Thank You. Thank you. Thank you.

What a whirlwind.

I had no idea last night when I wrote that letter and posted it on this blog that so many people would share my plight. In the 15 hours since I posted that blog it has been viewed almost 4000 times. It has been shared on Facebook 226 times, and retweeted on twitter 45 times as well.

Thank you. When I wrote that letter I wasn’t sure anyone else would care. I know there are a lot of people that care about Everlee and care about me and my family, but I had no idea that so many people would care that my little girl didn’t have the piece of paper to recognize her little life that she deserves. Thank you for sharing my blog, but most of all, thank you for caring about her.

I sent that letter to the Minister at 7pm last night, and by 9:18am this morning I had a response from him personally. It read:

Rhonda

First of All please accept my deepest condolences. As a father I cannot even imagine the pain you have to live with forever. I cannot make a promise of a change however I will Work to make a change.

Nick

And honestly, I couldn’t ask for anymore from him. I know how bureaucracy works, and I know that change doesn’t happen over night. So knowing that this was on his radar was more than enough for me right now.  It is so reassuring to know that we have a government that is so committed to listening to the things that matter to its people.

Shortly after I received that email I got a message from CBC On The Go (a drive time talk radio program). My blog had reached their desk and they wanted to talk to me about what I had written and the response I had gotten. As much as it hurts, and as emotional and raw as this is for me, I could not turn down an opportunity to talk about my little girl to anyone willing to listen. I did the interview and it is supposed to be airing on CBC NL at around 5pm this evening. (more on this in a second)

Not 5 minutes after I hung up the phone with Maggie Gillis, I got a call from the head of vital statistics, the department responsible for birth and death certificates and the ones who would have to write the letter I need for Everlee. They had received my email from the Minister’s office this morning and were contacting me with some  good news.

  1. They have filled out all of the forms I need and are couriering the letter that I need to my door this afternoon. They were extraordinarily apologetic for everything I have had to go though, and the subsequent hoops that has caused me to have to jump through.
  2. They are directly dealing with the Department of Finance to ensure that my application for the parental child benefit goes through without having to cause me further grief. I won’t have to complete any more paper work, or go into their offices to go through the whole pain staking story all over again.
  3. Most importantly, as of this morning they have started reaching out to other jurisdictions to see what is done across Canada in recognizing stillborn babies in an official way and they are moving toward implementing a stillbirth certificate in Newfoundland and Labrador in the coming months.

All because of Everlee.

CBC called back shortly after to clarify some things in the interview, so I happily updated them with the information from Vital Statistics and the good news that they are moving towards a resolution for families like mine. Although the interviewer was happy to hear that, because of the change in the story they were unsure if they would run the interview now. Which is a shame. It was a horrible thing, that has had a positive outcome. I think hearing a story like that would give hope to families like mine, so I hope to hear them run the story this evening. If they do run it I will be updating and posting the audio here on the blog.

In the meantime, Thank you to Minister Nick McGrath for moving so quickly to do the right thing. But most of all, Thank you to all of you for following my daughter’s story and sharing in our journey. My life for the last four months has been agony. I struggle to get out of bed every single day, and my heart aches every single moment of every single day. There hasn’t been a day pass where I haven’t cried. And there hasn’t been a day where I haven’t wished I could take her place. But knowing that so many people out there care about my little girl, and care about me, is what keeps me going.

And with my little girl in my  heart, we’re going to change this. She will be recognized.

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” – Winnie the Pooh

Saving Me – In More Ways Than One

For the most part, most of my days I feel like my life is completely out of my control. I feel as if I’m constantly tumbling, arms and legs everywhere and no sense of up or down. At my lowest, I run out of hope that things will ever get better. I wonder what is the point of making myself go through the motions. Most of the things I do are because I am supposed to do them not because I want to. I am not at my lowest all the time but once every 1 or 2 days, something happens that just destroys me. I end up sobbing on the floor and after a few minutes my thoughts turn to how I am so sick of the way things are and how nothing and no one can make things better. At my highest points I’m able to find something to genuinely smile about, without having to remind myself to physically lift the corners of my mouth.

Today was one of those days.

Constantly when we go back to that day there is only one memory that brings us comfort. February 12th and 13th were without a doubt the worst days of my life (followed closely by May 3). But through that absolute unimaginable nightmare we had one saving grace, one beacon of light, our nurse, K. (I won’t use her full name). That wonderful angel of a woman saved me that day in more ways than one. She never left my side. She held my hand. She coached me. But most importantly, she showed so much love and compassion and respect to my family and my baby girl. She was the one who took her and bathed her, and dressed her so we could have those ONLY few precious moments where I would ever get to hold her. She cried with us, and her heart broke for our little girl too. She visited me in my hospital room the day after to check on me. And after they discharged me I never knew how to contact her. I wanted so many times to reach out and tell her how much she meant to me and my family. We talk about her so often and are so thankful that we had her but I had no way to tell her.

Today as I was getting ready to go back to the clinic to face another task in this endless nightmare, my phone pinged to let me know I had a message on facebook. It was K. A friend of mine who is a nurse had mentioned me to her and she felt compelled to reach out and see how we were doing. And I got to say thank you. Not a drug induced loopy thank you in a hospital room through bleary eyes. But a real honest thank you. I told her that there is very little I remember from those 16 hours I spent in the labour and delivery room, but I remember her, and her kindness. And I told her how very thankful I was for her. She insisted that she was just doing her job, but what she did for us was so far beyond what is ever expected of anyone. There’s doing your job, and there’s doing what she did. So I thanked her, and I cried my heart out as I typed, but I also smiled. And again I find myself thanking her, this time for reaching out and providing me the opportunity to thank her, even though there is no way I could repay her. I am forever indebted to her in gratitude.

A lot happened at the clinic today, I met with the manager of the clinic to talk about how I was treated two weeks ago. A lot that I want to write about. But today I want to pay my thanks to K. I will never forget how she made me feel in my darkest hour. When I most wanted to let go, she made me hold on. And I will never forget that. I just wish I could repay her.