Saying Goodbye

Lukas was taken to Wellington for a postmortem on a Sunday afternoon. We were at home, waiting, pacing around the house, waiting for the phone call from the coroner. My mum and sister were staying with us for the next few days. That Sunday was a long day, Lukas had taken his last breath very early that morning at the hospital and now we were home without him. We were extremely exhausted but we couldn't relax. I was physically worn out, I had not had any rest at all since the night before labour kicked in. That Sunday night I woke up at exactly at the same time as I did at the hospital when Lukas was dying. I couldn't sleep as everything was just playing over and over in my head. I got out of bed, went to the lounge and cried. Everything was wrong. My baby was not here with me. I just couldn't believe everything that had just happened, it was like nothing was real, it was all a bad dream, a nightmare, a nightmare that was reality and I had no control of it.
The following day was pretty much the same, just another waiting game except this time it wasn't the excitement that a our baby was on the way into the world, he was on his way back home from the autopsy. I think I spent most of that day in bed. Lukas arrived on that Monday night at around 8 pm. It was raining that night. He came home in a little Moses basket, I remember seeing his face, so pale but so beautiful. The funeral director bought him into our house and we placed him next to Anjelina on the couch, she wouldn't take her eyes of him. I could see her eyes filling up with emotion , she was confused, shocked and sad. Justin and I had to discuss funeral arrangements, it was such an effort.  I requested it to be filmed, I still haven't watched the dvd. I don't think I will ever watch it.  We gave Anjelina the little job to design the memorial bookmarks and we picked out the songs to be played. After the discussion the funeral director left. The funeral was set to take place on Wednesday lunch time. At first there was a bit of tension in the house as this little baby was here, not moving, pale, and silent, but it soon passed and I was so glad we had decided to bring him home even if it was only for a short while.
Anjelina wanted to hold him, so I gave her a blanket to place Lukas in her arms,she cried for a good hour. I was so heartbroken. I've never felt so much sadness in my life. A huge sadness that I could not fix and make disappear. I was so proud of her, she took everything in so naturally.

