Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Stillborn Son: Remembering the Hardest Time of My Life



Last month marked the 12 year birthday of my son who was still born.  His name was Taylor Oran and this is his short, but precious story.  I've been asked numerous time to do a blog post on this very hard time in my life, and I've finally gotten the courage to write about it.  I do want to add a warning, that if you are pregnant, especially in the last trimester, you may not want to read this.  I don't want to instill fear in anyone and I try to keep my blog positive, which is one reason I have taken so long to write about this.  But I do want to encourage women who have ever been through anything similar, that you will make it.  You will be happy and "normal" again and God does take the incredibly hard things we walk through to mature us, mold us and draw us closer to Himself.  

I woke-up that Saturday morning filled with excitement and hope.  Today I was 37 weeks pregnant, considered full-term.  The baby could be born anytime now!  I had my second child at 38 weeks, so I thought maybe I could have this one even earlier!  We cleaned up the house, had breakfast and even did a pregnancy work-out video.  I told my husband that we needed to make a trip to Target to get the last few things before baby #5 arrived.  The closest Target was almost 30 minutes away in a nearby town, so we decided to make a day trip out of it and take the other 4 kids.  We had a great time buying some girl and boy baby things (we hadn't found out what sex the baby was), a shelf, some blankets and eating out at McDonald's (I even remember to this day exactly what I was wearing and what I got to eat that day.)When we got back home, I put my 22 month old down for a nap and laid down myself.  I remember thinking that I had not felt the baby move lately and I lay there waiting for movement.  I must of fallen asleep for about an hour and when I woke-up, I again thought I had not felt the baby move.  I got up,had some juice and then went on the back porch. I tried shaking my belly and pressing on it, trying to get the baby to move.  I started to get really worried and went to my husband.  I told him my concerns and asked him to pray.  He did and then he made me some coffee.  I though maybe drinking caffeine would wake the baby up. I drank the coffee layed back down, but within a few minutes I knew something was desperately wrong and so I called my midwife.  She told to drive over to the hospital and she would check me and the baby. She was calm and said that everything was probably fine.  We then tried to find someone to watch our 4 children.  We tried basically everyone we could think of.  We left messages on probably a dozen answering machines (this was before everyone had cell phones) but no one was home or answering. So, I was starting to panic and we just piled everyone in the van and started the 20 minute drive to the hospital.  As we drove, Ron kept asking me if I was feeling any movement at all and I would say no.  I knew in my heart that we would get bad news, I just never thought it would be that the baby had died.  While riding to the hospital, the hymn "It Is Well With My Soul" was going over and over in my head.  I knew whatever was about to happen, that it was well with my soul and the Lord was walking with us. 

Ron dropped me off at the hospital entrance and he went with the kids to park the van.  I walked towards labor and delivery but couldn't figure out where to go. I just wanted them to hurry and check for a heartbeat.  I was wondering around and around and I prayed, "Lord, please send someone to help me."  All of a sudden, a nice woman was there with me and took me back to L&D.  They paged my midwife and the house OB and put me in a small room.  The nurse began to check for a heartbeat.  Over and over again, all over my belly, but there was nothing.  I was sobbing at this point and Ron was there.  They put the kids in an empty room next door to us and the OB came in.  He had a sonogram machine and started to do an ultrasound.  There was my little baby on the screen.  There was no movement, no heartbeat and then the doctor began to shake my belly some, trying to get something.  Then the OB said, "I'm so sorry, but the baby is not alive."  I could not believe.  I was living a nightmare.  Ron had to check on the children next door and the medical staff left me for a few minutes to cry. I was all alone and I knew I would have to deliver a dead baby.  I was begging God to have mercy, to bring my baby back to life, to not make me walk through this, or just take my life too.  Then I remember seeing in the spirit women all around my bed.  Women who through the ages had delivered still born babies and I knew I was not alone.  Maybe they were angels, I don't know, but the verse came to me, "you are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses."  I know I could do it and I knew I would make it through. 

