Jericho’s Birth, Part Three.

I’m not sure if this is part three or an epilogue, as it’s technically not part of the birth story. Still part of the initial experience, nonetheless.


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

[ Part One ]

[ Part Two ]

[ Part Three ] is below.


The following morning I awoke to someone bringing in a tray of breakfast: unflavoured and unsweetened malt o’ meal and a cup of hot water with no tea bag. I was supposedly on a liquids-only diet.
A few minutes later a nurse brought me a strong pain killer, it was the first I’d received by mouth. I asked when I could have my catheter and pitocin removed, and was told that it could be as early as later that day. I was afraid to get up and use the bathroom on my own because of the pain, and did not really want the catheter out. A nurse told me about the risk of infection from leaving it in too long, so I changed my mind to having it removed right away. The last thing I wanted was a bladder infection on top of everything else, and I didn’t care if the risk was exaggerated or not.
Two elderly nurses came in to take my vitals. It was not a job for two people — they came in together to keep me company. They were kind, and gentle. They were the first of the staff to touch me like a mother would, and through the haze of the drugs I ached for it. I wanted to fall into the arms of perfect strangers, be cradled like an infant to someone’s chest and hear the heartbeat of another human being. They were kind enough not to ask how I was feeling.

This was the day no one tells you about. The TV movies always skip over it; the sad mother loses her child and suddenly it is six months later and everyone has recovered as much as can be expected. No one films women sitting alone for hours in a hospital bed with empty arms and numb mind, listening to the cries of other newborns being wheeled past their room.
I spent a lot of time staring at the window at the fog. My mind was blank. I fell in and out of restless sleep. I didn’t feel anything, but imagined I should have. I didn’t cry.

I kept waking to the feeling of a baby moving within me. I’d touch my stomach and be convinced I’d felt a roll. They made a mistake: he was still alive inside me and it was someone else who delivered that baby last night. Maybe they did the surgery but forgot to take him out, or left him in on purpose when they realized he was just fine.
Even though I knew they weren’t true, I entertained the thoughts for as long as my state would allow.

I called for a nurse sometime around 11am and asked to be brought to a phone so I could call Amber. They wheeled me out into the nurse’s station to use the free phone in the back. I could hear a few women rustling behind me as I cried. They were eavesdropping, pretending to shuffle papers. When I turned around they scattered and I saw their tears — I didn’t mind their presence.
As one wheeled me back she asked if I’d received any of the grief literature yet. When I said no, she told me it would be delivered as soon as possible. I’d also been told a pastor would be stopping by. I felt a little angered at the idea that some religious figure for a God I don’t believe in would dare to come into my room and preach to me about the pearly gates and the Lord’s hands at a time like this. I imagined someone in long robes walking in with a leather-bound bible and all the dignity of a televangelist, reciting some service about my son walking with Jesus and enjoying the fruits of Heaven.
I am a Pagan woman: I believe in reincarnation and in Gaia’s womb and these thoughts bring me peace. I did not want to be told what I should be believing in right now.

I prepared to be indignant, and tell her to leave.
She was a slight, older woman dressed in plain clothes with a warming smile. She carried no bible, or pamphlets, nor did she even wear a cross around her neck.

She sat at the end of my bed and I fell into conversation as though she was an old friend. She asked me how I was feeling, and I said I didn’t know. She wanted to know about my pregnancy, as she’d heard I’d gone unassisted from another nurse. She did not ask why, but allowed me to say without prompting.
When I finished, she started to cry. She got up and came close to me, wrapped her arms around my shoulders and sobbed.
“You gave him the most beautiful gift of life, and love, and peace,” she whispered. “I’m so overjoyed that you made that choice. I understand it, and it was wonderful. Thank you.
And I cried, too.

Every nurse that came to tend to me after her was just as wonderful. Some asked me directly about why I went unassisted, some had been told by Elizabeth and came by to comment — all of them had the same response. It was a gift to be told by over a dozen medical staff that unassisted was a beautiful choice, and they supported it after coming to understand what it was about. The word “unassisted” conjures up images of teenagers who give birth in prom night bathrooms, going into shock and leaving their babies to die. Accidents and ignorance; people shake their heads and wonder, “If only….”
Few understand the philosophy until they ask, honestly curious, and hear someone explain that it is not so much action as it is a mindset; a belief and trust for things beyond what is culturally normal.
I was grateful to answer questions and address the curious faces of young Rn’s who knew nothing else, and old women who had birthed their own babies at home. Over the next few days, I saw many.
As my friend said sometime later, it is the nurses who make the hospital: underpaid and overworked, but they are the heart. The doctors receive all the credit for recovery, but really they have nothing to do with it. It is who tends to your wounds, emotional and physical, who is responsible for how you view the scars the rest of your life.

The OBGYN came in to visit me next. I tensed when he entered the room.
He said, “If I’d known your baby was going to die anyway, I would have considered allowing you a vaginal birth.” I had prepared for those kinds of statements from him, so it did not hurt me.
He started a lecture about prenatal care, but offered only an abortion as my option had I received a scan that detected the defects earlier in my pregnancy. Half of the babies with lungs and heart like Jericho’s are stillborn, and the rest die within minutes to hours. He honestly did not understand why it was preferable to me to have not known, even after I told him I would not have wanted to terminate. His coldness was sobering by comparison to the loving embrace I had received not twenty minutes before from Elizabeth.
His words were underlined by the message: I might have made a mistake by giving you a c-section, but it’s your fault, so it’s okay.
He reiterated that breech babies are not birthed vaginally “in hospitals), explaining that regardless of outcome I would likely have been sectioned. I knew that, and I knew it when I walked into the hospital. I was pulled here for a reason, and respected that instinct. I had mentally prepared for the treatment I would receive for the choice of walking through the emergency room doors.
“I assume you want to get pregnant again right away–” he started.
I interrupted him: “No.”
He looked surprised. “No? Well then you should talk about birth control with your doctor as soon as possible.” He reminded me I could resume lovemaking two weeks or less after my section. With the pain I was in I could not imagine finding the strength or desire to seduce someone.

He attempted to shake my hand before he left, and then complimented my daughter.
“She was very sweet, very cute with him.”
It seemed like such a bizarre thing to say so casually. His tone and demeanor never changed between explaining the option of abortion, to his righteous rant about c-sections, to his observations of my daughter’s tears over Jericho as he passed.

I was relieved when he left. I felt I should spit where he’d sat.
While apparently the most talented c-section surgeon in the province, his bedside manner was clearly lacking.

After lunch was brought to me “a half cup of tasteless vegetable broth and more hot water) I asked to be wheeled out to the phone again to call Curtis. I wanted him to bring in my crochet so I had something to do when not sleeping off the medication.
As I exited my room I saw them all coming down the hall toward me: my mother, my father, Curtis, Tempest and LC. They were like a band of heroes come to rescue me from the quiet in my room.

My father held me a long time. His hands spoke so much more than his words ever could have.
“I told you this family could make boys,” I whispered. I think he may have smiled.
My mother was crying, she had only just been told. When she came to pick up Curtis that morning for school at 6am he did not tell her about what had happened, and only said I was still in the hospital. He couldn’t tell her then. He’d only been home a few hours, and slept even less.

When my father asked if I needed anything, I requested a decaf coffee. I’d cleared it with the nurses first. My father ran out, and came back with a mocha frappuccino.
“I told them it was for my daughter in the hospital, and they had to add extra love. They gave it to me on the house.”
That was sweet of them. Unfortunately, I think some of the ‘extra love’ was about fifteen pumps of chocolate. I drank it anyway, not only because I was desperate for some other taste than malt o’ meal and vegetable broth, but because I so appreciated the gesture.

I don’t remember what we talked about. I wanted the company, but at the same time felt emotionally and physically exhausted and was not able to stay conscious for that long. I think they stayed 1-2 hours before I started falling asleep.
Curtis went back home and got my crochet, Tempest nursed some and I was assured that she was doing okay at home without me.

After another dinner of vegetable broth, I asked for a sleeping pill to be given to me that night so I wouldn’t have to wake up every hour to the colicky baby next door.
My breasts began to swell that eve, and when I requested the use of the hospital pump the nurses at the station thought I was crazy for encouraging my milk to come in. I explained I had a daughter at home who was still nursing.
“Isn’t she 27 months?”
“Yes.”
They made astonished faces. One began to talk to me about how I could dry up, but I cut her off and said I was a breastfeeding counselor. While it was slight exaggeration as I am not quite certified after the last year and a half of training, it was also the easiest way to heed any ‘advice’ about weaning.
I walked back to my room through halls plastered floor to ceiling in pro-breastfeeding literature, pamphlets, posters and books and thought about how ironic it all was. Even the most breastfeeding friendly hospitals are only supportive to a point.

I managed to express about an ounce of colostrum before taking another nap. Curtis was coming back at 10pm to help me take a shower. I was permitted to bathe only 24 hours after a section, and I felt filthy.

I waited anxiously for him to arrive.
He helped me take off my gown and led me into the shower. I was afraid to look down and see my incision. I imagined a gaping, bruised and bleeding, repulsive tear across my stomach — one that accurately portrayed how it felt for it to be there. I asked Curtis to look at it and tell me if it was bad.
“It isn’t,” he said. “It just looks like pinched skin, that’s all.” I didn’t believe him; I thought he was sparing my feelings.

The little shower room quickly filled with steam. I leaned against one wall and Curtis washed my back.
“I’m so glad he died in your arms,” I whispered quietly. I looked up at Curtis, he reached out for me and we cried together.

The next day was easier physically. I had my IVs and catheter out, I started moving around and walking the distance between my bed and the food room where I would regularly refill my water jug. I must have gone through 4-5 of them a day.
I was allowed some solid food and ate a muffin early in the morning to wash away the taste of the malt o’meal I had for breakfast again.

At one point, I awoke from a nap to see my father sitting in a chair next to my bed. I told him he startled me, and he apologized for appearing so suddenly.
He passed me a National Geographic magazine, “In case you wanted something to read”, and a National Geographic 100 of the Best Pictures, “In case you wanted something to look at”.

We talked for hours, waxed philosophical about random subjects. I was somewhat surprised at my level of clarity despite the dose of drugs I had received. Somehow he always brings that out in me.
He hugged me tightly before he left, and didn’t let go. He said he couldn’t come back until the 9th and would visit me then. I was so grateful for his presence. There is something very different about the time my father and I spend together. I hear more than just his words; we have a dozen conversations in body language, in tone, in debate and just in smiles. For every different subject we talked about he helped me grieve.

When my mother, Curtis, Tempest and LC arrived for an afternoon visit, I got a Quiznos sub for lunch. I was going to be given my first solid food lunch, and was a little afraid of it.
Hospital lunch came part-way through the visit, and was some sort of “vegetarian falafel”. Tempest wanted a bite, but when I gave her one her whole body shuddered from head to toe and she spat it back out. I laughed, even though it hurt.
I showed Curtis how close I was to finishing Jericho’s blue-eared bunny hat that I’d started working on when LC first arrived. I wanted to put it in his memory box. At first I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with it. I wanted to finish it, but every time I looked over at it next to me in the hospital bed I felt lost. This half-finished crochet project represented my feelings toward everything I had at home for Jericho. Just a week before I’d carefully set up all my newborn cloth diapers, folded clothes that a friend had given me, took out a winter suit and fuzzy hat I’d bought in preparation for his birth in the midst of a cold winter and held them against my shoulder as though I was cradling a baby inside. I’d imagined my nose to his soft, tiny head to drink in the beautiful scent of a brand new baby.

