Jericho’s Birth, Part Two

Part 2.


This story is written in three parts. Jericho’s original birth announcement, with photos, is [ here ].

[ Part One ]

[ Part Two ] is below.

[ Part Three ]


I woke in recovery alone. Before I opened my eyes I was overwhelmed with pain. In the bustle to care for Jericho, no one remembered to give me any medication. I tensed my body so hard it lifted off the bed so only my ankles and head touched. It took several attempts to muster the strength to speak. I knew immediately what had happened.
I saw a nurse about ten feet away with a vitals machine.
“Did he die?” I asked her. She looked at me for a long moment and then walked away without answering.
I passed out from the pain, and woke again some moments later. I remember looking at the clock above my bed: it was about 11:25pm.
I started crying. “Please help,” I said. My voice was cracked and raw from the breathing tube I’d had during the surgery. “Help me, it hurts”.
A nurse in a blue smock appeared next to me.
“It hurts, it hurts”
“I’m going to give you a shot.”
She injected something into my IV. Nothing happened. “It’s not working”
“It will”
It didn’t.
“Where’s my son?”
A nurse in a purple smock was near her now. They exchanged a look. “You’ll see him.”
“Did he die?” They said nothing. I rephrased: “Is he okay?”
“No.”
I begged for another shot, the first one didn’t work. They ended up giving me four that didn’t work before finally resorting to what I believe was an IV of morphine. It took twenty minutes to sort out my medication and find relief. I could not release my body from where it hovered over the bed. If I dared relax I would feel everything.
“Is he going to die?”
Purple Smock came very close to me. “It’s a possibility you’ll have to consider,” she answered.

It was almost midnight then. He’d died nearly an hour before.

“Where’s my husband?”
“He’s upstairs.”
“Is he coming down?”
“The doctor will be here soon.”

I passed out again.

I woke up just as the door next to me opened. Curtis walked in first, LC behind and a tall thin doctor with her. Curtis’ face was red and raw from crying, and his mouth was still twisted in a sob. LC had tears in her eyes.
“What was wrong?” I said.
“You were right,” whispered Curtis. He was referring to all the times I told him, sometimes in detail, what I thought was strange about this pregnancy, this baby. Each time I updated my logs I joked about what was wrong. It never worried me, or scared me – it was okay, because we could do nothing about it. In the end it would be okay. Some part of me felt a little sense of relief: I knew he died peacefully, and I knew we’d been so lucky to have had this undisturbed pregnancy together.

I passed out and woke up about ten times in the next few minutes, sometimes in mid-sentence. I only heard pieces of what the doctor was saying about Jericho’s defects.
… heart.
… lung.
… nothing we could do.
… heart failed.
…. Died in his arms.

The OBGYN came down. He was brusque. Unlike the tall surgeon, his words were cold and unfeeling. He spoke to me in clinical terms about how he thought he had to do a c-section because “it was shown” that babies at 34 weeks had a “Better chance if born by c-section”. I thought to myself that wasn’t true, but aloud I said nothing. He told me again that the baby’s bum was down and in my birth canal, coming out without my pushing. Frank breech just like my mother and her brother, and Curtis. He told me the fetal monitor was placed too high so it never picked up a single contraction. My fundal height was down to 25cm not only because the baby was half in my birth canal, but because I’d apparently been leaking fluid all day and not known.
It sounded more like he was saying these things to himself, to feel validated for performing the surgery.
At least it was for a good reason. It was for a good reason.
It took me over a day to stop saying that to myself and accept the reality of what happened.

When I began staying mostly conscious, they wheeled me out of recovery and up into the maternity ward. Their “Tranquility Room” for mothers who had lost their babies was under renovation. I was put at the end of the hall next to the nursery, and mothers who had just given birth.
The uneven wheels of my bed beat against the floor as I approached the private room. It had a flower pinned on the door to show my loss. I heard the quiet mewling of newborns in the rooms next to me, and across from me. I recognized the brief muffling noise of an infant being quieted by his mother’s breast – then there was happy silence.
My chest felt numb from the painkillers. I was dizzy, nauseated and empty: not yet aware of the hole they’d carved out of my womb to take my son. I had nothing.

They piled hot blankets on me when I began to shake, wrapped a towel over my head and shoulders and pushed me into the back of the room. Tammy was there with Tempest sleeping on her shoulder, LC stood near the back, Curtis was next to me.

Curtis had arrived just as they were putting me under. It was the only positive about having a c-section. Jericho would have been born in half of a conscious push… his body was so tiny he was slipping right out without my even realizing it. If he’d been born in L&D they would have whisked him up two floors, and he would have died alone. The OBGYN having his hand up, pushing him back into my womb while they prepped me for surgery gave us about ten minutes of time that allowed Curtis to get to the hospital.
As a result, he was able to follow the warmer straight out of the OR, into the NICU nursery and be there when they said he would not live, and took away the oxygen. His heart and lungs were failing despite their attempts to intubate him; they were not fully formed.
They wrapped him in a blanket and placed him in Curtis’ arms, where he was able to pass away in peace.
Curtis told me the staff around him was quiet and respectful. They cried with him, and gave everyone an hour to sit together and mourn. Curtis was able to cradle him, stroke his skin and say goodbye.
Before Tempest saw him, the OBGYN who had been so cold to me told her that Jericho was “okay”, he was just sleeping. It was a terrible thing to say to a child who had lost her sibling.

Tempest was able to see him again without the influence of the OBGYN. She wiped his face with tissues, as she does to us when we cry, and touched his hands and eyes softly.
This is an excerpt from Tammy’s perspective:

Tempest started getting very active and I brought her into the hall. She stood beside me and I asked her if she was sad. She nodded. Tears started streaming down her face and she just sobbed. She was making the sign for baby, pointing at the Special care nursery and just sobbing. I asked her if she needed a hug and she said yes. I picked her up and she cried and cried. She lay her head down on my shoulder and eventually cried herself to sleep. I rocked and hugged her, told her I was sorry and that it was ok to be sad. I repeated over and over “I know… I know…”

Back in the maternity ward, two older nurses came in to clean me. They stripped me there in front of my friends, sprayed me with fluid and wiped off my stomach and legs. I felt so humiliated and vulnerable. Someone pulled on my catheter and I screamed. One nurse asked what was wrong and when I told her it was being pulled, she insisted she never touched it.

When they were done cleaning me I was covered in more hot blankets, and I had begun trembling again. I wasn’t that cold.
The door opened and a tiny warmer was rolled in.
I saw a blue cap and a blanket. In my mind I kept repeating: Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god… I was scared to see him. I had never been close to someone who died before. Death scares me so much I dare not think about it. Even though it was my own son, I was terrified.
While my mind recoiled, my arms stretched out for him, desperate to cradle him to my breast and make it okay.

My fingers touched the edges of the blanket, I glimpsed his cheek. He flew over the bed in slow motion as if suspended in the air. My arms, bound by wires, caressed the edge of his cotton swaddle and begged for his touch. Time slowed with the heavenly body just out of my reach. Under the backlit glow of the lone florescent light behind my empty arms I saw a scene from the Sistene Chapel.

He was laid to rest in my arms, and I broke down.

He had the quietest face. I waited for him to breathe, open his eyes, or move his mouth. I was afraid to touch him; I thought he would shatter into pieces. He was so small and limp.
Somehow I worked up the courage to touch his nose. His skin was so soft. I couldn’t stop touching him now, and traced my fingers around his cheek, his chin and ears. They were all so small and perfect. I searched for his hand in the mass of blankets, found it and clutched his fingers. There was something amazing about his hands – they awed me. I stared at them for so long, touching his fingernails and looking at the wrinkles on his knuckles. How could these things be so small and perfect when what had mattered most had not been?
He had a little bum chin with a crease in the bottom. I was amazed how much fat there was on his face when he was so tiny a baby. Even his fingers were chubby, and fingernails long. He didn’t look like the premature babies I’d seen on television or in pictures – he was just small.

I moved his cap aside and looked at his hair: it was long, thick and black.

Tempest woke up and Tammy put her on the bed next to me. She cried softly, I wiped her tears but didn’t know what to tell her to make it better. I was waiting for someone to say it to me.
I sat with him in my arms for an hour or more. It was coming up on 2:30am now. I started feeling like I just wanted to be alone and sleep forever – or at least rest a little.

The painkillers still weren’t working well, and I asked for something stronger. The nurse said she would come back with another needle. It made me nervous, because I’m afraid of needles. Tammy offered to stay until it was over. She sat next to me in a chair after Curtis, Tempest and LC took a cab home.
She and I kept talking. About everything, and nothing – just filling the silence. I gave Jericho back to the nurses after saying a final goodbye, and was assured I could see him again whenever I wanted. I didn’t want to: one goodbye with everyone there was what we needed, and anything more would only have drawn it out and made it harder.

A few comments began that evening about having an unassisted pregnancy.
“If she’d only had an ultrasound, she could have had an abortion and avoided this pain.” As cold a thing as it was to say, each time I thought about it I felt more confident and validated about my decision. Going unassisted allowed me to have a beautiful, joyous and amazing eight months with my son.

If I’d had scans, and tests, and doctors I would not have been at peace. An abortion is all I would have been offered due to the severity of the defects. If I’d had an abortion I would have lost those moments, and my son’s peace. I am so grateful to myself, my friends, my family, my online communities and everyone who supported my choices. By trusting my instincts I was rewarded with the wonderful gift of his face, and knowing his last moments were with his father.

I know some people would never understand: they would have chosen to end the pregnancy and find peace knowing ahead of time and avoiding brief life and a peaceful passing. For these people, some of whom have already dropped by to lend an opinion, the idea that I am more supportive of unassisted birth now then ever before is ghastly. I am not offended by it, because I understand it. I recall a phone conversation to a friend some years ago where I said the same thing … but now, I know.
I am pro-choice. I would not have had an abortion, even if told Jericho could not live very long – it’s not who we are. I saw him so clearly in my dreams, and he was so special to us.
It filled me with relief and peace to know that I had those precious months. Each movement, dream and moment are so cherished now. My pregnancy log, my journaling both public and private and all of the feelings of wonder; they are his life in its entirety.

