Born an Angel

Aug 06, 2010

I ran across your blog and website today. What is weird is that I had seen the segment with your story on Studio 5 when I was still pregnant with my little boy. I cried. Now, I am unfortunately sharing in the loss of a child. Although a different story, I think we feel similar pain. I am grateful for your words and for this website. Being able to grieve openly gives us so much more support.
 There are days when I do want to grieve privately but then there are other days that I really need the support of others. Especially from those that know what I am experiencing. So thank you. Here is my story:

Wow. So this is something I never thought I would have to write about... but for me writing and sharing the story and life of our sweet little Bridger is something I need and want to do. Our little Bridger was stillborn on Monday May 17, 2010. I had just barely been to an appointment on Friday May, 14th. Everything looked great. The non-stress test looked perfect, and everything on the ultrasound looked perfect - heartbeat, size of the baby, and no cord around the neck. I also found out at that appointment that I was 3 cm dilated and 75% effaced. So I went home pretty excited that our little guy could come sooner vs later - and still be healthy of course. Over the weekend I noticed a few things... On Saturday night I was at a girls night. We were all sitting on the couch and the girls were looking at my belly. I told them I wished that he would move so that they could see it. He usually did move at night. He had been a very active baby all during the pregnancy. So I assumed that he was just sleeping. The next day,  Sunday,  we busily went to church and came home. It was such a beautiful day that we decided to go to the park. My sister in law and her kids came too. I remember telling her at the park that I was a little bit worried because I hadn't felt the baby move, but I also hadn't really been paying attention because I was so busy. I also figured that the baby was just getting bigger and didn't have as much room to move around and that I was probably overreacting.

 We finished the night by visiting family and then went home. The next day (Monday) was a beautiful day. Carter and I went outside and played with our neighbors and then came inside for lunch. The thought again crossed my mind that I hadn't felt the baby move last night or this morning. So I got on the computer to research fetal movement at 36 weeks. Every comment said something to the point of, "Go straight to your doctor. Call your doctor." There was also a comment that said try drinking some cold juice and lay down for 45 minutes. So I drank some apple juice and layed down for 45 minutes. No movement. I switched from side to side and on my back. No movement. I then called my doctor and they said to come in for a non-stress test as soon as I could get there. I made arrangements for Carter and got there about a half hour later. I was pretty sure that I was overreacting and that everything would be fine. That started to change when 3 different nurses couldn't find the baby's heartbeat on the non-stress test monitor. Then Dr. Healy came in, looked at the test, took my pulse and calmly said, "Well, let's just go do an ultrasound." So I figured that baby was just in a bad position to find the heartbeat on the monitor. Dr. Healy started the ultrasound. After looking for a little bit he said the words, "I'm not finding a heartbeat." Immediately I started crying. He looked a little bit longer and I kept hoping for a mistake and that he would find the heartbeat. But that didn't happen. He then checked me and I was 3.5 cm dilated and 85% effaced. He told me that we would need to deliver the baby that night, gave me a hug, and left to call the hospital.

 I then called Mark. Nobody had any idea I was even going in to the appointment because I didn't want to worry anyone. So Mark was completely blindsided when I told him the news. He and I cried on the phone together for several minutes while I told him what happened. He then rushed over to the Dr.'s office were he hugged and cried, and hugged and cried. We then left together to go home and pack for the hospital. Before leaving for the hospital we each received a blessing. This day had quickly become the worst day of my life.

The flood of emotions were so overwhelming. I was obviously sad, but also angry. We got stopped by the slowest moving train ever on our way home. Figures. On our way to the hospital the traffic was so congested. Figures. We drove by the dog food factory and it smelled of dog food and dead fish. Seriously?!! All on the way to deliver our dead baby.... Worst day ever. Getting to the hospital was horrible too. Walking into the hospital Mark was carrying my bag and I was obviously very pregnant. A lady was walking to her car and gave us the biggest smile. If only she knew. The receptionist was on the phone and we waited what seemed like forever to get checked in. Once checked in they had me give a urine sample. They then walked us over to another part of the labor and delivery floor that is more secluded. I got changed, and sat there waiting to get started. We had an incredible view of the city from our room, but it was starting to get cloudy and grey outside. It was like the weather was getting ready for the event about to take place. Cloudy and grey.

