Friday, July 3, 2009

Walking With You ~ Meeting Faith

Walking With You was created by Kelly at The Beauty of Sufficient Grace to help those of us who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words,prayer requests, and more. To join in or to learn more please click on the button above. This week we are to share about the birth of our baby and the moments we spent with them.

Last time I shared about when we found out about Faith being gone. I was in Michigan and decided to come home to deliver her near home with family and friends nearby. I was originally scheduled for a c-section, but since there was no longer any risk to the baby, they urged me to try labor. I was a bit scared and a bit mad. Why did I have to endure real labor? What was my reward for this? My baby was dead! Can't they do something else?

When I arrived home I was instructed to head directly to the hospital to be induced. I was escorted back to a room that was a bit farther away than the other labor rooms. There was a sign put on the door that was for all to know that this wasn't a happy situation. It was late afternoon, but they went ahead and started me on pitocin. By late that night not a whole lot was happening, so they did not up my dosage until the next morning.

When morning came, they came and started cranking up the pitocin. I am all for pain medicine, so I would not refuse it. Eventually I had an epidural and it was wonderful. I ended up sleeping quite a bit the rest of that day. Later in the afternoon I started feeling more pain, so I asked for another dose. That really didn't do much, so they gave me some more. That helped a bit, but soon I was feeling a great deal of pressure. The nursed checked me and said it is time. She called the doctor and started getting things prepared.

The doctor arrived shortly after that and I started pushing. I think that was the best epidural I have ever had! Really the pain was very minimal. The doctor thought that it wouldn't take much to push her out. Well, it wasn't awful, but it took a bit more than she expected. They thought that she was smaller than she actually was. She ended up being 6 pounds 11 ounces.

After she was out, the doctor took a few minutes to clean her up. It was so quiet. It is not supposed to be so quiet when you deliver a baby. I was so eager to see her, but yet so very nervous. I think Mike and I must have been holding our breaths while waiting to see her. As the doctor handed her to me, Mike and I both gasped. The tears flowed . This is not real, this is not happening. They had to be wrong, she is going to cry now. It never happened.

Mike and I were alone with her for a while. Our friend Alison, with NILMDTS came and started taking pictures. Later the nurse came and took Faith to bathe her and dress her. I was given the opportunity to do it myself if I wanted to, but it was too hard for me at that time. Alison went along to take pictures as the nurse bathed, dressed, took foot prints, hand prints, and cut a lock of hair.

My doctor gave me a beautiful dress with a matching bonnet that we had Faith dressed in. One of her patients had hand made the dress with beautiful smocking. This is what she wore the whole time at the hospital. I eventually had her changed into a different dress for burial, so that I could keep the only thing that she ever wore.

When they brought her back to me, my other children had already arrived to meet Faith. We spent a couple of hours together as a family with a few friends. Each one was given the opportunity to hold her. I did not want to force anyone to hold her, but I wanted them to have the chance if they wanted. Most of the children did take a turn. It was a difficult time, but I am glad that we were together. My two oldest were not able to come that night because they could not get off from work.

My nurse was such a wonderful person, and so kind and compassionate. I appreciate her so much and I am so thankful for all that she did for us. I know our circumstance is not easy for everyone to deal with, but she was heaven sent. She actually stayed later than she was supposed to so that she could see us through until I was sent to a regular room.

The nurse that actually took me to my room was not as compassionate. I believe that she was not comfortable dealing with this kind of situation. I had kept Faith with me and I was having her go with me to my room. I was originally told that I was going to be put on the floor with pregnant women that were in the hospital for complications. There were no crying babies, and it would be quiet.

Eventually I was put on the floor that was for women recuperating from surgery. It was the old part of the building and the room was not pretty or very modern. Perfect, a depressing room for a depressing situation. To add to that, the nurse I was given had never taken care of a woman who had just had a baby before. She has a nurse over her that came in at first to tell her a few things to do with me. All I can say is that I am so thankful that I had a baby before and knew what to expect. My great concern was for other women who would go through this same situation, but had never experienced childbirth before.

That sign that had been placed on the labor room door, came along with me to this room too. Let's just say that many people are very uncomfortable with a dead baby in the room. The lady that delivered the meals would walk in and drop the tray and run.

