We said goodbye to our son, Oberon Christopher, at 12:50 a.m. on Sunday, December 28. It was clear that he was going to pass soon in the early afternoon on Saturday, December 27. Obie was taking long breaks between breaths, sometimes going for a minute or two. Then he would start again, sometimes with a sharp shake. When he would start breathing again, color would return and sometimes we got a few minutes of open eye time. At first, he was crying a little, but we were able to console him by holding him and increasing his medication. After that, he was very sedated and was not crying or in distress. When he stopped breathing for the last time, it was similar to what he had been going through the last ten hours... he just simply stopped. After a few minutes without restarting, we checked his heartbeat and confirmed that it had stopped.
Loving our Obie on the evening of 12/27/14.
We were (and are) amazed by his resilience and how many times he started breathing again after being stopped for so long. We kept trying to soothe him and tell him to relax, that he didn't have to fight anymore. Once it was apparent that the end was near (about 2 p.m. on Saturday), we alternated holding between Chris and Elizabeth. The only times he wasn't in our arms were diaper changes.
We find solace that we were with him and loving him as much as we could when he passed. We are also so happy that he was peaceful and not struggling.
The hospice nurse came shortly after 2 a.m. to confirm that Obie was no longer with us. After that, we waited for the mortuary to send someone to pick up Obie's body. We gave him lots of kisses, and he was taken away around 4 a.m. We've interacted with a lot of people since Obie was born, and thankfully the three people we dealt with in the wake of Obie's passing were sensitive and tactful. This was not our experience with everyone, but the hospice answering person, the nurse, and the mortuary person were all empathetic and gentle.
Chris and Elizabeth are not sure how the next days and weeks will go. We'll have to take it day by day and try to be there for each other as much as possible. We already have some messages of love and support from close friends and family, but we honestly don't know what would be helpful right now.
One thing we've found helpful so far is talking to each other about all of the amazing memories we have with our son. We will be sharing these on the blog from time to time. Without completely transferring pictures from our phones, we have nearly 5,000 pictures of our little family. We'll be using these to remember and share our wonderful 33 days of Oberon.
Please remember that we are not religious. Messages of prayers, heaven, etc. are not comforting to us.
Photo shoot with Abby Alger, 12/10/14