Baby Bradshaw #4

Well, clearly it’s far too early for me to be posting another birth blog. We  hadn’t shared this with many people yet because of the traumatic miscarriage we had in February 2016 but we found out in early October that I was pregnant with our 4th little blessing. Yay! We had our routine 8 week ultra sound early November and everything looked great, strong heartbeat of 170.  We had our 12 week appointment and everything was great then, nice strong heartbeat again, my 1st trimester symptoms had been subsiding and I was feeling good. We had told a few friends and family and decided to include it in our Christmas cards that were sent out. Then on Friday 12/23/2016 (Christmas eve…eve), I woke up with a tiny bit of spotting. Very minimal, nothing to be concerned about but we called into the clinic anyways just to let the doctor know. The clinic was closed for the holiday so they advised the on call midwife who called me back and said to call back again if anything changed. I started feeling worse having some cramping so Bo came home from work and sent me to bed and stayed downstairs with the kids. I called the clinic back to let them know of the change and was waiting for a return call. I thought everything was just fine, I was going to rest, Bo got the little 2 kids to bed for their naps and left at 1:30 Friday afternoon to spend some time with Elijah and keep it quiet at home for me to rest. At 2:00pm, my water broke. I delivered our baby at home. It looked perfect, tiny, cute, precious and beautiful. I immediately called Bo and told him I needed him back at home, called my mom to ask if my parents could come stay with the kids and called the hospital to let them know what happened. I stood in the bathroom in shock, shaking, holding my tiny baby knowing it would only be alive for a few seconds if it was at all. It looked like a perfect, tiny little baby. I wrapped up baby, Bo grabbed what we may need and we headed off for the hospital. At the hospital, the nurse who checked me in was the first of the staff to refer to it as a ‘baby’ rather than a fetus. Being just about 4 months gestation, medically & legally, baby is actually considered a fetus but to us, it is our baby and it looked like a perfect, little, tiny baby. It made me sob in the hospital and I thanked him profusely for referring to it as our baby. One of the nurses from the OB unit (who I had spoken to on the phone earlier) came down and offered to try to get footprints for us. More sobbing. We had no idea that was even a possibility but we were very excited for it. She was the one who said ‘It’s a boy!’ So sweet. We sort of expected a girl because I had been so sick with this pregnancy but it was so sweet to hear that he was actually a boy. He had the cutest, tiny little penis there has ever been. She didn’t have much luck getting his footprints but let Bo try and he successfully got his teeny, tiny little footprints. So precious. Then he said “This is my boy, Joshua.” I  said “yep.” We both cried. Bo had been referring to him as Joshua since I got pregnant and really wanted that as his name. I was never very supportive of him before now. So we named him Joshua which means God is salvation, which is of course is perfect for him since he got to go straight to his salvation. One of the nurses took Bo to the break room to feed him, neither of us had eaten anything and it was about 7pm, we were both starving and exhausted. She fed him, gave him something to drink and gave him gum from her own pocket so I wouldn’t have to smell the pizza on his breath since I wasn’t allowed to eat (in case I ended up needing a D&C). She was so kind. We had an ultrasound in the hospital which showed there were still “products of conception” inside my uterus which was the cause of my excessive bleeding and cramping/contractions. We were given 3 options to deal with that, get admitted and have a D&C the next morning, get a prescription for Cytotec (the abortion pill) to try to help my uterus expel what was left and also try to stop the bleeding or attempt to pass everything on my own with a high likelihood of returning with an infection for a D&C. We opted for the Cytotec because I have a history of excessive bleeding after birth and have needed medication to stop the bleeding after my previous births. Sadly, I had lost too much blood on Friday and wasn’t quite stable enough to just take it and finish off this whole ordeal so they discharged us that night and told me to take the pills early in the morning to start labor all over again on Saturday – Christmas Eve to labor for the day at home. Pretty crappy option given that we had already had our baby, he was dead, I had gone through labor already on Friday and then had to do it again on Saturday when we had family plans to celebrate Christmas Eve and still try to celebrate Christmas with the kids. Our nurse, Katy, who had spent the whole day with us gave us our discharge papers and was ready to send us on our way. She said “can I pray for you?” which caused us both to just hold our breath and cry and we all held hands while she prayed for us. It was the perfect prayer and we hugged for a long time when we said goodbye. When we came home, a neighbor had left a beautiful bouquet of flowers on our doorstep and another friend had made dinner for our whole family but we weren’t  home to get it so she saved it for us for lunch on Saturday instead. I didn’t sleep Friday night with too much anxiety for how Saturday was going to go. I took the pills Saturday morning (Christmas