Wow, it doesn't feel like Monday was only a few days ago. This week has been so long and difficult. I'll start from the beginning...
I didn't really sleep Sunday night. I was way too keyed up. But on Monday morning, we got everything together, put it in the car and headed out. We dropped Savanna off at the babysitter's, then went to Washington Regional to see my mom before her surgery. We got to Willow Creek right at 8:30, just like they told me to do. I got changed and we waited. And waited. And waited. Have I ever mentioned that I'm impatient, and that God has clearly been trying to work on my patience through all of this? Anyway, at 10 (the time the surgery was scheduled for), they came in and told me that the doctor didn't get the schedule change, so he'd be there at 11. The nurse came in and got my IV going and gave me some stuff to calm my tummy down and relax me just a little. Several other people came in and gave me words of encouragement, and a lady from the NICU brought down a beautiful basket with a baby blanket in it. I was surrounded by people who loved me...BJ, Jeff (our preacher), Carol, JennMac, and then Rhonda came in before I got wheeled back. I felt very surrounded by love. The doctor came in to explain the procedure to me, and the anesthesiologist gave me all the information about what he was going to do. I was incredibly nervous, but felt the peace that only God can provide.
The nurses took me into the OR several minutes before BJ could join us. The anesthesiologist gave me a spinal block (which was much easier than an epidural, by the way), and they started testing my reactions to touch and temperature on different parts of my body). The medicine kicked in quickly, and it didn't take too long before they started cutting me open. The surgery itself was incredibly difficult. The baby's abdomen was too large, and he was stuck, so the doctor had to drain the fluid from his bladder before they could get him out. It was very scary, but BJ did a really good job of being comforting. The anesthesiologist and the doctor were incredible, too. I prayed a lot, and recited lyrics to praise songs to try and keep myself calm. It worked for the most part, but some of the time I was really freaked out. When they finally got baby Jude out, he still had a heartbeat, but it was very faint. He was with us for a few minutes before he went to Heaven. The doctor was incredibly awesome, and told me that Jude was with Jesus now. I had no idea how tiny my little guy would be. He was so small and fragile looking, but incredibly beautiful. I had been afraid that I would be frightened of what he would look like, and that I would be afraid to hold him after he was gone, but once I saw him, all those fears melted away. He was so beautiful. He had Savanna's cute little nose in the middle of a miniature image of Declan's face. The perfect combination of BJ's and my genes.
Everyone at the hospital was awesome. They really seemed genuinely sorry for our loss. I'm so thankful for such a wonderful, caring staff. We got to keep Jude with us until about 5PM. Then, Grant from the funeral home came to take our baby. Can I just say what an incredible blessing this man is??? He was so caring, and has been so nice and supportive through this whole process.
I only stayed in the hospital for about 48 hours. Thankfully, my body is healing well, especially considering how difficult the surgery was. Since I've been home, I've had so much support from my friends and my church family. I've not had to cook any meals, and I've had lots of help with cleaning and taking care of Savanna.
This whole process has been so difficult, but I have been so incredibly blessed by the outpouring of love and support that I've felt from so many people. It gives me hope that this world hasn't completely gone to hell yet. That may sound like a very jaded thing to say, but the past few years have made me see so much that is wrong with the world. These past few months have shown me things that are right with the world...that God is moving, and that He is able to care for me, even in the darkest of moments.
Don't get me wrong...I'm very, very, very sad. I miss my baby boy so much. I wish I could hold him just once more, or feel him move in my tummy again. But I do have peace that he is in a better place, and that some day, I'll see him again. Until then, I'll hold on to the hope of better days, and hold on to my husband and my beautiful kids that are still here with me.
Tuesday night is the memorial service for my little guy. I think it will be the hardest part to get through. I pray that God will give me strength, and that I will make it through in one piece. Our family's road to recovery will be a long one, and I'm sure there will be detours along the way. I just pray that we'll use this whole experience to draw us closer to the One who brought us through it.