I have started following a blog called The Beauty of Sufficient Grace and she has created Sufficient Grace Ministries to help those that has lost a child. On her blog she has created a study called Walking With You where women tell their stories, read each others grieving, while praying for each other and helping to comfort one another.
Comforting Others With the Comfort We Have Received
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Comforting Others With the Comfort We Have Received
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
This is the third week of the study and I am just now joining in writing. This week we were asked to write about the journey of meeting our child and how we felt during that time. I have already read the posts that other women have written today and basically I have spent a morning crying and grieving with these women. I have also felt a comfort knowing that I am not alone - not only because these other women share a similar story, but also because I know that God is wrapping his arms around me in my struggles. So, in line with the study here is my story:
On January 7th I had a dance class - a tap class I have been involved with my entire pregnancy. I had always heard that after exercise you should feel the baby moving after about 30 minutes. Hudson was always an active baby and I didn't feel too much movement like I was used to. The next afternoon I went to the doctor to check him out and I sat on a heart monitor and listened to his strong heartbeat for 20 minutes. For an entire week I felt like something was wrong - I never felt the same amount of movement from Hudson. January 15th I was at work and I was getting too worried - I was asking some people about how I felt and they told me I was fine. I started to research and google anything possible. I started reading a story from a woman who went to the hospital and unexpectedly they could not find her child's heartbeat. Her story continued with her wanting a C-section and the nurse convincing her to have a vaginal delivery stating that "this baby deserves a regular delivery". I was sobbing at the story and immediately rushed to the doctor not letting anyone know I was there.
I arrived at the doctor's office and waited to be put on the heart monitoring machine again. They had trouble finding Hudson's heartbeat and I had to drink some Sprite. They thought that Hudson was moving around too much - they even used their little vibrating machine. Next I went into a room and spoke with the nurse practitioner and she tried to use the Doppler and couldn't find the heartbeat - she said the batteries were dead. Next I was taken into the ultrasound room and I knew what I saw - I saw my lifeless child inside my womb. I knew it before anyone said a word. I just stared at Hudson wanting to see that little fluttering heartbeat. Then the words came. "I'm sorry I cannot find the heartbeat" - I looked into the sky. I was expecting this, but to actually HEAR the words....the nurse practitioner rushed to me and I couldn't cry, speak, anything. I was all alone in that room - only strangers to comfort me.
I called my husband at work - and told him he needed to get there immediately. He rushed there and into my room as we both sobbed over Hudson. We were in complete shock - never truly expecting this.
On a side note I have to let you all know something - I have always felt like having children would be harder for me than others - I knew deep down that something like this was going to happen. I have had this feeling for years; maybe a decade. I have never known anyone to go through what I did and I knew that there always has to be "that one" person that experiences it. I knew it would be me.
Next I called my mom and she made the calls to my dad and sister. Everyone then came to the hospital/doctor's office. The waited in her actually business office while my doctor examined me and told us about the decisions we had to make. I knew exactly what she was going to say because I remember the story I had read earlier. I had to decide between a c-section and being induced. I couldn't do it - I couldn't decide. We were probably there an hour just trying to make he decision. I wasn't supposed to be deciding this - I was supposed to be deciding what to wear to my upcoming baby shower in Atlanta. The c-section we could have right then, but the induction would take a day maybe 2 or 3. I wanted the c-section. I knew I could not emotionally keep going back and forth to the hospital knowing what was going on. The doctor kept leaning towards induction and when I said c-section she told me to think it over some more. Finally we were all together and I said c-section, final answer. She took a sigh and then explained my uterus at 30 weeks versus 40 weeks and how at 30 weeks there are complications with future pregnancies and so forth. So, I then made my decision based on the future. I was going to have an induction. Apparently everyone seemed relieved at this choice.
The procedure began - I was given cervidil to open my cervix and then sent home with prescriptions for xanax, viccadin, and other heavy drugs. I only got about 4 hours of sleep that night - waking up sobbing a few times not believing the events that had happened. We returned to the hospital at 8AM for my next dose of cervidil and were instructed to return at 8PM for my next round. We left there and met up with John's parents and brother who came into town for support. We went to breakfast and then back to my parents house where I slept while they visited. Our dog Hunter stayed with me comforting me knowing that something just wasn't right. I know that Hunter also mourned the death of Hudson. John's family left while I was sleeping and then I just laid in bed the rest of the day. I did get up to take a shower and "get ready" for going to the hospital.
Around 5ish ( I can't remember the exact time) I started having heavy contractions. I had been having them all day, but they were becoming more frequent and painful. It began to get exciting and for a moment we were just excited about having our baby and forgot about everything else. John was timing me, I was trying not to pass out, and my sister was calling the doctor. I wanted to wait until 8 when I was scheduled to go, but the doctor that was on call said we should come on in. John and I grabbed a few things and we headed to the hospital. I was having bad contractions the whole way and also sobbing because of what was happening. We made it to the ER where we were to check in and then taken to our room. Our nurse met us and I knew from her face that she knew what was going on. She cried with us and told us that together we would cry together and get through it all together. Nurse Julie was amazing and I found out later that this was her first loss to experience on the floor and she had called her mom beforehand and they prayed together for strength. She later told me that my strength is what held her together.
We made it to the room at around 8:30PM and then the anesthesiologist came in for the epidural. I had never really wanted an epidural, but I thought it might make things easier for me during this time. Our nurse hooked me up to the Pitocin which never got to work because I delivered Hudson at around 10:45PM. I pushed a few times and out came our beautiful 15" 3lbs-2oz baby. He was absolutely perfect - literally. They took Hudson to clean him and then John and I were presented our son wrapped in his special blanket my mom made for him. Holding him I never wanted to let him go. We took pictures, had many copies of his feet made, his hand prints in plaster, and got a lock of his hair. I wish I had more time to prepare to make all of the memories and to get ideas of keepsakes to make for Hudson. I still wish I had more pictures and more things to remember him by. I do know of course I will always remember all the details of his birthday - they are etched in my mind forever.
It was so very hard to keep looking at Hudson knowing that this would be the last time we saw him on earth - I wish we would have had more time, but the more time we spent with him the more we were attached and the harder it got. It has been 5 and 1/2 months since that day and still it has taken me hours to write out his story because I have had to stop the tears. Not once during our experience have we gotten mad or angry with God - we know he has a purpose for everything. That doesn't mean that we haven't asked God why - why us? why Hudson? It just means that we are living the faith we preach - we are living examples of knowing that God give and takes away, but that we are to ever praise His name - (paraphrase from Job 1:21).
So, that is my story of meeting Hudson for the first and last time here on earth. A story of my emotional exhaustion and physical struggle.