I often look at pictures and watch videos from my time with Luca. I just finally updated my iPhone and now have the feature in my photostream where I can see the dates, times, and location of each picture taken. I can relive my entire week with Luca down to the minute. This is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. I remember the most minute details of each day, like what my thoughts were in the shower, how I slept the night before, whether or not I wore mascara, what I ate that day, or if I even went to eat. I remember the smells, the nurses on the duty, who I heard from on any given day. It’s oddly strange how comprehensive my memory is, but how much of a blur that week really was.
I am thankful to have so many pictures from my short time, but I’m sad that they’re all I have. And, as a result, I find myself staring at different pictures longer than usual, just studying the details and going back to that place in time.
As you know, when Luca was first born, he was taken immediately to CHLA and into surgery. I was over recovering in the maternity ward in a separate hospital. AJ would send me pictures and updates via text. I just found that I took a screenshot of the text of the first time I really saw Luca. The first time I saw the baby that I carried for 9 months, who was taken away from me instantaneously. Just a text.
The first time I saw Luca was after I feared he died. In this picture, you can see the red sticker on my sleeve. Everyone in CHLA had to have a badge of some sort, and because we were taken in through a backside entrance in a rush, we were just given those emergency stickers. Our representative grabbed it for us and stuck them on us on the way up in the elevator. I remember her yelling at the people at the desk that she would come back for those stickers, that we had no time to waste. Security gave her such a hard time.
I was discharged from my hospital on the fly. They put me in a wheelchair at my hospital to wheel me over to CHLA, and security was giving us such a hard time about taking the wheelchair. MY BABY’S HEART STOPPED BEATING…and they were worried about someone “stealing” a wheelchair. Our representative fought that battle for us, too. (Rosby – if you’re reading this, thanks for all you did for us.) You can see in the picture that I have tape on my left hand. That’s the IV port from my hospital. I was still attached to everything when I left. My doctor gave me instructions over the phone on how to take care of myself and my incision, my medicine schedule, etc. I had seen my OB just once after a c-section. I had to even sign papers acknowledging that I was discharging early against medical advice. Anything to get to my baby. I just can’t believe how fast I got out of the hospital. I also can’t believe how strong the body really is. What it can do and handle in a time of fight or flight.
Those two red tubes coming from Luca’s chest, they pumped blood to and from Luca’s body. Have you ever thought about what exactly the heart does and how important the heart really is? Don’t worry, I never did until being forced to understand it’s function, and fearing it’s lack thereof, became my reality.
February is a month recognized for heart health awareness. My reflections of my short time with Luca remind me of the importance of my own health…health that I most often take for granted.
This month, I would challenge you to seek the benefits of your health. To understand how your body works and acknowledge what an honor it is to have just that: a body that “works”. Challenge yourself to go for a run or make a healthier food choice.
We would love to see your heart healthy choices. Or any heart for that matter! Use the hashtag #LucaKnowsHeart to share. I’ll be showing my heart for Luca all month long.
Thanks for following along.