Blessed to be His Vessel

Told by: Tara

Aemon Joseph
born 2-28-12 at 6:07 pm
weighed 3.2 oz
length 16 cm or 6 1/4 inches
Died at 15w3d, born at 16w6d
This is my fourth loss. This is also my second loss in the 2nd trimester. I  have my own doppler to check for a heartbeat at home for this very reason. It  sure brings reassurance when you find it, but it also brings a sense of familiar  dread when you don’t.
It was Valentine’s Day and I had just spent the weekend being very sick.  This worried me to some degree because when we lost our Adam in 2008, a similar  thing happened with a similar illness. I checked for a heartbeat and found it  loud and strong. Sweet relief! After a few days, I decided to “check in” again  and make sure it was there. This time I couldn’t find it. After almost an hour  of searching, I started to get that sick pit in my stomach. I convinced myself  that its normal to not find it sometimes (which it is). After all, I’m not a  professional, I carry more than a few extra pounds, and the placenta could be in  the way. There are so many reasons it would be hard to find. Only by the next  day, and the day after, I still couldn’t find it. Ok…it shouldn’t be THIS  hard! I called my OB to come in for an ultrasound. When I got there my blood  pressure was 164/98. Not exactly good, but I just knew in my heart I wouldn’t be  getting good news that day. He started the scan and I watched his gentle face  intently for any indication of life, that I had perhaps overreacted. Then he  turned the screen toward me and showed us the head and the spine, and pointed to  where the heartbeat should be seen. I scanned that spot, searching, hoping…I  didn’t see anything. He said “I’m so sorry.” He sent me to fetal testing to  “confirm.” They were lovely, and got as many nice pictures for us as they could.  They searched for an answer, based on what they could see, and couldn’t find a  reason to explain the death. I went back down to my OB’s to take the next step.  We decided to wait a bit to process, but wanted an induction as soon as we could  for the best chance at getting healthy cells for testing. (Adams testing was  inconclusive due to decomposition)
February 27th we went back for a follow up. I hadn’t had any bleeding or  cramping and I just needed to grieve. I couldn’t grieve until it was over. I  came in the next morning for an induction. I was filling out paperwork when my  doula, Cindy showed up. She’s lovely…attended my last healthy birth and  has had 2 losses herself. One at 12, and the other at 20 weeks. She had walked  this path and was such a comfort to us. The medication is inserted against the  cervix, and it has to melt for 2 hours. After that I get 2 hours to get up and  move around until the next dose is given. Not much happened after the 1st dose.  They gave the 2nd dose at 2:15 pm. After my 2 hours I got up and my hubby and I  did some laps in labor and delivery. There we met a newborn nurse I knew who was  a Christian and also had 2 losses in the last 8 months. She prayed with us,  hugged us, and was such a heartwarming gift! I really wanted to get on the birth  ball because my hips were really sore. I was sitting there rocking for a while  and I started to really cramp. I decided I should get up on the bed so I didn’t  give birth to this baby while sitting on him. I got on my hands and knees and my  doula rubbed my aching hips and back. I was really feeling some pressure all of  a sudden. It all happened quickly. I was feeling some intense cervical  stretching and it required me to breathe and consciously stay loose, instead of  trying to resist it. I decided I needed to be upright, knowing I was  getting pretty close. I sat up with the soles of my feet touching so I  could keep my pelvis open and use gravity to help.
The pain lessened, but I was still slightly crampy. I started to feel  my vagina fill and knew something was coming out. I assumed it was a blood clot,  but after about 2 seconds, I knew it was bigger and most likely the baby. I  lifted my hips up to give some room, gave a little gentle push, and out slid my  baby, complete in an intact sac with the placenta! I slid back on the bed  so I could see, and oh what an amazing sight! I could see my baby’s  form curled up in his safe haven…I wanted to much to explore him, but we  had a bereavement photographer coming and my pastor wasn’t there yet. Another  way God’s wisdom prevails…to maintain my baby’s shape so he was fresh when we  all greeted him. Once the sac is opened, the baby loses their shape pretty  quickly because their bones haven’t hardened completely. In the meantime,  my OB gathered some amniotic fluid to send for testing and examined the  placenta. There was some calcification, which she said was a sign of  infection…my illness perhaps? Since then I’ve googled and haven’t found much  info. That was sent for testing too.
Once my pastor and photographer arrived, it was time to greet our baby. I  asked if I could cut the sac open myself and lift my baby out, and they were  fine with this. It was important to me because when Adam was born, the nurse  presented him to me and told us he was a boy. I never held him skin to skin out  of fear, and I regretted it. Presenting myself with my baby, and finding the sex  out myself, was very important. They gave me the tools to open the sac and  directed me as I cut the layers away from our baby. I reached in and lifted his  body out with my hands and cradled him perfectly, and smiled. He was  lovely! So peaceful, and looked like he had fallen asleep. We took photos of his  little feet, my husband cut the cord, and my pastor anointed the 3 of us with  oil. His legs were folded over so we still didn’t know what he was. I opened  them to reveal his little manhood, and we laughed through tears at our 5th son.  I really thought he was going to be a girl!
He was weighed and measured, footprints taken, and molds made to pour into  a seashell. We cried, we laughed. What an exhausting day. As I write this, I am  2 weeks out from saying goodbye. Physically I feel great. My emotions have made  a journey. I started out at peace, then became very hostile for a few days. Once  I got some stuff out with my husband and reconnected with him so we could grieve  together, I felt more at peace again. Not sure what tomorrow brings, but I know  my Lord will see us through. It really is a journey. I thought having done this  before would make it easier. In a way it is…we can skip over some of those  initial shocking thoughts and some blame, but in other ways, it is harder, and  so much different. Unique.
I’m thankful for the time we had with him. I’m coming to a place where I  can be thankful for our loss, instead of angry and bitter. I heard a sermon  recently that went like this (paraphrased): “Motherhood is the ultimate  sacrificial love. You sacrifice your body, to create a little soul you will not  get to meet on earth, and send that little soul right back to our heavenly  Father, for His glory. I challenge you to find something more significant you  can offer.” Thank you Father for choosing me to be the vessel that carried our  son Home.

