Five Not Four – Video From Luca’s Birth Keeps Him Real To Me

IMG_1201p8x10There are some things I will never forget.

The gasp from the nurses and doctors after I gave that final push.

The weight of my epidural-filled legs that kept me cemented into my hospital bed.

The way I whispered into my son’s lifeless ear, apologizing for not getting him here safely.

Friends and family who wet his soft chubby cheeks with their tears.

Sights, sounds and smells from the day I gave birth to my stillborn son will forever be engraved into the folds of my mind. They have changed my mental DNA. I’ll never be the same person I was before he died.

Yet sometimes, nearly five years later I have moments when I wonder if it all was real. Did we really meet with funeral home directors the day after I gave birth? Did we bury our baby just a few days after he arrived? Do people think I’m crazy for mourning his loss half a decade later?

Every once in a while on my bitter days I sit around glumly wishing his death was a nightmare I could wake up from.

I found an old set of home videos a couple of weeks ago. We sat around our television laughing at how cute and small and crazy my two oldest sons were when they were toddlers.

Then I hesitantly popped in the tape labeled April 2010. We sat huddled on the couch as we relived the day Luca was born through the video on the screen. We don’t have a lot, maybe just 10-15 minutes. But those 10-15 minutes are priceless.

We have video of our family circling around us while holding our little angel. My oldest son walks around proudly telling people about his new baby brother while he helps everyone hold his brother’s tiny body. My second son twirls around in the background while eating suckers and rolling around the trashcan.

Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends came to see our little Luca that day at the hospital. I forgot how much it meant to me that each of them cried with us. Their tears were signs of true love.

For we all loved that little baby we lost.

We have video of my sister giving him his first haircut. She cut chunks of his dark, reddish curly locks and we placed them in a keepsake bag.

We have video of people gently unwrapping his blanket, soaking him all in – his cute fingers, his wrinkly toes.

We all wanted to memorize his every feature.

Watching that video reopened some of our family’s healing wounds. We cried as it brought back the pain and sorrow.

But with that pain and sorrow, it also brought back the reality of what happened.

Yes I did give birth to a beautiful, perfect baby boy. He had everything except breath in his lungs and a heartbeat in his chest.

He was as real as real can be. We love him and miss him terribly.

I’ve been feeling guilty and awkward lately when talking about my children. How can I tell a busy mother who is caring for five living children that I have five as well? How can I tell people we really have four boys not just three?

I have started to question my right to count that fifth little baby we haven’t really taken care of.

Watching that video rejuvenated me. I may not care for all of my five babies at this time, but that doesn’t mean I only have four. I have a beautiful baby boy that I will never forget. Sure he doesn’t run around crazy with his brothers. I haven’t had to potty train him or get him to eat his vegetables. I don’t tote five kids around at the grocery store and I have one less kid to keep track of at busy theme parks.

But that doesn’t mean I have to subtract one from our lump sum when talking about our family. We have seven – six on earth and one in heaven.

That video reminded me that I will never get over losing our little Luca. I will never forget him and I don’t have to hide him from anyone. He was real and he is mine. People may not understand and that’s all right.

Do we really have five kids? Yes we do. Four boys and one girl? Yes.

Did we bury a part of our hearts when we buried our third son?

Yes we did. And somehow we survived.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Keven
    Jan 29, 2015 @ 11:34:30

    He is very real to me as well. That reality has been ingrained in my heart forever. Thank you and (Travis) for your sacrifice to make Luca part of our family and eternity. Love ya

    Reply

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