Waiting and watching (and listening)

When we got to the waiting room there was a deathly pall over it. They’re often not pleasant places to be but a definite oppressive atmosphere hovered over this one. What made it especially poignant for me was a young man about son’s age, the father of the baby we’d brought in, seemingly so much like he was the year before when he was losing his first baby. Just shell-shocked. It was so touching, however, to see him with his father. It made me so wish mine’s dad had been able to be with him when he was going through it. Even at the time I remember thinking he seemed so alone, even though I was there. It seemed, however, that I was there more for dil with her mom and aunt, all his women, and he didn’t seem to have anyone. No men for him. Not even any male nurses; don’t usually find them on the labor and delivery wing. So it was so emotional to see that he had his dad with him. Then mom came in. Then her mom. Then more family. But, wait, they were all going across the hall into the Adult Intensive Care Unit. It was the wife, the mother, who was in ICU. It turned out she had had a ruptured placenta when she was delivering and almost died. Then the nurse came with the basket. Oh, I remember the basket, when they had brought it in to our room the year before to give them time to spend with their baby. Son couldn’t handle it; he ended up leaving. Actually he had to leave to go all the way back home to work in order to get his check and take her family back, who had to get back. They stayed until she had the baby but then they all left her alone, if I hadn’t been there. And even if I hadn’t been, they were still going to need to leave; I’m not sure what would have happened. I’m just glad I was able to be there. Dil spent time with her for a while but then it became too emotional even for her. I probably should have had them to come get her but I just wasn’t sure what to do; the whole protocol has just changed so much. They did take some pictures.

We actually were waiting; we were supposed to be having a professional photographer come take some portraits but the one who was supposed to come had ended up with a broken leg and she couldn’t find anyone else so we finally just had to give up on getting it done there. DIL was so disappointed.

The nurse did take the basket into ICU along with the dad. I was fairly confident that’s what they were having done. Then I heard the grandparents talking about it. They, like me before I’d gone through it, had never heard of it and it did seem rather bizarre.

When we weren’t able to get ours taken at the hospital that probably would have been the end of it had not DIL been so disappointed. We probably would not have even heard of it (I’m not sure the hospital had) had a friend of ours that was actually close to son (that we had called and told what was going on) not called and told us about it and even made (or at least attempted to make) all the arrangements. Then while I was there a friend I had met while at my mom’s who was supposed to be coming to the house who had called regarding the arrangements and gotten the news called and while I was telling him about the photography situation he recalled reading an article about that very thing recently in Newsweek and sent me the link. I wasn’t able to get it at that time (I didn’t have either a laptop or smartphone yet) but it did make the whole thing some somewhat less bizarre. So, later, when I was transporting her back to the hometown to the funeral home I realized I had to go by the local hospital on the way so I thought I would just stop to inquire about it there. And indeed they did have a local photographer who did that very thing. He didn’t do it full-time, however, so he was rather hard to contact but they gave me his number and I began to try as I wound my way on around to the funeral home. That’s where it got eventful because they’re the ones who’d never heard of it. Then her family showed up and they for sure had never heard of it. But we did make contact with the photographer and the funeral home was willing to talk with him but then of course we had to wait on the parents who weren’t going to be there for another day, which was going to be perfect for the photographer but since by then it was going to be a weekend the funeral home would not work with us then so we would have to wait until Monday then it would have to be in the evening but that finally got all worked out since we weren’t going to have some big evening visitation. At least the photographer was willing to work with us in doing it at the funeral home, something he’d never done before as he’d always done it at the hospital, but he did want someone there to be of help. It wouldn’t be quite the same with the funeral home not being familiar with the situation and also because they wouldn’t allow her to be touched by that point especially since it had already been so long but we’d see how it would go.

There are some people who are just troopers, that will just step up to the plate and take hold with whatever needs to be done.
The friend who was coming to the house had said to let he and/or his girlfriend know if there was anything they could do. Be careful what you offer. I already had an appointment for mom with an eye doctor regarding surgery back at my house for Monday that we had to make so there was no way I could be there for the photography session so I called my trooper and she was, stepped right up and said she would be there. Such a blessing! It turned out DIL probably emotionally wouldn’t have been able to hold her by that point anyway so that worked out just as well but with trooper’s help photographer was able to get some really nice shots of her looking over making it seem as if she were just in her basket. Then the whole idea but probably I believe even more so in this case is he then touches them up and made her look just perfect, which having been there in this case when she was born I know her skin was not, and made a beautiful photo memory for DIL. She was so glad.

Having said all that and been through it and witnessed DIL’s reaction, when I heard the grandparents talking about it I went over and told them I couldn’t help but overhear and thought I knew possibly what they were going through as I had the year before, which did, indeed, turn out to be exactly what was happening. So I was so glad to be able to tell them how glad we were that we had had the pictues made, what a precious memory they were of a horrible time, how it made something good out of it. They were still somewhat understandably skeptical but appreciated it.

I did get to see the grandmother later who did tell me it turned out exactly as I’d said; they were so glad and pleased.

And, yes, in their case, with the rupture of the placenta they lost their baby but in reality at that point they were more concerned with losing the mother as well but if they were going to have the pictures they needed to get them done, so they went ahead and did them in the ICU then took the baby on the funeral home. There was some discussion there as to how that would be done as well that I was able to talk with them about as well but at least their trip wouldn’t have to be nearly so far, so much so in fact that they were still going back and forth anyway. There was discussion regarding burial which we dealt with as well but they had less of an issue there. There are just so many things when something like that happens, especially when the parents are young and distraut, and even more so in their situation. It’s always interesting to be in a waiting room meeting other people with their situations. In this case it was especially special since they were from out my way and I ended up being able to attend the service they had for their little one. Yes, mom did recover and was able to be there, so was able to meet her as well. It turned out he had an older brother, though not be too much. He was about three and had already nicknamed little brother Dinosaur, so they had a special little casket painted white with a dinosaur on top and the word painted on the side
. That did bring a somewhat sharp pang for in our case we just went with what the funeral home provided. I don’t think we even thought otherwise; of course they had more time to think about it with mom being in the hospital. Their service wasn’t for almost a week. And we also had a weekend we had to deal with. However, I still thought it was a nice extra touch but probably more especially for big brother. At least we didn’t have that. They had said he was taking it pretty hard; I ended getting him a stuffed animal; had I known, I might have tried to get him a dinosaur but I believe he had plenty of those already.

About donnainthesouth

I'm a transplant, born up north but raised in the middle, now I'm down here where you don't see too many snowflakes; I'll probably post just about as often (here at least)
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