Saturday, 17 November 2007

Destiny Dawn Ackroyd

On November 5 I went to the hospital because I had not felt any movement from the baby for a few days. The doctors were unable to find a heartbeat and asked me to return to the hospital the next day. On November 6 Destiny Dawn was silently born. We held a funeral on November 10

This is a talk I wrote for the funeral and had my dear friend, Patti, read:

A lot of people have asked me about what happened and why. I knew nothing of these things prior to this week – but I’ve learned a lot.

Destiny’s birth was considered a still-birth.

US statistics say a stillbirth occurs once in every 125 births. That stat sounded high to me – but the night I was I in the hospital there was another lady who delivered a still-born child as well. I could hear the woman’s cries down the hall. It was a sound I’ll never forget.

In only 50% of these cases are they able to determine a cause. When they are able to find a cause, the reasons usually fall into 3 categories:

1. child birth defects
2. placenta and umbilical cord problems
3. maternal conditions, such as diabetes, or other diseases, or drug or alcohol abuse.

We don’t know the cause in our situation. After Destiny was born we asked them to do an autopsy. They took her to the Children’s Hospital to do that. So far we don’t know of any medical reason that this happened. Maybe in time we will find out, and maybe we’ll be part of the 50% that never knows why.

Having a stillborn child does not automatically mean there will be problems in future pregnancies. The stats say there is a 97% chance future pregnancies will not end this way.

I wish you could have seen Destiny. She was perfectly formed. The footprints in the program are hers. She had 10 beautiful little toes and 10 tiny fingers. The picture on the front of the program is one the nurse took of her little hand. The teddy bear she’s holding is about two inches long. She had a nose like Jill’s and blonde eyelashes that were long like Peirce’s are. She only weighed 1 lb 11 oz. We all got to hold her. It was like holding a tiny doll.

On Monday morning this past week I told Peirce that our baby had died and that I’d have to stay in the hospital a couple days while the doctors helped me. His response was interesting. He told me that he knew that already. He had gone to bed Sunday night when we left to go to the hospital and so I asked him what he meant by that. He said that he always knew this baby wasn’t going to come to our house.

For me – well, I didn’t know that. I had plans for this baby and I so looked forward to getting to know her. Jill and Peirce are such interesting little people. I just knew she’d add an interesting element to our family and I was excited to see it all unfold. When I was in the hospital my heart ached. I wondered and asked Heavenly Father if I couldn’t just go to the other side of the veil for a moment to get to know Destiny more and make sure she was going to be okay all alone. It was made clear to me that she isn’t all alone. She was met by Nana Hyde and Grandma Ackroyd and all her other grandparents that have gone on before. I felt strongly that my cousin Kelly who died at age 5 would hold her hand and walk with her and tell her of her mommy and daddy’s love. I also knew my cousin Scott who died recently would play with her and help her to have fun, because he was always the king of fun.

I don’t know why this has happened. I can find many lessons in it all though. I’ve always been a little afraid to approach people that are grieving. But now I know how comforting it is to have hugs even from those who just don’t know what to say. I’ve learned how truly blessed I am. I have a dear husband who has cried with me and cried on his own. He’s been so strong through it all and has been happy to take care of the things I thought were just too hard. We are stronger together as a result of going through this. I also have a new appreciation for Jill and Peirce. They’re both grieving in their own unique ways and I admire them for their strength. I’ve also come to appreciate the layers of support we have: our parents, our siblings, our cousins and aunts and uncles, our friends at church and at work and at school. You’ve all been so kind and so wonderful. I marvel that God sent us two angels in the form of Virgnia and Maren to take care of everything at home while I was in the hospital and after I got home. Also, the nurses and my doctor were all amazing. Everyone was careful and kind and sensitive. My list of people to thank could go on forever. We’ve been carried by many people through all of this.

People always say “everything happens for a reason”. I don't care much for that phrase. I don’t know the reasons we had to go without the chance to get to know and spend time with Destiny…but I can accept it because more than anything I know that God loves me, as he does you, and one day when I sit with Him I will ask. Until then I will continue to walk by faith.

I pray each of you will have peace in your life and comfort in knowing that God loves you too.

....some people dream of angels...we got to hold one in our arms....

Jill holding Destiny

Peirce holding Destiny many unanswered questions...


The Lawlor's said...

We are praying for you and I think about you often. Know that you and your family are loved.

Kim Hawryluk said...

I'm so sorry about the news! We had a miscarriage in January, and though I'm sure it is not as hard as what you are going through, it was very difficult for us! I can understand a little bit of what you must be feeling. We love you and will pray for you and your family! Let us know if you need anything. I know that is just people say, but in this house, we really mean it. :)

Love, Kim & Andrew

sunvalgifts said...

Hello Dawn I just wanted to say how sorry we are for your family's loss. Though I don't know your pain , we've had 5 miscarraiges in early pregnancy and I know that pain.