I received my shot, and a sleeping pill. Tammy left, and I fell asleep.
It was the first night I’d slept through in almost a year.

Comments

comments

196 Comments

  • briettajebu says:

    Супер блог!

    Спасибо за статью!

  • It’s absolutely atrocious how the nurses wouldn’t tell you the truth about your baby, and what the OB/GYN said to your daughter about her brother only sleeping! Totally not his place, first off, and second…how could he minimize that so much?

    For the record, I would’ve done the same as you and not aborted. I can totally understand wanting those precious months together with your son, uninterrupted. I understand why they would’ve offered abortion, but at the same time it makes me sort of angry – like they trivialize the magnitude of what happened – a beautiful life was created and lived inside you, but ultimately could not survive outside of you – to a pithy “if only she’d had an abortion all this pain could’ve been avoided.” It’s not just some medical event – it was the life of your son, and it just seems like they medicalize it way too much.

    I’m so very, very sorry for your loss. You are such an incredibly strong person to have made it through this.

  • katiekaboom says:

    I’m so sorry about your loss. I know everyone is saying that, and nothing can take the pain away or put a baby in your arms, but the words are there.

    I’ve been lurking around your journal since someone on my friends list mentioned what had happened, and I don’t know why I haven’t commented until now. I’ve been crying for the past 10-15 minutes while reading this, I just cant imagine how you must feel right now.

    But, I’m glad you got to spend a happy 8 months with your little one. I’ve never really heard about unassisted pregnancies until now, but wow, its just an amazing idea.

    Again, I’m so sorry for your loss. So very sorry. I’ve been thinking about your story for the past few days, and I just can’t imagine going through that. You’re a very strong woman, and an inspiration to me.

  • sholanda says:

    hi. i stumbled across your journal through ‘s friends page.

    i just wanted to say i had an unassisted pregnancy and i support you completely. i know you did what was right for you and your family.

    i am so sorry for your loss.

  • abluegirl says:

    My heart breaks for you. My god, i am so, so sorry to hear that this happened to you. You’re a strong, brave woman, and your son was so, so lucky to have you has his mother.

  • our_nest says:

    i dont even know you and yet i sit here in front of this screen realing in pain and practically clutching and clawing at my clothing crying reading this. you brave wonderful woman..

    may you find even one moment of peace today

  • two_roads says:

    The vast world of cyberspace becomes so small and personal when you read something like this. My heart aches for you and I wish there was something *I* could do. I don’t even know you but I just want to somehow make things better.

    You are an amazing woman and Jericho is blessed to have such a wonderful family. I am glad Curtis was there for him in his first and last moments. You are in my thoughts.

  • sevenpale says:

    LTP, I am so sorry.
    Peace and love to you and yours.
    Jenn (Jynical)

  • tahoebean says:

    I just found this this morning, and immediately thought of Jericho…

    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    I am in a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the softly falling snow.
    I am the gentle showers of rain,
    I am the fields of ripening grain.
    I am in the morning hush,
    I am in the graceful rush
    Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
    I am the starshine of the night.
    I am in the flowers that bloom,
    I am in a quiet room.
    I am in the birds that sing,
    I am in each lovely thing.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there. I do not die.

    ~Mary Frye

  • i came across your journal from a friends.
    you are so strong. you have been in my thoughts since i read your excerpt.

    you have my best,
    Kristen

  • allenjaphy says:

    I’m a member of your unassisted birth community. I didn’t know what else to do so I’ve been saying Kaddish for Jericho. It’s a prayer that thanks God for the moments we have, the order of the world, the chances to have love and peace, as well as loss and anguish. I really didn’t know what else to do.

  • our_journey says:

    I found out what happend through friends of friends who posted your story. I’m so very sorry for all you’ve had to go through, with all of this. You or anyone in your family DID NOT deserve any of this. I’m sorry for the way you were treated, and even more so what happend to your little boy.

    I know this may be an inapproriate time to bring this up, but I wanted to thank you for all your breastfeeding advice you’ve given many of us in various pregnancy communities. It’s meant alot to me, as I’ve followed it.

    I have no idea what else to say. I’m a complete stranger to you, but I just wanted to go through the computer and just *hug* you. I’m thinking of you and your dear family.

  • Don’t know you, but read about this in a friend’s journal. Don’t really know what to say, either, except I feel horrible about what happened and how it happened. Happy, though, that you got to spend the time you did with him.

  • azdesertrose says:

    There really isn’t much I can say that hasn’t already been said, except to express my disgust at the OB for lying to Tempest. He could have told her to talk to you and Curtis, if he didn’t have the courage to tell her the truth himself.

    Oh, and hugs to you and Curtis and Tempest. I don’t know how you’ve had the courage to come through this and to be able to write so clearly about it, but I’m amazed at your strength as well as saddened by the fact that you went through this and needed such strength.

  • frootijen says:

    You have given Jericho, yourself, your husband, and your daughter 8 months and 15 minutes of wonderful familial love that was shared with your son Jericho. He is truly blessed to be loved so much in his short, little and very beautiful life. He looks exactly like Temepest-he is such a handsome little man. I had a feeling that you were going to have a boy and his name fiits him so well! Heather, I really hope that you will be on the road to recovery, mentally and physically. frootijen@cableone.net /or frootijen@mac.com is my addy if you want to chat or exchange phone numbers. 🙂 I can e-mail you mine phone numbers.

    Can you send me your paypal address?

    • just wanted to pass this on to you:
      Please send a donation to babyslime at summerstorms@telus.net, and make sure to use Canadian dollars when donating.
      Please keep babyslime in your hearts, thoughts and prayers. She has been one of the most caring, respectful mamas I’ve met in a long time. My heart aches for her.

      ETA: Sorry about that, it’s now locked.
      Also, Luciferashadow went and found her paypal address. I believe it’s for burial expenses, or just help in general.

      coppied from naturalbirth

    • admin says:

      You don’t have to look far, a friend posted it in about six different communities, including my own. .

  • Our family is thinking of yours. I’m so sorry.

  • jespere says:

    I have really no words to describe how my heart breaks for you.

    I just wanted to say that I’ve added you to my friend’s list, not because I’m a voyeur and want to be where the action is, but because my heart breaks for you and I want to know how you’re doing.
    Just so you know where I’m coming from.

    Big bear hugs to you!

  • freakyboo says:

    You dont know me

    Thank you for sharing your life, I am thankful that you gave me the opportunity to know about you and your family, I am sorry that you had to go through what you went through but I beleive you did the right thing, you are an awesome mother and I can only wish that there could be more mothers as great and perfect as you. Thank you

  • bellalily says:

    I sat here and I read part 1 and then 2 straight after. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Im crying, and I have no idea what to say. I want to some how take away any pain you feel.

    ~*gentle hugs*~

    Natasha

  • julierocket says:

    Still reading. Still sending you love.

    I’m so terrified of hospitals now.

    • Don’t be terrified of them…just realize that the medical profession is not the god it makes itself out to be, or that some people make them out to be. It comes down to taking responsibility for your OWN health care decisions.

      Which Heather did and can always know that regardless of anything else, SHE made the choices for Jerico for as long as she was able/felt comfortable.

      • julierocket says:

        Yeah, but so much of what happened was AGAINST her will. I can’t imagine being in a place where I could be held down, where my cries could be ignored, where nurses would ignore allergy warnings and administer drugs that I knew were not effective. She was so badly treated and it makes me angry, but it also worries me for my own future childbirth experiences… I’ll be sure to do a lot of research and really find a reputable place if I decide to have a hospital birth.

        • I was thankfully able to find a midwife who’s basic insctinct is respect for a woman’s body and the natural process of God’s design. I had a wonderful homebirth experience with some minor complications that required more involvement from my midwife than either of us anticipated (retroverted unterus) and most certainly would have resulted in a C-sec at the hospital. Or at the very least a much longer and more difficult labor as I am sure no doctor would have had the patience my midwife had in finding the ONE position where the baby and my cervix were in line so my contractions were actually making progress. So I am totally against a hospital birth unless absolutely necessary. I’m not terrified of them…just saddened by the way they dehumanize what is the most human and beautiful process of life.

          I am, however, like you, horrified at the way she was treated and essentially raped of her birthing experience.

          I’m glad it’s at least made you more aware and open to other alternatives.

          • admin says:

            I have a retroverted uterus. We helped it during my labour with Tempest by leaning back on a birthing ball during contractions… took many hours, because by that time I’d been in labour over 36, but it worked.

          • julierocket says:

            Oh, absolutely… Babs has already opened me up to breastfeeding and cloth diapering and the like. I don’t know if I could do an unassisted homebirth– I’d lack the sort of self-confidence to really believe that I know what I’m doing, and then I’d freak out and rush off to a hospital– but I’m seriously considering a midwife and/or birthing center. At any rate, I have plenty of time to decide.

  • katieshy says:

    I’ve been thinking that this couldn’t have happened to a worse person or family..and nobody deserves to lose a loved one, especially a child. But I’m also feeling at the same time that your baby was so lucky that you were the ones he chose to come to during his soul’s brief time between spaces. <33

  • nailgirl94 says:

    Oh Momma, I dont know you…we have some mutual friends and I know the last thing you want to hear is how sorry some one is for you and your family, so I wont patronize you like that. I will tell you you seem to have a strong will and you did exactly what was right for your baby, cause if you had of listen to the doctors they would have had you worried and unable to enjoy your time, and even tho the time was short, it was your time and no one can ever take that back. He will be with you always. I just ache so much in my heart for you. You are in my thoughts, prayers and dreams!!!! Take care Momma, take good, good care of yourself.

    Much love from one mommy to another!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    i know you dont know me. My heart is breaking for you. Hearing something like this just makes you appreciate every minute you have with those you love very much. you are a very strong person and i admire you so much. you and your family are in my prayers and i will pray that God takes special care of your son.
    <3 Moriah

  • thespatula says:

    :{ (offers hugs if you would like them) There aren’t words to convey my sadness..

  • idiolecto says:

    I am so sorry. And still amazed by your strength and eloquence.

