Hope: Losing a Child


For those who had lost a child in a hospital bed and still searching for their lost hope.

by jvqantipolo (New)

Hope: Losing a Child

Their stories were all congruent.

In expectation, they have waited for their first born.

They were once the typical parents who adorned their babies' small hands and feet or their velvety skin and round eyes--minutes after an arduous childbirth experience. With gentle whispers, they once assured their firstborn that the world is not a scary place to live even though they themselves arbitrarily believed that the world is indeed atrocious. That life, if ideal, is filled with shallow contentment but if reality is nothing but everything.

They celebrated each night they were wide awake by their firsts' hungry whimpers and wails or instances of his distinct chuckling on dancing lights. In the child's eyes, they felt that for once all their flaws and mistakes were bygones. But the world is indeed harsh for those who believed that life should only be rainbows, laughter, and merriment and not about bills, provision, and inconsistencies. Hers was the soreness and discomfort of providing for the milk if he was not able to make the ends meet.

They compromised...they sacrificed-- after all they have waited for ten years and so.

On the third month, they had not anticipated their child's limpness and poor sucking. They miscalculated their aspirations; he wanted to teach his son how to ride a cheap second-hand bicycle on his eight and she dreamt of becoming her son's tutor on fractions on his ten. But they only had thirty days- according to a doctor's intelligent articulation about their son's rare cardiac condition.

As soon as the disclosure was given, they went through the grieving process. They denied that their child's skin was abnormally an ash grey. They were hoping for years instead of days. They kept their dreams alive but in every moment they saw their child's closed eyes--their dreams waivered and were shattered into silhouettes.

They designated their short-term plans to fit into their child's thirty days; he just wanted to be strong and man enough to stop all the tears from falling while she stopped blaming herself. In meager, they provided for all the things required from them. They were unselfish and unconditional-- they sacrificed their meal for their child's antipyretics and they made him secured by ignoring their own fatigue.

Not once they had faltered; they waited for their son's recovery. Softly in his ear, they told him that together they will make fireworks last, sunsets will be paused in between the hues of orange and red, falling stars will populate every night sky and there will be no rain on happy days (if there is, it would be skipped until the rainbow part).

People around them were counting the days. They did not want them to count. They only begged for answers from them and not numbers. They counted: "twenty-nine...thirty" and provided no answers.

In despair, they have grieved their first (probably their last).

They stopped hoping...they stopped living.

2 Articles   14 Posts

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19 Comment(s)

Southern Magnolia

446 Posts

I lost my daughter two years ago to anencephaly . . . she lived for 33 days. Despite knowing what the diagnosis meant you do hope . . . hope that somehow you can fit a lifetime of love in a few hours or days. Her passing was not in a hospital bed but on my chest as we slept at home. I have not lost hope though . . . I will see her again.


2 Articles; 14 Posts

"Hope" has inspired me to write this article. Many times I had witnessed those who hoped and fought for their child until the last breath. My salutation goes out to every parent who had let go and live for their lost child. Even though I am not a parent (yet), I feel for all the loss.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience. 142 Articles; 9,940 Posts

I lost my daughter two years ago to anencephaly . . . she lived for 33 days. Despite knowing what the diagnosis meant you do hope . . . hope that somehow you can fit a lifetime of love in a few hours or days. Her passing was not in a hospital bed but on my chest as we slept at home. I have not lost hope though . . . I will see her again.

Mine was born 25 years ago, and she lived for just seven hours..........long enough to leave an emptiness in my heart that I pray will be filled one day when Jesus meets me at the door of Heaven, holding my daughter in His strong arms and saying, "Look who's here, Melissa, your mamma's home at last!"

What a sad, poignant, beautifully told story. Thank you for sharing it with us.


6 Posts

Almost 2000 views and 3 comments. Nothing will change your view on life more than caring for a dying child. It is an opportunity few of us will have.

Mimi2RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 27 years experience. 1,142 Posts

We sent home a Trisomy 18 baby a few months ago, on hospice care and being partially gavage fed. Last week we heard that she is nippling all her feedings and had been discharged from hospice. Her parents have been given a reprieve. Nobody knows how long this little one will live.


2 Posts

you sent home a BABY with Trisomy 18. Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine. Person FIRST condition second. It's not a Trisomy 18... she's a baby. When I had my son I was the "section in room 4" When my daughter had RSV, she was the RSV in 11. Makes me nuts.


116 Posts

MY wife and I went through ten years of infertility struggles. All sorts of failed treatments. We started to conceive, and then misscarry all of four pregnancies at 6 weeks. We flew to Chicago to see a doctor that had appeared on Oprah. We tried his methods, even though they were not covered by insurance. After spending our emotions, efforts, and money we did not have, we were ready to give up.

We called a NY infertility clinic in January. Next available appointment was July. So much for our one last effort. We hung up, we gave up. We celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary in February. We found out in March that were were pregnant again. When we saw that heartbeat on the sono, we were beyond any emotions that could be written here. We had a picture perfect pregnancy. Two weeks before our boy was due, my wife celebrated with her coworkers, we went out to eat that last night preparing for a life that was to change, celebrating how we would finally become a family, finally become parents. The next morning my wife awoke and told me that she'd slept so well, and she did not feel any movement. We took our time getting to the hospital because this had happened before and we felt silly after a perfect sono. When the nurse put the sono pickup to my wife's belly and our son was gone, our world was crushed. Jacob Sebastian was born with his cord around his neck twice, around his torso, and his legs. He'd gotten tangled up and cut off from his supply. We lost our miracle boy.

With many thoughts of packing it in and leaving a note behind, we found the courage to go on and to try again. Eight months would go by and we were not getting anywhere. We figured we'd had and lost the only child we'd ever get to hold. During a sono to see that everything was alright, my wife was told that she had an egg a couple of days away from being released. That was Tuesday. We made love Thursday. We left Saturday on a cruise. We were on a docked boat and my wife threw up. We got home and took a test. Bingo.

We were absolute maniacs for the next 37 weeks until we induced. Born healthy and perfect, our son is now 7, and truly a miracle boy if there ever was one. He knows of his brother, and has his brother's first name as his middle name. We went through 4 more miscarriages since he was born, and now we're at the age that we just can't do it anymore.

I became a nurse because I wanted to help people the way we were helped when we went through our crisis. Now I enjoy nursing in behavioral health, helping people through crisis. Unfortunately I left my last job thinking I could find another, and find that I can not. It's no fun being without the money, but it gives me time to be there for my son, and I'm glad today I got to go to his 1st grade science fair.


Edited by NurseDaddy2006


2 Posts

NurseDaddy2006 .... God Bless You.

PedsAtHeart, LPN

Specializes in LPN, Peds, Public Health. 375 Posts

Without hope we have nothing. Thanks for the story. Very touching.

I had a patient who had severe spinal muscular atrophy. They were told he wouldnt make it past the age of 1. I met him when he was 15. He passed after his 18th birthday. Miracles are all around us.


2 Articles; 14 Posts

nursedaddy-- that was very touching, going through the entire ordeal of frustrations, disappointments and momentary joy. But God allowed us to go through experiencing pain just so we could rejoice on how mysterious He is.

Thanks for sharing


Specializes in Orthopedics. 371 Posts

Nurse daddy,

WOW! That story was very touching. God bless your family and your little miracle.