ADVANTAGES

The other people in the room left soon after, and Gabe and I were left alone with Elena. The nurse came in and helped us give her a sponge bath.. Since Elena had so hurriedly been given to me, she had not been cleaned off properly, so there was something really satisfying about being able to wash her off and give her a bath. I enjoyed it, even though we had to be careful not to bruise her fragile skin. Then we dressed her once again, and held her for a while longer. The hospital staff gave us the option of moving to another floor for the night, away from the other babies, and we agreed and thought that was a good idea. I was wheeled away in a wheelchair, even though I protested and thought I could walk. We brought Elena with us, and she stayed with us throughout the night. It was rather odd; sometimes my mind played tricks on me and I thought she was just sleeping. Sometimes I even imagined I saw her breathing. Then I would touch her skin and it would be cold. So I would try to warm her body by putting it under blankets and keep her right next to me. I know I was acting irrationally, but my motherly instincts were telling me to do these things. After all the excitement of the past two days, Gabe and I were exhausted, and it felt strange, but we laid Elena on a chair in a corner of the room, and we went to bed. I surprisingly slept rather well; I was exhausted due to my sleepless night the night before. We tried to make our memories last forever, by making hand and foot molds of her hands and feet. The night before we had cut off a piece of her hair, and imprinted her hands and feet on several sheets of paper. The rules said we could not take Elena home with us, but had to call the Beck funeral home to come pick her up. So we sent her off with them, and then cleaned ourselves up and left the hospital as soon as we could.

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