From the Heart through the Eyes of an Artist
Site Dedication

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The Master's Touch 

Christian Art Ministry for Trauma Survivors 

Julie Bergeron 

Site Dedication 

 

Nurses were running here and there,
rushing, panicking, and grabbing items to save my life.

My little son was lying
at the bottom of my hospital bed
in the bloody mess of afterbirth.

This site is dedicated to the memory of Brance Rueben
 

No one cared that he was struggling for each breath he forcefully drew in. As I got a glimpse of my firstborn son, his tiny chest sunk deep into his one-pound body.

With horror I tried to reach for him but was continually forced back down on the bed. "Please lay down, we are trying to help you." Again, I tried to reach for him. I could hear myself screaming and crying with every ounce of energy I had left.

One nurse went to the phone in the room and called the doctor. "She won't lie down and let us help her, she keeps screaming and wants us to help the baby . . . all right." She announced to the others that if the baby was still alive to go and take the baby "in."

They took him out of the room and I laid down content that he was being taken care of the same as my daughters had been so tenderly cared for when they were born.

Little did I know that my precious baby son
had been left to die on a cold counter
without any blanket for warmth
and no medical help to keep his lungs breathing.

 

W e had three beautiful little daughters and were living in Spokane, Washington, while my husband was finishing his Bible school degree. He was looking forward to graduating and raising our prayer and financial support in hopes of being on the mission field as soon as the Lord provided. Things seemed to be normal, as normal as life is with three small children to care for, but eventually I noticed that I was becoming very weak. I couldn't seem to get enough strength to do my daily chores and this was odd for me. I decided to make an appointment with my doctor, but before I called him, his office called me.

I had made the choice to use an I.U.D. for birth control after my third daughter was born and seemed to do fine with that choice. The doctor expressed his concern on the recent reports that had just been released giving proof that an I.U.D. will actually let conception take place and then abort the baby.

He said, "I know that you wouldn't approve of this, so I wanted to give you the choice to have the I.U.D. removed and replace it with another form of birth control." I agreed. I went in and also explained the weakness I had been experiencing and could they please check that out. As we continued the examination, the doctor reported that he could not find the I.U.D. and that it must have slipped out without me noticing it. It seemed unlikely since it had happened before and was the result of our beautiful second daughter, a real joy in our life.

The other possibility was that the I.U.D.
could have worked its way into the uterus
and was still there.

At this time the nurse came into the room to announce that I was pregnant and that would explain my weakness.

The doctor sensed that this could be a very serious problem if the I.U.D. was in the uterus along with the baby. An ultrasound was done and there was a possibility that they might have seen what could be the I.U.D..  Rest was prescribed and watch for any new problems.

As the days went on, I became weaker and spotting was occurring which continually got worse. I was confined to bed for about three weeks, gaining strength little by little as I began to care for our family again.

My husband graduated from Bible school and was told we were to move to another state to begin the process of gathering support through churches in order to back us on the mission field. Friends and family helped us pack, clean, and drive three days to our new home.

Everything worked out great. We were settled and I was now about three and one-half months along in the pregnancy. I tried to find a doctor to take over my case, explaining the urgency of my situation and that my doctor wanted me to be seen right away to keep up with the right care. I tried hard but all the doctors were booked and I wouldn't be able to get in for three more months.

I know now that I was very young and naive. I was very trustful of those more knowledgeable than myself, especially when they don't seem to worry.

I'm also not one to run to the doctor
unless there is an extreme emergency.

The bleeding had stopped and I had gained enough energy to do most activities in caring for the family. I wasn't too concerned about an appointment since things seemed to be okay. We had to move again within the city; it was hard but didn't seem to be too bad.

I eventually became extremely weak again. I tried to get in to see a doctor, knowing of the past problem, but there were no openings for appointments.

I tried over and over, explaining my urgency,
but the offices were tired of hearing from me.

B y now about two and one-half months had passed, which meant I was about six months along. I started to notice a discharge which wasn't normal to me. I called the doctor's office again. They listened to my story and said to just take it easy and there was probably no concern. After all, my appointment would be coming up in a few weeks.

