Born: 7:12 AM on July 3rd 2015
Height: 7.25 inches
Weight: 4.3 ounces
My heart is broken, truly broken for the first time in my life. It is not fair that a father should have to hope and pray for faith that one day he will be reunited with his precious baby girl. It is not fair that I will never get to play with her, hold her, sing to her, go on daddy daughter dates, watch her grow up, hear her laugh and comfort her when she cries. It is not fair that we don’t get to watch her grow into a beautiful young woman, and I feel that it is certainly not fair that a parent should ever have to bury their child.
Hazel, although you were only with us for 17 short weeks I hope you know how grateful your mom and I are for that time. In that short time our love grew deeper for our family and our love for you was instant. Without ever having met you, so many prayers, thoughts and dreams were in your behalf. It is amazing the love that parents have for their children; it is the true meaning of unconditional love.
July 2nd and 3rd were the hardest days of my life and even though they were hard I can now look back and see a few tender mercies from the Lord.
#1: July 2nd; After our first scare that morning when Amy started bleeding, we went to the ER to see what was wrong. The Dr. told us that Amy had a placenta abruption which was bad but not life threatening. While they were performing the ultra sound the technician asked if we knew the sex of our baby. We said we didn’t and asked if the technician had a good enough image to tell us what we were having. She looks around for a second and then told us that she was 98% sure that we were having a girl. Our sweet baby Hazel, we were so excited! Finally knowing that this was our Hazel we called our families to ask them to fast and pray specifically for Amy and Hazel. I feel that this was our first tender mercy, allowing us to know that we had a baby girl.
#2: Watching and hearing Amy go through pre-term labor was one of the worst things that I have ever had to experience. As we are racing back to the ER Amy was in the worst pain that I had ever seen her in, so many tears and so much blood that I didn’t know what to say or think. The ER Dr. gave us the bad news that Amy’s body was trying to deliver Hazel; although his bed side manner wasn’t the best, he did speak the truth. Dr. Nolte finally came in and said there were a few things that we could try in order to help baby Hazel. We tried them all and unfortunately at 3:00 AM on July 3rd baby Hazel had finished her earthly trial. Devastation, broken hearted and with tear filled eyes we looked at the monitor, at our baby that no longer had a heartbeat. We gained our composure and told Dr. Nolte we wanted to have time with our baby, so he helped Amy’s body finish the delivery. At 7:12 AM July 3rd our precious baby Hazel was delivered. Although our time with her was short this was our second tender mercy. Allowing us to hold her, cry over her, physically tell her that we loved her and pray over her. This time, even though it was short, was priceless.
#3: With broken hearts and souls, we watched as they took our sweet Hazel from us. The nurse took her in order to make molds of her hands, feet and face, truly a tender mercy to be able to have those for the rest of our lives.
#4: After the delivery, Amy was later wheeled into surgery to remove what her body didn’t naturally deliver. Not only was this surgery and delivery excruciatingly painful physically, it had the same effect spiritually. With so much going on we didn’t even think about how Hazel would be buried. After talking to Mom and Dad Wharton, we knew that we wanted to take Hazel to a special place and bury her body with the proper respect. We were worried that this would not be allowed, but another tender mercy from the Lord came when we were told we could bury her where we wanted, which is at the only home she ever lived.
These have been two of the worst days of my life, but they have had small moments in them that have helped Amy and I deal with the worst nightmare we could ever imagine. Family and friends have been amazing with their support and prayers. Mom and Dad Shumway came out to watch Sawyer as well as Dalton and Katelynn. We’ve received so many texts, emails and voicemails from family and friends wanting to help. Truly though, the one thing we needed most at the end of this day was to hold Sawyer in our arms and shower him with hugs and kisses. I don’t know why Hazel was taken from us. I don’t know why our biggest challenge is having a family. But I do know there would be no way I could handle these trials if it were not for the faith, strength and love of my sweet Amy. She is such a special person that I don’t deserve, she is so strong, so thoughtful and so caring. Amy is my heart and soul and it is only with her by my side that I can get through this life. I love her so dearly, I love my sweet Sawyer more than I can even begin to explain and I will forever love my sweet Hazel whom I was blessed to hold for a short time. I know God lives and he is real and because of our Savior Jesus Christ and His sacrifice I will be able to one day see, hold and love on my daughter Hazel again.