  • I know you don’t really know me. I’ve read your journal and your entries in boob nazis and so forth. I can’t exactly think of the right words to say, especially since I don’t actually know you on a personnal level. I just wanted to comment and let you know that I’m truley touched, and I’m thinking of you and your family during these times. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that you heal soon, both physically and emotionally.

  • wholuvsya says:

    i was glancing through a mutal friends’ journal and found your story. I sat here with tears running down my face, thinking, my god, what a strong woman and such a beautiful story. I will be saying an extra prayer for your family tonight…you now,truly, have an angel watching over you…..

  • emilie1024 says:

    My original comment didn’t post. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. You are such a courageous and inspiring woman and I very much believe in what you said about having 8 months with Jericho.

    Take care and know I am here if you need anything.

    Jenn

  • emilie1024 says:

    I didn’t realize I wasn’t logged in.

    Jenn

  • Anonymous says:

    I am so sorry. I just checked LJ tonight after a few days so I had no idea what had happened. You are such an inspiring and courageous woman. I’m so sorry that Jericho died. But I so agree with your decisions…that you had 8 months with him. Please know I’m here if you need me.
    Jenn

  • out_of_mana says:

    (((Hugs)))
    As a mother of a stillborn daughter, I know that there are no words that can make it better.
    I too, take comfort in the short time I had with my daughter. The wonderful gifts she left behind for us…
    I know you don’t know me well, but if you ever need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen, I am always here.

  • eclecticpoet says:

    My mom lost her firstborn after trying for many years, and almost was too heartbroken to try again. Thanksfully she did, but regardless, thank you for letting me see what she must have gone through.

    My prayers are with you.
    -Mike

  • I have so many words I want to say, but wont. You don’t know me and you are grieving. But please know I…I dunno. Just know I read your words and really have nothing to say. How can I? There are no words.

  • cuteonekdh says:

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    I do not know you or much about you. I may have responded to a post or two, but everyone on my friends’ list is torn inside about what happened to you. You and your family are deeply cared about. You are not alone no matter how much you feel you are right now.

    I just wanted to let you know that you are cared about.

    I also wanted to invite you to join . There are a lot of people there who have gone through similar situations and who would be a huge means of support. They can also point you to other communities about grief and child loss too.

    I just wanted to encourage you to get the support that you will need through this horrible time.

    • admin says:

      I also wanted to invite you to join [info]preemies.

      It was so bizarre to read that. That’s the first time he’s been referred to, or I’ve thought of him as a preemie…

      • cuteonekdh says:

        I am sorry to make you feel uncomfortable in any way. The reason I invited you was because he was born before 37 weeks. Also, the other reason is because there are a lot of people there who have gone through what you are going through right now and could be a huge means of support for you. I think would also be a great support.

        Again, I am sorry if I offended you or hurt you in any way. That was not my intention.

  • clydiebaby says:

    My heart just hurts for you. I am glad that you can see the beauty in the time you had with him, and should never feel any regret in those choices. I will keep your family in my thoughts.

  • curcible_11 says:

    just been following your story, and you’re in my thoughts, as well as your son. good luck and stay strong.

  • c_i_n_a says:

    A lot of people have talked about your situation and have also shared with others that you lost your baby and to keep your family in there thoughts and prayers. I know so many and myself who cant imagine what it must be like. I lost a nephew who was delivered by c-section at 24 weeks. he weighed 1 lbs 2 oz and lived for 20 minutes. When I read this it brought back a lot of memories and im truely sorry for your loss. you are an amazing strong woman and I admire you for having so much courage and writing all of this. you and your family are in my prayers <3

  • politicking says:

    thank you for sharing your experience… thank you for sharing Jericho with us.

    you & your family are in my thoughts.

  • I wish there were words to describe how sorry I am to hear about what happened.

    I just want you to know that not only did your unassisted pregnancy give you your precious time with Jericho (so priceless), but your pregnancy with Jericho helped to introduce me to the idea of a natural and beautiful birth, cloth diapering (something I never though I’d embrace), and the importance of breastfeeding. I never would have been able to experience these beautiful things if I hadn’t first seen your comments in the pregnant community (at least, I think that’s where I first read your words). Your continued support of those of us who share communities with you is heartwarming. Jericho’s brief existence has touched more people than you will ever know.

    I think after reading about your experience, every single kick in my belly will become so much more precious. I keep thinking about how I can’t wait for him to get here so I can see him, but I know now that I will never take one second with my son for granted. These months while he is in my belly can be some of the most precious in our lives, and could be the only times I have with him. Thank you for writing this, and thank you for providing this insight.

    Jericho is truly lucky to have you as a mother, and I’m so glad he had those months with you.

  • I had to stop halfway through reading all of this because I felt so sick to my stomach. Would it be horrible of me to say that your story makes me even more glad that I didn’t go to the hospital when I realized my baby was breech? I *knew* how they’d treat me. I’d been told by medical personnel, and I didn’t want to go through that unless one of us was dying AND I was pretty sure they could save us.

    I did come back and finish reading your story before leaving this comment. Thank you for writing it. Thank you for making it public. Thank you for pointing me to it!

    And again, I’m so terribly sorry for what you’ve been through and for what you’re still going through.

  • divamanda23 says:

    Love from a stranger

    I am moved to great, racking tears as I read this. I am so sorry for your loss & hold you and your family in my thoughts.
    I hope that eventually you can find some peace from this horror.

    Much love,
    Amanda

  • alleyezonmeh says:

    I’m lost for words… I’m sorry.
    My eyes are filled with tears.
    Jericho was blessed with an amazing family…
    Sending tons of love your way.

  • picklebits says:

    Like many people here, I do not know you, only have seen you in a few communities. I don’t have the words to say how sorry i am for your loss. I have been compelled to read and it brings me to tears each time.
    You are an amazing strong person and I admire you.

    I hope you and your family find peace and comfort soon and know that many of us here on LJ are thinking and praying for you

  • dancing_star says:

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    The beuity, the pain, the strengh it took to stand by what you believe and not allow others to sway you.

    Blessings

  • redhen says:

    Going unassisted allowed me to have a beautiful, joyous and amazing eight months with my son.

    that is so beautiful, and mama, you are so strong.

  • six58 says:

    you are so strong, amazing, and brave.
    i wish the best for you.
    and im terribly sorry about your loss.
    i realize, saying that doesnt have much depth.
    and its almost a cliche thing to say.
    but i suppose its the best i can do.
    i just…had to say something.
    in reading your journal, i felt like i was there…watching your life.
    you have an incredible gift when it comes to words.
    there’s something about this that’s haunting to me.
    just because…how you sensed things. and how he told you his name.
    its all beautiful.
    im just…so sorry.

  • My first daughter was born at 32 weeks and didn’t “look like a preemie” either. I can’t believe the reason that OB gave for the c-section – I wondered if it was anything to do with him being breech or something but just thought “naaah”. My OB at the time told me he’d “need” to do an episiotomy because a preemie’s head is soft and the pressure from birth might cause bleeding on the brain. Afterwards, all I could find about that was that it happened with respiratory distress. (I also can’t believe the arrogance of that OB who presumed it was his place to say anything at all to Tempest. What do you even call someone like that?)

    I’d have been angry enough had I had the episiotomy (I agreed to it, but OB didn’t arrive in time for the birth), and my heart goes out to you with your c-section. I think a lot of people wouldn’t understand the big deal about that part of it, but the way I see it is that Jericho couldn’t have been saved, there was truly nothing you or anyone could have done and truthfully, you did all you could for him during his short life. Not to say it’s not a devastating loss all the same, but the way you were treated in the hospital was an abomination. I’m more upset on your behalf about that than anything, though I am also amazed at your strength in finding a positive in it as well. You sure do find the gifts life gives in these trials.

    While I can never really say what I would decide to do in any given situation until I find myself in it, your story here is so inspiring and real, raw and full of beauty and acceptance, that I find myself in awe and renewed faith. The shaft of light shining through that Tina mentioned is truly what makes your words so moving.

  • cindimama says:

    An old boob nazi here. I have no words for all that you’ve endured. I just wanted you to know that I’m thinking about you and your family. xoxo

  • janaya says:

    I have such a hard time putting to words responses to these entries, but am compelled to try anyway.

    I just wish I could hug you tight and cook for you and clean your house and play with Tempest. I have so much love and respect for you.

  • the_waker says:

    Thank you so much for sharing all this with us. He was such an awesome gift and it’s just amazing that you got to carry his soul for 8 months! I can see exactly why you think UP & UC are better than ever, they gave you the gift of knowing him that long without any pretenses of what was to come, and you got to love him fully with no regrets.

    As saddened as am I for you, I’m so, so glad that you and your family had that time to be with him. Even in these pictures he gives off a warm, loving glow.

    You’re all in my thoughts.

    • the_waker says:

      Also, thank goodness Tempest has you & Curtis to give her the truth and nevermind what that doctor said. Letting her mourn and being honest with her is so important, I can’t believe he had the gall to say those things to her.

  • I respect you SO much for giving your son life.
    What a beautiful person you are.
    I am a stranger to you and your family but I mourn for your loss.
    I am so sorry that you were treated so terribly at the hospital.

  • silverfairy2 says:

    I just want to echo many of the thoughts expressed here.
    I heard about you through my friend’s list and I am horrified by the way you were treated in the hospital. I have experienced some of the lack of compassion and basic respect from nurses/doctors in the hospital in the past year.
    I am sorry and saddened beyond words for your loss. There is nothing more I can say that hasn’t been said.

  • conchispa says:

    You don’t know me, I come here after seeing a post in B_N. I am very sorry for your loss and what you had to go through. I can’t believe what a royal jerk the OB was, and the entire horrific hospital experience! Your story deeply touched me and I want to thank you for sharing it. I can’t even imagine what it feels like… You and your family are in my thoughts.

  • aughraseye says:

    I am shocked that people would be aghast at your continued support for unassisted birth. After your experience in the hospital, is there any question as to why?!

