Letters To Elijah: Entry 12

November 23, 2018

By Sanda Rathamone

"The silence after rain, how quickly the sky pulls herself together."

"Dear Elijah,

Thanksgiving night turned out to be cold and rainy, and I love it. The rain reminds me of heaven's tears and how heaven is crying with me. Yet, I am grateful that the house was warm with loads of food and lots of family.

Still, you are not here to be a part of our family gathering and that is what makes this holiday so difficult for me.

This Thanksgiving is the second I have spent with everyone, since we have lost you. It should have been the third - I missed the very first because I couldn't bear spending time with family knowing that you couldn't be there with me.

Although, I was very close to missing out on this one because I was afraid that I couldn't pull off my smiley-happy "I'm Okay, Everything is Fine" poker face and pretend like I am not hurting.

But did it, I got through it, I am proud, and I pulled it off. I even made mashed potatoes for everyone. And I think have I fooled everyone with my poker face.

Unfortunately, the only person I couldn't fool was myself. Despite having a good time, my heart still hurts. Your absence was felt the entire time. Seeing your cousins Jazmine and baby Shane enjoying the attention from everyone and all the smiles and laughter and love surrounding the two of them made me feel so left out.

I should be among five mothers in the house, but all I could see were four. I should also be one of three mothers with children under 3, but I wasn't. It hurts that I will never see everyone's loving faces of when they see how cute and chubby you are (like Shane) or how adorable it is just being your toddler self (like Jazmine). It also hurts to feel so broken inside, not knowing if I could ever have a baby to hold or see others hold my baby, too...

Your daddy and I was watching this T.V. show called The Last Kingdom. One of the characters, a woman named Brida, said something about how she couldn't have a baby. I felt so bad for her because I knew how bad it felt to long for a baby. She said, "A child refuses to grow in me." 

Uhtred, a man who long ago loved her, took a moment to tell her how sorry he was. I know the guy is just an actor (a really good one), but the way his eyes had shone with honesty and sorrow, it was so sincere and empathetic, caring and heartfelt. It was a look in his eyes that I longed to see when I tell others about you, but most importantly, in family.

Perhaps my poker face did not allow this sincerity, but I wished everyone acknowledged my effort to be fully present, while also wanting to be alone and cry about how I am still baby-less. It was difficult seeing baby Shane than Jazmine, probably because he was just so small... the small ones are the hardest...

I am trying so hard to refuse those words:

"A child refuses to grow in me."

Did you refuse to grow any further? ... I know it wasn't that... I know you love me as much as I love you. You wouldn't refuse to be my baby, would you? Could you??

The more I smile when I see baby Shane and the closer Jazmine is to me, the more that those words repeat in my head.

A child refuses to grow in me. My womb is unhabitable. I am broken. I am a woman that cannot do the one thing she was born to do. 

And then, I remember listening to a podcast from a woman explaining that the way we speak to ourselves plays a huge role in our self-esteem. She said that speaking to ourselves in a way a best friend would is how we should be talking to ourselves when we are alone. Instead of criticizing and judging ourselves of how we are not good enough, remembering that doing our best is good enough.

I have done more than my best since you were gone and did the best I could on this Thanksgiving day without you. I also held baby Shane (who is now 6-7 months old) for a second time, enjoying that moment, while also wishing that instead of Shane, I would be holding you. I should be holding you.

I remember when Jazmine was a baby and how she would look at me as if there was something following or floating around me. She would look at me with these big eyes and they would follow me in a way that was fascinated or amazed of something. I have always thought that in some magical way that she could see you. Her eyes led me to believe that babies could see spirits or angels.

Since Jazmine is now months away from turning two, she doesn't look at me in that same way anymore. She is now more excited to play with me than to observe what's around me. But Shane brought back that same strange, yet, intriguing look that Jazmine used to give me.

(Related Read: Cousins)

Shane was baby talking directly to me as if he was telling me something interesting and funny. He smiled throughout his whole little baby speech and looked so excited. I wasn't even sure what I was doing that made him talk to me, but knew that whatever he was saying, it was with so much glee and joy. He made me feel as though he knew that you were here, probably sitting on top of my head, making silly faces to make him laugh. He was showing me your message of joy and laughter, even in the rain, even in tears.

I don't know if I could dance in the rain, but one day, I will get there. One day, I will. 

Happy Thanksgiving, Elijah. I will always be grateful for the time we had with you. I miss you.

Love, 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.

With love,
Must Read:
Read the full story about Elijah:
Elijah's Story: From Gender Reveal To A Spontaneous Delivery

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