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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » A Corner of our Hearts-1K Landmark (Page 1)

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Author Topic: A Corner of our Hearts-1K Landmark
dread pirate romany
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I am ashamed to admit it, but we were not thrilled when I found out I was expecting our fourth child. We had established a rythym, an outlook on our future that didn't include a fourth. Some days I cried in fear. But ee knew that as the months went by we would adjust, and we did.

No one seemed more excited than our three older children. They talked to their little sibling and sang to him, often pulling up my shirt in public to do so. As he grew bigger and started felling his movements ( I use he in retrospect, we didn't find otu his gender until birth)I grew more and more excited at all the things we would do with our baby. I bought clothes, diapers, a sling, and dreamed of nursing this new baby, and taking long walks with him. Our last, the fulfillment of our family and our love.

ON a Monday in late February, when I was 8 months pregnant, I went to see my midwife, Toni. The heartbeat was strong, the baby active. We joked about the rowdy babies I made and Toni told me how lucky I was to be having my fourth healthy child.

It was Saturday afternnon when I first became concerned that I had not felt the baby move in some time. By 9 o clock, after I had had a big glass of juice and a bath, I was sure something was wrong. I woke my husband and we discussed it; he reminded me that I had panicked in all my earlier pregnancies, goine to the midwife, and everything had been fine. He was right; I went to sleep.
But by the next morning, I still had felt nothing. I called Toni and she told us to come right over.Brian tried to get me to eat lunch, but I couldn't. He shook his head and said "I'm sure you've got yourself all worked up. You'll be hungry after we see Toni".
We went to the her house, saying little on the long drive. Her first question to me was, "Do you feel pregnat?". I just shook my head at her and said nothing. We got the kids playing in her den and went to the exam room. She turned on the ultrasound- no heartbeat. Doppler- none. She didn't have to say anything.She simply started crying.

Then the Toni went to make some phone calls. Brian called the kids in. He was direct. "We have bad news. Toni can't find a heartbeat. It looks like our baby has died." Matthew responded with the question that would come to haunt us..."WHY?". We got ready to go. I called a friend in my church who could call the pastors and prayer chain ( actually, she called about half the congregation, too). Brian called our neighbor Cheryl to come be with the kids.

When we got home, Cheryl and her son were waiting. I got out and she put her arms around me. I sobbed "The baby died", and she held me there, in front of our house while I cried. We dropped the kids off, picked up our digital camera, and headed for the hospital. How to describe the experience? Aside from getting admitted there was paperwork, questions to be answered. Did we want a lock of hair, pictures, a hat and gown? So many things to decide at once. One of the pastors came to call, and prayed with us. Then I was taken for a brief ultrasound. The tech and a doctor confirmed that there was no heartbeat. The small shred of hope I had been clinging to died. The doctor on call asked if I wanted to induce now or wait until the next day. I decided it would be best to have this part over with, and Pitocin was started. I had decided that while I had had three natural births, there was no reason to do that this time. After all, why do we avoid drugs in labor? Our newest pastor, came to visit. It turns out this was her first pastoral care call. She has been so very wonderful. She stayed over an hour, listening to us, praying with us and reading the Scriptures. After she left I dozed on and off through the labor. At about 2-3 cm, the doctor broke my water. He said the meconium was clear, which indicated that whatever has caused our baby's death, it happened so fast that if I had headed to the ER when it happened, they could not have saved him. This gave me some comfort. He had not suffered for a moment. At some point Toniarrived. At some point I asked first for Stadol, and when that was not enough, I was given morphine. Although it was the shortest of my labors by about half, it was the most painful. I cannot describe to some one who has not done it, the difference between birthing a living baby and one who was not. Just about the point I decided I would have an epidural, the doctor told me I was at a 9. My midwife got me up on my knees, and within minutes I was able to push.
Brian Benjamin Wiebe was born at 5:19 AM, on Monday, February 28, 2005.

One of the memories I will able to cherish is his small warm body as I pushed it out. He was placed on my belly, wrapped in a warmed towel, and I held him and cried. Pictures were taken. Brian had called Pastor about the time I started pushing and she arrived soon after his birth. She performed a brief naming ceremony and it meant so so much to have her lay hands on him and pray with us at that time. Toni had to go ( she had not slept) and she signed a cross on his head before leaving.She looked at him and said, with tears in her eyes, "All he knew was love". We had time alone with him, About an hour and a half after his birth it was time to go to the nursery.