I finished the hat that night, folded it and put it inside the blue memory box that a nurse had dropped off to hold his things.

On my last day I woke up lying in a pool of milk. It was everywhere. My gown was soaked through and there was milk dripping off my wet blankets onto the floor. I rolled out of bed, walked to the mirror and removed my gown. My breasts were so swollen that I could see the light’s reflection in my stretched skin. It was a little terrifying. My breasts had never become that engorged after I had Tempest. It redefined the word for me.
I didn’t make it to the pump before a nurse came in to check my vitals. I sat on the edge of the bed for blood pressure, temperature and some conversation. She told me someone would come in shortly to remove my staples. I asked if it would hurt, but she assured me it wouldn’t.

Another nurse came in just after she left and delivered Jericho’s blanket and gown. I’d been asking for them two days and was so relieved to receive them before I left the hospital. She was a very young, redheaded woman with a nose stud and her hair tied in a ponytail. She was bubbly and bright when she entered.
She stood on the opposite side of the room, against the wall. “How are you doing?” she asked.
I joked about my full my breasts were, she laughed and pointed to my soaking gown. “I noticed.”
There was a long pause. She came a step closer. “How is your daughter? She’s so cute, I saw her earlier.”
“She’s good, she’s doing okay without me there I think — but I want to go home.”
“I can imagine.”
Another pause.
“And how are you doing about your baby that,” she stopped, looking for words, “isn’t here.”
I began to tell her, I’m fine out of habit, but broke down.
She sat on the edge of my bed and held my hand. She asked me what he looked like, and if I had pictures. I pointed to my camera and she passed it to me to turn on. As we scrolled through the photos in the LCD display she asked if his name meant something to me, and I told her about my dreams. She started to cry, and then sob. She leaned a head on my shoulder, and put an arm around the other. I wept, and my milk flowed as though my body was crying.
We stayed there until she was paged back to the desk, weeping and looking at his photos.

She came out to smile at me when I left the hospital some hours later, too.

I finally got some time alone to pump. At first I could get nothing out. I tried all the tricks I could remember to stimulate a letdown: massage, stroking, gravity, thinking about Tempest nursing and remembering what letdowns felt like. Nothing was working. My mind wandered, and I thought about holding Jericho in my arms on the first night. My eyes welled with tears and my milk flowed.
I expressed four full bottles worth, and my breasts were still rock hard when I stopped. It was not that I wanted to stop, but because nothing more would come out. I have never responded to pumps well, and have never been able to drain my breasts from that alone.

Another nurse came in to remove my staples. It wasn’t painful.
My mother showed up 20 minutes later to take me home. I didn’t know what to say to her. I started idle chatter, but she ran in to hug me tightly and I stopped talking.
In the car, I told her how confused I felt about what I was supposed to say to people. I felt overwhelmed with the task of telling others. All those people that I only see or speak to once every few months who still think I’m pregnant. What am I supposed to do? Send them a card? Send out a mass email? It’s tacky. I realized how stupid a thing that is to be concerned about, but I honestly had no idea what to do. I felt helpless. I can’t just wait until they all contact me. The phone calls will start pouring in by the end of December and I don’t want to have to tell 50 people the same thing over and over. This is the kind of news you wish you could just tell one or two people and then allow to spread on its own so you never have to say the words again.
My mother sympathized: when her first husband died she thought the same things.

We stopped at the health center so I could make an appointment with a doctor to do a follow-up in a week. I walked into the tiny waiting room and stood in front of the window.
“Hi there,” greeted the cheerful admin.
I spoke quietly, and leaned in close. In these tiny waiting rooms you can feel the breeze from all the people leaning in to see if they can hear what it is you’re saying when you make your appointment. I’m just as guilty of this inappropriate curiosity.

“And what is this regarding?”
“I had a c-section.”
“Okay, let me print out your reminder card.” The computer beeped, she wrote in the time on the paper, and then she paused just before my fingers touched the slip. “And will baby be coming, too?”
I felt as though I’d have a panic attack. I waited a long time before answering: “There is no baby.”
She froze. We looked at each other, and her eyes showed so much pain. I wanted to grab the note from her fingers and run, but couldn’t pull away from her stare. I could see in her everything I wasn’t feeling. It was terrifying.
Her eyes glistened. I barely heard her whisper, “I’m sorry”. She still wouldn’t look away.
I mustered the strength to grasp the paper and then disappeared out the door. I walked into the pharmacy around the corner and put my prescription slip on the counter. I felt so trapped.
I leaned against the back wall, behind the line of others before me, and listened to my pulse drumming in my ears. My mother wrapped her arms around me, she held me and we cried.

My brother had called every single day since he heard. I talked to him briefly on my mother’s cell in the hospital.
Curtis had not called his parents. I made him call his mother that night. He waited until she had to leave for work in 20 minutes, and then called. That way, he said, she’d have to go.
The next morning the phone started ringing at 6:50am and didn’t stop until 9:30. It was Curtis’ father. LC finally told him that Curtis would call him back when he woke up. We ate breakfast first. T stopped by to see me, and while she and I talked Curtis disappeared into the back with the phone.

His father is one of the most emotionally constipated men on the face of the planet. Curtis wasn’t sure if the phone call would be one long, awkward silence or not.
He told me later what his father said. “I never thought I could be so emotional over someone I’d never met.”. Before he hung up, he told him, “Don’t bottle it up. Cry.”

I took the photos off my camera when I came home and wrote the entry. After, I got off the computer and took a long shower with Tempest. We sat on the floor of the tub playing with the spray of water. She laughed and squealed and I loved hearing her.
When I got out and got dressed I opened my inbox. It had been 30 minutes. It received 158 messages and then crashed.

In the 3.5 hours after I’d posted I’d had 392 thoughts in the form of notes, comments, emails, replies, private messages and phone calls. That number doubled in the next six hours. I kept waiting for one of them to be the ‘right’ one, the one that makes everything okay. Maybe someone else would know just the perfect words to either send me hurling into reality so I could begin mourning, or to just make it all better and I’d feel as though nothing had happened. I didn’t shed a tear for any note, phone call, email or comment — I felt detached as I read them, and sometimes wondered why they kept coming. I read and re-read my own entry a dozen times, each time I read it I felt a little shocked: did that really just happen? I keep looking at the photo of Curtis holding him and wonder how it has been photoshopped. It doesn’t seem at all real.

I listened to my music loud today. Songs came on that suddenly meant something more.

Here I go again
Slipping further away
Letting go again
Of what keeps me in place
I like it here
But it scares me to death
There is nothing here

I broke down sobbing, and wept so hard my back began to spasm. I felt horror, and pain, and unbearable loneliness, and everything all at once. I felt like I was falling. I hadn’t taken any painkillers so far that day. I reached for my bottle of pills and tapped it to get two out. The entire bottle poured into my hands and I stared for so long at all the white pills sitting in my palm, crying until I could barely see.
I felt someone touch my arm. Tempest was standing next to me. “Sad,” she said quietly. She stroked my hands, still cradling all the pills. I put them away.

It hits me only in brief moments where I break and fall to the floor with all the pain and grief pushing my body down. I can’t breathe, I can’t think, and I can’t speak for crying. I want so desperately to be left alone, and be inundated with menial tasks to occupy myself, and yet I’m afraid to face a morning waking up with nothing to do but go on with my daily chores as if nothing had changed.

LC went home on the plane only two hours ago and Amber is arriving in four hours. Curtis may be home in as little as two hours, but the time between all of that is stretching out forever.
He went back to school because he couldn’t stand to sit around at home and think about it. I understand it deeply, and wish I could do the same. Being a stay at home mother is a busy job, but not busy enough right now.

Comments

comments

171 Comments

  • Amy says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m also so sorry you had such a horrible experience with the doctors and the nurses. All hospitals are not like that at all. I had a c-section, then a VBAC, then a c-section. All of the OB’s in my medical group are great and the nurses at the hospital were all wonderful.

    Thank you for posting all of this about your experience.

  • Rachel says:

    I want to thank you for posting this and sharing your story. I have been reading your blog since you were pregnant with Jericho and each time his story brings me to tears. I am not yet a mother, but your story and all of your births has instilled in me the idea that I want so badly to do it naturally. From you I have learned that birth is not a medical condition, pregnancy is not an illness, and hospitals do not give women fair or respectful choices in birth. i work at a hospital and see so many mothers coming in for their voluntary or “necessary” c-sections and it maks me so sad and frustrated to see it.

    Thankyou again for sharing your beautiful story and know that we are all thinking of Jericho with you.

  • ixdarexyou says:

    seven years ago, when I was a very young girl and pregnant with my first, I was inspired by you in several of the pregnancy communities and read your journal for several years afterward. I’m 20 weeks with my second, a boy, and I think of you and jericho often. I find myself constantly wrapped up in fear about my pregnancy; reading too much information on the internet about what such and such could mean and be. bleeding in my first trimester sparked my fear of losing this child and it hasn’t gone away. something inspired me to come back and read your story and thank you so very much for sharing it. I find myself buying into the medical operation of all of this – if I can run this test or have this ultrasound, I can control the outcome. your story is a beautiful reminder to me to stop and love the days I have with this baby. the only thing I can control about this pregnancy and child’s life is the very love I give him every day.

    • admin says:

      I’m glad his story has helped you find a little bit of peace.

      It’s really hard, particularly as a first time mother (or someone who has experienced a loss), to not get wrapped up in the fear that something will go horribly wrong and become lost in it. After Jericho, the only way I could control that was to repeat a mantra about how I could not control the outcome of my child’s genetics, I can only attempt control how peaceful I make my pregnancy for us. Sometimes it helped a lot just to say it out loud. I did a lot of guided meditation wherein I envision reaching hands into my body to cradle and hold my baby, taking time out of every day to ‘mentally’ hold them and tell them I love and appreciate and cherish them no matter who they are. That helped too, and it kept a lot of that anxiety at bay to redirect the time I’d spend fretting into time I’d spend loving.

      Love and light for the remainder of your pregnancy, and I wish for a happy birth for you. 🙂

      • ixdarexyou says:

        ah, thank you so much.

        I feel like lots of meditation and journaling is what I need to do right now. your story is also really helping me confront my fears surrounding a vbac. I want one SO badly but alas…I am scared. I know I will regret have another c-section, I know the kind of birth I want. sometimes I wish I’d never stepped foot in the world of western medicine, because there is a part of me that has totally bought into the fear-driven nature of it all. but, the beautiful birth stories of your two children after jericho have brought me a better perspective, so thank you for sharing those as well 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    You put my heart into words about “special UPs”

    I’m very sad for your traumatic birth of Jericho. I’m very grateful that you shared the experience in it’s fullest. If there’s one main theme to focus on for ALL, esp women, is that the medical community really should trust the INTUITION of their clients/patients.

