A Tiny Miracle

I’ve thought long and hard about how to title this, because to me a title on here really sums up the entire post. But I can’t think of a better way to put what happened than calling it a miracle – and I hope you all will think so too.

Friday Sam was off and we were in a frenzy trying to get out the door to mail our homestudy paperwork before the post office closed and then head to Target for a couple of things.

My phone rang, and not recognizing the number, I hesitated at first. But seeing it was El Paso, I went ahead.

“Hi, Mrs. Stone? This is _____ calling from the hospital from Labor and Delivery.”

Right there my heart fell through the floor.

“I’m calling in regards to all the May births we had. Doing a follow up…”

At this point I kinda spaced out because I was crushed and beginning to be very angry. What the heck – they were doing a survey or something and couldn’t figure out in my records my boys were dead? That no matter how lovely that room was I ended up being wheeled out their doors empty handed? Couldn’t this hospital doย anythingย right?

Her voice broke through my thoughts, “And you left without signing the paperwork to receive your son’s birth certificates.”

Way to rub it all in. The one thing I’ve longed for right under having my sons back was the proof that they lived on this earth. It’s been the thing I’ve struggled with so hard each day.

I started to cry. “I… I don’t get them because they were born at 19 weeks and 4 days. My file should say that.”

There was a pause and then she said slowly, “Well, yes, but your Dr. recorded they both were living and took a breath before passing. So in that case they would both be able to have birth certificates.”

I think while she was talking I found myself in a chair, where I tried to fully comprehend what she was saying. Because I don’t remember the first few minutes of their birth well, I thought Julian was already gone when he was born. My mother had said a few weeks ago she had pictures of him before he passed, and I told her he hadn’t ever lived outside of me. She was pretty convinced he had, but I didn’t remember.

I started to bawl. The lady on the other end took it the wrong way and said kindly, “Oh, you don’t have to! We just thought you might want them, but please don’t feel you need to if it’s too much. We just need you to go ahead and name them, so we can have a record. Do you want to call me back later when you think of names?”

“Oh no,” I gasped between sobs, “We have names, we had a memorial service, I just never thought we would get anything for them official because they were so little.”

I managed to spell out their names, ours, cities of birth, etc while she patiently took it all down. She told us we could come in Monday to verify all the information, and then as I cried she said, “I am so very sorry.”

After we hung up, I stood in the kitchen, laid my head on the counter, and sobbed and sobbed. For my babies, for the certificates, for the fact that they would always and forever be real – to everyone now. That they would never be forgotten in history or in our family because they would be recorded. And I have no idea if they ever took a “real” breath, but I will never forget that my Dr. made the decision to put that down for us. Her choice changed our entire lives in so many ways.

I waited to write this because I was so afraid Monday I would go in and she would tell me it had been a mistake, but when we got there, the papers were waiting for us to sign. Through my tears I looked at their little names spelled out so perfectly, the time they were born, the typing below assuring us we were their parents. I signed and she took them while telling us we could pick the certificates up in a month and should receive Social Security cards around the same time.

I can’t explain what this means to me. Yes, it’s so painful that they’re not here. That the next step is getting a real death certificate for them. But this was on my heart and mind every day since their birth. It ate away at me. Part of the reason I’ve continued to write about them in such detail is in hopes I could create a life the laws didn’t allow them to have.

And now? My weary, tired heart has some peace. Some joy.

As I’ve contemplated this the past week, I think I’m closer to knowing what I want to do with what we went through. I want to make sure no woman has to deal with her babies not being recognized in any way. I want to make sure if you get a death certificate, you get some kind of birth. Or life. If your baby died, your baby lived. Period.

I don’t know how to go about this. I have no idea how long it will take, if it will happen in my lifetime. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I’m determined that no baby born should be forgotten or parents have to struggle to keep their memory alive and recorded in a way. Maybe this is why we went through it first.