The discharge was getting worse. I thought maybe my water bag had broken but from my other experiences I didn't think it could be that. The fluid would have gushed out. Every pregnancy was so different in my case.

The medical experts didn't seem to think this was very important. So I tried to relax and get bed rest.

The discharge was much worse by the weekend.

On Saturday I was very concerned and called the doctor's emergency number and wanted to come in. They still didn't think it was an emergency, but said I could come in first thing Monday morning for an appointment.

I really can't explain why I put so much trust in what they told me, except I was innocent to a lot of things at that time. Monday morning my husband took me in for my appointment. I waited and waited and was finally called in.

The doctor did an exam and said, "You should have told us it was leaking this much. " I told him I had . . . "REMEMBER ME?!"

The next sentence that came out of his mouth
 changed my life forever.

"There's no way you can carry this baby to term. We will have to abort it."

"WHAT? . . NO! . . . NO! This is my baby! It's my baby. It's moving and kicking. It's alive. NO!" Tears of unbelief were pouring down my face. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

They allowed me to go home, pack my bags, make some phone calls and find someone to care for our three girls, then immediately checked me into the hospital and started the questions and paper work.

The doctor came in to check on how things were going and I begged him to just let me rest and be confined to the bed again. He finally agreed and mentioned that some times that works, so we'll see.

"But if infection sets in,
then we don't have a choice
and the baby has to come out."

I asked how could I get an infection. He let me know that I had a hole in the water bag and the fluid was leaking out. It was quite possible that the I.U.D. had punctured a hole in the bag that protects the baby. This then allows bacteria to enter into the area and infection can set in.

Well then, I'll rest and stay in the hospital and there won't be any problem, was my only hope.

Hours were ticking by, nurses kept asking admitting questions, checking my vitals and temperature. My hopes were high, but the tears kept falling. I promised all kinds of things to the Lord if He would just let this baby live.

My temperature was taken again and now I had a fever, there was an infection. My fever was going high fast. The doctor said he would have to take the baby and they would start inducing labor immediately. "DON'T TAKE THE BABY," I pleaded. "DON'T!"

"If we don't take the baby, you will die from the infection."

Again I begged,
"Please, let me die and save my baby!"

He said the baby was too little to live outside of my body and it would result in both of us dying. So, it would not be possible.

A flash went through my head and I had an awkward understanding of what it must have felt like for God to give up His son, Jesus. It was a great sacrifice of love so that we may live.

The medication was given and we all waited
 . . . and waited.

I was extremely weak and the contractions were becoming stronger and stronger. My husband and I had time to talk. We knew the baby was supposed to be too little to survive. We were starting to accept the fact and wanted to decide what we would name the baby, depending on its sex. If it was a boy, his name would be "Brance Rueben Bergeron."

My husband had created the name "Brance" months before this day from the saying written on the communion tables, "In remembrance of Me."

We knew now this was the perfect name.

Hours still seemed to go by so slowly. My husband decided to stretch his legs and get some coffee. I asked the nurse to make sure someone would get my husband right away if the baby happened to be born while he was gone. They promised they would.

About five minutes later my son was born, so easily and so fast because he was so small. I kept screaming, "GET MY HUSBAND . . . PLEASE . . . GET MY HUSBAND!"

"We can't, we need to take care of you," a nurse yelled. "MY BABY ... MY BABY," I kept screaming, but no one was hearing me.

My eyes were fixed on this tiny baby and it was a boy. My little boy.

My mind and heart forgot
that I was supposed to lose this child
and my motherly instinct kicked in.

I could see that no one was taking care of him. I, unable to reach him, was going crazy! With my infection and stress, I was also bleeding and dying and all the nurses were striving to save me. I didn't care. I wanted my baby to live.

When the nurses realized they wouldn't be able to save me unless someone cared for the baby, they took the baby "in." I thought he was being taken care of. I don't remember much after that.

Brance was born at 8:40 PM
on Monday, July 24, 1978.

He weighed exactly one pound
and was 11 inches long.