After the nurse helped me get cleaned up, it was time to go to the nursery. I refused a wheelchair and we walked, my husband holding one hand and Pastor holding the other. He was weighed- 4 lb, 13 oz, and measured- 19 inches. So big for 33 weeks! Foot prints and handprints were made on a keepsake birth certificate (In all but 4 states, birth certificates are not issued for stillbirths, but rather a "Certificate of Fetal Demise" There are grassroots efforts to issue "Certificate of Stillbirth" in many states, including my own). A little gown and blanket were chosen from the hospital's stores. When I became so tired I needed to get back to my room, I was given my baby to hold. His hands...so like Andrew's, with the long fingers- his long feet too. Matthew's chin and Olivia'snose. I couldn't stop kissing his hands and nose. I cried again over him. After I handed him back to the nurse, Pastor walked me back to my room while my husband stayed with baby Brian a bit longer. I slept, and Brian went home to shower and spend a few hours with our kids. He offered them the chance to come see their brother, and they chose not to.
After I woke up, the nurse tried to get me to eat. After I refused to pick anything from the menu, she ordered a sandwich and fries and ordered me to eat. Brian came back. We had to fill out the fetal death certificate and contact the funeral home. When it came time for Brian to call the funeral home to confirm that they should pick him up ( the hospital pre-arranges, but we have to call too), the nurse told him to "tell them you had a fetal demise". He stared at her, picked up the phone and called to confirm the pick up of "my infant son".
I didn't want to, I really didn't want to. Just listening to my husband make arrangements for them to come pick up our baby's body was too hard.

Then, it was almost time to go. The nurse brought us little Brian for the last time. I held him and she took pictures of us with him. Brian did not feel able to hold him again. Just before I gave him back to the nurse, I kissed his little forehead goodbye. It was cold, so cold. She had not even wheeled the little crib out of the room before we were sobbing in each other's arms. I got dressed and she brought us the memory box the nursery had prepared. The little gown and blanket were there, a card with a lock of his hair and a locket for it...and a tiny stuffed tiger. We cried again- his big brothers both adore tigers, and the oldest has a huge stuffed one. Having said our goodbyes, we left our baby and returned to the rest of our family.
Three days later, the new pastor left for 10 days in Haiti. We waited until she got back for the memorial, as she had met our son and laid hands on him. She performed a beautiful service,and I was quite touched that at one point she had to stop to compose herself. ost memorials have a "life history". Baby Brian's had a reflection by our midwife on the pregnancy and our family.

It has been a little over a month, and life is surreal. I should still be pregnant. I still feel him kicking. I read that this is normal. We should have had a life time with this child; instead we have some pictures, a lock of hair and a very small urn in our bedroom. WE had considered taking his ashes to California to be buried with his paternal Grandma, but all of us decided we wanted him with us. We have moments of normality. More of them, but still many moments of tears. Matthew summed it up well. "We'll never stop being sad about our baby. He'll always live in a corner of our hearts."

For those who would like to see him, here is Brian Benjamin right after birth:

http://pictures.hypergeek.org/gallery/view_photo.php?set_albumName=gojirama&id=DSCN0129

[ April 07, 2005, 02:35 AM: Message edited by: dread pirate romany ]

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Miro
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I'm so sorry you had to go through that. ((romany))
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advice for robots
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Oh goodness.

((dpr))

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Kwea
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In my thoughts and prayers, as always.
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Morbo
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Poor little guy! [Cry]

Romany, I will pray for you and your family. I hope sharing about your son brought you a little peace.
((romany and family))

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Synesthesia
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I'm sorry....
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Derrell
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(((Romany)))
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Raia
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*hugs romany tightly*

I'm so sorry. [Frown] I can't say anything that hasn't already been said, just let you know that I think about you and Brian Benjamin a lot, and that I'm so incredibly sorry.

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imogen
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((((dpr)))

I am so sorry, dpr. Thank-you for this landmark and your strength in sharing it.

What a perfect little cupid's bow mouth Brian Benjamin had.

(((dpr)))

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Swede
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So sorry...
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Shigosei
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Your courage is amazing, romany. I weep for your family's loss.
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Anna
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I hope it helped you to share this with us. You, your family and Brian Benjamin stay in my thoughts and prayers.
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AvidReader
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((romany))
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Elizabeth
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Oh, sweetie. Thank you for sharing your grief with us.
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twinky
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[Frown] [Frown] [Frown] [Frown]
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fiazko
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dpr, I have only the vaguest idea of what you're going through. I admire your strength. You and your family are in my thoughts.
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ElJay
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You are an amazing woman, and it sounds like you have an amazing family. Thank you for sharing... I hope it helped. **hugs**
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Jim-Me
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(((dpr)))
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Farmgirl
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(((dpr))) words cannot express....
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Stray
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(((dpr))) Thank you for sharing your story.
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punwit
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I am truly sorry for your pain. Your story moved me to tears. (((dpr)))
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Noemon
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[Frown]

((dpr))

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SteveRogers
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[Cry] (((dpr))) I'm sorry. So sorry. I actually cried when I read that.
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Arthur
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(((DPR))) I am so sorry. I hope it helps to share with us. You and your family have been in my thoughts.
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Teshi
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((dpr))
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romanylass
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[Group Hug]

It's helped a lot to write this all down and share him with you.

