{I will refer to the people in this story using broad terms, for their own privacy}

It was like any other day as I was preparing to go to work.
I was rushing to get ready while the kids were busy ripping apart my closet. Little did they know, instead of taking a nap in preparation for my night shift I had just spent nap time putting that closet back together for the 4th time this week.
Baylor was grabbing each shoe furiously trying to pull each off the shoe rack in record time as if they were running away, while Reagan emerged from my closet once more holding another shirt and saying "Dis petty mommy?" as she tried to display it with the other 6 previously pulled shirts from my door fell to the floor and was left there alone, as her pigtails bounced with ease back to the closet for yet another round of, 'helping' mom get ready for work. I smiled tiredly at the both of them as I rummaged through to find a comb and picked through my hair. I didn't have the energy nor the time to care. They both disappeared into the closet as I turned on my hair dryer, when the loud hum and the calming hot hair of the drying was sharply interrupted by a high pitched shrill coming from the closet.
I violently turned off the dryer, threw it on the counter and stomped over to the closet where I found Baylor with his quivering lip in a puddle of his own tears holding onto a shoe for dear life. I didn't see Reagan at first but on closer inspection saw her little toes curled into her foot right below my collection of high school hoodies. I took a deep breathe and reached into sea of clothes to return with Reagan's arm in my hand. She knew she was in trouble but still had a bubbly grin on her face.
"Did you hit Baylor?" I asked with the most patient voice I could muster
"Yes mommy."
"Reagan, honey, why?"
"Cause why mommy!"
It was hopeless, I already knew what happened.
Reagan was playing with a belt, that now lay beside her.
When Baylor saw her playing with it he rushed over and tried to take it. He has a death grip like no other!!! So the only logical solution for Reagan would be to hit Baylor harshly over the head, resulting in Baylor releasing his grasp.
They were both guilty
"Reagan, tell your brother you're sorry."
"Sorry bayyyyeeerr"
"Baylor, don't take your sisters toys!"
He had no idea what was going on, he just sheepishly looked up at me with water still in his eyes and answered with a "Ohhhhhh ddddduuuuaaaaaa!"
I stood up and glanced at the clock, it was already 6:05...
I'm going to be late and I have to be the Charge Nurse tonight!!! I don't have time to play referee or 50 card pick up, for the love. Where is Jeff?...he is so late, he knew I had to work tonight.
I returned to the mirror and took a couple seconds to come to terms with the fact that I would be going to work looking that I did. With bags under my eyes from the previous night of '1 year old molars coming in hell', I grabbed a hair tie and pulled my half wet/half dry hair into a tight high bun. I brushed on some mineral powder (even though I knew it would be rubbed off by 2 am) and called it good. I started throwing on some scrub bottoms when Jeff decided to grace us with his presence.
It's 6:15 and I'm so late!
While I furiously reached for some socks, I tried to keep my cool.
"Where have you been baby? I am so late and the kids have been destroying the house while I attempted to get ready and now I have to go to work like this!"
"Well hello to you too! Work was great thanks for asking." He said, discouraged by my words.
He got to his knees to give the kids hugs.
I felt bad but didn't have time to make up...
"I am sorry...I have to go!" I quietly whispered to him.
I started to secretly walk out the door...trying to make the fact that mommy had to go to work as discrete as I could.
I didn't get far when i could hear little pitter battering feet behind me...
"Mommy you goda work?"
"Yes baby, but I will be home soon."
"I want to goda work too mommy!"
"I know sweetheart, but I will be home soon okay?"
Her little eyes welded up with tears as I gave her a little kiss and handed her off to Jeff...she would be fine in about 5 minutes...daddy was going to go find ladybugs with her in the backyard!
I jumped into my car and rushed off to work, I called Jeff 2 times on the way there, apologizing and reminding him to remember to brush Reagan's teeth. Our conversation was cut short when he had to hang up because Baylor was getting into the toilet again!
I didn't try to call back...I knew he needed to focus.
I drove in silence the rest of the way crossing my fingers that tonight would be slow.
I didn't have enough energy for a busy night.
I got to work with minutes to spare and as I walked back to the locker rooms to change I glanced at the patient board and whispered to myself,
And what do we have in store for us tonight.
The board was littered with green, red and black names all color coding their LDR (labor, delivery, recovery) status.
When a word from the comment section came caught my eye and my heart sank in despair.
All at once the other words on the board seemed to blur and fade into the distance as I read the words again in my mind and shook my head in sorrow...In cursive lettering the words
filled my view.
Suddenly the bags under my eyes didn't seem so bad.