I asked for a birth certificate with his little foot prints stamped on it, which they did. I'm so thankful now.

As time went by I felt content that the nurses were taking care of Brance as they had all my daughters before. But because they thought he was too little to save (I found out months later), they never tried and he had been left on a cold table with no protection, slowly dying.

Some time later they told me he was still alive and I asked if I could hold him. I didn't fully realize that if they were helping him, they wouldn't be able to bring him to me. My mind at that moment knew only of the past pregnancies and the routine of being able to see the baby after the birth.

The nurses looked at each other oddly and brought Brance to me in a soft baby blue blanket.

He was so small and so perfect,
the most precious little baby boy
a mother could ever hope for.

All his toes and fingers . . . he was perfect! I noticed about five or six nurses standing all around my room. They smiled and commented how perfect he was. I hadn't realized until much later in time that they were keeping their eyes on me, hoping I wouldn't go crazy on them again.

I held him for a small amount of time.
He was so relaxed, his little heart beating.

As I hadn't remembered he was dying, I gave him back with a smile and so pleased that I had a son. The nurse gently gathered him in her arms and left. Again I don't remember much. I was heavily medicated and weak. Months later the doctor said, "You scared us there for awhile, we thought you were a dead cookie."

My husband was told by the medical staff to go to his folks and get some rest. The pastor was there for comfort, prayer, and counsel. Around 11:00  PM . . .

A pediatrician woke me
to tell me that my baby was still alive,
but may not live too much longer.

S omehow, with all the medication and exhaustion, it didn't sink in what he was saying. I just heard the part, "He's still alive." I must have fallen asleep and about midnight they tried to wake me to let me know that he had died. I just remember crying.

Later a nurse asked, "We need to know what to do with the baby. Will you have a funeral or do you want the hospital to take care of him?"

I knew we had no money to have a funeral and thought maybe the hospital provided a free service and that would be the way to go. I asked what all that meant. The nurse had a sense of my pain and admitted that...

 . . . the hospital just throws it in the trash.
"NO . . . NO . . . GOD! That's my son!"

"I can't think, please tell my husband and let me know what he says." The nurse, knowing my pain, suggested we bury him.

I was so helpless and I cried out to the Lord, "You know we have no money, none . . . help!" I begged, pleaded, and cried. "Lord, I know you own the cattle on a thousand hills, you own this land. You own everything!"

"Please let the baby have a place to lay.
Please let me bury my baby!"

I must have fallen asleep again as they woke me to say we would get to give the baby a funeral and with tears, I thanked God. I didn't know how we could pay for it, but I couldn't do any more in my power. I had to give all my cares over to God and my only hope was that I knew He cared about me and He loves little children.

 

I was released only long enough to attend the funeral that Friday. Some close friends and relatives attended.

 

The smallest casket I'd ever imagined
lay in front of me.

I took one of the roses from some flowers that had been brought and laid it on top of his small casket. The ache inside of me was wanting to scream, "Get my baby out of there." I sat sobbing in pain. People could only pat me on the shoulder in silence.

After the funeral I was returned to the hospital for several weeks to recover from my infection. One day a tornado warning was in effect and everyone in the hospital was put in the halls for safety. When I found I wasn't in the mother/baby ward, I rebelled deep in my soul, thinking "I'm supposed to be over there with the mothers. I am a mother!"

Pain fell over me as I saw each mother
holding her tiny bundle,
protecting each child in their arms.

I was crying - where is my baby?
He needs my protection!

A day or so after the funeral a nurse talked with me a few minutes. She mentioned that I was lucky that I even had a choice to bury my baby since my baby was born two weeks past the time where the mother doesn't have that choice. Before that time the hospital just automatically disposes of the "fetus" because it's considered a piece of tissue.

Now I knew more clearly how the abortion issue
is so deceiving to young mothers,
and how sad and heartbroken these lives are.

I was angry and shocked; I couldn't believe I had even come that close to dealing with this problem.

Brance was my son from the beginning of conception. The care and concerns of love from the very first, not just when he was rolling around and kicking in my body or given a name at birth. Nothing can change his existence as my baby son, my little boy, my precious child.

