We drove home to tell the kids. I was dreading this part. My heart was racing and I just knew they would be so disappointed. Chris and I prayed before we shared with them. It is funny because I only remember a few details of this day. I remember gathering them to sit on the couch, and they were asking if the baby was a boy or a girl. We shared that the baby was a boy (our boys cheered!!!), and that he went to heaven to be with Jesus. I wanted to make sure that they knew the facts, though, so we told them that the baby didn’t have a heart beat and the baby had died.
Harper immediately started crying. Haven came over and hugged me. And the boys, well they asked if they could go to the pool. Wasn’t really expecting that. But the next thing I knew, I was laughing so hard through my tears. Five little children were running around our living room naked as could be because we said yes they could go to the pool! hahah!
The kids definitely peppered the day with questions – Is the baby just visiting Jesus? He will come back, right!? No guys, he won’t be coming back.
I would like to say it was all sweet and thoughtful questions like the ones above. Harper drew a picture for me before we left for the hospital that had our whole family. I was still pregnant and the baby was in my tummy- which was so sweet. But, upon further inspection, I realize the baby’s tongue is hanging out of it’s mouth and it has x’s for eyes. I was couldn’t decide if it was hilarious or horrifying. She said- see mom, that baby in your tummy is dead. Wow. Thank you, sweetie.
One thing I have come to realize is that kids do not process death the way we do. She did not have motives to hurt my heart, she really was just trying to give me a picture of our family because she loves me. Harper wasn’t the only one to say really direct things to me about death. I am pretty sure all of them said something that stung my heart at some point. I have come to know that is just their way of processing death. They don’t understand sympathy or empathy yet. Since they haven’t encountered any death before, this was definitely something new to process.
One thing that helped them so much was the gift my next door neighbor gave me. She, having lost her husband just a couple months earlier knows grief all too well. She gave me the gift of an angel figurine holding a new baby.
When my kids saw this, they were better able to understand where our baby was – in heaven. They would even come and tell this baby that they missed him, and kiss him goodnight for about a month after. It gave them something tangible to say goodbye to.
Another gift to my heart was going to my friend Bekah’s house later that day . Bekah had just given birth to a new baby boy just days before. She is a doula, and also helped me with my boys when they were itty bitty. There was a comfort being around her. I went to her house to get some supplements to help my body in the next few days. Her family was in town visiting. Bekah’s mom had miscarried two babies…one baby at 4 months. So there was such a comfort knowing she had walked this road. Having her mother pray over me was such a gift. I held sweet baby Bazar, and the family cried and covered me in prayer.
We got a call that afternoon saying I was scheduled to come in Tuesday evening about 8pm. They would begin induction and allow the drugs to take action over the next 24 hours. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I was dreading this. I just kept telling Chris I wish they could knock me out.
Apparently because I was 22 weeks, I needed to deliver the baby as the risks were higher having a d&c this late in the game. I just kept thinking -what is going to come out of my body? I was 22 weeks at the time, but the baby had passed at 16 or 17 weeks. That was 5-6 weeks ago!! We called funeral homes to see the cost of burial/ cremation. It was astronomically expensive. I asked if we should have a photographer there. Even a nurse I spoke with told me we aren’t sure the state the baby will be in when delivered. There may not be much to photograph. So many questions with so many details no one wants to deal with.
At some point the kids finally went to the pool. There was just a cloud of heaviness surrounding me. I kept thinking – Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, have to go through it. (from the book We’re Going on A Bear Hunt)
We had a lot of snuggle time and walks around the neighborhood. I remember a specific walk back from the pool where it was just me and Harper. We held hands and talked and told our sweet baby goodbye. We asked Jesus to comfort our hearts. She was so tender and sweet. She told him she would miss him. We packed and readied ourselves to go to the hospital. I had everything done an hour before we were supposed to leave. We had eaten dinner and I was just so nervous. I did not want to do this. No peace whatsoever.
We were about to load the car when the phone rang. It was the midwife who was on-call (a different midwife than the one I would usually meet with) at the hospital. She told me she had been looking at my chart and that they were ready for me, but she had brought my chart to the head OB doctor to have him look at it. Together, they both thought it would be best emotionally and physically for me to get a D&C the following day. They said my case was very different from someone delivering at 22 weeks. I still could safely have a D&C. They said delivering would be physically taxing and emotionally taxing – especially delivering a baby that had passed away 6 weeks prior. My heart immediately knew this was the answer. I had such peace. We would go in the following day to have the procedure done. One more night at home in my bed! I was so very relieved! …