One year ago today, we sat in the hospital in Dallas, listening to machines beep and flash. Watching as you struggled to hold on. I don’t remember words but I remember the sounds of The End. I ached to hold you and yet I knew when I did, it would be one of the last times.
So many people were in that room when I finally said we were ready. Daddy and Bella next to me on a little couch we’d slept, dreamed, prayed and cried on for over two weeks. You were three weeks old that day and you were going Home.
I watched as each button was pushed, off and off again. Dials down. Tubes out. The oxygen for last. I sobbed to the nurse in terror about not taking the pain medication away from you, she assured me they wouldn’t.
“He won’t feel a thing.”
Finally freed of all the tubes and wires that had made holding you turn into a ballet act, I lifted you up and held you to me. That was all I ever wanted. Just to hold you close and kiss your perfect little head and cheeks. You never moved, just breathed in and out. Slower and slower. I whispered how I loved you, how sorry I was, how we would never, ever forget you.
Your Daddy leaned in to kiss you, tears running down our faces and onto your skin. You’d tried so hard to hold on, you’d been through so much.
Then you were gone. The doctor listened, and nodded, starting to walk away and then turning around as I screamed up at heaven, “All I wanted was to take my baby home!” Then I covered you in a blanket and rocked you back and forth on me.
My darling rainbow baby. The one that was supposed to make everything right again. And you were dead. I waited for God to undo it, to shock everyone into putting life back into the little body that was turning purplish and gray. Any minute. I waited as my family held you. As you were bathed. As I handed you back to the nurse and thought my heart would stop beating.
Any moment God. So many people waiting for this miracle.
I waited as we left. When the hospital called to follow up. When they let me know your little body was ready to be picked up by the funeral director. The same one as your brothers had – in town just that day.
I waited for days for the miracle that didn’t happen. I waited nine months for you. And I’m waiting for eternity – for all of us there together like it should have been.
I love you so much, I’ll miss you forever,
Diana is owner and editor-in-chief of Still Standing Magazine and blogs her own life story at Diana Wrote. She and her military retired husband have two girls and three sons who passed away after birth; Preston and Julian, identical twin boys who were born at 20 weeks, and Kaden, who unexpectedly had cardiomyopathy due to a rare virus called ciHHV-6. He died in her arms at 3 weeks old.
In 2014 she traveled with World Vision to learn about maternal health and infant mortality in Zimbabwe, and later with them to Ecuador. She is working on a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. You can also find her work on Babble, Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post.