80. Baby in A Tent

The hospital staff had been very attentive monitoring his condition and doing whatever they could do.  I kept vigil by my son’s side late into the night, eventually slumped over in a bedside chair.  

At some point after midnight the night doctor entered the room.  He looked over his little patient -who was nearly one year at this time- and then told me he felt Alok was out of immediate danger.

He advised me to go home and sleep awhile.  I was rather hesitant but at last I gave in.  We lived so close and that was something of a comfort.

I slept hard, the phone didn’t ring (we saw that as a good sign) and after a light breakfast Diana and I headed to Alok.  Before we stepped into his room we were at the nurse’s station to let them know we arrived.

The on-duty nurse said he looks real well considering all he went through …she then told us that during the night he took a turn for the worse!

What??  What is the reason they didn’t call us?  She said because it all happened so quickly and just as fast they brought him back out of it, they were getting to the call.  “…oh but he’s doing so much better now!”  We were beside ourselves with shock and saying no more went straight away to the room.

No sooner we walked in when Alok saw us through the tent.  He then leapt up and with his little arms extended and fingers wiggling frantically he repeatedly said in his baby words, “My daddy, I want my daddy!”  and this daddy knew exactly what he was saying!

Well not only did that squeeze my heart bringing tears of joy to both his parents’ eyes, it was reassuring to see all that energy -especially after what we were told about earlier that morning.  Seeing him looking so well we all but forgot about the missing phone call.

It was advised Alok stay in the hospital one more night for observation.  We embraced him through the tent; I wanted to squeeze him so tight.

Not understanding his surroundings he repeatedly cried, “Go home!”  For such a little guy he tried desperately to get out of the protective tent.  

Diana and I stayed with him most of the day.  We played with him and read to him and watched him sleep.  Alok’s condition was rapidly improving and I’m sure it had much to do with his parents’ presence.  

That evening we went home after constantly assuring him that he’d go home with us in the morning.  Admittedly it was very difficult to leave him and we had to wait till he was napping again.  

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18. Good Night My Sweet Angel

That very day, after I felt I had done all that I could do to safeguard our son, we took an interlude in our actions and thoughts and just soaked in his beauty.  Of course the house was still all abuzz with his arrival; and after everyone kept calling him ‘baby’ well it was high time we gave this blessed angel his name.

‘I have thought about this for quite sometime now.  I wish for *his name to be _____.’ 

I spoke this to his mother first naturally.  She fully accepted my choice.  I ran it by the rest of the household, mother first and then brother, his wife and so on and well, everyone loved it!  

I didn’t return to work just yet.  I spent the next few days learning my son’s face and falling in love with the very thought of him, this tiny little person, this bright soul, gifted into our lives.

The week didn’t have a chance to pass when we noticed his appearance was changing; it looked like his little tummy was becoming bloated; he was looking sickly.  A car was called for and we rushed him to the hospital.

In the emergency room our baby was swiftly checked, immediate danger recognized and instantly admitted into the ICU Children’s ward.  Shortly after that he was back in his little incubator, where he should’ve [still] been in the first place!  

Our son’s life hung in the balance of what is and what is not to be for about the next 22 hours.

We did not leave his side.  Pleading with God for his life to be spared while reaching through the incubator openings to stay in touch with him, we watched over him helplessly.

It was clear-cut the doctors were extremely upset with us and rightly so for taking such a foolish decision only days before.  A solemn faced doctor told us, “We warned you about this!”

And then his face softened slightly and he continued, “Anyway we will do everything we can to help him come out of whatever he is going through.”

Side by side, his mother and I stayed right next to him as he lay there.  It seemed every few minutes or so he’d open his cute little eyes and it was like he was looking at me; his eyes seemed to tell me, ** “Don’t cry daddy, I’ll come back.”

And while my hand was inside the little incubator hole, holding on to his tiny hand with my fingers, his little hand was wrapped around my finger when I felt that precious grip lose its warmth.  For his dear life, I held on as I felt his hands become lifeless and cold, so cold.

The doctors and nurses had been standing around the incubator all this time with very somber expressions as Hemma and I sobbed desperately, holding on to one another and we both cried out loud, “God! please don’t take our baby away from us, please …”  

Our son left his body, this world …he left us.  Someone please tell us this is only a bad dream – Unreal.

Did time pass or not, hard to say.  A doctor gently asked my wife and I to leave the room as there were formalities with the deceased baby to which they had to attend.  They suggested we wait where the rest of our family would be.  Eventually Hemma and I made it down into the lobby.  They knew now.  

My maternal uncle was there and he approached me, gently placing a loving hand on me.  He firmly said, “Get ahold of yourself my son…”  And then compassionately he continued, “…perhaps this soul came to you as your child and just for a few days, a few precious hours because somewhere in time you must’ve +owed him.  The debt must be squared now.”

Tear filled eyes finished,  “We all share in your grief but cannot do much to take away your pain. I’m so sorry beta.”

After about 2 hours or so, we were given his body and we brought our son home for the last time.  

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*LBM could not bring himself to replace his baby’s name, even to tell this story.  At this time he has chosen to just leave it out completely, veiled in loving protection of his memory.  

** Reincarnation is no surprise to those of you who know about Hinduism

+owed     debt (karja) karma aka the Universal balance

Many thanks to all of you, our dedicated readers for sticking it out through the unfolding of LBM’s life so far.  This was truly the most difficult post to get out and into a blog, never mind him painstakingly hand writing and accounting it all over again in his heart, his mind and out loud when I have to question him;  feels like an interrogation sometimes.  

Please stay tuned as you’ll not believe what more could possibly happen!  It’s been amazing watching this all unfold from within him.  What a journey thus far!