I wake up in the middle of the night, the early morning of the 11th, to silence, nearly every month.
There is a pause in my body and quiet all around me, save for the gentle strokes of my fingertips against the keys of the computer, and on this hot night, the melodic hum of the ceiling fan above me.
Instinctively, I think back to where I was 30 months ago. Where Luca was 30 months ago.
He laid in the NICU bed. Still. With just the slightest rise of his chest, propelled by the machines he was attached to.
I lay in my own ICU bed, trying to recover from complications, and waiting to stabilize in order to meet my son face to face.
After I came out of the general anesthesia from the emergency cesarean, the doctors began to clue me in on the gravity of his situation. Any time they would mention what was happening with him, my blood pressure would rise dangerously and the medical staff would have to stop talking, go away, or take Gina outside to tell her.
I panicked each time they spoke. There was no peace in hearing my son was so sick. There was a fight response, but there was nothing I could do. My body responded forcefully by attempting to explode internally.
So there he lay. And there I lay. Some several hundred feet from each other. After 9 months together, him safe and loved in my belly.
There was silence in both of our rooms, except for the sound of nurses scurrying around the both of us, and the beeping sounds of both of our monitors and machines.
In the middle of the night, 30 months ago, there was no waking up for night feedings or changing his diapers. There was no gazing deeply into his wondering eyes. There was no deep inhales of the new baby smell. There was no running of my fingers along the length of his arm, or leg. There was no nuzzling of my lips against his ear. There was no deep realization and gratitude for the mother that I had become, no grateful pause for the birth experience I had just journeyed through.
I still ache for it. And I don’t foresee a day where there won’t be a physical pain or discomfort in my body where I yearn for this right that I thought I would have.
I am forever changed, still searching and understanding this new person I am. Forever grateful to have held Luca just briefly in my body, and holding him eternally in my heart. Forever thankful for what he brings to my life everyday, be it in the lesson, or the vast love.