Update (Jan 6, 2014) — Thanks to your support we have raised over $3000 for a CuddleCot for the Stollery Network. We have now updated to a stretch goal of $6000 for an additional Cot at another local hospital. Even if we do not reach that goal, the money will be pooled with other families to ensure that the goal is reached city wide.
Thank you so much for your continued support
You know how people sometimes share pictures from the early 1900s of families with their deceased family members. You know how you thought it was sorta creepy? Well, Jenelle and I have entered into this creepy world, and… I don’t regret it.
I had stumbled upon the CuddleCot while reading about situations like ours online. I also learned that the Royal Alex was the first hospital in North America that had ordered one for their families. The CuddleCot is a ~$3000 machine that cools a baby’s temperature in order to retard the body from deteriorating.
Without the CuddleCot, Jenelle and I would have said our last goodbye to Lera within an hour or so of her passing. And, needless to say, after all the drugs, stress, and grief that Jenelle (and I) experienced during her delivery, we were not in a great state to correctly process and say goodbye to our little girl at that time.
Jenelle often says that, because of the CuddleCot, “I didn’t have to say hello and good-bye to my daughter in the same breath”
On Saturday night, after everyone had left the hospital, Jenelle and I spent some time together before we fell asleep. She felt so sad, and yet felt numb to her grief. She kept complaining that she couldn’t cry; and she blamed the medications they had given her to remain calm. We talked through the events of the day a couple times, in order to cement it into our memories, and then went to sleep.
For the next 3 days, Lera remained in the room with us. The CuddleCot cooled her body’s temperature to around 10°C in order to keep her as stable as possible.
Jenelle started her recovery from the section, and we were able to take hand and foot mouldings/handprints, clip some hair, and capture a few more photos of Lera.
Finally, on Tuesday afternoon, I packed our room (we had accumulated a lot of stuff over 8 days) and put it into the car. Once the room was empty, we said our final goodbyes to Lera’s body. Jenelle was 100% clear headed this time around. We cried over her, prayed one last time, memorized her face, the feel of her skin, & the look of her button nose, and poured our love over her.
We held her, and kissed her.
Then we let them take her away.
Her body was cremated by Park Memorial a couple days later. Park Memorial, in association with city hospitals, waived all of the fees we would normally have to pay for a cremation. (Thank you again)
Is everything perfect because we got those extra three days with Lera’s body?
No. The other day Jenelle realized she never kissed Lera’s fingers or toes. It is silly, all things considered, but she regrets it. We will probably have many more little regrets as we mourn the life we lost with our little girl.
However we did get to have so much more closure than we would have had without it.