Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Life of Reese Madison Part II (Day 13 - Hope Against Hope)

I felt like I hadn't slept in days.  But I didn't want to sleep.  I wanted to be there for my baby girl.  My Reese Madison.  To hold her and let her know she wasn't alone.

Photo by Earth Guardian Angel licensed under Creative Commons

I had chosen her name well before she was ever conceived so I didn't hesitate when I was asked her name.

Amidst pumping breast milk, nurses in and out and trying to be with my daughter every chance I could, yesterday felt like a dream.

But it wasn't.  This was really happening.  Today was Father's Day.

My daughter was fighting for her life.  Doctors had told us prior to her birth that they too hoped she would be a girl as African American girls had the most successful rate of survival and doing best in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  This too gave us another ounce of hope when we learned she was undeniably a girl.

This hope we so desperately clung to seemed to be slowly detaching itself from our reach.

The doctor came in to let us know one of our baby girl's lungs had collapsed.  They had to resuscitate. He explained what this entailed.  How hard it was on her and how continuing to do so wouldn't be good thing. Although, he recognized this was a difficult decision, he encouraged us to do what was best for her given the seriousness of her condition.

We were asked to sign a Do Not Resuscitate form indicating we didn't want them to continue with this type of treatment for her.  He attempted to prepare us for the inevitable.

I was not prepared for this.  I hadn't allowed my mind to even think of death.  I couldn't bear it.  I asked the doctor for time to think about this so my husband and I could discuss it.

When the doctor left, my husband looked me in the eyes and said "her lungs are not developed, she does not have enough oxygen to survive."  I wanted him to call our church to pray, to intercede for us.  I wanted more time for our family to pray.  I still believed there could be a miracle.

I began to ponder my husband's words and I knew I had to let her go.  I knew I could not as a mother allow her to go through that again.

I wanted to hold her again.  As I did, she opened her eyes.  It was the sweetest moment.  The nurse shared her story with me as she had lost a child years ago.  She encouraged me to make a decision based on the best interest of my Reese Madison.  She went on to say this was what good parents do, they make selfless decisions for their child's benefit.

We made the decision to sign the form.  I didn't know how much longer I had with my baby girl.  But I decided to cherish this time with her for as long as I could.

I held her until the wee hours of the night.  The nurses again encouraged me to return to my room to rest.

Little did I know, our visit the next morning would be to tell our baby girl goodbye.  The day after Father's Day.  Even until this day, our family lovingly reminds me how Reese Madison held on so she could spend Father's Day with her Daddy.

The nurses couldn't get us to the NICU fast enough!  At this time, it was just my husband and I. Family had been with us at the hospital since Reese Madison was born.  They had all left to freshen up and return the next day the night before.  She had us all to herself.  When we arrived in the NICU, the nurse immediately placed her in my arms as the sound of the monitor began to fade.  She had taken her last breath.  As I held her, we let out the most gut-wrenching cry.  Our baby girl was gone.

Angels escorted our baby girl into the arms of Jesus.  This wasn't our first thought although ultimately we were thankful and comforted by knowing this.  Instead, we were hurting.  I felt like I had been stabbed.  A longing in my heart had just slipped through my fingers.  I waited for this day.  I hoped against hope.  I prayed for a miracle.  But God chose to take her two short days after she was born.

Have you lost someone close to you?  Perhaps you have experienced a relationship that ended abruptly.  Do you feel God has been unfair?  Is a desire you desperately longed for out of your grasp? Or maybe that desire has never come?  There is still hope!

Feel free to comment below, I'd love to hear from you!

This is Day 13 of a 31 day series of “Hope Against Hope”. To read all of the posts in this series, click here. To read what several other bloggers are writing for the month of October, click here


  1. I am immersed in your story ... With tears streaming down my face I am lovingly reading this journey of Reese Madison. It was with the heaviest heart that I received the news that Reese Madison didn't make it. I was praying so hard... Little did I know, just 3 months later I would be mourning the loss of my son. Reading your story brings bittersweet memories, but at the same time, it's comforting and encouraging. Thank you for sharing Resealia.

  2. Anitra thanks so much for reading. I'm glad you have found encouragement and comfort. No one truly knows this battle unless they've experienced it firsthand. My prayers are with you and your family as I heard of your dear husband's passing. He seemed to be a great man who was loved by many. I pray God continues to comfort you and encourage you. We may not always understand the why, but we can still trust Him. Please let us know if your family needs anything. Hugs!