I had kept Faith in the room with me through most of the next day. That night I had her in the bassinet at the foot of my bed while I tried to sleep. The strangest thing would happen. Sometimes I would see my shadow move in the bassinet and for a second I thought she moved. This happened several times.

The next day, my two boys were able to come and see Faith. I was a bit overwhelmed after a while and I was ready for Faith to be taken away for awhile. They told me that I could have her back anytime that I wanted. When Tim and Naomi, his Fiance, came, it took awhile for them to bring Faith. So we decided to keep her until Jeremy came so we wouldn't have to wait. They got to meet her and say goodbye.

Later that afternoon, Mike and I said our final goodbyes and they came and took her away. She looked so much more bruised and worse than she did the day before and we were ready to let her go. We were having an autopsy done to try to figure out more about what happened. They wanted to give us time with her before they did this.

The next day I left that hospital without my baby and with a box of memories. I had her pictures, her dress and blankets, a lock of hair, and molds of her hands and feet. The nurse had taken some pictures also and had put those in the box. This is not how you expect to leave the hospital after just having a baby.

Even though I don't understand why this happened, I know that God loves me. I know that He wants the best for me. I chose to love Him and trust Him anyway. He has been with me through too much and proved Himself too many times, there is no way I could turn my back on Him now. No, I didn't understand but I chose to praise His name anyway.


I know that people handle things differently . My one regret is that I did not at least help with dressing Faith. I recommend for others that will walk this path someday to have lots of pictures taken of your baby. Keep everything that has touched your baby. Anything at all. Everyone at the hospital was so gracious and offered us many things. The first several days I could not look at these things, but later they became of great comfort. You will not have the chance to go back later, so make sure you take every opportunity that is given you.

Another word of advice is that you check into the options of embalming. We were given none. I would at least like to have known about it. It was too late by the time I started asking questions about it. I would have liked to have had the option of a regular funeral. In our state, embalming is optional for a stillborn infant and most people don't do it. All of the details of death and funerals were so foreign to me. I never had to participate in funeral preparations.


My prayer request is that God will restore in me the motivation and energy to do the things I need to do for my family. Running a household of 12 can be a bit daunting at times anyway, but adding the stress of losing a baby and dealing with the grief can be a bit overwhelming. I believe we are doing well and we are healing. I would like to have renewed motivation as we prepare for the new school year coming up in August.




Trennia said...

Praying for you...I know the feeling of empty arms all to well.
Faith is a beautiful baby.

Holly said...

I am so glad you had such a wonderful nurse taking care of you. It really does help so much to have someone like that. I had a sign on my door when we went in to have Carleigh. It was a single teardrop on a leaf. The only people that came in and out of my room staffwise was my dr and nurses. I wrote in my birth plan that I didn't want extraneous staff in my room so my nurses brought me all my meals. Of course, with Faith passing so unexpectedly things like that are hardly on your mind. I often had to do a double take while Carleigh was with us to make sure she wasn't moving.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Karen...thanks so much for walking with us again this week and sharing more pieces of Faith's journey (and yours). I am grateful that you were able to capture memories at the hospital and given a beautiful gown for her...and so sorry for the regrets. Praying for you as you care for your family while grieving...which in itself takes a lot of energy.

Love and Prayers,

Jennifer Ross said...

I also had one staff worker seem bothered when she came in to clean my room. She actually went to school with me, and was in shock to see me in the bed. She never said a word.

I'm glad that you have your little girls clothes to hold, and I'm sorry you have regrets. I have regrets also, but I'm trying to let go, and know that God will free me off these.

Blessings to you and your family...

Oldqueen44 said...

This was a wonderful post that I am sure will bless many parents who are grieving.
Stay in His care.

Michelle said...

Hi Karen, Found your link through the comment you left on my blog. Thanks for writing and telling us about your baby. She is beautiful! I do not know the pain you are going through, but I know that God is our strength. And even on the most difficult of days I know I can rely on the Lord for comfort. If I get so sad I can't think I start singing. It helps. Keep writing, that helps too.
Michelle in WA