Thursday, January 7, 2010

Having Nathaniel Part 2

We had been told you were a girl- but I saw right away that you held a were, in fact, a little boy. You had such a serene peace about you. Your face looked as if you were simply asleep. Tiny little hands, fingers, feet, and toes were so perfectly formed. You were perfectly proportioned. When the doctor and I looked to the umbilical cord we knew immediately what had happened. One of the three vessels was formed incorrectly. It had about a half dozen areas that narrowed so thin- my heart ached when I realized you had suffered from a lack of both oxygen and nutrition. When you were so small, it had not been deadly. But as my beautiful little boy grew, this section could not keep up. I pray that you never knew what was lacking. I can only hope that you fell asleep warm inside my belly. It pains me in an indescribable way that your precious light could go out and I did not know that it had happened. We cut your umbilical cord and wrapped you in a little blanket. I wanted to hold you as soon as possible. Daddy cried. I cried. The doctor and nurses cried. You were so beautiful- and it was just so difficult to understand. As I gazed at your tiny face, I could instantly see both Wren and Dane in your features- but especially Dane. You had Daddy's brow line and Dane's nose. Your arms and legs were so long and your feet were already so big. I would spend the next twelve hours memorizing everything about you. The nurses gave you a bath and they were so sweet and handled you with such care. They covered you in baby lotion before wrapping you in your blanket once again, and then Daddy and I spent a few hours just being with you. We named you Nathaniel Devon Smith, after both your Daddy and Grampy. We also decided that we would Baptise you in the morning, and made the decision to be able to bring your ashes home with us. I wanted you to be with us always. Daddy looked so tired and there was no place for him to get comfortable. I thought too, that since Wren was spending the night with her friends, it might do Daddy some good to go home and snuggle down with Dane. It seemed like the only thing that could be of any comfort to him then was your sister and brother. And the only thing I wanted to do until morning was hold you and gaze at you. So sometime around midnight Daddy went home. I reluctantly gave you over to the nurses so that we could make prints of your little hands and feet. I also wanted pictures of you as I am so afraid that my memory may fade in years to come. I took a hot shower, cried some more, and went down the hall in search of you. Cries of another baby helped to lift my spirit as I went down the hall. Though I know it to be impossible, I never want another person to experience this kind of grief. As I approached the room where you were I heard a sweet little voice. Your nurse was talking to you, telling you what she was doing, and saying such sweet things that only you and God could hear. I was so deeply touched by this that it is difficult to put into words. But it gave to me the knowledge that your little life also touched more than just ours- you were special to this other person too. I will be grateful to her till my last breath. I stayed with the two of you until she was finished. She then placed you in a little wicker bassinet and allowed me to take you back to our room. It was now very late and as I lay down to spend the one and only night we were given your little hands were somehow placed right under your head as if you were sleeping. I turned your face to mine on the pillow and reluctantly shut off the light. But the light from the moon and stars still showed your features and again I felt a sweep of gratitude. Your little body and bundle of blankets was so small, and your entire being nestled that night in the crook of my arm. I breathed in that scent that only a new baby has and prayed to God to help me fix it in my memory. Every few hours I woke up and talked to you or sang you a lullaby. I would unwrap a small area of the blanket and hold your hand or outline your tiny face. I was still so amazed by the peace about your face. I slept well and soundly with you in my arms and will cherish those hours with you as long as I live. Dawn broke to a gray rainy but beautiful morning- because this was the morning of your Baptism.

1 comment:

mama bear said...

How beautiful, but difficult, this must be. I know how hard it is for me, Nate's Grammy, to read this but I'll be forever grateful for your having told his story. Our only solace is that we will be with him one day and that gives me great peace.
Love you so much Kris and Nate....