Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Our last day...

We're still trying to grasp what exactly happened in the past few days. All I know is that my c-section was scheduled for today, and now everything is already all said and done...it all happened way too quickly.

Our last day together; Saturday started out great. I took my first shower since the surgery, it was the best shower ever...I felt pretty good, and as I got dressed and ready to head down to see Will, Tim said that he had a strange feeling that something was wrong. If only I would have known...but I never saw it coming, at least not that day.

We headed down and were immediately concerned. The nurse was giving Will all sorts of stuff and then we met with the doctor. I wrote about this in one of my other postings about signing papers that said we didn't want him resesitated if his heart stopped. After meeting with him, we took some pictures (so, so glad that I did this) and decided to head back up to the room to grab some lunch...if only we could have known, I know we wouldn't have left his side.

We got up to my room and attempted to eat. We were so sad. As we laid in bed together we both started praying by ourselves. I prayed that if Will wasn't going to make it, that God would take him soon and not draw this out...and if he was going to be okay, then he would get better quickly. It wasn't even 5 minutes later, that Will's doctor called from the NICU to get us back down there. As Tim wheeled me, I found he had prayed the same thing...

Once to the NICU, the doctor explained that Will's oxgyen level was going down, and his body was not able to get rid of the carbon dioxide collecting in his body. His kidneys were starting to shut down and he had quit peeing. We could tell a huge difference from the day before, his little chest was barely moving and he was now back up to 100% oxygen and the jet vent (the machine trying to help out his lungs) was set at its highest point. His honeymoon period was over and it was clear to everyone that this precious baby just didn't have the lungs to survive. But they wanted to run one more test...and so we waited.

They asked if we wanted him baptized. Of course we did. It then occurred to me what was happening. That moment was so real. A person showed up within 10 minutes and performed the ceremony. There was something so special about that moment, Tim & I holding hands peering down into his bed, watching our son. After it was finished, I felt a sense of peace.

Then the doctor came back with his latest test results: not good news at all. Everything we feared was confirmed. Tim and I were in shock. He looked so perfect still. We sat there totally confused and completely crushed. The doctor looked at us and started to cry, explaining that we had 3 choices: leave him hooked up to everything until his heart stopped, which would drag out his suffering; or leave the room while they removed him from the machines for him to pass more quickly, or lastly, they unhook him from the machines and bring him to us in a private room where he could pass in his parents arms. The doctor explained that many people could not handle the last option, as watching their child die was too hard. 
For Tim and I there was never a question in our minds. The doctor was upfront in telling us that Will had a 0% chance of survival at this point.

As we talked about this stuff, my eyes were focused on his vitals screen. Tim was gripping my hand crying and doing the talking with the doctor. But I just watched his oxygen level drop before my eyes...62, 61, 60, 59...It was supposed to be past 80, and now it was going down so fast I felt like I was watching a kitchen timer run out...I felt panicked. Rushed.

I don't remember walking into the private room or leaving his bedside. The next thing I knew our baby was brought to us in a blanket we had brought from home by a crying doctor and nurse, saying that he would probably only make it 5-10 minutes...

We held onto him for dear life...crying...talking to him...kissing and loving on him. He looked so peaceful. Every now and then he would take a breath, startling me, because that was his only movement. As the minutes went on I became panicky, he just kept hanging on, and as his mother I didn't want him to suffer. Inside I was screaming at God in my thoughts, I was so angry that this was happening, angry that I had to sit here and watch my baby die in our arms when he was so beautiful...angry that every time the doctor checked his heart, he was still hanging on. 

I sobbed to Tim..."Did we do the right thing?! I'm so scared we didn't do the right thing."
In my heart, I knew we had. Then Tim said something that brought me instant peace and I know Will felt it too...

"Its okay buddy, you go when you are ready..."

Will had never done anything the doctors said he would do. He never miscarried between 18 & 20 weeks, never crushed his cord, never died in the moments right after birth. He always hung on...Why should his last moments be any different? 

We continued to talk to him, tell him how much we loved him, how beautiful he was, and pray with him. Slowly, he passed in our arms. In his own time...he held on for 45 minutes. So peaceful and so quiet. 
The doctor came in and checked for a heartbeat. All was silent...it was about 6:15.

The rest of the evening, we just held him. Memorizing his hands, his face, his cute little feet. We wanted to stop time. Our parents arrived to hold him for the last time. The NICU staff took pictures, made molds of his feet & hands, and made other momentos, which are now priceless. As it got later, Tim and I turned off some of the lights and sat silently. Tim holding me, me holding onto Will. And we just sat there as a family for the last time, in a dim and quiet room, wishing that time could just stand still.

But time in that room went so quickly, and soon it was time to hand him to the nurse. We had been in that room for over 6 hours and it felt like minutes. It was that moment that was harder than all the rest. Handing over his tiny body, knowing that we would never see him or hold him again in this life...our hearts have been breaking ever since.

Will is a complete miracle and blessing. I use to think that after everything: the 8 weeks in the hospital, the shots in my belly twice a day, finger pokes, gestational diabetes...that I would become bitter if he didn't make it. But if going through all that enabled us to spend those 52 hours with him, instead of just a few moments, then I know it was completely worth it.

God has a plan. We don't know what it is, but we find peace in knowing that Will is now completely healed and watching over us. That still doesn't make it hurt any less, each day we struggle with missing our son. But he will forever be our perfect baby...waiting to be held by us again one day.


Kristin said...

I am praying so hard for you guys. As are some of my friends and family. I wish I could come see you guys Saturday, but I have to work at 3. I'm going to try and come up to see you guys sometime with Anne. Just wanted to let you guys know that you really touched my heart while you were at the hospital, and you guys weren't just "another patient", you became a friend. My heart is breaking for you guys.

The Davani Family said...

Thank you so much for sharing such a personal time for you guys and sharing Will with us. What a beautiful precious baby. We feel blessed to be able to pray for you and wish God's continued peace and healing be showered on you. You are loved and thought of constantly by SO MANY of us here...

Hodels said...

I don't remember reading anything so heart wrenching and yet so beautiful. I'm not sure you could have possibly communicated your feelings any better than you did. I am so impressed by ALL of your decisions and your decision to trust versus be bitter while feeling all emotions that are completely understandable. What a blessing to know your guys and to know of Will. Our prayers are with you and through the valleys you will travel, you will be supported by your friends and your God. We love you both.

John and Anna

The Davani Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Davani Family said...

My mom (only 61 yrs old), who has lost her ability to walk, talk, write and perform most daily functions from Parkinson's Disease, has this quote at the bottom of all of her emails. When I read all the posts from Julie's friends/family (and sisters/brothers in Christ) it seems so appropriate:

"Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into a flame by another
human being. Each of us owes our deepest thanks to those who have
rekindled that light."
- Albert Schweitzer

As someone who cares about Julie, thank you to everyone who has reached out to support them during this time!

Continued blessings, peace and healing to you Julie and Tim.

Megan Smith said...

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow and pray that you will be comforted and overwhelmed by the love and support of all of those who can attend the celebration of Will's life. By the way, I "LOVE" (love is the wrong word, but I can't think of a more graceful way to say it) attending christian services - not a memorial, not a funeral, but a CELEBRATION! of an amazing, beautiful, miraculous life. I know that the next days, weeks, years will be a struggle, but I hope tomorrow you can feel peace, God's presence and be amazed at the 52 hours you had with Will.

Twinkletoes said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Your moments with Will and your retellings are amazingly beautiful. You are a talented writer and a loving mother.