Years later, I requested my medical records and read that an autopsy had been done on the placenta and they found the I.U.D. imbedded in it. Infection had set in badly.

To my horror I read . . .

 "The baby was very healthy and strong
and lived more than three hours.
With help he might have survived."

As I was released from the hospital, I went home to an empty house. My girls were still with other family members. I remember sitting on a swing, just softly swinging and thinking how lonely and empty I felt.

One minute I had this baby moving
in comfort and warmth so close to my heart,
with the irritation of morning sickness,
then nothing.

There is no human, sensible meaning to the word "lonely." The dictionary was close to the meaning:

    Alone  - standing apart from others of its kind, isolated, unhappy at being alone, longing for friends or company;

    Empty  - unoccupied, having no one in it, vacant, having no worth or purpose, useless or unsatisfying, without meaning,

But where is the soul of these words?
I knew the meaning :

Empty was emptier than empty, no bottom to it.

But I could not express the feeling with human words.

Our pastor's wife, Mary, a close friend of mine, was still carrying her baby that was due to be born one day after my baby's due date.

I was angry, it wasn't fair.

I wanted to see my son grow as hers would and enjoy life. My only consolation at that time was that hers couldn't be a boy, it had to be a girl, then I would be able to deal with it . . . I thought!

Mary sang solos in church quite often, her voice was sweet and gentle. I continually had to leave and sit in the car until the service was over because of my outbreak of tears. I watched her progress continually. The day came when everyone was so excited as she was in the hospital ready to deliver.

Everyone forgot about my loss. Only I kept that painful secret inside. It was joyfully announced that she had a beautiful, healthy boy.

How do you rejoice
and remain angry at the same time?

I struggled to keep it a secret. I was also being watched for my spirituality. After all, I was a missionary!

M onths later we were concerned as to why we hadn't gotten a bill for any of the services that were done for the funeral.

We saw the funeral director and explained who we were, and if they could let us know what our bill was so we could start making payments. He told us there is no bill.

We were shocked!
Why would a funeral place not charge us?

They said they had heard our story and gave us their services free. Wow! The pastor didn't charge for his service, and the cemetery people told us there was no bill.

The Lord was very tender with us and showed His mercy and unlimited supply of wealth. Our thanks went out to all those who were willing to share in our special needs. What a blessing!

I had a time of anger and was very short on my faith when I wanted to put a marker on Brance's grave.

I knew the stone
would cost more than a hundred dollars
and we couldn't come up with that amount.

I inquired as to what I could put on his grave. I asked if I could place a wooden cross above his grave. I pleaded from simple sticks to artistically carved wood in order to conform to the standards of the cemetery. Wood of any kind would rot and cause problems for the lawn mower.

I asked to carve out of stone that would not rot. But again, it didn't conform to the look of the cemetery. It ripped my heart not to be able to mark where my son lay. Payments weren't an option either.

My faith was very small
and how shameful I felt
as I confessed my lack of faith.

 

I couldn't see past my own sorrow. The Lord had His hand on my heart all along, as the stone was supplied at no charge to us and it read, "In God's Hands."

What little faith I had!

It was hard to exist from day to day. I couldn't go in a department store without crying at the sound of a baby's cry. I would feel panic and want to run to help it. I couldn't help! Years passed but the pain didn't.

One Sunday I wrote a letter to Brance:

"Brance Rueben Bergeron,

"Today we went to see the stone that lay on your tiny grave. Oh, the pain within my heart. It cries out to the Lord. My son, my son! I'll never know the joy of raising you and watching you grow, or see your daddy's strong expressions develop into your personality.

"You would have loved your daddy dearly, for he so wanted a little boy. The day you were born was such a heartbreak, for I knew you were too little to live outside my body. I knew we would lose you. How perfect the Lord had made you . . . yet I also knew the Lord chose to keep you from this wicked world and took you for His own, to protect you in such a special way that I couldn't.