The next 24 hours were so hard.  They had to induce me from scratch, basically.  They put me on pitocin and some other stronger meds but it took forever to get labor going.  God was in control though, because if it had not taken so long then my mother and sister would not of had time to fly in from Louisiana.  When they finally arrived, it was only a few hours later that the baby was born.  During the long labor, we had so many friends and pastors from our church at the hospital praying and comforting us.  Also, sweet friends took our children home and stayed with them. When I finally pushed my precious one out, my mother, sister and good friend were in the delivery room too.  I kept hoping there would be a miracle and that he would be born alive.  But there was no cry. The room was quiet and peacefull and my baby was still. I heard my mother say, "It's a boy."  I felt the sweet release of pushing him out without an epidural.  I wanted to experience his labor fully, just as I had all my others.  The endorphins were there, even with the grief and we bonded even more.  He was beautiful and perfect, 7 lbs. 7 oz. The midwife immediately said that there was a true knot in the umbilical cord.  I was relieved to know the reason for his death, even though I had never heard of a knot in the umbilical cord.  Apparently it is formed early on when the baby is small and moving around a lot.  Then when the baby gets big and turns a certain way, it can tighten and cut off oxygen.  So God had watched the knot form early on and knew what day it would tighten and He would take my baby home to heaven.  


We all held my precious son and cried.  My children were brought back to the hospital and we had a time of praying, singing and just being with him.  We took pictures and grieved.  We named him Taylor Oran after Hudson Taylor, the missionary, and my Dad's middle name.  I wish we had a longer time to spend with him, but after a few hours they had to take him to the morgue.  They let me go home a few hours later. We had precious friends help us with finding a burial spot for him, a tiny casket, and plan a funeral.  We held the funeral 2 days later.  I did not see Taylor again until the day of the burial.  Oh, it was so hard to leave him at the cemetery! We had such a precious, God glorifying service, but I just wanted him back.  My arms ached for him.  All the baby clothes and things we had made ready for him, were still in my room.  My milk came in with full force.  It was a dark, hard time to walk through.  My husband was wonderful and most of the time, I only wanted him.  He alone felt the grief and pain to the extent that I did.  My little girl Anna, kept asking where the baby was and why we were not bringing him home.  I know God used it in my children's lives but at the time I felt so bad that they had to walk through such grief with us.  


God taught us so much though.  God held us and even though it was so hard, it was never a "bad" time.  I felt God's presence so strong.  He used the grief to dig a deep well in my heart that He has since filled up with His joy.  He showed me His love more fully through the body of Christ.  People helped us in so very many ways......meals, childcare, gifts, flowers, cleaning our house, praying and counseling us, etc.  We bought a deep freezer to hold all the food and meals we received.  It truly was amazing.  And God changed me.  I know now that He alone gives life and He takes away and He is in control.  I never want to be in "control" again.  I will take any life He wants to give me.  I will see Taylor again and in the scheme of eternity, it won't be too long.




Every year on Taylor's birthday we go to the cemetery and visit.  We take balloons and after we pray and talk about Taylor, the children let them go up to "heaven". 





I see my precious children, 6 of them that I have had since Taylor's death, and I know God has given me beauty for ashes.  God took something so hard and changed me and then gave me 6 more wonderful children.  It will be incredible when we are all together again, but until then I rejoice in God's faithfulness.

39 comments:

  1. This is such a heart warming story. I have never felt the hurt of losing a child but you truly let God lead you through it! Thanks do muck for for sharing, may God continue to bless you and your family!

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  2. Thank you for writing this... I recently had a 2nd trimester loss, a still born as well, and this touched my heart. You have such a beautiful family and I appreciate the things you share.

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  3. This was so very beautiful, Your love for Taylor and Jesus shines. I am so blessed you wrote this I know it will bring comfort and hope to many mommies, including me. It is still a really hard time for me but reading the testimony of others brings me a lot of peace. I Pray one day I will write with the beauty and confidence that you have and say the Lord led me through. I also hope I can say Jesus added many more children to our family :) You are a blessing, I am blessed to know you through your blog.

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  4. I have tears in my eyes--and dog-gone--I am in public at a starbucks--and really, I don't care, because what a beautiful story. I know it is hard. Mine was at 18 weeks, and I truly believe that 37 weeks would be much much harder. And, yes, now we really know how only God gives life and only He takes it away--and He does so when He deems it the right time.
    I, too, just *knew* in my heart that something was not right...and, I have read other BLM's say the same thing too.
    I believe that you are not Catholic(I am ), and if you do not know this already, your son's birthdate is the same as a great celebrated day in the Catholic church of St. Joseph's Day...Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus.

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  5. You are a beautiful example of our Lord's mercy and trustworthiness. Thank you for sharing the beautiful story of Taylor.

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  6. Thank you for sharing this. I'm sure it wasn't easy to write down and to relive that time. So much sadness and so much beauty all wrapped up together. I am unable to find words to express how much this moved me. You and your family are such an example of God's faithfulness...even through the shadows.

