Saturday, November 24, 2007

Losing Isaac

July 2007 marked the two year anniversary of our son Isaac's death. It also marked the first birthday of our son Benjamin. This year especially it was a bittersweet month for our family. We absolutely treasure the six days that Isaac graced us with his presence on this earth but I ache for him daily. I am also very aware of how blessed I have been in my life to also have two beautiful healthy boys at home. Until you experience the loss of a baby I don't think it is possible to fully understand the true miracle it is to have a healthy one.

My pregnancy with Isaac was uneventful and textbook. My my first son Luke was born 5 weeks early so around the 35 week mark I began the sprint toward preparing for our second son. At 37 weeks I went in for my routine appointment feeling like the day was drawing near. The appointment went well and at the end I asked the doctor if she could tell if the baby was head up or down because I had a distinct feeling that he was not in position. She agreed and decided to send me for an ultrasound to confirm my fear.

This particular ultrasound on July 14th 2005 would change my life forever and the way I would view an ultrasound. Until this point the ultrasound was a really neat way to get a good peek at the baby and it was so much fun seeing him squirm around. It made everything so real! This ultrasound proved to be different. The technician was especially quiet and she continued to try to measure the baby's head size. After about 20 minutes she explained that the baby seemed to have an abnormally small head and she could see fluid on his brain. We were being sent to meet with a doctor to discuss a c section immediately.

The meeting with the doctor is somewhat a blur to me. I heard what she said but was in shock. Howard and I were planning on going out for lunch together since we had a sitter for Luke and who knew when we would get the opportunity to enjoy eachother's company like that again for a while. Well this day there would be no lunch. We were taken immediately across the street to the hospital where they began prepping me for surgery. It was all so surreal. It was like the world was spinning out of control and I was standing still. Everything was moving so fast that my mind just could not comprehend what was happening. We were told to be prepared for the baby to be flown to a nearby hospital for proper care and that my husbad would go with him. I would be ALONE and without my baby.

The baby was born and I heard no cry. They told me that they were takin him to the NICU for evaluation and they would take very good care of him. I was sewn up and taken to recovery. Howard got to go and be with the baby while I sat and cried silently. I could not sob. If I tried it felt as though my body was being ripped in half.

Soon the OB and the neonatologist came in and told me that it did not look good and they would not be transporting the baby because there was nothing that could be done. I needed to think about what kind of measures I wanted to be taken to care for the baby. They explained that for some reason the baby's brain quit developing around 21 weeks and he did not have enough brain tissue to be able to function normally. They explained that he was blind and deaf and that they were not sure if he would make it through the hour, day, week or month. Howard and I were both just completely shocked.

Two weeks prior Howard and I had been baptized and decided to take our relationship with Jesus one step farther. I could not understand how a loving and compassionate God could allow such things to happen. If this was what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus, I wanted no part! He was a traitor! I shut down for most of the day and told everyone that I didn't want to see anyone not even the baby. Around 8 o'clock that evening a nurse came in and started moving me to a wheelchair. She explained that she was taking me to see my baby. I told her that I didn't want to go and she kindly ignored my pleas. She said he was amazing and I needed to see him. She wheeled me to the NICU and she sure was right! He was a sight for sore eyes. He was perfect! He had the most amazing head full of thick shiny soft dark hair, it was like fur! He was the most precious thing I had ever seen. I held him and I sobbed. My dreams for him dying with him.

I had told myself that if I just didn't hold him, I would not love him and it wouldn't hurt so much when he left me. I could not have been more wrong. I loved him already. We were bonded. I had felt him for nine months moving inside of me. We had a deep connection that I could not deny. I loved him more passionately that I could have ever imagined and my heart was breaking at the thought of being left on this earth without him in my arms. He was my son. My Isaac Matthew.