    I have had 7 babies: 1 freestanding birth center, 1 midwife homebirth, 4 unassisted prenatals, 2 unassisted births, 2 inspired hospital births and 1 SPALS at a free standing birth center. I made the decision to NOT do ultrasounds from baby #1 unless I was strongly inspired to do so. This decision allowed me to experience a good “ignorant” pregnancy with baby #6 (in 2009) who only lived for about 52hrs, with the first 16hrs of bonding with abnormalities that were mostly dismissed as nothing to be concerned about. Regardless of any religious beliefs/background, I strongly believe there is a predetermined promise and purpose to the choices we make and esp when related to going against the grain of societal norms. I do not believe anything is random. I’ve grown so much spiritually in the last 2yrs than I could have imagined possible, since my sweet angel Inara joined and quickly transcended mortality to fulfill her eternal purpose in our family. My heart is more full of JOY in the last month than I’ve felt in many years and Inara has a huge angelic role in that transformation.

    My heart goes out to you. As I have not read more of your blog than the 3 part story, I hope you have been able to connect with angelic Jericho over the years to feel the peace of his sublime role in your family.

    • admin says:

      Re: You put my heart into words about “special UPs”

      Thank you for sharing your story.

      Six years have passed since Jericho’s death and I’ve done a lot of growing since then… I also had two more children. He has changed a lot in my life, and the impact he made when he landed, however brief his stay, was life-changing.

  • Anonymous says:

    I want to start by saying that you are an amazing writer. I felt every emotion as you felt it and I truly felt like I was living your story.
    I cried throughout the whole thing and wish so much that I could just give you a hug that I feel you need. I am not a mother yet… but I know that by reading your story, I will be a stronger mother and person now as I know you are after all of this.

    I have never had any heroes before, but you are my hero now.

  • Anonymous says:

    Bend little willow

    Bend little willow by Paul Mc Cartney . I dedicate it to you. It helped me through many a rouh night when I lost my little love. I hope it will help you heal as well.

  • Anonymous says:

    This really hit home for me.

    I recently took on a client as a doula who was planning an unassisted pregnancy and birth with her 7th child. I helped her plan and go over every possible scenario. We prayed together. We listened to the baby’s heartbeat together and I teased her about it being a little girl after her 6 boys. The night that she went into labor she couldn’t reach me. For some reason my cellphone ringer was off even though I checked it twice before going to bed. I woke up to find messages on my cellphone first saying she was in labor, then she was in transition and finally that the baby had been born. All this between 2am and 6am. I was so upset I’d missed the birth and immediately called to see what I could do only to get her son saying they were at the hospital and something was wrong with the baby. Her baby had been born with severe, unpreventable birth defects concerning her organs. She, like you, knew had she gotten an ultrasound she would have been told to abort. She was so happy with her choice. If she hadn’t aborted but instead delivered at the hospital her baby would have been whisked away and they never would have had any time with her. She had a baby girl. Instead, they spent one amazing hour with their baby girl who was born into her father’s arms and never knew anything but the love and comfort of her parents and brothers who also would not have seen her alive if she hadn’t been born at home. It was such a hard thing to process for me and 1000 times more for the parents and siblings, but their choice for an unassisted birth and their faith in their God and themselves allowed them the most precious moment with a life that was far too short. Reading your story has really reaffirmed for me that her birth experience was amazing and beautiful and allowed them moments with their only daughter that would not have been otherwise. My heart aches for you just as it does for my clients still. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh my Gosh, I just sat and read all of this. I am so glad that you feel no guilt for going unassisted and that you didn’t loose yourself in the “what if’s”. I am so sorry for the loss of your baby boy.

  • I just wanted to comment here as I followed a link from the pregnancy community to your journal. I’m pregnant for the first time (26 weeks) and I guess my biggest fear right now is what you went through here.

    I found your story immensely moving to say the least and I just want to say you’ve completely changed my mind on your choice not to have scans. I know I would have chosen an abortion if I had known that my baby had serious defects, and after reading this I don’t think I would want to do that now. Instead of the clinical death of an abortion you gave your son and your family a gift, a gift of being able to be with him, see him and hold him and make his last moments with his father gentle and caring. He would not have had that with an abortion. In a million years I never would have thought of it that way had I not read your story. Thank you for broadening my perspective.

    You are an incredibly strong person and your son Jericho was absolutely beautiful. Thank you again for sharing this.

    • admin says:

      I never intended to change anyone’s mind, or make any sort of commentary on abortion… but a lot of people have said it has deeply affected their opinions on it (for themselves). So, thank you for sharing this with me.

  • My heart aches so much for you. I don’t have the right words. “I am so sorry for your loss” just isn’t enough. I’m in tears, and… I don’t know what else to say.

    Thank you for sharing your story with me.

    You’re in my heart and thoughts.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank You

    I just want to say thank you for giving your son the greatest months anyone can ask for. Thank you for loving him and being an amazing mother.

    I don’t think anyone can ask for a greater gift than you have given.

    You are in my prayers, and thank you for writing your story. It does help to get it out.

  • I am a total stranger, so I’m sorry if this is a weird place to tell you what I wanted to tell you. I just wanted to thank you for sharing this story. You were the first person I’d ever heard of going unassisted in childbirth. After reading Jericho’s story I… OK, I’m sorry but I am not really sure how to say what I want to say, I’ve rewritten this comment about five times now. I just wanted to thank you for sharing all that you have shared because it has had a deep impact on me. I was once a person who trusted doctors blindly, thought birth was an emergency and would have considered birth outside of a hospital to be crazy.
    I am currently 15 weeks pregnant with my second child and plan to give birth at home. YOUR story-Jericho’s story- is a very large part of what prompted me to truly educate myself on my options and find the best one for me and my family. Somebody asked me today what made me want to homebirth, and I realized what a huge impact you and your children had on my full ability to make that decision. I guess I can’t really say how, but you sharing your experiences has opened my eyes.
    You’ve given me an irreplaceable gift and I wanted to thank you deeply for that.

  • What you wrote, it’s beautiful. I hope that doesn’t sound horrible, that I find beauty in your pain. I don’t mean that your pain was beautiful, but the depth of your emotions, the way you wrote about them, and the love you so obviously felt that touched every corner of your life – it’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing this gift with us.

  • Anonymous says:

    Sharing your Choices

    Hi, I’m LuAnn Kennedy (mrskennedy from MDC), and I’ve just finished reading your story. I’ll be having a UC any time now, and I wanted to thank you for sharing your story and your choices. DH and I wouldn’t terminate a pregnancy for any reason, and we don’t do tests either. But UC is more than that, and although I still can’t describe it to others, it’s comforting to hear from someone who knows that and is still totally supportive of UC after all you went through.

    Bright blessings from another Pagan! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you

    My sister sent me the link to your site and I want to thank you for telling us about Jericho. My daughter Ava was stillborn at 37 weeks on March 23, 2006 as a result of my undiagnosed clotting disorder. I remember feeling like it was a dream. These things don’t happen to us, you only hear about them happening to other people. I thought I had dreamt about being pregnant, but the streth marks and photos prove otherwise. It has been almost 5 months and it does get a little easier, although I never thought it would. Ava was the best gift I ever recieved, she made me a mother and I love her more than anything. It is inspiring for me to hear your story and know that through all the pain, grief and disbelief you have stayed strong and lived your life, all the while never forgetting your beautiful son. I wish you the best of luck and thank you for showing me that it is ok to be happy and continue with your life. Our babies would only want us to be happy. Tempest is absolutely beautiful and she seems like she has such a strong personality, I bet she is over the moon about the new baby!!

  • autumnfaerie says:

    I’m sorry for your pain and loss. I’m almost afraid to comment because I don’t want to say the wrong thing. I don’t know what else to say but I’m sorry.

    *hugs*

  • lunaobrien says:

    I was just re-reading this, and thinking you should print it off and send it in to the hospital – wherever you send consumer opinions or complaints.

  • Hi, there. I found your story through the comunity. I’ve read all the story and I just wanted to tell you what a touching narrative you’ve written here. I’m so sorry for your loss. Jericho is a beautiful child with a wonderful mother, as is Tempest (I love her name). I feel very awkward commenting on a complete stranger’s journal, but I just couldn’t not say anything after reading this. I cried at my desk for your loss and the beauty of the story. Thank you for sharing it publicly.

  • haddassah says:

    I just finished reading this story. Thank you for sharing it. Please accept my condolences on your families loss. What you did was beautiful, you gave him the greatest gift, a mothers pure love.

  • hoodwink says:

    I found your journal through someone on my list and I read your entries and they made me cry. I am sorry for your loss, even from a complete stranger.

  • Blessed Be

    Goddess Bless you and yours. Nothing I can say will make it better. You must know how loved you are, what a blessing your son is and how he has effected so many through you. You made us feel, and that is a kind of magic most never understand. There is a power in all this and some how, it has to be ok….. the seasons will turn, we will remember, and it will have to be ok.

  • Anonymous says:

    I read the WHOLE thing in one sitting

    I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot even imagine losing a baby that way. You were treated horribly, but you are a brave, tough lady. I am so glad to be a part of the online community with you. We don’t always know what the outcomes will be, but we know we did the right thing. And you did. Sounds like you have a wonderful husband and support people…just take one day at a time. I am glad you went UC, and I pray you always will. One thing I thought of, (I hope it isn’t crass) do you think the hospital will be willing to remove some of the bill, since you weren’t able to go home with a healthy baby, and were more or less railroaded into surgery? It might make the pain a little less, anyway…the things some places do to you…. hugs to you. May you hold Jericho highly in your heart, forever. You will see him again… 🙂 He was/is beautiful…cathi cogle cathicog from MDC

  • kyliebeth says:

    I know you don’t know me, and all I know about you is of your loss. But I wanted to say that I’m so sorry. And that your story is amazing. I wish I had words that would make things better for you and your family. I guess the only thing I can do is to hold you in my mind and wish for you to heal, however long it takes.

  • hopeless says:

    I have waited days for the right words to say to you, but I now realize there aren’t any.
    Just please know that our family is thinking of you and hoping you find peace and comfort

  • we do not know each other, but i have been reading since your post in dec2005.. there are no words i can say to ease your pain, but i wanted to tell you that your story, your writting, is absolutely beautiful. You would honor the world were you to write about your experiance in the form of a novel or some sort. it is so spiritual, so beautiful, and i thank you deeply for sharing…

  • haileymarie says:

    I know that my condolences will not erase or even ease the pain what you have been through, but do know that your family is in my heart. I can not imagine having been through that, and then to have the strength to speak so openly about it where total strangers such as myself can see it. I wish very much that there was more I could say to make you feel better, but I am at a loss for anymore words.

    **Many hugs and prayers for you, Curtis, and Tempest**

  • melfromsa says:

    I cannot tell you how sorry I am about your loss. I have been sitting here at work, reading your entries. Feeling your pain. Imagining your loss. I have been crying so many many tears for you.

