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Location: Allentown, PA

I'm a Christian wife and a mom to three daughters and two sons. I'm a member of the board of directors of EmPoWeReD Birth. In my "spare time" I'm a doula, and a certified childbirth instructor.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Life and death

Saturday as our son's 3rd birthday party was wrapping up, our telephone rang. My husband answered it, and being that he could barely hear (a family room is NOT quiet when there are 8 children under the age of 6 in it!), he walked to another room with the phone. I could hear snippets of what he said.."doula"..."I'll let her know"..."she will call you back."

After the guests had left he told me that I needed to return the call, but he didn't know the name of the person calling (it had been too loud for him to hear what she told him at the beginning of the call) or what she wanted. She seemed young he said...he recognized the voice. She said it was very important that I call back. I looked at the caller ID. The name was vaguely familiar, but I couldn't place it.

I called, and C. answered the phone--recognition was instant--the name on the caller ID was her grandfather's, as she lived with her grandparents. I had been her doula at her birth 9 months ago today. A young single woman, she was very brave in facing the birth, and then some complications that occurred immediately after the birth. I saw her a couple of times after the birth, including at the annual "Labor Day" picnic that I host for my clients each year. Her daughter was an adorable and smiley baby.

C. was calling to let me know that her baby had died on Wednesday. She'd had RSV, had spent over a month in the hospital, including being transferred from a local hospital to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The calling hours were Saturday, funeral Sunday. Could I come?

Of course I went. I started Saturday with a celebration of young life...ended it with a memorial. I've never gone to the funeral of a child before. The young woman bravely greeted the visitors, a box of tissues at her side.

It was a sobering experience. Over the last week I've been a bit on the weepy side, mourning the loss of something precious to me--my job. I received notice that on March 14 my job will be eliminated, and having been with my employer for 10 years, I'm saddened by this. But during this time C. was making the very difficult decision to turn off her daughter's respirator. I was reminded once again of how blessed I am.

How about you? Have you reflected lately on the blessings in your life, even amidst the difficulties and struggles? Take a few minutes today to do that.


Blogger pregnancyweekly said...

What a sad post..but so right about taking account of your blessings. My prayers go to that girl. What a horrible position to be in but then everything works in mysterious ways.

3:16 PM, February 07, 2005  
Blogger TulipGirl said...

I was near tears reading that.

Related to that, one of January's TableTalk memory verse was James 1:2-3, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."

I've been trying to meditate upon that, and believe that. Honestly, though, I keep wanting to ask God, "Why THIS trial? Wouldn't another sort be just as effective?" *sigh* I know it is a horrible thing to say, but I sure do feel like other people's trials are "easier" than mine. . .

4:10 AM, February 09, 2005  

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