Jeremiah's Hands

amy and jeremiah in the hospital
I invite you to journey through the loss of Jeremiah as you read my journal entries. They are real, raw, and unchanged. I pray that God uses these words to shine light where darkness likes to hide in the lives of grieving mommies. I pray they give a voice to the silence of fetal death.

Nov 7

Iíve cried and wondered why my body feels different. I canít remember the last time I felt my baby move. Has it been one day of two? Is it my imagination? My devotion this morning is preparing me for a journey I donít want to take. ďÖCollaborate with Me (God) in this effort by being willing to let go of ANYTHING I choose to take away. I know what you need, and I have promised to provide all of that- abundantly. Your sense of security must not rest in your possessions or in things going your wayÖ.Ē

How can I tell my husband that I think our baby is dead?

Nov 8

Today we went to the hospital. Iíve cried for 2 nights, praying for my baby to move and praising God for the time we had. The nurses found no heart beat when I arrived and now I sit in the hospital bed waiting for contractions to deliver my dead baby boy. It is surreal. Iím okay and laughing and then Iím sobbing. We have decided to name him Jeremiah Joe. God is still trying to prepare me. My devotion read, ďLearn to appreciate the difficult daysÖAs you journey through rough terrain with me, gain confidence from your knowledge that together we can handle anythingÖĒ

Iím so thankful that the state sees my baby as a baby and is going to make foot prints, death certificate, and requires cremation or burial. Jeremiah Joe was a boy. He was my son.

Iíve been in labor all day now. Iím throwing up, cold, and hungry. Iím so uncomfortable. Iíve been handed the information to find a mortuary. It is the strangest call to make. Iím asking pricing for a baby that still remains in my body. How can this be? Iím numb.

Nov 9

Last night I had a c-section because there was no progress or contractions all day. I was dilated to a 5 by then. I attempted to brush my hair and pull it back to prepare for delivery. My nurse came behind my bed and gently brushed my oily hair and pulled it into a pony tail, unshaken that I hadnít showered in 2 days. It reminded me of Jesus washing the disciplesí feet.

The anesthesiologist was really loud, used technical words, and wanted to ďbreak it downĒ for us. I was concerned when he wanted to remove my epidural and do a spinal. He was trying to get me to push my lower back out and keep my shoulders straight. I couldnít get it right and his anxiety was stressful. I started crying. I had my dead son inside me and he has demanding the impossible. My nurse held me and pushed my stomach to make my back ache. We became a team. I buried my head into her shoulder. I felt good as the c-section started. My husband rubbed my head and walked me through the doctorsí movements. They pulled Jeremiah out and took him away.

Mike saw him but I didnít get to. It was silent-no baby cry, no laughter, no smiles. He was gone. Then I heard the doctors having a hard time stitching me up and lots of blood being suctioned up. I felt like I was blacking out multiple times and I alerted everyone that I was beginning to feel my stomach more.† The doctors said it wasnít going well and thatís the last thing I remember.

The next thing I remember is being in my hospital bed and being loopy. I try to tell the nurses that I canít hear. I couldnít talk either. As the medicine wears off, the nurse tells me that they had to take my uterus out. It just kept rupturing on the backside and they couldnít sew it fast enough. It was ruined. I saw my labor and delivery nurse was still with me, 4 hours after her shift had ended- she never left me after the delivery started. I needed her. I needed to see her trusted face and she must have known. Who stays 4 hours after their shift ends?

I asked to wait to see Jeremiah in the morning but was advised that it would not be a good idea so the nurses brought him. His skin was peeling. He was purple. I was so scared. I thought he was decomposing. He was so dead. His body had no fat so he looked sunken in, especially his face. I didnít hold him long- my husband didnít want me to hold him at all. He wanted me to remember Jeremiah as the active, alive baby we had seen in the last sonogram.† It was obvious that Jeremiah was with Jesus and no longer with me when I stared at him. His body was so cold. I didnít cry. I was surprised I didnít cry. I felt so much peace because I was certain that his body was all that remained and that he was complete in Jesusí arms. I stayed up most of the night reading devotionals and seeking Godís guidance.

Nov 10

The c-section had been so difficult so the doctors scheduled an x-ray this morning to check if they had accidentally cut a tube between my bladder and kidneys.† The doctors said there was so much blood and they were working so fast, that it was a possibility. I went to get the x-ray alone. The technicians asked if I had a boy or girl. I told them my baby was dead. They asked if I had any other kids. When I replied, they said it was good I had other kids. I cried and cried. It was not good. It was horrible that my son died and my other kids were not Jeremiah.

