Thursday, July 2, 2009

Walking With You~ Meeting Isaac


Walking With You was created by Kelly of Sufficient Grace Ministries to help support those who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words, prayer requests, and more. To join in on Walking With You please visit Kelly's blog.
This 3rd week of Walking With You we have been asked to share about the birth of our babies and the moments we spent with our children after they were born.
I remember waking up early the morning of October 7, 2008. Needless to say, with a scheduled c-section, I hadn't slept well the night before. We were to arrive at the hospital at 5:30, and I am pretty sure I woke up at 4:00... having finally fallen asleep somewhere around 2am.
We sat in the waiting room, joined by my mom and stepdad, then my dad and stepmom. My nurse, who we had already met with ahead of time, took us back to the room that would be ours for the bulk of the day. The hospital was fabulous about getting us a private recovery room so that we could have family and friends back to meet Isaac and spend time with him without the distraction of other patients and doctors.
When we got back to that room, there was already a little birthday gift for Isaac waiting there that had been dropped off by my friend Taylor that morning. We put our (many) bags down, got settled, and I got prepped for surgery. Various family members came back to visit, and our pastors came in and prayed with us. Than I began the (not so) long walk down the hall to the OR.
Until this point, I had really put far from my mind the whole spinal thing. I was petrified of it, and just couldn't deal with being afraid of it on top of everything else. I had talked with the anesthesiologist ahead of time, and had told him that regardless of what I said in the OR, I wanted to be coherent and fully present during my time with Isaac... even if it meant enduring more physical pain. And believe me... it did.
The procedure started, with numerous medical staff in the room: two doc's from my OB office to do the delivery, the anesthesiologist, the neonatologist, a respiratory therapist, and at least two nurses that I remember. Spencer and I began reciting Psalm 121 together, something we had memorized specifically for that time. We wanted our focus to be on the Lord as Isaac was delivered, not on all the medical things that were being said among the doctors.
Isaac was delivered breech at 8:33am, and was quickly cleaned up and brought over to us. I know I am biased, but he was seriously the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. I just remember crying and thinking, "I can't believe this is my child." We could tell that he had my eyes and nose, and Spencer's ears and lips. It was absolutely amazing... and he was absolutely stunning.
Spencer held him for a little bit because it was important to me that Isaac felt what it was like to be held by his parents. Spencer then brought him over and nestled him right up next to me so I could talk to Isaac, kiss his little face, and just... be with him. I remember telling Isaac how proud I was of him and how proud I am to be his mom. I remember telling him how much I love him.
The neonatologist came over and told us that his heart had slowed to 30 beats per minute, and I knew we didn't have a ton of time left with him. Spencer and I just kept telling Isaac over and over how much we loved him and how proud we were of him. I guess when you're given such a short time with your child, you want them to hear the things that matter the most.
A few minutes later, the neonatologist came over again, and she told us that Isaac had passed away. This may sound strange, but I couldn't believe it. I think there was something in me that, even in those final moments, knew that it wasn't too late.
Eventually, the doctors finished the surgery and I was moved back to that recovery room. The doctors took Isaac for a few minutes to do what they needed to do, and then brought him back to us. Spencer and I spent a while with Isaac first giving him a bath, getting his footprints, and trimming some locks of his hair.
Our photographer from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep came back and took photographs of the three of us, and then we eventually began to invite our family and friends back to meet Isaac. Everyone had the chance to hold him and just be with him. I was just so struck by how each of them just emanated so much love for our son... particularly knowing that they had walked into a very difficult and heart-wrenching situation.
Once many of our friends and family members left, our nurse helped us make molds of Isaac's hand and foot... two of my most favorite things from that day. We were then moved to my room on the mother-baby ward. We were given an extra large room at the end of the all to both keep us a little more out of the way, and to accommodate our many visitors.
My dad and sister-in-law helped us get Isaac's footprints on Christmas ornaments, and we took some more pictures of Isaac wrapped in the different blankets he had been given. Once everyone had left for the day, we had some more time to spend with him ourselves. Spencer and I just took turns holding him, loving on him, and beign with him.
It was difficult knowing that the time when we would have to say our final goodbye was looming... it was like I just wanted time to stop because I just wanted more time than I knew I had.
I wish I could share what it was like to say that final goodbye, but truthfully, even almost 9 months later, I can't. Suffice it to say that it was nothing short of the most excruciating physical and emotional pain that I have ever experienced... and I really need to just leave it at that.
Spencer and I are both really thankful for the 16 minutes we did have with Isaac while he was alive, for the many hours we had to hold his little body afterwards, and for the numerous family members and friends who were there that day. We're thankful that the hospital was so accommodating, and that we were able to make so many physical mementos of Isaac's presence. We're thankful for our hundreds of beautiful photographs from our photographer, and for the pictures that our nurse took in the OR so that we would have pictures of Isaac while he was still alive. Though our deepest prayer for Isaac to be healed on this side of heaven wasn't answered the way we had hoped, God's provision for us on October 7, 2008 was still abundant.

22 comments:

Kristin said...

Thank you for sharing such a intimate time with Isaac. My prayers continue to be with you as you miss and love Isaac. You posts are honest, real and difficult to read at times..but you have walked through a situation that most have not had to and you have held out God's sufficient grace for you and Spencer and are such an example of God's love for us all. Isaac must be so proud of his mommy! Blessings to you today!
Kristin

Holly said...

