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We buried Timothy today

by Sijae

Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999

I spent the day after Christmas in the hospital with my SIL and brother. Leewitt was 20 weeks pregnant with her third child. She went into labor and when she got to the hospital they did an ultrasound and discovered that the placenta was already detaching form the wall of her uterus. There was nothing they could do to stop it. I got the call from my mother just as I was walking out to go shopping. Within minutes I had called my brother at the hospital and had gotten the go ahead to come be with them. A few minutes later my sister called to make sure I was on my way. I was Leewitt's birth coach along with my brother with her last baby and I was supposed to be with her for this one as well. When I got to the hospital my mother was there watching their two older children. I quickly went in to help Leewitt. She was having contractions every 5 minutes. At that point she was dilated to two. Soon after my sister (who is also pregnant) her boyfriend and my cousins, had arrived. Leewitt was bleeding a lot but not dangerously. She was I labor for a few hours after that. Every time our nurse checked her she was dilated one more. She was given staidol, which didn't help her pain at all but made it impossible for her to focus through the contractions. After two unmedicated births and then this one with drugs she has said that she will NEVER agree to take drugs again. She took them with this one because there was no way to hurt the baby.

When she had dilated to 5 her pushing finally broke her water and after that things sped up. Within minutes she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and they named him Timothy. He was alive when he was born and we got to hold him while he died. It took ten minutes for him to die. He tried to take a few breaths but he just couldn't make it. We all got to hold him and say goodbye. Her placenta came soon after intact so she didn't have to go through a D&C. She stayed in the hospital until about 10:00 that night and then went home with Timothy.

Today my entire family gathered on our mountain property to bury my little nephew. My brother (a carpenter) made a beautiful box for him and we buried him under the pine trees. My sister and brother said a prayer for their son and then two other prayers were said. I hadn't heard my brother cry in many years. Then we filled in the grave and covered it with moss rock and flowers. We will be getting a brass engraving to mount on a large piece of quartz rock for his headstone.

After that we all went back to my brother's house and had refreshments. We spoke quietly about Timothy and expressed our sorrow. Then my brother got out the list of things people shouldn't say (that they got from the hospital) and we had a good laugh. Some of them were just horrible.

We had a good experience in the hospital if anything could be good about it. Our nurse was wonderful and loving. She said all the right things and was the greatest nurse you have ever met. We did have a bad nurse come in to draw blood but she was only there for a few minutes. We just couldn't believe the things she said. As she was drawing blood Leewitt was moaning and she actually said to her "I'm glad it's you and not me." I couldn't believe my ears. I know she was trying to make a joke about the needle but that was the most insensitive thing to say! Robin there's one to add to your list of things not to say! Then when she was leaving she said "well good luck!"

We were glad she was only there for a moment and would have asked her to leave if she had tried to spend anymore time in the room.

For my family it was important to have a proper burial for Timothy and to have momentos of him. We took pictures of him after the birth and got his tiny footprints. We will also have a grave that we can visit when we want to. We all love Timothy and trust him to the care of God now. I feel so sad for them! I am very close to my brother and Leewitt and I'm crying as I am writing this. I will never think of miscarriage the same way.

Here is the prayer Leewitt said for her little son at his grave:

"O thou Peerless Lord! Let this suckling babe be nursed from the breast of Thy loving-kindness, guard it within the cradle of Thy safety and protection and grant that it be reared in the arms of Thy tender affection." - Abdul-Baha

Sijae

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