Rachel Whalen is one of those mothers that we often tend to tiptoe around the moment we learn that their baby has unfortunately passed away. This unique, extraordinary soul is speaking out about a topic that the majority of us are uncomfortable with, but it's a lesson in compassion that we should all be aware of.
What originally assisted Rachel with her experience wasn't all the hugs and kisses from close family and friends. Rather, it was actually the empirical memories she experienced at the hospital, right after her baby girl, Dorothy, was stillborn. She's now discussing her story about the lovely guides who provided her with faith in the aftermath of what was quite literally her truly darkest hour.
Condolences usually are not what really eases the pain in a tragic situation such as this. Only the passage of time and a network of loving support can help do that. Rachel's system consisted of the nurses at the hospital who treated her using their own particular brand of TLC. All the small things they did magically added up to more than the sum of its parts! In a note that she composed to her guardian angels on the Facebook page, An Unexpected Family Outing, Rachel said:
" To the nurses, Thank you for rescuing me. Your skills and your insights saved me from following my daughter into death, but it was your kindness that guided me back in the direction of life. The humanity you showed is what carried me back toward life; you made it possible to think about living after death.
For this, I owe you my love and deepest thankfulness. Thank you to the nurses who always made sure my husband had enough pillows when he had to stay in my hospital room. And many thanks to the nurses who let him smuggle popsicles out of the freezer. You acknowledged that this was an experience for him and that he also needed your attention."
Often times it might be easy to forget that although dad wasn't carrying the baby, he is suffering just as much as mama is. Saving a life isn't always about helping keep the physical body alive. The doctors remarkably did their part in bringing Rachel back from the brink of crossing over, still, it was really the nurses who were crucial in rescuing both mother and father's lives that occasion.
The nurses at the hospital were her guides and protectors, essentially taking her to exactly where she needed to be so that her own life could be saved.
" Thank you to the nurse who came with me when they rushed me to the ICU from Labor & Delivery. Thank you for being my supporter when I couldn't speak up considering that I was also busy fighting for my life. I'm not exactly sure I would have lived to see my child if you hadn't been there. Thank you to the nurse who showed me how to load my bra with ice packs when I needed to decrease my milk after my baby girl was stillborn.
I additionally wish to thank you for holding me as I wept at the stress I could not set loose. Your embrace did nothing to lighten the heaviness in my breasts, however you delivered a glimmer of light right into my extremely dark world. Thank you to the nurse in the ICU who came in to wash me up after my little girl passed away. Thank you for taking the time to help me rinse my face comb my hair. I can still sense how it felt to have you smooth my hair back into a ponytail, it was a stroke that wasn't a poke or a prod. It was a gesture."
Self-care during a period of time when you just desire to curl up into a ball and pray that you disappear into a void is just one of those things that usually fall by the wayside. But, it's additionally one of the most crucial steps that a person can make in propelling themselves toward the path of recovery. The nurse's kind gesture filled a motherly task at a time and took care of her needs when Rachel was not able to do it for herself..
It might seem like a horrible idea to speak of someone's dead child, but it was very important to Rachel when one of the nurses recognized the little precious being who came to be an essential part of her soul. It blew her away when the nurse even dared to say her name!
" Thank you to the nurse who knelt by my bedside and asked me about Dorothy. Thank you for understanding how important it was for her to be real despite the fact that she was gone. I will never forget the way you leaned in, just like we were friends, and asked: 'Do you want to tell me about her?' Thank you to the nurse who clothed my baby and took her picture. Thank you for ensuring that her hat didn't cover her eyes and that her hands were placed so gracefully. That picture means the whole world to us. Thank you to the nurses who took the time to read my chart just before shift change. I want to thank you for learning our names and learning the name of our little girl before you walked into my room. It meant a great deal to hear our names spoken together. It made us feel like a family."
All the "I'm sorry's" in the world won't really help mothers like Rachel with what they've endured. Only an honest identification of that what they're feeling is real, and allowing them the chance to go through that pain without everyone desiring to immediately make it vanish, is what helps them heal.
" Thank you to the nurse who slipped silently into my room on my first evening without having Dorothy so that you could hold my hand.
Thank you for whispering to me your story about your own baby who was born still. Thank you for being the very first person to lead me out of the detachment one feels after losing a child. Your presence felt too good to be true. I'm still not persuaded I didn't dream you up just, so I could make it through that very first lonely night.
Lastly, I want to give thanks to the nurses who saw me through my pregnancy with Dorothy's baby sister. Even after Frances entered the world, you never forgot that someone came prior to her. You understood that the birth of Frances did not make me a first-time mother. It made me a mother of two."
Rachel signed the letter, "Gratefully, The One You Brought Back."