On October 26th babies Phoenix & Haiven were brought early into the world via an emergency c-section. Neither baby weighed more than 1 lb 12 oz…very, very tiny. And their skin so paper thin that I could actually see their hearts flutter.
They had all their finger and toes…and in my mind that meant that they were going live happy, blessed lives because I knew they were in a hospital where they would receive the best of care.

I had no idea, none, of all the many obstacles they would face each and every minute, and the many milestones they needed to meet.

In the neonatal ICU world of lights, beeps, buzzers and numbers on a screen, every second seems like victory…yet you are constantly reminded of how everything is so precarious…
little lives with such a thin cord holding them to us.

It is amazing how quick and easy it is to fall in love with such innocence, it literally happens in a flash of light…babies come into this life as pure love no matter the circumstances. I fell in love as did everyone who was touched by them during their brief time on this plane.

Phoenix, the big brother, left rather quickly…just under 3 days… a little less than 72 hours…We put all our hopes in the Haiven…a lot of hope for such a little boy. He survived heart surgery, and so many changing of tubes and procedures, imaging’s and different combos of medicines to keep infections at bay…and as the 3 week milestone approached we had reason to be hopeful….but his little body experienced a sudden flurry of things that simply went wrong and his parents made the heart wrenching decision to let him pass over.

I have a friend who says they never came to stay…that they indeed were little angels who brought us their gifts and quickly went back from where they came.

We had an Honoring for them.
Ritual is good……
the babies parents were showered in love, compassion and empathy…
they went through so much heartache,
friends and family stood witness to their pain and loss..…
We walked a labyrinth with paths of painted flowers and lit candles in thanks to Phoenix and Haiven for bringing more love into our lives and for bringing us all closer together.

I have asked myself why???? one thousand times.
This has been a crazy with grief, sad time, for everyone who had their hearts opened and softened by the birth of the tiny spirits that were Phoenix and Haiven…our angels. That is the gift they brought an opening up to make room for more love…a bigger, stronger, connection to the people we love…
They softened us towards each other, gave us a greater capacity for compassion.

Right now we are all so tender, the sorrow still comes in such big waves…unexpectedly, totally without warning. As with all pain, time heals…
I know this too will pass, leaving us more in touch with our humanity….closer.


Natalie said...

Julie, I am so sorry for your families pain at losing your littlest Angels.It is such a heartbreaking, but also a joyful experience, being in NICU. Sending all my love and my biggest hugs to you. Nataliexx♥

tisme said...

I am so sorry for your loss, but joy in the small amount of time they brightened your lives.
May time heal your hearts, and hold your memories.

Snowbrush said...

Pretty impressive to think about all the people who are alive today who would have died had they suffered from the same problem even ten or twenty years ago. I count myself among them actually.

Snowbrush said...

Julie, I am so sorry. I must confess that your blog was the last one that I was going to catch up with before I got up--after two hours of catching up with blogs--and take the dogs for a walk before dark. Therefore, I failed to see the dismal conclusion to this entry until I read what Natalie had written. I am sorry for your loss, and I am sorry I didn't give your blog the attention it deserved. By far the biggest problem for me with blogging involves keeping up with everyone, and I never ever feel that I am doing it adequately. Please forgive me. Certainly, it was never in my heart to slight you, as you are someone whose thoughts I value highly.

julie mitchell said...

Thank you for sharing in this most profound experience. I didn't blog for the whole time the babies were on this plane...every moment was filled with thoughts of them and their parents...even after their passing I stayed away. The decision to make them part of my blog journey was a hard one....but it is just too big in my heart, to fresh, to act as if I'd simply been away. I don't want you to feel bad Snow...I know you care...and that we are friends in the world of blog...One of the things I've found important in this experience is to have people stand witness to our most human of times. I'd never thought much of memorials and although I knew they were for the living, I really didn't get it. I guess I'm growing up because I understand now how we make connections during death....hug, hug

Renee said...

I am so so sorry dear friend.

I am so sad about this.

Love Renee xoxo

Snowbrush said...

Julie "One of the things I've found important in this experience is to have people stand witness to our most human of times."