Eve) and laid in bed all day while Bo had the kids downstairs watching football (and eating the delicious roast my friend made for us the night before). The longer I stayed laying in my bed missing Christmas Eve, the more upset I got. I streamed the candle light service for church online from 5-6pm and cried through the entire service. They kept referring to the person who  is struggling this season, how we all know someone who is dealing with a loss at this time…. Yeah, I’m familiar with that person… .I decided this was NOT how we were going to spend our Christmas eve and convinced Bo I was healthy and stable enough to just go sit in the van and let him drive us around to go look at Christmas lights and try to enjoy some of the beauty of the season. Bo took care of everything, loaded up all the kids in the van with snacks and drinks and blankets and we all buckled in for some Christmas Eve fun! Turn the van on…. Smoke. Evacuate! There were never any flames but the van didn’t start and we were clearly not going to go look at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. Back to my pity party for me in the house. We read some Christmas stories with the kids and got them to bed since it was close to that time anyway and left some cookies and milk out for Santa to visit. Then Bo and I decided to celebrate our Christmas right then so we opened our stockings and all of the Christmas cards we had received. It was so fun getting all those precious gifts from those we love with pictures and stories of their families, so fun and uplifting to read at a time when I needed it most. We woke up on Christmas morning and celebrated with the kids. They ate snacks from their stockings for breakfast which they were super excited about and each got 1 new toy to play with. Then we baked our birthday cake for Jesus. The kids were so excited, Christmas success! I’m so thankful they are so young and easily excited and thankful for such small things. They got 1 toy, 1 book and to bake a cake and had the best day ever. Monday we stayed home and hung low. I took the kids out front to play with the neighbor which was good for us all. They rode bikes and enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine and I enjoyed chatting with my neighbor and sharing our story. Bo and I had been trying to decide what we wanted to do with our sweet boy. He wasn’t just medical waste to us to dispose of in a red bio bag of garbage at the hospital but we couldn’t just keep him at home with us forever so we had to figure out what to do. It was between burying him under a burning bush which I considered would be a yearly reminder of Gods love for us and his protection for our boy when it changes color every year or having him cremated. The bush was a scary option to me because neither of us have green thumbs and I’m terrified the bush would die and so would the remains of our boy so he would be all the way gone forever. Cremation seemed like an expensive option but a safe and permanent way to remember him. I did a little research and asked a chaplain friend of mine and was referred to Yahn & Son Funeral Home in Auburn. I spoke with a gentleman on the phone and scheduled a meeting with him. We took all 4 kids with us to meet him and were so blessed by him and their staff there. They were so kind and generous and sensitive with us. It was perfect. We picked  out the cutest little urn, it’s adorable and we both love it so we left  Joshua there with them. We were able to include some memorabilia with him so we took one of our large family pictures, wrote love notes on the back, each of kids drew him a picture and we wrote out the scriptures we had chosen for his name/life and I cut off part of a blanket bear I have all to be cremated with him so we will become a part of him as well. The bear was a gift from a friend I received for Elijah’s baby shower. I brought it home from the baby shower and put it in my bed thinking that I would sleep with it for a few nights so it would smell like me for when Elijah came home with us, it would be comforting for him. That was 5 years ago and it’s still in my bed. I sleep with it every night and when the kids need an extra snuggle or cuddle or are sick, they get to take it for a special night into their  bed. So it’s a shared bear for all of us that’s very special to all of us and now is with Joshua too which brings me even more comfort. Today is exactly 1 week since he was born and we just brought him home where he belongs now which is a huge relief for me. Our friends and family have all been so supportive and caring for us as we’ve wandered aimlessly through this past week. We’ve had meals delivered, gorgeous flowers delivered and many calls/texts/messages & prayers. We don’t  have any physical needs at this point, we just appreciate your prayers as we try to process this and walk through it with the kids in a healthy way. Elijah, as sad as he is, seems to love the fact that his brother is up in Heaven with Jesus watching down over him all the days of his life  waiting for him to get  there so they can be together  and wonders if he will be a tiny baby when he gets to meet him or if he will be tall like a daddy. So cute. Moses is more upset about it and has been waking from bad dreams at night begging Bo and I to go up to Heaven and ask Jesus to please give us our brother back because he loves him and he wants him here with us. Moses is also upset about the fact that he was a boy, not a girl, he really wanted a sister ;)
Here are some photos of our journey with him…

