Monday, August 16, 2010

an anniversary...I'd rather not

August 17, 2009
( I have to write today, because tomorrow I may not have the courage.) 

My son, Rowan, was born asleep on this date.  
One year has passed. 

I miss this child, my child, every day.  I think of the way his tiny body slid into my hands on the morning of August 17th, and the anguish that filled my heart.  Sometimes when I pick up something small, I instantly think - geez this weighs no more than Rowan... 

In thinking about what to say, I am still speechless at the loss of our first baby.  I will tell Rowan's story here, because I don't ever want to forget one tiny detail.

On August 17, 2009, I was 13w2d pregnant with our first child.  I woke up when my alarm went off and I got up to get ready for work.  I stood before the bathroom sink for a moment, and then sat down to use the bathroom.  I felt a large 'something' between my legs...  I said 'oh no' outloud, but mostly to myself because I was certain it was a large blood clot.  I put my hand down to see if it was blood, and instead I caught my tiny baby.  My tiny, precious, perfect (although small) baby.  I called to my husband, Matt, and we held our baby and cried.

On the way to the ER we decided we would have a funeral, and that no matter what...we were going to leave the hospital with our baby and not leave it there to be 'dealt with.'  The nurses in the triage area wanted to take the baby and when they pulled out the 'specimen' bag I nearly fainted.  We had the baby in a tupperware container, and I clutched it to my chest.  I told the nurse there was no way I was leaving the hospital without my baby.  My OBGYN was called and they sent me to a room to wait for her arrival.  After I was checked-out by my regular doctor, it was decided I would need a D&C, as I hadn't bled at all.  I had no contractions, and no pain...but, I had my tiny baby 26 weeks early.

While waiting my turn for surgery (nearly 12 hours) I developed an infection.  My fever was high before the D&C and did not come down until 3 days later.  I sent my husband home with the baby, and a temporary plan to hold a small funeral sometime later that week.  We knew that we wanted to name the baby, but none of the names we had talked of before our loss seemed appropriate.  So, my husband went searching for the perfect name,but nothing seemed right. And then one day he came to the hospital and had a few names written on a scrap of paper...and among them was the name Rowan.  It means simply 'little red one.'  Our tiny love was so small, and so red.  The name perfectly captured our hearts.  Rowan McCleskey, our Glory Baby...perfect.

Our pastor came to the hospital to share some hope with us, and to just grieve with our little family.  He helped us map out what we wanted for the funeral, as we had never walked this path before.  At the hospital a 'memory box' was given to us.  It was the perfect size for Rowan, and so he was buried in that box.  It was donated to the hospital by a group of women from Central Florida who prepare and donate the boxes as a ministry.  I knew I wanted to bury the baby, and I knew I wanted it to be in a cemetery.  We did some digging and found that Matt's great-grandmother was buried in a cemetery near our home, and once we contacted the cemetery they were more than happy to work with us.  They allowed us to bury our sweet Rowan on top Matt's great-grandmother's plot.  A tiny square of earth was removed for Rowan, and we buried him Friday, August 21, 2009.

Our pastor gave a brief message, and we played several worship songs.  There were so many people there, we were shocked.  God has been so good.  So many lives have been touched by our little angel.  Since losing our baby we have been on the rampage for information of healing and hope.  Miscarriages touch so many lives, and we are determined to bring the hope of Jesus to those who have lost and do not know Him.  Our lives have been greatly changed with the loss of our first child.  We cannot comprehend the hopelessness of losing a child and not knowing Christ.  Therefore, we started Rowan's Hope (, to be a place of education and hope for women and families who have lost a child to miscarriage. 

In addition I have found great healing in writing my blog. There are so many women who write about their loss, and I have found courage in their words. I have wept with them, rejoiced with them and prayed for them.  I certainly hope that is what people are doing when they read my blog.  

"Your absence has gone through me like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color." 

~ W. S. Merwin - Separation




Kelly said...

Thinking of you on this horribly difficult day.

Lauren said...

Thinking of and loving your family. We hold a special place in our hearts for sweet little Rowan. Can't wait to meet him one day.

Ausmerican Housewife said...

Oh wow. He's so tiny! He's gorgeous though. I think our little Julia was about the same size. (Her story is a blur still.) Thinking of you often. I have a little something I'd like to send you in your babies memories. Could I get your email address and email them to you?

-Kara, a fellow babyloss mama

Michelle said...

My sweet friend with such courage. My dad passed away on August 17th, 10 whole years ago. It's so strange how time flies so quickly and how his presence is still so near. I know this is the same for Rowan. My dad, like baby Rowan, is also with Jesus and we will all be reunited to join in worship, and joyful celebration forever and ever in days to come. Stay strong, dear one, you are ministering to more than you know and for that you shall be blessed. Love you.

Patty said...

Baby Rowan just captured my heart... You were so brave and you knew exactly what to do taking pictures and all. I still grieve because I handed my daughter over to the hospital at her 21 wks. Despite of my husband's and my shock, I know that she is safe with God. I pray that you will have a child that fill the empty room one day...