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The Loss

I watched as my dear friend went through the last few hard minutes of a 38 hour labor, and I watched as the baby's heart stopped.

On Wednesday, September 21, 2011, early in the evening, I watched as my dear friend went through the last few hard minutes of a 38 hour labor, and I watched as the baby's heart stopped. I watched as they took her in to the operating room. I waited for news. I called more friends to come to the hospital and we waited in the hallway together, silently praying together for L & J and their baby.  I knew when they asked us into the private room that it was over. That a new, precious life had ended before it even began. 

L was still in surgery. The nurse brought the baby into the room for the dad and I to see. Our other friend, A, scrambled to call the family. I asked the nurse if the baby had been held, which she had not. I asked the Dad if he wanted to hold her, he was not ready. The nurse gave the baby to me. She was perfect. I kissed her little head, her face, her nose. I looked at her little fingers and toes. I told her she was loved and I cried. Her daddy held her for a bit then he had to go tell her mommy that she was gone. It was awful. 

The nurses brought the baby into the recovery room and gave her to her mother. when L looked at her perfect little baby, she said; "You are a Peanut!" She talked to her, looked her over and held her. When she gave the baby back to the nurses, she looked at me and said, "Why?" I had no words other than to tell her I was so sorry for her loss. 

The past few days have been exhausting. Mom came home, we all have been doing our best to take care of her, to nurture her, to love her through this, but we cannot find the right words. Are there any words that can help? I don't think so. I think all we can do now is listen, hug her, cry with her and keep telling her that she did nothing wrong. 

What do we pray for? Comforting words? Peace? Laughter in the face of tragedy? I simply do not know. All I know is that a little Peanut is not here with her Momma, that she will never get over this loss, that the life of an innocent, perfect baby never came to be. Now instead of planning for feedings and a lifetime of happiness, she is planning her baby's funeral. One day, I hope she can find peace. I hope she can find answers. I hope her heart heals. I hope she knows that she has an angel with her always. There is a poem that ends "An angel never dies." Why then, does a baby have to? 

I will not post the names of anyone in this situation for privacy. If you know the family, I ask that you too respect their privacy by not writing their names on any comments you may have for this blog. Thank you.

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Jill Bracewell September 28, 2011 at 01:45 PM
Thank you all for your kind words. Kim, I am so lucky to know you and to be able to hug you...I am doing my best for L, I have barely left her since we went to the hospital last Tuesday. Now that A is home and off tomorrow, I think I shall stay in my house all day and cry it out. Thank you all again. Jill
Cathy Gross Smith September 28, 2011 at 06:35 PM
I do not know if your friend has any other children but if she does, I would love to meet up with you and give you a book about this type of terrible family loss. We have several copies in our church library and I would be honored to give this to them.
Leonard September 29, 2011 at 06:13 PM
Being there is all you can do. Even during the times no words are being exchanged your presence says more than you know. The truth is none of you are or will be the same as you were before this but you will have each other and will get through it. The day will come where she will try again and the hurt of right now will be quadrupled in joy and happiness.
Michael October 01, 2011 at 06:06 PM
Jill, I have been where you are. My daughter lost a son in the exact same manner. When my daughter was wheeled back to her room, she was holding her son, my grandson. I felt helpless, seeing my "little baby girl" and knowing there was nothing I could say or do to "fix" the situation. I waited outside the room for several minutes crying harder than I had ever cried before. I felt for my lost grandson, my daughter and like I had let my daughter down. A nurse saw me in tears and stood next to me. She placed her hand on my shoulder. Her silence (compassion) spoke volumes. I am sorry I never got her name. I still to this day pray thanks for her.
Jill Bracewell October 01, 2011 at 10:34 PM
Thank you all so much for your kind words and resources for my friend L. I will pass along the information to them as well as your words of kindness and compassion. It has been a difficult journey, one that will haunt all of us for many years to come. Thank you for your prayers and love. Jill

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