The night that I had to deliver our sweet Willa, I had to have massive amounts of blood drawn.
For anyone that knows me on a personal level, knows that I have a phobia of blood on the best of days.
12 vials and a Mickey sized bottle later they thought they finally got enough to test in hopes of finding some answers.
When Willa was born the doctors tried to draw blood from her cord, they couldn’t get anything from it.
Her cord was slightly twisted but not enough that they thought that was the cause of her death.
To this day almost 2 months later, we still don’t have any answers and probably never will.
We were told if anything was found we would have results within 6 weeks.
Still, radio silence.
Maybe it is better not knowing, but for a Mom who hopes and dreams of having a large family I fear that this may and could happen to us again.
As I laid in the hospital bed, my baby gone from my arms, my nurse came in to go over some paperwork.
I remember writing her name, writing it in such a way that I had always dreamt of writing it on her release papers, but instead the top of the paperwork I was filling out read, “death certificate”.
I had to decide if I wanted an autopsy, if I wanted her buried or cremated and where her sweet little body should be sent.
I remember making the choices so vividly.
She would not be tested on like some science experiment, she would be cremated and not stuffed in a box and she would come home to Mayerthorpe for arrangements.
Upon completing the paperwork we were told the hard part was over… for now. We would get a call from the funeral director when sweet Willa was ready to be picked up and it would be within a day or two.
The nurse told me that she would have Willas body at the nurses station if I chose to visit her once more before she was sent to the morgue.
Morgue- a place that is used for the storage of human corpses.
Why she told me this detail? I’ll never know.
I remember crying upon leaving the hospital, with the thought that my sweet baby girl was laying in some cold, dark place beside other dead bodies.
She laid there waiting to be transported to the place where she would be cremated and she would never get to experience us taking her home.
We had to leave our sweet girl laying there as we drove away.
It was final she was gone.
Days went by with absolutely no word from the funeral director as we were told.
Days went by and then weeks went by.
On the Monday of the second week with no contact from anyone, I had to make the call.
A grieving mother who felt disconnected from the world, her family and her live baby, had to call the local funeral home to ask if her cremated child had arrived for pick-up.
The panic in the director (Frans) voice was very apparent as I asked her if Willa had arrived.
Not only had Willa not arrived, she hadn’t even heard of her.
She hadn’t even HEARD of my baby.
She didn’t know where she was and neither did my doctor.
I was told a few calls would be made and that I could count on them to handle it from there.
At this point I had lost all hope in humanity.
I wanted to run to that hospital and knock down every person and door in my way until I found the morgue where my baby laid.
But little did we know, even if I did that, I wouldn’t have found her.
Willa had been transported to a hospital in the city, where corpses are sent for whom no one has made arrangements for.
THAT NO ONE HAS MADE ARRANGEMENTS FOR.
I had made arrangements, I filled out the paperwork, I told them where she was to go and I was reassured that the hospital would handle it from there.
My baby laid in the dark and cold for two fucking weeks waiting for her mama and daddy to make arrangements for HER.
We all know that the medical system can be extremely unorganized and corrupt, but this my friends should never have happened.
A grieving mother should never have to make a phone call to find out where their deceased little love is located.
Our local funeral director handled things from there with such grace.
She showed us dignity, compassion and love for our loss, something that had yet to be shown to us by many individuals in the system thus far.
She did what she said she was going to do and she brought our Willa home to us.
3 weeks after Willa was gone she was finally placed back in my hands.
Back in my hands in a tiny velvet pouch that now sits on top of our dresser within a tiny turquoise box.
Never in my arms alive but always in my heart and dreams, full of life with her little blonde head and her beautiful little toes.
Have compassion my friends.
Life is hard and you never know what kind of battle someone is silently fighting.
There will be justice for all of the grieving families through Willas story and I truly believe she lives and walks beside us all.
I will restore faith in humanity.
This is not final, this is not the end.
ps. we have been getting asked a lot lately about how individuals can make a contribution to Willas garden.
If you would like to do so, monetary donations to the building of her garden can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the password: Willa