Lukas slept in his big sisters bassinet, we had to keep him on top of special ice packs, it was horrible, it was all so wrong, all I wanted to do was to wrap him up in warm blankets. He slept next to our bed, I kept the lamp on the whole night. I couldn't sleep, I just wanted to look at him the whole night, at one point I even thought I heard him gasp, but it was only a moment of hope mixed with physical and mental exhaustion. In between the little cat naps of the night, I woke up at exactly the same time again, I cried. 
The next day was busy. We had family and friends visiting, wanting to see him. I didn't want any of it, I wanted to run away with him and go somewhere quiet, somewhere where I could just look at him, hold him and cuddle him, but I couldn't. I had to accept this was happening. I avoided everyone as much as possible. I set his room up nicely decorated with some flowers and a couple of candles. Anjelina made sure all his soft toys were keeping him company in his bassinet. I went in and out of that room several times. Some times I would throw myself on the bed and just cry while looking at him.
His door was open for anyone that wanted to go in and see him or hold him. By the end of of the day I was glad it was over but the next day was just going to be harder. Our family decided to give me and Justin some alone time with Lukas that night, it was peaceful. We washed him, and we got to see how perfect he was, we couldn't believe how long he was. He would have been tall. I moisturized him and dressed him in the clothes we had packed for him. He looked so adorable. I wrapped him up again and placed him in his bed beside us as we tried to get some sleep before the hardest and most difficult day of our lives. I didn't sleep, I cradled him in my arms for what seemed hours, I  wanted the moment to last forever. I just looked at him, wishing that he could wake up. I didn't want the next day to come.
I nodded off for an hour or so only to realize it was morning already. My eyes ached, my body felt limp and weak, I had all the physical symptoms that I just had a baby expect he was not alive, my breasts were filling up fast. I felt queasy and disorientated, the day I dreaded was here already. I wept as I got out of bed. I managed to get myself ready. My mum helped me get Lukas's hand and foot prints and I changed his bandage on his head. More family were arriving and wanted to see him, I showed them in. Soon enough everyone was here, and it was time to leave. I held Lukas in my arms, not wanting to let him go, I couldn't bare looking at the little white coffin.
 I didn't want to put him in there! How did the morning go so fast? How did the the last two nights just fly by? How did we get to this? It was time to go...I placed him in the tiny coffin, he just managed to fit in it, he's so long, perfect, beautiful. We carried him into the car, Anjelina took care of him, her eyes not for a moment drifting away. She was so brave, such a beautiful big sister. The drive to the chapel was long, I cried the whole way, I couldn't believe it had come to this. The 9 months of pregnancy, the anticipation of waiting for our son, our dreams and hopes we had for him, gone, vanished and lost. We arrived, I felt unsteady on my feet as I hopped out of the car, my head was spinning. I see people waiting outside. We walk into the chapel, Justin holding Lukas in his coffin. We placed him on the table in front of the chapel with his bright green baby blanket underneath, we lit candles around him. We took our seats, I never once looked behind me, my head looking down to the ground, my eyes crying the whole time. The celebrant had organised a beautiful service, my friends arranged some beautiful poems and songs, family spoke words. I was overwhelmed with the love everyone had shown, but all the love in the world could not bring back our baby boy, I felt guilty thinking like that. Justin spoke some words, he mentioned how Lukas fought so hard to stay with us and how it really showed his character, I liked that. We had a song of reflection then it was time for everyone to say good bye to out little baby boy. they gave us hugs and their condolences. Once everyone had left the chapel. Justin, Anjelina and I had a moment with Lukas. I caressed his face, his cheeks, his little button nose. We must have taken awhile, because we got a little nudge from the director. It was all coming to an end to quickly. I kissed Lukas goodbye. Justin gave us a screw each...... he placed the lid......We were never to see Lukas's sweet face again.




We walked to where he was to lay. Everyone followed behind us, it felt like such a long walk, I was so exhausted. It started to drizzle but by the time we got there it had stopped. I saw the hole in the ground, I felt sick. It was again all so wrong, so cold, so cruel and so unfair. Songs were sung, words were said one more time before Lukas was to be laid to rest. Justin and I lowered Lukas into the ground with a baby blue ribbon, and one point I was scared I was going to drop him, it was just my over protectiveness of my baby, my baby that I was burying. When I look back to that moment, I don't know how I did it, I don't know how I managed to hold it together while placing him into the earth. I guess I had no choice, I had to be strong. We sprinkled flower petals and Anjelina and I had the privilege of scattering the first lot of soil with a small shovel. Justin then took over digging big lots of soil to cover the grave , he didn't have to but he wanted to. Its all he could do for his son. All the men then followed to give a hand.
Once it was finished, we set off 26 blue helium balloon representing every hour that Lukas was alive. It was beautiful. I gazed into the sky as they flew away into the heavens.
It was all over before I knew it. My head was a haze, it was like nothing was real. We then went home, I felt numb and dead. My chest was sore from my milk flooding in. I spent the rest of the day in my room in bed. I didn't want to talk to or see anyone, I wish I had the courage to but I just couldn't.
The next few days and weeks were hard. Reality set it and it was a fact that my baby was never coming back. The physical pains eventually disappeared but the emotional pains linger forever. My wounds are still open and I have scars on my heart. Its a journey I have unwilling been forced to take, a journey of grief, despair, heartbreak and fear. The journey is still not over, if it is ever to end. We still have questions but no answers. Since Lukas has passed away we have more of a clarity of the events that happened. We go over and over with them, we get angry, we get sad, we have so many questions. We know what happened but we don't know why. We feel helpless and under-powered. We only can hang onto hope that someone will give us an answer. We hope that day arrives soon.