The day that we were told Boe had passed away set off a crazy chain of events in our life. In an instant, our worries multiplied from "will we all be OK?", "how long will we spend in the NICU" and "what will happen when we are ALL home?" to "do you want an autopsy?", "do you want to hold him?", "what kind of funeral arrangements do you want?", all the while still trying to care for our little girl at home and our 2 surviving boys in the NICU.
Recently, I find myself pondering many of the above questions and wondering, if I could go back, would I do anything differently? Now that the dust has settled, a routine is in place and my husband and I finally feel that we are beginning to emerge from "the haze", the answer is YES.
As far as conducting an autopsy goes, I do not believe that I would have one performed if I could go back. The result would be no different, Boe would still be gone. The fact that the results may even have come back as inconclusive offers NO solace whatsoever. Also, the thought of what happens to a human body during autopsy was just too much for me to bear. I shall forever ask "WHY?", so the thought of my Boe with a "y" shaped incision on his chest to POSSIBLY get an answer was just not territory to which I wished to travel.
I remember the nurse asking me, as I was being prepped for my C-section, if I had thought about holding Boe. Of course I had, but after he was born and nestled in his isolette in the NICU. I am so grateful that I made the choice to hold him; feeling his weight, his warmth, his LIFE in my arms ignited in me a desire to make sure that his brothers and sister will ALWAYS know who he was, what he did for our family, and that life is precious, not to be squandered. In hindsight, I do have a few regrets about the time we spent with Boe.
I regret not holding him LONGER. I hold Adler and Cameron everyday, but the feel of Boe in my arms is lost to me forever. I regret not dressing him in the "coming home" outfit I had for him. It was a little gown with ABC all over it; he and his brothers each had one. Adler and Cameron both wore theirs home. Just because Boe did not come home with us does not mean he is not HOME; he should have been bundled in his cute outfit for his arrival there. I also wish that I had a picture off all 3 boys together. I do not know if this is something that even would have been possible, as Adler and Cameron were in the NICU and had tubes and leads galore attached to their little bodies, but I long for it nonethless.
Boe's service was beautiful. I may have preferred some secular music, but I loved every word that was spoken and shared. Looking back, would I make the same choices again? We opted to have Boe cremated. I can't speak for Adam, but I know for me the thought of having to choose a casket that SMALL was so heartbreaking and so outside my realm of comprehension at that point, cremation seemed like the only option. Boe is currently "sharing" a niche with my Opa (grandfather); my Oma (grandmother) offered the space until we decide what we want to do. It was so kind of her to do this, and took the responsibility of having to decide NOW off of our shoulders, and for that I am grateful; however, I can't help but be sad when we go to visit Boe at the cemetary and there is no sign that he is there. The placard says "Albert W. Muller" and the years of his life. There is no acknowledgement that my little boy is in there resting with his Opa. I find myself resentful as we walk down the corridor to his niche, reading all of the other placards; these people all lived such long lives. My Boe would have 1 date on his stone, April 22, 2010.
In a way, I envy some of the other BLM's I have had the privilege of meeting. They have a place to go to visit their children where the world can see who is there. Their babies are with other babies and children, playing in 1 kickass playground with the best recess monitor I can imagine. Is my little Boe allowed to play with them? Or, do they not recognize or acknowledge that he is one of "them"? More and more I want a place for Boe, a place that tells his story so all who pass by will know what a sweet little angel is watching over them. I know, in time, we'll decide what to do. For now, all I have is hindsight, and as I said, it's not necessarily any more clear.
I think, sometimes, it's worse. I can't go back and change my mind about certain things, what's done is done. I know that none of this matters to Boe, he loves me and his dad and his family no matter what. I just wanted so damn much for him.