10/04/07 — Mom organizes vigil for those who mourn child

View Archive

Mom organizes vigil for those who mourn child

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 4, 2007 1:56 PM

Alittle more than a year ago, Wendy Womble was getting ready for the birth of her third child, a daughter. It would have been the first little girl born into her husband's family in two decades, she said.

September 2006 marked the end of her seventh month of pregnancy, and she and husband, Jeremiah, had put the crib together and gotten the room painted.

"We had just been to my doctor on Wednesday. Everything was perfectly fine," she recalls now.

But over the next 48 hours, the situation would drastically change.

"Somehow she got the cord wrapped around her ankle and neck," Mrs. Womble said of her unborn baby. "I just knew she wasn't moving like she was supposed to."

Tests revealed the baby had no heartbeat.

"It was very quick because I ... felt her still moving, but realized it was just her moving with my body," Mrs. Womble said.

She still delivered the baby naturally, except the outcome was markedly different from what her family had prepared.

Since no one else was delivering at the time, hospital personnel allowed Mrs. Womble's family to stay with her.

"Fifteen people camped up and down the hallway," she said. The baby was delivered that Sunday morning, around 9:30 and the parents left the hospital around 6 p.m.

"We were able to stay with her until the funeral home came to pick her up," Mrs. Womble said. "It was helpful. You kind of have that anticipation and excitement because there's a baby coming. When the funeral home came, it was like losing her again."

The aftermath proved equally as painful. Coupled with the grief and guilt was confusion about how to cope.

"At the time, they didn't have any type of resources, anybody to talk to about my loss, no support group," she said.

She began surfing the Internet, stumbling upon a Web site about a national observance honoring those who had suffered the loss of an baby. She also learned about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, observed nationally on Oct. 15.

"The more I read about it, I knew I wanted to do something positive with my grief," she said.

So she set out to bring the event to Goldsboro. She approached her advisers at Wayne Community College, where she is a medical assisting student, and received the go-ahead.

From there, she said, "it's just kind of grown."

On Monday, Oct. 15, a candlelight vigil will be held at the college, hosted by the Upsilon Chi chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. The public is invited to attend the event, which will be held at the Plonk clock near the center of the campus.

Mrs. Womble calls it an opportunity for others like herself to come together and say, "I'm not alone."

She plans to say a few remarks starting at 6:30 p.m., as well as music and other messages, culminating with the candle-lighting at 7.

"It doesn't have to be huge," she said. "If it just helps one person get through and know you're not by yourself, I'd be happy."

There is no right or wrong way to grieve, she says. Everyone is different. But make no mistake -- it is a loss.

"Some don't fully understand. ... It's a very deep type of loss and not something that you just get over and get back in the swing of things," she said. "It's going to take time to get back on your feet, and it's not something you'll get over in one day."

The same holds true for miscarriage, which Mrs. Womble also experienced before losing her stillborn daughter.

Fortunately for her, she has two sons to keep her busy -- Chase Summerlin is 10 and Wyatt Womble is 4.

Still, she mourns the one who would be coming up on her first birthday. And hopes that by providing a remembrance day, others like her will be able to share their hearts and divide at least some of their sorrows.

For more information on the remembrance day event at WCC, call Tara Bass at 735-5151, ext. 309.