Most mothers have told me that you have an instant connection to your baby the moment it takes his or her first breath. I can relate to that, I felt that way with Nash. The moment Crue took his first breath, the most overwhelming feeling I had was relief. Ten fingers, ten toes, one good set of pipes and an overall healthy baby boy. During the weeks that followed, I would say I grew closer to Crue. It’s hard to explain how you feel about a rainbow baby, at least in my case. Everything is so bittersweet and filled with worry and anxiety. Every happy moment or thought is followed by a sad one. It’s hard to be going through emotions that are on two complete opposite ends of the spectrum. That being joy, and grief. I would look at his chubby cheeks and big smile and think, “How long do I get with him before he is taken from us?” I almost felt like I had a wall up. Not only was the guilt of loving another baby holding me back, but also the fear of loving someone again with that same intensity and knowing I may lose him. Sometimes my mind would question things I never questioned with Nash. Do I love him? Is it the same? Is it what most people tell me, that the love is just as strong but different with each child? I didn’t know. I just knew I would love and protect him the best the new me could.
One day changed everything, one day made me positively sure I loved Crue with as much love as I loved his brother. Crue was four weeks old and sick for the very first time. A simple cold to most, but the plague that could kill my baby to me. His congestion, chocking on his phlem, watery red eyes staring miserably up at me. All I wanted to do was to hold him every second and make him as comfortable as I possibly could. I did not sleep. I stayed up staring at his chest rising and falling. Then, three days into his cold at 3:00 am, he started choking and having a hard time catching his breath. I was in a panic as I sat him up quickly so he could clear his throat. When he finally did, I was a mess. I woke Todd up screaming in anger that I didn’t have a suction around anywhere. What mother doesn’t have one?!?! I started getting dressed and continued to yell. What if he wouldn’t have been right next to me? What if I wouldn’t have heard him? I needed to get to the store immediately and buy one. Then Todd did what any man would do wrong in this situation, he spoke. He said, “Why don’t you calm down. He is okay.” I shot a glare his way that I hoped would silence him forever. It was 5:00 am and I knew Walmart would be open. I said to Todd, “Stay up with him while I run to the store.”
I ran to my car like an Olympic sprinter so I could get this life saving tool immediately! I was nervous to leave Todd with him for two reasons; first, he does not consider everything a life and death situation like I do and second, he was barely awake when I left. Todd has always made it very clear he does not wake up to Crues cries. I walked into Walmart and grabbed the little bulb suction thing. I remembered when Nash was alive, my sister in law Caroline telling me about the nose Frieda. She said it was a must have and so much better than the ball thing. However, Walmart didn’t have one. I knew Target would, so I ran back to my car. As I pulled into Target, I saw that they wouldn’t open for another hour. So I decided to sit and wait. Crazy I know, but I wasn’t leaving town without it! I called Todd to check on Crue, no answer. I figured he was unable to reach his phone while holding the baby. A minute later I tried again…still no answer. I tried again, no answer. I started to panic. When I left for the store, Todd was in the rocker feeding Crue. I pictured Todd sleeping and Crue falling between the arm of the chair and Todd’s body. I called again, nothing.
I sped out of the parking lot and headed towards home. It felt like the ride to the hospital the day Nash died. I was having a full on panic attack. If Todd had fallen asleep, how long could Crue go if he was smothered in the chair? It took eight minutes to get home and in those eight minutes I called 22 times with no answer. I was screaming out loud, “Hold on baby, Momma is coming!” I knew something was wrong. If Todd was up, there was no way he would not answer my calls. As I ran to the door, Todd was there to greet me, phone in hand. He said apologetically, “I just saw that you called. I left my phone upstairs.” He sat down with Crue in the recliner nonchalantly, and I just stared at him unable to speak.. He apologized, and I could tell he felt terrible. He then asked where the suction was. I told him that I didn’t get it. He looked at me confused. I just glared back at him, unable to explain what I had just been through. I snatched Crue from his arms and took him upstairs. I sat down in the rocker in our room.
As I sat there looking at Crue sleeping, I burst into tears. The thought of something happening to him killed me. I was so upset I could barely catch my breath. I held him as tight as I could, rocking him back-and-forth and kissing his head. In that moment something, changed in me. I was almost surprised by how horrible I felt. I realized then how much he meant to me. Crue was my whole world. No matter how disconnected I think I am, how guilty I feel, how many walls I build to protect my heart, I have a BIG love for him. As much as that moment scared me to death, I needed it. I needed it to know how much I love him. Most mothers don’t need that. Their child is born, they love them, end of story. My child was born, I loved him, he died. I’m waiting for my world to come crashing down again. I look at Crue every day wondering how long I have with him.