    I hope this isn’t inappropriate, but I am grieving, not just for a woman who lost a son, but also for a woman who was raped in the hands of “medical professionals”. I am absolutely stunned by the reality of your experience, and my heart just aches for you…

    • on_a_hill says:

      Thank you for saying this. Last night as I relayed this story to my husband, rape is the word that just came naturally to me when I tried to describe what she went through. 🙁 It sounds silly, but it makes you want to go into that hospital and just go on a ramage. They don’t deserve to care for women.

      • aughraseye says:

        I agree… That doctor deserves to lose his job. His incompetence is staggering.

      • admin says:

        Thinking of it as a rape has somewhat helped me accept the whole reality and think of a way to begin healing from it. I can’t think of it as “Giving birth”, because there is no conscious birthing to be had.
        These last few days of physical recovery have left me wondering why anyone would chose this willingly over a natural birth. This is so much worse, physically and emotionally, to recover from. They aren’t even comparable. It’s like a puddle to an ocean.

        At the same time, I know this all gave us something wonderful, if only for a few minutes… without it that would not have happened.

  • There is nothing that I can say that will help, but I wanted to know that I’m here for you, in spirit if nothing else. I’m so sorry you were treated so badly.
    I wish peace.

  • mortalsimi says:

    i don’t know you, but i left you a note a few days ago.
    how strong you are.
    i just don’t have any other words.. i can’t make things better.
    but i’m glad you had that 8 months with him.

    and i’m hoping for a speedy recovery for you and healing for your family.

  • jekabear says:

    I have never been a natural birt person, I’m too afraid of the pain, but reading your story makes me realize how wonderful your decicion was. You had all that time with him and then he passed in his fathers arms. While sad, it is beautiful and I applaud you for doing what you did.
    I’m Jessica and I’m a friend of Cynthia journal name acidflowers and I found a link to your journal on hers.
    I’m sorry for your loss but I am happy that you had the time with him that you did. I think you did the right thing.

    I’m also adding you as a friend if you don’t mind.

    ~Jess

  • mommajm says:

    Anything I can think of to say just sounds trite. You are an amazing family…so brave and strong. You are all in my prayers.

  • 🙁

    Words do not come to me…you are in my thoughts in prayers–you and your whole family…I am so sorry for your loss…how tragic and sudden…may you find peace and healing in the days to come…I’m crying with you…I am so sorry…

  • Just another note from another stranger…

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

    As many others have said, I’m glad that you were able to have the time with your son that you did, without the added stresses the entire pregnancy. You’ve added to the store of “why unassisted pregnancy can be better even if something is not working out”, for me, as well.

    I am sorry that all of this had to happen to you, or to anyone, but I’m amazed at your strength + wisdom in making the best decisions for you and your family.

  • redmags says:

    like many others, i’m touched and deeply saddened by your story, and my heart goes out to you. thank you for being so open with us. i wish you continued strength and courage in your healing. *hug*

  • apers says:

    1/2 an hour ago I read your post and began sobbing at my computer. I held my husband and then my daughter. I am so sorry this has happined to you. You have my deepest sympathy. I hope you will find solace in your husband and daughter also in your time of grief.

    I just dont even know what to say. Flowery, pretty words fail me right now. Just know that you dont know me, but I am greiving with you.

  • zulupetalz says:

    I have been following your journal for a couple of years and you have been an amazing inspiration to me. I think that it is wonderful that, even in the face of your grief, you have not second guessed your passions for natural and unassisted childbirth. The conviction you possess regarding these beliefs inspires so many.

    The way you portray entering the medical system in your entries gives me such perspective. As part of the system that you portray, you give me so much insight into the thoughts of a patient. I am a nurse-midwife myself, and I never thought I would lose the ability to be sensitive to what it must be to be a patient, but reading your story makes me realize that I am probably not sensitive enough.

    I wish you and your family peace.

  • mom2britnjor says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with him, I am so touched, and feel like I have known you all my life. Again I am deeply sadden you and your family have to go through this, but at the same time, I am so glad he chose you as his mother. He is one lucky little boy to have had a safe haven in your womb for 8 months.

  • I dont know you but Im very sorry to hear about your lose.
    Ive never cried over someones elses lose before but yours has touched my heart and i could only say Im truely sorry

  • I don’t know you at all, but I just wanted to say that you are an amazing, strong, beautiful woman.
    I sit here in tears about a story that I have no direct connection to, but feel like we’ve known eachother for years. Thank you for sharing your story, you are to be admired. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Beth

  • noniegrace says:

    I am appalled at the way you were treated. It is simply unfair and wrong. What that doctor said to Tempest is unforgivable.

    I’ve secretly read your journal for a long time. My daughter and Tempest are a month apart, and both redheads. Many a time have I felt a kinship with you when reading about Tempest’s antics, because the same thing goes on over here (Tempest and the flour caused me to move the flour to a higher shelf).

    Ainsley was born at 38 weeks by emergency c-section. She was diagnosed as being in fetal distress and they were throwing the “did we want her to live” and the “baby could develop CP” at us. Her suck reflex didn’t kick in until she was a month old, killing our breastfeeding relationship. She was mostly finger-fed until about 4 weeks. As horribly difficult a time as it was, it was nothing compared to what you are going through. Your strength is amazing. You write so beautifully about it, and with a calmness that is so pure and beautiful. I’ve been trying to get the courage to ask to be friended for a long time, perhaps I’ll pester you about that later.

    I’d like to send a gift for Tempest, though I totally understand not wanting to give your address to random El Jayers. Just a little something to entertain her through a hard time, or clothes if she needs them, anything. I think you mentioned her needing pants at one point? If that would be ok with you, let me know. If not I’ll be sending a donation through Paypal in the next few days.

    Thank you for sharing your story. You are incredible.

    • admin says:

      I don’t know what to say to the offering of gifts. Flowers and cards have started showing up, and I keep wondering why they’re coming. My inbox is getting regular notifications about Paypal donations. I’m speechless – as in, really… I have no idea what to say to anyone who offers.
      While I feel like I don’t need anything, and I’d feel selfish taking things from others now, I don’t want to take away what so many people feel is their only way to help. There are no words, as so many have said… so people turn to gestures of kindness. They are kindness, no matter how I’m feeling about them right now. Last night some of the names I saw behind donations made me sit and cry. Even community nemesis’ and people I thought strongly disliked me have donated. Perfect strangers are donating. I don’t know what to say.

      • I don’t think you should feel selfish at all taking donations. I completely understand where you are coming from, but you’re exactly right – this is how people feel they can help. You can take the money and do the perfect memorial for Jericho, be it in a beautiful physical memorial or as a donation to a charity in his name. I wish I had something perfect to say.

        One of my best friends lost her mother this week, around the exact time that Jericho passed. She was a wonderful, caring woman who succumbed to an infection only 7 weeks after being diagnosed with cancer, and I can’t help but have this vision of the two of them arriving at heaven’s gates together.

      • noniegrace says:

        You have touched my life in a lot of ways, as cliche and lame as that sounds. I first found your posts in BN about having trouble bfing, at the same time I was having trouble. I was so envious that you had success when I did not. You have made me so determined to make it work with my next child. I will make it work; I won’t be intimidated by doctors telling me my child is fading away because of what I am doing, I won’t let them list out the “later in life problems” failure to thrive brings. Your funny posts about Tempest being a terror always made me feel better about Ainsley being a terror; at least she’s not the only one 🙂

        I understand feeling odd about the donations, but people want to reach out to you and this is the simplest way. Your bravery, your beautiful ability to share your pain has really hit home with a lot of people.

        I will be sending my donation in the next few days once I get my Paypal sorted out. I’d like at least some of it to go towards something for Tempest, bless her sweet little two year old heart.

  • momofquacker says:

    i am in a couple of communities you are a part of, and I just came to say, I am sorry for your loss. But I am glad you had the time of carrying him within you, nurturing him as best as you could, and giving him the ability to have a life, no matter how brief. You are a very strong woman, and I admire that. *hug*

  • My heart just goes out to you. I know you from some of the communities and have always respected your parenting style and birthing plan.

    I am prochoice as well but those people who state their opinions to you need to respect that you made your own choice and it was right for your family. Who are they to say a life’s value is based on the duration? You gave your son a gift of 34 months of peace, warmth and love and that is so much more than many people have in an entire lifetime.

    I’m so saddened by how you were treated. You are in my thoughts.

  • Hello….I’m a friend of . You don’t know me but I wanted to say that my thoughts are with you and your family. I’m so sorry.

  • We don’t know each other at all, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story by making it public. It has really touched me and so many others. I also wanted to say that I think you made the right decision. I’m so sorry that this happened to you.

  • kimmlett says:

    I’ve been thinking about you non stop since I heard the news, thank you so much for sharing. I really don’t know what to say, but your story has really touched my heart. Reading how Tempest took it was the hardest. The drs their were insanely rude and cold hearted to you. I also believe the 8 months you spent with your son was the right decision, instead of an abortion. I’m also pro-choice, but I think you made the right decision for your family. My prayers go out to you and your family.

  • andshedied says:

    I am so sorry for what you went through. Birth should not be like that.
    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
    I support your decisions entirely.

  • mamaoz says:

    I don’t know you. I just wanted to offer my deepest sympathies. I went through something very similar almost 19 years ago. I waited many years to write it and it was not nearly as vivid. There are no words I am soo sooo sorry for your loss.

  • gorrilagirl says:

    oh the words i have in my heart are lost in my soul…
    for your family i mourn …

    we’ve never crossed paths online all to often…however i ache with your loss …when i was 16 my best friend of many years found herself pregnant…and in labor 8 weeks early…there are things in the world we may never understand ….but the loss of kenneth will never leave my heart and ill always wonder why…reading your words of your goodbyes chilled me to the bone and reminded me of those days years ago i sat with her as she did the same…his death haunted me in the birth of my first child…and as i cannot explain it…ive only spoken it to my husband…this pregnancy now has had me feared from the start….i was 34 weeks as of nov 1st myself…and this caused me to put down the aches i may feel or the crankiness i emote…for nothing is more precious than this time i have with him….

    thank you for your story …for your reminding me to take the time as you did to cherish what you had…

    blessings to you and your family
    Meg

  • lizbtropez says:

    I’m so sorry hun. I’m crying.

