Monday morning, August 4, I was getting things done, laundry, dishes, straightening the house in preparation for the next day. I wanted a free and clear day, not have anything to do. We were going to have a baby-great, granddaughter, Isabella, was scheduled to come into this world.
Then the phone calls started coming in. Grandson, Travis, Isabella's daddy, called-Erin, Isabella's little momma, doesn't feel right, is going to doctor.
Another call-they can't find the heartbeat
And another-yes, they did find a heartbeat
And another-he is going to the doctor's office, the heartbeat is gone
And then-"Mammaw, we lost her".
Talk about your world being tossed upside down. I have been through some bad times, bad weeks, bad months, bad years but this is the ultimate of bad. Erin was being sent straight to the hospital. My son, Jeff, had to drive me there because by this time I was unable and for the next two days the hospital was our home. I still don't know why a C-section couldn't have been done and get this all over with but instead that beautiful young couple went through a day and a half of knowing this child was not going to make it as the rest of us had to stand by and watch and try to ease their grief a little. Great, grandmothers, grandmothers, grandfather, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends-some from a distance came as soon as they could. The chaplain said the outpouring from the family was good, that a lot of times there is no support. The whole staff was great to all of us, respecting each and everyone who was there.
I put out calls for prayer just to get us all through this, especially Erin and Travis. They were so sweet together and so very gracious even in these circumstances. They made it easier for the rest of us, at least for me in the way they handled everything.
Then, Tuesday evening, the time was near for Isabella to be born. Erin and Travis had decided that they wanted to be alone during the birth so we gathered round them for one last prayer with them, maybe to petition God one more time to let us keep this precious baby and to please keep Erin safe and don't let anything happen to her. Then we were all shooed out by the nurses so they could do their job.
I made another round of phone calls for prayer that this would soon be over, that Erin would do well and be ok and the wait set in. It was about 7:30 p.m. It had been a long 2 days.
As were the next couple of hours. No one came out to let us know anything for a long time but I guess Trav and Erin wanted to block the world out as long as possible, to have as many precious moments as they could with Isabella before they had to share her with us.
When we went in, Erin was holding Isabella and they both were so beautiful. Travis told us how well Erin had done. What a trooper she had been. Isabella was all swaddled in blankets and a hat, they didn't want her unwrapped except for that pretty little face. I wish I had thought to have taken the crocheted outfit I had made for her to the hospital so it could have been put on her.
Each of us got to hold Isabella-her two great, grandmothers, her two grandmothers, her grandfather, her aunts, her uncles, her great aunts and I don't remember who else but we were all given the opportunity to say goodbye.
Then it was time to leave, to let them try and rest, to let them be alone in one of the worst times they will ever have, to try and find peace when things make no sense at all.
I was getting ready to go back to the hospital the next day but Travis called and said they had checked out and wanted to get home. They could have stayed another day but that wasn't going to happen. "Do you need anything?", "No, Mamaw, we're ok". "Do you need me to bring anything to eat?", "No, Mamaw, we have plenty of food in the house, we'd don't need anything right now".
Arrangements had been made for Isabella to be picked up and now her funeral arrangements needed to be made. Travis was adamant that Isabella was to be placed with his beloved Pappaw who had passed 2 years before. They only wanted a simple graveside service and that was the way it was.
The funeral director said he hadn't seen so many people at a newborn's service before. Did I expect that many? No, I didn't know what to expect but it was so appreciated that so many did come to give their support.
Jeff read the poem I had written for Isabella, he said it was the most important thing he had ever read.
ISABELLA LYNN TACKETT
This life God gave has so much worth,
for Isabella was not to be bound upon this earth.
The angels bore her quickly back to whence she'd come,
back to be with Jesus in His safe and loving arms.
Back with others like her to be kept on Jesus' knee,
cause Jesus can take so much better care than even we.
Back to be sung to sleep by angels, play peek-a-boo with God,
catch fly balls hit by Jesus, play tag on holy sod,
fly kites so high they touch the stars, do everything you'd want her to.
For those of us whose child is there, Jesus keeps them for me and you.
We don't know what life here for her would be,
but we do know that God does give life abundantly.
And how much more abundant than to be with Him from the start
and not have to trudge through life's hurts and broken heart.
How selfish 'twould be on our part to keep her bound here
than loose her to the freedom of Heaven to save ourselves a tear.
For, in time, you will be greeted with "Momma, Daddy, I'm so glad you're finally home!
Come over here and see what Jesus and I have done!"
Then this child you've missed so much will take you by the hand
and the time will fade away as she shows you that heavenly land.
You'll see all her grand works of art that were saved for you to see
and won't have missed a thing because you'll have all eternity.
So when we're told earth's bad news with which we'll have to cope
we need to keep in mind that heaven is our hope.
© Carolyn Wainscott-2014
After the service, Travis and Erin went home and shut the door to the nursery they had ready for Isabella. The bed was made with new sheets, afghans and the attached changing table. There were new curtains, custom wall lettering plus many shower gifts. It is still shut. Decorative boxes are ready for special things made just for Isabella that they want to keep. The rest will be packed up when they can or if they want someone else to come in and do it but so far they are handling everything together as well as they can.
Why was this written today? It has been on my mind for a time but couldn't bring myself to get to it but this morning I woke up with Isabella on my mind and now is the time, I guess.
No, we don't know what happened. Everything was fine on the last check up on Wednesday. There was life til that Monday morning but when Erin woke up she said things were just not right. They had been shopping the day before getting last minute things. Erin had been having pain in her back the whole week before. Isabella weighed 8 lbs. 9 ozs. and was 21" long. She was at least 1 1/2 lbs. larger than expected to be.
It has been two months now, it seems like centuries ago but it also seems as though it was just yesterday. That doesn't make much sense, does it? Isabella is the latest saga of heartache in this family.
God bless this young couple of my heart. I know that He has a special mission for them.
In God's love,