Roman Xavi- Nov 27, 2017
November 27th, 2017 is the day we said hello and goodbye to our beautiful son, Roman Xavi.
This is by far the hardest blog I have ever written, but at the same time, writing is how I best sort through things, and though it was the hardest day of my life, I still want to remember everything.
I was 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant. The night before, I fell asleep to the peaceful hiccups that Roman had, just like every other night. I was in and out of sleep after 2am, as I started having mild contractions. By 6:30am, I got up and started timing them. They were definitely starting to get to stronger and closer together, so we began to make arrangements for the kids so we could go to the hospital to welcome our son.
We got to the hospital by 8:30 and I was taken right in, as it was our third baby. I knew something was wrong when the nurse was having trouble with the heartbeat monitor and she was calling for a sonogram. I immediately asked them to let Ron come in. My first thought was, "yes, I know it appears something is wrong with the baby, but we're at the hospital. Why are people not frantically whisking me away to the OR to extract my baby to safety?" I remember the doctor and everyone sitting there so calmly and staring at me with such sad eyes as the doctor told me the baby was already gone and there was nothing to be done.
In an instant, our lives were forever changed.
The morning was a blur from there. Ron and I grieved and cried for hours as we prepared to give birth to our stillborn son.
I told God that morning that I didn't have the strength in me to go through labor, that there was just no way I could go through such emotional pain, and then have to endure such physical pain too. But God so answered my prayers with that. It was the easiest labor and delivery I've ever had. 5 hours total, barely pushed for a minute, no tearing; honestly, no pain (post epidural lol). I'm also so grateful for our doctor who came on her day off to be there beginning to end with us.
And then we got to hold our son. Roman was born at 11:57pm, weighing 6 lbs 10 oz. He looked exactly like his brother and sister did--full head of black hair, the same little nose, my upper lip. We had the next few hours, just the 3 of us. Ron and I took turns holding him, kissing his still warm body, telling him how much we loved him, and just weeping openly over him.
Saying goodbye to him at 4pm was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. No amount of time would have been sufficient. Ron and I just kept reminding each other that it was just a body, and that our son is already seated at the right hand of God, and in heaven where he will never have to experience the pain and sufferings of this world.
It was also incredibly hard to tell Aly. We wanted to tell her before she started asking too many questions, so we had her come to the hospital once we moved rooms. She immediately raced into the room looking everywhere saying, "where's Baby Roman?!" I've never felt such pain before to have to look my four year old in the eyes and tell her that her baby brother died. She just kept saying, "but I loved him so much, why would he die?" Oh. Baby Girl, I don't know. And so we just held each other and grieved all together as a family.
Some Initial Thoughts
Of course it's barely been 24 hours and our heads are just swimming, but we have had some moments to just sit and talk through things together. We are thankful for the few hours we got to spend with our son, and thankful that we could see him in such a peaceful state. We have been continually reminded that we should care for ourselves and each other in the coming days, weeks, months, and years because though our grief is so heavy right now, we would never want to become so consumed by it that we miss out on the two wonderful children God has already blessed us with. We certainly hugged them a little tighter yesterday.
We have been immensely comforted by everyone around us. We have felt such incredible care from the hospital, and we are amazed by the group of friends and family who have surrounded us in this time. I know people don't really have the words to say, and that's okay, because just knowing that people care so deeply for our family means so much.
And the scripture that people have been pouring over us has been my lifeboat in the last 24 hours. A couple verses that I have particularly been clinging to:
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." -Revelation 21;4
"The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." -Psalm 34:18
We live in a world full of sin and brokenness, and though we will never know this side of Heaven, why this happened to our son, we rest in the knowledge that God is sovereign and faithful and will carry us through this.
A Letter to Roman from Mami
My sweet angel baby. My heart feels like it might burst right now from the pain I feel, but also from the love that I feel for you. I love you beyond what I could ever put into words. Oh buddy, we miss you so much already. I already wish I could hold you one more time. I wish I could have heard your cries, looked into your eyes, nursed you, changed you, I'd give a thousand sleepless nights just to have you here with us. I can't help but think about all the things you were supposed to be here for, but I keep reminding myself that you are in a better place.
I am thankful that I got to hold you in my arms, even for just a few short hours. That time with you is something I will never forget. You are forever in our hearts, and you have already made us stronger. We love you so so much, little man.
We look forward to the day we will see you again in Heaven.