I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

Dead Born: Feeling Death at Birth

By Juan Sanchez  |   From : El Salvador  |   School : Bloomfield High School

I was born at nine o’clock at night in the room next to the one where my father died almost two months before I was born. The umbilical cord was all wrapped around my neck and my skin color was between purple and green. I was born dead. My mom told me that when I was born, the more that  she tried to push me out, the more I wouldn’t come.  I didn’t have the strength to do it, she said. I was not even moving. I was totally dead. There was just my mom and the midwife whose name is Eloisa, and my sisters were there too. Idalia, Marcela, Lucy, and Rosibel,  but they were not looking because my grandmother took them to the kitchen. My mom said that the midwife had to cut her, so she could take me out.  When the midwife finally took me out she unwrapped me from the cord and she was throwing me to the air and she was hitting me on my little butt so I could come to life.  My mom told me that I didn’t want to live, but finally I started to cry and I came back to life, and after that, thank God, everything was ok.  I started to live a normal baby life.

My father had died just one month and twenty three days before I was born. For five months of my life I was always crying, even sobbing, and when people wanted to speak to me or caress me, the only thing I would do was weep. She said that even as a tiny infant,  I knew what was going on and that my father had passed away. My mom told me that after five months had passed from my birth, he came back to visit me.  She said that I was sleeping beside her in the same bed that my dad died in.  She was between asleep and awake and she heard the bed make a sound as if  he sitting down on it. She told me that she was on the edge of the bed and that he crossed over her to the other side of it to hug me and caress me. She said that when he was trying to cross over her she pulled me towards her because she said that there was no space for him and he was going to lean down over me, so she made him a space so he could lean down on the bed. After that he hugged her and when he did that she said that she felt a smell like a dead animal. She said that the bed made a sound again that he was leaving and from that day he never came back.

I always think about my dad even though I never met him or had the opportunity to give him a big hug. I guess I will always  think about him and love him. I asked my mom once, “How does it feel to have a dad?” and all she said was, “Ask your brothers.”  I never did.


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