When we exchanged rings, we hoped our family of two would grow.
It has, into a family of 4. We're just split in half.
Two of us walk the Earth while two of us fly in Heaven.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Empty

The more detailed story of Evan's birth is here on Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope.


For those that haven't heard, we lost our baby son Evan Riley Davies on June 22nd, 2010. He was born June 18th, 2010 at 8:55am. He weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces (3.596kg) and measured 22 inches long (56cm). He gasped twice and then wasn't breathing on his own. Then he had no heartbeat. He was resuscitated and a ventilator was breathing for him. We had 4 days, all too short but way too long at the same time. Time moves differently in the Intensive Care Nursery than it does outside the hospital. My parents were climbing the walls to get down here and made it just in time. They arrived Monday June 21st at 10:30am to be with Evan for his last day on Earth. One of our pastors came and we had Evan's baby dedication right there right away in the nursery. (Hooray for nurses that break the rules and allow more than 3 people in with us at a time!) After Dr. Davies (no relation) told my parents what Evan's condition was and discussed options with everyone, we were asked when we'd like to take Evan off his ventilator and let him go. I couldn't do it that night, so it was decided that the next morning (the 22nd) would be the time.



Evan's grand parents and great grandmother were able to hold him finally and we didn't leave his side for any more than we had to. We were moved from the nursery to a side room for more privacy. Evan's night nurse put him into his first pair of jammies and told us we didn't have to wear scrub gowns anymore. Glenn and I stayed with him all night taking turns holding him, sleeping with him in our arms, talking to him and crying more than we could imagine. Our families arrived in the morning and once Evan's head IV was taken out and his hair was cleaned up, his morphine and midazolin (m&ms) drips were transferred to his arterial line and I made the call to have his dosages upped. Once the nurses were sure that Evan was comfortable, we had them take his breathing tube out.



The first and only time we ever heard him make any kind of noise was the gasping as his reflexes took over. We never heard him cry but we did get to hear him squeak and make little raspberry like sounds as his body shut down. It took an hour and a half once he was off life support to make his way from my arms to Jesus'. It was good to finally hear him make some sort of noises, (even though they were on his deathbed.) Afer he was gone, his bellybutton IV line was taken out and the nurses did his hand and footprints in plaster for us. We were able to take his jammies off, take his diaper off and finally give him a bath. Then we dried him off, put a fresh diaper on and dressed him in a new set of jammies and swaddled him in the blanket his great gramma larson crocheted, just for him. Once we had said goodbye (again) and I was fully discharged from the maternity ward, I wrapped him up in a blanket given to us by his auntie Ashlee and uncle David and cousin Andrew. The hardest thing in my life I have ever had to do was hand over my baby boy's body to his nurse and walk out of the hospital empty handed... and that's the second time I've left a hospital without a baby in my womb or my arms.



We had dinner with my inlaws and all our extended family that night and came home to a quiet house and an empty nursery. After we had a shower and some clean pajamas, I walked into Evan's room, I cried and cried and cried knowing that he never got to use it. Glenn and I had a long cry together and then went to bed. We slept 12 hours and the next day saw us making plans for Evan's burial and memorial services. No parent should have to fill out paperwork authorizing the funeral home to pick up their baby's body to prepare him for burial. No parent should have to write their son's death announcement for the newspaper. No parent should have to plan out their baby's memorial service at the house of the pastor that dedicated him only days before.



My church in the States flew my 3 brothers down here in time for Evan's burial and memorial services. The older two flew out the next morning. The youngest one flew out with Dad a week later. Mom flies out in 3 days. No parent should have to bury their child the day before their 3rd wedding anniversary. Yes, you read that right, the day before our 3rd wedding anniversary.



We are so exhausted right now. Physically, mentally, spiritually drained. We are sleeping at night but its not restful sleep. I feel like an endless line of Mack trucks keep hitting me. We've been supplied with meals ever since we were discharged from RBWH on the 22nd. Thank you so much for everyone that's cooked and cried and brought food for us. Thanks for all the lovely flowers and the cards that keep arriving. They are a great comfort and we really do feel the blanketing of prayer from around the world.

Please continue to pray for healing for us:
physically (especially with these stitches I have, and for us to have deep restorative restful sleep),
mentally (that we'd be able to focus on other things aside from Evan's short life and enjoy them),
emotionally (we've been through the ringer and are just drained), healing spiritually (that we'd know God's presence and be able to make some sense of this),
for our eventual return to work and for the strength to deal with the plethora of kids items and kids in a noisy environment,
for our coworkers to have the right words when they want to say something and for silence when they don't know what to say.

Right now its one second at a time, one foot in front of the other, trying to get through each day. We don't know what to do with ourselves and its tiring trying to get back to some semblance of "normal". We aren't normal, we are different. We are not the same couple as we were when we married. We changed after we lost our first baby Julia Rose in November 2008. We changed after we found out Evan was on the way. Evan's 9 months in utero helped to heal my broken heart. Now its broken again with his quick departure. I have changed in every way possible. I am a mother to two babies that are now in Heaven taking care of each other until our time comes and we can be a family of 4 together again. I have to go through life now knowing that each birthday, anniversary, Christmas and other holidays will be twice as bittersweet.

We just don't understand why this happened.

Photos of our beautiful baby boy are here and here.

For those that would like to donate in memory of Evan, we would be honored if you'd donate to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital. Contact me and I'll send you the details.


4 comments:

Stephanie said...

I have found your blog through Grieve Out Loud...I am a team member.

I am devastated for you. I too lost my daughter Amelia, so I understand the grief and endless hours of being without your baby.

I just read your blog and Evan's birth story. It was lovely that you had time with him...loving him, holding him, cherishing him ~ you are wonderful parents. I know that cannot erase the shock of what should have been, and for that I am so very sorry.

I am sitting here in tears, because I know that the days after loosing a baby can get increasingly more difficult. I hope that you are getting the support you need. If you ever want to communicate...please do. My email is sdyer37@gmail.com.

I have a blog as well called Carried Through Grief. You can read more about me there and Amelia's story if you wish.

www.carriedthroughgrief.blogspot.com

Debbie said...

Oh, Kara. Oh my. I made my way here via Faces of Loss-- I am currently posting your story about Julia. And so I wanted to read Evan's story, too.

My heart is so heavy for you. It's been nearly 4 years since my daughter died on her due date, and reading this, just takes me back.

Please know you can email me if ever you want to talk to someone. debbiedillon (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thinking of you and yours. <3

Jay McHue said...

I have tears in my eyes. For the short time he lived, he knew love, and that made his life here on earth entirely worthwhile. For the short time you had him, you were the best parents in the world. Don't ever doubt or forget that.

Tui said...

Hi Kara
I found your blog via a comment you left on liferearranged for Jeannett.
I have tears in my eyes, and a lump in my throat as I read Evan's birth story. My Isaac suffered from Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Grade 3 due to complications at birth.

My heart goes out to you, for the grief of lossing both of your precious angels.

Although our outcomes were different, if you'd like to read my blog it is:
www.tuibrewster.blogspot.co.nz
oh, BTW I'm a Kiwi - don't hold that against me ;0)

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