We spent six long days caring for him in the NICU and on the sixth day when we arrived in the morning the nurse came to me and explained that she firmly believed that he had waited for us. His vitals were dropping and they were losing him. We had chosen not to have drastic measures taken to prolong his life. We knew God was in control and we wanted his will for our son no matter how much it hurt us. I ran out of the room and threw up while a nurse held my hair. I did not want to see him. I was terrified. I could not see my baby struggle or suffer. I wanted to run away. But my wonderful husband brought our son to me and I am so grateful for those last moments with Isaac. I was so blessed to be there when this amazing gift came into my life and I was there as he quietly drifted out. We held him and talked to him. The doctor came in and checked his heart. It had stopped. They told us we could keep him as long as we needed and to let them know when we wanted them to take him. We said our goodbyes. We knew that Isaac no longer lived in his earthly body and we handed him over.

I left the hospital that day, July 20 2005, the most painful day of my life. I went into the hospital to have a baby and I was going home empty handed. I felt angry, cheated and betrayed. My body ached, my milk was coming in and it all reminded me of what I was missing. Thankfully because of my wonderful husband, son, family and friends we made it through this season of our life and though we still miss Isaac each and every day we know we will be with him again. He was a gift to us. A perfect gift from God. For some reason, God knew that we could love baby Isaac like no one else and he entrusted us to be his parents. I am eternally grateful for that opportunity.

17 comments:

shelly said...

i'm not sure how i came upon your blog but i want to thank you for sharing your story. i'll be keeping your family in my prayers!

Emily said...

The similarities between Isaac's story and Miller Grace's are startling. Her story is at www.caringbridge.org/visit/millergracecassetty. We still have no proper name to fit her condition. Wow. I have three girls. You have four boys. Again, let me thank you for sharing your heart. I have never read of a path so similar to ours. I thank God for letting me find peace here today and for introducing me to little Happy, who I will be so faithful to pray for. I cannot wait to see how gorgeous he is! :)

theragan3 said...

I found you in a round about sort of way by cfhusband.blogspot.com.
I was taken by your story because I lost my son Moses at 1 mo old in December of 2005. He had Downs Syndrome and a severe heart condition that eventually claimed his life.
I read your story - about both your boys - through tears, my heart feeling the pain and agony of losing a child. No one can really understand unless they have been there.

I will keep you and your husband in my prayers as you heal from the losses you have faced. I pray for the Comforters love and grace to wrap around your hearts and give you the peace you need.

Erinn
MD
www.moses-mackay-ragan.memory-of.com

Tiffany said...

I found your blog when I was searching for March of Dimes shirt design ideas for my family's March for Babies team. This really touched me. My neice Kinsie was born on December 28, 2006 and she went on to be with Jesus the next day. She died of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the newborn from prematurity. I think about her every day. I love her like she was my daughter. My son was also a preemie and although he is alive and very healthy we almost lost him. So, even though I don't know what it's like to personally lose a child I just wanted to say that your story touched my heart in more ways than one and your family is in my thoughts and prayers. May God continue to bless you!

Anonymous said...

Hello.
My name is Sarah Talo. I am a mom to 7 here and one in Heaven. Cainan Victor Talo would be nine years old but he was called home to be with Jesus at the age of 3 weeks on January 17, 1999.
I miss him so much. You are still new to the grieving .. NEW you say? Yes, new. We as moms to babies in Heaven will always be on the grief journey until the day that we see them in Heaven. No matter how many children we have, we still will always be missing our babies. Time will help but never completely heal the wounds in our life because of our fallen natures.There is a 90 year old woman that goes to our church. She lost her first born as an infant. SHe now has alzheimers but before the worst of it hit she still would mourn her baby.. this baby that would be close to 70!
I know that if the Lord gives life and days and a sound mind I will also still miss Cainan at the age of 90!
Sarah Talo
To read more about us please go to www.caringbridge.org/mi/laban.
May God be with you.

Mandy said...