  • divagrrl says:

    My brother and sister in law went thru this a few years ago with my nephew who had a heart defect also…

    http://www.babyethan.org is his site.. it was a terrible thing to go thru.. but to lose him is another story…

    this song was a song during the trying times the i sang over and over…

    Mark Schultz

    He’s My Son

    I’m down on my knees again tonight
    I’m hoping this prayer will turn out right
    See there is a boy that needs your help
    I’ve done all that i can do myself
    His mother is tired
    I’m sure you can understand
    Each night as he sleeps
    She goes in to hold his hand
    And she tries not to cry
    As the tears fill up her eyes

    Chorus~
    Can you hear me?
    Am I getting through tonight?
    Can you see him?
    Can you make him feel all right?
    If you can hear me
    Let me take his place somehow
    See he’s not just anyone
    He’s my son

    Sometimes late at night I watch him sleep
    I dream of the boy he’d like to be
    I try to be strong and see him through
    But God who he needs right now is You
    Let him grow old
    Live life without this fear
    What would I be
    Living without him here
    He’s so tired and he’s scared
    Let him know that You’re there

    Chorus

    Can you hear me?
    Am I getting through tonight?
    Can you see him?
    Can you make him feel all right?
    If you can hear me
    Let me take his place somehow
    See he’s not just anyone

    Can you hear me?
    Can you see him?
    Please don’t leave him
    He’s my son

  • Thank you for sharing all of this publicly. AS so many have commented prior, I sit here at my computer and cry as I read what you’ve endured. Although we’ve never crossed paths here on lj, I don’t read your entries and cry as one would at a sad movie. Your writing makes me identify with you as one single beautiful human being on this planet. So much of what you say speaks volumes to me. I have so much to say, but will limit it to the one thing i wanted to share most.

    The last time I nursed my daughter she was almost 8 years old. By that time it was only comfort nursing and of course never in public. I probably would have been arrested. I’m not even sure exactly when my milk completely went away, because she kept assuring me she was getting some. I don’t think she wanted to be cut off. One of the things I always told myself was that I would let her wean herself. She never wanted to quit and I finally told her that when she turned 8, she was a big girl ready to take on the world without nursing. The next year or two she would sometimes try or ask, but I would hug her and move on to something else. She will be 12 in a few months and still sneaks her hand in for a feel when she hugs me.

    I believe in extended nursing, and wanted to share that with you.

    I’m sending you and your family much love for your loss of precious Jericho.♥ Beautiful name, I read your name post as well.

  • Anonymous says:

    I hope that your grief is lightened perhaps a little by sharing it with so many. I was struck by so many thoughts as I read this: How difficult it is to see ourselves clearly, yet how easy it is through the eyes of another. Perhaps you can send a copy of this to the OB doctor, so that he can see himself through your eyes. I don’t mean this in a malicious way at all. I know that doctors and nurses have to wall themselves off from the suffering they see, or they would become incapacitated, and unable to function. BUT, as with everything, it is the degree, and where, oh where to draw the boundary line? Perhaps being able to read an account of your interaction from your side will help him re-adjust his line.

    It seems like it would be helpful for the labor-deniers on the nursing staff, too. I can’t believe they didn’t do a vaginal check on you first thing. It wouldn’t have changed the destination, but it would have changed your journey. and how many times must we hear that it isn’t the destination, it’s the journey?

    As I approach the crone years, I had thought that being one of the baby rocking grannies in the NICU would be a wonderful “job.” Thank you for opening my eyes to my real calling: to rock the mommies who have no babies.

    I couldn’t log in to create an account, so it is coming up anonymous, but I am Patti, themadpatter.

    Love and healing, my sister.
    Patti

    • admin says:

      “I had thought that being one of the baby rocking grannies in the NICU would be a wonderful “job.” Thank you for opening my eyes to my real calling: to rock the mommies who have no babies.”
      This was beautiful.

  • Anonymous says:

    Condolences

    I am so very sorry for you. Having lost a baby myself, I can understand how you feel though I am sure at the same time it is totally different. The treatment you received when you first arrived at the hospital was horrible. Though at least Jericho passed in his daddy’s arms. Grief comes differently to different people, there is no right or wrong way. And now I am at a loss. I cried while I read your entries and feel so empty. . . Please stay strong and don’t let anyone tell you you are doing it wrong (I was told that alot when I lost my baby).
    Melissa

  • I wish I could whisper the things you need to hear, and help you cope.
    Again, I am so sorry this happened, and I’m continuing to read everything you write with a heavy heart.
    I can’t help, but not read. What happened to you haunts me.

    After I read your first three entires, I became really depressed myself and told my husband all about your ordeal, and your loss. He was angry with the hospital staff at how they treated you, and he said “She should sue the hospital.” I’ve never seen him get that upset over someone he never met.
    I’ve only begun reading you myself, and I want to kick that OBGYN in the face.
    How DARE he lecture you about your choices. ESPECIALLY the fucking DAY AFTER you lost your son.

    I started to cry as soon as I read the first paragraph of your entry. Just the thought of what you’re going through breaks my heart.

    I’m still reading, like so many others, and I’m here for you.

  • teechers_pet says:

    I am SO sorry. I wish there was something profound I could say to help things. I wish I could give you a real hug 🙁

  • belissima says:

    I’ve been reading for a few months now and I’m so so sorry for your loss. I’ve lost a daughter and son and, it’s probably the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. I don’t have anything else to tell you that hasn’t already been said. Just take things one day at a time. I’m here if you ever need to talk. My thoughts are with you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story with us, that you for showing us Jericho, he’s beautiful. I also truly agree with you being glad your pregnancy was unassisted, you were allowed to truly enjoy your time with Jericho, the way it should be, not worrying about his health. Your story is beautiful and incredibly heartbreaking, I’m so so sorry…

  • mzvanessa says:

    You have helped so many people and touched so many people’s lives,that a lot of them want to help you now.
    I wish,like many others,that i could come up with the magic words that will make you feel even a little better,but i can’t.
    I’ve never been good with words,yet i feel compelled to comment.
    I want to comment to let you know that you are thought of.
    That your family is thought of.
    That your story has touched my heart.

    I can only hope that these comments aren’t silly,and meaningless,even though there are no magical words in them.

  • I’m crying for you now, too. I only whish there was something that could be said that could make it all better…but we all know better than that. The best I can do is send you cyber hugs and think on you often.

  • there are no words and i won’t attempt to find any because i know that all the words in the world could never be enough and hope that instead, asilence will say so much more.

    Despite his passing, your son has touched so many people…..he truly was a gift.

    xx

  • The loving arms of your family hold you close.

  • bonny_katie says:

    I’m so glad you had such kind nurses. I’ve been worried about how you were treated by them. Most of mine were great, but I had a couple that wanted to lecture me as if I had no idea what I had gotten into.

    Much love to you and your family.

  • cynica says:

    I have been reading these entries – wanting to say something but finding nothing that doesn’t sound completely trite or like a broken record. But I am so effected by this and I feel so much for you and your family despite the very little interaction we’ve had. My instinct is to do something to “help” and to “make it better”, but I understand it’s not that easy.

    What do you need? I want to be able to help you in some way. I have a fear of death seemingly as strong as you do, I am a mother, and in at least these ways I feel a sense of connectedness and I would love to be able to do something..anything..to ease at least a little bit or to add to your comfort. Please let me know. Even if it’s a bouquet of cookies sent by overnight mail. 😉

  • ichoosewings says:

    Like everyone else I don’t know what to say. I’ve never grieved the loss of a child. Having just found out that I am pregnant about 2 weeks ago, this is even harder to read. I sit in front of this screen and cry for you and your family. I want to wrap my arms around all of you and somehow make it better, but I know that nothing can make it better at all. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you for sharing all of this, you’re stronger than you think. In my experience with grieving I learned something I found to be important. Some people will expect you to move on quickly and get on with your life because they don’t know how to deal with your grief. When someone has not experienced what you have they do not know what to say or do. Be patient with them, and even more, be patient with yourself. Give yourself all the time you need to do what you need to do to grieve your little boy.

  • j_lew says:

    another woman you dont know, but who has been incredibly touched by you and your family. In my days of pregnancy you did as you were told and I had a particularly awful time of it the first birth, I didnt understand why anyone would want to do anything unassisted, it seemed almost selfish to me. after reading your story I realise it was the most loving and unselfish thing to have done and he was meant to be your child for that reason. I will never dismiss women who dont go by the cultural norm again.your sons quiet little face will stay with me a long time.

    heal peacefully,
    blessed be.

  • motibella says:

    You don’t know me, but linked to your story…and I was awed, intrigued, saddened, and amazed with your strength and your grace.

    It was a beautiful gift you gave your son.

    My thoughts and healing energy are floating your way tonight.

  • kandi_bomber says:

    when my brother was killed, i only seemed to cry in the car. when there was nothing to but think, and visions would hit me and I would break down a little.

    then i would get busy and not cry, i would be strong for my kids or my mom…not because i had to for them as much as for me. it helped me get through the days.

    I think being a mother is so incredibly hard, and I cant imagine your pain.

    Your belief system is beautiful and your son is beautiful.
    you are courageous and strong.

  • Heather, I waited until you had written your complete story before I responded, because I wanted to be able to read it all – soak it all in before I responded. First off, the story – the whole story, although filled with sadness, is absolutely beautiful at the same time. I hope that doesn’t sound mean or unsympathetic – it’s not intended that way. Jericho had a beautiful life – 8 months with you, without the fuss and muss of all the extra intervention stuff – and fifteen minutes with his daddy. Of course, he had the eight months with Curtis as well, but fifteen minutes being held and cuddled by his father.

    It is absolutely astonishing to think of all that you have been through in the last few days – seems like a lifetime of experiences, doesn’t it? And I guess – rightfully – it is. Jericho’s lifetime.

    There is nothing that prepares a mother (or father) for the death of their child, but I think that by the choices you made for this pregnancy, you were far more in touch with his reality than any doctor or midwife possibly could have been with all of their techniques and procedures. You knew your baby and you knew your body. I am just sitting here amazed at how much you knew and how early.

    Jericho is such a beautiful name and when I read the linked post back from June about the name, I cried. Partially because of the sadness, but also because of how much love showed through your desires and your closeness to Jericho.

    Nothing someone says or writes will make it all better or make it go away. And yes, going back to your “everyday routine” won’t feel right for quite some time, if ever. I’m not going to pad the truth – losing a kid hurts. It breaks your heart, you wonder how life is going to go on, you feel guilty because you know it will, but later on, at some point down the road, it really does start to hurt less. Jericho had a beautiful life – all eight months and fifteen minutes of it. He was truly loved and cared for. Thank you so much, Heather, for sharing your story with us. It brought back some hurt and pain for me, but you write so beautifully (sorry if I seem to be overusing that word – but honestly – it IS the best word for what I am saying) and eloquently, and I feel as though I was right there seeing every moment possible played out.

    Hugs to you and your family and friends. I wish I could cut your pain and numbness in half and just shoulder some of it for you, so that you didn’t have to feel it. It is all so intense. Everything about it is intense. Jericho was an intense little man and packed a lot of punch into his time here.

    I hope I didn’t ramble on too much or worsen things for you by my typing, I just let it all flow out – from heart and brain to fingers – you know, the flow of emotions and thoughts.

    My only advice – feel it all, allow it to be intense, don’t try to muffle it or hide it. Let it flow out – the good and the bad both. There will be days when your burden feels so great you cannot move and there will be other days where you are completely numb and disconnected. Both are normal and natural. Just FEEL. And remember. Remember Jericho (like you could ever forget!)

    Hugs and love,
    Deanne

  • emilie1024 says:

    Nurses are some of the nicest people on Earth. My sister was hospitalized quite a bit before she died of leukemia and the nurses there became best friends…many of them attended her funeral.

