Friday, September 10, 2010

 Baby A

Two things bring him to my mind more prevalently than usual; the beginning of another school year, and the organization of my file cabinet.

The excitement and busy chaos of another school year, and getting two ready in the morning, makes me think of the one I am not preparing for school. 

I guess it is human nature to think of what we don't have, huh? 

Yesterday I began the long and arduous task of cleaning out, shredding, and organizing documents in our filing cabinet. Yeah, try not to be too jealous...

There were many files overflowing with papers, stuffed and bulging to the point that they hardly fit into the cabinet anymore.

Then there was the one file - very thin, too thin. It sits toward the back of my file cabinet in the top. It says "Joshua" on the tab. Bills, receipts, and Insurance benefit explanations are in there.

Then there are the funeral home papers, the death certificate, and head stone documents...

And this: The brief summary of his life, too brief. But it's all I have of him. 

Maternal weight gain: 10 lbs

Multiple birth

Premature labor

Complications: twin gestation

Heart rate: 125 bpm

Weight: 769 grams

Length: 34.5 cms

Skin: pink - with CPAP assistance

Eyes: Eyelids fused

Admitting impressions: Extreme prematurity, Sepsis, Respiratory distress

Mother transferred for twin pregnancy, cervical shortening, and preterm labor. This is her first pregnancy. Cervical dilation noted. Tonight she had progressive signs of labor with decent of baby A.

Delivery was accomplished from vertex position (baby A), and breech position converted to cephalic position (baby B).

Both infants had spontaneous cry, responded well to few initial breaths. They were shown to the parents and taken to the NICU for further stabilization.

Baby A required intubation at approximately 4 hours. On day of life 8 he had an acute decompensation with progressively worsening respiratory failure, necessitating placement of a high frequency ventilator. He was maintained on high frequency ventilation until the day of his death.

Baby demonstrated shock and hypotension on day of life 8. LP was unable to be obtained due to the grave clinical condition of the baby.

Medication was given to treat sepsis and NEC, however some had to be held due to acute renal failure.

This infant had intractable shock and hypotension which grew progressively worse over the last 3 day of his life. Despite maximum and heroic efforts, including high frequency ventilation, pressor support, massive volume resuscitation, broad spectrum antibiotic coverage, and surgical drain placement, the baby's condition continued to deteriorate. A stress dose of hydrocortisone was administered in an attempt to raise blood pressure on day of life number 10. Because of the profound NEC and hypotension related to E-coli further medical treatment was deemed futile.

After a long ongoing discussion with the family, Baby was extubated into the loving arms of his mother and father.

Time of death was 2100 hours on 1-12-03.

Cause of death was E-coli, sepsis, secondary to necrotizing enterocolitis due to extreme prematurity.

A discharge summary they call it.

But truly - it is a summary documenting 10 days in my life that began cautiously joy filled, but ended so, so dark and full of a kind of anguish that I didn't know existed.

So, I sit by this cold gray stone. It can bring both comfort and the most surreal of feelings. Seeing your child's name etched in stone. Strange. Tracing your very own last name written there. Gazing at the few days represented in that dash between the numbers...

Do I want him to be heading off to school with these two excited brothers? Honestly, no. He doesn't have to go through this rat race of earthly life. He gets to skip school.

Yay for him.

Sometimes though, sad for me.

I want to buy him pencils. Lots of pencils. I want to call him on my cell phone while I am at the store and ask whether he wants the Toy Story lunch box or the Cars one. I want to lovingly pack his lunch with special things that he doesn't normally get at home. Like juice boxes and little cartons of pudding. I want to pray over him in the early AM as he gets ready to head off into a part of his life that doesn't involve my constant watching. I want to breathe in the scent of his blanket when I miss him during the day. I want to run out to Dave's truck when he pulls in the driveway with the boys in the afternoon, feeling the lift in my heart at seeing them all after a long day. I want to see his grin and hear his giggle as his words pour out in a stream of excited words of new things learned.

When I miss him achingly I remind myself that this would all be such drudgery for him. What are pencils and pudding compared to heaven?

Nothing. They are nothing.

It still doesn't go away.


Sara said...

I wanted to you know I read your post. I find myself at a loss for words. I wish I could reach out and squeeze your hand, tell you a care, tell you I'm deeply sorry. And a tiny smile passed my lips when I read: "What are pencils and pudding compared to heaven? Nothing. They are nothing." I will venture a bet that when you get to your heavenly home there will be a drawer full of pencils and a cupboard filled with pudding and a little boy saying: "See Mommy everything you ever wanted for me was RIGHT HERE."