Renee recently used these same words ("stand witness") to describe other people's relationship to her suffering, although she applied it specifically to people at her bedside. I think, if I may be so bold, that you and she implied more than simply witnessing. I know that I had rather suffer alone than to have uncaring people watch me suffer, so I project as much onto you and she. It's the feeling of compassion, empathy, even shared suffering (in which another hurts on one's behalf) that matters. This is what, I suppose, some Christians see in Jesus.

As you might imagine, my own poor attention to your post--once realized, and apologized for, and forgiven--allowed me to share the experience of pain with you to a much greater extent than if I had understood you correctly and even managed to say all the right words. As it is, I will never, for as long as I live, forget this post. I understand that you don't hold it against me, yet I am fully aware that I failed you miserably, and that awareness binds me more closely to you in suffering than my best efforts to project myself into a comprehension of your actual loss could have ever done.

Perhaps, the experience of pain varies more by intensity than by quality.

Angela Recada said...

Such a terribly sad story, dear friend. I am so sorry for your loss, and for all the others who loved these precious little angels.

I send you my love.


Cindy said...

Sending you much love, light and tender hugs.

Anonymous said...

Julie, I'm so sorry to hear of such a tragic loss that is no easier to deal with in the warmest of days as it is to deal with in the blustery holidays. It's unimaginable that a parent or family member should have to gather and maintain the strengths needed to get through such an ordeal. Thank you for sharing your pain. For what it's worth, I'm sure your family, particularly Phoenix and Haiven's parents, are in many a prayer these days.

Blessings and healing to you and yours.


julie mitchell said...

Renee, Angela, Cindy, thank you for caring and for the hugs.

Snow,yes,it’s having folks watch you suffer who are willing to open up and feel with you.
..…It isn’t just a validation…it’s a coming together…human to human..spirit to spirit. I’ve understood the importance of standing witness to the people who are experiencing the horror of war, famine, occupation, the cruelties of armies owned by corporations, etc….and now I understand it from the need I had at the honoring of those two little spirits…I needed the people present to feel with me...they did, and it was a profound experience for part because I was so willing to let them see didn't fail me in the gave me what I opened your heart.
Christine, thank you for your healing blessings. We have had an amazing number of prayers said for all of us...this has been hard..a real roller coaster of emotions.

Cat said...

Hugs and healing.

vicki said...

Julie - I have just found your blog by way of the OWOH event and then I found your posting about the twins. My whole lie as a nurse has been spent as a NICU nurse - 33 years of loving and sometimes - losing babies. I am so sorry for your heartache, nothing I say will make you feel better I know. But - rest assured, that while they were here on this earth, they were loved not only by you and your family - but by the nurses who provided their care. I know this because this is my life.
Bless you all--


Jasmine said...

I am so sorry for the losses of two beautiful baies. I had similar losses last year and it is the most heartbreaking thing that can happen. Sending love and healing thoughts to the parents xJ

julie mitchell said...

I'm sorry it's been so quiet here...Lately I've been over worked and much to do all the time.
Cat...thank you for the warmth.
Thank you for sharing your love of these special babies...these little spirits come into our lives so briefly...shaking us up, knocking us to our knees, opening our hearts, helping us to lean on each other and trust in the kindness of gifts have been big. But my heart is still over the top sensitive. When ever I travel to Fresno, the city we travel to if we need a service or item we 'can't find up here.' I drive by Children's Hospital on those trips to town and all kinds of feelings bubble up..and it hurts, I miss them every day..but it's ok. I do realize the amazing job nicu nurses do...I marveled at it. Such an emotion charged atmosphere. And the attention they paid. Your are what it makes it possible for us to walk out of the room. Thank you.
The parents are good. They don't look the same..a lot of maturity happened..and their mother carries herself a little taller. I think she has seen the strength of does a mother hold two babies as they passed over? I think it could make you go crazy with pain. She was really in a dark place but finally reached out and found the support of soooo many crones, and other mothers..It was good. And she is doing very well, glad to be alive.
hug, hug..thank your for caring.

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