Sunday, December 4, 2011

A year ago today–Day Three

I woke up abruptly at 1A.M., Something was happening. Something felt different. Johnny was asleep in the chair and I called out. Johnny something's different, I need a nurse. I found the call button and Amy answered. I said, something's different, I think someone needs to come in and check me. Amy came in and said that I was fully dilated and ready to push. She said it was time to call the doctor. I asked Johnny to go get mom in the waiting room just down the hall.

There was a lot of movement in and out of the room. Mom and Johnny came in just as they wheeled in the bassinet. Another scene that is burned into my mind. A bassinet, a place where a live baby is put, typically to go back to the nursery to be with the other live babies.. I remember being so joyful when I saw Lexi in hers, but all this bassinet brought were tears and the very real reminder that Logan had already died. That they didn’t need the warming lights, they didn’t need to use the tools like they do on a live baby.

With Johnny and Mom by my side Amy left the room saying that the doctor was on her way. As soon as she left to room I looked at Johnny and knew that Logan was coming I told him to go get her, and her ran out of the room, running right back in with a team of nurses, Amy and Heather leading the way. Amy had one glove on when she delivered Logan. He blessed this earth with his presence at 1:10 AM December 2nd. He weighed 2 lbs. 6.8 ounces and was 15 inches long. Without a breath, without a cry without a congratulations, our son Logan Joseph Clear was here.

It was very apparent that something was wrong with Logan. It looked to be a chromosome defect of some sort, kind of along the lines of downs syndrome. He still looked like a baby, all his fingers and toes and ears, he even had a little dark hair, but his forehead protruded a little and his nose was a little sunken in. Something had made our precious Logan not form quite right. We opted to not to an autopsy on Logan, We didn’t want him cut on, it was something that we decided even before he was born. They could do testing on whatever else they could, but Logan was not to be touched.

One thing that I didn’t really think too much about was what would happen when Logan was delivered. How it would feel to hold him and love on him knowing that he wasn’t alive. I knew that I wanted to, Mom wanted to . Johnny opted not to and it is a decision that a person has to make on their own. The nurses were great. They cleaned him up a little and gave him to me as soon as he was born. It is a moment that I will never forget, I was so afraid to touch him, I was so afraid that I would break him, his body was already fragile and I didn’t want to make it worse.

Mom and I took turns holding him and loving on him. Talking to him and telling him how much we loved him. The nurses brought us a camera for us to take pictures of Logan. We took several and those are pictures that I will treasure my entire life. Some mothers who have stillborn children don’t get the chance to hold them and love on them and have pictures of them.

They took Logan to clean him and up get measurements. They also took foot and hand prints, they did foot imprints with his name in the plaster. When they brought him back he was dressed in a blue gown that had footballs sewn as buttons, a blue and white knit cap and a matching blanket. The dressed him as if he was a living child and that meant to world to me. We took more pictures and loved on him more. I’m not sure how long he was with us in the room, but it was an hour, maybe longer. They made sure that I knew that as long as I was in the hospital that I could see him. Just knowing that made me feel a little better about everything, he was, after all, my child.

When they finally took Logan I told him that I would see him later, fully intending to get him back before we left,, I regret it, because I never did, it was just too hard.

They transferred me to the Women's Center on a different floor so I wouldn't hear all the cheers and see all the big balloons saying CONGRATS. Once settled Johnny and I finally fell asleep for a while, curled up with each other on the bed trying to find comfort in each others arms.

I woke up again when I felt someone in my room, it was Amy and Heather, our nurses, they had brought up things for us, it was shift change and they were leaving. They had scrapbooked several things with Logan’s name on it. they brought the foot imprints, they even printed off the pictures we took of Logan and some they took and burned a c.d. for us to take home so we could have his pictures forever, something so little, but so huge for us.

Johnny woke up and we all exchanged hugs and tears and I tried to express my thanks to them. For such a horrible experience I couldn’t have asked for a pair of more caring, more compassionate nurses. What was next for the day… setting up arrangements for Logan, what to do with his body, burial or cremation? Where to have his body sent? Mom said she would call around and figure out what to do and how to do it. Johnny and I decided that we would get Logan cremated. That way if for some reason we ever moved he wouldn’t be left in a city all alone, that we could take him with us. I got up to go to the restroom and walked out of the door to see Johnny on the phone with McGilley and Frye funeral home, making arrangements for our son. I listened as he told them that our son had died, he was stillborn and we needed to make arrangements to have him cremated. It was something that Johnny felt he needed to do, he wanted to handle this part of our journey, being a husband and a dad. In that moment my admiration and respect for Johnny had never been higher,and through our journey he continues to amaze me.

The doctor came up and said that they got some really good tissues from the placenta and the umbilical chord so she was sure they could figure out what exactly happened with Logan. She also said that I looked good and I could go home whenever I wanted, that she would get the paperwork ready. I was ready to get out of the hospital, ready to not have my temperature took, not too have my stomach pushed on, ready to see my daughter… but this also meant that I would be leaving the hospital without Logan. I was leaving him there, in the morgue, in the  basement to be picked up by the funeral home. If I left it meant that I could never see him again. Everyday happy couples leave the hospital with their newborn baby, but not us, not today, we were leaving with empty arms and heavy hearts.


