One of the most heartbreaking moments of Prince’s life is detailed in his ex-wife’s new book.
Mayte Garcia, Prince’s love and muse, wrote in The Most Beautiful: My Life With Prince, currently available for pre-order, about the birth and death of Prince’s only child.
Garcia started dancing for Prince when she was 16. She became pregnant when she was 22, just months after they were married. She writes that although she and Prince had been married less than a year, they were both ecstatic about the pregnancy. Prince even built a swingset in the backyard of Paisley Park to prepare for his son’s birth. But early in the pregnancy, there were signs that something was wrong. Garcia was bleeding, and ultrasound images didn’t look quite right.
“Sometimes the body is trying to release the fetus for a reason,” doctors told her. One doctor grimly told Garcia and Prince that their baby might have dwarfism.
“My husband and I looked at each other and shrugged,” Garcia wrote. “‘And?’ he said. ‘I’m totally fine with that.’ I laughed. Of all the possible outcomes that had been offered to us, this was the first one that didn’t terrify me.”
An amnio test could have told the couple what was wrong, but it carried a risk of miscarriage, so they decided not to have it done. Instead, Garcia wrote, they prayed daily.
But when their son, Amiir Gregory Nelson, was held up by a nurse, everything changed.
“The elation on my husband’s face turned to pure terror,” Garcia wrote.
“Why is he not crying?” Prince asked, as nurses worked to save the baby boy.
Amiir was born with a rare genetic disorder called Pfeiffer syndrome type 2. His head was misshapen, his hands and feet were webbed and his eyes were lidless and dry.
“They brought the baby over to us,” Garcia wrote. “He was curled on his side, gasping shallow little gulps of air. Because there were no lids to blink, his eyes looked startled and dry. I caught hold of his tiny hand, saying over and over, ‘Mama loves you, Mama’s here.’ After six days he was struggling to breathe. And I said to the doctor, ‘He’s not leaving here, is he?'”
Amiir died later that day.
According to Garcia’s writing, the death of that baby and a later miscarriage caused the grief that tore apart her marriage to Prince. They divorced in 2000, and Prince had every reminder of his marriage and son burned.
Garcia now says she thinks Prince never got over Amiir’s death.
“I don’t know how anybody can get over it,” she wrote. “I know I haven’t.”
Prince died nearly a year ago from an accidental overdose.
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