    I’m happy that the minister was comforting.

    Just know that I’m still here praying for you.

    Jenn

  • I also don’t know what to say. I’m just so sorry. And thank you for letting us strangers read your story. It’s very generous of you.

    I don’t know if this means anything to you, as we are of different belief systems, but the only thing I know how to do when terrible things happen is to pray. So I’m praying for you. In my tradition, yesterday was the Feast of the Mother of God, the Joy of All Who Sorrow. It’s an icon of Mary, who we call the Theotokos, or “God bearer” as she bore God in her own womb. This icon depicts Mary surrounded by sorrowing people, and her look is very gentle and loving. I said a prayer for you in front of her icon, at a little monastery.

    I will pray every day that you will be able to find some peace in the midst of your mourning. Thank you again for allowing us to cry with you.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have read through your entries and sit here crying, not knowing what to say. There doesn’t seem to be any way I can express my feelings and emotions into words for you, to try be and comforting. Even though I know you have probably heard so much already. I would like to be able to say something, to at least try and help. The only thing I can think of seems so inadaquate and too simple. But I have nothing else, and will say it anyway.

    I’m sorry.

  • wolfden says:

    Hi,

    I know you from the natural family community and the natural living community. I have cried much reading your story. Which I think is a good thing, your words have power to touch people and are powerful in there own right.

    First I want to say out right I find that I dislike that OB very, very much. I can’t fathom my doctor acting that way. What he said to Tempest was unforgivable and he’s glad I wasn’t around to forgot to be non-violent. What an idiot. I believe he said what he did, about babies at 34 weeks having a better chance if they were sections sounds off to me but I’m no expert on that. However, it sounded more like he was interested in avoiding a lawsuit. I’m not big on lawsuits though I could see the merit in this one but I doubt you are interested. But I would definitely let the medical board (or whoever governs that sort of thing there – being an ignorant American) know that the treatment was inexcusable.

    My heart bleeds for you. You portray your loss so vividly it is like being there.

    I think the un-telling (as I called it) is the hardest part. The people who knew you were pregnant that won’t find out another way. I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks. It was awful having to tell people that I wasn’t pregnant any more. I actually avoided the orthodontist for a year afterwards because I couldn’t handle explaining what happened. It ripped my heart out. I too believe everything happens for a reason. But it’s one of those things that people don’t openly grieve in our society, and it was hard. When I became pregnant for Tatiana we told only a few close people and I kept saying, “don’t tell anyone until later because un-telling is too hard.” Tatiana apparently wanted the world to know she was on the way and made me unable to keep anything down for my entire pregnancy. It was hard to keep her a secret because I was so ill. She turned out fine. Thankfully. I can’t have another. I miss those baby days and nursing a baby. At 6 1/2 years she thinks she’s quite a grown up.

    I wish I had the magic words to help you grieve. But I don’t. My advice though is to try not to hold it in. To talk about what happened when you want, to share the experience with others, to share your feelings with Curtis – grief and loss can be so hard on a relationship.

    Being home doesn’t do enough to take your mind away. I understand that. It’s why I do 3 things at once some days trying to distract my mind . I love Tatiana and I wouldn’t change being with her for one minute. We homeschool so we are still together pretty much all the times. We have bad days where I question what I’m doing but overall I’d not change a thing. But when you are home there are expanses of time you have to fill and it can be hard when you have soemthing pressing on your mind like that.

    I feel like I can’t even find the words to express what I am trying to. My thoughts are with you. My you find peace. I am glad that you and Jericho had as long as you did together but saddened by the loss for you. It seems so wrong that a mom like you with so much love and compassion to give should lose her baby when another has one that is unwanted. That is so wrong. I am glad that you were able to spend such a peaceful amount of time with him. I hope that you are able to find peace in yourself and in the world around you as time goes on. Jericho will remain a part of you in your heart always.

    Peace,
    Tobi

  • mooncrab says:

    I am so incredibly sorry. I wish you and your family peace.

  • lunaobrien says:

    There is little I can say that hasn’t already been said by me and others about your loss. I’m so sorry is the only thing that will come, and that seems so inadequate. If I could hold you or take away your pain, I would.

    That said, I wanted to write about your c/s, in the case that it might help you later on. When I had my c/s, I felt okay with it for a month or two and then it just hit me, it seemed so unfair and horrible. I planned a homebirth with my first, I had wanted a homebirth since I was sixteen years old and I read about them in Our Bodies Ourselves. I decided at 19 or 20 that I wanted to be a homebirth midwife and I read everything I could get my hands on. When I did become pregnant, my partner (now husband) was supportive and we managed to come up with the money to hire a midwife that I knew – she had been my friend Melissa’s midwife at her first homebirth, which I attended. My son was two weeks late and at the midwives request I went for a NST. I had low fluid (though not terribly low) and it looked like my son’s cord was pinched between his neck and shoulder blade, plus I was having late decelerations when they put me on the monitor. The doctor who was my ‘backup’ insisted that I be admitted to the hospital on the spot and my homebirth midwives had gone away for the weekend, so I felt very pressured into being induced. I was one step away from hysterical when they told me they would have to induce me. I managed to talk them into letting us go home so I could get some things and contain myself. When I got back to the hospital they gave me cervadil, which was unlikely to help as I was three centimeters dilated but the CNM at the hospital talked the OB into trying it because she understood my wish for a natural birth.

    Late that night, my son’s heart rate dropped into the 50’s and a flurry of nurses and doctors came rushing into my room. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life. I was flipped over onto my knees so they could try to stimulate the baby’s scalp and bring his heart rate up, an IV was inserted, I was put on oxygen. A half hour later, his heart rate dropped again and I was whisked away to the OR. I remember now as clearly as I would if it just happened yesterday, the cold table and the anethesiologist and being prepped for surgery; the way the lights in the halls looked as I was wheeled through the hospital, me begging them to put me out.

    I hadn’t much considered going to the hospital. I thought about what we would do in the event of a transport, how we would manage it, but I didn’t think about actually having the baby in the hospital. My husband wasn’t allowed in the OR because I was under general anethesia and they just left him upstairs in the room to wonder what was happening. I had to ask them, right before they put me out, to go up and find him so he could hold the baby right away.

    I woke up an hour or so later to no pain medication, because as I said in my comment yesterday, they won’t give you anything until you’ve stabilized. I did manage to breastfeed, thank god, because I don’t think I could have lived with myself if I’d not been able to have a natural birth AND not breastfeed. I was lucky that the nurses at that particular hospital really were supportive of breastfeeding and truly did care if my son latched on properly, they made sure I didn’t go home with a baby who couldn’t eat.

    I think Gabe and Tempest are pretty close in age, he’s almost 27 months – born August 19th, 2003.

    All of that said, and you probably know this, but if you get angry or depressed about your c/s in the future, you’re not alone. The disapontment I had after my c/s was almost unbearable (once I allowed it to surface), I cannot imagine going through that and what you’re going through.

    Jericho is beautiful and you did an amazing job carrying and birthing him. He is loved and your story has touched so many hearts. The words you have used for his story are so eloquent, I can see you helping many other women who have been through a similar ordeal. I wish there was some little bit of solace I could offer you.

    Blessed be.

    • admin says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience. Every note I’ve received has helped. I hope people don’t read this entry and become afraid to ‘crash’ my inbox by sharing their words, their experiences and thoughts.
      For every woman who has stopped by and given me part of their own experiences: it’s helped.

      • lunaobrien says:

        How are you filling your days? Other than chasing Tempest, that is?

        • admin says:

          LC went home, but another friend came up the same day. I don’t do much, but with a friend it’s enough to distract me.

          • lunaobrien says:

            Do you need things to read or movies to watch? Or someone to talk to on the phone?

            I would need the distraction.
            xo

            • admin says:

              I watch too much TV. I never used to have it on until my mother came over… now I just have it on all day. I can’t be in a quiet house. I can’t focus to read. I can’t obsessively clean like I used to, I can’t chase Tempest, I can’t go for long walks because I’d have to push Tempest’s stroller… so I just turn on the TV.

              • lunaobrien says:

                Can you watch movies? They might take a bit more concentration than you have right now.. I hope you at least have cable.

                Would you like to get mail?

                • admin says:

                  I’m not into watching movies by myself, when I was younger they were always a “treat” with family. I don’t watch movies with Tempest because prior to this she barely watched TV… it’s like it accentuates how alone I am in the house.
                  I do have cable. Otherwise we wouldn’t get the Space channel and my mom would have no reason to visit. 😉

              • lunaobrien says:

                One thing I used to do to pass the time at work was go back and read people’s journals from the beginning. I bet lots of people would be happy to open their journals up to you and you could make a separate journal for them to add you to – that way you could keep the privacy in your own journal and also cut down on the confusion it might otherwise create.

  • I added you to my friends list for the time being, so I could filter this to you. I originally filtered it to one of my dearest friends when she suffered a loss this summer. It’s something I kept pinned to my desk for a year after my loss.

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/theprophecygirl/229985.html

  • I don’t think anyone will ever be able to find the words to make sense of what has happened, and I don’t think anyone will ever be able to say to you what you need to begin to grieve or heal- because your grief and your mourning is just that, yours. Even a woman who has been in your shoes could never comprehend what it is to be you feeling what you feel the same way that you could never fully understand what it must have been like to be her. Our emotions are shaped by the very essence of who and what we are, all we can do is share the grief and offer up whatever encouragement or support we can muster up. Throughout history, there have been countless numbers of women who have lost in a similar way that you have lost, and there has never been an answer for the pain. But we survived because it’s the least we can do, I guess. The fact remains that feeling the unspeakable grief that you mentioned is the downfall of being a loving person, but lacking that grief and being completely void of it would only serve to render a person emotionally hollow, which in my opinion, is a far worse fate. There is nothing I can say to help, nothing I can do to help- but I can tell you that deep down I know you are a survivor, and you will live through this and feel happiness again, but that’s a long road and the best thing you can do is take it one tiny step at a time…
    Like you, I am a pagan woman… and for that, I will leave you with one of the most powerful images of Gaia ever created in my opinion:

    you don’t know the power that you have with that tear in your hand

    • Another thing I forgot to mention above: even if no one can ever say what you need to hear to fill the void in your heart right now, doesn’t mean that the experiences of others can’t help you help yourself and find the strength to thrive. The biggest problem when dealing with loss is that there is no comfortable solution really… at least that’s been my experience.

      I too am scared of death- and it makes me feel like such a hyprocrite since I have these really strong beliefs about it… my dad died of a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head in 1997, I’m not healed from it, I have peace with it to some extent but I’m still terrified sometimes. I don’t think I’m the same person I would have been had it not happened, I have good days and bad days. Sometimes it cuts me down at the strangest moments, like in the car on a beautiful autumn morning like today. I went to suicide-survivor support groups, and I met plenty of women who had a parent die that way- and I kept needing their stories, and their experiences to validate that I wasn’t losing my mind in my grief, but nothing they said pacified the void. I felt such guilt because there were times where I couldn’t cry and I truly felt nothing, and there were other times where I wanted to die myself just so I could turn off the gut-wrenching devistation I had. I tried to die a few times actually…but I could never get close enough because I was so scared. It amazes me how my father had the strength to let go the way he did. I think of my life “before” the suicide and “after”, and it feels like I’m two different people in relation. I still have this inner child within me who doesn’t undstand why I can’t re-set the time on the alarm clock and start over and try to make it right, the way it was supposed to be, the way I want it to be- and I’m still disappointed every single time I remind myself that I can’t. I feel cheated and lost sometimes and I wish I didn’t anymore, but then I remember that I only feel this way sometimes- and even though not one day has gone by since March 13, 1997 that I haven’t thought about it- there have been plenty of beautiful days in spite of it, and I love my life and I suppose that’s what finding peace in grief means to me.

