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.