The 5th through the 11th of every month is a sacred space for us.
I imagine a world where Sterling lived and what life might’ve been like for us. I also travel back into my memories and remember what we were doing this day, 4 months ago.
On this day, 4 months ago, I was here in the ER with my newborn son. We were still waiting for the ambulance to arrive and transfer us to the hospital that would admit Sterling. We were being reassured by the nurses and doctors that all tests were negative and it was most likely a case of RDS.
They said he most likely just needed to be on CPAP for a week or 2 before bringing him home safe and sound.
On the 6th, back in December, I remember the fear I felt. I remember the hope I had amidst the pain of watching the newest, tiniest member of our family struggle to breathe. And I remember how quickly our hopes were crushed later this day. By the afternoon, Sterling had stopped breathing and was intubated. By the evening, his heart had stopped and I watched in horror as they revived my 1 day old baby boy.
I remember thinking this was the worst experience of my life. But the truth is nothing is worse than the hell I’m living now.
Back then, he was still here. He was still alive and I could rest my hand on his chest and his belly and feel the warmth of his skin. I could brush my fingers through his soft little hair. I could kiss his chubby cheeks, while avoiding tubes and wires that kept him alive.
I realize it’s selfish to wish him back in that hospital room and deep down, I’m glad he’s no longer suffering. But the hospital days don’t seem as horrific now, because those were the days he was alive. As hard as they were, if I could go back and relive them, even with the same outcome, I would do it in a heartbeat.
This time, I would never leave his side, not even for a moment. And instead of being afraid of what’s to come, I would soak up and enjoy every single second of life with Sterling.
You don’t need to be sorry for me. I’m still one of the lucky ones. This may not be how I imagined Sterling’s life, but I’m thankful he lived at all. I’m thankful for the hospital days and the time I had with him. I’m lucky to be his mama.