On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, Patrick, Emily, and I woke up at 4:45 a.m. I tried to take a shower but for some crazy reason the water wouldn't get hot. I resorted to washing my hair in the sink. I thought that made for an interesting start to the day. We got dressed and Patrick loaded everything into the car. I was tired, a little anxious, and excited for what would soon happen. I wore a pair of polka-dotted pants and a shirt with three owls that matched Ellie, Noah, and Grayson's outfits. The shirt said Owl always love you. We took a few last pictures of my pregnant belly. One really important one was of Ellie and Noah's handprints. Emily painted a canvas that matched our little outfits that said, "These are the hands that hold our hearts together." I had more peace than I could have imagined.
We pulled out of the driveway around 6:15 a.m. and made Patrick's daily stop for his diet coke. He offered to get me something forgetting that I couldn't eat or drink anything. I've always hated that part about c-sections, nothing to eat or drink or gum or anything after midnight:) We were on our way to Methodist Germantown Hospital. Emily put some music on and I closed my eyes and worshipped Jesus. As we drove down the highway, the sun was rising right in front of us. It was perfect and special. God was opening up the sky and showing us His beauty. I prayed for peace and comfort and anything else that He knew I would need. I'm always anxious about surgery and hospitals, but God knew.
We arrived to meet another one of my best friends Christina and Kelly, our friend and pastor. I checked in at 7:25 and they took me back to my room. I knew the drill from there. We met all of our nurses and one of them would become a friend we'll never forget, Rachel. I put on my gown and waited for everyone to come in. I continued to feel the most peace I think I've ever had in my life. My family arrived and we visited for a few minutes. At 8:45, our photographer, Crystal Brisco arrived and we discussed a few things. Our family came back in and we took some pictures before being wheeled back to the operating room.
At 9:30 a.m, they took me to the delivery room. For 5 months we had been anticipating this day, and it was finally here. The moment we had been waiting for was just minutes away. They did all the preparations for surgery and I was just lying there. Patrick came in and I held his hand. After some tugging and pulling, Grayson James Walker was here. I heard him cry and it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever heard. I cried and couldn't wait to see him. They brought him around to me, and he was perfect. We cried and held him tightly. God was in the room, I know the angels were dancing and I felt like dancing.
They took us to the recovery room and we just stared at him and kissed him over and over. I wanted to hold onto this moment forever. After a little while, they brought Ellie and Noah in. They were excited to meet their precious little brother. For months, they had been talking to him and putting their little hands and heads on my belly. Now he was here. They held him and kissed him. My parents and Patrick's parents came in along with our brothers and sisters. It was emotional for everyone because we weren't sure how long we'd have. I felt like God was going to give me a long time. I dressed him in his little brother outfit and Crystal took a ton of pictures with Patrick, Ellie, and Noah. She captured so many wonderful moments that will never be forgotten. She also got pictures with all of the grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and close friends. I felt blessed to have him in my arms making noises and just looking at me with that little eye. His right eye opened a little bit, but because of his skull not being completely developed his left eye stayed open. I'm not sure that Grayson could see us but I know he felt mommy's love and the love of his family.
The hours went by and Patrick and I tried to do all of the things we'd normally do. We gave him a bath, changed a wet diaper, and continued loving on him. Our wonderful nurse Rachel helped me try to do everything that I wanted. I tried to nurse him, but he couldn't quite get the sucking down. I wasn't sure if he was getting anything, but when I pulled him off my breast, he cried. Medicine says that babies with anencephaly can't see or feel or anything else for that matter. I find that hard to believe. He wanted to be right next to mommy's heart. Rachel and a few of the other nurses made molds of his hands and feet. They also made a Christmas tree ornament with footprints and handprints. The lady from Paint a Piece arrived to get his fingerprint in silver clay.
Patrick and I knew that his breathing and heart rate was slowly dropping. He was having trouble breathing. We knew that it was a matter of time. After hours of crying, smiling, and holding our precious little angel we were exhausted. Patrick crawled into the hospital bed with me and we held our little boy. No one was in the room but us. We would drift off to sleep and then wake suddenly. Grayson's nurse would come in and check his breathing every so often. Grayson continued blowing bubbles and holding on. Patrick and I tried so hard to stay awake, but it was like God was purposely making us fall asleep so we wouldn't have to watch him in any distress. At one point he was having difficulty and we just cried out to God and asked Him to take him. We cried and prayed and asked Jesus to not allow him to suffer. We prayed he would take him home. We couldn't bare him being in any pain or having a hard time. We fell asleep again and awoke to three or four nurses standing around us. Our eyes opened and he took his last breath. The nurse looked at us and said he was gone.
At 10:00 a..m., Grayson James Walker entered into our world knowing the love of his mommy and daddy. At 5:57 p.m, he entered into the arms of Jesus knowing the love of his mommy, daddy, and Heavenly father.