 The nurses came in and introduced themselves and got me suckers and ice chips. No thanks. I just wanted to deliver my baby. It felt so awful to know that I had a baby inside me but that he wasn't alive. They soon got me started on pitocin around 6:00 pm and my water was broke shortly after that. I started having contractions really quickly. So I got my epidural really quickly too. Getting the epidural was hard because I had to go through the pain knowing I wouldn't get the reward at the end. My nurses made the experience more bearable and were so awesome. They were crying along with us, and answering any question that we had. We couldn't have asked for better help to get us through.

 A little after 9:00 I was completely dilated. My doctor showed up and the baby was crowning on his own. He was born at 9:24 pm. They immediately saw a kink in the umbilical cord that taken our baby's life away from him. I wanted to see the kink but couldn't handle seeing my baby not breathing. Between giant sobs I had to ask them to take him away. I sat there crying SO hard! Saying, "I just want my baby." Mark was comforting me and crying right along with me. My parents were also in the room, crying. Meanwhile, they cleaned my baby off and wrapped him up. I could then handle seeing him a little bit better. My first thought at seeing him is that he looked JUST like Carter as a baby. Same profile, same lips, same nose, same amount of hair and color of hair. He was just smaller, but he looked healthy and fully developed. He weighed 5 lbs, 5 oz and was 18.5 in long. We were able to spend almost 6 hours with him. He was perfect. The doctor and nurses said he looked like one of the best stillborns they had seen as far as his coloring, which indicates that he probably hadn't been gone that long. We held him and cuddled him, took as many pictures as possible. There are a couple of organizations that come and volunteer their time for stillborn babies. They made casts of his hands and feet. A professional photographer also came in and took pictures - all for free. The nurse dressed him in what would have been his "going home outfit," and we picked a homemade blanket out for him. The spirit was so strong in our room that night. It was so hard, but seeing him gave us a sense of peace and we could feel Heavenly Father's love. Of course we had a million things and unanswerable questions running through our minds. I tried not to focus on them and just focus on the little bit of time we had with our little baby. At this point we still didn't have a name for him. His middle name was always going to be Gary after my dad. We ended up deciding on the name Bridger. We liked the name all along and it seemed to fit. My friend later commented that she thought of a Bridge to Heaven. Which is so true. I loved those sweet hours that I got to spend with my little Bridger. We held him and cuddled him as much as possible. Most of the time it looked like was sleeping and even smiling. We knew he was there with us in spirit.

As a mom I still wanted the best for him and to protect him. His little feet were cold and it was hard to know that I couldn't warm him up. His skin was very fragile from being in the amniotic fluid so it looked like he had little sores on him. That was hard to see too. At least we know that it is just his physical body and that his spirit lives on. I just wish I didn't have to wait so long to see him again. I love him too much. Mark and my dad gave Bridger a name and blessing. Mark gave the most beautiful and special blessing to Bridger. I will always remember that moment. After my parents left Mark and I each took our turn telling Bridger how much we loved him and how much we were going to miss him. We had to make a decision when to call the mortuary. How do you make that kind of decision? As time went on it seemed like it was going to get harder and harder to let him go. We knew that once the mortuary was called we would have about an hour. We savored that last hour. When the person from the mortuary showed up we didn't want to hand our baby over to someone we didn't know. So, Mark took Bridger to the nurses - whom we now love. They undressed him so that we could keep his outfit and brought it back into us. We had said our last goodbyes to his physical body. I missed him already.

These past couple of days have been pretty horrible as anybody can imagine. The memories of him and the constant reminders are so hard. The HUGE outpouring of love we have received from family, friends, and ward members has been overwhelming. At times Mark and I feel undeserving, but I would do the same thing for them in a heartbeat. Everyone's love has made it easier to get through this and having our sweet little Carter has made it more bearable too. We cherish him even more than we did before - if that was possible. Bridger's death has put a new perspective on life for me. He has blessed me. We will love him forever and he will always be a part of our family. I loved this saying... Some people only dream of angels. We held one in our arms. Bridger Gary Jenkins was born a REAL angel.

We love you little guy! Love, Mommy, Daddy, & big brother Carter

 

 

 

*Photos courtesy of NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep) Pat Wimpee of Portrait Creation Photography


Comments

linda on 08/09/2010
nothing is enough...I just read the quote 'joy is not the absence of pain, it is the presence of God'. I hope you can find that in the midst of your pain. I am so sad with you.

