Ours

August 1, 2018

By Sanda Rathamone


"Our dreams are the place where we finally get to hug our angels."
The last time I had a dream about Elijah was about a month ago, and before that, almost a year ago. Most of my dreams lately, have been about what I presume is his "sister."

I would have dreams about baby girls and often wondered if our next baby would be them/her.


But, every dream about or with Elijah is a dream that I have hoped for. I would make a prayer or a wish before I slept that he would visit me in a dream. 

Yet, the amount of prayers and wishes for these dreams does not compare to how often these dreams came. 

It is usually rare to have dreams about Elijah and only comes once every blue moon. And when I do have these dreams, my heart awakens and fills with love, because I know that it was him. It's a feeling and a knowing that I can't explain, but a feeling and a knowing that is recognized by a sense of familiarity? Connection?


I love these dreams and writing about them because dreams of Elijah (and of other babies) are one of the things that are "left of him," of "experiencing" motherhood to a "live" child. Dreams are the only other "things" that I could grasp and hold onto and remember Elijah.

Some would say that dreams aren't real, but these dreams about him are as real to me as daylight is to my eyes. Dreams are the "other" reality in which Elijah and these other babies can reach me. 


I had a recent dream, but the strange thing about it was that I had awaken from it, not being sure it if was about Elijah. However, all of the details point to his very physical form on the day that I gave birth and the day he died. 

In the dream, my husband and I were going grocery shopping. Usually we grab a cart (usually it is my husband who does, I just wait for him), but didn't have one. Already, this dream started off on the wrong foot and was confusing. I think we were at a Safeway (where we usually shop). 

My husband goes to the refrigerator section and starts putting groceries into his backpack. He says something like, "They will probably think I'm stealing this, but we'll just tell them that we forgot to grab a cart." I badgered him on why he hadn't grabbed one at the entrance earlier. A hand basket appears in his hands, but we both walked back to the front to trade it for a cart. 

A cart was bigger and could fit more, even though we were on a tight budget and didn't really need a cart anyway... 

As soon as we start pushing the cart, in it pops a baby in an infant car seat. It was this baby boy who was dark skinned and small, so small that his feet hadn't yet reached the end of the car seat. I then realized that we had gotten a cart for more space, in which the baby and the car seat had taken up. There was barely any room for groceries! My husband somehow had that hand basket back into his hands with groceries in it. 

I don't know how this happened, but I was in an aisle, pushing the cart with the baby in it, and picked up a jump rope. It had green plastic handles and the rope was white with a long bright green stripe along its length. 

Somehow, the handles (or the rope?) had left a cut vertically down from the middle of my palms and ended just above my wrists. My palms bled and all I could do was rub and stare at the line of blood, as if trying to erase permanent marker from my skin. I didn't know why or how could a jump rope cut my hands. It didn't make sense and I hoped no one would ask me about it or would see it. 

I was then distracted by the cries of the baby. 

Again, I looked at the color of his skin and felt insecure. His skin was darker than my husband and mine. He didn't look like our baby and I was afraid that people would think that I had an affair, even though I knew for sure that he was ours and there was no affair. It was just so confusing. 

We were now waiting in line to purchase our things. My sister, cousin, and aunt (my mom's youngest sister) appears on my right side. I don't know why they were there, but my aunt says something like, "The place is now 16! (short for $1,600)" I was confused on why my aunt knew anything about the two-bedroom place that my sister and dad had moved out of. I barely had full-on conversations with her. 



Then she says something really weird about the cut on my palms, which had somehow disappeared. She mumbled jumbled words about using the jump rope to heal my hands/the cut. 

Once more, the baby starts to cry. 

I debate whether I should take the baby out of the car seat and hold him or wait until we were out of the store. I gave in, I took him out and held him. The weight of his body was so light, like a floating feather, but then again, heavy like a small sack of potatoes. He had lots of hair and it was dark and fluffy and when I held him, his legs curled, like how a cat curls its tail when it sleeps. 

I felt like I was being bathe in motherhood and I heard the words, "three months." He was three months old. 

The six of us walked out of the store. I was somehow half holding my son, half pushing him in the cart, and he was gnawing on the jump rope. I realized that he was crying because he was teething! 

We had a minivan (in real life, we don't) and as I placed the baby into a different car seat (it was now one of those car seats that stays in the car), he didn't like how the seat belt had made him feel. He magically turned into a boy of about four (still in his small baby size) and yanked at the seat belt. I knew then that he liked the other car seat (the infant carrier) and when I switched the car seat, he turned back into the baby. I had a view of his head, but with less hair than he had before and lighter in color. 

His hair was no longer a patch of fluff, but was in this beautiful swirling hair whorl. His skin had also lightened to the same color as ours, a light tan, somewhat yellow. He began to look more like "our baby." 

I also began to feel the intense busyness of putting a baby into a car and realized how long it took to get everything done, so that we could safely drive home. The car was getting hot and stuffy and I let the window next to the baby down a little - I didn't want him to get sick from the "wind." 

We were going to drive home, but then I remembered that the baby was teething. I told my husband, "Oh, I almost forgot! We never got anything for the baby! We should go to Ross or Burlington to get him something for his teething." 

The details of this dream makes so much sense as to why the baby would be Elijah. There were six of us: first my husband and myself, my aunt, sister, cousin, and the baby. My aunt had said the number 'sixteen.' Six relates to the sixth month, June, and sixteen relates to the sixteenth day of June. 

June 16th is Elijah's birthday. 

When Elijah was born, he was very dark in color. His skin was still forming in the womb (I was only 20 weeks along) and was reddish, and veiny. Yet, as time passed, his skin color had changed to a more recognizable color, the color that I would consider typical of a newborn baby and yellowish, like ours. 

Sometimes, I have a fear of showing Elijah's photo, taken about thirty minutes after he was born. It was because his skin was different (than most later born or full-term stillborns) and I didn't want people to judge the way he looked. 

Elijah was born too early for hair, he was bald, but he had the most minute eyebrows I had ever seen. I only wish that I could have seen him with hair, and perhaps that sworl, like in the dream. 

At the end of the dream, my realization about "never getting anything for the baby," reminded me of how we never had the chance to get Elijah other baby items than clothes and small necessities. 

Yet, a part of me feels like I was saying this because if we had another baby, I don't think we would buy anything for the baby until it was born, unlike how we did with Elijah. 

Not even something gender neutral, before knowing the sex of the baby. 

Not even a blue or pink blanket. 

I'm not sure what was the significance of my palms or the cuts, but thought it had something to do with going to school for massage therapy, healing through touch and hand/body work. Maybe it was about healing myself through this grief after loss. 

The dream left me with an uncertainty that the baby wasn't Elijah, when it seems so obvious that it would be him. I didn't feel that same familiarity or connection as I had from other dreams. 

Perhaps it was the hope that he was or could be... Ours.

To love.

To hold.

For a lifetime.

Elijah Rathamone-Saeteurn
With love,








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