Friday marked 8 months since the boys' birth. 8 months since our world was rocked by the two little tiny bundles. 8 months since one of the best days- and scariest- of my life.
As always happens- and will forever happen- this big month milestone for the boys is quickly followed by the worst milestone of all-- another month that we have been without our precious Connor.
I had planned a post for yesterday. We were walking around a lake in a nearby town enjoying the beautiful weather and I was scripting my words in my head. A post about the 20th, the "in between," the one day of Connor's life... but it was a hard day. It always is. I found myself worn, tired, saddened. The 20th of every month seems to mark my one day with Connor. And, though I've always been one to say that I don't have regrets because each moment, each mistake, each lesson has gotten me where I am, the 20th of July is one day for which I truly hold regrets.
I regret that I didn't spend more time in the NICU with the boys.
I regret that I didn't take pictures of the boys- Connor in particular.
I regret that I didn't take videos of the boys.
I regret that I didn't truly understand the seriousness of the boy' conditions.
I regret that I felt like I had forever and took that one precious, miraculous day for granted.
And those memories and thoughts pile up and wear me down.
My one true day with my baby boy, and I blew it.
And so, I'm here instead on the anniversary of his death. The anniversary of the day that I went from Mommy of 2 boys here on Earth to a Mommy of an angel in heaven and a miracle on Earth.
Lately Colby has been waking up earlier and earlier. 5:30am some days, 6am others. Today was no different. We came downstairs to allow Daddy to sleep... we played quietly with all distractions off. I wasn't completely awake and neither was Colby, so we relaxed in the peacefulness of one another's company. And as we relaxed, I happened to glance at the clock.
It was near 7am.
And I was transferred back to the NICU on the 21st of July, 8 short and long months ago.
We entered the boys' NICU room to find it filled with nurses and doctors fighting to save our baby's life. One nurse was bagging him to help him breathe. He was being transfused. But he was awake. He was watching. He was helpless. As his numbers fluctuated, hope would fill the air momentarily. He was tried back on the ventilator- but he couldn't handle it. He was taken off and another transfusion was forced into him. Again, his numbers slowly rose and the ventilator was tried again. But another fail brought yet another transfusion. Three transfusions later and the doctor looked at us and told us that she had done everything she could.
Our baby was going to die.
I often wonder... wish... daydream... what life would have been like if one of the ventilator tries had worked. What if they had saved our baby? What if Connor had pulled through? What if it was all just a horrible, horrible scare?
But it wasn't. Wires were disconnected and our baby was placed into our arms. He watched us for a moment, gripping my finger, holding on. But it was too much. In our arms, surrounded by our love, our precious baby took his last breath and we said goodbye. At 7:08am the doctor listened to his chest and sadly shook her head. Less than 48 hours after his terrifying entrance into the world, our precious Connor was gone.
8 months later, half-asleep playing on the floor with Colby, it still feels like a terrible nightmare that I can't wake up from. Sometimes I manage to convince myself it didn't happen, that life is still perfect and happy. That my pain is unnecessary.
In the 8 months the pain has remained, changed a little perhaps, but it's still there. I've learned to pretend I'm okay. I've learned to put on a brave face, to function, to confront strangers, to share our story... but really, I'm not okay. I'm not sure you ever really can be after seeing your baby die. After saying goodbye to your child in this life.
I try every day for Colby, but even 8 months later it still hurts so much.