Even though it was four years ago I can clearly remember the last few minutes of your life. Your breathing had become labored making it more difficult for you to breathe. The tone of your skin was turning blue due to lack of oxygen. Your heart rate had begun to decelerate. We knew time was short so we made sure everybody in that hospital room had a chance to hold you one last time.
You took your last few breaths and passed away in Daddy’s arms. The nurse confirmed you were gone and at that point the atmosphere in the room changed. If anything dominated the room that day it was the love we all shared for you David. Two and half hours after you were born, you passed away in a room full of loving friends and family.
While you were alive you never left our arms. Your short life was spent in the arms of those who loved you the most. I remember your sibling loving on you and covering you with kisses and snuggles.
You were so loved my son. You were supposed to be our last. Looking at family photo’s now, especially with your baby sister here, there is a gap. That gap and your presence will never be filled.
Going home from the hospital with empty arms was agonizing. My arms were empty and there was a hole in my heart. Life went on for others and it stopped for me. There were painful reminders everywhere that you were not here. My milk came in and I had no baby to nourish. I was dealing with the recovery from my c-section and had no sweet baby to help ease the pain and discomfort. I was alone in my pain. I had no baby to proudly show off, but instead I had empty arms. Empty arms but a full heart. A heart that chose to love and give you life.
I had dreams and goals for you. Most mothers do for their unborn child. We did not know if you were going to be a boy or a girl, but we really wanted a boy for Danny to have as a partner in crime. I got my boy that I wanted, but you could not stay. It is the hardest when your brother Danny laments over not having a brother to play with. Some things I cannot fix.
After the initial diagnosis of bilateral renal agenesis, we first prayed for healing for you. There was no chance for survival. Instead of planning for a baby, we planned your funeral. Instead of choosing a coming home from the hospital outfit, we choose the clothes you were to be buried in.
However, when that healing did not come we prayed, “thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10). Our prayers were answered in accordance to the Lord’s will, not ours. And instead of healing we got peace. It was a peace that was felt beyond measure. A peace that is written in Philippians 4:7, which transcends all understanding. We could not explain the peace felt that day, in that room. Because of that peace, I am not angry with your death.
However, it does not mean that I don’t miss you or want you back. It means I am okay with you not being here. I trust in the Lord’s will. You were sick with compromised lung issues, a underdeveloped heart, and lack of kidney function; all of which caused your death. Your body now is no longer broken. I like to picture you fully restored in good health and full of life.
I know that life and death is in the hands of the Lord (I Sam. 2:6) and because of that my heart rejoices in that only He can give and take. “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21) I find great comfort in knowing that the only One who has power to begin and end life lies in the hands of a good and gracious God. The psalmist said: “You are good, and do good; Teach me Your statutes.” (Psa. 119:68) Because of who God is I can trust in Him and His sovereign plans.
Today marks the fourth year since you were born and died. In that four years there has been much change in our lives. In 2013 we experienced our fair share of death, more than we ever want to deal with again. We welcomed your baby sister into our family. We moved from our home into where we are now. Life goes on. It does not stop.
There are good days and bad days. Today instead of dwelling on your death, we choose to remember you and celebrate your life. You have touched many lives and your legacy lives on.
It is an honor to be your mother and it was an honor to choose life for you.
We take comfort from 2 Corinthian’s 12:9, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Until we meet again, my son, and happy birthday.