Because I almost lost youMy sweet, darling baby, do you know I almost lost you?  Do you know how close it was?  I watched your tiny body fight for every breath, hour after hour, day after day.  I listened to your hoarse cry, and I cried with you.  You couldn’t sleep, and I rocked you through the night.

Do you know I studied the machines, diligently watching the numbers and following the lines that tracked your infant life?  Do you know you were wrapped up in my arms when, suddenly, they stopped?

You won’t remember my desperate call for help, and the frantic rush to save your life.  You were gone when they took your body from my arms and worked to bring back life.  You didn’t see me crumble on a cold, hospital hall floor, and sob with indescribable grief.  You can’t know the cautious fire of hope that warmed me when I heard your faint cry once again.

Because I almost lost you, I will never be the same.  I am changed.  I am broken.  I am new.

Because I almost lost you, I’m scared to leave you alone.  I want to watch you sleep, listen to you breathe, and see the constant movement of your chest.  I know, now, how fragile life can be.  I have seen how suddenly it can end.  I am afraid.

Because I almost lost you, I never want to let you go.  I want to hold you in my arms, feel your warmth, and get lost in the joy of having you close to me.

Because I almost lost you, I will put down my screen and engage with you.  I will look into your eyes, return your smile, and listen to the babbling sounds of your voice.  I will not waste our time together.

Because I almost lost you, I will take a million pictures.  I won’t wait for major life moments and special occasions.  I will keepsake your everyday adventures, your sticky face and dirty hands.

Because I almost lost you, every day is now a gift, something precious to be treasured and enjoyed.  I will play with you, sing to you, and snuggle you.  I want to make memories that will last our lifetimes and beyond.

Because I almost lost you, I desperately want to protect you from every danger, every germ, every pain.  I want to keep you safe from everyone and everything, but I can’t.

Because I didn’t lose you, I have to let you live.  I have to let you go.  I have to let you grow.  I have to let you fall, pick yourself up again, and learn from your mistakes.  I have to let you cry so you will know the sweetness of laughter.

Because I didn’t lose you, I will be there when you fall.  I will be there when you win.  I will be there in between.  I will be your shoulder to cry on, and I will cheer the loudest when you succeed.

Because I didn’t lose you, I will be more grateful, more compassionate, more alive.  I will live kinder, love harder, and laugh longer.  I will listen with more understanding. I will serve with a more cheerful heart.

Because I almost lost you, I will cry more than ever before.  Because I didn’t lose you, most of those tears will be tears of joy.  There were children that didn’t leave the hospital that day.  I will honor them by making the most of this precious gift.

 

……………
Our beautiful, healthy baby girl became ill, for the first time, six days before Christmas.  Two days later, something internal obstructed her airway, and she was unable to breathe.  I wish to express my incalculable gratitude to the medical professionals, whose quick response and capable hands, saved her life.  She was released to come home on the afternoon of December 24th, just in time to celebrate her first Christmas with her family.

Because I Almost Lost You image 2 2

The beautiful, top photo was generously provided by Poppies & Posies Photography.

44 comments on “Because I Almost Lost You”

  1. Hi Amy – I knew that this article in the works but I had no idea. I did not birth my child, yet I’m reading this with tears streaming down my cheeks as I can’t even imagine what a horrible experience that was for you. To be absolutely helpless and watch your baby go through that. I remember years ago, at our local pool, I was teaching a beautiful five year old girl how to swim. She was a childhood cancer survivor. Her mother wouldn’t let her go and give her up to be in the pool with me without wings. Tears were running down the mother’s face and the girl was like.. come on mom, I want Miss Holly to teach me to swim. I had no idea what to say to the mom other than, “you have to trust me.” God’s grace and strength will thrive through the broken. Beautifully written. Love and hugs, Holly

    • Thank you Holly. I so admire your strength and courage in battling cancer and then helping others in their fight as well. It gives me hope that I can rise above my fears and use this emotion to do something good. I am grateful for your example. Love and Hugs back!!