    Makes me so pissed at myself for thinking dr interventions I didn’t want were bad when she still ended up ok…

    I mean, I should be grateful.

    Drs are made to intervene nowadays to “avoid” lawsuits but as you’ve demonstrated here, it’s not always the best for the baby… nor is constant invasive observation.

    I totally support your wanting unassisted birth. I mean, even if he still died, it would have been at home, you wouldn’t have been asleep or felt rushed ro pressured.

    Girl, you need to get some opium- it’ll beat the pain and help you sleep and probably works tons better than any rx crap the drs might try to give you.

  • marliah says:

    I can’t stop crying….it is so horrible the way you were treated in all of this. And abortion, what a heartless callous thing for anyone to say…..Jericho is a special blessing, and those moments you shared with him as he wiggled in pleasure in your womb are good times, he knows your love for him because of that. I am so sorry. I lost my Samuel at 6 weeks and I remember the feeling of wanting to fall asleep forever.

    At this point I am sure you don’t want to think about it, but as time passes and the physical wounds heal, I would suggest looking into legal action. Nothing can ever rid the pain of losing a child, but to have has all this suffering and been surrounded by these heartless medical people only made the whole thing worse. The least they could have done was been honest with you, kept the physical pain at bay…

    I am so sorry, thank you for sharing your story with us.

  • eiretamicha says:

    Heather, you and your family are in my prayers. If you ever need anything, please don’t hesitate to ask…

    I truly am sorry for your loss. God bless you.

  • acidflowers says:

    A visitor from heaven
    If only for awhile
    A gift of love to be returned
    We think of you and smile

    A visitor from heaven
    Accompanied by grace
    Reminding of a better love
    And of a better place

    With aching hearts and empty arms
    We send you with a name
    It hurts so much to let you go
    But we’re so glad you came
    We’re so glad you came

    i’m sending you thoughts of strength and love, i wish i could do more
    <3

  • _melly says:

    Your story has been such an inspiration. You are such a strong woman and being so in touch with your body, I’m glad your son feel that from you and just feel your love for him. Just looking at those pictures he looks like such a peaceful little boy. I couldnt stop crying reading this because I felt like I was there with you… I will keep you in my thoughts.

  • I had to re-comment, because the way that the OB talked to Tempest haunted me all night. My mother had a stillborn, Maxine, when I was older than Tempest, but my little brother Craig was very close to Tempest’s age. He knew. We did not get to say goodbye to my little sister, but Craig knew. I felt responsible for him, I didn’t have the words to tell him what had happened, I was so young myself.

    But he knew. I didn’t have to tell him anything. He cried on me, and told me that “Mommy’s baby is gone”. I’m horrified at the insulting tone the OB took with Tempest, and I wanted to reassure you, that she is a bright, intuitive child, and she does know the truth. She and Jericho have been blessed beyond all measure to have you as their mother.

  • ilovenirvana says:

    One of the girls I read mentioned something about your tough time.
    I felt nosy and wanted to see…
    I just finished reading both parts and while I know my tears don’t do anything for you and your loss, I am terribly sorry for you, hon.

  • moistangel says:

    -__- “If she’d only had an ultrasound, she could have had an abortion and avoided this pain.”

    Who do they think they are? I’m glad you had your time with your son. *hug*

  • mummygeorgie says:

    I’m sure you’ve had enough comments from strangers to last you a lifetime, but I felt I had to say something.
    What you said about unassisted pregnancy/childbirth was beautiful, and yet a point many would not consider. I’m sure we have disagreed on many things on LJ before, but I have nothing but admiration for you.
    My thoughts are with all your family.

  • aulaitcru says:

    I don’t know if it helps the hear other people’s stories… I hope you don’t mind my writing this…

    Seven years ago my sister-in-law was almost 9 months weeks pregnant with her second child, planning a homebirth. The pregnancy was wonderful and easy. At 39 weeks she went to an appointment with her midwife to check things and finalize birth plans. Everything was fine, movement good, heartbeat strong. Three days later labor started. She called family members and the midwife. My mother-in-law arrived to care for my niece while R. labored. A day later labor stopped. R. became concerned because it felt like the baby wasn’t moving. She was nervous and called the midwife. She was told that babies often quiet down before labor and delivery, but that if she was concerned to come in and have things checked out. She did. No heartbeat. She was sent to have an ultrasound, the first of her pregnancy. No heartbeat. Her full-term baby who had been alive two days earlier was dead.

    Three days later, when labor still hadn’t started, she was scheduled for an induction at the hospital. She later recalled that those three days of walking around with a full-term, dead baby in her belly were some of the hardest in her life. The only thing that was harder was having to be in a hospital delivering a baby that was already dead. When Leah was born she was perfect in everyway but one. Mother, father, older sister and grandparents all had a chance to hold her and say goodbye. She was dressed in her going home clothes, even though she would never go home. My brother-in-law, who never cries, couldn’t stop. She looked like her older sister. But the doctors could find nothing wrong with her. The tests turned up nothing. R. and her husband declined an autopsy. They didn’t want their little baby cut open.

    Grieving took time and R. was filled with doubt about her body’s ability to carry a healthy baby to term. Nine months later, though, her son was concieved and nine months after that he was born happy and healthy.

    One other thing – R. said later that one thing in particular helped her get through that time. It was that she was still nursing her older daughter. She had contemplated weaning, but decided against it. It was a relief to be able to share Leah’s milk with M. Nursing her daughter reaffirmed life and love for her. It didn’t erase her grief or sadness but it did comfort and reassure.

    I hope that you are able to find peace. You are in my thoughts.

  • beantree says:

    I am struggling to find words… I am so touched by this; I want to hug you, I cry sitting here like I am there with you. I am so sorry. I am so thankful that he had his father’s loving arms around him as he passed.

    I so whole-heartedly agree with everything you’ve said about Unassisted birth and I respect and admire you more than you can ever know. I, also, would feel thankful to have had those peaceful, private months together. What a beautiful pregnancy you had. I am sorry for the ignorant comments that others make.

    My heart is with you.

  • I’m beyond shocked at the way you were treated, but what the doctor said to tempest is just….disgusting.

    my parents had a very difficult time getting pregnant. they wanted lots of kids, but for whatever reason it never came easy to them. my mom had several miscarriages before she had my sister, and plenty more before she had me.

    I was pretty young (about 4 or 5) when she got pregnant with twins. it was right around christmas time and I remember my parents telling us the good news (my sister is 4 years older than me, so I’m sure they thought she’d understand the concept better than I would). she ended up losing the babies at around 6.5 months. I don’t really know the in-depth details because its never been something we have long talks about, but one of the babies had died inside her and she had to abort the other.

    I remember being with my grandparents while my mom was at the hospital and my grandmother gave me the “the babies had to go away” line. I certainly don’t fault her for that, I’ll just assume she was as unprepared for the news as we all were and didn’t have the right words (if there even are any) to say to a child. But I do think people generally underestimate children because I *did* know what was going on. and at that point I would have settled for a hug and silence rather than an explanation that didn’t make sense.

    truly, all my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    take care of yourself.

    • wolfteaparty says:

      I’m beyond shocked at the way you were treated, but what the doctor said to tempest is just….disgusting. Yeah, I agree… he was really underestimating her intelligence. She’s only two, but she seemed to know exactly what was going on.

  • serenityone says:

    We don’t really know each other, we’ve posted comments back and forth in a few communities, but it was quite a while ago…

    I just wanted to tell you what an incredible story this is. It is amazingly heartbreaking and painful but somehow you also managed to come out of this triumphant. I have so much respect for you for being able to appreciate your child in this way.

  • robynz says:

    I lost my Grandfather on Thursday. I couldn’t even cry for that. He’d lived so long, and so wonderfully.

    I’m the only one in the family who hasn’t cried. I’m the only one who can see how rich he lived to the age of 92.

    But this brings me to tears. You are so strong, it amazes me. It breaks my heart that you wanted so badly to have an unassisted birth, and the moment you stepped into a hospital, they instantly began what I read as what you wanted least of all.

    I’m crying for your family, your loss, and though I already said it in an earlier comment – I hadn’t yet read the recount – I am so sorry. I cannot believe how strong you are, being able to share all this so soon, barely a week after it occured.

    You are amazing, and I don’t know what else to say. I don’t pray, so I’ll simply say “I hope you heal well”.

    • admin says:

      I’m sorry about your grandfather. I still cry for my grandmother, who died just before my 9th birthday.

      There was a quote in a book I was given about child loss which says, “When you lose your parent, you lose your past; when you lose your child, you lose you future.”

      • robynz says:

        Since it happened, I haven’t wanted anyone to be sorry for his passing. It was his time. But I find it difficult to behave the same on the other side of the situation. I don’t suspect you’re feelinng the same way.

  • fkgirl says:

    I totally understand how you feel about spending the time you could with him. I too could never have an abortion even knowing something was wrong. It’s not something I could ever do.

    All my love is with your family.

  • satinworship says:

    I know some people would never understand: they would have chosen to end the pregnancy and find peace knowing ahead of time and avoiding brief life and a peaceful passing.

    I have a friend who wanted a baby girl more than anything, her first baby was a boy. Her second pregnancy was a girl, but they found out that she had many defects. I believe she told me Emily would’ve never been able to walk, talk, or feed herself. I’m not sure if she said anything about her lifespan. She chose to have an abortion, and the few people i’ve discussed this with are always horrified and i’ve always defended her decision.

    However, I think if you had known ahead of time, your choice would’ve been the right one. I’ve never thought of it like that. At least you got to hold your son and say goodbye to him, without any wondering or what ifs.

    I don’t know what else to say, except that I think you’re an amazing person.

    • admin says:

      I would never, never, never look down on a person who chose abortion, even if their situation were identical to mine, right down to the same defects. That choice is there for a reason, and I deeply respect someone’s right to make the descision. I would never think for a second to compare my own experience.
      For us, this time, this baby, this was right – for no one else.

      • satinworship says:

        Oh, I agree completely. When people would tell me that my friend was a horrible person i’d always say, “What, you wouldn’t do the same?” I had just never considered the perspective you expressed before now, and i’m sure my friend didn’t see that possibility either.