This is my promise to my boys and all the other children whose mothers and fathers have written me, blogged about this, posted on the message boards I read as they struggle with understanding why, or simply suffer with the knowledge the little one they held is gone. I will make this right.

Julian Toby

Preston William

 


Comments

  1. I burst into tears while reading this. I’m so glad you got their birth certificates. *hugs*

  2. I only got a birth certificate for one of my twins, but they lived 2 days. Got death certificates on both of them. I had footprints, from the hospital, that I framed and hung up. I know what you mean about the certificate, so glad you got them.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This post brought tears to my eyes. I have been following your story and I am so, so thankful that this has brought you some peace.

  4. This is a miracle indeed. <3

  5. Allison says:

    Oh, your post made me cry. I had been so angry that they didn’t get birth certificates and this is just so relieving. Your boys touched me and I will always believe that they lived. I am glad that their lives will be recorded for the rest of the world. You are just an incredible mama for fighting for them and continuing to fight for all the rest.

  6. Joy and sorrow all wrapped up for you, friend.

  7. Oh Diana I also burst into tears. What a beautiful little miracle to happen.

  8. Crying right now as I read this. What a blessing and yet filled with such sorrow. XOXO! Loving you right now.

  9. Katrina @ Hix in the Stix - Army Edition says:

    I cried for you! I can’t even begin to imagine how much this means to you and Sam! I am so happy for you :-)

  10. no matter what others think, those boys will always have a part of your heart and soul and thats all that matters. much love <3

  11. thankful that you were able to get these, and a little bit of peace with them. continuing to send love and prayers, for the healing of your family, and for you all during the adoption process. *hugs*

  12. Still joyful for you.

    Still hurting for you.

    It’s okay to be both. I love you & your family.

    also? so thankful for that doctor. I wish I could give him a squeeze.

  13. My heart is happy to read this. I know it’s been an important issue for you, and I am so, so glad your doctor made the choice to record breaths. And I know that you have the determination and drive to help change things so that other mothers aren’t in the position of not having a record of their children living.

  14. This post made me cry. I am so, so happy you’ll have their birth certificates. That doctor is wonderful. I hope this brings you a little peace.

  15. I cried when you told me, and I am crying today!! Hugs to you my dear friend!!!

  16. What an amazing act of kindness by your doctor. I can’t imagine your pain and how you’re working through it, but I think about you often.

  17. Ohh this is beautiful. I’m happy but so heartbroken for you still.

  18. Elisabeth says:

    Truly a miracle!

  19. Thank God for that doctor. They lived, period!

  20. I have been following your story since you were admitted to the hospital. What an amazing turn around! I’m so happy for your family that you will have record of their lives.

    I don’t know if anyone has passed this on to you. But there is a website called stillbirthday.com. She would be a great resource in helping with your quest as she has worked so hard to preserve the memory of her own little one lost too early. Also, might be a great place to try and help other mothers going through similar struggles. (And be able to give them hope!)

    You’re family is in our prayers!

  21. That is more than just a tiny miracle. I am so so happy that you were able to get those. I always thought that if they did live outside your body, they should be entitled a birth certificate, even if it wasnt 20 weeks yet. I am so glad you got those.

  22. Never having been through this type of loss, I had never thought about the fact that you wouldn’t get a birth certificate, or what that would mean for a family already grieving such a loss. I am so happy for you that you are able to have birth certificates for them and I think finding a way to make this happen for other mothers is an amazing way to honor your boys. Thank you for sharing your story so openly!

  23. Beautiful. I’ve been following you since your hospital admission and am so sorry for your loss, but am so happy it’s been recognized. Prayers and hugs.

  24. I am glad you have birth certificates for each of your sweet baby boys. My heart goes out to you as I imagine you are still suffering so much. I hope this verification of their lives brings you closer to peace.

  25. What a blessing for you to have those records of your precious baby boys. I have never met you, but you, your boys and your family will always be in my prayers.