Kelli on 08/10/2010
Thank you for telling your story, I can only imagine the pain your family has gone through. When reading your beautiful words, these words keep running through my mind: Til we meet again. Your faithfulness, courage, and love will help you through until the day you meet Bridger again someday.

lindsay on 08/10/2010
thank you for sharing your story. we also had an angel baby born last summer. a little boy we named eddy. it is still hard, reading your story was hard. mostly because our story is very similar. i have found that being open has helped. it has not gotten easier, i think you just learn to deal with things differently. i also find comfort and peace in knowing i will see my baby again. hang in there, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sarah on 08/10/2010
God bless you and your family. Thank you for the courage to share your story. I pray Heavenly Father will bless and comfort you and bring peace to your hearts until you are reunited with your little guy again someday.

Jenn Hoff on 08/13/2010
I'm so sorry. So very sorry. What heartbreak.

Peggy on 08/13/2010
This was a very touching post. Sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story and pictures with us.

Rebecca Jeppson on 08/13/2010
Thank you for sharing your story about your sweet Bridger baby. I love the name you chose. Prayers for you. So sorry for your loss.

Julie on 08/16/2010
thanks for your story. It is quite similar to mine. I had an angel baby born on Dec 2, 2006. I was 38 weeks pregnant and was just in 5 days earlier and he was looking fine. There was also a kink in our baby's cord. It was THE HARDEST THING that I have ever had to go through. And still is. I think of him- I think time heals the pain, but the hurt is always there. The yearning of holding your baby is all you want. I remember about 1-2 months after it had happened, i finally hit rock bottom. I lost about 30 pounds, the only thing keeping me going was my 2 older kids. It makes you realize just how precious life really is and you hold your other children a little tighter. From one greiving parent to another... Hang in there. This website is amazing!

Devynn on 08/17/2010
Thank you for sharing your story. Our little Truman was stillborn on November 23rd, 2009. I am also one of the professional photographers that does images for families of stillborn babies. I never thought in a millions years I would be one of my own clients. How sad :( I'm sure Bridger and Truman and all of those other little boys and girls are sitting at the feet of our Savior. You can read our story here: http://mommyiscrazyblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/week-ago-my-life-changed-forever.html

Gayle on 08/17/2010
Thanks for sharing your story. It gives the rest of us the strength we need to endure our own angel trials. I have found you don't have to look far to find someone else with an angel baby. How sad, yet comforting, to know someone else knows what you are going through.

Rayanne on 08/20/2010
I lost twin girls 21 years ago. I carried them 37 weeks and then they quit moving. Time has healed my heart, but I think of them often and have worked a lot harder to be the person I need to be to be with them again. I am sorry for your loss.

Andrea on 08/23/2010
I wish I could say that I just can't relate, but the circumstances of your story are so similar to mine--a kink in the cord, our fifth child delivered still on March 31, 2010, and since then, several difficult months. Nothing could have prepared me for how much I would miss him. The sadness came without surprise, but there is such a real void that I think many struggle to understand. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences--it has brought me extra strength and comfort.

Shawna on 08/31/2010
You are so kind to share that sacred story. I am so saddened to hear of your loss. I am sure you are going through a million different emotions right now. I know it is not the same, but I lost my Dad last November and the pain at times can feel too heavy to bear, but it does get lighter and I know the Savior is the only one who can actually carry us through. I will be keeping you and your husband in my prayers... Thanks once again for sharing your aching heart so we can all pray for you!

Jessica on 09/01/2010
I understand completely how it is to loose your baby. I just went through giving birth to my dead daughter. The last time I felt her kick was on August 21, 2010 and I went into labor the next day. So I was so excited going to the hospital but when we got there we found out that our precious angel was not going to be joining us for the car ride home. My thoughts are with you and I will be praying for you.

BeccaJane on 09/01/2010
Thank you for sharing your story. I was touched by it and reminded of how precious life truly is. My heart and prayers go out to your beautiful family.