Hi,
I have been reading your blog for a coule months now and I so much admire your strength. I lost my daughter 18 months ago and it has been the hardest thing by far to have to go through. I couldn't imagine doing it twice. I just stared my own blog site if you would like to check it out. THank you so much for your encouraging words and letting Gods light shine through each letter! Visit: whalenbaby.blogspot.com

Hope you have a blessed day!
Mandy

the life and times of anne & josh said...

for some time now my wife has been following your story, and your strength has been a blessing to her. tonight she was sharing with me some of the recent things that had been going on in the lives of folks she reads about and she pulled up your blog to show me the pictures of your beautiful family. as the page loaded a familiar song began to play... "Cry On My Shoulder".

as I read on in your story, and learned of the things you and your family have been through, I was encouraged as you remind readers of the beautiful truth that God is indeed always there; in our moments of happiness and in our moments of tears.

I apologize if this seems random or like I'm rambling, but I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story and your strength with people... you are truly a blessing; just ask my wife.

I wish the best for you and your family, and again thank you for sharing your story.

josh cromer
-overflow-

Rachel said...

gracious. i am praying that the Lord will reveal Himself to you every minute. i am so sorry.

Rachel Tenpenny Crawford said...

I don't know you but I found your blog. I know what you are going through. In July of 2008 I lost both of my identical twin daughters. They were born prematurely for unknown reasons and did not survive. I have a son already who will be three in just a few days. I know your pain and I will pray for you. We can all comfort each other. You can read my story on my blog www.racheltenpennycrawford.blogspot.com. My blog is called Waiting for Morning. Thanks for blessing me. Your boys are with my girls perfect in heaven waiting for us. We will see them again.

Rachel Tenpenny Crawford said...

I found your blog and I just want to say that my heart goes out to you. My identical twin daughters died in July 2008. You can read there story on Waiting for Morning at www.racheltenpennycrawford.blogspot.com

I know what your heartache feels like. I lost two children too. I know how hard it really is. But with Christ's strength we can go on and wait patiently to be reunited again. I will keep you in my prayers.

Lea said...

Wow, thank you for your raw and heartfelt words. I am 3+ months into my journey and still feel the intense pain every moment of every day. Thinking of you and sending my strength.

Susan said...

I just found you through an unbelievable string of blogs that began with Molly Piper. My husband & I are from the Erie Area (now in pittsburgh) and I feel like you just became part of my family. I have added you to our family's ongoing prayer list and would love to hear from you someday if you get a chance. My heart has broken for you and I am praying so hard for you right now!

Tabitha Miller in Ohio said...

While checking on my friend Jessica (newkindofnormal) I clicked on your name. What a blessing your words are to me! Thank you for taking the time and energy to write them down ~ There is someone in Ohio that will be praying for you and your family as God has a plan for you . . a plan for you to prosper . . . :~)

Christina said...

I am a visitor sent by MckMama! I just read about the birth of your precious daughter and then clicked here to start from the beginning. I want you to know that I will be lifting you and your family up in prayer to Our Heavenly Father!

Momma K said...

Hello, I just found your blog which was connected to my sister in laws blog. I just wanted to tell you that your blog really touched my heart. I will be praying for your family. I am so happy that you have a beautiful family to hug and love. I have a daughter and experienced one miscarriage very early on in the pregnancy. I admire your strength and grace. Thank you being such an inspirational momma!
Krista

Nicolasa said...

I found your blog through Google reader recommendations.... It is interesting that I was compelled to click on your blog link and continue to read your story because Isaac was born on my birthday.

Thank you for sharing your story and your strength.

Lori said...

Thank you for your testimony and your sharing. I found you through a *virtual* friend I *met* while pursing an adoption that failed.

I lost my son, Matthew, a month ago...he was full-term+ and healthy, but I had vasa previa and everyone was shocked. He died 7 hours after he was born. He was our 10 year miracle--we struggled with infertility for 10 years and conceived with IVF. I knew he was ordained by God.
I too know the feeling of thinking God is a traitor. I'm working my way to keep the promise I made to Him when I was pregnant--that if, IF the worst was to happen, I'd promise to glorify Him nonetheless. Who knew He'd call my bluff?
Thank you for sharing and giving hope. Happy New Year...
Lori
www.loridoesmd.blogspot.com