  • housepoet says:

    I am so so glad that your dad came.

  • lalicopa says:

    I just find it truly amazing how many people you have touched…both from the number of comments you’re receiving and from the responses from the medical staff you encountered. You always say how socially inept you are, but I don’t think that’s the case at all. Look at all these strangers who are crying with you, caring for you…both in person and all over the world.

    You are loved.

  • I hope, again, that you don’t mind my commenting; I know we’re really not friends, but we are colleagues in a way, and my heart hurts so much for you.

    This is the kind of news you wish you could just tell one or two people and then allow to spread on its own so you never have to say the words again.

    I know what you mean – like your mom, I felt the same way after my husband died; it still happens, but after almost four years the wound isn’t so raw. I always thought it’d be ever so much easier just to print it all up on a business card to hand out so I wouldn’t have to explain over and over.

  • comitto says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Your son’s life has touched so many lives. I feel honored that you shared his journey with us.

  • I ran across your journal after finding the site someone put up as a benefit for you… I only wanted to send my condolences as I have been in your shoes and understand the pain. I understand now, reading your story and having so much I want to say but being unable to put it into words, why people told me “I’m sorry for your loss” doesn’t quite cut it.

    Just know that there are many other mothers who have been in your shoes and are here – anytime.

    You are such a strong woman to be able to talk about it so soon, I envy you.. I have only been able to really talk about my story for a couple of years and it has been 8 since it happened..

    I wish you all the best, and I know it may not mean much to you, but I will be praying for you and your family. And he was a very beautiful boy.

  • hebe says:

    “You gave him the most beautiful gift of life, and love, and peace,” she whispered. “I’m so overjoyed that you made that choice. I understand it, and it was wonderful. Thank you.”
    And I cried, too. ”

    I’m very happy that someone told you this,(and I’m sure many have)
    Though even if you had known, that the choice to give him the opportunity , the chance at life is a wonderful one that not many would make, and for that your son is lucky.

    On a personal note (and one that I havn’t told man); My parents did a genetic test, although the results did indicate a possible visual impairment as the technology was relatively new and there was a possiblity that it was incorrect and thank my lucky stars at such otherwise I may not be here. The point in all this is that it would be nice to know taht regardless of what ailment or disability I had, that my parents would see life in all its parts rather then simply the pain and suffering.

    So very much so , Thank you so much.

  • gorrilagirl says:

    i remember hearing always that the greatest loss one could bear was that of their child…however when i lost my mother at 22 i felt that was the greatest lost i could ever suffer…how does one live without a mother…in the hospice they were cold…“megan call your family your mother isnt going home..however she is passing and will pass within 3 to 4 days..” they spoke to me…how could doctors be so cold…and nurses so full of heart…it is a backwards world …ill never understand why they said it to me…i still mourn for i never fully allowed my body my soul to fully accept that it happened “..shes on vacation it feels like” my brother spoke to me a week later…she’ll be back thats how we felt…i birthed my first son 1 year 2 weeks to the day after she died…3 years later im bringing into the world her second grandchild…and i still want to know how does one live without a mother…

    loss is a subject so many of us hide from …however you have started your mourning…by speaking of his beautiful life you are mourning…i mourn when i see my son for i yearn for the woman who is to teach me how to raise him….

    allow yourself to mourn and then rejoice in the life you gave him…in the time you gave to his sister and his father ….rejoice for you made a remarkable child who will forever be with your heart

    with love from a stranger

  • Anonymous says:

    i remember hearing always that the greatest loss one could bear was that of their child…however when i lost my mother at 22 i felt that was the greatest lost i could ever suffer…how does one live without a mother…in the hospice they were cold…“megan call your family your mother isnt going home..however she is passing and will pass within 3 to 4 days..” they spoke to me…how could doctors be so cold…and nurses so full of heart…it is a backwards world …ill never understand why they said it to me…i still mourn for i never fully allowed my body my soul to fully accept that it happened “..shes on vacation it feels like” my brother spoke to me a week later…she’ll be back thats how we felt…i birthed my first son 1 year 2 weeks to the day after she died…3 years later im bringing into the world her second grandchild…and i still want to know how does one live without a mother…

    loss is a subject so many of us hide from …however you have started your mourning…by speaking of his beautiful life you are mourning…i mourn when i see my son for i yearn for the woman who is to teach me how to raise him….

    allow yourself to mourn and then rejoice in the life you gave him…in the time you gave to his sister and his father ….rejoice for you made a remarkable child who will forever be with your heart

    with love from a stranger

  • altarflame says:

    Lots of thoughts..

    In my experience, the longer a catheter is in, the harder it is to pee aftwerwards and the more soreness you feel once it’s out.

    I have felt those phantom movements inside after each of my c/s – my sister in law said she had the same feelings, after hers.

    Elizabeth is the kind of chaplain I want to be one day, and hope I have already been, when I’ve volunteered at the hospital. My favorite hymn says, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.”

    I’ve been told I could shower whenever I want, but couldn’t have sex for 6 weeks o_O

    I am SO GLAD your dad came, and that he’s coming back! I could HEAR the hero theme song, when you described them all coming down the hall to your room 🙂

    There are so many parts of this part of your story that could BE me. The frappuccino someone brought you, “full of love”, the crochet you wanted to keep your hands busy, the asshole OB talking coldly at you while you’re in the bed, and Curtis in the shower helping you…I’ve had Grant look at my incision for me because I was too scared to look.

    And after my miscarriage, I had to go back to work. I was a telemarketer. I had 100 coworkers in a big room (‘Calling center’) that all knew me on enough of an acquaintance basis to know I was pregnant, and that was it. I left and came back looking second trimester, and everyone noticed when they say me that I had been gone for a week and casually inquired where I’d been and how the baby was :/ And, I abruptly started making a bunch more milk…I spent a lot of time bonding with Aaron (he was 8 months and still nursing). I don’t have any idea what the proper “ettiquette” is for situations like that, either, but I know it really sucks to try to be gentle and polite with well wishers when a part of you just wants to say, “Well, ACTUALLY, since YOU ASKED…” after the millionth time. It even gets to where you feel the burden of having to look dutifully sad enough when you tell people, and are trying to just not freaking be sad for just a little freaking while. Or, it did for me.

    I could comment on this entry forever.

  • moistangel says:

    I wish I could take it all away. I wish I could heal it for you. I guess it’s because I’m a mother? I’m not sure.

    And this: I wept, and my milk flowed as though my body was crying. is simultaneously the most beautiful and most heartbreaking sentence I have ever read in my life.

    I feel SO intrusive reading your experience. And I can’t stop. And I’m sorry for that. For so many things. I feel like some sort of drama-hound. Though, rest assured, I read you before. I’m not asking you to tell me it’s okay, what a joke that would be. *sigh* I just feel very intrusive but I can’t read and not comment, not on something like this. Does that make sense? I hope so.

  • akire_yta says:

    i’m sorry

    these probably aren’t the words you’re looking for.

    but oh dear goddess I am so sorry.

    *gentle hugs*

  • I’m not trying to “make you feel better”- that’s not possible. You’ll feel however you need to for as long as you need to.

    I’m not worried about Jericho- he was perfect, his life was perfect. Again, I know he’ll come back to you. What I worry about is how you were treated at the hospital. Everything traumatizing you could possibly imagine. I worry so much about you now.

  • wanderingio says:

    Oh Babs… So many times since you started posting about losing Jericho I have thought of you… of embracing you. I wish I could hold you like the Earth Mother, herself. I am so glad that you finally encountered people who were able to physically be there for you, even if only briefly.

    This is a dream I had the night of your first post: There was a gathering of earthy-birthy mama types at a beautiful park. You were sitting at a picnic table. My friend introduced you to her mother who was actually Jeannine Parvati Baker, but she looked like Gloria LeMay. The dream ended with her embracing you.

    I have felt such a connection…with so many people I don’t know as a result of your experience. I feel like I am constantly walking beside all of these women who are sharing your grief.

    I hope that we can carry you just a tiny bit through all of this.

    Blessings.
    ~amanda

  • manic_geisha says:

    I feel so out of place saying anything. We’ve only crossed paths a few times in different communities.

    I read a book a long time ago about reincarnation, I can’t even remember which book it was, but it spoke about how uncertain it seemed for a life to be created that was going to be so short and what purpose could it really have (to benefit that soul). It said they had such short lives because it was a way to experience a pure form of love like a healing to their soul.

    I am fairly secular and have zero religious beliefs but for some reason the thought that they are here to experience pure love is somehow comforting…to me at least.

    I am glad to hear that the pastor who visited you was so understanding, sometimes I find them more understanding than anyone in times like this, and that the successive nurses genuinely cared for you as you should be cared for.

    I would have a couple people spread the word as much they can about Jericho so hopefully you can avoid the awkward questions about him around his due date. ITs hard to get to everyone before they get to you, I know with my mom’s death years after people would still ask for her.

  • puddleduckme says:

    So powerful. Thanks for sharing this.

  • fade_away_me says:

    you have blessed so many people by sharing your story.

    I wish I had those magical words you were looking for.

    Maybe is there a place we can all send out letters and gifts to you?

    you have touched more people than you will ever know

  • _evalution says:

    i’ve cried through each part of your story. my heart aches for you. i wish there were the right words.

  • Last week I was in the bath, and just thinking in my head that no one I’ve ever ‘known’ has lost a baby while I’ve known them, and I had this feeling it was going to happen. I didn’t think it’d be you. I don’t know why I’m even telling you that. It’s been bothering me since I read your first post, I just didn’t think it’d be you. I thought I was being emotional being close to delivery.

    I’m thinking of you all the time. I don’t know what to say but I’m sending thoughts to you all day long.

    loves.

  • birthingway says:

    They were the first of the staff to touch me like a mother would, and through the haze of the drugs I ached for it.

    I am so glad you had these women, and the pastor, and the worker with the nose piercing, on your side.

    You deserved much more than that, but hearing that you got some comfort from kind people makes me happy.

    blessings to you & your family~
    d.

  • I don’t know where to begin…

    I know these words mean little coming from me but please know and understand that you are a woman full of courage and strength. I understand your convictions and why you stand strongly upon them. No one will ever be able to produce the words that you want to hear, no one will ever make this easy(ier) for you. Jericho was a beautiful boy and he gave you all so much in the time that was shared together – he’s given all of us so much in the posts that you have made.

    My heart pours out with grief and love for you, your family and friends.

    My words cannot express my emotions…

    Feelings are not supposed to be logical. Dangerous is the man who has rationalized his emotions.
    ~*~ David Borenstein ~*~

  • I felt overwhelmed with the task of telling others…. This is the kind of news you wish you could just tell one or two people and then allow to spread on its own so you never have to say the words again.

