Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Goodbye, Sweet Clair

Beauty for ashes.  Strength for tears.

Clair was a bright delight, an expected joy.

Katie carried her 16 days past her due date.  She walked, hoped, and awaited the birth of her fifth child, her fourth baby girl.  Selah mentioned, each night felt like Christmas Eve, as the delightful anticipation was rich in the home.  And still Clair stayed, quiet in the womb; her heartbeat strong, her movements sure.  Hints of labor would start, only to fade.  Katie rested.  Tired and hoping to see Clair, to hold in her arms, the life she had grown and nurtured, deep within.  But, all was quiet.

At 5:00AM September 27, 2013, when Katie paced, restless in the early morn; she moved in a stretch and her water broke.  Labor began, soft and sure.  Her contractions came in waves.  When we spoke at 6:30AM her excitement to meet her daughter was so deep.  It was time!  Baby Clair was coming.

Everything was in its place.  The house was ready, the crib made, the blankets washed, prepared to welcome a greatly desired life.  It was Katie's third home birth.  Having given birth, twice at the hospital, twice at home - this was the natural progression.  Each of her babies have come through their own rending labors.  The breaking pain, to bring forth perfected life.  This was no different.  Peace and love abound.

It was so hard, because she'd been waiting so long for labor to start.  With hand reaching to feel Clair's head as she came, the pain was worth it. So soon she would be in her mama's arms.  A mantra played in Katie's mind, "I can do this, because I get to meet you.  I get to see your face, and hold you."  As contractions broke through her tired body, she stroked her extended stomach, whispering, "goodbye baby, it's time to come out, goodbye."  The anguish, giving way, to the joyful expectation.

And Clair birthed forth.  Perfectly formed, in every single way.  She was exactly right.

But.  She did not breathe. 
She did not gasp for air, or open her eyes.
She did not try.
There was not any attempt at life.
Yet, her heart beat strong.

As women, who should never know this, breathed for her, she continued to lie listless.  A life called to Jesus.  A child whose life was birthed and taken at the same moment.

The firemen arrived first.  What should have been the loving disconnect of child from mother, was replaced by the tattooed arms and calloused hands of a man used to anguish.  He broke the chord and took sweet baby Clair away.

Her heartbeat maintained it's strength, but she was without breath.

David and Laura followed the flashing lights of a wailing ambulance.

A team of doctors and nurses worked on Clair's tiny body.  Her lungs did not open to allow the necessary air.  The doctor, gentle and kind, took David aside, and he was forced to make a choice, for which no father is equipped.  "It's time to let her go."

And Clair passed.

There are one thousand whys.  They are not ours to know at this time.

We cling to God's goodness.  His sovereignty.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this life we will have tribulation.  But be of good cheer!!  I have overcome the world."  John 16:33


charis said...

this was the perfect tribute to an amazing little girl i have yet to meet. i am so thankful you wrote this. it meant a lot to me and i am sure it means an incredible amount to your sister and david. thank you for sharing such a painful time in such beautiful words. love you and praying.

Anonymous said...

being so far away from Katie,I needed to feel close to her. your words brought me there. thank you.