Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mercies II

Around 6:30 a.m., Thursday, May 20, I woke up in the hospital bed at Vanderbilt University.  The epidural had allowed me to sleep during the night (albeit, brokenly).  I realized upon waking, that I was feeling an odd new sensation.  I suspected Will was about to be born.
  Kathy looked and didn't see anything at first.  She asked the doc to come in.  Before the doctor came in, I *knew*...Will was coming...right *then*.  The doctor barely swooped into the room in time to gently help him out.  We wanted to be very careful with his body, as it was becoming very fragile.  It had been nearly a week since he died.
  As I lay there, it seemed like 4 or 5 hours (it was really just a couple minutes) until I was able to see my son.  My eyes roamed from Reid's face to Annie's, trying to glean any information about my boy.
    The doctor (nurse?) carefully wrapped his body in a blanket and placed a tiny hat on his head.  Someone handed Will to Reid, and then Reid held the baby so I could see him.  After a few moments, he handed Will to me.
  How the tears flowed.
I had told one of the children the night before, "Right now, we're only going to deal with the physical.  I can't handle dealing with both physical and emotional at the same time."  I was referring to coping with labor and delivery.
   There, on Thursday morning, holding my precious stillborn son, it was time to deal with the emotional.  I stared into Reid's eyes, silently asking that question that just keeps coming up through all this:  "How do we go on?" 
   I turned to Annie.  How I wished I could soften the blow for her and all the children.  What a tremendous loss.  Soon, I handed Will to his eldest sister.  Annie carefully held her baby brother and cried.
    We had contacted a non-profit organization, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, to come and take pictures of those moments.  The photographer began to take pictures of those tender times.
     The other children were at Kathy's house with Oma and Opa.  We had contacted them when I woke up and realized that Will was about to be born.  They began to make their way to the hospital.  (Later, I learned that our Hannah-girl was sleep deprived and a bit of a bear to get clothed, out to the van, into her seat and into the hospital.  Once she got to our room, though, she was fine.)
    Sometime during the first few minutes after he was born, the nurse weighed and measured Will.  He was 1lb 15 oz (big for a 25 weeker!) and 14 inches.  He had my nose and Reid's hands and feet.  "Every inch a Hall!"  :-) 
     Kathy and the nurse wrapped Will's body in several blankets, to help stablize him so we could all hold him and pass him more gently from person to person. 
     I'm sure there was a lot going on at Vanderbilt University that day, but in L&D Room 5, all outside noise and activity faded away while we soaked in every minute we would have with our boy. 
    I had been a little concerned about Adam and Hannah's reaction to Will's body.  Obviously, he looked different from a healthy, full term newborn.  His skin was dark and his baby skin was beginning to peel a bit.
    I shouldn't have worried.
Hannah and Adam both just accepted their baby brother.  They held him and loved them, smiling into his little still face.  So precious. 
    Adam did ask, "Where is his face?"  :-)  Will's  face was wrinkled up some, so I had to show Adam where Will's little eyes were.  In a baby that young, even born alive, their eyes are generally fused shut.
    All the children held their baby brother.  Oma and Opa had turns with Will.  The photographer took shots of us all just savoring the moment. 


Anonymous said...

I am so glad you got to see the baby as well as the rest of the family and had good care. I understand from hearing this from so many others that someday, maybe before we all reach heaven, this terrible thing you are going through will be turned around for the good somehow. In the meantime we are thinking about you and yours and praying. Kristi for the Richmans

Mama Lamba said...

Kristi, thank you so much. I have every confidence that the Lord will bring good from this. I miss my baby--so much--but I know God is good and has a plan. Thank you so much for your kind words and concern. Your phone call the other night meant a lot.