I sat on a bed in the room next to the one I went to 13 days after Rachel was born because of complications from my surgery for her. I remembered that night... getting my x-ray they asked if I was pregnant. I said no, I just had a baby and they asked if I was nursing. I wanted to die answering that question with a 'no'. The milk was there.... but my baby was in the ground.
Before Asa settled down, he was crying and I just hugged him and thanked God that he was crying. I found myself telling him a lot about Rachel while we were there. I told him how I never got to hear her cry and how after he was born, he didn't cry at first because of his meconium - and how I had never been so happy to hear a baby cry as when I first heard his voice. "So go ahead and cry if you have to, it's okay and Mama isn't going anywhere. I'll hold you." I assured him.
After we got home, he went to sleep - but in the middle of the night, his fever spiked again. It was just under 104. He was up constantly, he was throwing up and crying. And I was just exhausted. But the hardest part was that I was somewhat out of it. I was having nightmares of him dying (except in my dreams, I think he was Rachel) and then I would wake up, completely confused as to what was real or in my mind - I couldn't remember if he was sleeping with me, in the cosleeper or in his crib and would wake up startled. I actually wonder if I might have had a temp too because I was being tortured in my mind with bad thoughts and visions and it all felt so real. I couldn't tell if I was awake or asleep, where he was or if he was alive or dead and the worst part... I kept thinking he was Rachel. - all. night. long. I actually called him 'girl' a couple of times which made me feel both crazy and guilty.
I'm not going to phsycoanalyze why that is. I guess maybe it makes sense that the first time I was at a hospital and afraid for my child's life since Rachel would bring all of those feelings and fears to the surface.... but you know, as hard as last night was and as scary as it felt....like I was living my nightmare... all that matters to me is that today, I have my cute, chubby baby here with me. Alive. Breathing. Growing. I left that hospital with his name on a bracelet they put on my wrist and I don't need to transfer it to a headstone. I left that place WITH him.
Thank you Lord for another day with my precious son. Thank You for Rachel. Thank You for holding my heart as I walk this complicated path of grief and joy. Thank You for being my hope...My rest...Thank You for carrying my burdens.
Asa Francisco, you are loved more than you could ever know. I will always be here for you and am so thankful I get to call you mine for a while. You are such a gift to me.
Rachel Alice, you are always on my mind... in my heart... and continue to inspire me to love more deeply and cherish every moment. I would give anything to have been able to hold you in this home... but, I look forward to someday holding you in our true home. Healthy. Healed. I can't wait to hear you giggle.