  • fleckerbug says:

    sorry fi this is too long or personal

    Hi. One of my LJ friends, , mentioned you on her journal. I read your last two posts and I just wanted to say how sorry I am you had to go through all of this, but how happy I am for you that you cherish the time you had with your son inside of you and the time that your husband got to spend holding little Jericho. I also admire your continued support of unassisted births. And I understand feeling it was better not to have known. I utoo am pro-choice, but would not abort if I knew my child was going to haev birth-defects. Heck, I had an ultrasounds and a few tests and they still didn’t catch all the problems we had going on. They claim there was no warning of my ‘sudden’ preeclampsia, but I knew something was wrong for weeks. Although I cherish every moment I had with my daughter, there is a small part of me that acknowledeges, and feels guilt for, that it might have been easier on her if we’d just let her go at birth(the NICU doctor on call did not want to resucscitate). The worst thing anyone ever said to me was it would have been better if I’d never gotten pregnant or if I’d miscarried early on. Or if she’d died at birth instead of at 7 mo.(she was very preamture and sick and never left the hospital in that 7 mo.).(I also hated after she died when people told me I was handling things well(a note to anyone who reads this! not a good thing to say to someone whose lost a baby).. people just want you to be handling things well.
    Yous husband is right.. it doesn’t feel like this happens to real people, like it’s somethign you see on TLC. Until it happens to your family you don’t realize how many people it effects. I know after our daughter died I got in this weird mind-set of thinking that everyone is kidding themselves that stuff like this doesn’t happen– everyone at some point in their life will go through some type of terrible heartbreak where they lose a loved one, IMO it’s especially hard if it’s a baby. Something I took away from my duaghter’s life is that this stuff does happen to nromal people and something almost as painful will one day happen again, but now I know, I guess I washappy I wasn’t igonorant anymore– sorry if that all seems weird, having trouble saying what is in my head.

    • fleckerbug says:

      part 2

      You said your husband said the nurses in the NICU were respectful– our experience was that the nurses and social workers were wonderful, it was the.I lay there trying to tell them to be quiet, but speech wasn’t quite working for me. I had an emergency c-section as well, at 26 weeks, and the surgical team were discussing their weekend vacation plans. The doctors at the hospital weren’t that personable, either. I lay there trying to tell them to be quiet, but speech wasn’t quite working for me. The OB also cut my baby and she had to go into surgery immediately after birth. Part of me still wonders if that didn’t make matters worse, since a baby has so little blood to begin with. I, too, was glad that my husband was able to go with her instead of her having to be all alone. When she died, at 7 mo. 2 days(Oct. 23, 2004), she died in my husband’s arms. I was holding her hand and giving her kisses. Her name is Brenna Rose. I love her more than anything.

      I am also sorry you had such a difficult birth experience. I wasn’t going quite as natural as you, but I had grand plans for water birth and was seeing midwives for my entire pregnancy. I went to the ER for back plain and was told I had sever pre-eclampsia and my baby was too small and my amniotic fluid was low. I had to be transfered to a level III hospital(both of us were close to death) which could handle both of us. I gave birth that morning. They were pretty on top of things when I got there, but I felt my concerns were much ignored through the pregnancy. Doctors should listen to women more– we know our bodies best. They should have listneend to you that you were contracting.

      I wish you and your family luck in healing. I understand that it’ll never be over, it just gets a little easier with time. Love each other and be honest with each other about how you’re feeling. Don’t let people try to stifle your emotions. Your son desrves to be loved and remembered.

      If you ever want to talk, I’m sure you have plenty of friends and such, but if you want the ear of someone else whose baby has died, drop me a line or add me as a friend.

      Meredith
      meow@ucdavis.edu

  • I was thinking the same thing you did- He doesn’t look like a preemie. He looked like a full-term baby, just small. What a wise little soul he is. I hope this is okay to say- I was thinking about this all day, and I just have a strong feeling he’ll come back to you.

    It would have been a nightmare if the pregnancy were medically monitored. Much more traumatizing- you would not have been able to enjoy the experience at all. You made the right decision.

  • rawness says:

    how could people be so goddamned cruel to you 🙁

  • moodymouth says:

    Hi there sweets. I believe you are a good friend of IRAngel aka Emily. I read her most recent entry and for whatever reason was prompted to come see what was going on. I saw your name mentioned and was on my way over here. I read your most recent entry and saw the beautiful pictures you posted. I too have been in a simular situation and wish I could be there or do something to ease the pain you are currently facing. Its something that you never get over and is the most painful thing anyone could ever experience. I wanted to share with you some poems that helped me in some way or another in hopes that it will do the same for you. I also wanted to lend you an ear a new friend to talk too anytime if you need anything.

    My Mom Is A Survivor
    My Mom is a survivor, or so I’ve heard it said.
    But I hear her crying at night when all others are in bed.
    I watch her lay awake at night and go to hold her hand.
    She doesn’t know I’m with her to help her understand.
    But like the sands on the beach that never wash away…
    I watch over my surviving mom, who thinks of me each day.
    She wears a smile for others…a smile of disguise.
    But through Heaven’s door I see tears flowing from her eyes.
    My mom tries to cope with death to keep my memory alive.
    But anyone who knows her knows it is her way to survive.
    As I watch over my surviving mom…through Heaven’s open door.
    I try to tell her that angels protect me forever more.
    But I know that doesn’t help her or ease the burden she bears.
    So if you get a chance, go visit her…And show her that you care.
    For no matter what she says…no matter what she feels.
    My surviving mom has a broken heart that time won’t ever heal!

    Untitled
    Sorry I didn’t get to stay.
    To laugh and run and play.
    To be there by your side.
    I’m sorry that I had to die.

    God sent me down to be with you,
    to make your loving heart anew.
    To help you look up and see
    Both God and little me.

    Mommy, I wish I could stay.
    Just like I heard you pray.
    But, all the angels did cry
    when they told little me goodbye.

    God didn’t take me cause He’s mad.
    He didn’t send me to make you sad.
    But to give us both a chance to be
    a love so precious .. don’t you see?

    Up here no trouble do I see
    and the pretty angels sing to me.
    The streets of gold is where I play
    you’ll come here too, mommy, someday.

    Until the day you join me here,
    I’ll love you mommy, dear.
    Each breeze you feel and see,
    brings love and a kiss from me.

    Hang in there and please if you need anything, I am around. I will be thinking of you and your family. We will keep you in our prayers every day.

  • javamaven1 says:

    I’m not on your friend’s list, but we happen to be in some of the same communities, and came across your entries today.

    I want to let you know just how heartbroken I am for you, but glad that you have peace in the decisions you made with your pregnancy, and that you had those moments with your son.

    My prayers are with you and your family.

  • aphephobia says:

    I’m so sorry you were treated with such indignity- particularly after Jericho died. I know I was raging about it before- but it just seems that much more worse and heartless after you’ve been through the physical, emotional and psychological trauma of a birth like that- and then losing him. There is absolutely no excuse for the way you were treated afterwards.

    I still cannot get over what the OBGYN said to Tempest. That’s absolutely horrible.

    As for people’s comments… who are they to tell you what you “should” have done? Your body, your pregnancy, and you know yourself best.

    (Ftr… I had the scans, and abnormalities were detected. It put undue stress on me and was one of the things which exacerbated the depression I had through my pregnancy- and I feel like I never bonded with my son while I was pregnant because of it. The whole experience has made me way more open to unassisted than I thought I ever would be. From the flipside… I can totally see where you’re coming from, and why.)

    *more hugs to all of you*

  • fade_away_me says:

    I’m so sorry that you and your family are going through this loss. I read and re-read your entries and just cry everytime. Its moments like this that make me very thankful for all that I have.

    I am so glad you got the 8 months that you did and the way you were connected with your son…its just amazing. Words can’t describe to closeness I feel when I read your story. Had you done all the tests and whatnot, you wouldn’t have been able to touch him or known he had those chubby little fingers.

    You are such a strong woman and I pray for peace for your family.
    God Bless you and yours. Jerricho will always be with you!

  • I’m so glad that you had those eight months with him, and I’m so sorry that he came into the world the way he did- for the pain in caused you, but I’m so happy that he was able to die peacefully in his father’s arms. I’m so happy that you and your husband were able to have that with your son.

    I can never begin to understand what the past week has been like for you, I don’t have much to compare it to, other than a miscarriage at sixteen weeks I had when I was fifteen- which devastated me…I can’t even imagine. I don’t think I want to.

    I used to say that when I finally get pregnant I would want one ultrasound, just to make sure everything is okay so that I would have the option to terminate. I will never, ever, ever say that again. I will never think it again. Ever. I know that completely.

    I’m so sorry the hospital staff was cold, I told my mother about you, I read this to her- she’s a nurse. My mother works in a nursing home, caring for terminally ill people- mostly hospice, I can’t tell you how many times she comes home upset because a nurse, or a doctor, or an aide made a situation worse for a patient. My mom cried for you and the coldness you recieved.

    My mother was thirty-five when she had me, her only child. I was born in 1984, and her doctor kept pushing her for an amnio and ultrasounds and tests, over and over again because she was “high risk” due to her age… she refused it all, and she told me that the entire time she refused her justification was that she wouldn’t terminate even if there had been something wrong, and she’d rather not know. The doctors thought she was crazy.

    She said she completely identified with how you feel about it because she would have done the same thing, and she was also glad that your son passed away peacefully and that his entire life was peaceful. She told me it was a miracle that he had life to begin with, as all children are- but especially him for making it into the world alive and (I hope) passing on his peace and his love to his father, who probably needed it.

    Bah, I’m not making sense anymore, it’s late and I’ve been up all night typing art history papers… but I knew I had to check back and see if you’ve updated… I don’t know why this has affected me so much, you’re a complete stranger to me, I don’t know your family…but I know deep down that something about reading this has changed me, and that I am grateful for. I’m grateful to know about your son, and I know that I’m not going to forget about him.

    Are there any non-profit organizations you particularly support?