  26. I’ve been following your story since your water broke that day, but I’ve never been able to find any words that I felt were adequate enough for the sympathy and encouragement I wanted to convey. I’ve been praying for you often, and I’m beyond thrilled to hear that this week you have been given what every mother deserves: the official recognition that your babies LIVED.

  27. I too burst into tears. Like the ugly cry. I’m so glad you got their birth certificates :)

  28. TheNextMartha says:

    Tears. I am so happy that you have this.

  29. Oh Diana, I am so grateful for this miracle. You needed something good. I am a believer that while God does not cause horrible things, He does make good from them. Beauty from ashes. If your passion for this can help one more baby, one more aching mom…

    bless you.

  30. Minutes before reading this, I did my devotional for the day. This was the verse:

    ” so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,” Ephesians 3:17-18.

    (I think you are doing #SheReadsTruth too? This was from today)

    Anyway, even though I have been following your blog these last months with a heavy, broken heart for you, today I wept.

    There is absolutely no end to how much God loves you and your family. How much he loves Preston and Julian.

  31. So very glad that you got birth certificates, I can only imagine the pain and how confusing it must be to have death without birth even if only in the documented sense, it would only compound your loss that much more. If you can find a senator or state representative that supports your cause, I think that would be the first step toward getting a law to require birth certificates for all babies delivered, I would be glad to do anything I can to help!!!!!

  32. This is just beautiful. I’m so glad you have PROOF, even though we all know they existed and were real and were yours. I understand this feeling oh so well. Sending love and hugs.

  33. I tear up with every post I read of yours. In some way I feel connected to you, even if it’s through the body of Christ, twins, or making your life something greater by the struggles God works you through. I’m SO thrilled to hear you are wanting to help other little ones be recognized. We need more advocates for families and little ones! I can’t imagine what you are feeling and how your heart is still breaking. However, I’m glad you have shared this important and joyful piece of news. May God continue to hold all of you in His hands!

  34. That is so amazing and what a wonderful doctor! I’m still so sad for you but this is just something so amazing my tears aren’t because I’m sad. We will never forget your little boys!

  35. What an awesome doctor. Love her kindness.

    Also? So happy for you. What an amazing miracle in the midst of the hard.

  36. What an amazing new chapter in the story of the LIFE of your boys. I love it.

  37. As many others have posted, this brought tears to my eyes. I am so glad you were able to get birth certificates for your boys. It is another step in the healing process for you. As a mom with only a death certificate for my daughter, I am touched by the thought that you want to make this right — for that I thank you.

  38. Oh how… I don’t know. Wonderful isn’t the word I’m looking for, but I’m so glad to hear that your boys got the recognition they’ve always deserved.

  39. I was the crazy crying lady on the subway while reading this.
    Congrats and continued blessings on your family.
    Thank you for all that you share with those who need to hear it!

  40. Stephanie says:

    I am glad you got what you needed. I am glad you were able to get the recognition of their lives you wanted. I hope, though, that birth/ death certificatesdo not become compulsory. Not all women want that. I knw of one who chose not to have an autopsy after her m/c at 19 weeks (which might have revealed why they had had so many miscarriages) because they would have been forced to name the baby and get a birth certificate. For her, THAT would have been too painful to bear. Everyone grieves differently…..

    • I would never want to pass a law that “forces” women to do something they don’t want. That’s what I had to endure in the hospital and with the death of the boys. Being forced to bend to the will of the law. But it should be an option for all mothers. And it’s not. And I mean to change that.

  41. As I read this post through the tears I was reminded that often the greatest gifts are often the simplest ones. Your doctor gave you a simple gift that has brought you some peace and even joy. So happy for you, and God bless your doctor for giving you this miracle.

  42. Jessica says:

    I’m not sure how I came upon your blog, but I am glad I did. Thank you so much for sharing your life with all of us. Every blog entry has brought tears to my eyes. You are such a strong woman, and a great mom.

