She’s in the Towel.
“Please attend area mike.”
Those words suck. As a Security officer working at a hospital, whenever that request came through your earpiece, you prepared yourself for death. Mike is phonetic for M.
M is for Morgue.
I worked a few months at various hospitals and attended area mike a couple dozen times. At that time security had to provide access for those bringing in bodies or taking them out, to ensure that the correct body was coming in or leaving, and we had to document jewellery etc. – in case of theft. I once a saw a friends mom’s body. It shook me up, but she was born again, a Christian, and I knew where she was.
Most of the calls to “Area M” were for people who had silver hair, and had lived long lives. It was just a part of the job. But. One call almost made me quit.
“Please attend area Mike.”
“10-4, be there in 5 minutes.”
As I arrived at area M, I saw that the aide did not have a stretcher. Assuming he was waiting for the body to come down, I made small talk, “Waiting for your partner to bring the stretcher?”
“No. Solo tonight. She is in this towel.”
….and it echoed in my mind.
She is in the towel.
She is in the towel.
The aide opened the tiny towel and there, with rosy cheeks, was a still born baby girl. My heart stopped… she looked like she was just sleeping. I had a 2 year old girl at home. I almost cried.
“I wish we could leave her with mom, but we need to cool her body. The photographer is coming in the morning. Mom is just totally distraught and just wants to be with her. We might need you to stop by maternity this evening if she doesn’t calm down, maybe you could talk to her.”
I did stop by maternity that evening, as mom was getting just a little hard to handle for the nursing staff. She really wanted her baby girl. And after talking with mom, I found out that she was a Christian. She did not understand why God would do this, bless her with a girl and then take her away. Neither did I, to be honest. I was fairly new in the whole being saved thing, but I talked to her for a bit. After a while she had calmed down, still emotionally distraught but calm, she understood that she could not keep the baby in the room. And I soon left as I had routine patrols to perform.
That incident has never left me.
I don’t talk much about it, as it was the one incident, even more so than being stabbed with a needle (that is a different story), that almost caused me to quit security. It was so emotionally draining. But I did stick it out, and am working at hospitals again. I know that I will run across this again. But now there is a way for the baby to stay in the room with mom or dad who needs time to grieve. It is called the cuddle cot. To explain what it is, I will quote from the Help Bring a Cuddle Cot to ARH Facebook page:
For those not familiar with the unit a CuddleCot is an in room cooling unit that is the size of a small humidifier disguised inside of a Moses basket. Research has proven having a unit available to parents while they are in the hospital encourages families to spend time with their baby. This gift of time allows precious hours for bonding, pictures, plaster molds to be taken and other family members to come and meet the baby before the natural changes that occur in death become more apparent. In addition the baby can now stay in the room with the family the entire hospital stay if the family so desires. While we know this might not be for everyone it does allow families a choice.
Choices become so important very, very important when it seems as if all are taken away and suddenly families go from planning a future to a funeral in the blink of an eye. Every moment spent is a precious gift and as a grieving parent you never know what your heart may need to continue its healing journey weeks, months or even years down the road. Across the board almost all the parents we spoke with wish they would have spent more time with their baby. All the parents who were offered used a CuddleCot are all are very grateful it was available to them. They credit its use as being a solid, healthy way to begin their mourning and grieving journey.
This may not be for everyone. I am not sure how I would respond, but I bet that mom would have benefited from a cuddle cot on that evening. If you would like to help bring a cuddle cot to Abbotsford Regional Hospital, join the Facebook group and bid on one of the auctions, or submit an auction item Click the link below for more information.
I could talk about what our only comfort is. I could talk about how the baby is safe in the arms of Jesus. I could talk about what we are supposed to do in times of greif. But really, we are supposed to cry. We are suppose to grieve. The pain is real, so do look to God for comfort. Maybe a cuddle cot will help the grieving process. Please click that link.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.