Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The day my boy said good bye
You never said I’m leaving
You never said goodbye
You were gone before I knew it
And only God knew why.
A million times I needed you
A million times I cried
If love alone could have saved you
You never would have died.
In your short life I loved you dearly
In death I love you still
In my heart you hold a place
That no one could ever fill.
It broke my heart to lose you
But you did not go alone
For part of me went with you
The day God took you home.
I have to think a lot and recollect what happened that day to write about it. I have a story I have written and preserved about my baby which has all the details about him & me from day 'one' till day 'end' but I haven't managed to write the last page there. That's because the memory of this day makes me very guilty. I will tell you why.
We were told he's recovering very well in the nicu. He's almost eleven days old now. I cannot walk around a lot because of the pain in my c-section stitches but I go to the mother's room next to the nicu every two hours to express milk in order to be fed to him. A very nice nurse on 10th day told me he's quite comfortable and has 12 ml milk in one feed. Good baby. She said. Once I was waiting outside nicu. He'd passed motion apparently and was crying so loudly when the nurse cleaned him. I fell in love with my baby all over again. I never held him yet. He had been promoted from nicu level 1 to nicu level 2 and they would give him to me to breast feed directly when he gets to nicu level 3 perhaps - i hoped.
On that day around 9.30 am i walked to nicu hoping to ask doctor when can i hold him and breastfeed him. I first saw the main doctor inside. Then my eyes moved and there were a bunch of docs around my baby. And nurses. the doc was telling them something. They all seemed very upset. Now, I just waited there hoping it'd be nothing. Maybe a diaper problem. I just stand there hoping hoping...but my mind is sort of blank with shock and fear. At 10.30 doc comes out. He tells us baby is sick. One of the problems he had during his preterm birth has returned and he's got an infection. He's struggling to breath. My poor baby.
As we were watching they put him back in nicu level 1 again and under ventilator. I came back to my room because I couldn't take that sight. After 2 hours went back to nicu and the nurses looked grim. My baby was still under ventilator. Doc had asked to see my father specifically. My father went to see him and returned after an hour. He said baby needs to under ventilator for 48 more hours and there is a special heart expert here to see him. Okay, I ask, he will be okay no father? Yes. My father says.
Around 2.30 or 3 in the afternoon maybe, doc calls for my father again. This time again my father is gone for almost an hour. He returns sad this time. Something is serious. He says. Now I know its all over inside. I try to cry but I cannot. I have some relatives who are already saying its okay you will have more children. You have been such a brilliant girl you will get over this. Don't give up etc.
After another half an hour the phone in my room rings. I pick up. A girl says doc wants to see your father. This time I don't even want to wait. Time has stopped for me. All my dreams are shattered. My heart is broken. I'm done. My father returns. He had been weeping. He is gathering courage to tell me that its all over. They need to take my baby off the ventilator.
I don't cry because I just can't. There are a few people in our room but nobody is crying. A family friend (actually a nice lady otherwise) came just then. She was smiling. I don't know if you can really smile when a baby dies, but she did. She said it'd be a big problem for me take care of my baby later on as he could have many issues being an unstable preterm and i will have more babies. My mother is packing the stuff to leave the hospital. My father is busy with clearing the hospital bills and everything.
Around 7 in the evening I leave the hospital. No baby. My mil is carrying my baby and she sat in the back seat of the car. I was sitting in the middle. I could hear she was weeping but I didn't look back. I was messaging my husband who is abroad. He'd left two days ago assuming baby is good. My father told him over phone few hours back that baby is gone. I just concentrate on comforting him through sms.
I'd seen my baby closely once - eighth day after his birth. He was a big boy. Around 1.6 kilos. Beautiful. Perfect in every way. Looked so much like his dady. Chubby cheek. My mother had said he didn't look premature - he looked like a normal nine months baby. Bigger than other babies in nicu. The nurse strapped something to his tiny feet and he let out a small cry and I saw his lips moving on his face which otherwise was still. I'd kept replaying that face. Next time I wanted to see him in my arms. Breast feeding him.
Now I was not going to get that chance. He was going to be buried in my husband's house. They have a big farm. He needs a small space though. So they are taking him there. The car gets to my place first. Its another 1.5 hours to my husband's. I get off with my mom and aunt. My father will be going to mil, fil to my husband's place to bury my baby. I get off without looking back. I just tell my baby good bye in my mind. I ask him to forgive me because I don't want this image of his lifeless face - I have a better image in my memory. The one I described above. I say a silent bye. And they are gone. He is gone forever.
So that's why I feel guilty. That I didn't give him a final hug. I have always been a person who justifies all my actions and lives life according to my own terms. But this time I know my justification is not god enough. I had to promise to breastfeed him but I didn't give him as much as a hug. Or a kiss.