The next morning Dr. Deem came in to check on us. It was hard to believe that we had just seen her the day before; it now seemed like a lifetime ago. She listened as we told her all about the delivery and meeting Silas face to face. Daren showed her pictures on his phone. Oh Katie. He is beautiful. She checked my vitals and told me that my blood pressure was pretty high. This grief might literally break my heart. As she left, I noticed a rose taped to our door. I realized this was to notify nurses, from shift to shift, that there was no newborn for this couple. The baby didn’t make it.
I noticed a rose taped to our door. I realized this was to notify nurses, from shift to shift, that there was no newborn for this couple.
Later that day, a hospital chaplain came to see how we were doing. She then told us that we needed to make arrangements for Silas’ body to be picked up from the morgue. Silas’ body? Morgue? I couldn’t handle thinking about my son’s body not being inside of me. He is still at the hospital? But of course he was. Because he came early, we had only met with the neonatologist once. We never met the other team of doctors and nurses or talked about funeral arrangements. We were supposed to have more time to do all this. And now, hours after losing our son, we were supposed to jump back into life and make important decisions. I looked at Daren, my strong calmness, and he took over. He emailed the neonatologist to inform her about Silas’ birth and ask for funeral home recommendations. She responded quickly, expressing her condolences, and providing a list of funeral homes. Daren picked one that was close to our home and notified the chaplain.
Dr. Deem discharged us the following day; she could tell we were ready to be home. Before we left, a nurse handed us a card and a small box. Inside the box were several tiny knit items for a newborn and a plaster cast of Silas’ feet. I thought back to the second sonogram of Silas, when I didn’t want to look at his “sweet little feet”. I wanted the facts and to stay disconnected; I wanted normalcy back. Now as I sat there, looking at his tiny feet, my body ached to feel him kick me just one more time. That had become my normalcy. I thanked the nurse for the box, and we went home.
The next few days were busy. Family came into town to be with us. We finalized funeral arrangements. We celebrated my dad’s birthday. I went to my post-op appointment with Dr. Deem. Our family viewed Silas’ body; my dad said a few words and prayed over us. But everything seemed blurry as stars clouded my vision. Voices seemed muffled, and I felt like I was floating from place to place.
Finally one day, I was alone. I was closing the curtains and it hit me like a ton of bricks. He is gone. And now life will just go on. I’m not ready for people to forget about him. Breathe. I couldn’t breathe; I broke down. Daren came home at this moment and held me as I sobbed. As I sat on the couch, I looked around at all the flowers that friends and family had sent. Our home was covered in bright and fragrant life. On my table was a growing stack of cards and letters, some from people we didn’t even know. I’m in a bible study with your aunt. I work with your sister. People expressed condolences, but also shared with us how our faith in the midst of suffering had encouraged them. Because we were open and vulnerable in our suffering and grief, people felt connected to us and to Silas. People we didn’t know fasted and prayed relentlessly for us. People saw God’s goodness despite the brokenness of this world, despite the brokenness of Silas. I realized that he wouldn’t be forgotten because we let people in and allowed them to really love Silas. This little life, that I initially felt no connection to, connected and encouraged so many people.