One month ago today, I was emergency airlifted to the big city and my baby was born. He was 5 weeks early as far as due dates go, and came on his own one week before I was scheduled to be induced (to avoid stillbirth). If he had survived, we would be celebrating him being one month old, 5 days before he was due to be born, had he been healthy.
I so often see and hear people lament as they share a new story or a new picture of their children, “Oh, why do they have to grow up?” Well, my child never will. We will never have a new memory of him to laugh or cry about, we will never have a new picture to share. He will never get any older.
I didn’t get to experience the same pregnancy joys other women do. I didn’t have a baby shower, I never bought a crib or decorated a nursery. I didn’t get to share my hopes and dreams for my baby with others–other than my hopes that his lungs would be strong enough for him to live, my hopes that maybe the doctors were wrong. Few knew he even existed; it seemed like the consensus was that as few people should know I was pregnant as possible. To keep others from feeling unwarranted happiness. To keep others from feeling sadness.
The last four and a half months of pregnancy were full of anxiety, tears, and appointments. I was physically miserable and emotionally strained, but I enjoyed every single day with my little baby, not knowing when his last one would be. He taught me a lot about how fragile life is, and how resilient love is. We don’t know how many days we get; our job is to find the small joys in every day, and to love as fully and completely as we can because we don’t know which day is our last.
I’m sure that someday, someone will ask me if I’m sorry we did what we did. I’m not. I don’t regret our decisions. I don’t regret carrying Seraphim as long as I could, enjoying the moments with him that I was given. I am thankful for the few hours we got to hold Seraphim’s hands and look at him and comfort him. His experience with the pain of life was very brief, and he spent his whole life surrounded by love. I don’t regret having been able to give that to him. I’m glad I could! I don’t believe there is such a thing as a life without worth. Seraphim wasn’t with us long but the time we got with him was worth it all. The pain, the grief, the frustration.
One of these days, we trust we will see him again. I don’t know when, but that’s because we don’t get to know those things. Hopefully I can remember to find each day a blessing because of little Seraphim. I know the 18th of each month will have a special, sometimes painful, space in my heart.
Memory eternal, little one.