As I woke up this morning, my heart was heavy. I realized that exactly one week from today, my baby will be dead. (at this time last year.)
One week was all I had left with him.
And deep down inside, I knew.
I may not have known the time, the day, how, or why, but I knew.
Something within me told me to FIGHT.
So fight is was I did.
I knew something wasn't right.
Joshua was struggling.
I was struggling.
I pestered those poor nurses.
I pestered those poor doctors.
I pestered that poor social worker and then the chaplain.
I became "that" mother who was never happy. Nothing they did could calm my nerves. Nothing they did was good enough.
I was fighting.
But I didn't know why.
All I knew was that my baby needed me, and that something was going on.
I began getting visits from a woman- her exact title and name have escaped me. She was a calm in the midst of the storm. I think her job was to help parents who had been in our situation for a long time- I think her job was also to help prepare parents for the death of their child, although that's not why she was called in to come and talk with me. She was to be a calm and rational voice, when I could no longer be. She would sit and simply listen as I poured my heart out.
She reassured me that I wasn't crazy and hadn't lost my mind all together when I told her that I felt like something wasn't right. She simply nodded when I expressed to her that my biggest fear was Joshua dying.
The chaplain became involved. A very soft spoken woman. Kind and gentle. Another rational voice when all I wanted to do was run through that NICU unit screaming that something wasn't right. I told her how I just felt like I needed to fight. I didn't know why or for what, but I needed to fight- fight long and fight hard, and if need be- fight dirty.
Again, I told her something wasn't right. I promised I wasn't crazy. I promised I wasn't doing it for attention. SOMETHING told me to fight for him. Fight to be near him, fight to get him the care he needed, fight to figure out what was going on with him.
My mother's heart knew.
My soul knew.
My mind wouldn't listen.
Joshua struggled again. Despite constant and very careful measuring of his (liquid) In's and Out's, he became dehydrated. Before we knew that was the problem, I could tell something just wasn't quite right. They ran every test in the world. Nothing came back with any answers.
He crashed again. But not bad enough for a vent. They placed the too small CPAP machine on him- squishing his eyes closed, making his nose flat. But I wasn't fully convinced that dehydration was the problem. Something within me told me to keep fighting.
He got better. Was taken off CPAP. Continued feedings and his regular routine.
2 days later he was dead.
My heart knew. It told me to fight. But the battle was won. My child, in exactly one week, was in Heaven, dancing and praising our Almighty Father alongside the Angels. Healed. Complete. Whole Hearted.
And I was left with the realization that no matter how hard I fought how deeply I loved, I was powerless.