Mom to Joshua Patrick
February 20th – 22nd, 2013
Kansas City, Missouri
Joshua and I were monitored closely for the next two days. On February 20, 2013, I had an ultrasound. I was told that the amniotic fluid was low. Joshua Patrick Denney entered the world at 7:09 p.m. on February 20, 2013. He weighed 2 pounds 11 ounces and was 15 inches of perfection. He had APGAR scores of 8/9 and was strong. I wasn’t allowed to see him until the next day since I had to deliver on the god-awful magnesium sulfate. Oh, but when I finally got to see him… I didn’t know it was possible to love anyone that much. He was so small, but so completely perfect. He opened his eyes to look at me as I spoke to him. He recognized my voice! We got to touch him. I got to feel his soft, curly, brown hair, just like his mama. Patrick touched his hand and I watched in wonder as he immediately gripped his daddy’s finger tightly. Again my heart melted. I was smitten. These were my boys! Joshua made my love for his father so much deeper. It was amazing.
February 22, 2013, everything quickly began to fall apart. The nurse came in and asked how Josh was doing. We recited what the doctors had been telling us, he is doing great. He’s really strong. They even had to lower his oxygen levels while we were in the room, because he was breathing so much better. We were told we would get to hold him today. The nurse left and shortly returned. She said, “I know you said Joshua was doing good, but I want to let you know that he’s having a little trouble this morning. We are intubating him now.”
We quickly (well as quickly as you can post c-section), got up and down the hall to the NICU. I wasn’t too worried. We were told that he would have good days and bad days. I assumed this was just one bad morning on this long road we had before us. When I got to his NICU room, nothing could have prepared me for what I was seeing. They weren’t intubating him, they were doing CPR. The nurse looked at me and said, “We’ve been trying for 30 minutes and we need to stop.” I told her no. I screamed at her to keep trying. I prayed out loud and sobbed as Patrick held me with his own tears falling into my curls. This couldn’t be real. This had to be a nightmare. God wouldn’t do this to us. Not after everything. He was doing so good. Please let me wake up. Please…I held my tiny, beautiful, perfect son for the first time as he was taking his final breaths. I kept kissing his head and telling him I was so sorry that I couldn’t save him. I kept telling him how much I loved him. How much WE loved him. Joshua Patrick, my first born, my son, went from my arms into the arms of our Heavenly Father at a little after 8:30 a.m. on February 22, 2013. I watched as my sweet husband held his son for the first and last time. I cried as I saw the love and the heartbreak as he cried and said hello and goodbye all at the same time.
After we got home from the hospital, I began writing on my long neglected blog, www.rootedinfaith.com. At first it was just a way for me to keep our family and friends up to date on how we were doing. It was easier than trying to answer all of the texts, phone calls, and messages that were being sent. I found it hard to talk to anyone without breaking down completely, so this was a place where I could say what I was feeling and not worry about making others uncomfortable with my tears. It became a place where I found strength – writing about my struggles with faith, my sincere belief that God is still the same God I believed in on February 21st, that He didn’t leave us or abandon us…even though it feels like it sometimes.
It has become a place where I can connect with others who have walked this path before us and encourage those who have come along since. I have met some of the most amazing, courageous, inspirational, and strong women and men through losing Joshua. Don’t get me wrong, I would trade them all and go back to my naive innocence about this world of child loss if it meant having my son back. Still, I’m so thankful for this group of men and women who have made me feel less alone, less crazy – made me feel like there might be a light at the end of this tunnel.
Through my often tear-filled eyes I have seen God doing amazing things through us – through Joshua. It is my daily prayer that God will use Joshua’s story in some way for His glory. I pray that I can encourage others. I pray that I can help others. I pray that God will use me in some way to share my faith and my hope in Him. I know God has plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11 tells me that). I know that He is with me and is moving me into a ministry for Him. I’m not quite sure where this journey will take me, but I’m willing to follow wherever He leads me. I am thankful everyday for the 7.5 months I got to feel my son grow inside me and for the 36 hours that he got to spend with us on earth even though it wasn’t enough. I know this life is short and that eternity is long. I’m looking forward to the day when I get to hold my baby boy again and spend the rest of eternity loving on him and being his mama. Until then, I pray that God will use us, will use our son to encourage and help those around us who are struggling and to hopefully bring them a little extra faith.