Mike brought the kids to see me later on. I was so glad to see them. They looked perfect. We had dropped them off 3 days ago in the morning with lunch and nap blankets. They had since been at 3 different homes and slept at 2 of them.† Their adaptability was amazing! My friends were amazing to care for so many kids at one time. My oldest son, age 4, looked at me in the hospital bed and asked about the baby. I didnít cry and I was able to explain that his heart stopped beating. He then declared that he wanted me to have another baby. I tried to explain to him that the ďhouseĒ was damaged when Jeremiah was born so the doctors had to remove it. No more babies. All he wanted to know was how I got a house in my tummy! I was sad that my husband was so eager to leave the hospital each day but I was relieved to get back to my journaling and devotions. I liked seeking God and not making small talk.

I took a short nap after my family went home. A flower delivery woman came and told me congratulations and asked if I had a boy or girl. I said my baby had died. She felt so bad and was about to leave but I told her this arrangement was beautiful and they always were. She kept apologizing and then started to pray for me. She prayed I would get pregnant again and then left. I started bawling. Messy sobs. My heart was broken. My nurse popped her head in, saw me sobbing and sat with me. My baby was dead and I would never be pregnant again.

1 Peter 4:19, Proverbs 3:5, Psalm 34:18

Nov 10

It has been brought to my attention that less than a month ago I posted the following on facebook, not knowing God was preparing me for my own broken heart and storm.

ďI donít know who needs to hear this truth today or if Iím the one about to enter a huge storm but this verse keeps coming up this morning. God is the one who made us, each of us, for a unique purpose and a magnificent destiny. He makes right what the world makes wrong. His plans are for good, not for evil. His ways are straight and merciful.† He came to give me a hope and a future- and to give you one too.† His promises are true. His love is full of forgiveness and peace, joy, kindness, and grace. He saves us from any prison, whether physical or emotional or spiritual, the ones weíre forced into and the ones we fall into on our own. ĖChristine Caine

He loves us without condition. He makes us whole again. He loves us when we are broken.Ē

Nov 11

I was moved to room 3306 today. I slept alone last night after great visits with friends. I cried so much last night and woke up crying. My tears are so warm and flow abundantly. My heart is broken.† My devotion this morning read, ďDo not let any set of circumstances intimidate you. The more challenging your day, the more power I place at your disposal. (Jesus Calling)

My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Psalm 119:28

Nov 12

My labor and delivery nurse came to find me in my new room, on a different floor. I had asked her to find me after her days off, and she remembered! I sobbed when I saw her.

God is so good. I feel stronger than ever because my faith doesnít come and go. I have a strong foundation. I feel like I am in the boat and the storm is raging around me. I feel calm like Jesus is sitting with me and the boat rocks back and forth. I feel like Jesus and I are just talking and looking from side to side at the chaos unfolding. I am in a storm. I am going to make it out by my Godís strength.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far out weighs them all. So we fix our eyes on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4: 17-18

Nov 13

I am home now. Satan is attacking. It is different to be here. No nurses checking on me. No visitors. No one is talking about what just happened. It is quiet. Only God understands me.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed...

2 Corinthians 4:8-10

I see baby things that were for Jeremiah and I weep. It is finished. It is done and I cry and cry. Use me Jesus! Hold me and letís use this trip to shine light for someone else. I trust you Lord!

We went to the mortuary today. It was like a movie, a tragedy film. The funeral home was an old white Victorian mansion. There was so much paper work and decisions to be made. How could a mother make decisions for her babyís cremation? I feel ill.

Nov 14

My friend set up a meal train for us. There are 16 names so far. Most names I recognize but have never had a long conversation with, coffee, or a play date with. There are names of people I have never met. These people are being the church. It is amazing to me. This is the church. I pray for each of these ladies as they step out in faith to comfort my family.

Nov 15

My husband doesnít feel any loss. I am in physical pain and I am struggling emotionally. He is not. I am feeling incomplete. I wasnít done having babies. I donít want it to be over. This season sucks! I wasnít done God! This sucks. Open my eyes to keep seeing the blessing that can come from this tragedy.

