I love October for many reasons, but October also brings with it a remembrance of things that could have been. I realize, with so many new comers to my page, I should share my story.
Imagine being a newly married young couple, in the bustling and always moving city of New York. We were having the best time. Time flew as we searched streets for parking, and hauled groceries for blocks back to our apartment. We were carefree and innocent. All that would change.
We were in the hospital for two days before Isabella was born. I was 6 months pregnant. She weighed less than two pounds.
I had no idea, no clue, and no inkling of what was to come. The doctors kept telling me that I would not get to see her. That she would be whisked away and intubated immediately. I heard her faint cry in the labor room, and that was it. I got to see her a few hours later. There was actually saran wrap over her little bed to keep her warm. She was stable.
The next few days holds quite a lot of guilt for me. Guilt that I will probably never be able to let go of. I should have stayed in the hospital. I should have slept by her side. They told us we could not over stimulate her. I thought I was going to be in the NICU for the long haul, so I went home. I regret it everyday. For the next 5 days, I would float into the NICU to see her, and leave a few hours later. I ate. I read books. I watched TV. I had no idea my life would be forever changed.
It was early Saturday morning, June 16, 2007. My husband was drinking coffee, my mom was getting ready and my dad was ironing clothes, when my cell phone rang. It was Isabella’s doctor. I can still hear him, clear as, day in my head. “Mrs. Pandian, your daughter went into cardiac arrest. We will continue life saving measures until you arrive.” We rushed down to the hospital in two different taxis. The taxi driver was playing the loudest song known to man, and refused to turn off the radio.
We scrubbed up and walked into the NICU, to see Isabella on a table surrounded by nurses and doctors. A nurse was doing CPR. We didn’t even get to see her for more than a minute, when we were taken into an office and asked how to proceed. I gave my husband the, ‘Do not ask me for any input look’… She had already fought for 5 days. She had stolen our hearts. We were smitten. After more questions about autopsies, and what happens next, we walked out. My mom held Isabella in her lap for the first time, and said, ‘goodbye’, while my sister held my mom. I felt like I was watching the whole scene unfold from afar.
It is this day, that forever changed my family. We all grieved the loss of little girl giggles, diaper changes, birthday parties and middle school drama. The hope of a future quickly cut short.
This is us, 12 years later. We now know her purpose. We carry on her legacy, and each day I am reminded that she carried with her, the extraordinary task of ministering to hurting moms and children.
She is teaching us about angels, and to see the goodness in each day. She has started a conversation in homes about siblings and little ones who are angels.
Well this is October. In 1988, President Reagan declared October, National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. One of the heaviest feelings I felt in the days after Isabella became an angel, was loneliness. If you are an unwilling member of this club, please know that you are not alone. You have a voice and we are here for you. Please reach out.
Hugs and Prayers.