Letters To Elijah: Entry 1

May 15, 2017

By Sanda Rathamone

"Dear Elijah, 

Today, you are 11 months old -- just a month away from the day I gave birth to you! 

I wonder who and how you would have looked like by now. As I search on google images of 11-month-olds, you would have already been able to sit on your own, stand, maybe even walk and run around! You would be babbling away and probably can say "mama" and "dada." I would have loved to hear you call for me. I'd be there faster than you could make another cry!

You would also be teething and most likely bite me during feedings. Yes, I would have breastfed you until you were at least 12 months old! I would have been very committed to making sure that you were eating healthfully and to keep that intimate bonding time with you for as long as I could. I'd probably spoil you with too much love that you'd be stuck on me like glue. 

As for how I am doing, it sucked not having you here for Mother's Day. It would have been lovely to celebrate not my first, but second Mother's Day! You were in my tummy the first time around! I would have liked bringing you to the lake, instead of visiting your tree for Mother's Day. I would have loved seeing you try to chase the geese, or perhaps you might've been afraid of them and just cried. I don't know.

But, that's okay. Your tree is looking very happy so far; it's doing a lot better than how it was before. It was dying a month ago. But, it is now much, much greener and I hope that your daddy and I will keep it that way this spring and during the hot summer days... and forever and beyond.  I also can't wait for the seedlings to grow bigger and bigger and hope that you like the flowers we picked. For sure, it'll make your tree look even more loved, bright, unique, and adorable -- just like how you would have been. 

At the beginning of this month, I was having a hard time accepting that again, I wasn't pregnant with your little brother or sister or maybe even you. I'm waiting as patiently as I can for you to send us the rainbow baby you picked. I know that you have already picked one by now, it's only a matter of when... it made me cry all night, the night that I was given a sign that no baby was there. But, I felt and heard you through your teddy bear. You told me not to lose hope and you kept me warm on that cold night. I know you can hear my cries, but I wish I could hear yours. 

I am now trying to accept this for what it is. If it isn't the right time, then it just isn't. I wonder if you know how extremely challenging this is for me, but I think you have already known for a long time, even before you decided to pick me in being your mother. 

I also wonder if we have ever agreed lifetimes ago that you'd be the human child I'd raise and I'd be your human mother you'd depend on. I know that somehow, our souls are tethered and that your every sign and message are meant to remind me that you have never left me. You are trying to teach or show me something.  Something to maybe help me understand something better? Or to better prepare for your return. 

I go back and think that maybe yes, things do happen for a reason. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have known who truly cared for me. I wouldn't have known a world made so invisible, that I felt the need and had the power to share it. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have realized that I needed to take care of myself more than I needed to take care of you or anybody else. Your abandonment causes me a great deal of pain, but you taught me great things as well. Things about myself, other people, and even the magic of life and death. 

I still believe that you are my miracle baby. 

You came to me when I thought I could never be a mother. In many ways, I still don't feel that I'll ever be one, but in other ways, I know that I am. It's like I'm living in a world of in-betweens. I realized that in this world, people don't understand in-betweens. It has always been black or white; mother or not a mother (because if you do not or cannot see her children, then how is she a mother?)  

Still, I know that I am your mother. You aren't here, but it's amazing how my connection to you is stronger than everyone else, even stronger than your daddy. I can never stop thinking or wondering about you. I can never stop missing or loving you. You're just someone I will never forget because every breath misses and loves you. Because I wanted you a long, long time ago. 

Also, I made a new painting for you last night. I haven't painted in awhile and someone inspired me to do this. I hope you love it. It's a painting of a gray sky with white fluffy clouds and yellow stars. It reminds me of a gentle "baby heaven" and even that story called, "The Little Prince." It's a double painting; two canvases.

On the left is my hand and the right is your daddy's. Both of our right hands have your right hand in the middle. I would've done it another way: my left hand instead of the right. That way, the painting would be as if it was a set of actual hands with both sides. Whoever did your prints, didn't do sucha good job with your left hand. I think it was a nurse and she even pasted it the wrong way! But, anyway, I did what I thought was best. It's not only just to show how tiny you were, but also how much we would have loved to feel your touch and hold your baby hands. 

We will always be a family. 

One of these days, mommy and daddy will make another painting; it will be of your tree. However, my favorite is still the one I made before the ultrasound technician told me that you were a boy. It's the one with you as the yellow baby; the child of the sun. 

P.S. I'm not sure what we will do for your 1st Angel Birthday, yet. But, I do know that whatever we decide, we'll make sure you'll be happy that we did. 

Today is also 5/16. I know that those are your numbers and this day is one of yours. 

Happy 11 months, Elijah. 


Your Mommy."

Elijah Rathamone-Saeteurn 
Born Thursday, June 16, 2016 
6:51 a.m. 9.9 oz and 10 in 
Due October 30, 2016

To read previous Letters To Elijah, click here.

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