. I had four kids at the time and I tried to explain to them that their little brother was very sick and wasn’t going to live after he was born. My son, Eddie, only 5 at the time, told his teacher that “the baby in his mommy’s belly was going to die”. This was a beautiful opportunity to teach my children about life, death and Heaven.

I know that this has helped my children to be more empathetic and kind human beings. I was often asked why I had chosen to continue this pregnancy since the baby was going to die anyway. Honestly this was never a tough decision. Was it sad and heartbreaking? Absolutely! Terminating a pregnancy to not deal with a painful moment. would be all the more traumatic. I would never be at peace with myself, knowing I expedited his death. Benjamin was born on November 3, 2011. My husband and I were able to hold him and kiss his little face. We told him we loved him and sang to him. He was baptized soon after birth and he passed twenty minutes after he was delivered. He is our little angel in heaven. We miss our son, but we have tremendous peace knowing that our son felt the loving embrace of his parents, our gentle kisses on his brow. He was allowed to pass from this world peacefully with the dignity that every human being deserves. -Liz and Chris Seuffert