This post is part of a two-part series. You can find the first post here.
Three months have flown by since I delivered my son Hoss, yet I can’t help but remember all the strong emotions I felt that day as well as that whole week. What an honor and blessing it is to be Hoss’ mom! It is hard not to have him here with me physically everyday. I am however grateful to know he is with me in spirit always. I feel him close when I am having a hard day, and he lets me know it’s okay.
I am grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ and His gospel in my life to help remind me I will be with Hoss again.
The day before my delivery I had so many emotions and feelings. My husband Channing and I, as well as each of our kids, got priesthood blessings, which are prayers for healing, comfort or counsel given by someone who has the authority and lays his hands on the head of the person receiving the blessing. These blessings were such a comfort to us, and brought us so much peace. We got up early on the morning of February 2, 2015 to make the hour drive to the hospital. All the hospital staff was waiting for our arrival. They were so kind and thoughtful. As our family started to arrive to the hospital my nerves started to hit. I just couldn’t believe I had carried this sweet baby boy a little over eight months and it was finally time to meet him, and say goodbye all in the same day. I felt so much peace and comfort, but it was the unknown that scared me the most.
When they told me they were ready for me in the Operating Room, I remember thinking, “I can do hard things.” I bravely walked the long hallway to the room. It was cold in the room and I was shaking. My wonderful husband sat beside me and held my hand. He kissed me on the forehead and told me he loved me and everything was going to be great. My parents, and Chan’s parents entered in the OR and I felt a special spirit. My kids were in the recovery room next door waiting for their baby brother’s arrival. I know they were nervous as well. As the doctors started the C-section and as I was laying there on the table the thought crossed my mind maybe Hoss will be fine and all the ultrasounds were wrong. As they pulled him out I didn’t hear a cry like I always had with my previous deliveries. Hoss’ nurse brought him to me and said he might not make it very long because he was having a hard time breathing. As I held Hoss and kissed his chubby little cheeks, I knew he was a special boy. I was so, so grateful to have him there with us. Channing and I decided we better bless him right then. Chan, my dad, father-in-law and the respiratory therapist, who is a member of the leadership of our congregation, blessed and gave Hoss a name. I didn’t hear everything that was said in the blessing, but I will not forget the spirit that was felt.
I know there were those from the other side with us on that special day. As soon as the blessing was over Hoss started breathing better on his own. His older brother and sisters were so excited to meet him. Hoss weighed an even 5lbs. and was 17 inches long. We took Hoss back to my room so the rest of the family could meet him. We were so lucky to have all our siblings and grandparents there with us. Everyone got to hold Hoss. My little boy Hudson, who is six, had a hard time because he has wanted a little brother for so long. It was hard seeing him have such a hard time. I loved holding Hoss’ chubby little hands. He was so sweet! He never cried, but we got to hear him coo for us.
As the time passed his strong heartbeat started to slow down and his lungs started to fill with fluid. I knew it was time to say goodbye. Channing sat by me in the bed holding Hoss out in front of us. Hoss’ breaths would get heavy and he would let out a big sigh. He would open his eyes, look up at us and smile. Opening his eyes would have been extremely difficult for him to do since he didn’t have the frontal lobe muscles to do so. He was strong and opened his eyes and smiled three more times. It was so hard to watch. I told him, “it’s okay to go buddy, just go be with your great grandmas and do missionary work.” Hoss just wanted to be with us as long as he could.
He lived 4 hours and 47 minutes. I was so thankful to my Heavenly Father for giving Hoss to us that long. When I first found out about Hoss at 12 ½ weeks I prayed to my Heavenly Father and told him I wanted to meet this sweet baby and spend time with him. We were able to do just that. I had hoped through this journey that things would work out. In the book Preach My Gospel it says, “Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill his promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. It is believing and expecting that something will occur. When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good. Hope helps you conquer discouragement.” As I held Hoss after he passed I thought how blessed I was that day. It was a hard day, but I’m so grateful for what a perfect day it was. After family left, I was left alone with Hoss to reflect about the day and pray to thank my Heavenly Father. I knew there were going to be hard days ahead, and that I would need to continue to have hope and faith.
We had a wonderful funeral service for Hoss. It was a wonderful day to celebrate him. As the next couple of weeks passed it was hard for me to think that everything was over. I was recovering really well from the surgery, which was a huge blessing! I decided to go on a little getaway with my mom, sister, aunts and cousins. I felt guilty for going, as it had only been three weeks after Hoss’ passing. While we were there we were shopping at a store and a lady with a fussy baby boy was trying to try some clothes on. My aunt said she could hold him. This sweet little boy kept looking at me and reached out for me. I was hesitant to hold him but reached my arms out to grab him. I snuggled him into my chest and he laid still. I felt so many emotions and just bawled. My aunt started crying. It was a huge tender mercy for me. I know it was Hoss telling me everything was okay. It was a great comfort and I was grateful for this sweet little boy that let me snuggle him that day.
I know I have and will have more tender mercies if I keep having faith and live righteously. “We are chosen by the Lord to receive tender mercies because of our faith.” I have been comforted by the scripture in D&C 84:88, “My spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” It has helped me to try to write down all my tender mercies. It shows me that the Lord will continue to lift me out of the hard times I will have.
I am honored and grateful to be a mother. I know it has its hard days, but I need to continue to have faith and hope. I know as I try each day I will see my sweet Hoss again.
A big thank you to Carli Lower from Letter’s and Laurels for this beautiful print that you can download by clicking the link below. Connect with Carli on her instagram @lettersandlaurels.
You can connect with Britney on facebook here, and on instagram @bhemsley. You can also read more of her journey on her blog here. Britney also wanted to share with you a powerful video that little Hoss’ Grandmother, Deita Jensen created. While watching you will feel the beautiful love, hope, and faith of this wonderful family. Please take a minute to watch “Our Little Brother Hoss.”