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  7. That was lovely tribute to your little son. When you descibed having to "leave" him at the cemetary I could relate. My daughter was premature and I had to "leave" her everyday in the NICU. It is such an unatural phenomenon for a mother to bear. Before her birth we experienced a miscarriage of our first pregnancy. It was devestating; at 21 years old, it wasn't even on my list of possibilities.
    My aformentioned daughter left the NICU miraculously at 12 days; (she was 2 months early) God showed me his grace. Two years later another brother was born full-term.

    Each child is a "Taylor" made soul, precious and original, I can't wait to meet my son in heaven. You are right eternity is not that far away!

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  8. Thank you for sharing your story. The pictures are just precious... Our last child (baby #4), was born with a true knot in his cord. (It might have even been 2, but I'll have to ask my hubby...) At the time, I didn't think too much about it, other than our midwife had showed it to us and her assistants and told us that it was only the second true knot she's seen in 20-some years in practice. Wow! I now realize what a blessing our little guy is to be here healthy and how God watched over him and allowed him to stay with us. I had a homebirth with him too, so I'm just so, so thankful... ((Hugs)) and thank you again for showing me what a gift my son is. :)

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  9. Thank you for sharing the story of your precious baby boy. Your faith in the Lord through that time is inspiring and encouraging. I love how you said that He "dug a well in your heart that He filled up with His joy".

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  10. Thank you for your interesting blog. I have been following your blog for about 2 years now. I am from Malta (Europe). I have never left my comment, but today after reading your story I decided to comment. Last June I miscarried at 22 weeks and we have been trying ever since to become pregnant again but it is difficult due to some fertility complications which I am dealing with. I have a 4 year old son, and I really would like to have anothor baby.I pray so much to be given the opportunity to become a mother again. Next month I will be going through a laparascopy and some tests.

    Your blog gives me so much courage and I really would like to thank you for it, you are a wonderful and sincere mum. May God bless you, and thanks again for your honesty :)

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  11. Thank you Becca for sharing, you are such a shining example of God's love. (((hugs to you)))

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  12. Thanks for sharing Becca. I can not imagine. I hope I never experience this , but what a true blessing you have given us all with sharing. Hugs! Marla

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  13. Friend,

    I cannot imagine. Comfort to you again and again.

    I am not pregnant, so I was sure I could read your post dry :-)
    However... when you wrote that your precious Taylor had a true knot in his cord, I was struck.
    My third, my daughter Susanna, had a true knot in her cord when she was born. I had an a amazing and seasoned midwife and she showed us this knot - even telling my husband to take a picture of its rarity.

    Nearly five years later, my son Bryce was born into my arms at home, and we saw that he too, had a True Knot in his cord.

    Since the phenomenon is not so rare in our family, I have taken for granted the miracle I witnessed now twice. Tears run freely as I appreciate fully new, God's glory and the privilege He gifted me with to witness an outcome that was life.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    Love

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  14. I waited to read this when I had time- I didn't want to rush through.
    It is beautiful written and of course, so sad.
    Thank you for sharing your story with all of us.

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  15. Dearest Rebecca,

    Just came across your blog and read several of your 'articles'. I have always admire you from afar and thankful for your Godly examples, especially on motherhood. This particular article on Taylor (by the way, our Christian's middle name is also Taylor, named after Hudson Taylor!)truly has greatly moved me. I remember I was fairly new to King's Park, and NC then, and heard about what happened to sweet Taylor. Wayne (Mitchell) told me and we prayed for you and your family and then he headed out to the hospital to visit you. I remembered attending the memorial service and was overcame with such peace, grace and hope of God.

    Want you to know how much you and Ron have impacted my life just by watching you live life onto the Lord. Thank you!!

    Love,
    Cindy (previously Chia:) Simpson

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  16. I have 11 children. Our 8 th child, Joshua died at 3 days old from Hypoplastic Left heart syndrome. We were blessed after him with three more. We talk about him all the time, his little garden and grave are in our garden. Each year on his birthday we have a party, cake and relase balloons on the beach. He is and will always be out precious and special 8 th child. Thank you for writing this, we need to speak out otherwise no one will know that after the most awful thing happens in your life, it is possible to move on.

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  17. You have given me perspective in a time of self pity, thank you. My heart aches for your lose and I cry imagining this happening.

