Thursday, February 26, 2009

November 9 2007: After

We were discharged from the hospital the next day. Our sweet, compassionate nurse wept as she handed me a small brown teddy bear. He was the consolation prize for leaving the hospital with empty arms. At first, I didn't want him. I was numb with grief and sorrow. I didn't want a stupid teddy bear. I wanted Owen!
My grateful husband took the bear in his arms and held him for me until my arms were ready...Owen's teddy.

I don't remember her name. I don't remember anything about her except the look in her eyes and the sadness I found there. She had difficulty forming the words but eventually we understood that she was telling us that she could take us out the back way; down the emergency stairs, away from the other moms and their happy endings, away from the nursery window with the crying newborns. I wept with gratitude. I had dreaded this moment from the very first step I had taken into the maternity ward.
No wheelchair. No walk of shame past the other mothers whose babies were still alive. She had given us the most precious gift.

I don't remember her name, but I remember her compassion.

I took the brown bear from my husband and wrapped him in my arms. This was all I was leaving with, but at least my arms weren't empty. I had the love and the compassion of a sweet nurse, my husband's arms around me, and the memories of a precious little boy who left us way too early. My arms were ready.

Down the stairs, out into the cold November air, into the unknown of after, I carried a physical reminder of my son's existence in my arms...

I carried my son in my heart.


Anonymous said...

My dearest Ebe. You are an incredible writer. With such care and love do you speak of our precious little boy. I love you. PAPA

jstaliaferro said...

These entries have left me with no words and a breaking heart. They have also left me with a profound sense of hope that one day this life will be over and all will be made right. All pain will be forgotten and lost relationships will be made whole again.

Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

-Jennasteph from babyfit