I Awake and I am Still With You (Part 3 of the stillbirth story of Brendan)

BrendanDavid
{If you have just stumbled upon this post, here is Part 1 & Part 2 of this story}

 

{Part 3}
Walking into labor and delivery to be induced to deliver your precious baby that is no longer alive is a horrible feeling.  I don’t really know how exactly to explain it.  This being our third time walking into labor and delivery like this, it certainly wasn’t any easier than the first two times.  This is the place you are supposed to go when you are 40 weeks pregnant, and ready to deliver a sweet baby that you will then bring home with you.  Walking in there this time was just like the other times.  All of the nurses sort of cautiously look at us.  They all know who we are, why we are coming, and the whole situation is just all around awkward and uncomfortable.  I sign in and a nurse takes me back to my room.  I am so blessed this time with super sweet, caring nurses.  They express to me how very sorry they are that I am in here for this, and that this is happening again for the third time.  I go through all of the routine prep, bloodwork, iv, check in questions, etc. Once the nurse leaves, I can hear in the room behind me, the very loud speaker of the contraction/heartrate monitor for the woman in labor in that room.  My room is eerily silent.

Our pastor and an elder came and stayed with us for a while.  They prayed with us, and talked with us.  We really felt it was a blessing to have them there, and a good distraction from what was going on.  My sister also came and stayed with us for a few hours.  With Noah and Corbin, we had asked for no visitors (with the exception of our pastor, with Noah).  It is such a hard time, that it feels like you just want to be alone.  This time we decided to ignore that feeling & reaction to the pain, and say yes to visitors.  I am so glad we did.  It was so comforting and helpful to have people there with us. God really cared for us well in this way, and continued to care for us greatly after our visitors left.

God provided me with just about the best possible nurse around for the night shift that evening.  To give a little timeline of where we are: we arrived at the hospital on May 8th at 3pm after finding out Brendan’s heart had stopped beating on the sono at our doctor’s office that morning at 11am.  The nurses started the induction at 4pm.  My new, super duper awesome nurse, started her shift at 7pm.  I think the last of our visitors left around 8:45-9pm.  At that point I still wasn’t feeling much in the way of labor.  A little bit of cramping here and there, but nothing too bad.  However, pretty soon after that, things started to pick up.  I went ahead and started using my essential oils to help with pain.  I wanted to try to avoid using any pain meds from the hospital this time.  I didn’t want to be all drugged up and out of it this time.  I wanted to be present, and to feel like I took it all in and fully said goodbye to our sweet baby.  (Thankfully the oils helped tremendously, and I was able to avoid all medication.)  Around 10:30pm things started picking up quickly.  We called the nurse in, and she checked me, and said the bag of waters was coming, and that she thought the baby was coming very soon.  She called the doctor back to the hospital (as he had just started to drive home, after checking on other patients that were up there).  He came in and got set to go, only to find out that everything had stalled out.  All contractions had stopped, and nothing was happening.  He had the nurse start some Pitocin.  (They had only used Cytotec up to this point).  Then my nurse suggested I put some music on, and was even going to put it on her iphone for me if I didn’t turn something on.  I was thinking I didn’t need that, but was so glad she told me to, and I listened to her.  She was so good at helping me know what I needed, when I didn’t know I needed it. I was in such a fog, and state of shock still in all of this.  God was so good to me in giving her to me for my nurse.  As the music on my iphone played, the doctor, nurse, Jared and I waited for the contractions to pick back up.  My doctor even started singing along with the hymn that was playing (Great is Thy Faithfulness, I believe was the hymn). It was a sweet moment, as we waited for this baby to come.  As the contractions started to come again, my doctor had me push with them.  This was something I was not at all expecting.  With Noah and Corbin’s deliveries, they both just came out.  Corbin, even before the doctor was in the room.  It was so quick and quiet.  It was so strange to actually have to push this time.  I probably did about 5 or 6 pushing sessions (at contraction times), and at about 11:25pm, Brendan arrived.  My nurse knew we wanted time with him.  She looked to see if he was a boy or girl.  He was so tiny, but we were able to tell he was a boy.  She put him on a cloth, in my hand.  We looked at him, and held him. He fit so perfectly in my hand.  I still had to deliver the placenta, and then the doctor finished up, and left us.  As the nurse got ready to leave and give us some time alone, she asked if she could pray with us first.  It was a beautiful, sweet moment, as was held our little baby, and this nurse, so graciously provided to us by the Lord, gathered us up and prayed for us.

After she left, we continued to look Brendan over.  We were completely amazed at how perfectly formed he was.  Perfect little fingers and toes.  We kept pointing things out to each other.  “Look, he has knuckles!  Look, you can see his tiny ribs.  Look, you can even see his little wrist bones.” Everything so tiny and perfect.  And as I held him, and studied him,  through tears, I said to Jared, “I can’t help but think how I wish I was holding him as my live, full term, baby boy.”  It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  At least, not in my mind.  I shouldn’t be holding him like this.  I should be holding him when he is 9lbs (at least), crying, & cuddling in my arms.  This isn’t right, it feels so wrong.

Our nurse came back in right about the time we were ready to hand him over.  She took him out of the room.  She brought me some dinner.  Then she asked to take our wedding rings, so she could take some pictures of our baby’s feet with them  Seriously.  Sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful nurse ever.  She did things for us that we never even thought to do ourselves.  Again, God’s sweet providence and kindness to us in all of this.  I went to sleep around 1am.  I woke up at 4am.  I felt like I had been asleep forever, and couldn’t believe it had only been 3 hours.  I was wide awake.  So I pulled up the Bible on my phone. I read Psalm 139.  It is my favorite when I have babies that die.  And it is my favorite when I have babies that live.  I absolutely love it.  This is the part that especially stood out to me that night:

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.
 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you.” v16-18

Such comfort to know that while I feel so deeply and strongly that it wasn’t supposed to be like this, God had already written and formed every single one of Brendan’s days.  Only He knows the purpose in why there were so few of them.
I awake, and I am still with you -That part of the verse hit me like it never had before.  Here I was, lying awake at 4am in the hospital, after delivering our sweet stillborn baby.  I am awake, I am alive, and I am still with God.  And He is still with me.  In all of this horrible pain, He is still right here with me.  He hasn’t left me.  All will be ok.  Brendan is more than ok.  And I will be too.  One day all of this pain, all of this horrible pain and everything that is so wrong and messed up in this world will be gone, and all will be made right, good, and perfect.  What hope to look forward to if we are His – if we have put our belief, and hope and trust, and faith in Christ & the truth of the Gospel.

Brendan Memory Box

{Memory Box the nurse put together for us.  Card signed by all of our nurses.  Blanket, hat, footprints, handprints, poem, hospital bracelets, and measuring tape with Brendan’s length marked off}

If you are new to this blog, welcome!  To give you a little history on our past baby deaths, or for some great lists of resources on miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss,  check this page out.

 

Comments

  1. Oh, Katie. This is so touching. What an amazing blessing to have a nurse like that when you needed her most. God is present in our troubles and never ceases to amaze. My heart aches for you, and I pray for God’s comfort and peace in your heartache and healing. HUGS.

  2. Donna Dean says:

    Katie,
    Thank you for so eloquently and tenderly sharing the beauty and grief that you and your family are experiencing in the life and death of Brendan. May God’s great grace and mercy carry you through this difficult time.

  3. Thank you for allowing us into such personal pain. Keeping you all in my prayers.

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