  2. Amy, you made me cry! My oldest son randomly stopped breathing when he was about 6-7 months old, only for them to not be able to determine the cause.. it has never happened since, and he’s well and grown, but it was terrifying at the time. For so long I would just watch him sleep, holding my breath that I would lose him. I’m so sorry you all had to go through something like this, but so happy for you that everything turned out well! What an amazing Christmas it must have been. I know you’ll be forever grateful for the amazing days you have ahead with your precious girl. 🙂 Blessings to you all! 🙂

    • Thank you Kim. I don’t know if I will ever lose that fear, but I hope that it will become increasingly manageable. The darkness that is intense fear is no place to live. It was a perfect Christmas. We had been given the only gift any of us cared about. The rest was just extra.

  3. Goodness, I couldn’t even imagine. What a sudden life changer, as you’ve wonderfully articulated. I have to admit, I do worry about sudden tragedy or complications with my daughter (who’s now almost 3). I know that at any time, SOMETHING could cause our world to come crashing down. I worry about this over my unborn child as well (due date is about a week away). I wouldn’t say that I worry too much, to let it get in the way of life and living, but man it’s a whole other level of fear and stress that you gain when becoming a parent that you don’t really think about or realize before having kids. Receiving the greatest gift ever definitely comes with fear of losing it too soon. How awful that you came close to that but how amazing that your experience ended well. Thanks for sharing this 🙂 -Misty

    • Thank you Misty. It is so true. There are too many things that can go wrong, and you can spend your entire life as a giant bundle of nerves. I’m trying to remind myself to live in hope, hope that my children will be safe, hope that I’m doing okay as a mother, hope that when I’ve grown old I can look back on my life and be content.

      • I read your letter and cried because I have not and can’t let myself process that my child was born with his heart not beating. They revived him and he is wonderful and I feel the same way that I feel so lucky I have him that it changes my way of living and trying my best to be present. Thank you because your story made me cry some held in tears. I don’t know how long it will take perhaps my whole life to think and feel on this experience for him and myself but I read your story and breathe a little.

  4. Amy,

    Thank you for sharing these sweet reflections and feelings. I feel more meaning in my role as mother after reading this, and hope to truly engage with each of my children tomorrow, and the next day, and the next!

    Abby

  5. Amy,
    You are such an inspiration to me. Your words are so beautifully cr*afted in this message to your little one I felt such emotion while reading this. I cannot imagine how difficult this was for you. I am so grateful that you didn’t lose your baby and how precious your bond is with your beautiful little baby girl.With tears flowing, I wanted to make sure I let you know how touching this is.

    Jackie

    • Thank you Jackie! We love her as hard as we can. You’re in good company with the crying. I’ve been tearing up every time I think about this article. Thanks for your sweet message.

  6. My breath actually caught in my throat as I read this. What a terrifying experience- every parent’s biggest fear. YET- you so beautifully captured the emotional struggle between wanting to hang on so tightly, yet letting her live without fear. So very beautiful, Amy. And on a personal note, THANK GOD she’s safe & well!!!

    • It was so surreal, so fast, so devastating that afterwards I kept asking myself if it really happened. Then the images would come back, and I knew it was real. We are so grateful that we got a happy ending, and I hug all of my kids extra hard now.

  7. I can’t imagine going through something like that. As a mommy, we work so hard to protect our babies. Some things are out of our control and it is so so scary. I could see myself in your words. I could see me crumbling on the hospital floor and clinging to my baby. Beautifully written and emotionally touching. You have touched my heart.

    • Thank you Ali. I do feel so helpless, and that is why I fight with fear. I’m trying to replace the fear with hope because it is an emotion that makes me better. Thank you for your kind message of support!

  8. This was so beautifully written and so heartfelt. I am sorry your family had to experience something like that, and I’m so happy that your precious baby girl made it through that horrific day. And, I know your baby girl must feel the love around her from her amazing Mom and family. I had a friend that lost their 8 year old son years ago when he stopped breathing while he was attending a birthday party, my baby his named after him. I am a nervous wreck when my baby is sick or I don’t hear him moving around in his bed. I can understand how you don’t want to let go of your your precious baby! Thank you for sharing your story. God bless you and your beautiful family!

