Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy 18m birthday, Alexander!

It's crazy to think, little cuddlebug, that you are 18 months old...  That 18 months ago, at 3:45 in the morning, you were born.  That 5 minutes later, you took your final little breath, curled up against your daddy's hands, and fell into a sleep that no amount of praying or crying or wishing could wake you from.  18 months ago, we curled up in bed with you, smelled you in, wrapped you in your big brother and big sister's blanket, and fell asleep.  Part of us wished we'd join you in that forever nap; part of us wished we'd all wake up in the end.  But we woke up with you wrapped in our arms; and you played joyfully with Nicholas and Sophia in heaven.

18 months...  Wow...  You'd be toddling around and talking.  Being Mommy's helper with your little brother and sister.  I think you'd be my calmest of calm.  My peaceful boy.  The one who, when Mommy was stressed or tired, would come over and offer a hug and sweet kiss amongst the chaos.

I dont often daydream anymore about "if" you'd lived.  I know that you were only meant to live for those short months in my womb and those few moments outside of it.  I know that was the fullness of our time with you on earth.  That you paved the way for Bobby and Maya, just as Nicholas and Sophia paved the way for you.

But it still hurts.  It hurts that our memories of holding you and smelling you and snuggling you had to be limited to a day.  A single day.  And, if I expand it out to the late Wednesday night that I went into the hospital through the Sunday morning that you were born, it is still only 4 days.  4 days to wrap my head around the fact that, even though we'd done everything that we'd been told to do, the chances werent good that we'd bring you into this world safely.  4 days to stop fearing what might happen, realize it most likely would happen, and enjoy every single second of having you kicking and flipping... alive... healthy... safe.  4 days to treasure and build memories.

When they told us that you were on your way.  That there was no way they could halt your labor any longer, it was 11pm on Saturday.  I remember the on call OB finding you on the u/s and we watched you kick and play.  Did you know your birthday was imminent?  Were you excited for us to hold you on the outside?  Were you happy because your brother and sister were with you, preparing to hold your hand as you made your journey to the other side?

Mere hours to talk about what we knew we needed to do "this time".  Hours to realize that lightening doesnt just strike twice, but that it can hit 3 times in the  Hours to call a priest for prayer.  To explain to the nurses and doctors that we wanted a natural, unassisted labor.  Hours to realize that we wouldnt be able to save you and that you would die in our arms.  Hours.  Tiny.Few.Short.Hours.

The priest came around 1:30.  He was a kind man...  A Franciscan brother, called by the hospital in the middle of the night.  What do you say?  A couple is about to deliver a baby who will die.  Come quickly?  But he came.  And he prayed.  He prayed that you would be safe...  That we would be alright...  That we would find the strength to carry on.  That God would grant us a miracle.

But we'd already had the miracle.  The resident told us, Wednesday night, that you would be born... and you werent.  Thursday morning, when we saw you, with your legs in the birth canal, we were told you couldnt stay inside any longer... but inversion and pelvic tilts reversed that.  When my water broke on Thursday night, they told us you were coming... but you didnt.  On Friday, when we were prepared for the worst news- that you didnt have any fluid- you were swimming around (in a diminished bag, no doubt, but you could still move).  When I began to bleed heavily on Saturday night and they couldnt find your heartbeat, and the nurses prepared us for your stillbirth... you were playing on ultrasound, letting us know that you were alright.  So... We had our miracle.  Many miracles.  We had 3 extra, beautiful days.

And on the fourth day of our miracles, you were born.  Feet first.  The little soccer play that you were in the womb.  Your daddy helped you get your feet squared away so that you could make your entrance into the world.  18 months ago.  A lifetime ago.

When people ask, "Are they your first?" when they refer to Bobby and Maya, and I tell them, no, that we have boy/girl twins and a sweet little boy who passed away due to prematurity, you are that sweet little boy that I mention...  That I remember every single day of my life.

I love you, Alexander.  I love you so very much.  Thank you for the lifetime of love you gave us during your pregnancy and those moments we had you with us physically.  Thank you for letting us feel your peace every day.  Thank you for Bobby and Maya.

Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there is hatred let me bring your love,
Where there is injury your pardon Lord,
And where there's doubt true faith in you.
Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there's despair in life, let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness, only light,
And where there's sadness, ever joy.
O Master grant that I may never seek,
So much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love with all my soul.
Make me a channel of your peace,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving to all men that we receive
And in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Truly, it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

We love you, our little cuddlebug.

For more pictures...


Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful letter to you son. He was beautiful, that sweet little faint smile, sucking his little thumb--the precious little moments he gave you, knowing they would last a lifetime for you. He was a fighter and a giver. What a beautiful little soul he possessed. Remembering Alexander with you today. Blessings and peace to you.

Barb said...

I'm so so sorry sweetheart. I hurt for you. Yu are very strong

Mother Knows Best Reviews said...

I love how you honor Nicholas daily - every time I hear that name, I think of him and of you. I am sending you so much love, and love up to Heaven for your wonderful little man.

Catherine W said...

Remembering your sweet little Alexander, especially today. Such a beautiful little boy x

quadmom said...

This post was so moving and beautiful, Michele. Happy 18 months, sweet Alexander.

Amy said...

In tears, again. seems to happen whenever I visit your site! Happy 18 months Alexander! I have asked m little ones in heaven to give you a great big birthday hug!

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and your family. Sending prayers up for Little Alexander.


Leah said...

Oh Michele, such a beautiful letter to your son. I hope he is looking down on you all and smiling when he looks at his brother and sister here on earth. Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Alexander!!

*hugs* Michele

Noelle said...

This letter was so moving. You love him so much. It is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

what beautiful memories you have with Alexander--always a treasure to have .