Today marks the second year that I lost my baby son. I have a baby in heaven Raphael and a baby on earth Amara.
Back when I was very young, when I looked into the future and think of having kids I’d always say I want my firstborn to be a son. He would be intelligent, handsome and good. He would be a son that would be loving and respectful to me, his mom, although he wouldn’t be a mama’s boy. He would be tall like me and have a nose with a tall bridge just like the male members of my family with obvious Spanish ancestry running through their veins.
God hears our prayers and answers them. When I got pregnant for the first time, I didn’t know the gender of the baby I was carrying even if I had more than the usual number of sonograms.
Since it was my first pregnancy, I didn’t realize the gravity of the situation. I was continuously bleeding, had to take medication and was put on bed rest. I innocently believed, since we obediently followed all the doctor’s instructions, everything would be alright. Never did we entertain the thought that something would go wrong. I think the members of my family even thought I was just being OA (over-acting) or KSP (kulang sa pansin/hungry for attention) with being way too careful with my pregnancy, skipping work and just lounging about the house.
I talked to my baby frequently, played Mozart for him and prayed the rosary daily. I would always tell the baby, “Baby, be good… Kapit lang kay Mommy. Just hold on…”
I was hospitalized once then was sent home after 3 days. The second time I was hospitalized, after a week’s stay, I felt intense pain in my lower back one evening and was sent to the delivery room for close observation with the advice that I will once again have ultrasound when the ultrasound clinic opens in the morning. The pain didn’t go away and intensified as evening gave way to morning. I can’t even escape it by trying to sleep, I was awakened by the pain when I am drifting off to slumber.
By morning, the day shift resident was the only one with guts to tell us what everyone in the delivery room knew but couldn’t tell us. Deep inside, I think I knew it although I was avoiding it. To acknowledge it would confirm it was frighteningly real. I was into labor. The baby was too young, he wouldn’t survive outside the womb at just 17 weeks.
The placenta was the first to come out, followed by the baby. I didn’t want to see him because I knew I wouldn’t be able to bear it. I would be haunted, not only in my dreams but also in my waking hours. He was baptized by the OB and given the name Raphael. My own little angel whom I didn’t even get to hold in my arms.
He would forever be in my thoughts and in my heart. It was difficult to accept, at first. When I attended mass, I couldn’t sing the Our Father. The line “Our Father who art in heaven…” would remind me that my baby was not with me, but in heaven. It was painful that as his mother, I didn’t get to take care of him. Much more the line “Your will be done on earth as in heaven.” It was difficult to accept that this was God’s will for us, mother and son.
I was able to fully accept my fate last year the day that marked the first year of Raphael’s passing. Now I am comforted by the thought that it is God who is taking care of him, sparing him of all pain, suffering and sorrow. My son has the perfect Father and would not experience being abandoned and uncared for which he may have experienced at his earthly father’s hands.
Raphael, you are a wish that God granted to me. It’s just you were not meant to stay long in this earth because God wants you to live in His presence. Nanay misses you and will never forget you. My beloved son, I will always love you.