A Journal of infant loss - part 3
May 26, 2000
Samuel Wallis Burlando came to visit us at 8:04 pm. God gave us over an hour to show our love to him, before he quietly slipped from Daddy's arms into Jesus arms. We will always love you Samuel, our tiny precious son.
May 29, 2000
I'm so glad it's a long weekend. Mom and Dad just left this morning. Nathanael and I are alone now which is nice but I think we may find it hard now with no distractions. It's been so nice having my family here. By a miracle they made it in plenty of time to help me through labor and be there to witness Samuels short life. Praise God. There were many other friends and family that got to see and hold him too. It's nice to have so much support and love shown to us.
My labor was an odd one. After we went to the hospital Thurs. night I had only dilated to 2cm. So they gave me something to help me sleep and we decided to try to go home and get some sleep. I was so stoned and I slept for about 2 hrs. I woke up in horrible pain. I was so drugged I couldn't walk, focus my eyes, or deal with the pain. I scared Nathanael pretty good I guess. We headed for the hospital puke bucket in hand. I spent the next 6 hrs puking my guts out and going through horrible contractions.
It turns out they gave me too high a dose of whatever it was they gave me. What an awful exhausting experience. Around 5am I decided to let them give me a small dose of morphine and something for the nausea. We both slept for a few hours until people started showing up. When I woke up I had no contractions which I had for days before. We tried to get more rest and my midwife said we'd wait till my family arrived from Canada before we tried to speed it up.
They arrived at 11 am so we spent the afternoon resting and walking trying to get the contractions going again. The midwife didn't come until 4pm then she started pitocin and broke my water an hour or two later. I went straight from nothing to excruciating contractions in minutes. It was definitely a lot harder than I ever imagined. I didn't think I would make it out alive.
They gave me an epidural near the end which was wonderful. I was able to relax between contractions and let things move very quickly. About 1/2 hr later (it seemed like minutes) I was told to push. After pushing for several contractions he came out in a gush of water. I had a lot of extra amniotic fluid. I think that's the reason I've been so uncomfortable though the pregnancy.
We spent a little time with him after he died but it was hard to see him once he was cold. The worst part was trying to dress him. The outfit my mother in law made him wasn't long enough but we thought we'd try it anyway. It was hard to get on him because it pulled over his head. We should have tried the preemie sleepers or waited for the gown that the hospital gave us later. It didn't look good on him either but we didn't want to leave him naked. The sweater was kind of big but it was sweet. After trying to get his tiny stiff arms in the gown for a while I couldn't handle it anymore so Nathanael finished. I found out later he hated doing it too. I feel guilty for asking him to do it.
I held him unwrapped for a little longer then we said goodbye and went to another room. It was so hard leaving my baby all alone but I kind of wanted to escape too. I wanted to run back all night and find my baby but I knew I would only find the cold, stiff version of the baby that I wanted back in my arms. I still long to hold him again.
That hour went by so fast. I don't think I fully appreciated each minute like I should have. He had beautiful brown hair, tiny hands with all ten fingers. His feet were perfect and long. He was tall and thin. He was 2lbs 10 oz and 151/2 inches long. He had his Daddy's long legs. He did have some deformities like double cleft lip which was shocking to see at first but now I love every bit of him. His ears were a little low and his neck was a little short. He had a perfectly shaped head full of beautiful hair. My favourite part was his feet. I miss him and feel very empty now.
What an evening that was. In just a few hours I experienced the most pain I've ever felt in my life, the wonderful miracle of holding my first child and the heart wrenching agony of letting him go. The hospital, the nurses and my midwife were wonderful through the whole thing. Memorial Day weekend will have a whole new meaning for us from now on. I felt surprisingly numb that evening but gradually I'm having to face all the emotions. Especially now that my family is gone.
May 31, 2000
Saying goodbye has been a lot harder than I imagined it would be. The sadness is so intense I feel it will never go away. Every part of my body is longing for a baby it cannot have. It feels like my breast are crying. Milk runs down my empty belly as tears run down my cheeks. I feel my heart has been ripped out of my body, thrown on the ground and stepped on, leaving this big gaping hole and emptiness inside me. My mind fills with things I should have done. I should have loved him more, kissed him more, taken more pictures without being embarrassed of how he looked. I wish I could go back and relive that hour over again. I don't think I knew how much I would miss him once I said goodbye. I didn't know, at the time, how beautiful he truly was. I'm thankful for the hour we had but it's not enough time to be his Mom. My breast ache and burn with no baby to feed. What good is a mother without her baby? I'm left with a hollow womb and empty arms.