Leslie said...

totally shedding tears this morning for your ache that you carry. For that longing.

but smirking and nodding in agreement for really what are pencils and pudding compared to heaven?

love your heart and the way you over and over again share it with us in the most vulnurable ways... and how God is showing how mighty He is through your continued faithfullness.

Anthony and Ashleys Mommy said...

Tears are in my eyes right now. You know our stories are similar, yet not the same. I have a autospy report that I read sometimes, cause its all I have of Hailey. That and a couple ultrasound pictures. I wish I could of knew her better. I wish I could of held her in my arms. (hugs)

nault's nook said...

tears and joy all in one. Indeed there is nothing on this side that compares to the wonder and perfection of heaven. It doesnt mean we dont yearn for those that are no longer here. Such is life on this side, knowing it is not our home. one day though it will all be made right. Peace sweet friend during those bitter sweet memories.

Dora said...

Tears,tears, tears, and more tears for you, I can't imagine the loss you have gone thru, but yet I still stand amazed at your testimony, you have such a gift with words, and bring so much hope to those who read them. I too lost a twin to one of my daughters, but I never met that baby like you did,so don't have anything to remind me, except for my beautiful daughter that God entrusted me with. I will be praying for you today and the rest of the school year,while you pack lunches for the dear boys that God has entrusted to your care....

Redhead Mommy said...

Oh Wendi, even in your sorrow, you are so, so eloquent. Wish I could give you a good long hug.

Stacey said...

You are so raw and honest!! Sorry you can't hold him, glad God is!

Katarina said...

Hugs. May God reach done and fill you with His all-sustatining presence this week. May He carry you through the days of longing for pencils and pudding for that sweet baby boy of yours.

Louisiana Tara said...

Oh Wendi. I wish I could wrap my arms around you right now and give you a giant hug. This made me weep. I held out through the "discharge report" - which is surprising because my heart ached thinking how much poor Joshua went through during his time here. But when you got to your wishes, that's when I lost it. You are such an amazing woman. I don't know how you manage it. Thank you for being so honest and open - you bless all who come to your blog. Love you tons!!!

Sarah M. said...

I'm sorry for all you will miss. Thankful for Joshua's life. I have found there are gaps in family that are always there. a precious reminder of what we had, what was lost, but most of all of someone we love.

~beautyandjoy~ said...

Oh sweetie. Sending love and gratitude for your words.

une autre mère said...

Tears are in my eyes too. I can't even imagine the pain of losing a child. But oh what joy when you're reunited someday! This was a beautiful post.

BARBIE said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Praying God would come and fill your aching heart!

Jasmine said...

Praying for you dear friend. Remembering little Joshua with you! I'm going to hold my boys extra tight in his memory!

Amy@My Front Porch said...

Beautiful. And heart wrenching. (((Hugs)))

Tori said...

No words. No words at all. All I can say is, I pray that God helps me to treasure what He's given me. Thanks fo rreminding me of that tonight.

Kari said...

Again, thank you for writing. Your expressions bring healing for me. How does God do that?!

The Sneaky Mommy said...

Wendy, I can't help but notice similarities as I read this...I delivered our boys exactly the same way...our first boy has Joshua in his name...he had issues after birth...but then I pause...I have my boys and I am so humbled. I am certainly not worthy of being their mother (especially today!). This is where God's sovereignty confuses me, to be honest. "Why" floods my mind as I'm sure it has your's at times. Yet, I know God works all things to *His* glory--whether we see it here or in heaven. You, my sister in Christ, are bringing such glory to God by your amazing testimony, by challenging me to long for heaven and my Savior, by opening my eyes to see my blessings and truly live in a manner worthy of the calling of Christ...
Thank you! I think it will be great to worship our Savior with you and *all* of our sweet boys in heaven!

Megan said...

I've always been touched by your blog, and never could imagine what you are going through. {Unfortunatly} Today this blog hits home. I spent yesterday picking out my daughter of eight days headstone. She passed August 31st... and I've started my own blog documenting this tragic yet beautiful time in our lives, just as you!

I can relate to only having a small file of paperwork now as well. Those are the small things that make up their short lives here with us.
Blessings to you Wendi!!

{Staci} said...

Thanks for sharing this, I just found your blog through some good ol' fashioned blog hopping. I have a son who was born at 28 weeks (so old!) and now he's over 41 weeks, and still not home. It's a long road with preemies. I am humbled to remember they don't always get better. I am sorry you don't get to raise your son, but I love your perspective that he got to skip this test. He was just that perfect.