Photo by Nynne Schrøder on Unsplash

The desperation of an empty crib

I knew that day would change my life. I knew we would be a family. I knew my definition of love would change forever.

You decided to come to the world, well before the expected, and yet I was happy. The doctor said you were fine. Over my belly, you didn’t cry or do anything expected, but I still didn’t know, I couldn’t know.

Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash

While I went to the recovery, you came beside me. Your father saw you and they told me I would see you later. I felt in the clouds, in an indescribable feeling. You were so mine. So ours.

From time to time in my dreams, I am still haunted by the words of that nurse. She came to my bedside and in a soft sound held my hand and said:

- Everything is going to be fine. Your son had a cardiac arrest and went to the intensive care unit. If you want to, cry, but remember that this is only the first day of the rest of your lives.

I had a photo, a polaroid where my growing love was connected to all kinds of machines. I didn’t understand the polaroid. Only years later did I realize why and the importance of it.

I didn’t care about the epidural recovery, I didn’t want to hear the advice that called for calm, I moved my legs as fast as I could. I had to come to you.

I was still in the room when your father came back, he didn’t know, it took a little while before he realized the meaning of the picture until he ran to see you.
They wouldn’t let me go… Damn Epidural. Damn them all, I just wanted to see you.

I was left alone in a room where all the mothers were next to their children. I was without a child, without you. I felt a distressing force cutting me off from all logic, I called a nurse and in a sudden sense of injustice or madness, I told her:
— Either take me where my son is, or I’ll go out and look for him anywhere in this hospital!

And so it was, near midnight of that very same day, I saw you. I did not hug you, I did not touch you, I did not feel your breath, you seemed so fragile.
I cried, I cried in the impotence and frustration of that love of ours.

To leave you behind in the hospital was the worst feeling ever, something inexplicable. I cried all my atrocious pain that has no explanation, only those who felt it know what it’s like.

It took almost 20 days for you to get discharged from the hospital. Walking those long corridors, was overwhelming. It was years to overcome and calm my mind from that moment.

I had a great team that took care of you.
I had family and friends who took care of me, of us. All of that whirlwind of emotions in each consultation, in each exam, until they gave you a definitive discharge that lasted for almost 24 months.

I held tight for your smile, your energy, the new evolutions, and your look in mine.

Photo by Zach Lucero on Unsplash

That look of yours gave me strength since your first day to never give up. I only hope that mine will do the same for you.
Even today, after fourteen years I still cry looking at your first image, no longer rebellious but in a mixture of sadness and pride in seeing how far you have come, how far we have come, together.

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Sandra Guerreiro

Writer, Mother, Philosopher. Active writer on An Idea (by Ingenious piece)