Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Much Too Soon to Say Goodbye

Well, a lot has happened in the week since I last posted.  Little did I know when I made my last post that in two short days, we would lose the child I had been carrying for the past 30 weeks.  I think in the back of my mind, I knew the possibility was there. I think we both did. After all, this pregnancy had been full of uncertainties, but I had come to let myself believe that it would all be okay.  Now, as I sit here in this house, the one I have longed to be back in for weeks, okay is the last thing that I feel.
After completing my therapeutic amnio on Thursday of last week, I was exhausted and crampy. The procedure helped remove almost 2 liters of fluid that the polyhydraminos had caused. I knew the risk of the amnio was premature labor, but I proceeded anyway hoping to relieve some of the weight of the fluid and hopefully to stop some the contractions that were increasing due to the added weight of the fluid.  The amnio was far from comfortable because Cain kicked the needle the entire time the procedure was occurring. No matter where they moved the needle, he chased it. That’s my stubborn little boy.  I went to bed early that night because I still wasn’t feeling well.  However, I was awakened at 5:00 a.m. to some pretty heavy cramps that I knew were turning into contractions. At 5:30 a.m., I let my nurse know. Before 7:00 a.m., I was on the phone with Ben telling him that I was being moved to Labor and Delivery, and I was sure this was it. We would have Cain today.  I was excited but only a little scared. I knew Cain had increased in size (4lbs 5 ounces). I knew his heart rate was great. I really thought it would all be okay.
By the time I was wheeled downstairs, my labor was already well underway. Despite the doctors giving me fluids and magnesium sulfate in an effort to stop the contractions, they were only intensifying.  I was dilating rapidly.  I was given another round of steroid shots to help advance Cain's lungs.  It was obvious.  Cain was on his way.  By the time I received my epidural, contractions were coming less than a minute apart, and they were hard to take. I was quickly prepped for OR, and swept away with Ben to met our son. Little did I know that meeting would be our only brief encounter.
I looked to Ben to ask why he wasn’t crying. He didn’t know either. I can only remember saying, “Please God” about a hundred times. “Please God, let him be okay. Let him be okay.”  I could see about 10 people working on Cain, and I knew that wasn’t a good sign. Still I prayed.  As they wheeled me to recovery, I knew things weren’t good.  I was afraid of what they were about to tell me. I was in fog.  The NICU nurse came to get Ben, so he could go see Cain.  They were back so soon, and I could tell that the news I was about to hear would rip my heart out.  It did. As I looked to Ben hoping to find some contradiction in his expression, I found none. Instead, he started to cry. The man I never saw cry looked terrified, and his expressions were matched by mine.  The nurse explained they were continuing CPR at the moment, but that it was hopeless. They were doing it in an effort to keep Cain alive so I could see him.

The nurses sped down the halls with me on the stretcher, Ben following close behind. Their only mission was to get us to our son.  As I came through the doors of the NICU, I saw him, our precious baby that we had to meet and say goodbye to in the same instant, the brother we had prepared our son for over the past 7 months.  Now everything came down to this moment, the moment I had dreaded from the time we first thought something might be wrong.  He looked perfect. Absolutely and utterly perfect.  His problems present within his tiny body were not reflected in his beautiful face and body.  And all I could say, "I love you. We love you. Coop, your brother, loves you.  I am so sorry that I let you down.  And I promise I will see you again someday.  I'll do whatever it takes, and I'll see you again someday."  And as Ben and I held our son, we cried. For all we were losing, for all that we had hoped, for all that might have been. And we said goodbye and placed our son in God's eternal hands.

Moments later, we asked Mishella, one of the hospital chaplains and a huge part of my support system over the past few weeks  in the hospital, to baptize Cain. She had prayed with me earlier when Ben was taken to NICU to see Cain, and now, she prayed with us, and read the 23rd Psalm as we released Cain's soul to our heavenly Father. It was one of the only things we could do for our son, and it was by far the most important.   
Now days later, I am home. Home with empty arms and a huge void in my life and my heart.  Although I am here with my first-born son, Cooper, and my wonderful husband, I am heartbroken.  Don't get me wrong.  I am SO thankful for Coop, my little man, whom I love so much.  His smile makes all the world seem brighter, and right now, it’s one of the only things that can bring a much needed smile to my face. Still, I can't help but to look at him and think of the child we lost, the brother, he will never know. Oh I know God will get us through this. I have no doubts about that.  I don’t know how, but I know He will.  And I know it won’t be easy, but I know our hearts will heal someday, but we will near forget our precious Cain.

As for Coop, God is helping him deal with Cain's loss.  That was evident on the day we said goodbye to Cain.   Coop has gone from asking about Cain all of the time to not mentioning him since he passed.  In fact, on the day Cain left us, and at a time so close to his passing, Coop told my mom and dad something very strange. As the drove back to our house and sat in our driveway, my mom asked Coop whose house it was.  He replied, "Momma and Daddy and Coop."  My mom responded by asking, "What about Cain?"  Coop only said, "He's asleep."  Wow. It was as if he knew, as if God had whispered in his little ear that Cain was asleep now, and safe in His arms. Since that mention of Cain, there has been none from Coop.  He went from constantly asking about his little brother to this childlike understanding that he isn't here anymore without us mentioning anything about losing Cain.  In the midst of our tragedy, God showed us yet again that he does work in mysterious and wonderful ways. 


  1. Your strength and unwavering faith amaze me!!! My heart goes out to you and your husband. I have lost 15 babies. I do know how you feel. I don't know you but you have a piece of my heart forever!! My prayers will be with you!!! Love in Christ!!!

  2. Thanks so much. I am so sorry for losses. Faith is all we have, so we have to rely on that to see us through. I know God is using this to bring me closer to him. Before this happened with Cain, I was probably as far away from God as I have ever been. I know that he is using this to show me that he will never leave me, and teaching me to fully rely on him to take care of my needs, even when things happen in life that I don't understand.