Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It Reminded Me of Death

    My hand touched the cold, white phone.  "I can do this," I whispered to myself.  
    "Hello?" the receptionist said on the other end.  It was so ironic--her chipper tone didn't belong there.  "Who would you like to see?"
    I remained quiet and just swallowed.  
    I was about to pass out.  Who did I want to see?  Well, first I wanted to stop seeing dots.  Then I wanted my son back.
    "Excuse me?  Do you have a baby in here . . . in the NICU?"
    I looked at her through the glass door that separated us.  Her eyes devoured my every action.  It seemed like judgement day.  I wanted to go in so badly, but it wasn't my choice.  A man walked past the door; he wore a bright white outfit, gleaming white shoes and a face mask.  Thank God they don't really wear face masks in Heaven--that would be creepy.  I shook myself from my thoughts.
    "Ma'am, I can't let you in unless you tell me, do you have a baby in here?  Who do you want to see?"
    My muscles tensed.  I put my hand up to the glass door and clasped the phone so hard against my face, it hurt.
    I wanted to say so much.  How the smell of iodine was killing me.  How I remembered two doors down that hallway--the place we'd pulled the plug and let our baby go.  I remembered his sweet face.  How he'd opened his eyes and practically begged me to put him back on the vent!  How that place seemed like Heaven--filled with hope--before it stole my dreams.
    And that stupid woman . . . wouldn't stop questioning me!
    "I used to have a baby in there," I said weakly.  "But he's not here now."
    She looked hopeful as if he'd lived.  "And you've come to show us pictures?  Where is he?"
    "He's in Heaven with Jesus."  My heart fell.
    Her eyes flooded as she spoke slowly.  "Oh, I am so . . . sorry."
    It seemed like everyone was.
    The lady just paled looking at me and then my huge, pregnant stomach.  We stayed on those damn phones, not even saying a word.  A silent understanding hung between us.
    "You're having another baby?"
    "Yes . . . another boy . . . my only other boy."
    She nodded and tears continued trailing from her eyes.  "Is he healthy?"
    I sobbed then, remembering why I'd gone to the hospital.  One of my best friends had beautiful twin boys.  She'd asked me to go--really wanted me to see her babies.  I was excited for her, but knew she had no idea how hard it was for me.  After all, it was the same hospital where I'd had my son.  The same place he'd lived for two and a half months.  Yet, I had to go there for her and face it all again.
    I wanted to see her sons, even if it killed me and I went to see Zeke in Heaven.
    Before I got there, I drove, tears marring my vision as I looked through the cloudy sky.  "God," I prayed, "does my new baby have birth defects?  I know the ultrasound looked good, but I'm so worried."
    I thought of people in the Bible.  Job, Noah, Moses, Esther--all the good ones. Crap happened to them and then God always sent signs to say it would be okay, or it wouldn't happen again. He'd send a dove, or a fire, a rainbow or an angel.  Why couldn't I have a dove--like in a Disney movie.  The damn thing could land on my shoulder call me Aurora and say everything was good with my baby!
    The nurse pulled me from my thoughts.  "Sweetheart . . . is he healthy?"
    "Yes.  They say he is." I sobbed.  "Does Susan . . . Is the nurse Susan still working here?"
    The woman wiped her nose and smiled.  "Yes.  Let me get her."
    "Susan" (that's what I changed her name to in my book "The Golden Sky") came through the doors after that.  I finally hung up the phone, and shook inside when I saw her.  Would she even remember me?  I'd visited my friend and her twins, then gone to the NICU just to see Zeke's nurse because sometimes in life, angels walk among us.  There are people who get you through, just by being around.
    "Susan?" I asked.
    "Elisa?!  How are you?"  She remembered me, and that woman, the same one who'd seemed so tough, like a general in the military--that woman hugged me like I was family.  "It's so nice to see you!  And you're having another baby."
    We talked for a long time.  The smell of iodine didn't seem so bad.  Instead of living through all the terrible things about Zeke's death, I started remembering his life and the good things.  The first time I held him, all the nurses thought he'd freak out, but he hadn't.  He'd snuggled right into my arms, that boy had loved me--he'd always love me--we'd always love each other.
    I left after that, and when I drove home, facing the mountains, my free hand rested on my pregnant belly.  "God," I said. "I'm sorry for focusing on the bad things.  I'm just thankful I got to have Zeke at all."
   I looked up, ending my prayer, and as I looked over the mountains, I saw a double rainbow.  One was like a huge protective mother, and the other, the top one, was like a little baby.
   I pulled over and frantically flipped to Genesis in my Bible.

15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures.

   It was my sign . . .  Although I'd felt like God had forgotten me for years, He'd still had enough time to put a rainbow in the sky--for everyone--for me.
   Later that day I got a call.  "I'm so excited for when you have your son," the woman said.  "I've heard people say, that after you lose one child, the other healthy ones who come after are called rainbow babies."
    I smiled so big as I patted my tummy.  My voice came out quietly, like peace.  "You have no idea."
   So, God didn't send a bird, but I think Susan was always like an angel.  Plus, maybe God did send me a sign in that rainbow because a few months later, I had a healthy little boy.  I call him the Zombie Elf, and although he'll never replace Zeke, or the wonderful memories I have from his life, my little Zombie holds a special place in my heart--he always reminds me to focus on the good things.  
    I'm so thankful to have a rainbow baby.  I'm so thankful for everything God's allowed me to have, even if it was just for a moment--beautiful like those rainbows. 

