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I find it amazing that things I once thought were so important I now couldn’t care less about. I just want to hold my son. My arms ache for him. My ears long to hear him. My heart seems to break a little more each day I go without him. People have told me that the pain never goes away, but that it will lessen. I pray they are right.

Day three I woke up around 5:00am and wondered if I should try to go back to sleep. I decided to go see Uriah instead. The NICU was quiet. I noticed a new baby had been brought in and was just across from Uriah. This new little guy was squirming and crying as the nurse cared for him. I looked at Uriah and wished he could squirm and cry. I could hear the respirator breathing for him. I noticed some changes in him. His “hiccups” were not as frequent or as strong. His little eyes were swollen. His left hand was clenched tight. His little arms and legs kept jerking and shaking as if he was cold. I did not like these changes because he seemed to be slipping further away from me. His nurse seemed to sense the pain I felt and tried to ease the pain. She talked of only positive things about Uriah. We discussed a book she was reading. We complained about the weather. We talked about everything but the inevitable.

Jesse and his mom arrived around 10:00am. The doctor had just started talking to me about what our options were. There weren’t many. It was more of a question of when. When were we going to choose to say good-bye to our son? I didn’t want to say good-bye. I begged God to let me keep him. The staff kept telling us about a private room they had just for saying good-bye. I didn’t want to go to that stupid room. I wanted to go to the “hello room.”

My parents arrived a little later and brought Phebe, our oldest daughter. She’s sixteen and we felt she needed to be a part of everything. At the last minute we decided that Abner, our 10-year-old son, should be there as well. My friend Loni was gracious enough to go pick him up for us. I also contacted my niece Lois who is a professional photographer to ask her to take some pictures of Uriah’s last hours. The pastor that counseled us before we were married and also performed our wedding ceremony came. We love Pastor Mead so much. In fact, Uriah’s middle name was partly for him. He told us that day that we needed to realize that we had done nothing wrong to cause this and that it was not our fault. He made reference to John 9 when the disciples asked Jesus who had sinned to make this man blind and Jesus answered, no one. I sure needed to hear that. He also told us that God loved us, and that God loved Uriah even more than we did. His words of love and compassion comforted us deeply. He hugged on us, cried with us, and prayed with us.

I had gotten pregnant with Uriah before we were married and I was sure I would somehow have to pay for that sin. Pastor Mead helped me realize months before that Uriah was not a mistake and that if I confessed my sin it was forgiven and paid for. It wasn’t until that day in his office, months earlier, that I allowed myself to love Uriah. It was also during this time that Jesse and I decided that we needed to rededicate our lives to the Lord and get back in church. We didn’t want to raise this baby outside of church. It was because of Uriah that we ended up back in church. This seems so ironic to me now.

Around 3pm Jesse’s mom, Jesse, Phebe, Abner and I went to the private room. The team of nurses brought him in. The respirator was still breathing for him. We sat on the couch not quite sure what to do. His nurse finally said we could hold him. I had Phebe sit in the chair and I placed Uriah in her arms. It was so bittersweet. I loved seeing her hold and love on her baby brother, but I hated knowing that it would be for such a short time.

Then it was Abner’s turn and I recalled him asking me about a week earlier if he could be the second or third person to hold Uriah after he was born. I had told him I would do my best. I never dreamt it would be a one-time event.

Grandma Olson held him next. Jesse and I just held each other and hurt for her. She was so strong. She smiled and had such sweet things to say about her grandson, but we knew the pain she must be feeling inside.

Finally Jesse was able to hold his son. I recall the look of anticipation on his face. I also remember the look of pain. He had his little boy and had to say good-bye to him way too soon.

Then Jesse handed our son to me. I will never forget how Uriah felt in my arms. He was heavier than I imagined. He fit perfectly in the crook of my arm. I kissed his soft little head and tried to soak in his smell, his softness, and his newness. I never wanted to let him go. He was perfect. He was beautiful. He would soon be gone.


Patricia said...

Tears and love.

Ruth said...

I appreciate how you celebrate motherhood even it was only for a short time....I hope your story will become an inspiration to many moms who don't seem to care for their live children.

Foof70 said...

I cried as I read your blog. It was beautiful. Keep writing. I love you.

Susie said...

Jesse, Hannah, I have read your blog and am so very sorry for your loss. I pray God is giving you all the strength to pull through. Remember He holds your hands. Keep going forward, Love the one's you're with and you WILL see Uriah in Heaven... I know you will. Bless you and your family... Susie Weemhoff