When our second child, Maverick, was born it was quick and easy. We walked into the hospital at 10:30 am and Chanel delivered him in a triage room, completely naturally, by 11:00 am. We spent 24 hours in the hospital then went home. No issues whatsoever. When our firstborn, Beckham, arrived, we went to the hospital at 11:00 pm and he didn’t arrive until noon the next day. Again, no issues, and again, Chanel was a trooper. They were both relatively easy pregnancies and deliveries (I think Chanel would say the same, better ask her though since she did
most all of the work). Amelia on the other hand, oh Amelia…she was opposite in every way possible in EVERYTHING she did. The way the pregnancy went, the way she positioned in the womb, the way she went two weeks overdue, then spent 11 days in the NICU. I’m serious, she was the polar opposite of her brothers. And man, oh man, did they adore her. They adored her to death, especially Maverick. He loved to stand next to her and just look at her face while he babbled to her. Sometimes he would get carried away and try to give her big stuffed animals which would just crowd her chair and you could always tell by the look on her face that she was not NOT pleased.
Within minutes of the “Code Blue” being called in the lead doctor decided that Amelia needed to be lifeflighted to Spokane. He asked us if we wanted to do that, but in reality what were we supposed to say? If the doctor felt like it was the best option then it’s what we wanted to do. There was only going to be room for one adult on the helicopter and it was obvious that it should be Chanel. If Amelia woke up she would need to eat. Meanwhile I was going to run by our house to pick up some clothes for a few days, essential toiletries and grab a couple of outfits for Amelia and then haul ass up to Spokane. My parents would take the boys to our house and stay with them until we got back.
At this point we were thinking we might have to be in Spokane for a few days. We figured once she was stable the hospital would want to keep her for at least one full night to monitor her. If there were any more complications it could tack on another day or two. I said kissed Chanel goodbye and took one more long look at my precious Amelia before I left. She laid there on the table, surrounded by complete chaos, still looking angelic and strangely peaceful.
There was a lot more that went on and happened that I’m not detailing here because frankly, it’s horrific and I can’t even put into appropriate words everything that she went through while at Kadlec, or the agony we went through of watching it happen. Blood, discoloration, bloating, wires, tubes, monitors etc. None of it brings back good memories and most of it isn’t worth mentioning.
I headed to Spokane and tried to remain calm, I set my cruise at 74 and just sat back trying to process everything. My phone was starting to blow up with texts and calls from friends and family members but I didn’t want to talk to anyone right now. I prayed, then I prayed again, and then again. I listened to Miracles by Jesus Culture. I played it on repeat and prayed that God would work a miracle on that day. Something had to give.
I got to the hospital and of course Chanel was already there sitting by herself in the waiting room outside the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). I hustled over and embraced her and asked her how things were going. Basically, everything was the same. Amelia wasn’t doing any better but she wasn’t doing any worse.
For the next hour she maintained where she was at. It wasn’t good but she was’t getting any worse. The doctor let us see her and stay in the room with her. Around 9:00 pm the doctor said we could go to the hotel and try to get some sleep. Nothing had happened for the two or three hours we’d been there and he assured that if anything did start to happen they would call us immediately. This whole time while we were in Spokane she was still not moving or doing anything. She looked almost porcelain.
We left and got settled into our hotel room bed just down the street in downtown Spokane. Not 5 minutes after falling asleep the doctor called us and said we needed to get down there immediately. Amelia had stopped breathing.
Chanel and I sprung out of bed and threw our clothes back on and raced back to the hospital. We burst in while the doctor was performing CPR on our little girl and she was not responding at all. The doctor looked at us and said “Yeah guys, I don’t think she’s going to make it.”
“Yeah guys, I don’t think she’s going to make it.”
That was all he said. In the most nonchalant way possible.
He kept performing CPR until blood shot out her nose. Literally. Then he said “Yeah, I guess that’s it. I don’t think she’s coming back.” Without even looking at us he left the room. Chanel and I collapsed into sobbing. Not just hard crying but absolute hysterical crying. We lost all strength in our knees and practically fell to the ground.
A nurse asked if we wanted to hold her, which of course we did, so she handed our now actually lifeless daughter to us, bloodied and wrapped in cords, then the staff cleared the room. We sat there holding her for what seemed like one minute but I think it was closer to thirty. We wept, then wept some more, and then some more. A lump in my throat felt like a 10 pound rock and my stomach felt like it was actually in my throat.
Her body was already cold. Her feet were already white. Her skin felt like rubber.
We held her and let our tears wash over her face while Chanel cleaned the blood off.
We talked to her and told her how much we were going to miss her. Or at least we tried to get the words out. After a half hour or so we laid her back on the operating table and kissed her goodbye for the last time. I still remember her little cheek pushed up about against my face.
As we were beginning to leave I felt like we should pray for her. In hindsight it was for us. She was already meeting her Savior and Heavenly Father. Chanel and I stood on opposite sides of the table and grasped hands while I prayed. I thanked God for the time He allowed us to spend with her. For the opportunity to be her parents. For all the laughs and joy she brought us.
Every night when pray for our children we ask that God would protect them and keep them safe and on that night we did the same thing even though we already knew she wouldn’t be safer anywhere else than she would be in the arms of Jesus.