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My friend had a baby with anencephaly

 

Friendships are tested everyday and mine was tested more than most, I would like to say that I proved to be a very rare friend indeed. Tiffiny and I had known each other for years and my child and her firstborn are the same age. We have always been close but we lost each other for a while when they moved to the other side of Georgia, but as fate would have it she moved a few miles from me about four years ago.

Fate it was, during her fifth pregnancy I was at home waiting to here if it was a boy or girl when I got devastating news. It was a boy but he had anencephaly! I was appalled to find out that the specialist she had seen had been cold and unsympathetic. Being in the medical field myself I got her the number to a different specialist for a second opinion. I went with her and as I was sitting there watching the ultrasound. Malachi then began playing peek-a-boo and my heart dropped; I could see the birth defect, but despite the physical evidence I had hope and prayer. It was then that my friendship called me to a new level. I was hurting too but I had to be there and be there I was.

As the day of delivery approached I met with the neonate specialist and his team with her. I always tried to find humor during visits like this, this time I noted that I thought at first they thought we were life partners! We laughed so hard we cried.

There are so many ways I had to be there but most importantly I was there everyday no matter what time or what was going on. We then together began to notice that we were always together when she needed me the most, through her two tubals and now with Malachi. She has always said that God brought us together during these times for a reason and now I believe more than ever that that is true.

The day that Malachi Samuel was to born I had her two boys and my child and I paced the floors waiting on the call. The boys would go to the hospital with me and my child was going to her grandparents. The c-section run behind which worried me and then I got the call, a tearful one, telling me that I needed to get there soon. With my heart literally at my feet, I kept a happy face for her boys as we made the drive. I will never forget walking into that room and holding that special little boy in my arms and it wouldnĺt have been the same if he hadnĺt made that Marlin face that all of her kids have given me at one point in time and Malachi gave me that face as soon as he was in my arms. I stayed for a while and left to give more time for her family. We talked at least four times a day while she was in the hospital with him.

The night that Malachi passed I had an unending nerve to be there, it wasnĺt a good feeling. I called and said that I was on my way and I was told that Tiffiny was glad. I was later told that the night before he was having some distress with breathing and she wanted to call me but her husband didnĺt want her to upset me. I was speeding as I got a call from a family member telling me to hurry that the nurses were saying there wasnĺt much time. The moment I was fixing to turn into the hospital I stopped in the middle of the road and knew I just missed him. I sat with the boys downstairs until they called and told me Tiffiny wanted me there. Tiffiny walked out of the room and hugged me and told me to hold him and tell him goodbye and I did. After they took him and she was discharged her mom and me were with her while her husband was pulling the car around. As we were trying to leave Tiffiny almost collapsed and I was holding her up as she was crying for her baby and I hope I never hear a mother crying like that again. Later I bought her locket that she wears with his pictures that says ôForever in my Heartö and my mother made a very special necklace that holds some of his ashes. Tiffiny and I are still together everyday and we still have bad days but those will always be there.

My advice as a friend would be to be there no matter what. My friends are like my family. Always share the memories and be honest and be true. Never be afraid to help. The worst that could happen would be being told to stop and that is better than not being there at all. Most importantly, I love Malachi Samuel as if he were my own. I couldnĺt not be that close and, like Tiffiny always says, it is like I carried him too.

 

Last updated 12 October 2007