*Post inspired by the TRDC RemembeRED prompt, "Affection." (Choose a time when either the abundance or lack of affection stands out, and show us.)
Never had physical touch meant more to me. What if I never got the chance to touch my baby again, while life still flowed through his veins and his soul still resided in his new, perfect, cherub-like body?
The last hour had been Hell. The worst Hell I'd ever experienced as a mom, and I could only pray I'd never experience worse. We do all in our power to protect our children from the millions of threats in this scary, uncertain world, and all it took was five minutes without my attention. Five minutes for that little intruder to make its way into our kitchen and attack my baby as though he was the one trespassing.
They call them "bark" scorpions, and they are everywhere in Bagdad, Arizona. We usually spray on a monthly basis, but sometimes we go longer. Sometimes we miss a month because, really, what could go wrong?
Well, everything went wrong. And I will never miss a month again.
It stung my child on his finger, and when he first started screaming, I knew what it was, even though I couldn't see it. And there it was, hiding under his toys. I was worried, but because I'd heard scorpion stings weren't much worse than a wasp sting, I let him cry. And cry.
But he wouldn't stop, and I grew extremely worried.
Especially when he started trembling. He'd started seizing as soon as we got him to the Bagdad clinic--the last place equipped for this. His tiny, eighteen-month-old body jolted around in my arms, and I didn't understand how it could be so bad. But I later learned that the poison attacks the nervous system in bodies so small, and would attack it for over twenty-four hours if we let it.
I'd held him tight, my tears wetting his white-blond hair, while he moaned and his limbs moved about uncontrollably. They'd told me to hold his arms down, keep him tight, and I was in shock. In shock that I had to do such a preposterous thing.
Please, God, I'd prayed. Please heal my baby. I'd passed my love--strong enough to move a mountain--into him, telling the universe to make him better.
But it didn't.
An hour later the helicopter finally came to fly him to Phoenix Children's, because they were the best equipped for the situation. His seizing was worse, his eyes in the back of his head, and they'd taken him from my arms. They'd burned, and so did my chest, and my round, pregnant belly felt more sick than it ever had. They told me his daddy should ride in the helicopter with him because it wasn't safe for a pregnant mother.
So I'd sobbed again, my soul in anguish and my heart throbbing.
And the 2.5 hour drive to Phoenix was the most painful 2.5 hours in all my life.
Please, I cried out loud, I will never complain about having to hold him again, I swear. I will never complain that he needs me too much. My arms were empty and I craved--more than I'd ever craved anything--his affection. His arms snug around my neck, his laugh in my ear.
Please, give me at least one more opportunity to see him again. Please, please, please. Please don't take him from me.
His song--the song I sing to all my children--came on the radio, track eleven's turn, and my trembling hands turned it off. Prematurely mourning, yet fighting with all of me to will him to live. But in the silence I heard the helicopter overhead, reminding me my baby was way too far away, in the sky with his father...too close to living with his other Father.
And, many tears later, his Father heard my prayers, knew I simply could not survive without my Joshua. The Children's hospital was the only hospital in the state that had any vials of scorpion anti-venom--four, to be precise.
And four just happened to be the exact amount he needed.
I think not. A miracle, in its fullest.
And within two hours, his muscles relaxed, and I held that lethargic, perfect baby as long as I could. And even all night wasn't enough.