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  18. Thank you Rebecca for sharing. I got ahold of your blog from the THM group on facebook. I thought I'd check it out. U are a good example. I too shared a slightly similar experience. After 32 hours of horrible back labor (very bad pain in my back the whole time),my firstborn child didn't pass away before being born but he was born with a very slight pulse and was not responsive. He was then taken to the hospital I'm not sure exactly what happened as far as how/if they got him breathing on his own. I had a homebirth and had stayed back to finish cleaning myself up and all that good stuff. Figured I'd go to hospital afterwards to meet up with my hubby who went with our boy. Then he was transfered to a a special childrens hospital to be put on a cooling blanket for 3 days to stop/possibly prevent any brain damage due to being without oxygen for so long. Was in the hospital for 5 days. The whole time hearing seemingly hopeful news then not so hopeful and he still unresponsive. So it seemed as if he were gone the whole time. On the 4th day we had a meeting with the Dr's saying that they were going to take him off the breathing machine and however long he lived after that was however long he would live. But basicly I don't think all the test results came back very good so I don't think they were expecting him to survive very long, kinda the impression I was getting... so that 4th day after hearing what the Dr's had to say I was allowed to finally get to hold my boy for the first time. He was a heavy little thing. 11 lbs. 6 1/2 ozs. He was the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. Just perfect! Even with all the swelling from all the liquid they had flowing into him. The whole time we were in the hospital my hubby would read, pray and talk to our little one which really blessed my heart to see/hear. Also on the 4th day we decided to stay the night at the hospital. That next morning we got a call to our room saying that our baby's body had crashed (before totally taking him off the breathing machine) and that he wasn't gonna make it. :'( I jumped up and immediately called our pastor (he wanted to be kept informed) and was sobbing and ran out to the waiting room which was on the way to Jonathan's room where my family was waiting. They waited there all night to spend as much time with Jonathan as possible. I was able to calm myself a little to tell them what happened and waited for my hubby who I left in the dust on my quick departure of the room we were sleeping in. Then once he caught up with me we went in to "see" him. Waited till the pastor got there to take off the breathing machine so we could all be together as he was passing. We prayed/ and sang some songs and all took turns holding him while he was leaving us. It was a sad but peaceful time. I totally understand your feeling of not wanting to leave him there at the burial site....I felt the same way. I just wanted to scoop him up and take him home with me. Isn't that what was supposed to happen? There is not a day that goes by that I don't miss my little guy but I know he is in a much better place and take comfort in the fact that I will see him again. Looking forward to that day! :) Thanks again for sharing. Your example was a blessing.
    Alea Stepanic

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  19. Thank you Rebecca for sharing. As the father of a stillborn baby boy (I think I'm the only male posting here), I feel your pain. God bless you and your family.

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  20. Our stories are very very similar, dang near identical. I am so worried about my future pregnancies and that this will happen again. My sweet angel was born sleeping on September 2nd 2013, my first baby. It was so devastating. I feel like I need to hurry and get pregnant again to fill his void. My mind says youre a mommy and where is your baby at?

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    1. Oh Andrea, hugs to you. Your pain is so fresh and you are still so fragile. I am praying for you. I can't even imagine how hard it is loosing your first baby. If you want to email me, you can at rjaco4@mac.com. I know your arms are aching. I pray God's peace, comfort and grace on you. Love, Becca

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  21. Its been 2 years since your son dead. I will surely pray for you and your family
    I was concerned about my pregnacy

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  22. Very moving Becca. Love you.

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  23. How blessed you are to have all those other children. What a weird thing to say to a Mom who has lost one, I know. My boy died at 19 years old; suddenly, pedestrian accident. You must have done something right, having all those beautiful children. God bless you, you are a strong woman.

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  24. I find your words helpful. My beautful angel joined the angels 3 months ago. I find myself lost. She was our first after few months marriage . I don't know if i can move on. I have no more hope or faith. Im trying to go back to God but i feel so hopeless and helpless.where do i go from here. I'm glad i came across ur blog because i pray one day i can stop blaming myself and God. Pls say a prayer if u can..

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    1. I am praying for you. My heart aches for you. I know how terribly hard it is. Please don't blame your self or God. I know it sound cliche, but reallly time is an amazing healer. See heaven as so much closer and trust that the Lord knows what is best. I pray God gives you a precious baby to hold soon and know that your little one is safe with him.

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  25. Beautifully written. The empty arms, I remember well. My little girl is now 36, in heaven. She was my first, born at 38 weeks. But we have been blessed with 5 more. Can't wait to see her face again, looking forward to heaven. Time really does help, but you never, ever forget. Don't ever blame God. He always loves us. We don't know the future our children would have had on earth, but we do know they have known nothing but the joy of the Lord!

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  26. Remember, God wants us to move on, just not forget.

    I'm not saying 'don't care about your stillborn son', you should still grieve and pray for him. This story was so sweet and sad. God is in control. All your son will know is the joy of Heaven.

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  27. This beautiful but still very painful story made me cry.
    But thank you for sharing it. It made me revalue some things in my life and truly appreciate the things I already have.