"So, as I learn that I must let you go 'In His Hands' and that must be where I leave you. What a perfect place to live and some day when the Lord should call me home, I will hold you once again, whether you are a man, young boy, or as I know you, as my tiny son. My arms will tightly hold you and won't let go.

Mommy. Amen, from Daddy."

Again I wrote,

"My Dear Brance:

"I need to write this letter to you. I'm outside in the middle of the night. I couldn't stay inside, I had to get out under the stars. It's something I feel so strongly about right now. It's late and as I laid content and protected by your daddy's side in bed, you came to my mind. I saw so little of you and yet your tiny face is so clear to me now. Then I saw your infant body and your grave. "The son of Charles and Julie" just kept flashing and blurring out your face. It breaks my heart.

"It's been seven years now. My mind wants to dream up a seven-year-old boy, but I can't see one. You know little ones like you are touching my soul, my heart cries out to each new born. But my heart becomes hard and indifferent when I think I can't have you. I can't cuddle or hold you, I can't feel the warmth of that tiny little life.

"The night is slightly breezy as I sit on the porch. I feel the warmth of the night and the stars are so bright. My tears make the stars so much more brilliant. I wonder what made your memory so strong on my heart tonight. You know, it's been so long since I've written like this. It's good that I keep busy, it keeps my mind on other things. It feels good to let this out tonight. It hurts so much, but takes a big burden off my heart and softens it some. Where are you? I can't see my paper very well . . . my tears are heavy. The sky is so still and graced with such soft clouds . . . I wonder where you are? I must go back to bed and get some sleep. It's been good and I love you.

Your Mommy."

Brance's sisters have shown so much love for him. They celebrate his birthday each year. They even count him in when asked how many children we have.

Eleven months after Brance's birth we had the joy of seeing our fourth daughter born. Two years later our second son was born.

Eleven years after Brance was born
my life was drastically changed.

On March 30, 1989, my daughter, Joy, and I were in a tragic car accident . The Flight-For-Life heicopter was called. We were taken to the trauma unit of a hospital 30 miles away.

The injuries and my near-death experience
put new depth into all our lives.

Having a tremendous struggle to go on and not give up, gave me a new way to understand how close and dear God's love is.

Nothing in this world could ever satisfy my need for peace. When it came to a point of constant tears and drained me of any hope in "man," I was at the point of making a choice of either breaking or surviving.

One day as tears and exhaustion overwhelmed me, a friend of ours said,

"Julie, you're an artist,
why don't you paint how you feel?"

Now this sounded crazy because I have always painted what other people wanted me to, not how I felt. How would I do that? I pulled my thoughts together and decided to try.

The project in itself kept my mind content
to show the world that
with God's love and care
I could survive and there is hope.

T he painting was finished and it surprised or shocked some people. painting_sm1 surprised me was, it wasn't just the accident that I had to put on canvas, but also the loss of Brance. Also my father's death from cancer three months after my car accident. All these things and more were put in the painting.

It was a real healing, as I put all of us . . . even the love of my husband, children and friends was included . . . in this piece of art.

Later on, I was overwhelmed with the need to paint only of how I felt about losing our baby. It was in my heart and flowed out onto the canvas so easily.

I learned I not only had to give God
the torn part of my heart,
but along with my pain,
I had to give Him my tears.
 

To express my feelings through verse,
I wrote a poem which I entitled,
"
I Give My Tears"

 

 

I Give My Tears  Poem

 

I Give My Tears - A Painted Tribute

 

I Give My Tears Art Print

 

Art Therapy

 

Face Therapy Painting Described

 

Isaiah 40:29

   

 

This Heaven's Babies site is owned by
Julie Bergeron.

Want to join the Heaven's Babies Ring?

Graphics © 1998 by Liz.

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Julie Bergeron Studios
PO Box 584 Divide, CO, 80814-0584 USA
Telephone (719) 687-1815 or (719) 687-3634

E-mail
JulieBergeron@artisticpage.com
 

All Graphics and Content Copyright  ©1999  JULIE BERGERON
 


SITE DESIGN  BY
 
Some graphics produced by adaption of the antique artwork of C.Klien
Copyright  ©1999 ArtisticPage.com