These stories never get easier to write. I’ll never have the ability to just sit down and articulate all that’s running through my brain because the only words I can ever get out are, “I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY?” I’ve shot countless angel babies at this point in my 15yrs and the words are never there. Just deep sadness for the newest family I’ve stood by while their hearts shattered to pieces.😔
Jeni had a healthy pregnancy. Things were great until suddenly they weren’t. At 36 wks out of nowhere, baby boy just stopped kicking. Her intuition screamed something was wrong, and they went straight to the Labor and Delivery unit at Good Sam where they did an ultrasound. There he was on the screen, but no blinking lights for his heartbeat. That was it. He was ALMOST here. One more month, so close to safely in arms and for an unknown reason, God just up and called him Home. In complete disbelief, Jeni and Kyle listened to “the next steps” as they couldn’t get passed that part where the doctor said, “your baby doesn’t have a heartbeat. 😭💔
A late Monday night, “you awake, friend?” text from Jeni immediately had me concerned. My heart sunk as she’s never texted me so late, which told me immediately something was wrong. They scheduled the cSection for the morning and she wanted me to be there for them during the most difficult moments of their lives.
Tuesday morning, we all stood in somber in the OR as they went through the motions of a typical cSection. Jeni splayed out on the table, no doubt thinking to herself, “HOW is this happening? This CANT be happening!” on repeat. With visible emotion, the Dr held up their sweet and fragile, 6.1lb, 19.5″ baby boy over the surgical drape just after 9a. Our hearts wanted so bad to hear those first cries and see those startled newborn arm movements but they didn’t come. 💔 The nurses gently cleaned him before swaddling and handed him over to Daddy. It’s that moment that hurts all of us surrounding them. The moment you quite literally witness a parents world crashing around them. There was NOTHING we could do to stop that pain besides hold them tight while they held their angel close.
Once into the room, we received Holy Communion together, which was ironic timing for the chaplain to be walking by. She was completely unaware of the situation but once she left, she was in full tears in the hallway as she shared with Kyle and I that she, too, experienced her first son being stillborn. Jeni and Kyle have entered this terrible “club” of grieving parents. So many of them mourn silently day in and out as their worlds stopped as the rest of us kept moving around them.
Big sis, Emerson, along with grandparents, aunts and uncles came in to meet their “sleeping” bundle of joy. Emme had all the questions which the answers are just too much for her to understand right now. She was able to bring some smiles and joy into the room offsetting the constant tears. I’m thankful they have such a wonderful support system as they navigate these awful waters. I could see how much it hurt watching Emme talk to him saying, “I love him and I get to keep him and take him home.” As painful as these images are to relive it all, I’m thankful you have them as it will be something tangible to remember sweet Jude was here and is just as much part of your family as anyone. Emme will always have a baby brother named Jude Thomas. 💕
In Jeni’s words: ” I carry your heart with me. (I carry it in my heart.) Jude Thomas Prosser, you existed knowing nothing but the pure, fierce, and everlasting love of your family and everyone who knew of you. Your time in our arms was fleeting, but you will live on in our hearts every single day. We love you, sweet boy.”
I hope you feel the love of the community in mourning with you. In the days, weeks and years ahead, know that even though it seems life goes on for all of us, we still hold a special place for your little man in our hearts. He will not be forgotten. Don’t be ashamed to speak of his name often and continuously share him with the world. I hope these images bring you peace to surpass all understanding. I wish he was here with you more than anything but to know he is in paradise with all of our other loved ones…truly they’re the lucky ones. All the hugs.
ps. Special thanks to Mary and the staff for taking great care of my friends. You all are fantastic at what you do, especially after being in their shoes only a handful of months ago. Thanks for your grace.