Hazel Irene Smith was born still on Friday April 18, 2008, at 31 weeks of life in utero. She was 3 lbs. 14 oz. and 17-1/2" long at birth. The cause of death was a knot in the umbilical cord. We are confident of her resurrection and her presence in the full peace of Jesus. Indeed, her middle name – which we had chosen early on in the pregnancy – was strikingly appropriate (eirene is the Greek word for peace).
Jeni was hospitalized early last week for pregnancy complications that ultimately had nothing to do with Hazel's death. She was sent home on Tuesday morning, but late Tuesday night, she became worried because active little Hazel had stopped moving. She went to the hospital and it was confirmed that there was no heartbeat. From Wednesday morning through late Friday afternoon, doctors tried to induce labor in order to avoid a c-section. Having met no success in inducing labor, the doctors moved forward with a c-section on Friday evening.
The last week has been difficult, especially for Jeni who experienced these pains most intimately: experiencing Hazel's death, waiting patiently in hopes of a natural delivery, having to have a c-section, and then starting down the long road of physical and emotional healing. However, we have been comforted by two things. First, we thank God for the loving church community here at Englewood as well as our families who have surrounded us and bore us through this painful week. They sat and waited with us, listened to us, cried with us, held us when we cried, took wonderful care of our older children, came to see Hazel's body, and held her in their arms. But even more, we are comforted by our faith in Jesus Christ's resurrection and the hope (Grk, elpida) we have in Hazel's resurrection as well as our own.
The above was written by my husband, Chris; this comes from me: It is hard for a mother to believe that there is any better place for her child than in her arms; but surely the arms of Jesus are that place.
I've been feeling much darkness, much overwhelmedness these last few days, but I am holding onto the hope that Chris wrote of above.
Thank you for your prayers.