Monday, July 21, 2008

Little Baby Feet

I just love not only gives me a creative outlet, but also a therapeutic outlet for thoughts and feelings that I have, even if I'm the only one that ever reads it. I just read an article in AJN American Journal of Nursing (Volume 108, Number 1, pg. 88) entitled "What Remains" by Susan Perry, MSN, RNC. In the article she writes about an experience she had with a woman who had to have an emergency D&C (dilation and curettage) because of a miscarriage and profuse bleeding. The woman was just over 12 weeks along when she lost her baby. Susan writes that the woman shared feelings that her body had 'let her down' again, and that she felt like 'she wasn't really pregnant'...'there wasn't really a baby in there'...'it was all just a bad joke'. In an effort to try and ease some of this woman's pain (as well as the woman's husband's pain), and also to prove to her and remind her that she really was pregnant, the nurse went to the lab and with the help of the pathology technician found the little tiny baby feet, each of which were only about 1/3 of an inch long, wiped them dry, and carefully made imprints of them with black ink on an index card. In the article, the nurse shares that as she presented the tiny footprints to the woman and her husband that the woman clutched the index card, holding it tightly to her chest and just cried. She was so grateful for this memory...proof forever that there really was a baby in there...she really was a mother...this really was her baby.

As I read this article, I was deeply touched. What a wonderful gift this nurse gave to that woman. It also hit me that even at 12 weeks a baby is formed enough to have litle feet and is a little baby, a litle person, a part of you and your husband....something that you made together. Through my miscarriages and D&Cs, I have felt the same emotions as that feel like your body let you down or wonder if it was something that you did, you really do start to question whether you were really don't feel any different, you don't look any different, you don't have any reminder except the empty, lonely feeling feel as if it was all just some bad dream.

I am so grateful for this article and the wonderful, happy feeling that it gave me. It proved to me that I really have been pregnant, I really have carried babies, babies with tiny little feet...little feet perfect enough to have made an impression on an index card...a little part of me and a little part of Rick. Even though I don't have any living children on this earth, I am a mother. I like to think that I have three little tiny pairs of baby feet waiting for me in heaven and I hope to live my life in such a way to be worthy of them when I leave this earth. How grateful I am for the plan of salvation and the fact that families can be together forever. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and that He is aware of my trials and struggles. I know that He would never purposely deny me a blessing and that even though I may not be able to be a mother in this life...I can in the next. I am also grateful for my loving husband and his patience and understanding. I know that he will make a great father and I look forward to the day when we can be parents, even if it's not in this lifetime.

To any of you that have experienced pregnancy loss...I'm so sorry. I hope it gives you comfort to know that you are not alone in your thoughts and feelings. It will hurt for a while, and it does get better over time, but it will never go away completely...and that's okay. Everyone deals with loss in their own way, and that's okay too. Just remember that you're not alone...your Heavenly Father loves you and feels your sadness and pain, and like that 'Footprints' poem (if you haven't read it, search for it online) when we feel at our lowest and most alone, those are the times that He carries us.

Well, I have many more feelings and thoughts on this subject, but that's all for today. Thanks for 'listening'. Go out and make it a great day! =)


Elizabeth said...


Although I've never had a miscarriage I know what it's like to not have a baby when you want one so much. I know that when you do have your first little newborn you will treasure that baby so much more because of everything you had to do to get him or her here. I remember even in the middle of the night being thankful that I finally had a little baby to get in the night with. If you ever need to talk let me know!

sewtakeahike said...

this is my first time to your blog and you're making me cry!!! Thank-you for posting such an inspiring and heart touching "story" and sharing your faith. I think this IS going to be a great day!

erica e said...

Anna, thanks for sharing this! What a wonderful story and what a wonderful testimony you have of our loving Heavenly Father and how He really does know us and has a plan for us.
You and Rick will be WONDERFUL parents someday. I can't wait to see it. :)

Christina said...

Dear Anna,

It also made me cry when I read this. I guess I have three more little grandchildren in heaven who I hopefully will meet some day.

Love, your mother

rachel griffith said...

i am at such a great loss for words.
i have never been through what you have, but know that my heart so went out to you as i read this.
thank you for sharing this article with us, and your personal experience.

...Laura... said...

I just found this blog post through a link that "sewtakeahike" posted... I don't know "sewtakeahike" either- I'm quite the blog lurker.... Anyway, I feel like I was really led to your blog. First of all, I couldn't help but notice you are LDS... I too am LDS. I spent all day yesterday in the hospital, miscarrying my 6.5 week baby. I have an appointment tomorrow to make sure everything was expelled. I do have one little boy, for whome I couldn't be more grateful today. I woke up this morning wondering if it was all a joke- if I really was pregnat... I made the ER nurse look up the pregnancy test results to make sure they hadn't misinformed me. It was a difficult day today, as I wished I could just keep pretending to the world that I was still pregnant, but knowing I couldn't. The only thing I have to prove I was pregnant is my medical wrist band, I wore all day yesterday. I wish I would have little feet prints to keep. As gross as this is, I tried to fish stuff out of the toilet, hoping it would be my baby... though I know he was just too tiny to find.
I don't really know why I'm saying this- just to let you know I guess, that I too connected with this story, and yours. I'm sorry for your losses. Your feelings on your losses really touched me and gave me things to think about and be comforted with. I know I was led to your blog for a reason, and for that I am grateful.
Now I'm going to go read about your quilting, because I've recently decided that I love quilting! :)

Rose said...

Miscarriage can be a lonely experience at times, making many a mom wonder if it really even happened at all as the rest of the world seems to move on while she's left to grieve alone.

I, too, am touched by the story of that nurse. What a precious gift she gave in obtaining tangible proof the child was there, and his or her only footprints were not only upon the mother's heart.

I'm deeply sorry to read of your losses. I've had two of my own, and imagine their faces and features when I look at their living siblings. As you said, the pain eases a bit, but I hope very much you have a child of your own to hold in your arms soon.