I am participating in CarlyMarie's "Capture your grief" project for the month of October. Each day this month, there will be a different topic pertaining to grieving the loss of a baby, or pregnancy. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month.
Today's topic is
2. Identity: What is your child’s name? Why did you chose that name? What is the meaning of their name? If they were born, what were their birth details. What were their features? Who are they?
Grace. My daughter's name is Grace Fenella. Her middle name is Adam's Grandma. She is a beautiful woman, inside and out and without her, my dear husband wouldn't be the man he is today. He has always spoken and thought so highly of her, so it was no hesitation when he wished to name his first daughter after her. Grace.. well, the long version of her name can be found here. And the short version, is that when I was pregnant with her, I was being taught about God's beautiful grace so very often, and she was just such a representation of that for us, at that time. And to this day, she is. Grace, the name, the word is just beautiful.
Grace's birth was beautiful and a whirlwind and full of chaos exactly like her life. It was shocking, exactly like her death. She was born at 12:07 am on her due date, after we had arrived at the hospital approximately a half hour or less, before. I know it was about 11:15 when we left for the hospital but I am not sure exactly when we arrived. Anyhow, I didn't think I was in labor and finally decided Adam could call his mom to come spend the night "just in case" and I guess that was probably the only smart thing we did that night. Finally after hours of Adam insisting I was in labor we decided to go in. As we drove through the neighborhood, I realized I might actually be in labor afterall and as we drove on 23, I realized I was REALLY in labor and started telling him to go faster because I started getting worried I wasn't going to make it. We got there finally and suddenly I was having a baby! The second she was handed to me and I looked down at her, I started panicking. She was looking at me, right at me, and I will never forget the look of panic in my newborn baby's eyes. Her mouth was wide open, and not a sound. Adam was preparing to cut her cord and I remember wanting to just yell at him to hurry up already, she wasn't ok! I remember saying. she's not ok! And being reassured she was, but as soon as the cord was cut, and she still didn't cry, but finally made a heartbreaking gurgle, I knew she was absolutely NOT Ok, and everyone else did too.
But what came next, I never expected. 3 words to forever change my family's life.
Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. How can something so horrendous even be real?
She left on an ambulance. Adam went with her. My sister in law stayed with me. After being somewhat stabilized, she then left the 2nd hospital on a helicopter. She was not even 8 hours old and was already on her 2nd transport. I never expected that day to go that way.
She was the most beautiful baby. She had dark hair, not a ton of it, but enough. She had beautiful, blue eyes. Chubby cheeks. She was gorgeous. 7 lb 4 oz. My smallest baby. My dainty girl. But oh, was she fierce. She was a survivor, I don't care what anyone says. She was strong. A fighter. She went through more than anyone I know, and she wasn't phased. She lived out her name. She was grace. She went through all the torture, she suffered. And yet, she still loved people. The very people who sometimes hurt her (because they had to give her a shot, draw blood etc) she smiled at. She demanded they hold her,as she layed her head on their chests (which was the absolute most amazing feeling ever) Aside from the few seconds I held her at birth, Grace was not held in somebody's arms for over 6 weeks, but just occasionally then. She was passed two month old when she was finally held daily. In those two months that she wasn't held, we kept hoping and praying soon we could hold her, we believed that our touch, being held would help heal her. Surely, there is healing power in loving touch. After those two months, we held her for hours and hours. That little girl absolutely hated being put down! I will never forget what Adam told me, after holding her for hours and hours. He said that as he sat holding her, all that time we believed that our touch was healing her, that we were holding her for HER benefit but he realized that maybe, it was the other way around. Her touch, was healing us. She allowed us to benefit from being held. And he was right. The Lord's healing grace. There is no other word for her, she was and is Amazing.