Necklace of Tears.. revisited

I feel like I left everything up in the air when I first wrote Tied Down by a Necklace of Tears.

Recently, another news story had me thinking about this again.

Their baby boy will not endure beyond Jessica’s womb. Zeke, they have named him, short for Ezekiel, meaning God is my strength. Jessica wanted to name him soon after the diagnosis. She wanted him to be as real to the world as he already was to her.

Dave, 35, is her best friend. He has helped carry her grief during this months-long journey. He has shared her laughter, prayers, tears. This has been his walk, too.

The doctor tugs hard and between his hands a tiny head appears, covered in wet curls.

Jessica feels her husband’s hand gripping hers. He’s as scared as she is.

The operating room is eerily quiet as everyone looks to Zeke.

Jessica has prayed that she will see beauty instead of her son’s deformities. She’s prayed that the sadness she knows is coming won’t rip her heart beyond repair. She’s prayed too that maybe God will work a miracle, make Zeke whole and perfect.

But after four months of medical tests, she’s not blinded to reality.

She knows that God has already performed one miracle: Zeke is alive.

Read the rest here.

If you are a childbirth educator, doula, or aspiring midwife, I recommend some resources:
  • Be Not Afraid is an online outreach to parents who have received a poor or difficult prenatal diagnosis
  • Changing the Way Our Culture Mourns is a great resource with lots of information on how to assist families and friends of families who are expecting a baby who will be born still or will not live long after birth.
  • Facts on Stillbirth is a great informative link for all CB professionals to have in their mind-file so that they are able to give accurate information to couples and families
  • For Families and Friends is a good trifold to print off and give to extended family to help them know how they can best support their loved ones at this time
  • Making Memories is a great source of ideas on how to plan and articulate a memorial/memory of the little one

I am looking for more information and experiences on stories like these. If you feel comfortable doing so, I would welcome emails of your experiences, how you felt about those supporting you, what they did well, what they did not do well, advise to families who may be going through this, and advise for doulas and childbirth educators who may encounter families affected by poor prenatal diagnosis.


Genevieve said...

While I consider myself blessed to have not personally experienced the loss of a child, I have recently been very touched by this family (http://mnssams.blogspot.com/). I've followed Susie's journey since a few weeks before Joshua was born. He just passed away yesterday after 67 days and 6 hours - which was 67 days and 6 hours more than they were expecting.

If you have time, go back and reread their journey. It's an amazing testament to little Joshua that his family loved him enough to continue his life to birth... and an amazing testament of faith that they were given over 9 weeks of life they weren't expecting.

mamaofquiteafew said...

I think every birth professional should also be aware of Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep-- www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org .

Nicole D said...

Yes, thank you! I knew I was forgetting something in that resource list! It is in my favorites, but I somehow over looked it. Thank you again for that reminder!

Michelle Howell said...

Thank you for sharing this. I have a story on the Be Not Afraid Site under Maternal Issues. It is a great place for inspiration.

vbacwarrior said...

There is an excellent organization that provides free photography of still babies or critically ill babies and their families. Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (www.NILMDTS.org)

Here is our family's story:


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