Nov 17

My friend Sara took me to my first doctor appointment. I cried walking into the office. The nurse took out my staples and the doctor came in to explain that a pathology report came in. They knew why Jeremiah, my perfectly healthy baby boy, had suddenly died. The placenta had become detached so Jeremiah didnít have any oxygen or nutrients. My mind is racing. Did my baby suffer? Why didnít I go to the doctor sooner? Why didnít I bleed? Did my baby struggle to survive in his final days? Iím so thankful that he has no pain now.

Nov 18

I feel like God is holding my hand. Who are all of these people? This is crazy how many people are blessing us daily. I am so humbled and I understand Godís love so much more now. I understand what ďbeing the churchĒ means. We do this for a church member, but must also do it for the world! I am making it because of my God but what about mommies who donít have support? So many people have marriages that fall apart after a loss or other relationships fail. I want to return the favor that has been shown to me.

Nov 18 (afternoon)

Satan is trying to steal my peace. I have so many questions about Jeremiahís death now. I have been reaching out to a nurse all day with my endless questions. Then Dr. Dias called me. She delivered Jeremiah. She is not my regular doctor and I never thought to reach out to her. She has answers. She was there! She said that the placenta detached whenever I stopped feeling movement- so days before I went to the hospital. Jeremiah more than likely died instantly. My uterus ruptured on Monday morning. It was already ruined before the c-section ever began on Monday night.

I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word. Psalm 119:28

Nov 20

I called 2 friends over today to take Jeremiahs clothes. One friend is expecting twins and the other has a little baby boy. I took pictures while they sorted through my baby boyís clothes. It was exhausting. I expected him to wear each of the outfits. I canít turn my day around. I canít smile. My eyes are tired. My body is tired. I am sad. I am not okay. No human can help me, only God can.

Nov 28

Iím in physical pain today. The incision isnít healing correctly and is open on one side. It hurts to sit, lie down, or walk. I tried going out to the store today. An old man commented on my children in the cart and then asked about the baby I was expecting! I just want to crawl away and cry. I had to tell him that I had already delivered my son and that he died. What he was looking at, was all left over fat from being pregnant.

Nov 29

I picked up Jeremiahís ashes today. I was expecting more than a quick hand off and signature. I tried not to cry because I thought I should be ďnormalĒ for my husband.

Dec 3

I went to find a tree to plant for Jeremiahís service. I really wanted a fruit tree because of the words in Jeremiah 17: 7-8 but fruit trees are not available in December. There were lots of beautiful trees but none seemed right. I couldnít make a decision and so as I got back in the car to leave empty handed, I heard the words ďcome as you areÖearth has no sorrow that heaven canít cure so lay down your burdens...Ē sing through the car speakers. I took a breath and remembered that Jeremiah is in heaven and that no tree would be perfect. I decided to get the one that would fit into my car. As I drove away with the tree, I wept, still doubting my choice. After finding a pot and almost buying a 2nd tree because I was so confused, I headed home. My husband didnít understand my need to buy a tree or ďmy planĒ as he called it. I got the tree and the pot out of the car without breaking either, only with Godís strength.

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

Dec 6

Guests began to arrive for Jeremiahís service. Each candle was in place, music was ready and a photograph of Jeremiahís hands sat on the table with his footprints laid out. The back deck looked amazing. My pastor had typed out the entire service from my notes. The ceremony, candle lighting, and tree planting were perfect. The soil was in the pot already. My husband had decided to let me pour the ashes and he was going to lift the tree into the pot. I poured the ashes slowly at first and then all around the soil. They came out so quickly and I looked at them spread out across the soil. I realized that these were all the physical remains left of my baby. I buried my head into my husbandís shoulder and howled. I sobbed and sobbed. I didnít care that everyone was just standing and watching. I couldnít stop. God was at Jeremiahís service. The service was amazing and I have no regrets. It was nice to have control of planning how to celebrate my little baby.

This days that followed included insurance bills, cremation bill, a mushy body, emotional turmoil, months of a lonely marriage, and endless tears. It also included God comforting me and allowing me to comfort others through my care basket ministry. I continue to heal through grief classes, His word, and comforting others. I am still broken hearted. I still have not lost the baby fat. I have a scar across my stomach that reminds me every day that we are one short at the dinner table. My hope and joy comes from God and from hearing Jeremiahís name. I love staring at his hands. They are so perfect and beautiful. They look like a little heart the way they are positioned. They remind me of unconditional love, the same love God offers me.† I am on the journey through grief. I will not stay here but I am here now.

jeremiah's funeral planting tree for jeremiah