Sunday, March 4, 2012 our little Man Rex Joshua Ensey was stillborn, weighing 3lbs 15.5oz, 17 inches long.
Saturday his movement decreased but I was so used to feeling him I thought it was just that keeping busy I wasn’t aware of his movement. By late afternoon/evening I had to sit and focus to try and feel movement, massaging my belly, drinking cold water like he liked. I could almost always get a good jolt out of him by taking a nice, long drink of cold water. Thinking back now I realize the little movements I felt were most likely not him. I went to bed thinking it was that he had dropped and just didn’t have much room to move. There are those times when he just rested for hours and hours, I assumed it was a mix of all of the above.
Saturday night Josh and I both had horrible dreams, waking up at the same time he insisted we go to the emergency room. I really, truly did not feel it was necessary. It’s not that I knew something was wrong and was avoiding it, I really felt nothing was wrong. He drug me, arguing the entire way, in to the emergency room and from there it was a whirlwind.
No heartbeat with a monitor, then the ultrasound that just about killed Josh to watch. I wish he hadn’t watched but he did. His reaction was more than all I needed to know what had happened. The tears of the ultrasound tech, the nurses warm and loving demeanor knowing what we now would have to go through next.
We called Cori and she came right over to the hospital. Staying with us, quiet and comforting, there for whatever we needed. Mark brought the kids to us before they induced labor so we could tell them what had happened and what was going to happen. The kids were amazing, holding out hope until the very end that a miracle would happen and Rex would be born alive but truly understanding that he was already gone and it was just his body I would be delivering. Evan and Michelle spent the day with the kids at home, then Ryan spent some time with them. Cousins are such a healing influence on my kids, they love their cousins so deeply.
Cori and Mark stayed with us throughout labor, running little errands for us, stepping out when we needed time alone. Never did we feel awkward having them there, never did we feel we couldn’t ask them for something we needed. Mark and Josh have a relationship that is emotionally open & honest. It was perfect for Josh to have a brother there that could hold him when he needed, let him feel the way he needed to feel, support him emotionally and help him when he needed help. If you know Josh you know anger is there, frustration and rage can rear their ugly heads just like the rest of us. His loving and calm demeanor takes over after a minute and he returns to himself. Mark helped keep him emotionally with me, with Rex and I. He has immediate reactions to what is happening right in front of him, I shut off the emotion and do what has to be done knowing I can deal with the emotions as they come a little later. I don’t ignore what’s happening, I don’t ignore the emotion, I just chose to stay strong for Josh so he could take his time reacting how he needed to react without it upsetting me. I have never in my life had my heart torn open like it was when he was in the depths of immediate grief over the loss of our son. Holding Rex, sobbing, wailing, somehow the raw emotion that Josh showed was not upsetting to me, it was endearing and drew me to him even more. I love my husband deeply and to see him that emotionally distraught made me want to wrap him and Rex in my arms and fix it all. Yet I couldn’t. All I could do was give him time with his son, drinking in every second they had together.
We had 2 quick hours with Rex before we decided it was time for his body to move on. I took my time memorizing every little detail. So much of him is Josh. So much of him is me.
Cori and Mark were there for most of the 2 hours with us. Holding Rex and saying goodbye.
The hospital staff was so wonderful, they took photos of our boy and printed them for us, making sure to get some shots I asked for specifically. I had Mark bring the sweater that I knit to bring Rex home in so he could be photographed wearing it.
Every single person we encountered at St. Joseph’s Hospital loved, cared and soothed us in the most amazing way. Each and every nurse, resident, doctor had a gift in dealing with us. The people that we needed to get through Sunday were there for a reason. Our first nurse, Jodi, had lost 2 of her own sons at birth and understood more than we could have ever expected. She knew what to say when, she could almost read our minds and give us answers before we asked the questions. She was able to keep us calm with her presence.
After our separation from our little man we were moved in to a lovely suite with a queen bed, dining table and chairs, recliner, TV armoire, decorated so nicely for a relaxing recovery. It was still on the maternity ward but far enough away from delivery and recovery rooms that we would have privacy and not much of a chance of hearing babies. Also giving us the space to not be heard in our grief. I am so grateful for the calm and quiet space to feel and react the way I needed. Josh there taking care of me, holding me, crying with me, knowing exactly how to soothe me.
We stayed Sunday and Monday nights at the hospital. Josh going home to get the kids off to school Monday morning, getting them dinner and bringing them to the hospital Monday night for a couple of hours. They were so excited to be there with us and we were so excited to have them there, happy and full of life. Reminding us of all we have, all we are blessed with, our kids that bring us joy and love every second of every day. Our loss is deep and binding but it’s not all we have to feel.
Of course, I realize saying this only 3 days after losing Rex and not having my postpartum hormones kick in I sound very even-keeled and strong. I suppose I am today. Tomorrow I may not feel this way. A week from now I am may be a complete and utter mess.
Rex Joshua’s funeral service will be held next Monday, March 12th, time is still pending.
It has taken me the entire day to write this…I know there is more to include but I am tired and ready to move on with my evening. Dinner to prepare and my lovely sister Cori is coming over to visit 🙂