Thursday, March 25, 2010

17 Hours

03.26.2010 1 month ago today…

I held my baby girl in my arms for the last time. I rocked her and smelled her little smell. I touched her sweet little head and hands. I kissed her fingers and held them. She gave us an amazing last 17 hours and I wanted to tell that story…

Thursday, February 25th, 2010, we knew that Kara wanted to go home to be with her Big Daddy. Both of us knew. Stu took a shower and put on his date clothes—jeans, oxfords, and a button down shirt. I took a shower and tried to get comfortable after days of hardly any sleep. We called Celeste and told her to go get Jamie at the high school. We had decided that we wouldn’t bag her anymore if she had another apnea episode. We did so for the last time at 1:55 p.m. as the big kids were pulling into the drive-way to say good-bye to their baby sister. We were all here with our nurse, Loretta. We didn’t think Kara Faith would last long because she had been having breathing episodes at least every hour or so and sometimes more. I remember that I couldn’t get that heart/apnea monitor off of her fast enough. I practically threw the thing down and ripped the tight band that encircled her little chest off. I got to hold her without SO many things attached. It was glorious! Kara was on oxygen and had a humidifier. We didn’t take away anything that she needed. (We did turn off the crazy loud humidifier later in the day.) All afternoon we passed her around to all the children and we rocked her and rocked her. We took pictures. Lots of people from Hospice came. Friends from church came. We sang and sang to her. We were going to sing her right into heaven. Meanwhile, she looked lovely. She enjoyed us and it SO much. She cried a little and we fed her. I changed her diaper, her clothes. I remember the chaplain from Hospice came, Father Ralph, and he was moved to tears because he had never seen anything like what we were doing—singing and all of us around her and just enjoying the fellowship, worship, and a tiny baby. Our pastors both came. Friends brought dinner. My brother, Jamie, drove 750 miles and showed up at my door around 9 p.m. to a room full of people singing to a little baby. It was truly amazing!! Our friend, Teri, finally left near 1 a.m. Our nurse, Pat, had come on around 10 or so. Yet hours later, Kara Faith was still here with her family. Finally, it was Stuart and I rocking her alone in the night without any confusion from a busy day. Pat was close encouraging us. Kara started to run a temperature from all of the holding. She had problems regulating her temps anyway, so I was watching it very closely to try to keep her as comfy as possible. I had her wrapped in a blanket that my friend, Teri Garard, made for her. She was wearing a little onesie with purple flowers on it given to her by her big sister, Celeste.

Around 3:40 a.m. I could not physically stay awake anymore. I handed Kara Faith to Stuart in the rocker and Pat watched on. She promised me that she would come at get me as soon as something happened. At about 4:15 a.m. Pat ran into my room and awoke me and said she thought it was time… I awoke FULLY from my sleep and rushed out. Kara had stopped breathing in Stu’s arms, I fell to the chair and layed over her in Stu’s lap and wept. Pat listened to her heart and said it was still beating. Then I asked for my baby. Stu handed her to me and I wept some more. Then, right there, she started breathing again. (By this time I believe it had been a few minutes without breath.) It was like she was just waiting for her momma to get there. Then we thought that maybe she was waiting for her birthday. She turned 7 weeks old at 6:42 a.m. that morning. She gave us almost three more hours to enjoy her sweet spirit. As the sun rose on a new day at 7:00 a.m. Kara Faith took her last breath here and went to be with Jesus. It was a quiet moment. Her daddy was holding her. Then he handed her to me and her heart stopped beating in my arms. So we both held her in that last moment. We both loved her with a fierce kind of love that only a parent can have. I can ONLY imagine how God loves us if we love our children this way. When I received Kara Faith’s diagnosis back in August 2009 I knew that it would never be enough. That I would never have enough time with her. I also knew that God had numbered her days perfectly. So after 45 days in the NICU and 4 days at home, our sweet baby girl got to go Home. Kara Faith gave us that last 17 hours to truly enjoy her. She possessed the sweetest spirit. We were truly given a GOOD gift. I will NEVER be the same…

12 comments:

Crystal Theresa said...

Nancy, you wrote so beautifully of your sweet send-off for Kara Faith into Heaven. I know she felt so loved in her last hours on earth. It is so amazing to see God working in your life, through your life. I feel honored to bear witness to your story. I pray you continue to find peace in remembering her and holding her. I so wish you could have kept your baby girl with you and am inspired by your story.

crystal @Blessed to Be Broken

Cheryl said...

I can hardly see to type through my tears. Thank you for sharing this beautiful, private moment. God bless you all, and may he draw sweet Kara Faith ever near.

Layton Family Joy said...

I am so sorry for your loss - Kara Faith is with my daughter Clare in heaven now - FULL RESTORED HEALTHY WITH OUR KING!

BlessedMamaSkillz said...

Nancy-

This was absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us. It is so hard to type through tears, but I will anyways. We are still praying for your family and will for many weeks to come. God bless you today.

Gina said...

Nancy,

That was so beautiful!! I'm at a loss for words but full of tears. Tears of joy that little Kara Faith is happy and healthy with GOD and tears of sadness that she is no longer with such a loving family.

God bless,
Gina
Mom to Vinny (SLHPE)

Mary said...

I am so glad you had sweet time with her. The last hours are so hard...

Kate said...

Nancy, I don't even know what to say. I am so sorry for your loss and unable to imagine the pain of that goodbye - and yet you write so beautifully of the Lord's peace and your love for your truly amazing, precious little girl. What a testimony you are to the goodness of the Lord. In those last hard hours, you gave Kara Faith a beautiful gift - and she gave you one as well. God bless you my friend.
Blessings,
Kate (Noah's mom from MOMYS)
www.homeschoolblogger.com/ourquiverfull

amanda said...

So beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your amazing gift of Kara Faith, and the wonderful time your family had with her. Praying God holds you all close as you continue to heal. Our little girls are dancing and singing, and LOVING their new home with their creator! Many hugs to you.

Erin said...

You and Stuart are so amazing! Thank you for sharing her with us!.

Kara @ His, Hers and Ours said...

I could barley read this, as tears poured from my eyes. The strength that you and Stuart show in the Lord is nothing short of amazing and inspiring. I read your Facebook updates everyday...and think the same thing...everyday. I know Kara Faith's time here on this Earth was short, but it is amazing how many lives she has touched and will continue to touch. I am doing my best to spread the word about her, the love and Faith that you continue to share, and to bring awareness to Alobar Holoprosencephaly.

Hugs and prayers, always.

Daisy Girl said...

I cry when I read your blog, I know Kara will smile if she can read your blog. It's so beautiful and she can see how much do you love her, and how much she also thank you for everything you had give to her. she'll always remember you.

Kathryn @ Expectant Hearts said...

Nancy, I've been thinking a lot lately about Seth's last 24 hours with us.. I haven't written in down anywhere and wasa debating a blog post.. and here you are with Kara Faith's last story.

How beautiful. What a blessing! Thank you for sharing and for repositng as we remember our babies today (and every day).