“This is the last physically whole piece of Scarlett we have, just a tiny bit if her hair. Darker in color than we remember and stiff from the ultrasound gel, but it is HERS all the same. It proves to me every day my daughter existed.
She didn’t have much hair to begin with, but when she was in the PICU, her hair was so matted and goopy from the ultrasound gel. The ultrasound was how they found her brain bleed. The bleed that told me I was never getting my daughter back. The bleed that prevented her from ever waking up again.
When they first told me about the bleed it was late Tuesday morning. Our nurse suggested we sit in on the round that Scarlett’s doctors were doing. We were running on no sleep and still in shock from the sudden decline of our once healthy daughter. They said it so matter-of-factly I almost missed it, but it hung in the air and it was all I heard.
Not only was my daughter on life support, but now she was battling a brain bleed. We went back in the hospital room to sit with Scarlett. Our nurses wanted to put a bow on her matted hair, but I knew it wouldn’t look natural – Scarlett hated anything on her head, especially bows! She would rip them right off her head the minute they were put on. Having a bow on her head would only prove to us how gone she was – no fussing, no swatting or whining. Just her swollen body, purple fingers and a bow on her head. I couldn’t bear the thought of it.
So instead, with my permission but without me knowing when or where, our nurse snipped this small bit of her hair, from the back of her head so you couldn’t tell it was gone by looking at her. Ben and I were so busy with the help of the child life specialist making castings and imprints of her hands and feet, we forgot about asking for a bit of her hair. She gave it to us right before we left the hospital without our daughter, right before we entered back into the real world as irrevocably broken versions of ourselves.
I don’t remember the nurse’s name, but I’m forever grateful for the love and compassion she had for our family. I will be forever grateful to have this uninterrupted part of Scarlett, tied together by a small string.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Anna-Marie Elizabeth Jenks of Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can follow her journey on Instagram and on her blog. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.
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