The week of July 27th will forever stay with me. We noticed you were not moving at all that week. We kept saying “let’s see what she does tomorrow.” Finally on Thursday, July 31st, we called the doctor. They wanted us to go to the hospital to get checked out. As we walked into those hospital doors, we didn’t realize our lives would forever change.
We knew you were gone when it took three people to come in and try to find your heart heat. I often wonder what the nurses were saying outside the door as they were coming in. Were they discussing how you were gone but they couldn’t say just yet? Were they sad?
While in that room, they told us what was going to happen. They mentioned they make memory boxes and we would have a chance to hold you. I am so sorry that I did not want to hold you at first. It wasn’t because I didn’t love you but how was I supposed to hold you and then give you to the nurses, never to be seen again??
There are not many times I’ve seen your Dad cry but that day he did. We both did. How could this happen? You were (and still are) perfect. Dad called everyone and they came to the hospital. By the time they came, we were already in our room. As family and friends came in and out, it was overwhelming. Now, when I say overwhelming, I mean it in a good day. We are so lucky to have a great support system.
I had so many emotions during that time. I was sad, angry, anxious, you name it. I wanted to give birth but at the same time I didn’t. As long as I was in the hospital, you were still with me. Maybe there was a chance this was a terrible, terrible, dream. At the same time, once we delivered, we could start the grieving process. It’s hard to say what we wanted at that time.
On August 1st in the early morning hours, the pain started to become unbearable. The nurse realized it was time to take us to the delivery room. I just remember staring at the lights as they wheeled me through, your Dad by our side. They gave me an epidural and we went to sleep for another four hours. When we woke up, the nurses and midwife came in to check on me. I thought we would be able to get more rest but they said it was time.
We were only in labor for about five minutes before you entered the world. Again, I thought maybe, JUST MAYBE this would be a dream and you could come out crying. However, that wasn’t the case. It was silent and they asked if we wanted to see you. We said yes and they put you in our arms. You were beautiful. I can still remember holding you and looking at your Dad. Then the nurses took you and clean you up. They put you in a cute little crocheted blanket and cap. When they came back, we held you again and our families came in. They each took their time holding you. There were tears but also laughs.
My OBGYN and midwife came to me later and said they think it may have been a genetic disorder. In a way, it helped with some of the pain. Perhaps there was a reason why you left us. At the same time, it made us worry. Could this happen again? Was it something we passed along? What do we do now?
We named you Hope Elizabeth Kennedy. We originally were thinking Aubrey or Isabella. I liked Aubrey and wasn’t sold on Isabella. However, your Dad was so I said I would consider it. After everything that happened, we wanted to choose a name with more meaning. We combined two spiritual names that meant, Belief (Hope), God’s Presence (Elizabeth). We had to believe that God was with us and your name meant just that.
We took a sneak peek at your hair. We often joked about what color hair you would have. Would you have Daddy’s dark hair or my blonde? I loss and you had dark hair. I am not sure how long we held you for. We did have a Priest come in and do a blessing. It was a very emotional time. Sometimes I wish we held you longer. I know we held you for a while and when we gave you to the nurses, we were ready. I don’t mean that in a bad way. We were never REALLY ready to give you away but at that moment, we had some peace and thought it was time.
I stayed at the hospital that night just in case anything went wrong. The next morning we were able to leave and begin this journey called life without you. As we left, of course people were in the waiting room with huge bears that said “it’s a girl” and “it’s a boy.” That made walking out (holding your memory box close to my heart) even harder.
I took one more look at the hospital as we drove away, without you.
PS. I have not copied the photos from the hospital yet. I want to post them here but I cannot bring myself to look at them just yet. I will though.