Monday, November 30, 2009

Knitting for Samuel

I knit.

I learned to knit beyond your basic scarf when I was 7.5 months pregnant with Isabel and had just found out she was going to die after she was born. I had a desperate need to do something for her. To have something that I could give her.

I wanted her to know her Mama loved her and wanted her.

I have been knitting like crazy ever since.

I had been sort of 'stuck' knitting baby items before I got pregnant with Samuel. I just kept knitting and knitting little pink baby socks. I couldn't help myself. It was a little embarassing. But they were so cute and I thought maybe...maybe someday we'd have someone to wear them.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was so excited to be able to spend my pregnancy knitting for a baby we could keep. It was so fun. I knit diaper soakers in generic colors. I knit this baby sleep sack. I was really looking forward to holding him in this.

After we found out that Samuel would likely not live, then I went into overdrive again because this was it. There was only now and that would be all we had. Once again, they told me he could die at anytime in the womb, he would likely be small so there was a need to knit everything in many sizes starting with tiny.

It did give me something to do.

A way to cope.

A purpose.

I chose these buttons for Papa. My husband is a bow hunter and he would have taught Samuel to be a hunter as well.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Allow for numbness

Feeling dazed or numb when your baby dies is often part of your early grief experience. This numbness serves a valuable purpose; it gives your emotions time to catch up with what your mind has been told. You may feel as if the world has suddenly come to a halt. Your plans and dreams for the future have been assaulted.

You may feel you are in a dream-like state. As one mother said, "It's like running headfirst into a solid wall. I was stunned and didn't want to believe the words I was hearing. I wanted someone to wake me up and tell me this wasn't happening."

Feelings of numbness and disbelief help create insulation from the reality of the death until you are more able to tolerate what you don't want to believe.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A poem for Samuel

If I could go back

Back to before the hopes and dreams

Before the heartache and sorrow

Before all the tears

I wouldn't Samuel.

I wouldn't

Because now I know you.

I know your face.

You are one of us now.

You belong to us

And I would never want to undo that.

I wish I could have seen your little face

break out into smile.

To hear you laugh that baby laugh

Watch you nurse

Play peek-a-boo with your brothers and sister

Watch you sleep on Papa's chest

in the dim light of the lava lamp

But we will have to wait for all those things.

We will spend our lives dreaming of you

And the days ahead when we will get to know you

As you truly are.

Not just an adorable little face

But you as God created you.

Until then, grab your sister's hand.

Enjoy Heaven.

When you see that one of us is coming

Wait for us at the gate.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Samuel Angus - October 21, 2009

I woke up on Tuesday, October 20th and lay in bed thinking about the day, talking to the kids and giving them jobs to do. As I lay there alone on the bed, it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn't felt Samuel move for a while. I called my midwife, Desiree.

We decided I should go to the birth center and let her listen with the doppler. The birth center was closed that day and I had the kids wait in the van.

I lay on the bed in the birthing suite that I had dreamed of having a baby in. It was so surreal, that I would find out that he had died in this very room. The very room that I had daydreamed about having Samuel in.

It felt so cruel.

I lay there staring at the ceiling, tears rolling down my cheeks as Desiree listened in vain for a heartbeat. She was crying too.

I met my husband at the local hospital to have an ultrasound to confirm Samuel had died. I was 32 weeks. We went home and packed our bags and went to the hospital to be induced.

Samuel Angus was stillborn at 7:25 am October 21, 2009. He weighed 5 lbs 9 oz and was 18 inches long.

He was beautiful.