The final goodbye....words can never adequately describe it....ever. I'm so glad that everyone was so kind and accomondating and that you got those keepsakes (pricless). I can certainly understand the nervousness about the c-section. I would've felt the same way. Thank you for sharing such an intimate time.

Lauren said...

Thanks for sharing about Isaac's birthday. We are missing him and are so proud of him. Praying for you.

Sonya said...

This is such a precious story Stacy! I remember reading this story not too long after you had Isaace and it still brings tears to my eyes as I read it today. Thank you for sharing your journey in this most difficult situation.

Shannon said...

It's a rough journey, isn't it? This coming Monday will be eight months for me, and the pain is still as clear and fresh as it was the day she was born. I had to save my entry as a draft last night and complete it this morning, it hurt so much.

I can't wait for the day we get to Heaven. I want to meet all you wonderful Mommies and your precious Babies. Have our own little reunion. I can't wait for the day.

(hugs)

Spud31 said...

Here from Sufficient Grace. That's a beautiful story. I pray that you continue to feel God's presence on your journey of healing.

Trennia said...

Beautifully said...about your precious son Isaac.
Isaac and my Emily are healed in Heaven and with our loving Lord and we WILL see our babies someday.
I remember those 17 minutes I had with my daughter whom had simulair things as your son.I told her over and over how much I loved her, that she was going to live with Jesus and that i would see her again someday and that Jesus loved her more then anyone.Praying for you...

Lorraine-bo said...

May you feel the Lord's strength holding you as you share about your sweet Isaac.

Walking by Faith said...

This story brings tears to my eyes every time I hear of little Isaac. You are so precious Stacy...not very many people could walk through this valley & say God's provision was abundant. God is so good to us even in the darkest hours of our lives. May He richly bless you as you continue to bless us, the readers!~heidi

Jennifer Ross said...

Isn't it nice to have molds of our childs feet and or hands? It's so hard to say goodbye. I like reading about the faith that both you and your husband are hanging onto. It's really awesome that you both said a bible verse during his birth.

Lisa said...

Your son is so beautiful! and your story just as beautiful! I remember the excruciating pain it was to have them take my baby, but can't physically remember saying goodbye... Its so hard isn't it? Thank you for sharing!

The Writer Chic said...

This was so hard to read today, even though I walked it with you that October morning. I remember sitting at my desk, refreshing my browser as the emails started to roll in. Stacy, I am hurting for YOU afresh today. Even in my own pain, I can't imagine how much you must miss Isaac. Loving on and praying for you always. M

Kristen said...

Thank you for sharing that, it must have been so hard. But take comfort in knowing he is with Jesus and you were able to spend a little bit of time with him. I think it is beautiful how you recited the psalm over and over- what a wonderful way to bring him into the world.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Thank you sweet Stacy. Your time with Isaac was so precious. And you shared it so beautifully with us. Thank you dear friend. I love that you both recited Psalm 121...and I am always blessed by the way you surrounded Isaac with your love, cherished every moment of his life, and shared him with your family and friends. My heart is aching with you...and each mom I visit tonight. But I am rejoicing that one sweet, sweet day...we will hold our babies again. And we will never have to say another good-bye. Until then, I pray His comfort as He continues to carry you...

Love you,
Kelly

Sammy said...

Thank you for sharing such a sacred and intimate time with us. I am just so honoured to be able to read about Isaac. He sounds like he was such a special young man xxx

Lynnette Kraft said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. Isaac was/is blessed to have you for parents. Your love for him is just beautiful - a love so tender and sincere.

It's hard to 'talk' about those times. Something in you just wants to leave them near your heart - it's so difficult to adequately describe all that's there... but sharing is an important part of healing and that's why I'm so glad Kelly started Walking With You.

I hope you have a fun weekend. Thanks for letting us into your heart - I was blessed.

Love,
Lynnette

Anonymous said...

The beauty of Isaac's life has touched so many of us, Stacy. Continued prayers and love, Crissie T.

Ashly said...

Thank you for sharing. I've thought about sharing my labor, delivery and time spent afterwards story too. Sounds like it would be therapeutic. I have it typed up in a word doc, but haven't shared it with anyone. I still pray for you:)

Jess said...

Reading your blog still gives me a lump in my throat that is hard to swallow and chills. My heart still hurts for you, but I must say I am so proud of how you handle yourself. Your faith is still such an inspiration.

I still think of you and your family often. I think of how you must feel and what a strong person you must be to get through each day.

23 years ago today my mom delivered my brother, born still. Today we had dinner with my parents and she reminded me:( I was only a little girl, but I still remember how sad I was that my mom came home empty handed. I think we all have a scar on our hearts. Please say a prayer for my family.

You will continue to be in my thoughts. Please take care.

Tammy On the Go said...

I am sitting here crying, just like the day I first came across you blog. How did Isaac so profoundly change my life, and I never got to even enter that room and hold him?

I am blessed by knowing you and wish I could physically be your friend....

Rebecca Louise. said...

I was in tears reading this because I still hoped that the ending of Isaac's story was different :-(

Thank you for sharing how the day went. I can't imagine how hard it might have been to write but I am thankful that you shared. Your son is so LUCKY to have parents who share him and love him as much you do xxx.

mel said...

Thank you for sharing Isaac's story with us. I have been following your blog for about 10 months now. I wanted to let you know that I admire your strength & faith. I had a friend go through something similar with her daughter a few years ago. It was because of her & your story that I felt called to become an affiliate photographer for NILMDTS. I have been with them for 7 months now & it is so humbling to be on that journey with people. Thank you for giving us a peek into your life & sharing your beautiful son with us.