The Nurse - Chapter 18

Our nurse kept coming in, getting Pam different things and making us as comfortable as possible.  She shocked us though when she asked us why we were doing it this way.  I don’t think that she understood.  Pam patiently explained that we believed that each life was a life that God had given us. We need to take care of that life as long as possible, even though in a situation like ours we knew that would not be long.  Pam talked with her several minutes before she left.  She told us that she admired us for going through with our convictions and for the rest of the weekend we developed a very special relationship with her.
She also found out that we were vegetarian as well.  I can’t remember if she brought us a sandwich with ham in it or just asked if we wanted one.  I think that they had some in the refrigerator.  Somehow the subject came up and we explained that we also were vegetarians and that we didn’t really eat meat.

That sure seems like a terrible way to start off what was going to be a very long weekend.
We did find out later from our nurse why she had asked those questions.  When hospital told us to come up that night, our nurse didn’t know what to do.  I think a situation like ours made her very nervous.  She may have dealt with some other cases in which there were problems at birth, but I don’t think that she had ever had dealt with an anencephalic birth.  I assumed most people terminate the pregnancy rather than carry it to term.  Thus, there are not that many live babies to deliver.  She told us later that she was very confused and didn’t know what to do.  She didn’t know us at all and here she was going to be a very important part in our lives.  She had known couples that didn’t make it through this sort of thing.  Situations like this could make or break a relationship.

We found out that nurses had volunteered to take care of us.  Our doctor’s office had probably arranged this ahead of time. Yet, whether they stood up and said I will take the job, that I don’t know!

To my amazement and gratefulness, I also found out as we were leaving the hospital that someone had put a 4 X 6 sign with a leaf on it.  As I walked in and out of the room, I couldn’t understand why they had put a sign on our door when no one else had one.  I found out the reason they did this was to alert the staff that there was suffering in this delivery room and they were not to be happy go luck when entering the room.  How considerate! That little sign has a lot of sentimental value to me.  It symbolizes to me all the caring and love that we received during this trial. Pam and I still have it in Ashley’s memory box.

Lessons Learned

  •           If you have been told you have an anencephalic fetus, remember that there will be questions.  It will be an awkward situation.  People will ask questions.  But with God’s strength you can do this.  It has been eleven years since Ashley was born.  I don’t regret the decision we made even though it was incredibly hard. God will see you through.
  •           If you know someone who baby is anencephalic, find out for them if the hospital they are planning to deliver has something similar to the sign that was on our door.  For us there was nothing worse than having to tell the story over and over to someone who was expecting happiness and leaving crestfallen.
  •           Bible verse for this chapter: “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34