Thursday, June 25, 2009
Walking With You - Waiting
I'm not sure how often I'll participate in this, but I think it has potential to be very therapeutic for me. Did you know that it helps someone who is grieving to tell their story? Multiple times. Once, twice, as many times as they need to! Even though it is already a reality we live with, each time we tell it is another way we can keep our memories alive. To remember the one(s) we've lost. Each time we tell it there is the potential for an "aha" moment. This is true for me, at least. I can't speak for anyone else...
An amazing woman named Kelly, at The Beauty of Sufficient Grace, came up with a new kind of walk. This takes those of us experiencing grief down a "walk" with others who have lost someone, particularly a child. Each week there is a different theme. I encourage you to click on the button at the top of this post to learn more and to read Kelly's story.
This week we are to share about our time of "Waiting". From the moment we received our life-changing news until the birth/death of our babies.
My actual time of waiting was fairly short but seemed like an eternity. I found out Grady had officially died around 10am on Nov. 12, 2008. He was born via c-section at 6:14 pm that same day. (For those of you who have not read his story, you can click on his picture on my left sidebar)
However, I knew the night before that he was gone. He was always an active little fella. I last felt him kick around 4:30-5pm the day before, Nov. 11, 2008. I thought he might be sleeping and was only moderately concerned when he didn't kick after dinner. I became a little more concerned when he didn't respond to his big sister's voice and poking on my tummy before she went to bed. The thought was in the back of my mind...but it was only a thought..."Surely he's fine. He's going to be born 3 days from now. He's just sleeping."
When I woke up around 1am to use the restroom and got back into bed, his quietness triggered another level of alarm in me. After an hour of praying and pleading, I got up to get my stethoscope and listen for his heartbeat. I found mine, but not his.
Still no movement.
Wondering...Call the doctor? Don't call the doctor?
Rationalizing in my nurse brain all the while..."If he's dead, it's too late". No reason to wake Gib, find someone to watch the girls in the middle of the night, disturb Dr. Joe. He was dead at 2am, and he would still be dead in the morning. Nothing could bring him back at this point. He'd been still for too long...
I knew all night he was gone. I hung onto, clung to, the hope that maybe I was wrong.
But I knew...
My baby had died.
I prayed that I was wrong. I prayed for movement. I prayed that God would intervene and do something. Gib prayed with me before leaving for work (I told him once he was up).
Once my suspicions were confirmed by Dr. Joe the next morning, he asked me when I wanted to have him. I would have walked over to the hospital right then, but it wasn't possible. I was given the choice to labor or deliver by c-section. Since I had a classical incision from my second, a c-section was mandatory for Grady's birth...as long as he was alive. But since he had died and we didn't have to worry about oxygen supply to him if my uterus were to rupture, I had the option of delivering vaginally. I opted for the c-section because I had two beautiful girls at home who needed me to be okay. I couldn't risk my uterus rupturing during labor, losing massive amounts of blood and so forth. Dr. Joe agreed, but had to give me my options.
The c-section was scheduled for 5:30pm that day.
So what did we do until then?
I so wish that I could tell you that I was on my knees, praying, seeking the Lord and His comfort. But I wasn't. I turned away from God. I was completely and totally angry with Him. I didn't want people around me. I only called a couple of people, close family members, to tell them the news.
In our time of waiting, we drove all the way back home. I folded two loads of laundry. My neighbor brought Emma Grace home from school, and Gib checked Jessica out of school. And we told them the devastating news. I consoled Emma Grace, who was beside herself heartbroken, got the girls with packed bags to the neighbors house and drove the 45 minute drive back to the hospital.
Oh, we did have to stop at Kroger to get gas and some cash on the way. Which is where I saw one of my friends in the parking lot who kindly, innocently stopped and happily said hi. To which she was met by a wandering woman in shock walking to meet her husband to drive her to the hospital to deliver this dead baby she was carrying.
What a nightmare!
It actually was a blessing that I saw her because she called lots of local people and got the word out so everyone started praying for me. I was so thankful because I couldn't pray for myself!
I remember at the hospital, I was given these "wipes" to clean myself. My WHOLE body! Arms, legs, chest, etc. It was awful! They smelled and felt sticky. I was so mad that I had to do all of this with no reward at the end. I looked at Gib and said, "WE ARE DONE! We are never doing this again!" (Isn't it funny how time heals...I'm not completely healed by any means, but I've come such a long way. I'm open to having another if it's God's will for our lives).
I was surprised that I was given the choice of general anesthesia for my c-section. Just another situation where the baby was not a concern...I felt there was so little that I could do, I could at least be awake and somewhat be a part of his birth, even though it would be silent.
If I'm totally honest, the whole time I was being prepped, and even as I was on the operating table, I was hoping they were wrong. I knew that wasn't the case. I had seen the stillness of Grady's heart on the ultrasound. But there was part of me that couldn't help but HOPE that he was still alive.
The silence in that c-section room was deafening... No cry to be heard when the nurse anesthetist told me that Dr. Joe had the baby out.
My worst fear had come true...my baby boy that I had worked SOOO hard to keep safe and in my womb was gone...
That's my story of "waiting"...