Since then Johnny, Lexi and I have been on a roller coaster of emotions.  Johnny and I have had some really rough patches in our marriage, it’s hard trying to be the support system for another person when you are using all your energy to try to get through your day. We’ve been impatient with Lexi, maybe a little too often. We’ve let friendships slip away that we shouldn’t, we’ve let people down and have been let down by others. We really have had to find a new normal. Trying to rebuild a life, a marriage a family out of the ashes of what was to be. It’s been difficult and I’m sure there are going to be times when it’s almost unbearable, but we’ve learned that Logan allowed us to see the world in a different light. We need to cherish the things that we hold most dear. We need to experience life a little more. We need to allow things to happen. We need to realize that we can do all we can and things will still turn out bad, but if we hold on tight and ride the storm we’ll get to see the rainbow after.

Thank you for reading my journey of a year ago today. I hope it has allowed you to see a little glimpse of one persons story of child loss. The emotions that happen, the events that happen. Just know that everyone has a story… it may not have been them, but maybe someone they know.. stop and listen, learn that life is a journey and you never know where they are in theirs.

With love,


Thursday, December 1, 2011

A year ago today – Day 2


A year ago today I was laying in a hospital bed confused, scared, sad, mad, heartbroken and pretty much any other emotion you can imagine. Its something that really can’t be described adequately with words.. its something that you have to experience to really get it. And I hope you never have to experience it.

We arrived early at the hospital, our check in time was 7 A.M., Johnny and I walked up to the nurses station, the same nurses station that only 14 months before I had checked in about to be induced with our beautiful baby girl, only this time it was different, it was with a very heavy heart. The nurses were getting ready to change shifts as we showed up, the first nurse I saw I told her that my name was Heather Clear and I was here and they were supposed to have a room ready for me, instantly she knew who I was and walked me to our room, I was already crying, I stood in the middle of the delivery room feeling so lost and scared and she cried along with me. Her name was Amy, she was the nurse that would deliver Logan. Amy got both Johnny and I settled in the room, helped hook me up to monitors and left for the day. My parents arrived after taking Lexi to daycare and my dear friend Jen dropped everything to be at our side during this difficult day, we really are blessed to have so many people that love us. My doctor came in around 8:30 and explained that they would be inducing me with a pill that would be inserted vaginally, in very small doses and this would help put my body in delivery mode. It was at that point that I wasn’t so sure that I was ready to go through with this, I was so scared and no one had answers to the questions that I didn’t even know how to form into words. Dr. Langaker was so sweet and caring and really tried to explain everything she could in the most gentle terms but at the same time being very honest, it helped me along in ways that I wouldn’t understand until later. I asked her how long I could be waiting for Logan to be delivered and she said that it could take a really long time, it just depends on how my body reacted to the pills, but at 24 hours we could reevaluate other options,Thankfully we didn’t have to go down that road.

The day pretty much progressed with no progress. We were introduced to Coco McAtee, one of the social workers at Overland Park Regional, she helped guide us through some of the most difficult decisions we would have to make thus far. She was sweet, but you could tell that she was at a loss for words, I guess even when you deal with families who lose children everyday it doesn’t make it easier to know what to say. There were some insensitive people who were careless and didn’t pay attention to the sign the hospital had put on my door letting them know that there was a child who had died. The guy who came and took my blood for instance asked me if this was my first child and what our son’s name was, he said that Logan was a strong name and as he left he said good luck… as soon as he left the room I broke down in tears, he didn’t know, he couldn’t have known. Later that night the anesthesiologist did the same thing, he said that all the pain was worth it,  and in the end I’d get to take a beautiful baby home… again, he didn’t know. This time our nurse Heather was there, she came over and held my hand while the anesthesiologist talked about how wonderful babies were, she really helped me through that… it was hard to not say something, but it was even harder to say something.

I got to take a break from the pills and I got to eat dinner and visit with friends and Lexi was brought to the hospital for us to see. That really helped to raise my spirits in an otherwise heart wrenching day, to see my beautiful baby girl smile and laugh and ‘help’ me eat my vegetable soup, it was the only time that day I genuinely smiled.

Nurses changed shifts again and Amy came back into the room, the other nurse that was helping her was Heather, these two nurses were so great, in such a horrible circumstance they held my hand, they gave me hugs, they loved on me like they had known me for years.. they allowed me to grieve the way that I needed to, I only wish that more nurses could be that way.

We started back with the pills and doubled my dose at 8, I hadn’t really dilated and I wasn’t moving very fast, which I was thankful for… that meant that Logan was still with me for a little while longer. Finally the contractions started, I was asked so many times if I wanted to get an epidural… I refused for so long, finally I said the words that had been in my head and my heart the entire day… “why should I have relief from pain if it hurt Logan when he died?” Still, today I only hope that it didn’t hurt when he died, I only hope that something I did didn’t cause him to die (remember, at this point the reason for his death is unknown) I’m finally talked into getting an epidural and that is when I met the inconsiderate anesthesiologist.

Finally I drift off to sleep with tears in my eyes for what I know is going to come, my baby is going to be born, but he’s not going to cry, he’s not going to move, he has died.