Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I believe that there was a day last week that was nurse's day. So, I'm a little late but I want to
share how nurses were a blessing during this time in our lives.
A nurse is the person on the front lines. They're the ones there first. In the doctor's office they get you ready in the room. They are the first to hear your concerns or complaints. I imagine they are also the ones that get the brunt of all the bad moods. The doctor swoops in, does their thing, and they're off again. I now this isn't an accurate description of all doctors, I just want to emphasize the role of the nurse. In the hospital the nurse is in the trenches. They are there to serve you during their 12 hour shift. So, where am I going with all this:
My sister has been a nurse for many years now (I say many because I don't know how many, 8 or 9 is my guess). Most recently she is a nurse in the postpartum department at Kaweah Delta. She is working on her master's degree to become a nurse practitioner. She is a busy mom to Kate who is almost nine months old.
Well, on February 18th I went to the doctor for what I thought was going to be peace of mind. It had a been a few days where I felt like Madelynn just wasn't moving much. There was movement that I chalked up to her moving down into position and that she was big and out of space. I have big babies so it didn't seem unlikely. But in the back of my mind I was getting more and more uneasy about it. I decided to call the doctor the morning of the 18th. I asked Jason if he wanted to go with me and he did. We went into the room and the nurse started to check for her heartbeat. She was having trouble so she had us move to the next room to hook up to the non-stress test machine. She started to put the sensor in place and was having trouble. By now I knew something was wrong, especially when she said, "Let's go over to the ultrasound room and get a look." This clearly was not going to be good. The ultra sound tech came in and got started. It was very quiet. Then, "I'm sorry, I'm not hearing a heartbeat. Let me go get the doctor." Our lives turned upside down in that moment. During the time the doctor talked with us the ultra sound tech was with us. She kept her hand on my arm and when it was time to leave she hugged us. This was an experience that was affecting everyone. The doctor talked to us about scheduling a c-section. We had decided to go in the next day.
As we left the room we were met by the saddened faces of the nurses. We escaped out the back door. Jason and I now found ourselves sitting in the car crying. What were we to do now? We called our family. Jason told his mom and then we tried to track down my parents. We went home and waited to hear back from my parents. My mom called first and she headed right over to our house. She then called my dad, brother, and my sister. My sister was doing her clinical work. She was at our house within minutes. At this point Kim had two roles. She was a grieving aunt and a nurse. She took on a role that no one would ever want to choose. She started talking to us about what to expect. I can only imagine looking back at that day how incredibly difficult it was for her. She shared with us what would happen when we went to the hospital. She had encouraged us to go ahead and have the c-section that day because we didn't know how long Madelynn had been gone. She called the doctor for us and became our nurse. She arranged for us to be able to have the c-section a few hours later. We got ready within minutes to leave the house. Kim drove Jason and I to the hospital. She was telling us what would happen. I know this had to have been so hard for her and I hated that she was in that position. She was so graceful and honest in sharing with us. In fact, she was more helpful than the assigned social worker was. There was peace and calm in those moments that were clearly the most tragic and scariest of times for us. In the hours that followed Kim was there. She arranged things for us and helped us along the way. She was our blessing in that moment when everything around us was falling apart.
When we got to the hospital we were taken back to our room right away. We started in the labor and delivery department. As soon as I walked into the room I was met with a familiar face. Kim was going to be helping me get ready. I know Kim from church. I walked in and we just hugged. I felt calm just seeing someone I knew. She helped get me all situated. Soon after Jon came over from post partum to see how we were doing. I went to school with Jon and my sister works with him. Again, it was so comforting to see people I knew as they explained what was going on.
There's a saying, "it pays to know people." Well, that's the truth. As soon as we knew we were going to the hospital, Kim called to see what nurses were on staff for that night. I heard her on the phone asking about having Codie be my nurse (looking back it had to be that way as part of God's plan). I had seen Codie's name on Kim's facebook and many other people's as well. We had quite a few common friends. In fact just a couple weeks before this Jason had led worship at Elevate which Codie's husband leads. Hmmmm. I bet you can see where this is going and how God was at work.
Madelynn was delivered in the evening. It was a tough surgery. I ended up having to go under because the epidural was not cooperating (total God thing). It took an hour just to get to her. Anyhow coming out of anesthesia was not a pleasant experience. Honestly I was hoping I would wake up and find that it was all a big mistake and she was with us. I don't remember what time it was when we finally made to our suite in the postpartum section. That's when we met Codie. She was so very sweet with us. She got me all situated and then asked if we were ready to spend time with Madelynn. That was a very scary experience for me. She told us how beautiful she was. She brought in Madelynn. Madelynn was wrapped in a pink blanket with matching cap. Codie handed her to me. I know how painful that experience was for us and I know that as a nurse that has to be painful for them as well. After our time with Madelynn, Codie took her to another room where our family would have time to see her. Throughout that night Codie took such great care of me and Jason. I felt an instant connection with her. She had helped to take care of my baby and me. God had orchestrated the events to be that we would meet that night. (Remember: I wasn't supposed to go in until Friday) We learned later in the weekend that Codie had carried our sweet Madelynn downstairs after we had said goodbye. She didn't have to but she did. I was so blessed that Codie was back on duty for my last night in the hospital. Codie was another blessing during the experience of losing our daughter. God had placed people in our lives during this storm that helped bring us peace and comfort and to remind us that he was there.
There were many great nurses that worked with me those days. They are all very special. They were there for me and they were there for their co-worker, my sister, Kim. Just a caring staff. So many blessings during the storm. I look back at those 3 days in the hospital and can see how God had placed the people that needed to be there for us. In those moments we had Godly people helping us, praying for us, and blessing us.

To Kim and Codie: you were my blessings during those first hours after finding out Madelynn was gone. You took on our burdens and guided us through the first downpour. You are truly loved!!! Your patients are all blessed to have you as there nurse!


  1. Beautiful memeories of very special people in your lives~~~~as well as an unforgetable memory of your beautiful daughter. Our son, Benjamin, would be celebrating his 32nd birthday in December. I remember him every day, as you will do Madelynn. Your posting of your daughter brought tears to my eyes and such love to my heart. When asked how many chilren I have, I always say five. My husband always gives me five white roses every mothers day. Hugs to you and your precious family Denise. He will keep you in his arms forever! Love to you all!

  2. Words fail me, Denise. It is such a gift that you are sharing your journey of Madelyn with everyone. Please know that Rob and I are wrapping you and Jason up in love and prayer daily.
    Much love.

  3. I love you Cousin.. I cannot imagine what this time was like for you. I only wish I was closer so I could have been a shoulder. Thank you for sharing these memories with all of us. Your strength is inspirational.

  4. Denise you are MY blessing!! You amazed me that night in the hospital and you continue to amaze me with your strength and courage. It was so surreal to see your and Jason's peace in such a tragic time. I literally got to see you both crumble and then watch the Lord lift you back up and wrap his arms around you. I remember walking into your room halfway through the night and noticing the peace surrounding you both. I think I even mentioned it to you guys.
    Thank you for sharing such a personal time with us....YOU are MY blessing.

  5. Denise you are such an inspiration!!

  6. It is so wonderful to experience God in the details of life - that even though He brought you to a tragedy, He did not abandon you there, but began to bring you through the tragedy by surrounding you with love and qauality people.

    Thank you Kim and Codie for taking care of my friends! =)