Thank you so much for all of your comments and for your prayers.
Today was a difficult day. Our phone rang around 6:30 am and it was the birth mothers grandma saying that she was getting close to delivery. I was so thankful that it would not be a long drawl out delivery for her. They called back at 8:30 to say that the baby had just been born... but to every one's surprise the baby was not a little girl, but a boy. So my thoughts of Samuel in heaven welcoming a little sister were a little off, he welcomed a little brother home.
The kids and I left the house to go up to the hospital. Greg met us up there, he had stopped to get some flowers for the birth mom. When we entered the hospital I asked Greg if that was the way we had come in last fall when we had Samuel. He said yes, honestly, the place barely looks vaguely familiar. I think that was a blessing. We stopped in the lobby and I asked Greg if he had a boys name picked out at all, if they hadn't named the baby. We had a girls name, that the birth mother liked too, but we had never talked about a boys name. Greg thought Joel was a nice name, and I thought that was fine.
We wanted to see the baby before the kids to see if it was ok for them to see him. They all wanted to. When we got up there Greg and I went to see the little baby boy.
He was sooooo tiny, only about 12 oz. They figured by how he looked and his size that he had probably passed away up to a month ago. But now that I am thinking back, her last Dr.s appt had been about 2 1/2 weeks ago and they had heard the heartbeat at that time. They had a little hat on him, and he was wrapped in a blanket. The photographer was really only able to get pictures of his hands and feet. Greg and I were both able to hold him and get some pictures with him. He was so very little and just felt so light in our arms. It just dawned on me tonight that little baby Joel is the first baby I have held since Samuel. It was actually ok, but far from the experience of holding a living baby. It is all still so hard to believe.
Right now I am just shocked as we once again realize how life can just change in an instant. All of our thoughts and plans of yesterday are changed today. At times it doesn't feel real. I can't understand it at all.
When I saw the baby's grandma I asked her if they had named him and she said yes, that they had decided on Joel. Can you believe that? We NEVER talked about boys names and we both came up with that name. Joel has never even been a name that has come up before in our house. But it is perfect for that sweet little boy. Having us both pick out that name just gave me peace that he was meant to be named Joel. Later tonight the birth mom called and asked if we wanted the baby to have a middle name. The kids were a little sad that we hadn't really had one at the hospital so she and I decided to let the kids pick out a middle name. They decided on David.
The assistant director that was up at the hospital with the birth mom was Stephanie who I asked you to pray for before. She had her daughter Tatum just 4 1/2 mos. ago. And Tatum was a full term still birth, very similar to Samuel. It was a big comfort for me to have her there. And the birth mom's doula was Marlita a girl that I have gotten to know a bit from MEND, the infant loss support group. I was so grateful to know those 2 ladies and to have their support today. That was HUGE for me. So here I was walking down the hall with these two other ladies. All 3 of us having lost babies. That made me feel like I wasn't alone. I looked down the hall and thought, I think that hall is where I had Samuel. Right after I had that thought, I mentioned something about Samuel and they both said, "Did you realize that the room the birth mom had Joel in was the exact same room you delivered Samuel in?" Greg had told them both that, I missed that entire conversation somehow. He said he remembered it, that he could never forget which room it was. I was shocked, actually it made me feel sick to my stomach that I was standing in there looking at this young girl in the bed... the same bed I had labored and delivered Samuel in. How could we have 2 baby boys that were meant to come home with us, be born still in the exact same room. I can hardly believe it. It was all too much.
Please please pray for this sweet young girl. Please pray that she is given the best support to grieve this loss and to work through all that she has experienced in the best, most healthy way possible. We are worried about her and our hearts are just so sad that she had to experience this. We were able to bring the kids in to see her. They did not see the baby. Everyone else had left and we just stayed and sat with her a while. The kids already miss having her not living with us.
Her family wanted us to plan and for Greg to do the short little graveside service we will have next week sometime at a cemetery in town.
Please pray for my Louis, he is so sensitive and such a thinker. Tonight he asked if we could make sure we put up a picture of Joel's hands or feet in our home. I asked if he wanted us to, and he was crying and said yes. I can also see that he is struggling a bit with what place little Joel has in our family. He wants to make sure he can call him his brother. He is so tenderhearted. We all agreed that this was a baby we had already really called our own. He deserves a family... and although he is a part of the birth mothers family... we still feel like he is a part of ours... little sweet Joel David.
There were a lot of tears shed today... lots of questions and not a whole lot of understanding. I could feel the Lord's presence with us today at the hospital and I was so thankful for that. But I know the enemy will be working hard to plant more irrational or doubtful thoughts in my mind. Please pray against that.
So tonight we are thanking God for the life of Joel David. As we gazed at that tiny baby boy with all 10 fingers and 10 toes perfectly formed we are again amazed at God's amazing ability to create life. We are thankful to have had the experience of having this young girl in our home and for her to have chosen us to be Joel's parents. We are thankful to have met her mom and grandma... dear, dear, ladies. And we are so thankful as we have seen death again firsthand today, that we can rest in the assurance of eternity. Little Joel is in Heaven walking the streets of gold... maybe walking hand in hand with Samuel who knows?? I am so thankful for the HOPE of eternity. But boy I am HOMESICK for my eternal home... not this earthly home with all of it's sin, sadness, and suffering.
I am exhausted, it has been such a long and draining day. Thank you for all of your prayers and support. We will keep you updated. Blessings<><