I woke up to this song this morning at 7:30. Its so beautiful. Its morbid but beautiful. "Sink me in the river at dawn...........I'll be wearing white when I come into your kingdom." These are my favorite lines. I think I've only heard this song one other time and it's not on any list but it's haunting me today. "the sharp knife of a short life. I've had just enough time."
The Dr. lifted Asher up and laid him on my chest. I just looked at him. I don't remember when I started crying but I also don't remember when I stopped. I just know I inspected every inch of him and held on so tight to his limp frame that at one point I though I was going to hurt him. I know that after a bit I handed him over to my dad. He had never looked as old as he looked at that moment. The gravity of the moment and the weight of years past made him look frail. The rock solid body I had always known became bent and haggard. The grey hairs were more noticeable. As he sobbed, over and over he cried "He's perfect, just perfect. Just perfect." I remember after I had Vera how he held her, cried and said the very same thing. He didn't look so old that day.
I think my mom held him next and then Marla. I remember feeling like I had disappointed them both to extreme levels even though everyone had told me over and over that this was not my fault. I kept thinking that I had one responsibility - to get this child safely into this world and I had failed.
After the young doc, with the guidance of an older teaching dr., stitched me up (I had a long 1st degree tear - which means my skin tore but not into any muscle) I took Asher back and just held him. I told him how I didn't write this chapter of his life and if I could change it I would. I told him I loved him and that he was beautiful. I told him over and over how sorry I was. I told anyone who would listen how sorry I was. We passed Asher around and took pictures. Marla asked if I wanted asher to have a bath - I did. She then asked my mom if she would wash Asher with her. Of course my mom said yes and I rang for a nurse. After what seemed like an eternity a nurse I'd never met before came in with a tub and a blue gift bag. My mom and Marla took asher and laid him in the water and began washing him. He was covered in meconium stained vernix and it was hard to was him. The vernix didn't want to wash off and they couldn't really scrub his skin because if they rubbed very hard his skin just rubbed right off. But it was just as well because I didn't want him to loose his newness smell.
Inside the gift bag was 2 sets of clothes for Asher provided by a United Methodist church in Hartford City. It was the most thoughtful gift. We had come to the hospital with only the clothes on our backs and did not bring the emergency bag with his stuff in it. Truth be told, I was so confident everything was going to be fine that I never bothered to pack an emergency bag.
We held him for hours, passing him around and loving on him. And then the hardest moment of my life happened. Harder than labor. Worse than finding out he was gone.
Song #7 - If I Die Young - The Band Perry