Jason Robert Melcher
Jason Robert Melcher
October 5, 1998 – November 29, 1998
Contact Name : Char Melcher
From : Florida
Email : click to send
I found out I was pregnant with Jason at the end of January. I didn’t even tell Rob for a week, (denial I guess, I was on the Pill). He was so excited. So were Nick and Chrissy, Jason’s big brother and sister. My pregnancy was the easiest of the 3. Just mild kidney infections nothing like the ones I got with the other two. Jason’s due date was my birthday. October 4th was a Sunday, no Jason… Dr. J who is my doctor said that because he was so big unless he came by himself over the weekend he would induce me on Monday. So at 8:00 am Monday October 5, 1998 they broke my water. Dr. J said that he would be back to check on me around lunch time, I told him to be ready to deliver then and he just laughed. Jason was born at 12:13 p.m., right as I said he would be. I remember thinking how big his hands were. He was a big baby! He was 8 pounds 11 ounces and 21 inches long. He had just a little bit of brown fuzz for hair. I didn’t get to spend much time with him because I was scheduled for a tubal ligation at 5:00 and he was busy getting warm and cleaned up. If there is one thing I can say to all who read this, it would be do not get a tubal done at least until your children are no longer babies. It could be the biggest mistake of your life, I know it is mine.
My husband and children spent time watching him in the nursery for quite a while. And then stayed with me for a little while longer. I didn’t get to see Jason until about 3:00 a.m. when I walked to the nursery, because I had the nurse from _____. They wouldn’t bring him to my room because they were doing a pneumocardiogram. His big brother turned blue at 3 weeks, so all my babies went home on monitors… I was protected from SIDS or so I thought. Boy were they wrong. The next day the monitor company came gave us the crash course on how to use it and away we went. Oblivious to what was about to happen to us. Most of the memories I have of Jason, are of the day he was born and the day he died. I have lost some of my memories, most of my dreams and a big part of my heart the night he died. Some say that the memories will come back, that right now I can’t handle them. But if my mind can remember the details of his death, why can’t it remember the good times of his short life? We only had Jason with us for 7 weeks.
We spent Halloween with him and his first Thanksgiving, he died the Saturday night, early Sunday morning that weekend. He was declared dead at 2:13 a.m. I know in my heart that he died as soon as they put him in the ambulance. Rob had stayed up to give him his last bottle, like most parents of an infant that does not sleep a lot, we were both tired and were snipping at each other. I went into the bedroom to sulk and left him to feed Jason. They were rocking in the rocking chair, both fell asleep. Jason’s monitor was not on, Just a few days prior to this the monitor company told us not to have it on when we feed him because it messes with the readings.
So Rob turned it off while feeding Jason and fell asleep before he turned it back on. I got ready for bed then went to get Jason to put him to bed in his bassinet. He was cradled face up in Rob’s arms. I reached under his armpits and lifted him. When I looked at him he didn’t look right. He was real limp. I started moving his arms and legs screaming Jason wake up, pinching his toes, nothing. Rob grabbed him and he starts the CPR that I seemed to have forgotten and tells me to call 911. I call our neighbors and yell “it’s Jason come quick,” and then 911. The paramedics were there within 5 or 10 minutes, I’m not sure how long it was it just seemed like forever.
They worked on him for a couple of minutes, and left our house carrying him while doing CPR. I said that I was going with them and got in the ambulance. It was while I was getting in the ambulance that I looked at the driver and said He’s gone, I felt him leave. She just said they are working on him, try not to get discouraged. But I knew. The doctor at the hospital was an idiot. He walked in the room where Rob and I were and looked at me, said “Your baby’s dead,” turned and walked out. I could walk past the man on the street and not recognize him because of how quick he was in and out of our room. They finally asked if I wanted to see him and I said yes. Rob couldn’t. So I went with the nurse. The first thing she says is that I can’t touch him.
As soon as she left the curtained area the first thing I did was touch my beautiful baby boy and unwrap him from the sheet they had him wrapped in and look at every inch of him. He didn’t have any marks on him except for the little mark on his hand where they couldn’t get the IV in. I wrapped him back up, careful not to move the tubes and things that were on him. And stuck my head outside the curtained area. Jason was right next to the nurses station, I asked them for a chaplain, they all (15 of them at least) looked at me with their mouths open, like what would you want with a chaplain you just murdered your baby. This is a Christian Hospital which I knew had an entire department full of ministers.
The nurse who I guess drew the short straw, heard me, saw their faces and gently pushed me back in with Jason. She was the only kind person that night. At that point my friends Lisa and Traci got there and sat with me and Jason for a while. The nurse also let me hold him finally. Next walked in 2 Orange County Sheriffs, They asked for my Drivers License, never looked at Jason, then went in the room where my husband was, made our friend Keith leave and proceeded to accuse him of hitting Jason, shaking Jason, throwing Jason against the wall, all kinds of accusations. The next thing I know they are in with me telling me that they have called the homicide detective and that we can’t leave the hospital.