   I thought of this story today, because last week I sent "Susan" an advance copy of my book--my journal about Zeke.  I hope she'll like what I wrote about her when I was nineteen.

     For more information about my book, and upcoming blogfest/book launch, please click here:

     In closing, I'd like to tell you that you can find me in a few different place today.
    For a fun Thanksgiving story, (guestpost) please visit Dee at:
     To read an excerpt of my book, please visit:  

Additionally, I'd like to thank Melynda & Debrakristi for recently writing blogs to promote my book and blogfest.

Thank you!


  1. You have an uncommon gift and a beautiful soul.

  2. A great addition to the story, Elisa. And I'm trying not to tear up because I'm sitting in a room with 14 other people. :^)

  3. Beautifully shared, Elisa. You brought tears to my eyes. Bless you.

  4. Wonderful, sometimes it is hard to focus on the good, be it's nice when it finds us.

  5. And you wonder why I call you my rainbow friend? Really? lol

  6. You, girl, are an angel yourself.

  7. Oh, Elisa. So beautifully written. You are our angel.


  8. Amazing post . . . . thank you for sharing your heart with us. I wept as I read your story, it is very powerful. We have a community website and blog, Ruby for Women, where we also publish a monthly online Christian women's magazine, and we would love to promote your book and do a feature article on you. Please let me know if you would be interested. You can email me at editor@rubyforwomen.com I'm so glad I found you through Voice Boks, and I look forward to reading more of your story soon. Thanks again, Nina @ mamas*little*treasures and Ruby for Women

  9. So beautifully written, tears couldn't say enough. Crazy how sunshine finds us in the worst places.

  10. I didn't know that about rainbow babies. That is so amazing you have that story:)

  11. It's so nice to hear that you got not only an answer to your prayers by having a healthy son, but you also got an answer with the rainbow. This is such a sweet post. Thank you for sharing. This is one really hit home for me today!

  12. I'm having a hard time getting through your book...not because it's poorly written; because it's actually an easy read and i enjoy it; but I have to keep stopping because i can't see through my tears. Your story is very dear; as we are nearing my niece's birthday and 1 year mark of her death. She was a preemie with her Twin brother. They both stayed quite a while in the NICU; was released and lived 7 beautiful years. She was never sick so we never knew of her birth defect until it was too late when she suddnely passed away last December. Thank you for the opportunity to read your book and participate in your Blog promotion of it! It is very special to me!

    Love from your VB friend
    JadeLouise Designs

  13. Wow. That is a deep post. You are a very talented writer…I can feel your loss through the words on this page, and it takes me to a place of deep compassion for all you have experienced.

  14. I've told you several times how I feel about you, your book & your wonderful family...


  15. Thanks for sharing Elisa,
    I ran into our nurse a couple of days ago at Home Depot. She'd see me reading the Bible in our room as we awaited Charity's birth, and again after Charity had died. She had the courage to share her own experiences of faith with us. Besides sharing her medical expertise to keep my wife alive and helping my daughter survive beyond birth, she shared her heart with us. As with you and "Susan," she was an angel sent to us in our time of need.
    Robb S
    ps Have been reading and enjoying Golden Sky.

  16. Sweet, sweet story...another page of your life that shows us just how loving and remarkable you are!

  17. Damn, it's going to be awhile before I'll be able to read your book. I couldn't even get through this.

    I've had two experiences with NICU, one good, one not, so I can imagine that it would be hard to visit after that. After the second time, I couldn't bring myself to go back. Not even for the yearly 'reunions.' Sometimes I wish I would have because you're right. The nursing staff (and even some of the doctors) ARE angels.

  18. I'm so excited for you :) Can't wait to read your book and cry/smile/laugh reading it.



  19. :)

    This post made me smile all over. We are all blessed, even if some days it's hard to remember.

  20. Oh how very touching.
    I cannot wait to read your book!
    Just such an inspiration.
    I also LOVE the new 'book' look shall we say?

  21. I want to read your book! This piece brought tears to my eyes. You are a great writer! Visiting from vB :)

  22. it's crazy how we sometimes tend to focus on the negatives when we're surrounded with so much goodness and blessings...what an awesome gesture to send her a copy of your book. I'm sure she'll be touched in more ways than one!

  23. this is beautiful...even better cos u normally write humurously:)
    after all the war ends, a rainbow is still beautiful.

  24. Dear Elisa,

    Tears well in my eyes.


  25. Okay, I totally teared up. I know I'll just be a terrible mess when I try to read your book. *laughs mildly* Love you Elisa. Your book will be fantastic and will help many people. You are welcome of the promotion. You deservite. It's almost time!

  26. Oh wow... I am crying for the second time today. The first time was when I read another post you had written about losing your little Zeke. I am so sorry for your loss.

    We almost lost our little girl when she arrived--her lungs weren't developed and the nurses told us she was very sick and that it "could go either way." I remember seeing her lying unconscious in her little isolette and feeling like I was saying hello and goodbye at the same time.

    Our story ended happily...our little girl made it, and today she is healthy and happy. And it sounds like, although Zeke's story ended differently, that you have found joy in the midst of your sorrow, and faith in the midst of emptiness.

    My heart goes out to you, and I rejoice in knowing that you and Zeke will be reunited again. May God continue to bless you and your family as you continue on life's journey. Your testament of hope is amazing and inspiring.

    With love,

  27. What a touching story that really makes me think and ponder about how life and every moment is precious. I also need to be more thankful for what I have and focus on the good and not all the bad things. Thanks for an important lesson.

  28. Wow--these comments are amazing and so touching.