The words flowing freely between our hearts. The sharing of Grace. The leaning in.
I hear myself speaking. Saying, "My God is everything". The words catch in my throat, thoughts turning to my Littles.
And still I force the words out. Reminding my heart I know this to be Truth.
The night passes and I am filled with fire. Burning for the hearts of mothers. Determined to fight for them.
To grab hold and be a vessel of Relentless Grace.
We scrub and play.
I am vacuuming the bits of our living from the floors. And my Littlest, he comes. All smiles. Walking behind his cart. And his image is etched into my soul.
I scoop him up, whispering plans of a diaper change, and pouring love into him. He sucks in air as though he may scream forever. Protesting the interruption of his proud moment. And then he loses control.
His little body takes over and he is turning blue. Pleading for air and unable to let it in. His body stiffens, back arching, arms bent in a tonic pose. And I am in pieces.
I pull him to me. Pleading, "Breathe, baby. You have to breathe!". His eyes roll back and he is limp in my shaking arms. I am touching him, rubbing his skin, yelling now.
"Please God, please help me!"
He seizes. Limbs jerking and shaking in broken, wrenching movements that shake the world from beneath me. Little eyes open, shallow breath creeping in.
I am searching for him. For the reflection that I know as well as my own. And he is not there. His eyes fixed to one side.
I am dialing. Impatient that three numbers are way too many. She answers. I am crumpled.
"My baby, I need help he stopped breathing...".
"Give me your address." She says. And I do. The words, as familiar as my own name, rolling out over my prayers.
They are on their way. Coming to fill this space in my helplessness.
She asks me. And the story pours out as he lays on the floor of this room I prepared for him.
The room where I sat and rocked when he lived within me. Where I prayed for him before I knew his face.
My hands touch him. Caressing his little body willing the air in. Memorizing his every curve. Pleading.
My breath pouring into him. Loving him alive.
Big slips into the room. "What's wrong Mama?". I hear myself answer, "Open the door for the firemen."
I am asking him to be bigger than his seven years. To reach into his child-size faith. And he does.
The room fills up with heroes. Strong hands gathered around my baby. Their wisdom, their love, their sacrifice pouring out.
She says, "They will take care of you now." And she's gone. I wonder if they can.
I am reliving the moments. Trying to give every smallest detail. While my Big stands quiet in the corner, arms wrapped securely around Middle. My two loves, standing there between their tall dreams of the future. Dreams of big red trucks and man-sized boots.
My baby begins to cry softly, as if from far away place. The heroes give me comfort. Pour out the words they don't have to say. Give more than necessary.
Then I am watching them strap his carseat to a stretcher. Him cradled in the arms of a tall hero in blue. Arms that hold him as though they belonged to his Daddy.
He sleeps. Comfortable in his seat. Watched by those that can help.
And I pause there for a fragment, soaking in the thought of giving my baby to these strangers.
My God pouring peace in.
They want me to leave my boys with someone. And I know immediately they must stay with me. They must hear my fear. Must pour out their own into my familiar heart.
Big puts on a coat. And slides sleeves over Middle. Walks him to the car. I grab a blanket scattered with monkeys. And pajamas to cover little, dimpled arms and legs.
We are driving. Following an ambulance. Heading out into the world. Missing a carseat, missing a piece of me. I am repeating five words. Five small words.
"I will still love You."
Insistent. Defiant. Surrendered.
I am talking into the phone now, telling Mama words that sound like a different language. A different life. And we are praying.
She is 3000 miles away and she is there in my car. I hear myself say, "I have to go, I have to talk to the boys."
We talk of fear like we've never felt. And Goodness that never ends. Of coming home without him. And clinging to Grace. Praying His will be done. Words weaving our hearts together. Tighter, stronger. Into each other, into Him.
I am standing at the back of an ambulance. My eyes feeling like windows to someone else's life.
A voice breaks into my thoughts.
It is a hero. Cooing, asking for smiles. Giving of himself.
And I see my baby lying in his seat, a tiny polar bear clenched in his chubby fingers. His eyes confused.
We are walking in. My hand on his leg. Him on a stretcher.
My heart in God's Hands.
They weigh him and hook up machines. Sticky pads and beeping scattered over his tiny parts.
At last he is in my arms. Breathing on his own. Settling into my body. I am feeling him again. My heart finding his. He looks up at me and I bend. Noses rubbing.
He smiles. And I know he's still there.
We wait like this for hours. Me content to stay forever in this moment. Them hearing his heart. Reading his body.
The doctor returns tells me he's fine. And I think I must not have understood. He's fine? Everything is normal.
They tell me he loses control of his breath and can't get it back. His nervous system takes over. It will probably happen again. I am relieved and terrified.
And I am overwhelmingly GRATEFUL.
More hours pass. Feeling like lifetimes. And I am driving home. All three pieces of me right where they belong. Three boys riding behind me.
And I am immeasurably GRATEFUL.
I walk into his room. His sleeping body wrapped around mine. His warm breath on my neck. And I still see the heroes. All six, bent over his little body. Pouring out their strength.
I lay him in bed. His crib full. My heart overflowing.
And I am indescribably GRATEFUL.
I am constant prayers. Constant Thanksgiving.
You, my Lord, are everything!
I will still love you! Even in the darkness.
"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken." Psalms 62:1-2
What he had - Complicated Cyanotic Breath Holding Spell
Something I had never heard of. Something every parent should be aware of.