    My deepest sympathies <3
    Janna
    Finland

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  28. Wow...you were right that I shouldn't read this while pregnant (and at work too)! I am 28 weeks along and had a car accident at 25 weeks that caused me to hit my belly on the steering wheel. The doctors said everything was ok after a night of observation, but I still worry that they are wrong. Whenever I go a long period of time with no movement from my baby I get really panicked and start poking and shaking my stomach. I honestly can't imagine the pain that you went through, but I am so encouraged by your words of faith and trust in God! Every time I start to panic I stop and pray that God be in control regardless of the outcome and that He give me peace.

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  29. I hope you do not mind that I, someone you have never met, have read your story.
    It's beautiful.
    You are a woman full of grace and it is evident.

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  30. Sharing your story with a grieving momma today. Thanks for writing it - I so greatly appreciate your blog!

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    1. My name is Weslie Vivian am from Canada i am very happy for the wonderful work Dr bolingo has done for me i got married to my lovely husband last year February and we have a lovely son. things was going well with us and we are living happily. until one day my husband started behaving in a strange manner i could not understand, i was very confused with the way he treat me and my son. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was sad and also frustrated i did not know what to do,i was sick for more than a week because of the divorce. i love him so much he his everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told one of my child hood friend and she told me to contact a spell caster that she has listen to one woman who testify about dr bolingo and she has been hearing about him that i should try him i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing but i just say i should try if something will come out of it. i contacted Dr bolingo for the return of my husband to me, he told me that my husband have been taken by another woman. that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want to divorce me. then he told me that has to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and my son, he casted the spell and after 1 day my husband came back home and started apologizing he said that he love me so much that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that Dr bolingo casted on him that make him come back to me,right now am so happy again. thank you Dr bolingo for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. this is to every one who is facing divorces or heart break by your lover i want you to contact him now because he can do it for you his powers is great and dont have any side effect in the future contact him through his mail: bolingospelltemple@gmail.com .contact him now and your problems will be solve for ever.once again thanks to dr bolingo.

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  31. My name is Weslie Vivian am from Canada i am very happy for the wonderful work Dr bolingo has done for me i got married to my lovely husband last year February and we have a lovely son. things was going well with us and we are living happily. until one day my husband started behaving in a strange manner i could not understand, i was very confused with the way he treat me and my son. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was sad and also frustrated i did not know what to do,i was sick for more than a week because of the divorce. i love him so much he his everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told one of my child hood friend and she told me to contact a spell caster that she has listen to one woman who testify about dr bolingo and she has been hearing about him that i should try him i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing but i just say i should try if something will come out of it. i contacted Dr bolingo for the return of my husband to me, he told me that my husband have been taken by another woman. that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want to divorce me. then he told me that has to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and my son, he casted the spell and after 1 day my husband came back home and started apologizing he said that he love me so much that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that Dr bolingo casted on him that make him come back to me,right now am so happy again. thank you Dr bolingo for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. this is to every one who is facing divorces or heart break by your lover i want you to contact him now because he can do it for you his powers is great and dont have any side effect in the future contact him through his mail: bolingospelltemple@gmail.com .contact him now and your problems will be solve for ever.once again thanks to dr bolingo.

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  32. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  33. Having reared five wonderful children, I am amazed by your strength in being able to share this tragic story.. h owever faith is such a marvellous thing and I just know that God will reunite you with him one day.. from looking at your blog, you come across as a most loving and energetic mother of all these ten children, AND you home school them, I am lost for words.. never would have had the patience to do that.. hats off to you Chief... so, thank you again for sharing your special moment with us, I am sure it will give hope to others especially as you went on to have another few children afterwards.. hugs and best wishes from across the pond,, janzi

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  34. Hello I am going through the pain of losing my princess do to a cord knot she was born feb 3 2016 I am so lost without her and my arms ache so bad if you have any advice please let me know thanks mary lloyd

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  35. Mary, I've been praying for you. I know how hard it is and how your arms ache. Just know that you will get through this. Be sure to let yourself grieve. Talk to others who have had similar experiences and don't be afraid to share your story. I even went to a counselor afterwards for a few sessions. And don't let a doctor or midwife put you on anti-depressants. My midwife tried to do this with me right after I lost my son but you are not depressed, you are grieving and it's a natural process. I also cried out to the Lord for another child and trusted Him with the outcome after my body had healed. I know it sounds cliche but time really is great healer. Draw close to the Lord and your husband. I will continue to pray for you. blessings, becca

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Thanks so much for your comments! I love them and they keep me writing. I really do read each one.