About four and a half weeks after Ezra died, my dear friend A called to say she was four and a half weeks pregnant.
I didn’t handle the news well. Although I managed to have the conversation, I hung up the phone and sobbed for hours. My grief was too raw to manage this information. I was too sad for myself. Even though I was happy for A and knew this was a much desired pregnancy.
I kept my distance for most of those early weeks. I missed A deeply. But when we did talk, the contrast in our emotions was almost too much for me to bear – A needed to be a happy glowing mama-to-be –it’s of course what I wanted for her. I needed to be in the deep dark hole of despair of a grieving mama. I didn’t want to bring her down. But I couldn’t bring myself up to meet her joy.
I should explain that I love A like a sister. We’ve gotten each other through many a rough patch since we met in law school. She zipped down from Boston to be with me after Ezra was gone. She was one of the first people to say to me she wished she had got to meet him. And I knew she meant it.
Even in those early weeks I couldn’t help but think Ezra had something to do with this. That it was no accident that A was as many weeks pregnant as Ezra was gone. And so it came as no surprise when A called to say she was having a boy. Somehow I already knew.
What did come as a surprise is that at that same 20 week ultrasound, A and her husband learned there was a problem. Her baby boy had a heart deformity. Many tests followed. They found there were no other congenital problems. Many babies with this particular heart condition have open heart surgery just days after birth, and live long healthy lives.
I’m almost embarrassed to admit that at this point somehow it began to feel easier to talk to A again. Doctors, tests, ruling out congenital disorders…somehow that was a world I could understand. Anxiety, fear, sadness…it was what I was living every day.
But as A got closer to her due date, talking became harder for me again. When A talked about the immediate medical intervention her baby boy would need the moment he took his first breath outside her womb, my own anxiety level would rise to extreme levels. My stomach would knot; I’d wake in the middle of the night thinking about her baby boy. I knew Ezra was watching over him, and in my heart I believed that he would live and be healthy. And yet I was terrified that A would become another babylost mama. And the thought was more than I could handle. I wouldn’t wish this pain on my worst enemy, let alone one of my dearest friends.
A gave birth to her beautiful baby boy, Sam, on June 1st. From the photos, he is unbelievably cute, with an adorable full head of hair. Sam had several procedures immediately when he was born, and a few days later had successful open heart surgery. He’s been in the hospital for most of his nearly 4 weeks of life, having gone home only to return 2 ½ days later with an infection in his incision. He’s responding well to antibiotics and hopefully will be able to come home with his mommy and daddy soon. I can only imagine that these past 4 weeks have been unbelievably emotional and draining for each of them. I pray for Sam, A and her husband every day.
Thankfully A has kept a private blog to keep friends and family updated on Sam’s progress. My heart leaps with joy as she posts each positive update, and of course I worry at each bump in the road. I have never seen A look so astoundingly happy (or tired) as she does in the photos with baby Sam. And I can’t stop looking at Sam’s adorable face.
I still know in my heart that Sam is going to be just fine. After all he has Ezra looking out for him.
And I just cannot wait to meet this amazing little boy.
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