Blessed I am with 2 healthy and beautiful children that have turned my life upside down. On a perfect weekend morning, I would wake up, gear up and begin the drums of war to wake my children up; take them out of their PJs and into their clothes – a sign of the commencement of what I call the holy moly combat of parenthood. It is a nice – hectic – but nice feeling. Deep down in your heart you will feel happy and excited that those little creatures that you have brought to life are actually running the business now; they control what you eat, how you eat it, when you eat, and if you really should be eating it!
It’s not always sunny and rosy deep down in my heart; sometimes it aches and sometimes it rains. Some feelings and some memories are there forever no matter how hard you try to ignore them. No words, no gifts, no love, no care and no one can make this pain go away. The minute I lost my 15 day old baby boy was the minute I lost a part of my heart.
“It’s not always sunny and rosy deep down in my heart; sometimes it aches and sometimes it rains.”
Some people will argue – he was only 15 days old! When did you bond? I always say, he was 7 months old +15. I have lived with him for 225 days; we ate, slept, went out, I spoke to him, and he kicked back – so yes losing a 15 days old baby is not like losing a 15 years old boy; but both are killers, and both hurt equally.
I recall when I got off my work bus, pregnant in the first week of my 7th month; it was cold January night and I felt extra cold. I stood in the street waiting for my husband, thinking today had been a good day – my to-do list was over, and I was going shopping for my expected baby. Unexpectedly I started feeling colder, only to find out that I was standing in a pool of water and I realized I am giving birth! Without a blink I dialed my husband’s number, told him to speed up and take me to the hospital. When he arrived, I climbed into the car; only to discover that I was actually bleeding and that my water never broke.
“I was informed that 1 day inside me, is an equivalent of a week in an incubator. I struggled – he struggled and then I decided I wanted to go home.”
It really struck me that I did not panic. I was in contact and I understood that I had an emergency – I was so calm and structured. I walked into the hospital and I was bleeding to the extent that everywhere I went they had to wipe the floors. The doctors were shocked – I was cool – and for the next 12 days I was stuck in a hospital bed, trying to keep my baby alive for as long as I could. I was informed that 1 day inside me, is an equivalent of a week in an incubator. I struggled – he struggled and then I decided I wanted to go home.
Everyone was against the idea of me leaving the hospital; but my doctor understood. I left the hospital to see my other children; it has been 12 days since I saw them last. I went to bed and began reading about my case: a 1 in every 100 thousand women case. There was nothing I could do, nothing the doctors can do; and it hit me…one of us will make it alive. By dawn, I could feel labor contractions so close; I got up, dressed kissed my kids and took my husband to the hospital.
“There was nothing I could do, nothing the doctors can do; and it hit me…one of us will make it alive.”
Right after I gave birth, I woke up and asked for my baby and the doctor told me he is alive but in a bad shape. He had weak lungs, a viral infection, and was already very small in size. I asked what our chances were, and he looked at me no words coming out of his mouth; or maybe he mumbled something, I am not sure.
One look at my baby and I had this deep belief that he would make it. He looked so angelic and cried very little. I breastfed him every day and for the next 15 days he was my source of happiness. On a Thursday morning I called the hospital as usual to tell them I am on my way; and they told me you might want to bring someone, we are very sorry, but your baby passed away last night. Why was I ok with the news?! I never cried, I did not say a word of anger, I was not angry; I actually felt blessed.
Perhaps burying my baby was the toughest moment in my entire life. I lost my mother when I was 12 and always wondered what my life would have been if she was alive; everyone thought that was tough. The truth: nothing is tougher than losing a child. People walked all around me, some of them said some things; voices everywhere; my husband carried my baby down to where he sleeps forever, and it hit me – my baby will sleep in the dark.
“One look at my baby and I had this deep belief that he would make it.”
The thought haunted me. The dark! I did not want my baby to sleep in the dark; “it’s too dark down there”, that was all I said for days. I slept for 3 days in a row, not sedated, just sleeping. It was weird that I was numb; I slept a lot; I was not hungry; I didn’t want to mingle; I didn’t want anyone to tell me ‘it’s ok’. It was not ok, my baby sleeps in the dark. On the 3rd day I woke up forgetting what had happened, it was like I was in a really bad dream and I had snapped out of it. I prepared breakfast, I showered and played with my kids; and life went on.
“I have finally grasped the idea that death is part of life; a blind part of life.”
Every day, for as long as I live, I will remember my baby boy. I close my eyes and I can see him playing around me. The doctors told me he was lucky, he would have been a very sick child if he made it, and for some reason this thought calms me down. I imagine it’s not dark down there and that my baby sleeps with my mommy and they are probably celebrating all the time! I imagine a lot of lights and bright walls, and I imagine my mommy putting my baby to sleep or talking to him all night. I don’t see the dark anymore, I see him all grown up and oh so handsome.
I have finally grasped the idea that death is part of life; a blind part of life. I figured that it is absolutely out of my hands and that I had other kids to raise, a career to build, and above all, myself to look after. I spared myself the agony of thinking about my beloved child and drowned myself in day to day operations for a while. Then drowning became what I do – it became me. I had the firm belief that tomorrow is a better day and I worked so hard on forgetting the past. Some days are better than others; some days I can’t help but remember and others pass by in peace. Let it go, I tell myself and you; let it go and move on. One of the best human characteristics is forgetting, use it.