Friday, July 24, 2009

Back in His Arms Again

John Edmund July 15, 2009
This past Wednesday we buried our 9th child, John Edmund. I miscarried him at 6 weeks. It was peaceful unlike our experience last year with Clare. It was first our daughter Rita Chew who helped my husband and I to understand the importance of acknowledging a child lost so young. See Dignity For Francis...... The coldness of our world in the matters of life is chilling. In fact many are uncomfortable when we do mourn our children. My husband and I ran across this in April of 2008 when we lost our darling Clare. Below Chronicles a plea I sent to friends after a terrible ordeal at the hospital (for the sake of privacy I changed any identifying information to xxxx):

I need some help if any of you who work with the xxxxxx Health Care System could possibly answer some questions or give unofficial advice. For those of you who do not know, my husband and I were expecting our 8th child this coming October. Unfortunately when I was in Dr. xxxx's office this past Thursday he could no longer find her heartbeat. He immediately did both an external and then an internal (which gave more clarity) ultrasound. We were clearly able to see that Clare had passed sometime last week due to a birth defect. He showed me the abnormalities in the spinal cord and the fluid on her brain. Since at least a week had passed and my body did not seem to show any signs of taking care of this, I agreed to let him schedule a D&C at xxxxx for Monday. He had his staff let the hospital know we were taking the baby home to be buried. I originally had no problem with xxxx hospital. Dr. xxxxx already had a patient there. Although we had delivered our other children at xxxxx and xxxxx, I had been to xxxx for some testing and not had a bad experience. As long as Dr. xxxxx was taking care of me I was fine because I trust him.

When we arrived yesterday we were treated very well. We were asked if we had given her a name and they wrote it on my chart. We had contacted them prior and re affirmed when we got there about the fact that we were planning to bring her home to be buried the same day. (Actually the opening and closing of her grave was scheduled for Wed but the funeral director was going to meet us at home last night to prepare her for burial.) We were told continuously that this was not a problem and that all was in the works. My husband was feeling a bit unsettled as most fathers can understand because he had not been present when Dr. xxxx had done the original ultrasound. So I asked a nurse if they could possibly do a quick ultrasound before just for his peace of mind. She was rather nasty about it, so I ignored her and went to my regular nurse and asked her to run the possibility by Dr. xxxxxxx. Within 5 minutes a resident that he works with wheeled the ultrasound into our room and took the time to go in-depth explaining all that was seen on the monitor. Within 15 minutes Dr. xxxxx came in, cried with my husband and I, and prayed with us. He took the time to talk with my husband as a father who has been through this 3 times himself. Dr. xxxxx is so wonderful; he even held my hand until the anesthesiologist put me to sleep in the OR.

As I was wheeled back to recovery I woke up and asked the nurse about Clare. I wanted to make sure we had her so we could take her home. The recovery nurse seemed to be taken a-back by my question and immediately called for Pastoral Care. A woman showed up, closed the curtains and identified herself as a Chaplin. She immediately explained that it was not hospital policy to allow the parents to have the tis…er…child. I think she was trying to refrain from saying tissue. I became upset and told her I would not accept this answer. We were taking our CHILD home today! She left and my husband came in because I insisted the nurse get him. She came back and told him that she had checked and they would release her only to a funeral home. My husband told her he would accept this as long as it was today. (Agnes at xxxxxx Funeral Home here in xxxxxx had already offered to come get her if the hospital gave us grief.) Again there was a long pause and the chaplain told us that it…er…the baby was in pathology right now. My husband asked why and she could not tell him but promised to go make sure that they did what they had to do and released her right away. We told them we were not leaving until this was resolved. So what was to be 1 ½ hours in recovery ended up to be 4 hours. Eventually the chaplain resurfaced and told us that the pathologist said he could not release the remains for up to 3 days. By now you can imagine my otherwise humble, docile husband was beginning to blow a fuse. She kept telling him that she could do nothing, but he insisted that we be given a reason for the 3 days and a guarantee that we would be able to bury our daughter by Wed. This went on for sometime and the chaplain finally came back with the head surgical nurse. These were the Chaplains words “I have just come back from where they have YOUR Products OF CONCEPTION and…………” My husband turned red and I immediately corrected her “You mean my Baby!” She corrected herself and went on to imply that the time in pathology was all for my health and my husbands desire to speed this up was selfish. Neither she nor the nurse would commit to when we could bring our daughter home. We sternly told them that this was OUR DAUGHTER A UNIQUE SOUL CREATED BY GOD not medical waste or tissue or it or a product of conception. My husband became very heated and I told the women rather sarcastically thank you and to PLEASE LEAVE US! We left the hospital last night feeling very sick. Can anyone tell me 1. Why 3 days in pathology? (The other nurses, the funeral home, and others we know who have been through the death of a child under 20 weeks have never heard of this.) 2. How do we cut through this insensitive bureaucratic red tape? We feel totally helpless and do not know where to turn.

It took two days to get Clare's remains. We finally got in touch with the President of the Hospital and through the help of a wonderful ministry called Back In His Arms we were able to bury our daughter. The pain caused by the insensitivity at the hospital was further deepened when we received the remains of our daughter thrown in a plastic dish with medical tubing and pieces of rubber. Last November with the help of Back In His Arms we met with the President of the Hospital and discussed our case. Many changes have been made at this hospital since. I encourage anyone who has experienced a miscarriage or is experiencing a miscarriage to contact Back In His Arms. The couple that began this ministry suffered a miscarriage in 2005. The Catholic Hospital they were at did not know what to do when they requested the remains of their baby..........very similar to us. They were finally given their child in a plastic Ziploc. The husband put the child in the freezer until he was able to find a priest to help him bury his baby. Most people do not realize that they have the option to bury their baby. Many do not think about this during their time of tragic lose. It never occurred to us to bury Francis. If this is the case with you please do not despair. Give your child a name, have a Mass said for him or her, and register your child with The Shrine of the Holy Innocents . Above all entrust your child to Our Lady to hold and cradle in Heaven. Another site I suggest for those who have lost children through miscarriage or even infertility problems is The Apostolate of Hanna's Tears run by a good friend of mine.

Johnny's burial was peaceful and uneventful. I placed him in a container, wrapped him in a baby blanket, prepared a box lined with rose petals covered in blue material with a picture of the Resurrection on the lid, and tied a blue rosary to the box. Our good friend and pastor Fr. B. met us at the cemetery and he was buried right next to his sister Clare and the memorial for Francis. I am healing and have asked our Lady to hold the child I will never hold close to Her Immaculate Heat.

Most Heavenly Mother please hold in Your Heart all mothers and their unborn children.

God Bless,


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