Lucas was born in the early hours of the morning while the rest of the world was sleeping. I had a handful of regrets with Reagan. None in our time together, but I always thought if I would do it again, I would stand strong in my decision to not use pain control and not cave in the final hour. I wanted to feel every second of time I had with her. And I so wish we had pictures. Our hospital didn't say anything about infant loss photography, and we just didn't know our options. The only picture I have of Reagan's face is the one in my head. So, I knew going into this again, I didn't want to make the same choices. I battled through some intense labor, but God knew when I'd reached the end of what my body would tolerate, and Lucas was born relatively quickly, 9 hours after induction began without the need for a 3rd cesarean. He was quietly cleaned and handed to me.
He was beautiful. His face was just perfect. He had a sweet little upturned nose, peaceful resting eyes, and big pouty lips (just like Reagan and Dean). He had a true Savant chin, and just a hint of pudgy cheek. The hair that he did have was blonde, just like Reagan's. I could see pieces of all 5 of us right there on his little face.
Lucas had the most precious little hands. Perfectly formed, just tiny, resting. I held his hand for a moment, relishing the feeling of his little fingers on mine. The detail was amazing, truly amazing. And I just soaked it in. And he had some big boy feet! All the texture in the sole of his foot, long thin toes.
We were so blessed to be able to spend some time with our sweet boy before we had to say goodbye. I knew from Reagan all the special things I wanted to do. So Andrew went out Friday night to get him a few things that would be just for him. No hand-me-downs allowed when you have such a brief time together. He found a great blue and white blanket used for our professional pictures, the one thing Lucas was wrapped in that we get to keep forever. He also bought him a few books so we could have some new reading material for our special boy. We spent our morning soaking up every second we had together - took some pictures early in the day, had the kids come up and meet their baby brother, rocked and held him while reading his new books and singing all our favorite songs. It was a special time filled with a mix of joy and sorrow. I am so grateful for those precious hours with Lucas, and so devastated that those hours are all I get.
And then, that was it. Our time was over. A lifetime of memories were crammed into those few hours. I couldn't hand him over. I couldn't let him go. Knowing what it feels like to never see your child again, knowing the recovery that was ahead, knowing the stillness I would feel in my belly as I tried to sleep. It was all suddenly to much for me. I am broken. Again. Oh, how I miss my Lucas. Andrew bravely carried him over to the nurse, swaddled in his sweet blanket, gave him a kiss on his forehead. And then we fell apart, leaning on each over, overcome with grief.
Less than 12 hours after he was born, I was home. I am so thankful for our doctor who made an exception for us and allowed us to leave without spending the postpartum time, allowed me to come home and snuggle 3 of my kids. And I am so thankful that I have those kids. That the sounds of their laughter fill our home. That they can make me smile. That Hannah knows how much I need her baby snuggles and is willing to crawl up in my lap and let me hold her. That Dean and Warren love their baby brother so much and want to know more about him. That my parents drove down to meet Lucas and help with kid management so I have the time to sit and write and process some of this out. That I have a community that rallied behind us and took care of our kids without question while we were in the hospital, are bringing us meals and supplies. God is providing for us during these dark days when I have no strength, when I am so angry with Him, when I just want to scream. Even now, I know that He is with me.