Marcellus, after I posted last I realized I didn't write you a message. It made me sad that I forgot to do that. I'm sorry. Mommy didn't forget about you, I just had a lot going on in my head. I'm always thinking of you.
The last few days have been up and down. Monday and Tuesday were spent in what I like to refer to as a "grief hangover". After intense grieving the following days are spent in a fog, exhausted and unable to think straight. Today has also been one of those days because yesterday was rather rough.
Yesterday was the 28th, Marcellus's 2 month birthday. I thought back to what it was like the day he was born, seeing him for the first time. It was intense day of grieving. I hurt for him, I longed for him. It's almost as if the hurt is getting worse, deeper. The days and even weeks following Marcellus's death were consistently bad. I don't think I could have laughed at the funniest joke in the world and I couldn't smile at anything. Now Mike and I do have moments were we can laugh a little with each other. One thing I've always loved about our relationship is how we can joke and be goofy together. We're slowly, very slowly getting that back in our marriage. It can be scary to laugh though. I don't know how else to describe it other than being scary. I don't think I necessarily feel guilty about it, but I'm scared. Maybe it's just I'm scared about life moving on without Marcellus.
Although we are able to have moments together, it seems like the bad days are getting worse. The rough times are rougher and the breakdowns are more intense. I think the last little bit of shock, numbness, and denial is wearing off. The harshness of our reality is sinking in. Our baby really is dead. This really is something we have to get through. We used to look at his pictures and watch his videos every single day. They were comforting to me, a sign that he was really here. I think now for the same reason they are becoming painful to see. They represent what was taken away from us, what we no longer have and what we will never have again (in this lifetime).
Yesterday I sat down to write about Marcellus's Angel Birthday. Might seem odd to write about his death on the two month anniversary of his birth. I've been so afraid of forgetting details about him and our time with him, but haven't been good about writing it down. I wanted to start with his death. Get that memory out of the way. My reason for doing that is because I want to think of the rest of his memories without that one blocking my view. I want to remember all the other times the way they were, without knowing he was going to die. It was hard and intense to do that. I wasn't able to finish and I didn't have the energy today to finish (another grief hangover today). I had to stop and call my mom (Mike was at work). I think the reason I felt the need to call my mom is because of where I was at in Marcellus's story. I had just written about how I called her that morning. I knew Marcellus was really sick and that he could die. I think I even knew he was going to die. But the only time I said it out loud was on the phone to my mom. All I could say is "Mom, is my baby going to die?" She could only answer with "I don't know." That's the only time I said "die" out loud. Mike and I never even said it to each other. We knew though, our looks said enough. And if I did say it out loud I don't remember. That day was a blur and only a few things stand out. That being one of them. I don't even remember that shortly after I said that I tried to explain what was going on. I wasn't really making sense so my mom asked to talk to the doctor. I don't remember handing him the phone or anything he said. My mom later told me he said that "we are all in God's hands now." This was about 6 hours before Marcellus's time of death.
Tonight though I've been thinking about what we were doing 2 months ago today. Two months ago today I got to hold my precious baby boy for the first time. That is such a wonderful memory! I'm starting to realize that I was still pretty drugged up at the time (stupid c-section), but I remember it all. I want to share that day with you. I'll try to shorten it, but this will probably end up long.
Mike and I visited Marcellus around 5am or so. He was still on the ventilator. Mike then went home to take care of the dog, catch a nap (he really struggled with the lack of sleep. Daddies don't get all the fun hormones that mommies get), and go buy a video camera (so glad he did that!). While he was gone I tried to get some rest. I still wasn't able to walk and also had to deal with all the hospital stuff. Later that morning I went back to see Marcellus while Daddy was running his errands. I think I even walked there. No more ventilator! Momma was so proud of her boy. He moved on to the bubble CPAP. I sent a pic to Daddy and he was super excited too. Not only did this show progress in his breathing, but also meant I could finally hold my baby! He could only be out for about an hour at that time, so I opted to wait until Daddy was back. I sat with him and told him how excited I was to get to hold him. Oh I couldn't wait. Back at my room for whatever reason, I had to wait on the nurse for something. I can't remember what it was, but it made me cry. Didn't the realize they were keeping me from seeing my baby? Finally the nurse came and did whatever she needed to do and Daddy was back with the camera. We were going to get to have a video of my first time holding Marcellus. We were both beyond excited. Before I held Marcellus it was time for a diaper change. Daddy changed his first diaper that day! I have never seen anyone more excited to change a diaper. And here's a secret...Daddy changed way more diapers than Mommy did. After the diaper change and Marcellus's assessment we were ready for some kangaroo care. Daddy had grabbed the camera and the charger (in case the batteries weren't charged enough) and we headed to the NICU. Well, silly Daddy didn't even put the batteries in the camera. He had to have it plugged in. Meaning we don't have a good angle for the video. Oh well because I can remember everything from my angle, the best angle. I remember the nurse lifting Marcellus out of his isollete. He squeaked on his way to me and then she placed him on my chest. The best feeling in the world! He instantly just melted into me. He knew he was with his momma. We got cozied in and life was perfect. Daddy went to get a book to read to us. He picked "Guess How Much I Love You". At the time we didn't know how important that book would become to us. It will forever be Marcellus's story.
Later that night Marcellus got his first visitors. They came during shift change (when we weren't allowed in the NICU) so we visited for a little bit. Then we all went down to the NICU. Only two people can be at a baby's bedside at a time, so Daddy took each of our visitors (4 total) in to see Marcellus one at a time. He was such a proud daddy showing off his son. Each time he came out that door with a huge smile on his face ready to show Marcellus off to the next person.
After they left we spent more time together just a family. We liked being there at night. It was so much quieter and calmer than during the day. We just sat next to Marcellus and talked to him, he held our fingers, and we were there for him. He knew he was with his mommy and daddy.
Oh how I would give anything to go back to that day. That was one of the eleven best days of my life.
Marcellus, Mommy treasures these memories with you. They're hard to think about now because I know we won't be making more memories together. I absolutely loved kangaroo caring with you. I will kangaroo care you in my heart forever. Someday when I look back on these memories I will feel the same warmth you gave me at the time. I love you so much my sweet boy. I love you right up to the moon and back!