It doesn’t happen that often. You know, when the stars align just right, the moon is at its correct phase, and my husband and I agree on something. When it does happen we stop dead in our tracks and thank Jesus because we know it is a tiny miracle.
It was on the same Sunday. I was in the prayer room crying (like what else is new) and he was in the Sanctuary worshiping, and when we got back together in the car ride home we both started unloading what God had laid on our hearts. We started speaking almost in tandem…
“…we need to start doing what we had talked about doing with Gideon’s death. Ministering to families like us…”
We both really have a heart for helping those who face the same dreaded road that we walked on. We fumbled our way through so much. There were no resources offered to us. No clear or accurate information given. The message was always the same at every doctors visit, “Your baby is going to die. We are so sorry. There is nothing we can do.” Actually there was plenty that they could do and through those months we were able to find countless ways that the road could have been made a tiny little bit smoother.
All of this information we searched out, dug up, and gathered on our own:
Stories of what it is actually like for a baby like Gideon to pass from this earth. Information that gave us immeasurable peace. Real life stories that “Google” never did justice to.
Ideas on how on earth to go about planning a funeral for a sweet baby. The so difficult, yet so real truth of having a little baby who dies.
Lists of what to bring when your child comes into the world. Outfits (2, one to hold them and snuggle in that you get to take home with you and one that they wear to be buried in), hats, blankets, cameras, video cameras, little toys. All the things that you want to do in a lifetime crammed into a millisecond. So short, but so worth it.
(this next item alone could take me a lifetime to unpack, but I will mention it in brief)
What about the decision we were given? At 18 weeks pregnant you think you are going in for a routine ultrasound and then out the door you go with one week to make the biggest decision of your life: “Your baby is going to die. Do you want to terminate the pregnancy now or carry your pregnancy to term?” There are no words to the depth of pain. But it helped to talk to people who had walked where we were then walking and there is more information to be given than what the doctors office offers you.
What about counseling?
What about our children, what level of involvement is healthiest for them?
What about, what about, what about…
What Dave and I would give to be able to offer even the tiniest bit of peace to families face to face with all these awful questions. To think that there are families walking through this alone even as I type, is unbearable.
But alas, what can we actually do? Where do we start?
With Samuel on the way, we know this might not be the time to put our hands to work, but we would like to start putting our minds, hearts, and prayers to work. We would love for you to pray alongside of us too. And we welcome your ideas and encouragement.
We have been inspired already by a few families who also share our passion for loving on families who face the loss of their sweet baby.
Teresa Golik is a precious soul in Kansas who knits tiny little cradles for pre-term stillborn babies. So perfect and so needed, her cradles are beyond blessing to families holding their little one for the first and last time. Her story is here:
Emma’s Footprints sent us the sweetest package after Gideon’s passing. With handwritten notes and prayers they touched our hearts immensely. http://www.emmasfootprints.com/services/
This one I found on one of my marathon (also embarrassingly public cryathon) visits to Panera during my pregnancy with Gideon. I couldn’t even tell you what I was searching or how I found this page, but Perinatal Hospice is a type of care offered specifically to families facing the loss of a baby. I immediately contacted the local chapter in Charlotte called Perinatal ComfortCare and Tammy was amazing. She sent me a bundle of helpful resources and called me on the phone. I’ll never forget her words of comfort to me as I told her we had a Potter’s Syndrome baby named Gideon who was due to come soon, she said, “Oh you have nothing to worry about. Babies like Gideon are the sweetest and most peaceful babies you will ever see. Their skin is the softest thing you will ever touch.” She couldn’t have been more right. http://perinatalhospice.org/Perinatal_hospices.html#U.S._listings
I started off talking about how rare it is for Dave and I to see eye to eye.
It truly is, however, the blessing that makes us tick. Where I am weak, he is strong and in the areas of life that my brain gives out on (little things like math, geography, spelling) he is a mastermind (and visa versa). I am confident in knowing that God will continue to work in us a plan to unfold this ministry, but as we pray and seek His plan your prayers are greatly appreciated.
In all things. In all ways. On all days…may our Heavenly King be glorified.