    • Thank you Kim! What a heart breaking story. I feel like one of the lucky ones. We were in the right place, at the right time, with the right equipment. Things could have easily gone differently. I am grateful every single day.

  9. Amy that is so scary and I can’t even imagine what it’s like going through something like this. You have such a great way with words to express your feelings. So glad your baby girl got to come home in time for Christmas and I hope she is doing wonderfully now.

    • Thank you Jen. Her immune system was so compromised that she has struggled with illness a good part of the time since then, but we keep working on it. She’s getting stronger, and in the meantime, I get to hold her a lot. I’m not complaining 🙂

  10. Miss Amy,

    Thanks for sharing your moments of fear & unending love for your baby girl. My little lady, who just turned 16, had some real health issues when she was a baby too. It’s so scary to think that they might possibly not be with us anymore. I am so happy that everything turned out so well, and I have no doubt that she will get some extra hugs for the rest of her life.

  11. That must have been incredibly difficult. I still worry about my babies at 7 and 12. I still check on them at night to make sure they are breathing–I never stopped the habit from when they were babies! I’m so glad your story has a happy ending.

    • Thank you Elaine. It’s hard to feel so powerless as a mother. You just want to make sure they are safe. I had done everything right, taken her to the doctor, gone back after they sent us home, gotten her hospitalized, done all of the treatments, and it wasn’t enough. Happily they were able to bring her back, but I have to live with the fact that I can’t always protect my kids. It haunts me. I’m working on accepting it, and trying to find the right balance between protectiveness and freedom.

  12. It’s a beautiful and terrifying post. I just want to hug my daughter and watch her sleep through the night. I can’t imagine going through what you went through. I’m glad it all worked out and your kid is doing better now.

  13. Thank you so much for this post–it completely choked me up. Makes me want to be even more intentional with my own daughter each day I have with her. Speaking of which, I need to get off this computer! 😉 Have a wonderful Easter!

  14. I am so glad everything is going well for you now. It is so scary when you come that close to losing someone you love. It does really make you stop and think about what is really important in life.

  15. A beautiful post, Amy. I can’t begin to imagine how horrendous that experience must have been for you and your family, your post reminds us all what is really important in life!

  16. I love that you took something like this and turned it into inspiration! You have let this inspire yourself and now you are inspiring others! Wonderful post, thank you for sharing your personal journey!

  17. I enjoy reading your articles like this; you write beautifully. I used to teach writing so I am a harsh critic. The lesson plans and crafts you also share are fun, but I think this type of work is where you really shine!

    (and prayers for the baby!) Michele

  18. Aww, this is really really sweet. I’m sorry to hear you almost lost your little one but so glad to hear she recovered. This is a very powerful message that everyone should see.

  19. This is so beautiful. You wrote so wonderfully how I feel about my children. Where as I’ve never come close to losing a child {thank God} I still feel this way because they are my children, and I will forever be scared and worried and protective of them. Thank you for sharing and reminding us that our children are gifts not to be taken for granted.
    Have a wonderful weekend and Easter! {Stopping by from the Creative Bloggers Network}
    xx Ashleigh @SimplyWright
    {you might enjoy} http://www.wrightsimply.com/2015/04/why-i-leave-handprints-on-mirror-my.html

  20. I cannot even begin to imagine how terrifying that must have been for you or how the memory of it brings all of those emotions rushing back to you. Thank you for sharing your experience with others. I am sure there are others out there who will be comforted to know that other moms have been through something similar. Blessings to you and yours. XOXO

  21. I am so thankful that your precious daughter is still with you! I pray that you will find the peace and joy “which passeth all understanding.” After thinking that I might die this last summer, I feel grateful for the time I still have here with my husband and children. Our Heavenly Father loves us! Someday He will wipe away all tears.

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