It all happened so fast.
One minute they were telling me we were ready to push and the next minute they were telling us how very sorry they were for our loss.
As they took her away,
“She was just too small.”
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t hold it in any longer.
I had held my breath and my emotions and my hope in as long as I could.
The trickle of tears became a flood as Momma left J and me alone to weep in the empty, cold delivery room.
We wept harder than we had ever wept before.
My cries were more like moans as I clenched my teeth wailing with despair.
Never had I experience such hope followed by such agony .
It was nearly midnight when the nurses came for us. The halls were bulging with loved ones.
I felt as though I were trapped in dense fog.
I knew our loved ones were close.
I could faintly hear their condolences. It was almost as if I were we were at opposite ends of a really long dark tunnel.
J was mad. I ached with sorrow.
The nurses asked us if we wanted to hold her.
We graciously declined, but allowed our family and closest friends to hold if her if they wanted.
We felt it was only fair. So many had invested in her, in us.
Many have asked why we chose not to hold her.
After all these years, I’m still not sure.
We never discussed as best I can recall whether we would or wouldn’t hold her once she had been taken from the delivery room.
It was an unspoken, mutual understanding between J and me.
Holding her would have simply been too much.
It was an hour or so later when they came to ask us who would be handling her burial.
Burial.? Wait. WHAT? WHAT!
I could not wrap my mind around those words.
handling her burial
We were in the wee hours of the fourth day of hell on earth.
I had just delivered my second stillborn child, and they were asking me who was going to handle my baby’s burial!
I remember saying, “We’re going to need a minute.”
Dear reader, pardon my authenticity for a moment?
In that moment I had never felt more depleted.
Like an absolute t- total failure. My womb had botched me and was vacant, again.
Seriously God, what on earth have I done to deserve such sadness?
All of my strength, hope and months of prayers for our child vanished in an instant.
….those moments when we are completely depleted
of ourselves we find Him -ever so faithful.
I remember telling J, “I can’t do this again, and I KNOW you don’t want to. What are we going to do with this pain? This emptiness?”
I can’t forget his face.
Noticing the anger and how it had begun to move into his eyes as clouds do just before a thunderstorm on a hot summer day. It alarmed me enough to phone a forever friend the first moment J left my side. J’s former wrestling coach, who everybody knows as “Coach” and his wife had heard of our loss and asked if there was anything they could do.
“Come see J. He needs a friend. It’s bad.”
His relentless passion for Christ, challenge to keep fighting and, “NEVER SURRENDER!” was exactly what I needed in that moment.
After we hung up I remembered the wise words of Job and was able to preach a tiny message to myself.
“The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”
I have found it most helpful when faced with uncertainty and questions at every turn to cling to what I do KNOW.
All I knew in that moment of despair was that God had not forsaken Job and if I were going to make it through another day, He could not forsake me now.
The nurse returned for what we assumed was to ask us for arrangements, but instead informed us that a friend of ours who owned a funeral home was on his way to retrieve our baby girl.
They went on to say, “All arrangements including a dress and blanket for your angel have been provided.”
There are no words to express that level of gratitude.