Every baby is special, every life is important, and every Mom wants to show off her baby. For those of us who lose our babies too soon, we don’t ever get to show them off and we rarely get to say their names or tell people about them. In our country, thousands of babies are stillborn every year, roughly one every twenty minutes. There are even more miscarriages. Here on my blog, I want to remember all of the lost babies and give their parents an opportunity to show them off. These Mamas are so proud of their babies and are going to share them with us here. Since Lucy died on a Friday, I will share a new baby’s story every Friday. We honor these little lives by acknowledging their presence with us, even if it was a very short time. Do you know how these babies are loved? Do you know that each baby was cherished by their families, even if they left only after a few weeks? Do you know how these babies are missed every single day? Please pray for these families, who have to live every day without their precious children.
LUKE HUDSON HOPPER
Josh and I have lost our baby, Luke.
I went to the doctor on Thursday and everything was good. Luke had a strong heartbeat. On Sunday, Mother’s Day, Luke was kicking and active all day. We went to church and had family dinner with my parents and sister at my parents’ new house and my family enjoyed feeling my belly and talking about him coming soon. On Monday morning, one week before the due date, we went to our 39-week doctor’s appointment to talk about the upcoming delivery and possibly inducing birth. I took Josh and my mom with me to the appointment because I wanted their help and support in that conversation and in making decisions in the timing of that. At the appointment, the doctor could not find the heartbeat with the Doppler or the ultrasound equipment. The doctor sent us directly to the hospital, where they admitted us and put us in a room. They did another ultrasound, confirming Luke no longer had a heartbeat. Hospital staff began saying “I’m sorry for your loss” before I even understood that there really was a loss. I was in shock for awhile at first. They began trying to induce labor. After 2 days of trying to induce labor with little progress, the doctor said we needed to do a C-section late Tuesday evening.
Luke Hudson Hopper was born on 5/14/13 at 11:00 p.m. at 6 pounds 15 ounces and 21 ½ inches long. When we were all back in our hospital room, they brought him in for us to see him, hold him and say goodbye. He was beautiful and perfect and his skin felt incredibly soft like any baby’s. He had lots of light brown hair with some curl to it, Josh’s chin with the little cleft in it, my nose. and long, skinny feet like we both have. My mom, my sister and I held him and kissed him and said goodbye. Josh and my dad looked at him, but did not choose to hold him. Josh did pinch his cheeks as that was something he had been looking forward to doing. They gave us as long as we wanted with him before they took him away. During Tuesday night around 4 a.m., a company called Now I lay Me Down to Sleep came and took professional pictures of him that will be sent to us for us to look at if and when we feel ready to do that.
We stayed in the hospital through Thursday, healing from the C-section and dealing with the physical parts of having a baby. We had visits at the hospital from our pastor and his wife, a hospital chaplain, a social worker, and a former bible study leader of mine and a nurse who both had lost babies at full-term who talked to us about their own experiences with their similar losses that were helpful. Because Luke was full-term, we had to choose a funeral home to handle his physical body and the hospital staff helped us with that. We are having him cremated. When we left the hospital on Thursday, they gave us a box with his foot and handprints, a lock of is hair and some other items like the white flower they had on the door of our hospital room to warn people coming in what the situation was.
They are doing an autopsy, but may or may not be able to tell us what happened. The only thing the doctor could see wrong at the birth was that there was a blood clot in the umbilical cord. They don’t know if that caused his death or happened afterwards.
We are obviously heartbroken. This baby was so wanted, loved, and waited for. We had a nursery prepared for him full of wonderful things and were so ready for this new purpose in our lives. The last year has been devoted to preparing for him, dreaming about him and being excited for his arrival and the changes it would bring. We feel very empty and unbearably sad. It is hard not wonder what I could have done differently or feel guilt. However, I believe that God allowed this. He let this happen for some reason and I could not have changed it no matter what I did, although I do go in and out of “what ifs” and “If I had only…”. It is hard not to know why this happened or to be angry at how unfair it is. It doesn’t make sense. I am holding on to my favorite verse Romans 8:28 that says “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord.” I cannot fathom at this point how this could be worked for good, but I have to trust that somehow it will be someday. I also believe that God does not give us more than we can handle, so even though it feels like a bottomless pit of loss and sorrow, I know I will survive and God is there for me always. Josh and my family are too.
I am so thankful for my wonderful husband who is holding me, caring for me, crying with me, worrying about me and telling me that I deserve a chubby-cheeked baby more than anyone else in the world and that we will have one.
I am also thankful for my special family who sat in the hospital with us all day the whole week and are continuing to care for us. I am thankful that my parents have moved close to us and are nearby to help and support us. They are feeling a big loss too. They were so excited for this long-awaited first grandbaby. It is hard for me to see Josh and my dad crying repeatedly as that it is not something I have seen. My sister always has the right words that I need to hear.
It is going to take time. It is going to be a hard path with ups and downs and there will be very dark days. It is going to be a hurt for the rest of our lives, but somehow we are going to be okay. I know without a doubt that Luke is heaven being loved by God and our loved ones who are there. He did not have to suffer and he is enjoying eternity with our Father. But I can’t help wishing we’d gotten to keep him in our arms for awhile first.
Please keep us in your prayers -Sara
This woman has been such an inspiration to me. Throughout her horrific loss, she has trusted God and glorified Him with her response to this tragedy. She and I have really connected and become friends through the loss of our babies. The name Luke means light in Latin, just like Lucy, and it comforts me to know they are together in heaven. Baby Luke sounds so cute. I think, with his measurements, he was going to be tall and thin. I know he was so loved, but is surrounded by even more love in heaven. I’m excited about meeting him one day. Please check out Sara’s blog about baby Luke and how she is dealing with her loss. It is inspiring and has encouraged me so much in the last month.
If you would like to share your baby’s story, just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org You can share whatever you want about your baby, and you don’t have to include your name if you don’t want to. Also, I think your baby is just as important if you lost him/her at 6 weeks or at 40 weeks. Even if you never knew the sex of your baby, you might have had names picked out, a due date and lots of hopes and dreams for that child. All of that is important and is welcome here.