Last night was a rough sleeping night for me to say the least. Many a night I wake for some unknown reasons. To my dismay, I am often unable to return to sleep. Last night was one of those nights, mostly.Awakened in the middle of the night by who knows what, I looked at the clock. 2:40 A.M. I rolled over and closed my eyes trying my best to bring back the sleep that so often escapes me. This time when I reached out to grab hold of restful sleep, I got lucky and caught it! I drifted off to Slumberland and passed over the bridge to Dreamland. And what a dream it was!
Walking through the halls of a hospital, a young nurse stops me and tells me that my services are needed. "Who? Me? I'm no medical professional. Are you crazy?" I say to no one but myself. But for some unknown reason I follow the nurse directly into a hospital room. The room was dimly lit, casting shadows everywhere you turned.
As I came further into the room, I noticed a beautiful, young woman of color, in her early twenties very much pregnant, all alone with no family or friends and in pre-mature labor.A woman whose name I will never know. One look into her eyes and I knew the fear she was facing. Her baby was coming all too early. The doctors have told her that the chances of her baby's survival were quite grim. In that moment, looking into her tear-filled eyes, I knew I could not leave the room. I've been where she is now and knew that she needed someone who had been there, who has walked this long and painful mile in life. I pulled up a stool, slowly sat down and took her hand in mine and told her she was no longer alone. I sat with her while she told me all of her dreams for her unborn child. She didn't plan the pregnancy and she didn't know the sex of her soon to be child. Through the entire labor which wasn't fierce but slow and oddly gentle, we held hands and spoke of her hopes for her child.
At last her blessing arrived, but had no breath. The doctors made an attempt to revive the lifeless body before us, but to no avail. In that moment, they informed this youg lady that her child, a boy, had expired. Burning hot tears filled both of our eyes. She asked to see him so that she could kiss her child and tell her how much he was wanted and loved I rose, walked across the room. I took his tiny body from the nurse and wrapped him in a warm blanket and placed a tiny little woolen hat on his bald little head. I brought him to his mother's waiting arms and gently kissed his head. I asked her "What would you like to name your son?" Her response came quietly and shyly. "I hadn't picked a name yet. I don't know what to name him. What would it matter? He didn't live." Oh how my heart ached for her I said to her, "But he did live. He lived for several months within you. He was part of you. He deserves a name. Who in life made you smile? Who gave you great joy? Choose that name. A name that will make you smile each time you hear it said or when you speak it." After a long pause, she answered. "I want to name him Harry. My life has been tumultuous and happiness was always found for me in reading all of the Harry Potter books. It's silly, but it means something to me" "Harry, it is", I told the doctors.
I sat with this young mother for a while longer, helping her to bathe her child and taking photos for her to remember and cherish her precious son. All things that weren't done for me. I didn't want this mother having any regrets that she didn't get to spend the time to be with her baby and to properly begin the grieving process After several hours when the mother was ready, she allowed the nurses to take her child from her. We sat for a long time, just holding on to each others' hands and crying together. Two mothers who knew loss in similar ways. Holding each other up, giving each other the strength they so deperately needed from each other. As a feeling of peace cam over both of us the young lady and the room began to fade away into the darkness and slowy disappeared. Gone, but not to be forgotten.
Awakened by the ending of this dream, I looked at the clock on my night table. 3:06 A.M. Wow! What a dream, an amazing adventure. Upon waking I had to lay there for quite a while trying to discern if this was a dream or a reality for it seemed all to real. I could still feel this girl's hand in mine and hear her voice saying "Thank you." All day long this has replayed in my mind and I have been trying to figure out just what my mind was telling me to do.
Since then, I have looked into the certifications needed to be a neo-natal death counselor. I'm not saying it's a career path that I will be taking but it has certianly given me food for thought. Maybe this is God's calling for me.... Guess it's time to pary for guidance.
Amazing how God works His way into our lives...