Monday, December 19, 2011

Nathan Andrew - 12/19/82

It was exactly 29 years ago at this very time that Nathan Andrew was born. Something had been wrong for a very long time. I had been bleeding off and on since my second month of pregnancy...at times very heavily.

On the 18th of December I was out Christmas shopping with my mother, my aunt, my 1 1/2-year-old daughter, and my three little cousins. All of a sudden I went into labor. My aunt took my daughter home with her and her children, and my mother rushed me to the hospital. Next thing I knew I was being strapped to a gurney and was being shipped by ambulance to a bigger hospital...one that was attached by a walkway to Children's Mercy in Kansas City. Even though I had been given a lot of medication and was pretty much out of it, I could hear the doctors and nurses talking. If they didn't get me to the other, better equipped hospital soon, they were going to lose me AND the baby. It was one of the most frightening experiences I've ever had. All I could think about was what would happen to my little daughter at home if I died.

I arrived at the other hospital in record time and was immediately surrounded by all sorts of doctors and nurses. I was plugged into every kind of equipment they had...which wasn't nearly as good as the equipment that they have now, but, at the time, it was state-of-the-art. Immediately, the head doctor wanted to know who my doctor was and how long I had been bleeding. She said that the placenta had torn away from the uterus wall and that this baby should have been "taken" months ago. What was she talking about? I would never have allowed my baby to be "taken!"

Long story short...27 hours of intense labor later (I had been given every kind of pain medicine available and nothing seemed to be helping) Nathan Andrew was born...in the hallway on the way to delivery. He was immediately rushed across the walkway to Children's Mercy and I was taken on into delivery where a DNC was performed. A few hours later the doctor came into my room with a nurse who was carrying my baby. Nathan had fought hard and lived for two hours, but his lungs were just too little. Now days they probably could have saved him, but, back then...there was nothing they could do. There was just nothing that they could do. :'(

Nathan was perfectly formed. He had long, black hair, had perfectly formed features, perfect, tiny, little fingers and fingernails...toes and toenails...on the outside he was just that...perfect! Tiny, yes (he was 10 inches long and he only weighed a pound)! But still...perfect.

Not having money for a funeral left me with few choices. I would not be allowed to leave the hospital without signing papers for Nathan's body to, either, be donated to scientific research, or be cremated in the hospital crematory. Not wanting to do either I chose the lesser of the two evils...the hospital crematory. To this day I regret that, but I don't know what else I could have done under the circumstances. It still hurts me beyond anything that I could ever express and there's never been anywhere to mourn Nathan's loss. I came home on Christmas Eve with two very blurry pictures, a set of tiny footprints on a piece of paper, and a poem that the hospital chaplain had given me.

I've never written about all this before, but, tonight, I felt a need to do so. Perhaps there is someone else out there who has been through a similar experience...someone who needs a word of encouragement. Even though all that I went through was, and still is, very sad...there are two things that have ministered to me over the years since Nathan's death...


#1 - The poem that the chaplain shared with me. It was entitled FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND, and I had never read it until the night that she gave it to me there in the hospital. It is still very special to me.

#2 - There's a verse of scripture that the Lord gave to me many, many years later, and it is still the verse that comes to mind whenever I think of Nathan. The verse is found in Psalm 30...verse 5...and it says, "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." I know beyond the shadow of any doubt that Nathan is with Jesus and that someday I will see him again! Not as a premature baby, but as the spirit man that God created him to be!

And, if you've suffered the loss of a child...whether it be at birth or beyond...know that, if you are a born-again, Bible-believing, follower of Christ, and child of God, then you, too, will see that child again and be reunited with them in days to come!

And as you remember that trial that you've gone through...perhaps you're asking (or have asked), "Why God? Where were You when I was going through all that? Why weren't you there for me?" I leave you now with that beautiful poem that was shared with me by that wonderful, old chaplain at Children's Mercy...

FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed He was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from His life. For each scene He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonging to Him and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of His life flashed before Him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of His life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of His life.

This really bothered Him and He questioned the LORD about it. LORD you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.

The LORD replied, my precious, precious child, I Love you and I would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.
































11 comments:

  1. Thank you so very much for sharing your heart- I have absolutely no doubt that God will use your words to touch the hearts of many! It has been 10 years since I lost my first baby in a miscarriage and that pain is not forgotten. We have no idea if the baby was a boy or a girl (it was too early), but we named the baby Hope. And God has blessed us with 3 sweet babies since. But I learned in that time that even if I never held a baby of my own that God was GOOD! Anyway- don't mean to write a book on your comments! Just wanted to thank you for sharing your heart!!!