    I know this feeling.

    Still listening,
    Still loving you,
    I wish I could do more.

  • Anonymous says:

    ((((HUGS))))))))

    I don’t know what to say but wanted to send lots of (((hugs)))

  • raisangrrl says:

    I’ve been trying to find the words to help comfort you in some way, but even words fail.
    You’re a wise woman, Babs. With every word I read, from the very beginning, I could feel your love, not just for your son, but for everything. he is very blessed to have you as his mama. I think alot of us find peace in knowing that you were the one chosen to nurture his soul, to be his voice, and to give him your love. Everything you did for him was made lovingly, don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
    We’re working on something special for you, Curtis and Tempest. We hope in some small way, you will feel our arms around you, to comfort you…

    *tight hugs & a shoulder to cry on, whenever you need it*

  • marliah says:

    I am so sad for you, I weep every time I read these…I remember when I lost my baby (at 6 weeks) the heartache and pain, nothing anyone could say would help…and you have suffered so much greater than I. I just want to say I am praying for you, I believe in God, but I do not disregard the possiblity of reincarnation (in fact I am led to believe it does happen) and I certianly believe our children live on, my son visited me in my dream a couple months after I lost him (its how I knew he was a boy). I saw his perfect face and he nursed at me breast and he said goodbye. I know I will see him again someday. And I know you will see your sweet Jericho someday too. I believe he is surrounding you in his love as you did him for these last 8 months.

    I wish I could say or do something to ease the pain in just the smallest way, I feel helpless seeing you suffer and I want you to know my love and prayers are with you.

  • mikachubelle says:

    I found you a long time ago on a random passing just going through friends pages and have always read. Never really commented because I never knew quite what to say even though like everyone else has I have wanted to plenty of times. I find your strength and who you are amazing and only hope to one day become the mother you are. Reading of your adventures with your family and your adorable daughter are often a highlight of my Lj activity. I just needed to let you know that other people you don’t even know about are here for you and there hearts are filled with sorrow as well. I’m so sorry even though any words I want to say can’t quite come out right now. May you find something that brings you peace and just a bit of comfort.

  • maylea_moon says:

    heather,

    i dont have any money at the moment to send (i know there is a raffle going on and paypal donations) but i wanted to send you something. i have made you a card and tina (altarflame) was kind enough to offer me your address. i just want to make sure first that it is ok with you if i send you a card. i am also working on sending you a care package and am hoping that is alright with you. i know we don’t know each other much but through reading your journal i have always felt a strong connection to you and would love to send something to you and your family.

  • I found this story through the community, and just wanted to let you know my thoughts and prayers are with you. You mentioned that you keep hoping someone has the magic words to make it all better…I don’t think anyone does, or will, because there simply aren’t. We can encourage you that it gets better with time; that you will find your way through the maze of grief. But words are simply inadequate in such a loss. All I can say is that I am grieving for you and your family, and hope that you find peace and resolution soon. I wish I could hug you.

  • mammaopal says:

    You don’t know me Heather, my name is Opal and I heard of your tragedy from some mutual friends.
    You and your family are in my thoughts constantly. I feel through your beautiful words that I do know you somehow. I have a candle lit for baby Jericho and have shed many tears.

    I live in Vancouver and have this beautiful image of Jericho beach at sunset . He was a very beautiful baby.
    Much love.

  • ncsujen says:

    You’re right, they never do tell or show you what’s “supposed” to happen in the aftermath. My hospital was “under renovation” last year and they were putting the new mothers in the oncology wing- lovely right?- and out of everything my heart breaks a little more for you knowing how out of place and awful it must have seemed being a room away from someone whose baby was fine, and hearing those cries.

    I don’t know exactly what type of relationship you have with your mother or how well she knows your circle of friends, but I would probably reach out for mine on the “getting the word out” thing. Many people will hear word-of-mouth, but perhaps your family could spread the news a little more gently and a little further. The last thing you need is people calling you near the “due” date.

    You’re an incredibly strong woman and I wish there was more I could say. Practical suggestions are my forte, not coming up with comforting words on a computer screen. I wish that I could give you a hug.

    • admin says:

      My mother gave my brother permission to tell others, because he asked, and so since my mother is a social hermit I’m counting on him to spread it further. I know he’s already made some calls, and it is a relief to know that…

      • ncsujen says:

        I’m glad you have your brother to help you out. I am not close to my brother, in my family the situation would be reversed, but I know I would be grateful for the help.
        It’s not quite as bad but I had a friend who recently had a miscarriage and she said the most awful part was facing all the people who still thought she was pregnant. She dreaded going back to work or even out to public places where she might run into someone who knew her. Please know you’re not alone or strange if you have feelings like those sometimes.

        Still thinking of you..

        • admin says:

          My brother and I are… I don’t know. I dont’ want to say “not very close” because I think we are. I don’t know. He said he loved me on the phone. He said it half a dozen times. I think I can count on one hand how many times he’d said it to me in my entire life.

          • ncsujen says:

            It’s good to hear that you are surrounded by love and people right now, and obviously all of the LJ folks wishing you the best. I am probably not being the most fair to my brother either, who knows how he would react in the same situation, he might be great. He IS only 19. heh

  • I was referred to your journal by another LJer…I hope you don’t mind. You’ve told a horribly painful story in such a beautiful way.

    I truly hope that Jericho’s soul is bound up in the bonds of heaven and that his memory becomes a blessing to you and your family. (wished through a haze of tears) – Ilene

  • alphapythia says:

    wordless… but still listening.

    • Anonymous says:

      No one you know, but another mother circling you with my tears for you and your son. I have always had conflicting thoughts on unassisted pregnancies but I have whole new understanding now. You gave him such a gift. You are the essence of mother.

  • I haven’t commented before now because I don’t know you well- only in passing in different communities, but I wanted to say that my heart aches for you. You’ve been in my thoughts since I read the first part of your story. Be well. Cry. Heal how you need to do it. I wish I could say something realy great in an attempt to make things bearable for you, but I can’t. Be well. I cry for you.

  • acidflowers says:

    I wish I had some profound piece of knowledge to pass on to make it all better, to make it not so confusing.

    Just know, there is never a right or a wrong when it comes to death and there is nothing like experiencing the death of a child. Don’t force anything. Don’t let anyone make you think you’re supposed to feel a certain way by a certain time. Let the grief run it’s course and it will get easier in time. You’ll get through this. You’re so strong, and beautiful, and you have so many wonderful people surrounding you right now. I hope you know that there is so much love coming your way. I hope it helps, in some way, to lighten the burden on your heavy heart right now.

  • bardocka says:

    I remember these feelings, they’re hard to think about.

  • tobeborn says:

    Like everyone else, I simply do not know what to say, how to offer comfort during this time. All I can offer you is my thoughts, and hopes that you and your family will find peace soon. no one deserves this, most of all a beautiful person like you. There are people all over the world sending their love your way, I am merely one of them.

  • anikasmom says:

    what can i say? i’m so sorry! i feel so deeply for you.

  • emily2000fin says:

    I surfed to your LJ sometime ago through someone elses friend list. I would just like to tell you how much I am sorry for what has happened. Through reading your posts over the last few months, you have given me a complete new spin on pregnancy and family that I never knew before. I have not yet been pregnant, but when that time does come, I will look at it in a whole new light thanks to you. Your strength for your family is amazing.

    I know you have recieved alot of posts since beginning to write about what happened, but I just wanted you to know that you have touched my heart and mind in a way nobody ever has before. Thank you. ~Emily

  • jmarfia says:

    I am so very sorry. There are no words.

  • Nothing can ever make this ok. It sucks. There’s no getting around just how badly this sucks. There are no magic words, no bandaids, nothing that can instantly fill the absence. Right now I’m just about at the 2 year anniversary of losing my monoamniotic twins to cord accident in the late 1st trimester and I still cry for them and want to hold them. I’m not going to say that you can have more because there is only one Jericho and he is irreplaceable. It takes time to heal from something like this, and strength and courage. I know that sometimes the pain becomes almost unbearable that you hurt so much that you think you’ll die from it except that at least if it did make you die you wouldn’t hurt so badly. Grief is good. It proves that we’re still alive and it’s how we heal from something this terrible. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. If you ever need to talk, I’m here.

  • mamygirl says:

    I feel so unworthy of commenting. There is no way my small note could be one to make anything better, but still I’m writing; not to take any grief away, but to express my love. I spent the weekend mourning for you, and in wonderous awe of your strength, beauty and clarity.

    There is a circle of love that has formed around you. A bond of mothers, women, friends who cry for your pain. I can feel it, it makes up a good chunk of my friends list. I wish it could make a difference, and I hope that someday you sense the love from even the most distant of us.

    I wish my tears could take some of yours away. For what it is worth, I’ve always wished to be more like you, and now I feel it more than ever. My heart grieves for you, and my love and thoughts will be with you for a long time to come.

  • gngr says:

    I have this mental image of the two of us taking walks, and giggling about stupid stuff. The image made me smile.

    May Curtis bring home lots of yummies this afternoon, and may you enjoy being home again. I do wish I lived closer, quite ferociously. 😉

  • brightsoul says:

    i’ve said nothing until now.
    there is, afterall, nothing that i can say –
    but reading this entry, for some reason, was the most emotional for me
    though the first was so poignant, heartbreaking.

    you are in my thoughts in all your strength, more human than most of us know how to be.

  • bafleyanne says:

    I know we don’t know each other well, but I am hurting with you. I wish there was something I, or anyone, could do to ease your pain.

  • psyko_kitty says:

    I’m so sorry so sorry so sorry. Hold your little girl close to you and know that so many of us are holding our babies and thinking of you today.

  • tau says:

    I sent out a mass email – handling it in person is just way too awkward. My Intended Parents had a close friend contact everyone for them.

    Still, after all that effort, its amazing how many people I had to tell. Like all the mothers at the ballet studio asked me how the birth was… and the baby. The former is easy to tell, I really had a wonderful labor. Sometimes I can get away with just telling the first part. So many people assume that the baby must be just fine now.

    More often than not, though, they ask the second part. Everybody is so shocked, and they get still for a moment, and then say how sorry they are. The awkward thing is that I end up having to console them. I feel the need to reassure them that its ok. I guess because they are victims of the surprise now – and Ive had the benefit of carrying it for longer.

    If I don’t reassure them, somehow the situation gets worse. I scared the claims woman on the phone when she called to tell me the good news – the insurance claims were no longer going to be denied. I burst into sobs – that sloppy sort of crying – and had to explain that the baby had died. She got off the phone quickly after that.

    And then I was left alone with the crying. I guess Id rather be reassuring with people than grieving alone. I just feel so alone most of the time. I don’t know that I can really even share this with my husband – who is wonderful – because this wasn’t his baby.

    Gawd, Im sorry – I didn’t mean to do this in your journal. I’ll stop now.

  • I found your name through I’m very sorry for your loss hun. I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers, hang in there we all care about you. I saw the pictures of your son he was very beautiful, and will be a sweet angel watching over his mommy. Again I’m sorry…

    I wish I can do something to make it all better, hugs to you and your family.