They once again leave the curtain area and I hear my children’s’ pediatrician arguing with them that we did nothing to this baby she would stake her career on it. She then left them and came in the curtain area with me and Jason just to be there for us, she is a wonderful caring woman. Throughout the night the homicide detective and the medical examiner would take me away from Jason for questioning with Rob, by myself it seemed to go on forever. Then finally they were done with us for now and I persuaded Rob to see Jason. He grabbed him and held him and just cried his heart out. He feels so guilty and he has nothing to feel guilty about.
Just as he is holding him they tell us the medical examiner has to take him now, I started to panic because Rob was holding him and they are pressuring me about the medical examiner having to leave, I needed to hold him one more time and Rob finally gave him back to me. Then they kept bugging me to put him down on the table and walk out, how could I walk out on my baby. So then someone asked me if it would be easier handing him to the medical examiner and I said yes and I handed my baby to him. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, even harder than the funeral and the gravesite. Then the homicide detective came to our home and photographed the chair, then took his empty bottle, and the formula and a sample of the water we used to mix it with. We felt like criminals… and all we had done was love our third born son.
The funeral was a nightmare from planning on down… The funeral home didn’t want to bury him for five days because they were too busy, my mom got upset and they changed it to three. We picked out his casket, and then went to look for a gravesite. The cemetery I wanted to bury him in was only for those who reside within the city limits of Orlando, even though our address says Orlando, FL we could not beg, borrow, buy for any amount of money a plot in that cemetery. People who work in that business can be so cold too, the lady we talked to said to me don’t worry you’re young you’ll have lots more babies. I thought Rob, who isn’t a violent person, was going to hit her.
The other cemetery I just didn’t like that much. So we called the funeral home where Jason was and made an appointment for later that day at the cemetery they use… It’s all the way across town, $4.00 in tolls and at least a 35 to 45 minute drive each way. The cemetery sales person they sent us to could not get it through his head that I didn’t want him in babyland. It took us at least 20 minutes to convince him that we wanted to buy a plot for him. His idea of selling us one was to take us to the area and say just point to a piece of ground and that’s it. Well, we did and when we went back in to sign all the papers, he told us the plot we picked we couldn’t do because someday, someone might put a mausoleum on that spot. Here is the map point to a spot.
I said no I’m going back out there and I will pick another spot I’m not doing it from this map. So I did. It cost us $2,000 and naturally they got another $3000 for the spots next to him because we couldn’t stand thinking that someone would be next to him other than us. (Oh by the way we are not wealthy either). This was Monday, the viewing in scheduled for Tuesday, the funeral on Wednesday. Tuesday we took our remaining 2 children and our best friends 2 children to the funeral home during the afternoon. When we walked in they made us go through a rear entrance to the funeral home then took us to this tiny little room where are baby was… He was in the wrong casket, it looked like a cooler, the one we picked out was a traditional type.
He was sitting on what I now know was a full size casket table, to me it looked like a huge brown ugly coffee table. They didn’t bother to tell us that he may need a hat to cover the stitches from the autopsy. The first thing my son’s friend asks is what did they do to Jason’s head, then my son was touching his toes and pulled his tag from the medical examiner off and asked what’s this? It was more than I could take. I felt like they didn’t care about my baby at all. My friend Lisa, bless her heart, stayed after we left and went out and got a lace tablecloth for over the table, pulled flowers from all the arrangements to help hide the casket, and bought Jason the silk pillow he is on, to hide the stitches in his head, when she asked for help putting him on the pillow they wouldn’t even help.
Guess she’s a true friend huh? That night we had the viewing for our friends, there were people there that we only vaguely knew, so many came it was incredible. The next day was the funeral. I had asked that Jason be in the church for it, I don’t know why but to me it was important. Pastor Jim did a wonderful service, and David sang beautiful music. We ended the service with the song by Alabama – Angels among us. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the church. We left the church to go to the gravesite. As they brought Jason out of the church they almost dropped him and then just flung him in the hearse as if I wouldn’t notice. I noticed everything.
Then when we got to the cemetery nothing was ready for us to bury him. I got upset to say the least, which got to my Dad who was struggling to stay in control of his emotions, I thought he was going to punch the funeral director, I think he would have deserved it. I made them do everything to get ready while we waited, because I didn’t trust them to do it right. I’m not bitter about all the funeral stuff I’m just telling you all of this in hopes that someday a funeral director or someone who is involved with a death of a baby will be a little more compassionate in how they handle the families, and will know that how they react and treat this will effect this family for the rest of their lives. It has taken me two years to finally write this all down, I can see that time in my life as vividly now as when it happened two years ago. But, we go on there are days I don’t want to but, I do.
“Some people only Dream of Angels, I’ve held one in my Arms”
I Love you Jason Robert and always will