Exactly two weeks ago on Friday September 7, 2012, I gave birth to my third son, Timothy Grayson. We already knew at that time that we had lost him just a few days earlier.
On Tuesday of that week, just one day prior to my 36 week appointment, I grew concerned as the evening progressed and I didn't feel any movement. Convinced I was being paranoid, I waited until after my other two sons were in bed. I drank some juice, lay on the bed, crouched on all fours, and finally shoved my belly around trying to get him to wake up, but nothing worked. I soon called the doctor and we arrived at the hospital around 10:30pm.
And then the unspeakable words were spoken after about 20 minutes of both listening and visually searching: "I'm so sorry, but I can't find a heartbeat." What? How could that be possible? This baby was the most active baby I've had the opportunity to create and he had the most strength. How could it all just stop? What did I do? What should I have done? Too many questions and zero answers.
Instead of inducing immediately like my doctor suggested, my husband and I decided to go home that night. It was after 11pm and we had no way to contact the neighbor who had nicely agreed to stay with the boys while we went to the hospital. It was Logan's first day of first grade on Wednesday and Trent's preschool orientation was scheduled for Thursday. But the real reason we didn't induce that night was because I couldn't do it. I couldn't process what had happened. How could anyone? I was already nervous about labor and now I was expected to go through that pain knowing what was waiting on the other end? I wouldn't hear my baby cry or see him look at me or feel him squeeze my finger. I wouldn't be able to take him home to his brothers where they were anxiously waiting for their new sibling, and they would be such amazing big brothers. I just couldn't face all that reality.
So on Friday, my husband, mother, and I returned to the hospital at 6am to start the induction of our angel. At 7:49pm, Timmy arrived, a beautifully perfect angel. The doctor told us that his umbilical cord had gotten tied in a knot and that it was wrapped around his neck; I don't believe either of these is always a concern, but the two together and position of the knot can make a difference.
After the doctors cleaned and dressed him, we spent several hours with our angel baby, holding him, kissing him, and telling him how much we loved him. Many people cried. I vomited. I was overwhelmed with so many emotions including anger at myself that I wasn't crying. I was devastated, but I just couldn't make the tears flow. I was worried about my 6-year-old who was disturbed by the red color around Timmy's closed eyes. I wasn't prepared for Timmy's look either, so I understood Logan's emotions. But Trent seemed okay and kept trying to steal looks at his new baby brother.
When others had gone home that evening, my husband and I kept Timmy a little longer. We took more pictures, talked to him, and just loved him for as long as we were physically able. I dreaded goodbye but I was so tired both from physical and emotional exhaustion. We said goodbye to Timmy around 10:30pm. That was the hardest goodbye I have ever had to say. My husband took my mom back to our house. They moved me to a new room away from the maternity ward. Then I cried. My husband returned shortly after to stay the night with me and I continued to cry in his arms. I cried for Timmy. I knew he was safe in Heaven, but I mourned the loss of not only an innocent life but the loss of all my hopes and dreams for that life. There would forever be an emptiness in my life and in my heart, and I cried knowing that I would never be able to fill it.
I gave the eulogy at my son's funeral, and I only cried at the very end. We have received so much support from family, hospital staff, and friends that I met through both church and work. I am convinced that if God knew this was going to happen that he has been preparing us for the last year by putting these people in our lives. God blessed us with the strength and courage to make the decisions no parent should ever have to make, and He did this because so many people have praised Him by praying for us.
Thank you, God, for these people and their support and thank you for answering their prayers. Thank you for Timmy, a gift and a blessing, however short we were able to touch him. He will be forever in our hearts and on our minds. We will love him forever and miss him always, until we get to meet him again when we join him in your Kingdom.