Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Denise knows about losing the baby

Yesterday afternoon we told Denise that we lost baby Daniel. Denise was fully awake/aware, was definitely asking about the pregnancy & baby, and was getting mad that everyone was giving her evasive answers (some of these great nurses would also make great politicians). The ObGyn explained what happened to Denise while I, Denise's mom, and a chaplain were there. Denise did better than I did. I've been worrying about Denise's health so much during the past weeks that it was almost as bad as my first time hearing the news. Denise started to cry and heave her chest, but she mostly coughed and set off the alarms on the ventilator. The ObGyn also told made sure to tell Denise that Denise didn't do anything wrong; she made the best choices possible for herself and the baby. But at a point when it came down to Denise or the baby, her body went into spontaneous labor, and losing the baby was a bittersweet event that added to Denise's survival thus far.
Everyone left us alone, and I asked Denise if she wanted to see the pictures of the footprints, the and pictures of us holding Daniel all bundled up (we have some other pictures that are more somber that I don't really want to see again for a long time, much less show to Denise right now). I put her glasses on and she looked at those couple of pictures for probably 10 minutes. I wiped away lots of tears for her, as well as myself. She wanted them taped up on her bed rail with the pictures of the rest of the kids, so I did that. She also wanted to hear everything I could think of relating to the birth & everything else. So I told here everything I could think of. I have some good news relating to the worry I had about deciding casket vs. cremation without Denise's input. I explained that it was a tough decision to make, but since we didn't know how long Denise would be in the hospital, I thought it best to do a cremation and decide what to do later when she gets home after we pick up his ashes from the mortuary. She was OK with what I'd decided, and indicated that she'd like to bury his ashes along with the planting of a tree, more than scattering at sea. So now I have the relief of not having to keep losing the baby from Denise, and knowing that I made an acceptable call with the cremation (insert sigh of relief here). After that, our pastor from church came in and read two perfect verses for the situation and prayed with us (I wanted to post the verses, but can't find where I wrote them... I'll try to remember to post them later). Since yesterday, I've seen Denise looking at the pictures frequently, and many times I've let her know that she brought 3 beautiful babies into the world. She cried the first few times, nodded the next few times, and today she smiled, nodded, and raised her eyebrows. We know he's being taken care of better than we could take care of him, and we'll see him later on when we're done here.
Obliquely related theological thoughts: One of the first conversations we got into before we started dating was trying to figure out any biblical preferences toward or against whole body burial or cremation (weird pre-dating conversation, I know). In the end, Denise kind of thought the casket would be nice, based on most Bible references to whole body burial, but didn't feel any strong pull either way. I leaned toward cremation, but if somebody wanted to shell out more than I'd spend to embalm me & pay more for a casket than I'd pay for any car I'll ever own, it wouldn't matter to me. I sort of felt that these things were our final futile attempts at vanity & status symbols. However if Yugo built a casket, I'd think that'd be pretty funny to be buried in one of those, as opposed to a more reliable and well-appointed casket, say one with the Eddie Bauer trim package (you laugh and think, "How silly," but we do it with cars & baby strollers all the time, don't we?). Anyway, Denise & I both agreed that the end results were the same... absent from the body & present with the Lord, it's all going to decompose eventually, God'll figure out a way to restore & raise it all up again, and He probably doesn't need our help, whether we attempt to delay the decomposition process or speed it along.
Thanks for pulling for us through the medical concerns and the emotional concerns. I know that most of you that have been following along share the same worldview we do (all you "Prayer Warriors") and many don't (our friends coined the term "Good Thought Thugs" and "Happy Thoughters" for all you wonderful people). Either way, I've felt and appreciated all your support all through this ordeal. Your prayers & thoughts especially manifested themselves yesterday when we told Denise what happened. It went much better than I'd envisioned, and we've felt more peace, and faster, than I'd thought possible. There's still sorrow when we look at the pictures of Danny boy, but somehow it's not as bad. I really can't explain it. Truly, we're experiencing the "peace that passes understanding."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Phil & Denise,
Praise God through Whom all blessings flow. We, like you, know that you will once again see your precious little Danny. Allow the Lord to cradle you through this time of revelation and loss and accept our prayers for you and the rest of the family.
We are praising God for His healing hand upon you.
Blessings-Bob & Rose Gibson

August 23, 2005 5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Phil, for your sharing. You inable us to be a part of this period of your life. We are glad to pray for you and blessed when we are caught up on the news. So glad to hear about God's provision for you with His peace that passes understanding.
love, Terry and Ron

August 24, 2005 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil, you and Denise are showing the glory of our Lord. God's grace is sufficient and the difficult times you have shared in this post, show how God goes before us. Jeannette and I continue to pray for you, Denise, your family and the doctors and caregivers at Methodist. Our offer still stands, as we live in Arcadia. My phone number is in the phone book. In His Peace,
Tom Leslie

August 24, 2005 4:25 PM  

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