REAL WOMEN - REAL STORIES - REAL HEALING
Jacquelynn Glass Hagerty
Jaci is a wife and a mother to 5 beautiful children. I have known Jaci since I was a little girl. I have always admired this womans strength to overcome and get through tough situations. She has a beautiful and graceful spirit and I am honored to share her story with you. This is Jaci and this is her story.
When I had Austin I was 18, I wanted him from the moment I found out that I was expecting him as far as my family my dad supported my decision to keep the baby my mom was scared for me she begged me many times to go have an abortion and I refused but as time came to pass she supported me. If it wasn't for her I don't know how would have got back and forth to the hospital. After Austin was born, the stay in the hospital that night was hard I heard other babies crying down the hall and I didn't have mine and I couldn't wait till the next day to be discharged so I could be with my baby and when I finally got to see him I was told by nurses not to touch or talk to him because he wasn't stable enough. He had surgery to correct his diaphragmatic hernia just a few days old and we almost lost him that day. I waited 6 weeks and one day until I finally got to hold my baby. It was so hard and I think it affected bonding with him. I wanted so badly to hold and nurse my baby and it wasn't possible. We experienced many times being told that Austin wouldn't make it through the night and he proved them wrong time and time again so when the day came Austin was very sick and they told me he wouldn't make it I had a hard time believing them I asked to hold him and he looked at me like Mom I'm so tired and I can't do this anymore and he smiled and then I knew this was going to be goodbye and it was the toughest decision I've ever made in my life and I had doubts that I made the right decision the moment they put him in my arms and gave him morphine and removed him from the vent. He didn't fight, he went very peacefully. I remember praying that he would keep breathing and I remember praying that God would take me instead.
The time following his death was probably the darkest time of my life I felt so alone and turned to alcohol and pills to numb the pain that I didn't want to feel. I had an aunt that told me after his funeral that if I had an abortion I wouldn't have had this heartache...my family expected me to just get over it. My dad was the one to take me for emergency counseling. I had friends who loved me when I wasn't very loveable and I'm sure many prayers were said for me as well. My turn around came when I went to school to become an EMT and I started to find purpose in my life. I became pregnant with my oldest daughter in 2001 and I was so scared of losing another child, the day she was born was so bittersweet! I held her, nursed her, and enjoyed my long awaited arms full with a baby.
I met my husband when she was about 13 months old, we married a little over a year later and our family has since grown to 4 children. I remember times of doubt in my faith and my husband loved me through so much! I would say I'm an optimistic person, I can be spontaneous, I can be outgoing, but sometimes I am reserved and quiet. I like to listen to music, sew quilts, and ride horses...these things relax me and bring me joy! I like going to our cabin in Potter County and fishing too. I have a friend that lives in Wisconsin who lost her son to complications of a congenital diaphragmatic hernia as well, we became friends through a group called "Cherubs". I have talked with her through moments of tremendous grief and tremendous joy as she had another child after the loss of her precious son. I encourage women to find someone to talk to. Preferably someone who has been there, it helps so much! Take time to heal and know it's okay to feel any way you feel. Most of all that you aren't alone and God is going to see you through.
My experience of having a sick baby in the NICU forever changed me. God kept my heart from becoming bitter, he allowed me to go on to have 4 very precious children and in life I am reminded constantly of what a blessing their lives are. Grace has been a major factor in my journey as God knows the deplorable ways I tried to fill that gaping empty in my heart after losing Austin. It is amazing how God can pull you back to him when you stray♡
I hope this story has touched your heart and blessed you today. This is a story that is very close to my heart, as that little angel that lays in his mamma's lap is my baby cousin. Reading Jaci's story has not only inspired me but given me a new perspective and understanding of the loss that was suffered and the beauty God has brought out of such a tragic time in our lives. Below you will find links to books to help grieving parents or those who know someone that is grieving the loss of a child.