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BIOGRAPHY OF: MATTHEW THOMAS GIROUARD

BORN: January 14, 1967 - Sunday - about 3:45 a.m.
Passed into the presence of the Lord at 10:05 p.m.
Leominster Hospital
Leominster, Massachusetts USA
4 lbs. 15 oz. - ? length
Caesarian section.

Usual 6 weeks of morning sickness, for about 6 weeks. Not anemic, so I picked out the name for a boy. Matthew for St. Matthew in the Bible; Thomas after Joe's brother Tom.

I began to hemorrhage 1 month before due date. The placenta was below the baby and when he began to drop, the last month (preparation for birth), the placenta was being pushed out (placenta previa), it began to tear away from the wall of the uterus, causing hemorrhaging.

I went into the hospital and they waited as long as they could for labor to start, thus giving the baby a better chance (lungs exercised). It never began and they couldn't wait any longer - doctor told me I would have to have a caesarian section. I asked him if they could also take care of an umbilical hernia that I had for many years, at the same time. He called in a surgeon and was shown just how to do it.

I remember the operating room. There were many doctors and nurses in the room. Off to my left, there was an incubator for the baby. Then, I was given the anesthetic.

I woke up in my room; two nurses were saying that my husband was coming in a few minutes and they had better get me cleaned up. I noticed that there was something wrapped around me; later learned that it was there to hold my stomach secure, because of the caesarian.

About 10 a.m. I woke up again and Joe was at my bedside. I asked him what I had. He said, "Didn't they tell you?" I said, "No". He began to cry and I never even gave it a thought - I was too groggy. Finally, he said, "The baby had a hard time being born. You had a boy. He isn't doing very well. They don't think he will make it."

After awhile Joe went home. I was awake off and on. The nurses took care of me. A bouquet of flowers came in a blue planter, with little brown baseball gloves scattered here and there, through the flowers (the blue flowers): they were sent by my Mom.

More and more, through the early evening, I was awake. I prayed for Matthew - I prayed for his life, and as the time went on and there was less and less hope, I prayed for him not to hurt. And, then, he didn't hurt. They came in shortly after 10 p.m. and said he had stopped breathing so many times and they had revived him. Finally, he was little more than a vegetable and they couldn't revive him anymore. He was gone. I never saw him, and he was gone. I accepted it - my prayer had been for him not to hurt.

My husband said he had light blond hair, with a drop of red, like Mike and David. He had a strawberry mark on one of his legs (Lisa had one on the back of her neck).

Our pediatrician had been with Matthew since his time of birth and had to get some rest. The other pediatrician in town was filling in for him (Dr. Rossi). (I think it was too much for Dr. Cummings, emotionally.) Dr. Rossi asked if they could do an autopsy - so they could be sure what he had died of. They thought it was hylaine membrane disease (a mucous film that forms over lungs that didn't have a chance to be exercised, through the normal course of contractions). It is fatal more times with boys, than girls. (These days, a baby is given steroids, for the lungs; back in 1967 it wasn't an option.) They said it would be best if they knew, in case I had more children or in case he had something that might develop later in my other children. I said, "There won't be anymore children." Then, I said, "Alright", and signed for them to do it.

I asked if I could see him - they said it was up to me, but in most cases it was easier to get over, if you never saw the baby; I took their advice. I asked what would happen to him now. They said a nurse would put him into a little black bag and carry him down to the morgue. They asked who we would like to take care of funeral arrangements. I said, "Tommy Wright"; he was the owner of the funeral home that had taken care of my Mom's son. They didn't charge us anything for their services or the tiny, white coffin. We didn't want any ceremony: there was no need, he was with the Lord.

Matthew was buried on "H" Avenue, in Evergreen Cemetery - Leominster, MA. USA, on a hillside reserved for infants. Later, we picked out a flat (in the ground) stone for him; that's what was allowed for infant graves. It has a cross in the left-hand corner and a small sparrow on the right side. (The cross because of the Cross of Calvary and the sparrow because our heavenly Father knows every sparrow that falls.)

The stone reads:

MATTHEW T.
GIROUARD
JAN. 14, 1967

I had been told that if I got pregnant again, I couldn't carry to full-term; the baby wouldn't survive and I might die. It was a pretty difficult situation for Catholics. We went to three different priests, to talk about birth control; they all said that, as Catholics, we couldn't practice it, no matter what the reason. No hope whatsoever for us.

It was then that we began going to a neighborhood Bible study and learned all our self-righteousness was as filthy rags; we could never earn our way to Heaven (as we had been taught). We saw that we were sinners and needed a Saviour. We accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our own personal Saviour and became "Born Again" Christians. It took 11 pregnancies in 10 years to bring us to a place of seeing the futility in works - and we accepted the Grace of God.

In the year that followed, all our children had an experience with the Lord; all were baptized - some in our swimming pool. Our lives have never been the same. Not all our children are walking with the Lord, as I type this out - but, they were at one time. He drew them to Himself and in His time, according to His Word, they will turn back to Him. We have the assurance of what is written in His Word, and we can trust Him to finish what He has begun in each of our lives. It's all by faith; faith in what He has spoken.

Obstetrician: Dr. William B. Havey (God bless him.)
Pediatrician: Dr. John M. Cummings (Thank you Lord,
for him.)

PASSED AWAY: January 14, 1967 - Sunday - 10:05 p.m.

John 14:19 "...because I live, ye shall live also."


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Pen Name: Aimee Love


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