His 8 week ultrasound picture

His tiny little footprints. Quarter for size
The memorabilia we included for his cremation
His tiny little precious urn

The scriptures we included with him were:

1:3 – I will give you every place where you set your foot…
1:5 – No one will be able to stand against you…As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you…
1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

John 14:2-3 (MSG)
There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live.

Mark 10:16
And He took the [child] up into his arms, put His hands upon [him], and blessed [him]…

8 Replies to “Baby Bradshaw #4”

  1. I was doing real good till I got to the end and was reading about the children and their feelings toward their loved brother. And then the scriptures. So precious. If hugs could be sent thru computers I would be the one needing them but should be the giver. What a beautiful story and a beautiful baby. My mom had one at home also. She was a girl name Helga about the same age as Joshua. She was my 7th sibling. Take care of you and big hugs to all.

    1. I know, right? The kids are so sweet, I actually enjoy talking to them about it when they bring it up because their sweet innocence helps me feel better. Hugs to you too Sonya!

  2. You may not feel broken right now but you have to be one of the strongest people I’ve met. With that being said, no one expects you to go through this alone so if you need anything or need to talk please call me!

    My grandma who absolutely loved babies and kids, and was herself and 80 year old kid, went to be with Jesus a few months back. Last week Addie, my daughter, was crying and asking why Grandma had to go and I told her, there must be a baby that needs special attention in Heaven…I have a feeling she’s up there holding Joshua and trust me when I say, he’s in great hands.

    Thank you for sharing your families story, you will be in my prayers.

    XO Lisette

    1. Awww, thank you Lisette. I do feel broken (looking at his little urn sitting on the shelf in front of me) but I have faith in Gods plan for our family and feel peace knowing where he is right now. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandma as well. That’s so sweet Addie still thinks of her and brings her up to share sweet memories! I know Moses will be bringing this up repeatedly for a very long time as well. He still brings up the accident we witnessed 6 months ago on a very regular basis as he continues to process. Thank you for the prayers! <3

  3. Oh Kari, I’m sitting here just crying for you. That must have hurt so much. You guys honored your boy so well. I’m so so sorry. I am praying for your whole family. I love you friend.

  4. Dear sweet Kari, you are a very strong amazing woman /mother! I rember you saying that Solomon hasn’t really captured the reality yet. If you come RealLife this Sunday second session I will love that little man with God’s blessings all over him.
    If you don’t feel up to it hopefully Wednesday for mops, then all the moma”s can love on you too! :) :)

    1. Aw, thank you Debbi! I appreciate that so much, Solomon would have loved to spend time with you again! We attend New Life church (though we accidentally showed up an hour early this weekend) and December was the last of MOPS for me. *sob* Elijah is starting Kindergarten in a couple of weeks with a homeschool co-op we joined which is on Wednesday mornings so I’ll try to make some play dates if I can but the boys and I won’t be back for MOPS next semester. We will miss you for sure!

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