  43. I am trying really hard to hold back my tears… but I’m just so, so happy that you are getting this. You – and of course, your sons – deserve this official recognition of their lives. Your cause is an honorable one, and will make such a difference to so many parents – best of luck.

  44. that’s wonderful… <3

  45. This makes me so happy for you and Sam!

    I’m totally with you…if a baby is born, no matter what gestational age, the baby deserve a birth certificate.

  46. I listened to this documentary piece a while back, and your post has reminded me of it. I hope it doesn’t make you sad – it gave me hope that all of these parents could finally come to terms with their babies’ deaths, because finally someone had acknowledged their loss. http://www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition/documentaries/2011/10/18/buried-so-deep/

  47. Cameron says:

    Cried when I read this, like everyone else. So thankful you have proof of what you already knew.

  48. I am so glad you got this validation that your boys lived. To me, once we know they are living within us they are ours. If they live outside us is outside our control, but does not change the reality that they are ours and we love them.

  49. Madonna says:

    I read this at work and had to hide the tears streaming down my face. I am so happy for you and Sam! May this bring some peace to you. Every child born deserves a birth certificate and I am glad your boys are receiving the documentation they deserve.

  50. They are loved. They lived. That’s wonderful, Diana. Blessings to you and your family.

  51. Amazing. Definitely a tiny miracle. Or two.

  52. Cynthia A says:

    Love you and love this <3

  53. God is SO good! Happy to hear this news & still praying for you and your family daily.

  54. This is so wonderful Diana! I am glad that you got on paper what so many people who love your boys already know.

  55. In tears for you. I am so glad you get to have birth certificates for your sweet sons.

  56. Ashley Price says:

    I am bawling my eyes out for you right now. I’m so happy you were able to get birth certificates. I can only hope it helps heal your heart a little.

  57. I’m very happy y’all were able to get birth certificates for your sons. I have never understood why there isn’t some birth certificate for babies who are stillborn. Mothers still give birth to these precious babies and their entries into this world should be recorded, however limited their time with us happens to be.

  58. I am so happy that they were able to get these valuable documents to you. No parent should ever have to feel as though their child was forgotten or not real in some way because they are unable to obtain a legal record. Sadly many do, but those little lives were beautiful lights and they had a place in this world.

  59. This is such wonderful news! Today your post brought tears of joy for you and your family.

  60. Jennifer Lee says:

    Sooooo bittersweet..all choked up reading this…May God continue to bless you and your family and give u the strength and peace only HE can provide. <3

  61. I can’t remember how I originally linked to your blog, but I started to follow it a while ago. It was after you had lost your twins, so I followed along in silence. But today, I celebrate this “tiny miracle” with you with tears of joy!

  62. oh my goodness, what a beautiful, raw post. and i am overjoyed for you and this tangible keepsake of their sweet little lives. you are an amazing woman, and I am so happy we found each other.

  63. Praise God! What a victory! You are SO amazing in how you are looking for the positive through your tragedy. I am envious of your strength, your faith. I pray for more victories in your healing. Blessings!

  64. I don’t think I could say anything else except I cried when I read this, and I am happy for you that at least you got their birth certificates.

  65. I’m so so happy for you! It still bothers me that I couldnt get a birth certificate, that in no way was my partner recognized as my son’s parent because he was stillborn. A lot of people would not understand, but this made me cry in a happy way for you!

  66. I just sobbed. So so precious.

  67. Stephanie Ann says:

    I can’t imagine how hard it has been for your to live through this. I am so happy for you and your husband to receive a little happiness and recognition in the process. I hope it helps with healing. Much love.

  68. So glad for you.
    In England, where my baby was born and died, you don’t even get a death certificate if they are born before 24 weeks, let alone a birth certificate. This is wrong.
    I wish you well in your campaign. You understand how much it means.