Sheri Perl on 09/09/2010
I lost my son Danny on July 1, 2008 to an overdose. He was 22. In dedication to him I have formed the first and only Prayer Registry for parents who have lost children. Please see my website and read about The Prayer Registry. This free website service is dedicated to all of the families who have lost children, whatever age that child was when they passed. This site registers the anniversary day of our children's crossing. The members of this online community,the Prayer Team, have the opportunity to honor their child's legacy, connect with other bereaved parents, and participate in world-wide group prayer for every registered loved one on the anniversary day of their passing. There is no charge for this service; it is my sincere hope that every bereaved parent who registers a child will join the Prayer Team and be a source of prayer for all of the children on the other side. Each time another child is registered, the Prayer Team grows larger and stronger. Please email Sheri at theprayerregistry@gmail.com to register your loved one on The Prayer Registry. By registering, you will have a forum to connect to other bereaved parents and you will be able to upload comments, photographs, biographies, or any other information you want to share about your child with our community of bereaved parents. Once registered, you will be a member of the Prayer Team and will receive Prayer Registry reminders one day before the anniversary day of one of our kids. Please feel free to email any questions, concerns or feelings that you would like to share. My door is always open. I hope that this site provides some small measure of balm for the wounds of loss. From one bereaved parent to another, I welcome you to my site and offer my support. This is one club that none of us would join by choice, but since we find ourselves in this unthinkable place, we stand stronger when we stand side by side.

Teresa Farmer on 11/05/2010
My daughter was stillborn in September and everything you wrote seems exactly what I went through. I am so sorry for you loss and I understand it gets so hard some days but it is amazing that we have our angels to watch over us the rest of our lives.

sarah on 01/25/2011
I am expecting my first baby two months from now and instead of getting so excited about the birth I have been overcome with fear about having a stillborn child. I don't know where it's come from. I read your story and sobbed uncontrollably. I can't imagine anything worse than losing a child. I am thinking about you and your family. My prayers are with you.

Sarah Parsons on 05/19/2011
My daughter, Lotus Dawn, was stillborn in December. I was 37 and a half weeks. I'd had an ultrasound a week before and they said she looked great. It feels... as tho my heart is ripped into pieces.... And I continue... to suffer with this emptiness...

Jeanny on 06/12/2011
My Dear Sarah Parsons, I am so sorry! I know that saying sorry doesn't make it any better. It doesn't make the pain any less real. In my experience, it sometimes made me angry when people said sorry. But, this is coming from someone who has been down the same road. I have been there. I hit rock bottom when I lost my precious Daxton. He was perfect. There weren't even any problems with the cord. To this day we don't know why he passed away. It may not feel like it right now, but the pain will lessen. You will always remember your Lotus Dawn. Nothing and no one can ever replace her. But, I promise, that with time and the Lord's healing hand, it won't always hurt so much. I now have a 7 month old son and, though he can't replace my first baby boy, he has helped put my heart back together. Most days I am happy and feel so much joy. I love life again! Don't feel bad for feeling like you do. It's ok. It is something you need to let yourself feel. I just want you to know that although it may seem hopeless right now, there is hope. There is hope of happiness and joy in your life again. And it will come. Turn to Heavenly Father and let Him heal you. You are in my prayers.

Anna Rands on 06/17/2011
I just want to share a song that a co-worker linked to me that has helped with the loss of my own 22 month old daughter this February and a month later my sister's little boy who was with them for only 45 minutes before returning to our Hevenly Father. It is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7IbQyG9PL4

Alison Jenkins on 11/29/2011
Thank you everyone for your comments.. I haven't checked comments for a while. Looks like the last comment was on my birthday. The youtube video that was posted is the perfect gift. I am thinking of my Bridger a lot tonight. I have a 7 month old little girl now! Although she, and my 3 year old son are the light of my life I can't help thinking about having another little boy running around. I have felt him near lately, and have felt his presence more as a little boy versus a baby. This would be his second Christmas... It is hard around the holidays & birthdays. I am amazed once again at the love, support, and faith of all of you. Sharing & Caring. In a world full of so much pain & evil it is a breath of fresh air to read words of people who truly care and love. I am so HAPPY for Molly! Baby #3 on the way! Bless her once again for creating this healing place for us to dwell. :)

Shannon Arnold on 03/19/2012
Thank you for your story. I have 3 angel babies. All three were lost in the second trimester. 2 of them were delivered, and one was taken by D&C. The 2 that were delivered were cremated. They were my two boys, Andrew and Aaron. The other was a girl my daughter named Olivia. We think we will try again, I can only hope it will be very different this time.


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