Words absolutely are not enough to express my gratitude for all of you. Thank you, thank you for all of the messages, texts, emails, cards, flowers, edible bouquets, gifts, hugs, meals, calls… this list goes on.
Without the support of my friends and family, this difficult time would not have been as bearable. Thank you for coming along side our family and caring for us in ways we didn’t expect and didn’t know we needed. You have blessed my heart and blessed my family just by your simple acts of love. Please, for what it is worth, accept my sincere appreciation.
“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” Ephesians 1:16
I was thinking about writing a long post to tell our story, as you know that writing is a therapeutic outlet for me, but I have decided to write one post with few details because I don’t really feel like writing that much. So, if there is ever anything you want to know, feel free to ask me. I am an open book.
It has been almost three weeks since the passing and birth of our Son. Just recently I have gotten back into a normal routine and it feels really good to be back to “normal life”, though the definition of normal life has changed for me a bit. All in all, though there are still tears, we are doing well.
I realized while on vacation that the baby hadn’t been moving. I started keeping track and doing everything I could to get the baby to move. Upon returning from vacation I called into my midwife to hopefully come in for a heartbeat check, just as a precaution. I got nervous when they sent me right over to the Perinatal Center for an Ultrasound and monitoring.
I mean, I know what it means when the baby hasn’t been moving, but my baby was just going through a growth spurt and was sleeping a lot. I am sure in a day or two I will start feeling him move again, right? Of course the thought of death was in the back of my mind, but that wasn’t going to happen to me… right?
At the Perinatal Center it was completely obvious, though the tech couldn’t tell me, that there was absolutely no movement and that our baby had in fact passed away. When the Dr. came into the room she confirmed that the baby did not have a heartbeat.
I can not explain that moment. I knew it, but I didn’t know. The reality was unbelievable. All I kept saying was “it’s okay, it’s okay, I’ll be okay, these things happen” as to keep myself from crying and to console everyone in the room who was feeling bad for me. Tears. Snot. How am I going to tell Ryan? It’s okay, it will be okay…
What do I do now? What do we do? She told me I would have to deliver my baby. Can I go right now? “You can go right now, or you can go home and talk with your family an get washed up and come back later.”
I just wanted it all to be over with. I wanted the baby out. I wanted to move on. In an instant, my whole life just changed and I did not want to deal with it. I wanted to go right away so it could all just be over but I knew that the best thing was to go home and tell my Husband and tell my kids that their brother, his Son, was gone.
We went to the Hospital at 10PM that night. I will not go into all of the details of the birth but I will say this. The HARDEST thing was to go through everything related to giving birth, and coming home without a baby. The IV’s, the Epidural, the delivery, breast milk… terrible. Absolutely heartbreaking.
The nurses gave me a bear while I was in the Hospital, I guess as a comfort thing. I HATED this bear. Hated it. I hated what it represented. I hated that it was a stupid stuffed animal meant for a child, a child that I couldn’t keep. When I got home from the Hospital, I loved this bear so much. I loved this bear because it was the only thing I got to bring home with me. This bear now represented the child I couldn’t keep and now it sleeps in bed with us every night. It is amazing how my perspective changed about this stupid bear.
I delivered our Son at St. Joe’s Hospital at 9:10PM on June 21st. We now share a Birthday. I am honestly very happy that he came on my Birthday and not the day before or after. For some reason it felt poetic to me.
Speaking of St. Joe’s, the staff was AMAZING and made the whole experience as positive as possible. I will always have a special place in my heart for the nurses and midwives that took care of me and cried with me and continue to support me. Because of them, there will be positive memories associated with the birth of our stillborn son.
The next hardest part after the birth was planning a burial. Seriously. There is absolutely nothing like leaving the hospital without your child and then go to the Funeral Home to plan the burial of that child. I have never experienced anything like this and I have not walked through this situation with anyone close to me so… I don’t know. This was very difficult.
My hormones were also going crazy so there was a time in the office at the Funeral Home where I started laughing and could. not. stop. I think Ryan thought I was going crazy, because it was crazy. I was numb. How can I make decisions about this? I told the man I was fine just to meet him at the cemetary to watch them put him in the ground. I don’t need anything, I don’t want anything. I just want it to be over. My Family suggested that we make more personal arrangements and so I let them plan the event without my involvement. It was very nice and I am glad that we did that. I know that I would have had regrets later if we went through with the plans that I had originally made.
After his burial we drove around the cemetery and the neighborhood witch was a very nice time of decompressing for me. I thought it was going to be the worst day ever but actually it wasn’t. It was the closing of a chapter. A really hard chapter. It was almost a relief to be “done with it all”. I know his soul was in Heaven, but having to be reminded about what happened daily because his body was still above ground, and plans still had to be made… this day allowed me to put a part of my mind at rest so that I could focus on healing and “moving forward”.
We had brunch at a lovely little brunch spot in Hamilton called the Silver Queen. If you have not been, you should go.
The other hard part is having to do everything for the first time after having been through a traumatic experience like this. Taking the kids to the park (So many kids and babies there! ha), visitors bringing you stuff, going to the pool, seeing people that didn’t know you weren’t still pregnant, seeing people that did know you weren’t pregnant, follow-up Dr. apts… all of it has been emotional for me, but it has been getting easier.
Two more thoughts and then you can stop reading…
1. It appears that there was a possible cause of death. Though I was not angry and I was honestly okay with never knowing the cause, it has been tremendously comforting knowing that there was an explanation and that there was nothing I could have done to cause or prevent it from happening. Even though they tell you not to blame yourself for things like this happening, sometimes you can’t help but think about all of the times you complained or did something you haven’t done before, even if it is considered safe. Knowing that there was a reason, though rare, helps take those anxieties and thoughts away.
Umbilical Cord Hypercoiling
2. There is a Foundation that supports families who have been through miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death called The Isaac Delisle Foundation. The founder of this foundation found out about our situation (through a mutual friend) and not only has been a complete source of comfort through our heartache, the foundation has also made a donation that completely covered the cost of our sons burial. Tears. What a blessing! You can not imagine. Maybe you can. Can you imagine?!
Ryan and I have decided that every year on our son’s due date, we will make a charitable donation to this foundation to help other families who are dealing with the same grief that we have experienced.
If you would like to contribute or support this foundation in anyway, please check out their website for more information. I know first hand how the generosity of others can make a huge impact in ones life. http://www.isaacdelislefoundation.org/