In Loving Memory to Michael Angel Rodriguez - Happy Father's Day, Everyone!
In this tribute to my son I filmed the events that led to his stillbirth at 24 weeks gestation and what we have done during the last six months to be more grateful for each other and for our two older sons who are with us today
In December, my pregnant wife, Kelis Rodriguez, suffered from preeclampsia, and our son, Michael Angel Rodriguez, was stillborn at 24 weeks gestation.
After my son's miscarriage, my wife's preeclampsia developed into what is called HELLP syndrome - hemolysis (H), elevated liver enzymes (EL) and low platelet count (LP). She endured severe abdominal pain, and doctors heavily medicated her. My wife was under close observation while her blood pressure got back to normal and her platelet count increased.
We were in the hospital for 11 days, while my two boys Lance, 11, and Christopher, 8, had to stay with my cousin, and then with my mother in law.
I remember as I heard other newborn babies cry in the hospital, I wish I was the guy who had that problem. I yearned to be the father who had to feed him or her his or her bottle or massage his or her stomach to get the gas out or do whatever it took to soothe our crying baby.
To stop crying and beating myself up, I kept telling myself that I already had that chance with my two boys, and I should be grateful.
When my wife saw a newborn in the elevator on our way from a test, she began to cry, and I told her that we already had our children. We had to be grateful for them.
After I picked up my sons to take them to see my wife, I felt my sons' bones, and I realized how hard they were in comparison to little Michael who only weighed 1 lb. 8 oz.
In tears, I realized that there was still a lot of work that I had to do with my children.
Michael taught us to show more gratitude for each other, our boys, and everything we have.
The video is in honor of Michael.
The footage shows how he has helped us embark on a new chapter in our lives during the past six months where I have intensively taught myself, my wife, and two sons how to be mentally and physically prepared to deal with life in the best way possible.
Happy Father's Day to all the fathers and mothers who have to be fathers, and all the fathers in your lives.