  • Also, I remember that you said you were afraid of death. That could be why you aren’t letting yourself mourn quite yet because death is nothing to be afraid of. I can’t impose my own beliefs but maybe if you see death in another light, it wouldn’t be so bad. I hope I am not being insensitive. If I am, tell me and I won’t make these suggestions. It’s just what helped me when I’ve lost loved ones (human and not human).

    • admin says:

      I have been afraid of death ever since my grandmother died. I didn’t get to say goodbye to her. She told me she’d be back in time to bake me biscuits and then she never came home again.
      I had a nervous breakdown when she died that took me years to recover from. A lot of people aren’t close to their grandparents but she meant everything to me in a time when I my life was in so much chaos. My parents were just divorcing, and it was violent and angry, she was my Island. I’d disappear into her room (she lived with us) for an entire day, into the clouds of cigarette smoke and the static on her old TV and she’d sew and we’d colour and she’d tell me stories.
      For years sometimes my mind would wander to my own mortality and I’d have a relapse of my breakdown that would last days, sometimes weeks. I had to tell myself I’d never think about it again in order to recover.

      My other grandmother is dying now. As my dad says, she has become an ethreal spirit somewhere between worlds: she lost her mind a few years ago after multiple strokes.
      He kept telling me to visit her, but I never did, because I was afraid to see her dying.

      • Out of curiosity, since I am very uneducation in pagan beliefs, how do pagans interpret death? Is it more of an individualistic interpretation?

        When it comes to death, I don’t like to gloss over the situation with honey because it doesn’t help. I stare at it cold and hard in the face, but then I think about what it would mean to them in the afterlife.

        Your grandmothers are very loved women. I am personally very close to my grandma in Mexico and my heart aches for her every day that I don’t see her and whenever I smell my rebozo, I think of her and whenever I cook things, it reminds me of her hands that taught me. I know she is growing old and when I have the excess funds to fly her in to stay with me, she will be very fragile. One day she will pass away and she will be in peace, with no more pain and no more body to hinder her spirit. I saw my great grandmother pass away and she was smiling in her bed, her spirit left her body smiling. Your grandmothers feel the same way because your love is what will always keep them alive, as is the same with Jericho.

        Scientifically, energy is never wasted nor created and spirits are an infinite energy. Spirits will always be around to kiss the summer breeze to cool off your sweaty forehead and will be around to feed your inner torch when you are cold.

        Visit your grandmother if you can, unless you want to remember her as she was, since I agree with your father.

        You’ve had a hard experience with death and I must say that you handled it in such a manner that makes me so damn proud of you, Babs. Extremely proud to say that yes, she is my friend–I love her and respect her for all that she is. You carried Jericho in your arms and embraced him. When you feel ready, you will remember this and know that you’re better at handling things you were formerly afraid of.

        You’ve been resilient with lots of things that life has thrown your way, and I know you will make it through this. Just breathe.

      • rawness says:

        You sound like me here. I didn’t see my grandmother for over a year before she died. I didn’t even know she was dying. My mother never took me out to the home (I was 14) and had I known she had lung cancer, I would have walked the 5 miles if I had to. No one told my mom about it either. I didn’t go to the funeral because I didn’t want to see my mother cry. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I should have gone. My mother was kind enough to take a rose from the casket for me.

        Same thing happened with my grandfather. He had wanted to die since she died and his mind was just about gone. He had been refusing his medication and he quit walking. I went out when I was pregnant with Layne and made my peace with him dying. I vowed not to see him again before he died. And I didn’t. I never took my son to see him after he was born. Maybe if it had been a year earlier he would have cared, as he loved my daughter, but I knew he was too far gone to care.

        When he died all of his children were with him except my mother (and I think her younger brother who was also adopted) — no one told her that he was dying. I put the blame for that on them and her though, she doesn’t really hide the fact she doesn’t like them and vice versa — but then again you think they’d put that aside for something so important. This time I went to the viewing and left when my mother showed up. She again, brought me a flower.

        Both of those deaths have really traumatised me. It’s been 6 years since my grandmother died and I have not properly mourned yet, as for my grandfather, I push it in the back of my mind and pretend he’s still in that nursing home. I’m leaving for the UK soon and I plan to try and get some healing done there.

        But yes, you and I sound a lot alike in this aspect. I’m sorry for rambling, I feel so petty now. I’m here if you need or want anything.

  • tikizeekbaby says:

    Oh, honey. I wish we had the power to just appear when you want a hug so we could just quietly hold you and stroke your hair and then disappear again when you want solitude.

  • I lost a baby several years ago, she was 7 weeks premature and lived 18 hours. There are no ‘right’ words. There is only time, and time is the only thing that makes it remotely…not easier…that is the wrong word. Nothing makes it easier. The ache will lessen as it becomes a memory to cherish and hold onto in your heart.

  • I’m so sorry darling. I’m glad the nurses treated you well, I just wish there was somthing I could do for you. ::hugs::

  • I hope it isn’t an inappropriate suggestion but instead of emailing or responding to every call and telling them about the situation with Jericho, maybe you could create a card in his memory and send it out. That way, people can sort of absorb it on your own and you don’t have to hear the same response every time you say it. Sometimes repeating it over and over won’t sink in. One day, Babs, it will but it’ll be on your own terms when your mind lets you get over the shock.

    • admin says:

      But, who do I send it to? How do I track down and find the people that I only see every few months? Should I even bother and wait for them to contact me? What about my extended family who have sent along their well-wishes when they found out I was pregnant, but I normally never speak to them for any reason…

      I mean, even Curtis’ immigration lawyer emails me every 3-4 months and asks for updates on my family and invites me for coffee. Do I just send out some massive death announcement and CC everyone down to my fucking lawyer? It’s just so overwhelming. I have no idea what to do with all these people. I want them to just find out on their own so I don’t have to tell them, or have to wait until they ask me.
      Someone from freaking FREECYCLE came by today and gave me a gift when she picked up a dresser. I have no idea who she is, or how she knew I was pregnant. I think maybe two weeks ago when I posted the notice I said something like, “I’m eight months pregnant and can’t lift it so you have to bring a friend”… When she called Curtis told her it was a bad time; I was in the hospital. She sent me three emails of congratulations before I finally had the guts to say, “STOP”.

      • I now feel the blank you do. I was sitting here, thinking hard about a response. Here is the only conclusion I came up with:

        No one is entitled to know about your situation, unless you feel you want to tell them, and only tell those that mean a lot to you or simply direct them to your journal if you wish. You don’t have to sit there and explain about Jericho’s situation because they’ll give the same response a lot of us are. Not many of us know, that read to you, what you feel like; although, I wouldn’t be surprised if a reader pops up with a story relating to yours.

        If people are that blunt as to where they don’t “get the hint” then that’s too bad. They’ll have to figure it out themselves.

        As for people that sent the congratulatory emails, etc. just delete them. Out of sight, out of mind and you don’t have to deal with impersonal message from people you will never hear from again.

        How does that sound to you, Babs?

        • admin says:

          Right now, what sounds the best is just doing nothing with them. If I know the person, I put it aside and wait and figure out what the hell I should say or do with it later. If it’s just some random person I ignore it.

          You have no idea how afraid I am to go into Starbucks.
          I craved their chais like crazy and they are walking distance from my house so I went very often. All the ladies on the night shift know me and Curtis by order and would start making it up before I even approached the counter.
          I’m so scared to get a coffee and have one of them notice I’m not pregnant anymore and announce so loudly that I must have had my baby. No one ever says it quietly.

          • I think what sounds best is what’s most appropriate. You deserve to be silent until you and Curtis are ready to speak.

            As for the Starbucks, I’d recommend going to another one until you feel ready to step into the one where everyone knows who you are.

            *hugs and kisses*

      • out_of_mana says:

        Were you planning on sending birth announcements?
        I’d say send them to those people.

        They make them up for you…
        http://www.cardsshoppe.com/productdetails.asp?catid=14&subcatid=986

        • out_of_mana says:

          I meant to add that word will get around, you won’t be announcing it to everyone.

          You’ll have people who find out and then call immediately to show their support… and then others who will not know how to deal and they’ll avoid you. I know I was surprised over who fell into which catagory.

        • Those were exactly what I had in mind. I couldn’t remember what they were called, for some reason, and was stumbling around.

        • admin says:

          The two things wrong with that are that it’s extremely difficult to find something non-denominational that doesn’t go on about angels, heaven and Jesus… and that most are thanking the receiver for their thoughts. It seems presumptuous and strange to send someone who didn’t know a card thanking them for their sympathies.

          • out_of_mana says:

            Very true… I bet you could write up your own and have them made, to sound more like you 😀

            I never got around to doing anything like that when Raime died, I’d have liked to, but never could manage to look through stuff like that for the right one until everyone knew.

            I had joined a baby loss yahoo group and I know just reading about other people going through the same thing helped immensely.

            Another thing that was super healing for me was to make her a memorial website. Finding the perfect graphics, writing it all down, etc was hard, but very healing when it was finally completed.

            • admin says:

              Curtis’ mother wants me to put his pictures up on our website (natural-forces.com) where I had been documenting my pregnancy.

              Last night I seriously considered putting my birth story up, even knowing they would read it and how immensely personal it is… I’m very torn, because I know many random people come by my website and I’ve received so many notes and emails from people saying that sharing my story had helped them and they thanked me for writing it down. I feel like if it helps someone to read it, I should have it there, but do I really want people like Curtis’ grandmother reading those words?…

              • out_of_mana says:

                It’s a tough call…I know on Raime’s site, I wrote the Reader’s Digest Condensed version… for the same reason.

                I cherish the pics I have of Raime. We had an amazing nurse at the hospital, and she took them. Since I was just going in for an appointment when I was admitted, I didn’t have my camera or anything with us and they are the only ones we have. I am so upset there are none of us holding her though 🙁 I would put his pics up on the site, because it makes it real for others, KWIM? To see his beauty and perfection will help them understand more, I think.

                I know reading other peoples stories helped me… so I will leave you the link to Raime’s page in case it helps you too.

                http://www.raime.taterbean.com

              • tau says:

                I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your candor – and how profoundly its effecting me. It’s helping.

                That said, do whats best for you. Weigh the two outcomes – if giving Real Life folks access to your most intimate moments is more uncomfortable than the comfort of helping a random reader, don’t post it. This is not the time to be selfless.

                Still, I don’t know if you’re at all like me – but there is also great solace in validating my experience with others. It somehow helps make a very unreal experience more substantial.

                As incredible as it sounds, I still have a difficult time believing that it took place at all. I’m so glad that I have the photos that I do, because I otherwise might not believe that she was real. Shes still such an abstract concept for me – and I hate that.

                I wonder if thats because Im a surrogate, and she was never entirely my daughter. I had 10 minutes to hold her while she lived, but it wasn’t enough time to make her real enough for me.

                I’m terrified of intruding on your sorrow, of using your experience to help grieve my own. I sincerely hope youll tell me when I become an imposition.

  • jynxgirl says:

    Oh honey, I am so sorry. 🙁 I wish I could express it in words, just know that I’m here, crying for you and your family.
    Should you need me, I am here.

  • witchbaby33 says:

    i have nothing to say that hasn’t been said before. i’m sobbing at the computer and want to make everything better for you, but i know nothing i can do will.
    please be good to yourself. we all love you.

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