Saturday, August 18, 2012
Odds & Ends
I attended the Houston chapter M.E.N.D. meeting on Thursday evening. I was nervous going, but when the meeting began I felt refreshed. I was able to exhale the emotional breath I had been holding. I’ve said it before, but I have never felt the instant connection with another the way I feel when in a group of women who have also lost babies. On the tense drive to the meeting (Houston traffic and interstates are rough) I thought it interesting I am living down here where I was medically informed my daughter was dead. Have I shared that before? I hadn’t felt Lydia move and knew something was wrong. I knew on Friday when I had waited all day to feel movement, but hadn’t. I couldn’t sleep that night. I read about stillbirth in one of the pregnancy books I had. I knew she was gone; I did not want my fears confirmed. My husband and I drove from north Texas down to Houston the following day. I was attentive to any possible movement in my womb the entire drive. Nothing. When we arrived at my sister-in-law’s house, she and others convinced me to stop at the hospital to make sure all was fine. The next hours were terrible. As I lay in the triage room, monitors were placed across my rounded belly. No heartbeat heard. A sonographer was called. No movement. No heartbeat. I couldn’t look at my husband. The OB-GYN on weekend call came. “As you know, it’s dead,” was his announcement. “You’re young, you can have more kids,” the sonographer offered. In the moment, I could say nothing. Now, I would love to go back and give them both a piece of my mind. My stomach still turns in a knot when I pass the hospital I heard the worst news of my life. Another thing I have thought recently. My daughter was as much in this world as you or I. Yes, it was in my womb while she was living, but she was still present here. And her body did not magically flit from my womb to heaven. She did not disappear when her heart no longer beat. I was in labor for 16 hours and vaginally delivered her. Some of her pictures are posted here. It is important for others to understand she was very much on this earth. She is as real as your living child. I want others to understand, but then again, I don’t want others to understand the loss. No one can understand unless they have also walked the road. I submitted an article to be published in the M.E.N.D. bimonthly newsletter. I am excited! My husband is doing an outreach at a university about stillbirth and miscarriage. Those are two recent ways God is using our daughter’s life and death as a ministry to others. Two years ago I could not have said or believed it. By God’s grace, comfort, and healing we have journeyed to this place.