Yesterday, I went to my scheduled ultrasound and heart echo for baby Peace at Children’s hospital in Aurora. As it was, Sharbel and his bother Croix had a WeatherPort job down here in Denver, so Sharbel joined me for my appointments while Croix performed the tent work. Both doctors we met with during the ultrasound and heart echo were fairly positive that baby Peace was active and stable, nothing had really improved or declined. The true measurement for baby’s weight which everything greatly hinged on wouldn’t take place until Thursday, so we left hopeful that baby was trending for the better and was doing okay. After a brief late lunch together, Sharbel and Croix heading for home while I stayed here in Denver to bedrest and go to my next appointments on Thursday. It was a tear filled departure as our cars went separate ways off the interstate.
Everything was okay until I got back to my temporary home and started feeling more and more serious contractions. I called Sharbel and asked him to pull over to give me a few minutes to time them. He was already 45 minutes out and heading into the mountains. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the contractions were increasing with regularity and severity. Sharbel and Croix turned around and actually beat me at the hospital!
Once I arrived and got situated on the maternal fetal medicine floor, things were progressing far too quickly to attempt stopping the labor. I was then moved to an actual delivery room instead of a bed in the triage room. For whatever reason labor came to a complete standstill and allowed us the time to be very present and prayerful together. We asked our priest to come in and pray with us. During this I was loosing a lot of blood and my blood pressure dropped significantly. All of a sudden things got pretty intense! I was started on pitocin to help the contractions return. Shortly after that, labor kicked in again and baby was born soon after presenting frank breech. I was given a two bag blood transfusions and stabilized quickly.
We named our littlest son Joseph Peace Dussault. He immediately received an emergency Byzantine baptism. Because of baby’s small size and prematurity, along with the very severe nature of his heart condition, there was not much the doctors could do. As hard as it was to feel like we couldn’t do anything, we were at peace with just holding baby and comforting him and commending him back to God. He passed away in absolute peace just over 2 hours after birth in the arms of his father with the psalms being prayed over him. It was only by God’s providence that the timing of all of this took place with Sharbel still within reach and not 5 hours away in Crested Butte.
God blessed us with the love of this pregnancy and we always trusted that his Will and Wisdom is far greater than ours. After five weeks of doctor appointments, travel and many tearful moments little Joseph ended up accomplishing a great deal in the womb and outside. He has brought even greater unity and love to so many people who are forever changed by his struggle and journey home to God.
We will lay baby Joseph Peace to rest in Crested Butte tomorrow after we celebrate his life with Mass starting at 11:00 am at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church in Crested Butte.
We can’t fathom the depth that each of you have carried us through this difficult and beautiful time.
Rebecca and Sharbel
Joseph Peace Dussault