Good night, sweet prince: And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest...
-William Shakespeare

It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.
-Rose Kennedy

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Story Part 3:

I settle in and try to get comfortable.
My cell phone rings, it's a hospital (I work in hospitals, it's one of mine!)...I answer and of course, Dad's phone ( I work for him) is not working...I am short with the person on the other end, I am thinking they should know what I am going through. I tell them to leave a message for Dad and he'll call them back. I call Dad, he is out of the country and explain to him what is going on with the phone situation. He is surprised that I even answer my phone and tells me I can try to change the outgoing message on the phone system. I do that and all is good work wise. (Not sure why I added this except maybe I want to remember it myself!)
Shan and I try to make the best of the bad situation and even laugh a little. The nurses are in and out, checking me and showing Shan his very own bed ( a pull out couch thing!), and asking if they can get him anything.
Jerry, our friend shows up which mind you we are surprised, his wife passed away at the very same hospital 2 weeks earlier. It however was very nice to have him there although, I didn't know what to say. He would have done anything we asked of him, but what do you ask of someone when the only thing you want NO ONE can give you! He stayed for an hour or so. After he left it seems like our mood got a bit more somber...we watched t.v., talked about what our decisions were for William, and cried.
Time seemed to pass slowly, I wasn't sure how I was supposed to feel. I was excited to see my son and sad because it wasn't time. It's not a feeling I can describe.
I asked the nurse for some pain meds as the contractions were kicking in, I didn't want anything too strong. 2 Tylenol and some Staydol(sp?)...feeling tired and wanting to sleep. I think I dozed off for a bit, I woke up to pain bad enough for me to ask, "who's the anesthesiologist on call?" "Dr. N" Allison, my nurse (an angel in disguise) said. "O.K., well then I want an epidural." I am not actually calm during this, I am on my knees doubled over trying to get rid of the incredible cramps I have. I am also trying to be quiet as Shan is finally sleeping and I worry about him.
Allison gets me to lay on my back and talks me through the contractions, "relax your shoulders, your arms into the bed. Try to relax your back." She checks me and I am dialated to a 4, "call Dr. N," She says to another person in the room. "He isn't going to make it in time." No epidural...great. I sort of remember the pain but not really, I know I had to push. "Allison, I need to push." "Go ahead, it's ok, if you need to go ahead, " she says. " No wait, it's not time, he's not supposed to be here yet, no, I can't do this!" I am screaming these words and they sound all too familiar, they were in a dream I had a prior to finding out I lost Will. Shan has been up holding my hand and crying with me through all of this.
I push and into this world comes William Henry Johnson. I am too scared to hold him as the Doctor hasn't arrived yet, I want him to see my boy to see if there is anything he can tell me as to why I lost him. The Doctor arrives in a few minutes time and he says that everything looks normal and he doesn't know how long it has been since I actually lost him.
I am ready to hold my little man, they clean him up and hand the most perfect, tiny boy to me. I count fingers and toes, and yes, he's definitely a boy! His tiny hand fits on the tip of my finger and his feet just like his Daddy's, what we call "cowboy feet!" His nose mine, his lips his Daddy's. His eyes couldn't be seen yet as they were still matted over. I just can't get over how perfect he is. Our son! He is our son. I was so happy and yet so sad at the same time. I ask all the questions, "What time was he born?, How big?, How long?" The answers are 4:14am, 12.2 ounces, 11 inches! My little man, seriously little!
We stay at the hospital and Lydia our nurse comes in and takes pictures of me holding him and then she takes him to get castings of his hands and feet so we can have more memories. I eat breakfast, Shan eats cookies that I packed for him. We wait and William is returned. He is covered in Vaseline as his skin is fragile and they are afraid it will tear if not kept moist. He is still perfect.
The castings won't be done for a few days and the visiting nurse will bring them with her when she comes to check in on me. I hold William and talk to him, I tell him how much I love him, and need him. I snuggle his bear up to him and I get tired. I place him on the bed next to me and snuggle up for a nap. The best nap I have had since I found out that his heart stopped and the best sleep I have had since. I woke up to him still there by my side my arm wrapped around him. I hold him longer and stare at him to remember everything I can. I know I am going to have to give him up. I struggle with this as I want to take him home, I want my son.
Shan and I discuss our options further and decide cremation is the best option although we may not get any ashes back as he is so small. We know he is with us always anyway. We will do a memorial spot at the farm (property we plan to build a house on in the future) close to the building where there are trees and it is peaceful.
It is closing in on 3pm and we decide we need to go home. I kiss William and tell him I love him, I bundle him in his blanket the one I picked for him. I write on the back of a picture of Shan and I that we love him, I tuck in pictures of Grammi and Papa, and Grandpa and Angie and Grandpa Ralph and Betty, Aunt Becky, Uncle Mark, Brent and Libby and extended family pictures. I hand him over to Lydia. Shan and I would only give him to her as she has a beautiful soul herself and she spoke to him all day and treated him with such love. She takes William away and I take a shower and get cleaned up.
Lydia brings in a box, the box has a card with his name and birth info in it, it's a bereavement box. I put his bear in there. I wanted to keep it as it smells like him. We packed up our bags and we left the hospital. We left the hospital carrying a box, not our son.
It was the most difficult day of my life so far. I say that because I realize now that things, life always has a way of smacking you in the face.
I think about that day and I smile because I can remember how it felt to hold him. I love our son, the perfect mix of his Mommy and Daddy. What went wrong, we may never know. What went right? I live in a time that allowed me to be awake to give birth and I got to spend time with my son. Maybe not a life time yet but time none the less!
It has been just over a month since we lost our baby. I realize now that William has given me some gifts. If I listen sometimes they come through a little more clear. I know he is here with me in spirit and I know he would have been a very strong presence on earth. I look forward to the day I can see him and will tell you about the gifts he has given me in future writings.


stat763 said...

Amy - William Henry is just beautiful. Such a strong little guy. We has a nurse named Allison too and she was our angel. I just know so much of what you are going through and I so wish you didn't have to go through it.

Katie said...

Oh, I am sobbing for all that you have lost. He is a beautiful little boy. I have no idea what you have gone through, but please know that I am thinking of you and William.

Beautiful Curve said...

Thank you for sharing this story with us. I still am not ready to do the same - so I give you much credit. I am so sorry that you had to lose your Precious William Henry.

Life is something else, isn't it?

Despite the terrible circumstances, I get a sense that you were able to do things your way. Perhaps it was because you were able to speak to your sister's friend, and therefore gather options and insight.

When I gave birth to our daughter my husband was right there with me, holding my hand and crying with me. Our stories have differences and overwhelming similarities,no? All of them.

HUGS, I know how tough this journey is.

Becky said...

What a story. You're leaving me in tears today, Amy.

I'm so glad I've finally gotten a chance to sit down and learn more about William Henry. Thank you for writing this. Thank you.

BCC said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. What a precious little boy. May he send you peace and love from Heaven.

gypsy said...

amy, thank you so much for sharing your story of your handsome little william. i am a nursing student and just completed my maternal-nursing rotation. in class our group chose perinatal loss as our teaching project and i wish i could have had your story to share with the class. your words of feeling grateful that you were awake to deliver your son and got to spend time with him really are beautiful and if i chose to go into labor and delivery i will remember them if i ever care for a woman in the same place as you... it is hard to have words for a stranger about such a loss, but i really prayed while i was giving this presentation that we were teaching nurses to treat all our moms with love and care. your nurses sounded completely amazing and that makes ME, a future nurse, very happy to hear...

much love to you and Shan.
thank you for sharing william with us out here in blogland...