I was quietly rolled to a different room in the hospital to await the surgery that would deliver my stillborn son. The scream that wracked my body upon hearing that my son had passed away unexpectedly had already come and gone.
Replaced with sobs, uncontrolled crying that only quieted when a question rose to the surface of my confused and stunned mind.
It was while I was sobbing that I looked up and noticed my nurse, who had been the first to be unable to find my sweet boy’s heart beating was crying with me.
“I’m sorry. It’s hard on us too.”
With that I knew, I knew that I was blessed to be forced to share this moment with someone I had never known, but someone whose heart broke with mine nonetheless.
Every nurse I met that day was the picture of quiet, respectful, calm, but she was able also to show me her heart and was able to tell me she was hurting too. My son’s life had mattered to her too.
I never caught her name, I don’t even know her face. My heart remembers that moment, though.
My heart remembers and is grateful.
The strength that it takes to sign up for not only the beautiful, miraculous moments when birth goes right – but also for the moments when someone’s world ends, astounds me.
To be able to hold a momma’s hand as she is made to say goodbye to her precious child, and then as another mother welcomes her healthy baby.
There is not one positive thing I have to say about the day my son died except, I was treated with such kindness, such care.
I’m grateful for all the quiet training the hospital staff undertook to know just what to say in a moment where I am sure finding the right words felt impossible. I am grateful for the space I was given, while also being cared for quite extensively.
Also, I’m forever grateful for how they cared for my son when he was born. They listened to me, and they honored my every request; they worked hard to make my time with him as peaceful as they could.
Ann Coyle – a name that echoed in all the voices around me as I waited for nearly eight hours for my son’s delivery. Ann Coyle is a name I speak of reverently even now. A nurse who is also the manager of perinatal bereavement programs and who quite changed my life.
She came to visit me every day in my recovery room, she sat and listened to the same few things I needed to say on repeat with patience, she cared for and about me and most importantly, about my son.
When I left the hospital and was forced back into the real world, she called me. When my supporters grew a little quieter in time, she remained.
She held my hand through a subsequent pregnancy and visited me every day in the hospital for his delivery. If I called on her now, she would answer. Her unrelenting support goes beyond what expectations would allow for.
The truly amazing thing is, she is this person for every loss parent she meets, she is the person you trust openly with the memory of your little one.
She helped me make sense of some aspects of loss, she helped me learn that everything I felt was okay, she speaks my child’s name without a flinch or shudder, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
To me, it defies logic that someone can possess enough strength to take on the heartache of countless families, to ease the pain of others by taking on a little of the burden themselves.
We call on these nurses every day, often without thanks and they answer without hesitation.
The gratitude I have for these awesome men and women, the heartfelt thanks I only wish I had given them at the moment, the hope that this message reaches them today.
To all the nurses who helped save me when I lost my son, thank you.
Morgan McLaverty, a world traveler that has taken roots in southern New Jersey where her husband Sean was born and raised. Now, a stay at home mother, she cares for her three living boys; Gavin Cole(5), Rowan Grey(3) and Holden Nash (1). She also is a mother to Lennon Rhys. Lennon was born still at thirty one weeks and five days. His loss spurred on a need in Morgan to write her feelings, share her grief and help others in the process. She hopes her words will help shed the silence and taboo nature of discussing pregnancy and child loss.