Suddenly I didn't care if my shoes were neatly placed in my closet.
I rushed back into the locker room and quickly changed into my work scrubs and placed my name badge over my neck.
I knew she was going to be my patient.
I was working with 2 other nurses that both were pregnant and it's an unsaid rule to not let pregnant nurses take the demise patients.
I said a little prayer in my heart as I picked up a report sheet that The Lord would help me know what to say to this couple.
As I received report from the precious nurse I knew she needed to go home. I was to be this patients angel now. With a tear stained scrub top and puffy red eyes, she had explained to me that the patient came in laboring, was 39 weeks pregnant, and didn't know there was no heartbeat until she was placed on the monitor. The patient had delivered a couple hours before shift change and was in a room with her husband and the baby at the opposite side of the hospital. I embraced the other nurse while she told me and tried to give her some of my energy that I knew she needed.
"Take care of them Sadie." She said with tear rolling down her cheeks.
"I promise I will."
She explained to me that they would let me know when they were ready for the funeral home to come get the baby and went to say goodbye one more time to them. I gave her time alone with the patient while I flipped through the patient's history and chart.
I don't think people realize the weight us nurses place on our shoulders. In a field like labor and delivery, even if the patient doesn't realize it, we become one with that patient. For those 12 hours, that patient is our life! And when situations that this occur...that patient stays with us for eternity. I think most people become nurses because they think they can help fix things. In labor and delivery especially we usually have great outcomes and know what to do in difficult situations. It is such a specified field that labor nurses are trained, without even trying, to connect with their patient for this special time.
But when situations like a stillborn arise, we are left helpless. All we have is our energy, love and holistic hands to try and ease the pain of the patients we are serving.
The only thing I cared about at that moment was serving this mother and father.
I walked towards the door of her room and stood there. Faint sobs could be heard inside as I stared at the lotus flower on the paper that was placed on the door. Placed for all the nurses to silently make them aware of the sensitive situation at hand.
I stood there for a good 2 minutes trying to dig deep into my brain and retrieve some kind of phrase or word or sentiment to say when I opened that door...but I found nothing. I was speechless and afraid. I have been a labor nurse for almost 5 years now but have personally only been a nurse to one other term stillborn. They just aren't very common. We see demises more around 15 to 20 weeks. But I knew that this little child was the same weight as my little Baylor was when he was born so for me this stung more personally.
I said another prayer,
in fact I think I prayed throughout my whole shift that night,
took a deep breathe and softly knocked on the door.
I entered the dark room where only the last bit of sun of the day was lighting it. I saw the beautiful parents embracing each other and walked towards them. Beside the couch a little bassinet was sitting still and had a beautiful blue blanket softly wrapped around their gorgeous lifeless little boy. I reached into the crib and caressed the little boys face.
"He's beautiful." I whispered as the tears fell off my face.
I walked towards her...sat down and embraced her. I had never met this women and had no idea if she even liked to be touched but without thinking...that's what I did. We cried together as I held her and repeated over and over I am so sorry, I am so sorry.
I knew nothing I said would help.
I placed her face in my hands and asked if she had eaten...I already knew the answer...there was 4 trays of food scattered around the room completely untouched.
Of course she hadn't...I offered to make some warm soup but she declined quietly. I explained to her how I had prepared a bath for her and told her to take as much time as she needed.
I quietly stepped out of the room and rushed to the storage room to send a text.
"Can you send me a picture of the kids please. I know they are sleeping but I need it. Work is tough tonight. I love you baby forever and always."
I checked on them a little later and her husband let me know they were ready.
I called the funeral home and a tall nice man in a dark suit showed up at the desk in what seemed like record time.
I dreaded what came next.
I shook his hand and handed him the proper paperwork,
I introduced myself and walked silently to the room with him.
This wasn't a time for small talk.
I took a deep sigh and could hear one coming from his mouth as well, in absolute unison with mine.
We then entered the room where I experienced something I hope I never have to experience again and I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy!
The funeral director sat at the bedside discussing a few things while I sat behind the couple on the bed.
As I rubbed her back and watched her rock her precious boy one last time, a peace fell over the room.