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katharina
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*hugs romany*
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Primal Curve
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I'm not generally very emotional, but in light of recent events in my life (the birth of my daughter), this had me teary-eyed. I'm terribly sorry for your loss, romany.
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Boon
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((dpr))

[Cry]

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Space Opera
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dpr, I'm so very touched that you shared this with all of us. I still hold you and your family in my thoughts, and I hope that each day is a bit easier than the one before.

space opera

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Narnia
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Thank you so much for sharing that. I had to wipe away tears. You have so much courage and I'm glad to know you. (((romany family)))
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jeniwren
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*deep breath*

That was beautiful and terrible, dpr. Your story moved me to tears. I'm glad it's going to be preserved in the landmark archives. We'll *all* remember Brian with you.

((Weibe family))

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Gryphonesse
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That is absolutely heart-wrenching. Thank you for taking the time and energy to write it out for us - I can't even begin to imagine how hard it was. Your courage and faith in the face of this loss is amazing. Your family and your newest guardian angel have my prayers.
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Ryuko
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dpr - Thank you for your story. Your son is beautiful. Be strong, we're here for you.
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Jenny Gardener
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[Frown] Love sustains. My daughter and I have decided that we live in each other's hearts. Your sweet one lives in many hearts now. Thank you for bringing him to Hatrack.
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romanylass
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fiazko, Shigosei, imogen, Narnia, Gryhphonesse...I don't feel strong or courageous. People keep telling me I am, but I feel so weak, especially on those days when I need other people to function for me, to cook for me or take care of the kids for me. I am so grateful I have my three older kids forcing me to live instead of hiding our in my bed.

jeniwren, Boon, PC, Steve, punwit, thank you for sharing your tears.

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romanylass
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Jenny, Ryuko, SO, kat, Teshi, Arthur, Noemon, Stray, Farmgirl, Jim-Me, ElJay, twinky, Liz, Avid, Anna, Swede, Raia, Derrel, Syn, Morbo, afr, Miro....Thanks for the thoughts and hugs.
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ketchupqueen
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*cries*

"All he knew was love." That is so true, but it just makes me cry and cry to read about this. I don't know what it's like, really, but as a mother, I imagine it, and I just can't stop the tears.

(((hugs)))

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Jonathan Howard
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I can't say anything that wasn't said already.

I feel like one of those who feel sorry. Yes, one more in a line of many - but remember that every sad face is a world of sympathy.

These things happen, and one can't possibly think of the pain caused. I will never know what it's like to bear a baby, and I can't bear the thought of the agony.

[Cry] I am physically crying, dpr; "may his soul be forever serene" - from one of my poems.

God gives, and God takes; I'm sure that a corner in God's heart was dedicated for Brian Benjamin's soul, and that he is pleasant in Heaven. In these times of sorrow, one can only think that it's for the best.

But then, how could one possibly say that? How can I offer condolence of this type when your own baby died? The answer is that I can't, I can only give you a hug and cry on your shoulder, as you would do on mine. You have a hug that will never leave you: and at night, if you try to sense it hard, you will feel my arms around you, embracing you metaphorically. And maybe, maybe, if you're really sad - you will feel them physically.

If this post is incoherent, it's because of my weep. I may only have a single tear dripping out, but my heart is drenched in surging tears inside.

JH

[ April 07, 2005, 02:45 PM: Message edited by: Jonathan Howard ]

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fiazko
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I have had a hard time just reading about this from when you first told us, so I'm sure writing about it has been virtually crippling, but you have done it. That is strength if I ever saw it.
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Vána
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There's just nothing that I can say. Thank you so much for letting us know Brian Benjamin, for sharing him with us. Thank you.
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romanylass
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((((kq)))) ((((Jonathon)))) *cries with you*

fiazko...it's been hard, but it's helped too. I need to process it. Maybe I can comfort another parent with my story. And someday, I am told by friends who lost a sibling very young, my older kids will have that oppotunity to read this story and understand.

Vana...you're welcome...thanks for giving me a chance to share.

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ludosti
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I can't possibly imagine what writing that was like. I can't imagine what living your life must be like. My heart breaks for you and your family. I hope that your heart will one day be whole, even if it does bear scars. Thank you for allowing us to to cry with you and letting us give you and Brian Banjamin a little corner in our hearts.

[ April 09, 2005, 12:23 AM: Message edited by: ludosti ]

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pajeba
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(((dpr))) [Frown]
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Allegra
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I am so sorry [Frown]
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Lost Ashes
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(((dpr)))

I couldn't finish reading this because crying this much at work isn't good. Do know that you have our love (Momma, Papa and Baby Sopwith).

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SteveRogers
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(((dpr))) [Group Hug] I think Brian will be remembered in the hearts of many. I'm glad you felt you could share this with us here at Hatrack.
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Shan
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(((dpr)))

Hugs, prayers, and healing thoughts to you.

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romanylass
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Aww, ludosti...it makes me all teary eyed to thin of my boy living on in so many people's hearts.

pajeba...Allegra.. [Group Hug]

Sopwith....thank you for crying with us.

And Shan...I'd love to get together for coffee someday soon if you don't mind hearing the story again in person.

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Ela
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