Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Tucker Joe

It was early in the morning, July 25, 2004. I was laboring to bring forth our 5th son, and 7th child. Because we had unexpectedly ended up in the hospital just 6 weeks before, we knew that the baby was a boy, and we had already given him his name, Tucker Joe. My water had broken the night before - a first for me, but it gave the midwives plenty of time to get to our house, for which we were thankful (I tend to have quick labors). We had slept for a few hours, and at about 4 am, I woke up in labor. I had planned on laboring in the water, but once I got into the warm pool, I felt sick, and ended up birthing on *dry land*.

I labored on my side, trying to just let my body birth this child, but after a while, decided that it was just not as effective as I would like. I got up, and the midwives brought the birthing stool. I pushed a couple or three times, delivering his head. My midwife said, "You have to push this baby out, NOW." So, I pushed. As his body delivered, the cord hit my leg. Our son was limp. The midwives immediately started CPR, and my Beloved called 911. We then began making calls, asking everyone to pray for a miracle.

We talked to Tucker, pleading with him to fight for life. We touched him, we prayed over him, begging God to not require our child of us. Anything, but not our child. For over half an hour, our midwives did everything they could to breath life into our son. Eventually, the life flight crew was at our door, and they tried as well, but it was of no use. Sometime after he entered the birth canal, Tucker's cord broke, and he bled to death. Our darling son leapt from my womb into the waiting arms of Jesus.

My Mom brought the other children down, and they spent time holding Tucker, and loving on him, and grieving his loss. We were surrounded by dear, wonderful friends, and family. Our world, our faith was shaken to its very core that morning. God had set our feet on a path that we never would have chosen for ourselves, but which has become precious to us as God has time and again shown Himself faithful.

Grief comes in many forms, each horrible in its own way, but I believe there is no deeper grief a parent can face than that of losing a child. It is unnatural. Children are suppose to outlive their parents and bury them, not the other way around. There are so many wrong moments following a child's death. It is wrong for a Mama and Daddy to have to plan a funeral, it is wrong to have to place your child's body into the ground and bury it, it is wrong to have to pick out a headstone for your child! In those first moments following Tucker's death, we determined that everything would drive us toward God. We would cling to Him, no matter what. He was and is our only Hope.

I wanted to share Tucker's story with you. The death of a child dramatically affects the marriage relationship. Men and women grieve very differently, and if we don't recognize that, and give grace in the differences, it can tear a marriage apart. If you have lost a child recently, I don't share that to place more fear and stress on you, but to encourage you to not only cling to God, but to cling to your husband as well. He too, has lost a child, and he feels it no less deeply than you do, he just is probably dealing with it much differently.

I will share more of our journey later. Probably in bits and pieces, but let me leave you with the thought that God is truely good, and gracious. His name is Faithful and True. No matter what your feelings or circumstances seem to tell you, cling to your Heavenly Father, and trust Him! He promises to never leave or forsake you, and though it may feel like He has, He has not, more than likely He is carrying you.

"When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:17-18 ESV


Donna C in TX said...

What a good message over a sad situation...

We lost our 2nd born after a hard 2 years of life. I totally agree with you that men & women grieve differently, but have to be connected to their spouse during the rough waters after the death of a child...

God was so good to us in that we had a fantastic relationship before Richard's life, during, and after, but we both knew the "world's odds" were against us: a double whammy, for the divorce rate for those with a special needs child (as well as after the death of a child) is extremely high.

I'm a friend from the self-publisher's list... you've got a wonderful looking blog! Best wishes on your journey!

In Him,
Donna C
author of Homeschooling Only One

mary ellen said...

I came to this blog to see what a blog is, as I was a bit shy to ask on the christian self publishing what exactly a blog is. After reading it,I was moved to tears. We can not know the length of time we are given or that of our children as well.
I have lost several children to miscarriage and that was hard, but I know I will see them one day in heaven.
I will share a heart ache I am still walking thru (not appropriate to share it on the self publishing site).
Almost two years ago, I went on a ladies retreat with my church. I was reluctant to go as my husband had left me a few months prior to that and I wasn't comfortable leaving my children, though they are older. There was a lot of difficult things going on. However, others encouraged me to leave them in God's care and go to the retreat to get some needed refreshing.
I have three children at home (and several more married). Two of them went to spend the day with a friend. The middle one, turning 18 that day, decided he wanted to stay home (that is what he said). All thru the afternoon, I called numerous times to check on him. It is normal that I do this, just letting them know I am thinking about them, asking if all is well. I never got an answer so by evening I was getting concerned. Somewhere between 10 and 11 I was able to get an answer because the other two boys had returned home. I asked why hasn't someone answered the phone (I relayed my numerous attempts). My older son replied that it was because no one was home. I replied, that of course some one was home because the son turning 18 that day was home all day. He said no mom, he was not home, he left. I said, what do you mean, he left. He said very quietly, he has left mom, there is a note on the wall, he has left and moved in with dad.
I was in shock, fell down on the floor at the retreat sobbing. It is still very painful to tell you this, even all these months later.
He lives with my husband, who as it turns out was planning it for some time, did it on the birthday so there would be no legal recourse, will not speak with me or see me. I cannot know the mind of God but know that He has a plan. I pray for both of them.
I am not sure why I am moved to tell you all this, perhaps to ask when you are down that perhaps you will pray for them. I will pray for you, that God will continue to give you His peace that the world cannot understand. I must daily cling to Him, else I willnot make it.
thanks for the opportunity to read about you precious little one who sees the face of God even now.
mary ellen