I knew he was there with us.
I knew his spirit was trying to comfort.
I KNEW at that very moment that she would be able to hold her little boy again!
If, for whatever reason, I had had a doubt that families are forever,
Nothing can convince me otherwise.
After we changed his blankets, he was ready.
"I will never be ready"
"I know..." That's all I could say
We sat around the bed crying, I just wanted to take her pain away. I couldn't even imagine the pain and suffering she was feeling. After carrying that precious soul next to her heart for 9 months she would not be able to take him home.
After sitting there a couple moments longer,
I softly said,
"Why don't you have dad hold him one more time."
I knew if it was me, there would be no way I could hand my child off to the funeral director, so I thought maybe giving her husband one last chance to hold him would be a bit better.
I still don't know if I said or did the right thing...I guess I never will but I literally prayed about every word that came out of my mouth.
I waited till the husband looked at me and very slightly nodded his head.
Without saying anything, I knew he was ready.
I stood up and he placed his beautiful boy in my arms.
I waited till I closed the door behind me and placed a blanket over his face then I handed him to the funeral director and walked with him to the front doors not bothering to hide my emotions anymore.
"No matter how many demises you see...everyone is just as hard as the first!"
I mustered up a smile and a thank you as I left him.
"What you girls do is amazing."
I turned around and gave him a little wave goodbye. 
"Thank you for what you do." I said in return
And that was that...
I was taken back by his words.
We don't do anything..that's what's so hard about it!
Moments like these leave us feeling helpless and utterly hopeless.
I sat in the bathroom and cried for what seemed like forever...thinking about my children and praying to Heavenly Father to forgive me for my short temper that I have with my 2 perfectly healthy children.
I then began to thank Him for 
the tantrums
the screams in the car and at the store
the cries in the middle of the night
the endless diaper changes
the endless laundry
the sticky faces and hands
the dirty floors
the snotty noses
the sibling fights
the shoes that are strewed around the house
the toilet paper trails to the spilled cups and craisins smashed into the carpet
the cuddles at bedtime
the endless innocent love
the trust to care for His children for a time
and for EVERY SINGLE minute of every single day.
I pulled myself together and got back to work.
I retrieved an extra hat, shirt and diaper and gently placed it in his 'remembrance' box that the previous nurse had put together.
In it you would find baby bands, foot and hand prints, his blanket he was previously wrapped in and a few other things, neatly folded and tied together in a bow.
I returned to the room to find her dressed in her normal clothes, requesting to go home.
We sat and talked a bit about things, then it was time to say goodbye.
She didn't want a wheelchair but I insisted and wrapped a warm blanket around her.
We took the long way out to avoid the pictures of little babies and I waited as her husband prepared the car.
I hugged him first and told him I was here if they needed to talk.
I then helped her out of the wheelchair, embraced her once more and told her I loved her.
With an empty car seat in the back of their van, they drove off into the dark.
I stepped out into the street and looked at the stars as I took a couple deep breaths.
"Please help her heal." I prayed to Heavenly Father.
It's a miraculous thing when your job is to literally be present for new life to enter the world but it's a life changing experience to see that spirit leave that precious little soul and nothing I ever do will give me a stronger testimony of eternal families.
I put the wheelchair back in it's appropriate place and before I knew it, I was the nurse for another mom to be.
That mom would have no idea what happened that night and I would go on the next 5 hours pretending like that little face wasn't on my mind.
In hindsight, I really had very little to do with that precious patients care.
I only had the pleasure to take care of her for 6 small hours of her whole journey.
She probably doesn't even remember me.
But I will forever remember her and her inspiring family.

I held my kids a bit tighter that morning when I got home.
I stayed on my knees a bit longer.
and I appreciate every. single. thing. in my life a bit more.
I can't tell you why things like that happen to parents or why bad things happen to good people at all...
but I can tell you, that whether we like it or not...
bad things will continue to happen.
So I must use those experience to help me grow...
as a mother
as a wife
and as a person.

Thank you for allowing me to share this very personal story with you.
I pray we can all learn and grow from difficult experiences in our lives so we can use our strength to help others.
We all must remember how blessed we truly are.

Thank you allowing me to share this story with you all today!!

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Sadie Jane

Other Posts in this series:
A Sibling's Perspective