Saturday, May 19 2012
After singing “Happy Birthday” to our precious Sephora, I held her in my arms wrapped in her warm blankets all night. My nurse came every hour to check my vitals, just to make sure I was getting better. Each time she came in, I also had her listen to Sephora’s heart and lungs as well. I had noticed I was hearing her tiny little cry a little less than I had when she was born, which we were told would eventually begin to happen. Her breathing had slowed, and her heart was still beating. I just held her close to me and sang to her some more. I really did my best to keep her warm. The next hour came, as did my nurse…she listened to my heart and lungs and then to Sephora’s. She looked at me slowly with very sad and loving eyes, and told me she could no longer hear any heart or breath sounds. I immediately turned to Chris who was laying on the cot next to me, shook my head, and began to cry. She had passed peacefully in my arms, and I hadn’t even realized it. The nurse called the NICU doctor in who took Sephora back to the bassinet in the room so he could get a good listen as well. Our little Sephora had passed at 2:50am. They wrapped her back up and handed her back to me. I held her all night as I tried to sleep. Sleep never came to me that night.
We had so many visitors today. I still wasn’t feeling very well because of the magnesium they were still giving me to help to combat the high blood pressure from the Preeclampsia and HELP Syndrome, so we really tried to time our guests’ arrival and departure very carefully. My best friend, Annette, and some of my family spent most of the day with us on Saturday. I was in and out of sleep most of the day, but it was nice knowing they were in the room while I slept. The magnesium I was on made me feel like I had the flu, so I was extremely hot and nauseous for the 48 hours they had it running through my IV. Because I felt this way, I needed to have my room as cold as it could possibly get, and all of my guests were frozen while they visited in my room. I thought it was so funny, because they all were asking the nursing staff for blankets to wrap themselves in.
At 9:30pm, my parents finally arrived to meet our precious little Sephora for the first time (as they had just arrived from overseas). After we had found out the diagnosis, my mom decided she was going to get a tattoo of Sephora’s feet with her name somewhere on her leg. As soon as she walked into our room, the first words out of her mouth were, “Holy crap! Her feet are huge!” I hadn’t laughed so hard in days!!! Danielle and Susan, coworkers from my job, also stopped by around 10:30pm to have a quick visit and to hold Sephora. They brought 3 cards from everyone that I work with. When we opened the final card, it was filled with money–so freely given by them and greatly appreciated. Thank you to everyone who blessed us this day. Your encouragement, love, and blessings mean more to us than you’ll ever fathom.
Isaiah 66 12-13
For this is what the LORD says:
“I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;
you will nurse and be carried on her arm
and held on her knees.
As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
I love this image of God as a compassionate mother, caring for her child in good times and bad. It has been important for me to remember that God loves us always, and we don’t experience loss because He does not care for us. Our pain is His. Love and peace can rise out of even the most overwhelming sense of grief.