Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Janie

Today is Janie's birthday.

I was going to post a picture of her tiny little feet, but I tried to upload it and it just wouldn't work. Apparently there was an error somewhere...

No matter. It's okay if I don't have a picture to go with this post.

Janie's birth was just like all of my other births, easy and relatively short at 8 1/2 hrs.

I was induced via a pill called myselprostin. You'll have to forgive me, I don't know how to spell it. I was given two very tiny, very significant pills in a paper cup after checking into the hospital and getting all hooked up to the contraction monitor and the IV.

Two little pills. Not even as big as Tylenol. The smallest pills I've ever seen, really.

But they did their job. We had waited four days in hopes that my body would kick into labor naturally, but it didn't.

That day was actually a very peaceful day. There were no worries or fears. My favorite nurse was on that day and attended me exclusively. That really helped. She really is the best nurse there is and we've actually had her many times during our other births.

At about 5 pm, my mom and husband both decided to go down to the cafeteria and get something to eat, since nothing was really happening and we didn't know how long it would be yet. I labored with my friend Shawna in the room, just her and I. She had also had a stillborn baby, and was a very close friend who had let me pick her brain about her experience and who agreed to come with me that day, to have someone who understood nearby.

It happened that, at about 5:30, I started to have some really tough contractions. I knew birth was imminent. I had one painful contraction, and didn't even push, and she slipped out very gently.

My mom and husband both missed her birth.

Anyway, the staff and my nurse at our hospital really came through for me. They treated her just like any newborn and told me I could hold her as long as I wanted. There was a tiny white gown, with her name hand embroidered on it in pink, and a tiny diaper, just for babies her size. She had her own little bracelets..........

My nurse made a plaster cast of her footprint for me to have forever, and snipped some of her baby fine, barely-there black hair for me to keep too. I have her tiny bracelet, and it's almost the size of my husband's wedding ring!

Looking back, I wish I had held her longer. It was very difficult for me. You see, she was absolutely perfect. No physical abnormalities. Perfectly formed......but her little face was crushed. That's the sad, hard reality. We didn't get to have any serene, airbrushed black and white pictures of her....no pictures of me holding her surrounded by my family.

That's why I didn't hold her for long. I just couldn't. Because she wasn't a C-section baby, and because her delicate bones were so fragile, coming down the birth canal actually crushed her face.

I need to tell you that.

I need to give cold, hard facts.

It helps me to absolve myself.....

I did a lot of beating myself up over the fact that I didn't hold her for long. She was a breath, a barely-there weight in my arms, and I will tell you the truth: I wish I had held her longer. I've never told another living soul that except my husband.

I was thinking about what kind of post I wanted to do today. I know that my posts have grown incredibly long. I'm sorry for that.....My heart is incredibly full.....

Anyway, we wrapped her in a pink fleece blankie printed all over with red cherries and we kept her with us till about 9 pm that night.

We did have a memorial service....

What I really want to say, and what I really want you to know, is that I survived. I didn't only survive, I have thrived. I really have. I'm not even a shadow of that person that I was that day.

Thank God.

Happy Birthday, my angel.......

I remember you, Janie Rose Gilchrist.
Born on May 13, 2004
1 lb 12 oz
14 inches long
My Angel Baby
I will never forget.


Kathy said...

{{{tears}}} Whoa does this bring back memories. I have not been able to read any of your last few posts without crying. I'm sorry for your loss, but happy for how you've grown through it. So much of today's post hit home. Madison had signs of the trauma of her birth as well. It made it hard for me to hold her, and it's still hard for me to look at the pictures of her unclothed. It's heartwrenching. I've been thinking about you today and praying for you as you remember your precious Janie...

Gayle said...

Tears here too.

EEEEMommy said...

My heart is heavy reading this, but I rejoice with you that she is in Paradise with Jesus and that God has used this to make you the beautiful, godly, woman that you are today.
I have some dear friends who had one miscarriage and two still-born children. You can read their story at http://ourjeremiah.com/index.html

One thing that I've remembered and thought of as I've read Janie's story is her hiccuping. On that websit, there is a tab about umbilical cord info and hiccuping can be an indication of a problem with the umbilical cord. I don't know why, but I'm compelled to mention that here...

May God use your story to minister to and bless others.

Grace and Peace,

Marsha said...

(((((hugs)))) to you Leanne!

I think that even if you held her for a week, it would never be enough. A lifetime of holding is never enough.

And Leanne, God knew how Janie would be born. I don't know why He lets certain things happen in certain ways, but you know that there was absolutely nothing you could do to prevent her appearance, let alone this incredible loss. Although her face was difficult for you to bear and broke your heart, it was perfect in God's eyes. I will be praying that when you think of her and the surprising image of her damaged, delicate face, that God would replace that image with the way that she is now... WHOLE and complete.

Love you!

runningtothecross said...

Thanks for sharing, Leanne...

Sorry I haven't commented over here yet...life is so busy. But be looking for an email from me!

Talk to ya soon!

Rebeca said...

Oh, Leanne! I'm so glad you're being able to share Janie's precious life with us. I'm sorry I haven't commented sooner. You are in my prayers still. I pray that God continues to hold you close and to transform you into His image.
Those little stuffed vegetables are from Under The Nile. You can buy them on their website here:http://www.underthenile.com/underthenile/categorybyTheme-NTC.htm
I found them used at a baby resale shop and they really are so soft and sweet. If you're at all crafty I'm sure you could make some.
Bless you!

Abounding Treasures said...

My heart goes out to you as you remember your precious Janie ... your posts bring back painful memories as I too lost my 3rd child at 20 weeks and the only thing that doctors could note was that the cord was tightly wrapped around her neck 3 times.

I have shared my little Sharon's story at: