Jon and I began crying with joy and sadness. He was so sweet and small. We began looking him over and getting to know him visually. He had such ruby red lips and his eyes were open. He had lots of long dark hair (at least ½ an inch long!). The skin on the back of his right hand was broken from being born next to his head and it was indeed clenched. I looked for his feet and they were up by his chest, he was sitting like he had been while breech. His left foot was turned (clubbed) and small. He had his daddy's nose. His ears were small and low set. His mouth was open some of the time and we were able to see his little tongue and it looks like his palate was high but whole. His skin/body were blue. His second and third toes were longer than his big toes! I later realized that his right foot looked like my feet, long and narrow.
His skin was so fragile we decided to swaddle him before I handed him off to Jon. We took one the blankets we brought and I wrapped him up to hand him to his daddy. What a moment that was. He loves our little boy so much! Many tears were shed in those moments. Because of his skin we chose an outfit that could completely open up so that we wouldn't have to put his arms through the sleeves. We got him weighed (he was 3 lbs 15 oz) then he got handed back to me so I could snap up his outfit. We had a super soft and fluffy white blanket that we placed him in.
As all of this was happening they repaired the tears that I had gotten (his arm had been a problem) and cleaned me up. I was so unaware of what they were doing at first they were able to do a urine catheter without me noticing and they were amazed at how much I had in there! I know, TMI :) I had a normal amount of blood loss and everything seemed fine.
Soon the repair was done and all of the hospital staff left the room. We asked for a moment alone to cry. After a while I realized that my mom hadn't held him yet so we called her back in. Jon's parents had been called to let them know they could come previously since they had to drive from their hotel. They arrived a little later.
After family had gotten to hold him we had the nurse take Matthew over to a bed so that she could do his foot prints in ink and so that we could sleep. We slept for about an hour. I have never been so tired. It was hard to open my eyes when waking up. At some point we asked my mom to call the funeral home to come pick him up later. They told us they would be there between 11:00am and 12:00pm (that gave us several hours more with him). My dad had to drive all the way from home so he came around 9:00am and was able to see and hold him. At this point everyone headed home and we were left alone.
After a while I told Jon I was ready to hold him again so he brought him to me. It was then that our grief hit. So much pain and loss, so intense. It is inexplicable. I couldn't even give my husband a hug when he was grieving because I was stuck in the bed, but he came to me and cuddled with me and our son. It was a perfect moment, me curled on my side with Matthew in my arms and Jon curled behind me. How sweet to be a whole family for a moment. We knew we didn't have much time left with him. By now I truly loved him and didn't want to give him up. It felt so good to have him in my arms, I didn't want to say goodbye.
We called in a nurse and told her that we were ready for his memory box to be made with a bit of his hair and a foot print in clay. She graciously and beautifully made it for us. She wrapped him up better with a flannel blanket outside of the white blanket so that when we handed him off we could keep the flannel blanket for his memory. He will be buried in that outfit and blanket.
When the guy from the funeral home came he was super understanding and nice and told us a little about losing his little girl before birth. After we made some decisions the nurse asked if we wanted one last moment alone with him. We told her that we did. How hard it is to say goodbye! To know that you may never see that sweet face again this side of heaven. To give away that sweet boy only a few hours after his birth. I have never done anything so hard as letting him go. When we were ready the nurse gave us the flannel blanket and sweetly and carefully carried him out of the room. That blanket became him for me. We wept more.
After a time I felt tired again but Jon wasn't so he went to the waiting room while I attempted a nap. We had decided to leave around 4:00. I only got about a 30 minute nap but we did leave around that time after attempting to leave earlier to avoid traffic. We had a safe and uneventful ride home and arrived to a house that had been made spotless by my mom, sister-in-law and a friend. The hardest day of our lives was over and we headed to bed to sleep for a long time.