Monday, December 30, 2013

Gratitude for those who remain faceless

I recently read a blog post written by a Labor and Delivery Nurse about her experience helping a family through the stillbirth of their son. Her words were beautiful and it gave me a little perspective into the other side of pregnancy and infant loss. I wish I could place a link to the post here but it's since been changed to a private post. 

As parents of loss, we know the hell our loss brought into our lives. We remember all of the details of that day more vividly than we would like. We replay the day over and over in our heads. We know firsthand how each moment of that day felt and how it continues to be and will always be a part of us, each and every day. But what we don't know is how our loss day impacted those who were part of our loss. We don't know what was going through the heads of those involved. 

I'm not talking about our families. I'm talking about those who were there with us, doing their jobs to help try to save our babies or trying to comfort us in our darkest hour. I very often think about the first responders to our home that morning and the doctors and nurses at the hospital who worked on Avery. I often wish I could get them all in a room and find out what the day was like for them. 

There was the police officer, a corporal, I believe, who was at our house so quickly. I can't see his face but I can clearly remember him busting through the door, running into our bedroom and taking over CPR for me. I know how hard it was for me to do CPR on her but I often wonder what was going through his head that morning. Was he just about to finish his shift or was he just starting his day? Was this the first time he had to respond to a call with a baby. God, I pray he doesn't get these calls often. I wonder if he has a family of his own. Did he to home and hug them a little tighter? I will always have a very great appreciation to this man, a man I don't know at all, who gave it his all until the fire department arrived. 

I often wonder many of the same things about the firefighters and paramedics who were next to arrive. I wonder what they were thinking as they rushed to our house. I wonder if they knew deep down, she was already gone once they started working on her. I wonder if any of them prayed on the drive to the hospital. I wonder if any of them still remember that morning. I know it couldn't have been easy for any of them. 

And then I wonder about the hospital staff. Those who spent over 30 minutes working on Avery. Trying everything they could to save her. I wasn't allowed in the room, I cannot remember any of their faces, but I am forever grateful that they tried as hard and as long as they did. I wonder if the doctor who broke the news to us had ever lost a child under her watch. I wonder if she still remembers Avery. I wonder how they found the strength the continue working that day. 

I wonder how June 12, 2012 affected each of the people involved in our loss. I know everything each of them did that day is just part of their job but to us, we are forever grateful of their service.  Even though most of these people remain faceless to me, they will always hold a special place in my heart. 

I want to say thank you to all of our police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses and all others who stay strong when facing the worst and try their hardest to better the outcome. It takes a special person to do this work and I am forever indebted to those who helped that awful June morning. 


  1. I think about these people SO often. And oddly, I still feel very connected to them.

    There was Katye--the woman who checked us into L&D the second we got there to be checked out. She was so nice and comforting, and when she found out what had happened to us later that day, she was just as sick as we were. She took care of us a lot of that night. She was amazing.

    Oddly...earlier this year, I ran into her at a restaurant. And she remembered me. And my face. AND MY NAME. I knew I recognized her, but couldn't place it. She called my name, and reintroduced herself. She saw that I was pregnant again, and she told me that she will do everything she can to be at the hospital when I'm there. She friended me on Facebook to keep track of me. And then, she was there. I swear, the comfort in knowing that the people at the hospital knew me? SO wonderful. She wasn't there right when we got there, but she made a point to tell all of the nurses we were coming and to take extra good care of us. And they did.

    I was sad that the nurse that actually spent the most time with us that day with Luke--Shari--was out on maternity leave this month. But the rest of the nurses made up for her not being there. There were a couple of nurses that I truly connected with during our 4 days at the hospital. And they listened to everything. They made a point to connect with me--not only around Lena, but also around what happened last time with Luke. They all wanted to talk to me about it. About how we were doing and what happened. One nurse shared her own stories with me. She told me that she could never work L&D again because one night a few years ago, one of the moms that she was delivering died during childbirth. She told me that she was forever scarred by it, and she couldn't go back. She went back to nursing only in postnatal. She shared with me that what happened to me...doesn't happen very often in their hospital system. And when it does, they remember. In a way, the idea that they can't forget either makes it easier for me to think about. That we weren't the only ones affected when we walked out of the hospital that day.

    But I can't possibly imagine watching it happen to more than one person. That's where these people are saints. I know that they always have the option to leave, and the fact that many of them don't? Just amazing. I'm forever indebted to every single person that was there with us that night we delivered Luke. To the nurses. The staff. My doctor. Their tears were real, and helped us feel so much less alone.

  2. I know it hurt the nurses, paramedics, and especially the doctor when our six week old son unexpectedly passed away at a routine doctor's appointment. I don't only hurt for myself, I hurt for them, also, because I know it must hurt so much to witness someone in such agony, yet being unable to ease the pain. One of the nurses lost her two year old daughter in the car on the way to a doctor's appointment. I can't imagine the flashbacks it must've brought to mind.

    I wrote about that day on my blog at As I read your story, I remembered the paramedic who handed him to me held her head down as she wiped away tears.

    Everyone who cared for him in his 6 weeks has shown us such compassion. I am grateful for such caring people taking care of my children.

  3. After four days of around the clock care getting to know the L&D and Nicu nurses and doctors, Jesus called my Jack home at shift change so our room was packed with all of the day and night nurses. It was a beautiful blessing in our sorrow. They all cried and hugged and kissed his sweet face they had gotten to know and love and hope for. They will forever be an amazing connection for to those moments. It was only when I saw THEM at his funeral that I lost it. No grocery store isle is safe if I happen to stumble upon one of them. I too wish I could ask them. What a beautiful thought provoking blog you wrote. <3