Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Joaquin Que Lucero-Watje

On January 22nd, at exactly 33wks pregnant, I went in for a routine ultrasound due to my gestational diabetes and discovered that my son had died in the womb.  There was no heartbeat.  I can't begin to describe the emotional whirlwind I felt that day as I had to come to terms with losing my son.  How impossible it was to call my husband with the news.  How overwhelmed I felt at the thought of having to labor to deliver a child that I wouldn't get to bring home.

I was admitted immediately to labor and delivery after my husband arrived at the hospital.  I remember praying over and over again that the labor would be short.  Boy was it.  The drugs they used brought labor on so quickly and so PAINFULLY that I could feel contractions full force through the IV meds they gave me.  I was literally screaming for an epidural when my son was "born" less than an hour after I felt my first contraction in the early hours of Jan. 23rd.

He was perfect.  They had no idea what went wrong.  Just one of those things that we'll never know.

I was so thankful to have one of my best friends, who is a photographer, drop everything and come to take photos of our precious son Joaquin.  The hospital staff was so sweet and caring.  They allowed us to have as much time with him as we wanted and we spent a wonderful 8 hours saying goodbye.  We had a beautiful funeral the next week with our closest family and friends.  Joaquin is buried nearby in the baby section of a local cemetery where we can visit often.

I found this blog post a few days later and it describes so perfectly how I felt in the immediate aftermath.

"Infant loss is nature's cruelest practical joke. It's investing all of the required time and effort into pregnancy, only to be robbed of the result. It's cradling a body that grew within your own and trying to reconcile the cold, lifeless form in your arms with your memory of the baby who turned double flips in your womb.
It's worrying that you'll forget what your child looked like and snapping an album's worth of photos that no one will ever ask to see. It's sobbing so hard you can't breathe and wondering if it's possible to cry yourself to death.
Infant loss is handing off a Moses basket to the nurse who's drawn the unfortunate duty of delivering your pride and joy to the morgue and walking out of a hospital with empty arms.
It's boxing up brand new baby clothes and buying a 24-inch casket. It's sifting through sympathy cards, willing your foolish body to stop lactating, clutching your baby's blanket to your chest in hopes of soothing the piercing ache in your heart.
Infant loss is explaining to your 7-year-old that sometimes babies die and being stumped into silence when she asks you why. It's watching other families live out your happy ending and fighting a fresh round of grief with every milestone you miss." ~Laura Schubert

I have been absolutely showered with love and prayers the last couple of weeks, and for that I am eternally grateful.  If it weren't for the constant love being shared, and for my faith in God, I don't know how I would be able to get out of bed.

The saving grace in all of this is that I know Joaquin is in a better place.  And that's not a pithy saying.  I know that he died innocent of any sin, and without question, he is with Jesus now.  Selfishly, my mama heart aches for him and wants him to be here with me so that I can raise him and be with him throughout all of life's ups and downs.  I want to be the one that nurtures and comforts him, and the one who guides and shapes his life as he grows up.  But ultimately the goal for all of my children is to get them to heaven.  Joaquin is there.  And that is enough.  For whatever reason, he fulfilled his life's mission in the 8 short months that he was here on earth.  And now my family has a saint in heaven watching over us and ready to intercede for our intentions.  It blows me away to think how blessed we are in that regard.  St. Joaquin, pray for us!