If you want to read my other stories, see Ariel under Blighted Ovum and Addison under 8 weeks and Adam‘s story is here too.

If you would like to view Aemon’s photo, you can click here.

This entry was posted in 14 weeks, 15 weeks, 16 weeks, 17 weeks, Infertility / Recurrent Loss. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Blessed to be His Vessel

  1. Angie says:

    Oh, Tara… Thank you so very much for sharing about Aemon’s birth in such detail. What a heartbreaking and wonderful meeting. Wonderful because you & your loved ones made his birth beautiful! you surrounded him with love upon his birth just as you did when he rested inside you.

    Blessings, sweet friend, as you continue this journey. Praying for joy…


  2. Sigrid says:

    Tara! Absolutely beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing your story. God is doing an amazing work in you and through you!! (Rom 8:38- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.)

    Isaiah 30:18: “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.”

    I will continue to lift you up in prayer as you are journeying through your grief. Remember that his mercies are new every morning! Just take each day at a time. Much love to you, sweet sister!


  3. doulamuse says:

    Tara, the love you have for sweet Aemon shines through in this post. Thank you for sharing him with us, for being courageous and open with your grief and wounded heart. I pray that other women will find encouragement through your story. Your faithfulness and trusting in the Heavenly Father even through this most difficult of times is inspiring to me. It reminds me of Job who said “~the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD~”.

  4. cameronsmom08 says:

    Such a beautiful story of love. You had the birth experiences, I wish I’d had the forethought and strength to request… to demand. I have so many regrets from my 2nd son’s birth. He was 16 weeks, 5 days. Reading your story, I found myself thinking… I wish I’d done that, I wished I’d thought about that, why didn’t I ask about that. I didn’t even take a picture of him… a regret that I live with every single day. I love how you put it when you wrote Adam’s story: “We consider ourselves very fortunate to have been able to have this experience. I brought my baby into this world, he came out in one piece, he was treated with dignity and respect. I was honored, he was honored. We’ve had a tremendous amount of support and love. My baby was treated as a human being and was handled and cared for with love.” Part of that I can relate to and part of is, yet another, I wish…

  5. cameronsmom08 says:

    I had a reply typed and the computer ate it I guess. 😦

    Such a beautiful story of love. You had the birth experiences that I wish I’d had the forethought and strength to request… to demand. I have so many regrets about my 2nd son’s birth. (He was 16 weeks, 5 days.) Reading this story (and Adam’s), I found myself wishing I’d done that, asked for that, wishing I’d thought of that. You’re a lucky mama to have those precious memories and keepsakes. Your babies are blessed to have been honored and treasured and so very loved.

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