    • admin says:

      Thank you so much for that… I don’t know what else to say.
      I feel badly I can’t respond to everyone, so I try to a few at a time.

      I can’t think very clearly, and nothing is coming to mind when I think of “non profit” organizations except obviously LLL.

  • I have infinite respect and warmth for you, all of you in your amazing family.

    Please know that I’m thinking of him and wishing him lots of love.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    You’ve helped me see things for a very different perspective, and for that, I thank you. Thank you for the opportunity that will impact my future.

    Just…love.

  • I’ve never been around women in my family while pregnant. I have two younger cousins, but they were both adopted and I never saw any of the pregnancy with their birth mothers.

    My friend just had a baby, and it was the first time in my life that I found out, and realized what women go through during birth. I was there in the hospital with her and her boyfriend for almost 48 hours while awaiting the birth of their son.

    While there I heard horror stories that the nurses and her family told. Right in front of her, while she was in labor.

    Having so recently witnessed a birth, it hit home really hard for me to hear of what a horrific experience you had. I’m so sorry that he died, but you write so beautifully about it… About having your 8 months with him…It’s just amazing.

    I’m near to sobbing right now as I write this… I just can’t find the words to express how sorry I am…

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • raisangrrl says:

    Heather,
    These past few days I’ve been trying to find the words to express the pain I feel for your family…
    You are a strong woman, and I admire you. Your intuitive nature has helped me to see that I too can hear what I and my family needs. I am so thankful to have known you these past few months, and see a glimpse of your beautiful life. Thank you so much for that.
    I have shed many tears for all of you, as we all have, and a candle is lit upon my desk, as a reminder of the beautiful life that has past, but will always be with us. Jericho is so beautiful. And I’m happy to know that you alone were his strength and his nurturing mama.
    Your will be in my thoughts and my heart. If you ever need to talk, please know I’m here for you.

    May no harm come to you.
    May you be at peace.
    May your eyes be deep like the sea, your heart be solid like the mountain and your mind be free like the sky…

  • gen_here says:

    So much of what I wanted to say has already been expressed by others. The anger at how you were treated, the relief (if that’s right) at Jericho being able to live those 8 months within you.

    But more, I wanted to thank you for sharing this experience with so many. I don’t think you’ll ever know just how many lives you have touched even before Jericho’s birth and death… but especially now. You could have chosen to grieve the loss of your son privately (which I’m sure you are as well), but you allowed so many who only know you through communities (like me) or through a friend of a friend to be with you and your family in your pain. You were one of the biggest motivators to me in my decision to have a natural birth with my son. Now through reading about your journey with Jericho, you have given me an insight into grieving the loss of an infant that I hope I’ll never need but feel a bit less afraid of should it happen.

    I pray that these coming days will be filled with more people to support you and less who second-guess and what-if you. I pray you continue to find more peace.

  • maylea_moon says:

    thank you so much for writing this, especially for keeping it public. it’s obvious that there are so many people around lj that truly love and care about you, even those of us that don’t know you in the world off the internet.

    i wish you all the peace in the world as you begin the healing process. you’re the best mother jericho could have ever asked for. i’m sure his spirit is so thankful to have been conceived in your body so that he could spend those wonderful 8 months cradled under your heart, and so that he could pass with love and peace.

  • pradagirl says:

    Your story brought me to tears.
    Thanks for sharing.
    You are such a courageous woman.

  • I’m so sorry for you loss.. you know you did the right thing and thats all that matters. He’s your son… you did what you felt was right in your heart..

  • tikizeekbaby says:

    I’m glad you did this the way you needed to, I recall your references frequently to not feeling “quite right” and even though you are so amazingly in tune, I kept telling myself that it was something else being communicated.

    This was the best way for you and your family… Jericho safe inside in communication with you, for whatever reason the path for his soul only having him here with you for a short period this time. I believe that souls sometimes get called back or need to move through to another plane unexpectedly. I think for whatever reason, at this time, Jericho was only able to stay long enough to come out, meet you and Curtis and then move on. I am so glad for you to have had the peaceful time with him, both inside and when it was time for his transition.

    I am sorry that your dealing with the medical community was so insensitive and cruel. I find it continually ironic that the people who work in healthCARE don’t seem to be able to get the human component of what they do. Also, their inability to deal with death, even though it is a natural part of life’s process is maddening.

    All that said, my positive energy goes out to you, my heart and thoughts are with you.

  • lozzy_pop says:

    There is so much I want to say, but right now the words just aren’t coming.
    I am so glad to see that you trust your instincts and yourself.
    It makes me wish that i’d known more when I lost my first daughter rather than finding and going the unssisted pregnancy route so much later.
    Jericho is beautiful.
    I’m sorry you had to experience this.

  • I keep remembering how I was reading your entries when you just found out that you were pregnant, when you dreamt Jericho’s name. It seems like only yesterday. *hugs* You are right– at least you had those beautiful 8 months with him. I’m so sorry, hon, I don’t really know what else to say. I feel for you, and my thoughts are with you. *hugs*

  • mamamagoo says:

    i’m crying

    i feel pain

    i am so sorry

    i admire your strength and courage, you have proven to be someone worth idolizing

    my thoughts are with you now

  • I just wanted to let you know that reading this has blessed me in ways i cannot even describe. I know it’s an odd thing to say at a time like this, but your strength and courage are such an inspiration. Stay strong, Momma. *many, many hugs*

  • In every instance you made the right decision. You did right by your son and your family.

    I feel joy for your beautiful Jericho. The photo of you on the bed holding him and reaching out to touch Tempest is the most beautiful photograph I’ve ever seen.

    Heather, I’m so sorry.

  • tau says:

    I heard about you through a common LJfriend.

    I lost a baby 6 weeks ago.

    We were planning a homebirth (would have been my 5th) but had an ultrasound to determine gender, and discovered a congenital heart defect. I delivered in a Chicago hospital, and Lydia lived for 8 days.

    My situation is a little more awkward because I’m a traditional surrogate, and I haven’t really figured out how to grieve this. I hope you won’t find it insensitive if I friend your journal. I think it will help me, to witness yours.

  • gngr says:

    Sometimes, it is better not to know, and to simply enjoy what is given. My candle is lit for Jericho. “City of the moon.” That fits, I think, so well and in many ways. 🙂 Sending such warmth, comfort, and love. Lots of it. Thank you for letting us know. I love you. 🙂

    • gngr says:

      Whenever you’re ready for some rather gothic music (harder than Evanescence but still very soft) featuring an opera singer, a full orchestra, and choral background in spots, download a group called Nightwish. It’s very melodic and peaceful, I just found them today and it fits this particular mood so well. *grins, hugs* IM me if you’d like what I’ve downloaded. Like I said, whenever you like. *soul snuggles*

  • erinmdmd says:

    Thank you for sharing this.

    I’ve been following your journal for months, enthralled by your choices and how peaceful you are with everything. You are amazing and inspirational. You’ve motivated me to reevaluate how I view and communicate with my body, and to endlessly question how I will handle my pregnancy.

    Thank you so much. I wish you, Curtis, and Tempest so much strength and love.

  • irangel says:

    I honestly don’t know what to say. Words always fail me when I want to say something the most. I don’t even truly know you yet I feel like you’ve been such an inspiration to me through the mutual communities we’re in.

    Jericho is so blessed to have been born into such a loving family. How wonderful that Curtis was there to hold him as he passed. The warmth he got to feel from his daddy’s arms, the comfort.

    You’ve been in my thoughts constantly since yesterday and I pray that you not only feel physical healing but that emotionally you’re able to find peace amidst the sorrow.

  • lunaobrien says:

    I wanted to say that I’m sorry, thank you for sharing your story. I don’t cry very often but I did today.

    I had an emergency (possibly unnecessary, totally unexpected, planned homebirth) c/s too, general anesthesia and woke up with no pain meds – they do that on purpose! They can’t give you anything until you are awake. I’m sure that is only a small part of the pain of everything you’ve been through though.

    Reading about your daughter broke my heart.
    Love to you and your family.

  • Your strength and love astounds me. My eyes are brimming with tears as I somehow try to convey to you how I feel at this moment.

    I just have no words. Your experience has touched my heart.

    My thoughts are with your family.

  • Good lord, that was just.. god. You are obviously such an incredibly strong woman, and I’m so sorry to hear how people treated you and what they forced you into, everything.

    I really don’t know what to say. I only know you from the five or six communities we’re both in, and I’ve always respected your opinions. But now? Now, I’m in awe.

    Let us know if we can help you, eh? ♥

  • i am also pro choice but part of being pro choice is respecting everyones decisions/choices. i think yours was the best for you. you seem much more at peace with the way things happened although another mother might not have been able to dealt with it as bravely as you did. my personal opinion was that you made the best decision and let your son have the best life he could. he was safe in your womb and you nurtured him and loved him the only way you knew how. i don’t see how anyone could find anything wrong with that. you’re a strong, brave woman.

    your story breaks my heart. i want to believe you are exaggerating the cruelty of the hospital staff because it seems so absurd that people who are in the postion they are in (“caring” for people) could be so cruel. how dare they.

    • manicmuffin says:

      I agree w/ this comment, 110%.

      Unfortuneatly, working in the healthcare profession, i’ve seen how nasty medical and nursing staff can be. It makes me sick to my stomach :/

    • She isn’t exaggerating….they aren’t ALL like that but some are….

      When my mom had her fourth child she told the nurse “The baby’s coming. I’m ready to push.” The nurse ignored her for three or four warnings and finally told her “Shut up, already. I just checked you and you’re a five. You aren’t having this baby for another couple hours.” My mom’s reply, “I’ve sort of done this before idiot. Get over here, check me if you HAVE to and call the doctor.” She was already crowning at that point so the nurse barely lifted the sheet up and called the doctor “Come now! Run!” and the doctor didn’t even get his gloves on before he was catching the baby at the very next contraction. Lie mid-air catching becuase the stupid nurse was still standing at the phone with her jaw dropped open like the idoit she truly was.