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    1. Dear Daye,

      As you can see, I'm a bit late in responding, but I wanted to take a moment to thank you for sharing the story of your miscarriage. In addition to Nathan I have had multiple miscarriages and know the pain that you've endured. (I never thought to name my babies back then, but wish I would have. What a beautiful way to remember them.) Anyway...I agree...God is good! And all of those precious, little babies that came early, and have been lost to us in this world, are now waiting for us in Heaven where one day we will be with them and rejoice together. God's blessings upon you!

      All My Love,
      ~Rebecca

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  2. Hi Rebecca, Thank you for sharing your heart. I came to your site today to tell you that I posted about the Versatile Award and am bestowing it onto others! I was warmed in reading your post. Writing helps us and others. Fifteen years ago, my son was to be born on Christmas day. Instead he came not living into the world August 16th. Wounds do heal over time and I am looking forward to hugging him in heaven. Have the brightest of Christmases.

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    1. As you can see, I am a bit behind on things here, but I wanted to take a moment to thank you for visiting and leaving a comment. I am glad to know that you have passed the Versatile Award on to others, and that, in some small way, my blog has touched and connected with your life. What a precious blessing! Your son came into the world just three days after my own birth date. I will think of him this year and I look forward to the day that both of us are able to hug our sons in Heaven! God bless you, Sweet Lady!

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  3. Rebecca, Thank you so much for sharing! In 1992, I miscarried my 2nd child early in my pregnancy ( but in my heart I believe she was a girl). Sadly during that time in my life, I was living in an abusive marriage and no one said anything. It was as if it never happened. I've kept the pain within for years until I shared it with my (now)husband shortly after we married, he was the first person to cry with me and comfort me over my loss so many years ago.
    I wish I could say more, but honeslty I'm speechless with emotion. Thank you for your sharing heart! ~Martha

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  4. Dear (((Martha))),

    Again...I am running so far behind! Forgive me! My heart aches within me as I think of you...way back there in 1992...alone and hurting over the loss of your child. I've been there and know the pain of which you speak. I am so thankful that the Lord sent the man that He did into your life...someone to hold you, love you, comfort you, cry with you, and share in your loss and pain. It has been much the same on my end...so I know what a blessing that is, as well. I love you, dear friend! I only wish I had known you back then. For if I had...you would not have been alone! God bless you, dear Martha!

    All My Love,
    ~Rebecca

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  5. Awe Rebecca, thank you my dear friend! I need to correct myself and say 1991 (oh I hate hitting the wrong key on important posts). I would have welcomed your support, love and been there for you as well. I am so thankful for God's gift to me (my husband) - blessed indeed. I do appreciate you being so willing to open your heart and to share your pain with us. I'm not sure I would have done so on my own. Bless you my friend and sister in Christ! Hugs and Love,
    Martha

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  6. That was so beautiful, thank you for sharing your sweet Nathan with me. I am so very sorry you had to leave him there. That happened to a friend of mine recently because of money. I know it has really upset her. I am so blessed by your testimony thank you for sharing.

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  7. Thank you, Tesha, for taking the time to read Nathan's story, and for sharing that little bit about your friend's recent loss. While I'm sure that there are others out there, she is the first person, other than myself, that I've personally heard about that has had to make that awful choice. My heart aches for her. Thank you so much and God bless!

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  8. Hi Rebecca,

    I found your blog on Tesha's link up. Thank you so much for sharing the story of your precious Nathan Andrew. I think it will minister to others who have had a similar loss, both recently and long ago. It shows that no matter how much time has passed, it's okay to continue grieving the loss of that baby, or even start grieving. I heard a story about a woman whose son was stillborn and she didn't start grieving until 60 years later. It just wasn't accepted back then. My grandmother lost her daughter, Rachel, at 3 months old back in 1965. She still goes to Compassionate Friends meetings, partly to reach out to others. I lost my daughter, Lily Katherine, who was stillborn at fullterm on March 16, 2010. It is so comforting to have a bond with others that "get" the pain of loss. Yet, we grieve, but not as those who have no hope. I am thankful you at least have Nathan's footprints and a couple photos. I too love this poem. I'd love to have you come visit by blog as well.

    Much love in Jesus,
    Hannah Rose

    www.roseandherlily.com

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  9. Dear Hannah Rose,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to, not only stop by and read Nathan's story, but to comment as well. And thank you, too, for sharing the stories of your precious Lily Katherine, your grandmother's Rachel, and the other lady's loss of long ago. Your post is very encouraging as well as comforting and it is much appreciated! I plan on visiting your blog as soon as I am done here. Again, thank you so very much for stopping in for a visit. It means a lot to me.

    Love and Hugs,
    ~Rebecca

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