To say this month is rough is an understatement. The 17th marks eighteen long, sad months since we lost Eli. I can't believe it's been a year and a half since I've held him in my arms. I still have nights, like last night where I relive every moment of when we lost him. I can remember going to the bathroom, stripping naked to get into the shower and feeling the need to pee again. I sat down and felt that POP that I thought was my water breaking. For that one moment before I stood up I was ecstatic at the possibility of holding my son in my arms in a few hours.
Then I stood up and looked down in utter horror I saw blood pouring out of me. At that moment I knew that something was terribly wrong. My head knew it but my heart didn't want to. We rushed to the hospital, I called ahead so they knew I was coming and were prepared for me. They wheeled me up to L&D and then they took me into delivery room 2 (the same room I had given birth to Austin in just 15 months before). I had two nurses checking me out and telling me I had a lot of clots and then a whole swarm of nurses were in my room. There were 2 undressing and gowning me, one taking my vitals and one trying to find his heartbeat. They tried the monitor, doppler and an ultrasound all the while not saying a word to me, some not even making eye contact. Why was everyone being so damn quiet?
They called downstairs for ultrasound to come up and paged the on-call doctor. The doctor arrived just a minute after the ultrasound tech. He sat down on the bed next to me and watched as she waved the wand over my belly stopping over his chest. He looked up at me, put his hand on my leg and said "I'm sorry, we've lost his heartbeat." A million things went threw my mind all at once. Then it hit me and took my breath away, my son was dead. I cried, screamed, pleaded with God and cried some more. Then I had to make the hardest phone calls of my life.
At 10:41 am, Eli came silently into this world. He was 6lbs 3oz and 20.5 inches of sheer perfection. We spent many hours with him studying his every feature and etching it into our memories. Even though he was already gone it wasn't until the guy from the funeral home came to get him that he was really and truly gone for me. I handed Eli to my wonderful nurse and she walked out the door with him and that's when I lost it. That sweet, precious baby that I had the honor of carrying for 36 weeks didn't get a chance to live and I would never get to hold him again. I had to spend the night in the hospital where other women were having babies and he was going to be in some room at the funeral home all alone.
Here we are almost 18 months later and the hurt is still very fresh. This year Christmas is especially hard. It's Austin's 3rd birthday, Eli's 2nd in Heaven and our first with our rainbow, Cailyn. While I feel very blessed to be able to have a new baby to buy for this year I can't help but mentally buy gifts for Eli, too. I wanted to somehow fill that need to buy for him and so David and I "adopted" an angel from Walmart's angel tree, a one year old boy. We bought gifts for him that we thought Eli would've liked and I truly hope that this Christmas is special for that little boy.
I have images in my head of all the beautiful things I should be doing with my 3 babies this Christmas and it absolutely breaks my heart and crushes my soul to only be able to do them with Austin and Cailyn. I include Eli in everything that we do for the holidays but I still wish it were more. Tomorrow we are going to take a Christmas tree up to him and while there will be tears and heartache I know that he is always with us and we aren't really celebrating without him because he can never truly be gone unless people forget about him and I'm not going to let that happen.