      Last hospital birth my mom had. *wry grin*

      • oh, i know she wasn’t exaggerating. i just want to believe that people couldn’t be so cruel. my mom also had a homebirth after 2 negative hospital experiences and i plan a homebirth with my next – i would have probably considered one with my first pregnancy but with twins and it being my first pregnancy i chose to have a hospital birth. i was lucky that my doctor was “willing” to deliver one of my twins breech and i wasn’t forced into a c-section. but the nurses, well, that’s another story.

  • mzvanessa says:

    Some part of me felt a little sense of relief: I knew he died peacefully, and I knew we’d been so lucky to have had this undisturbed pregnancy together.

    You’re stronger then i ever could have thought (and i always looked up to you in the breastfeeding comms.I’ve always seen you as strong)

    Even now,even though i know that your heart is breaking,you write this to share with us,and you don’t just write how horrible it is.You write about the specialness of jerhico,and your pregnancy. You give your story this amazing light.
    I have no words to explain to you how thankful i am to you for sharing this very intimate,private story with us.

    I’m in tears (again) not just because your story is sad,but because your story is so touching.

    My thoughts are with you, tempest, curtis and jerhico.
    He may have only been on this earth 15 mins,but he has touched so many of our hearts.

  • zeldazonk says:

    Thank you for having the strength to share this with us. I am sure I speak for everyone here when I say that we appreciate being able to know this part of your life; how sacred and personal and beautiful it is.

    You have taught me so much. We are all sending you our love and strength.

  • tattooedmama says:

    I know you dont know me. I’m a friend of loz’s.

    I know saying i’m so sorry will sound hollow and trite, but I am.

    I too am prochoice and I fully agree with you that had I found out a child i was carrying would not live long past birth, I would choose to carry to term. He had 34 weeks of feeling the gentle sway as you walked, feeling your love and the warm of you, learning comfort from the sound of your voice and the sound of his fathers voice, so he would not be alone when he passed away. He was in familar company with a comforting voice. I cannot think of a more peaceful way to come into and leave the world.

    I wish there was something I could say or do, but I know there isnt. You seem like such a beautiful person and I only wish I had found you under happier circumstances.
    All my love to you.

  • lilith_storm says:

    With every day you show what a strong and amazing woman you are. I can’t even begin to imagine what you are feeling, what your family is feeling. (((HUGS)))

  • Jericho was definitely meant to be your son. And I’m so so so so glad you followed your instincts and went with an unassisted pregnancy. Your family is so lucky you have you as a leader. Your strength and spirit transcend devastation, and you pass on your light to every person you touch. Jericho is like you in that way… his life, though short, touched so many people. So many have read your journal and told their families and friends about you and your special boy. Those who have commented represent only the tiniest portion of people touched by Jericho’s life and spirit.

  • witchbaby33 says:

    it sounds like he had such a beautiful few minutes of life, just as beautiful a time as he had inside you.
    thank you for sharing him with us these past few months. i feel so honored to have known him the way i got to through your journal.
    peace to you and your beautiful angel boy, mama.

  • You have touched my heart and life in so many ways I can’t begin to express, and I don’t even know you beyond mutual communities and browsing. The image of Tempest crying for her brother has me overwhelmed with grief and love for your family.

    Thank you for being such an inspiration to everyone you’ve come in contact with. All of my love and thoughts are with you and your family this weekend.

  • altarflame says:

    The door opened and a tiny warmer was rolled in.
    I saw a blue cap and a blanket. In my mind I kept repeating: Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god…

    This immediately made me mentally remember when they wheeled Isaac’s warmer into my room…I had not yet touched him, though he was several hours old, and wouldn’t get to. They were whisking him off to a childrens’ hospital and I would just get to see him through the glass for a couple of seconds before he was transported…I was afraid of it all. Afraid of how much I loved him and how unavailable he was, and whether he would live, and…

    Emotionally, it made me remember sitting in the shower when my own dead baby was suddenly there. Leaping out in horror I’m now ashamed of, because I was just in no way prepared to deal with that, to face it up close…

    I am right there with you.

    Grant read this with me, and having very recently spent time with a newborn of ours in a nursery while I was in recovery, he was in tears thinking of what Curtis went through.

    I have a million other thoughts that all add up to a feeling of unbearable heaviness, shot through with a thin beam of peace that, hopefully, will light up everything eventually.

    .

    • admin says:

      I feel a lot of kinship with you, especially now. As I wrote this part I thought of your story, and I was hoping you’d be one of the first to read.

      • altarflame says:

        Another thing – with Aaron, I had general anesthesia due to low platelets. As soon as I was conscious, I requested that they not give me any more drugs. They looked at me like I was crazy, told me they weren’t giving out “hero awards”, etc etc. But Ananda had had night terrors and possibly nightmares, and I had had nightmares and even hallucinations, from morphine and percoset after I had her. I didn’t want anything else like that with my next baby.

        Well, as soon as the morphine wore off it got hard. Especially when I was nursing him, it was like agony (the afterpains in my stitched up uterus). I was crying, tense and terrified everytime he got hungry, and my body ended up splinting from the pain. At that point I couldn’t speak, couldn’t MOVE, and a nurse came in and jabbed me in the hip with some kind of intramuscular narcotic. I can’t imagine waking up with nothing, fresh from surgery. Oy.

  • kwanboa says:

    Regardless of the fact you are okay with their opinion, whoever “dropped by” with such a thing is rude. This is not the time.

    I’ll be honest…I hope you do get pregnant again, and I hope this time you’ll be allowed to have it the way you want. You were treated horrendously at the hospital…I absolutely cannot believe what you were put through. But you appear to be a wonderful person (this is also backed up by like a third of my f-list) and you will get through this and you will be even more wonderful on the other side. Just the fact that you’re able to share this with people speaks volumes…you’re a special woman.

    Also…you’re in several people’s thoughts who have not commented to you. They just don’t know what to say…but they’re thinking of you. We all are.

  • in the few days since i discovered i was pregnant i’ve been filled with so many doubts and worries. i’ve become so unsure of myself and my own judgement.
    reading your words has helped me to understand something very important: if and when there are major decisions to be made, i will know what needs to be done.
    thank you for being unafraid. thank you for showing us all that there is a strength and knowledge within us.
    i will never forget your story.

  • Your words make me feel like I was there in the hospital next to you. He is a beautiful boy, Babs. I hope my words are somewhat legible because your words ended up making me sob. It’s as though your words are like Tita’s cooking in Like Water for Chocolate because everytime I read you, I could literally feel your words and can describe them because they almost materialize around me like a separate environment.

    Honestly, I agree with you that your decisions throughout your pregnancy were the best. Your heart was covered in gold and silk for this child and he knew it. I think that if you opted to abort, you would have been in worse pain because you wouldn’t have gotten to know Jericho. Your choice also gave your husband a chance to feel him and love him in a short time as you have for the months you two were connected.

    You have inspired me so much, Babs. You’ve not only opened my heart once again to the possibility of having a child (to the point where I want one so bad, it aches) but you’ve also reminded me that while change is good, things like pregnancy and birth are best kept sacred as they were years ago. To me, breast feeding, attachment parenting, co sleeping, home birthing, natural pregnancies were the norm and your situation cemented it for me that it should be that way.

  • lotusmama says:

    Thank-you for sharing Jericho with us. Sharing your pregnancy and his birth, and his life with us.

  • i was readng through your pregnancy in your journal today. beginning with the entry when you announced your pregnancy, i feel he was meant to be your baby, and i’m happy he is yours. reading through your pregnancy was bittersweet and moving, especially in that you were so right on with your premonitions. i’m glad you didn’t have an abortion. i am filled with pride for you, for doing everything right to bond with this boy during your pregnancy.

    what the ob said to tempest filled me with rage.

    • I was mad at what the OB said to Tempest as well. He had no right. Tempest already knew and he underestimated her.

    • I agree. What a shitty thing to do to a child.

    • I also can’t believe what the OB said to Tempest. My grandfather died a week before Christmas, I was three years old. At the hospital the doctor said to me, “Santa Claus came to take Grandpa up to heaven”. Santa Claus. To a three year old. I hated Christmas after that, when my mother tried to cheer me up and tell me that “Santa is coming soon!” I’d cry because I thought she would die next. Doctors should stay way out of that sphere.

      Of course Tempest understood what was going on… the cat. Moe? Wasn’t that fairly recent? (I swear Babs, I’m not stalking you- I read your back entries this morning). She knew when he passed away, she knew when her brother passed away. The child needed a smile, or a pat on the head, not to be lied to. That makes me mad too.

    • I wept for what he said to Tempest. Bad enough the incredible loss she was dealing with…then to LIE and BELITTLE her pain….GGRRRRR! What a patronizing _________!

  • lalicopa says:

    God Heather, I cannot fathom the strength you have to put this all into such eloquent words so shortly after it happened.

    It seems you are already finding peace in the confidence that you did what you wanted and how you wanted for the months leading up to Jericho’s birth.

    I already had respect for you, but it has increased exponentially in reading your words the last couple of days. While I am not of the same belief system, I certainly honor your choice.

    You’ve been in my thoughts and prayers for these days. I hope your strength and love will help you get through this most difficult time.

    With love and peace,

    Jen

  • sisterselu says:

    I am thinking of you, I am so sorry.

  • tahoebean says:

    “Going unassisted allowed me to have a beautiful, joyous and amazing eight months with my son.”

    I’m so glad you followed your instincts, your heart – and you had the time you did with him. He was loved, and there was never any fear. You did everything right.

    You’re a strong woman, Heather – and I admire your courage, your spirit, and your strength.

    *hug*

  • I have no words except “Thank you.”

  • unconformed says:

    Oh god, Heather… I have been grieving for your family these past 2 days and I just don’t know what to say. I don’t even know you and yet I feel like someone very close to me has lost their baby. I am struck by your pregnancy dreams, which I’ve been reading about these 8 months, and how you were so well prepared for this, more than most of us who don’t have that sort of communication with our unborn children could possibly be… of course no one can ever be prepared to lose a child, I’m not trying to say that… but I just think it’s so amazing that you knew so much, even down to what little Jericho would look like…
    I hope you are able to sleep again tonight, and that your sweet nursling Tempest will help to comfort you.

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