The day we chose to pull Drake off his ventilator we spent every moment we could with him – had family and friends coming and going. We knew we had made the hardest decision but it was right for him.
It was time to say: our goodbyes, our love yous, our miss yous.
It was time to shed tears like I had never done before.
Once he was removed from his ventilator and placed in my arms, he was able to pull in enough oxygen through his gasps to allow us another 4 hours with him.
After he was pronounced, we were still allowed time with him – we were able to take pictures (thanks to NILMDTS – Angie) which we absolutely treasure.
The head nurse, who chose to be there that night to be with us, allowed us to lay him in the bed when we felt it was time. (It was never going to be time; we just knew that we had to do it.) She took off his onesie we had him in so that we could keep it and placed a shirt on him.
We still have that onesie, snot stain and all. We keep it in a special box along with other mementos of his.
(So grateful to my dad who built it for me and then I painted his name on it.)
As he laid in his bed with the nurse next to him, Joel and I held hands as we slowly made our way out of his room. I never in my life felt so lost, so heavy – like I could not put one foot in front of the other. Like I was made of cement.
I thought I had cried every single tear by body held when he passed away, no they were not done yet. A whole new river of emotions and sorrow flooded my eyes and fell down my cheeks in their silent paths. I wanted to scream. I wanted to yell. But I stayed silent except for my misery that fell within my tears.
We paused at the large window to his room. I literally felt like I was never going to be able to leave, to move from that spot. I was slowly melting into the floor.
With an arm around my shoulders my husband did the most difficult thing for us – he guided us out of the NICU, out of the hospital, through the parking lot and into our car.
The car that we had purchased when I was pregnant.
The car we should have taken Drake home in.
The car that had an empty carseat in it.
The car that was so empty.
The car that would drive us home without our son.
The car that would hold our flood of tears.
The car we sat in for a few minutes as we could not yet leave the parking lot. Leave him.
The car that neither of us could see out the window due to the cloud of tears that just filled our eyes constantly.
The car that held our silence as we slowly made the ride home.
To this day, I am unsure how we truly made it home but we had to do the most difficult thing any parent who has experienced a loss has endured.
We had to leave him.
Marisa is the mother to 3 boys, one gone too soon and 2 keeping her on her toes. Drake died in 2010 at 12 days, 16 hours old after being pulled from life support due to injuries he sustained during delivery. Her other 2 boys: Aden and Gavin, whom she loves every minute with them.