The Lusk Clan

The Lusk Clan

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Good Bye Levi

Warning: I have posted a few pictures of my son, Levi, born at 18 weeks gestation. While he is beautiful to me and to my Creator, it may be difficult for some to see him. Please use caution.
It was the longest weekend of my life. We felt we had no choice, and may one day share how the next steps were determined, but until then know that the following Monday was the induction of our son.
We tried to keep the weekend light and fun for our girls, while in the back of our mind knowing what was coming in a few short days. I remember sitting in a restaurant looking at the people around me wondering of they were hiding a tragedy like me. I looked normal, no one would have known the situation I faced. 
My parents came in Sunday evening, the visit was short and sweet. Monday came very quickly and Scott and I headed to the hospital.
We entered the emergency room at the new Madison Hospital and signed some paperwork. I was then given a hospital bracelet, and that marked the first of many water works. I remember thinking about my little girls bracelets with their dates of birth I could always keep. I knew that there wouldn't be a little bracelet for my son. This was the only bracelet that would be given this time.
After a few moments we were taken to our delivery room. When I walked in there stood the baby bed with the light and sweet baby blankets where my son was going to go. This wasn't the joyous bed that it had been when I was blessed with Ellie or Maggie. This bed wouldn't hold the baby that had grown in side of me healthy and well. The waterworks began anew.
My sweet nurse for the day, Hannah came in and introdcued me to her trainee Sissy. They were so empathetic and compassionate to my situation. They cried with me and encouraged me. I'm grateful for the staff who loved on me while I was there. I had been praying for them as well. Knowing this would not be a routine delivery, and I wanted God's protection for my nurses and doctor's minds as they worked to help me. I didn't want them to be hurt by the situation or have a difficult time looking at my son.
I was given at this time a ton of paperwork about dealing with still births or infant loss. I'm still not quite sure what to call my experience. However, I was also given a little bonnet. This was a gift from someone who would blessed me by this sweet gesture. I was told I'd get to take the hat home and that was a nice surprise.
This was one of my most difficult struggles through this. I don't handle visually scary things. The Orcs from Lord of the Rings creep me out, and I hate Halloween and all the scary images that come along with it. I was warned that my boy would not look like a normal full term baby. He would have red skin and be very little. I knew he would not have his full head, but was told that there would be skin covering the area that was missing. In my head I had always envisioned my baby whole and healthy. I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to handle this. They asked me multiple times if I wanted to see him when he came  or hold him. They offered me privacy and a chance to spend time with him alone. I just didn't know what I wanted.
Hours and hours and hours later, after being pumped with medicine after medicine after medicine to jump start contractions and labor things began to happen. I was so cranky. Things had not been progressing, 28 hours into the process I was still there. As much as I was sad that I was going to leave the hospital with empty arms, I was eager to be done. I truly feel this was God's way of preparing me to be ok with leaving. It was going to be difficult leaving with an empty tummy and an empty backseat, but I think that it took so long to help me mentally be ready.
I finally delivered my son at 8:40 pm, September 10, 2013. He was 5 oz and 7 3/4 inches long.
I was sad, but relieved. My incredible nurse, Shauna handled my son with the utmost respect. He was a perfect little baby in her arms and she took care of him, even though he was already gone, already playing with his bigger sister who had joined heaven in February 2011. He was already in heaven with Jesus.

She took him away to clean him and measure him. Then when I least expected it, she came back with him in her hand. I gasped. I wasn't ready to see him. I hadn't even decided if I would see him. Until I saw the little crocheted blanket.

"Are you sure you want to see him?" my mom asked. "Yes," I said with confidence. And then I took him. I saw him. He was covered in a little blanket that matched his little hat. The hat was still too big for his itty bitty head. I saw his little nose that was the exact replicas of his big sister, Maggies. I saw his sweet little lips. His tiny hand had fingernails and his little pee pee was all boy. His feet were so large I thought and his legs my mom commented looked so muscular. He was perfectly formed and proportioned, except for his head.
I held him and cried for a minute, then Scott held him too. My mom and our nurse took several more pictures without him covered up, but I haven't been able to look at those yet. These are the ones I look at.
Mommy and Levi
Daddy and Levi
Levi's sweet nose and hand
I'm so grateful that I had the courage to share those few minutes with Levi. Again, I know he's in heaven, he didn't need me to hold him, but my future self did. I think it made the whole situation more difficult that day,  but the me in five years will be grateful for this memory.
I don't know why God allowed this. I'm thankful that I didn't think for a second that he did this to me. My God loves me too much to inflict pain on me just because. I do know that He will use this situation for His glory someday. We were reminded by friends that we will be watched to see how we handle this, and my biggest prayer is that people see how much and incredible strength and refuge God was to me/is to me as we continue to grieve and mourn. I want to be faitful with this lesson, and hope that I can bring others to Him.
As we arrived home and said goodbye to my parents, dear friends continued to pray and love on us. One of probably the best statements that was shared with me was the fact that the first thing my sweet Levi saw when he opened his eyes, was Jesus smiling and welcoming him home. I can't wait to see what he saw, and hug my sweet Levi and his big sister Taylor to my chest. For now, I rest in the refuge of God and know that He is taking care of my kids until I meet them one day.

1 comment:

  1. I'm crying for you all over again. Love you all.