At almost 20 weeks pregnant, Tom Riles and his wife lost Scotland Bansley Riles to miscarriage.
Riles said that when they received the news that the baby had died in the womb, they were offered several options – go to a “clinic” to “take care of the situation” or go to the Hospital. He said that they chose the hospital to deliver the baby because of their FAITH. Riles said he was so thankful they did it that way.
He and his wife were placed in a high risk section of the maternity wing so they were not around other babies being born but received a ton of support from friends and family as well as the hospital staff.
On his Life of Dad Show, Riles recounts their sad experience, “As the day went on, it was devastating but she went into labor and had the baby…and that’s why I wanted to tell this story because I wanted people to know that this is an option. The baby was born, we held the baby, the doctor gave the baby to us, and we were with him for about an hour just taking turns holding and singing to him and talking to him and telling about his brother and sister and we were crying, we’re crushed, but at he same time it was beautiful. Even though our son wasn’t alive, life never felt so, I can’t think of the right verb, amazing….parts of it were amazing, to be holding your son there… At the same time you’re thinking about the life that he’s not going to have…so sad but at the same time so powerful knowing and proud knowing that we, especially my wife, did everything she could for that kid, and gave him the same respect and love and support as she did our other two babies that are of course, are alive…and to have no regrets at this point.”
This was originally posted to the Life of Dad Blog:
I held you on Friday night for the first and last time ever. It was one of the saddest, proudest, most heartbreaking, and beautiful moments of my life. It was an honor to hold you.
I’m proud of you, son. Even though you only made it halfway through the pregnancy, you have left a mark on our family that will last forever. Because of you, I love my wife more than ever. Because of you, I feel a stronger connection with my kids then ever. When I hug them, I feel your presence.
Sadly, I’ll always remember the phone call last week from your mom when she told me that we lost you. I was home with your brother and sister, and I was in shock. Your pregnancy seemed to be the smoothest and most healthy one that your mom had ever had. I did my best to comfort her on the phone, and then we grieved together when you both got home. Our kids didn’t let us cry too much, though, because they kept requesting snacks, more snacks, and more snacks after that.
Usually Friday is a day that I look forward to, but not last Friday. I never shave on Fridays, but this time I did. This was the only day that I would ever hold you…I had to look my best. When we checked into the hospital at 8AM, it was a dark, dreary, and rainy day, just like the feeling in our hearts.
Your mom took medication to start the labor process, and over the next 10 hours, she showed her love and devotion to you as we neared your birth. By the way, your mom is the most incredible and beautiful person I have ever met. I’m so lucky to be with her and call her my wife.
At 8:35PM on Friday, February 28th, you were born. Even though there was no life in your beautiful body, you were full of love, heart, and courage.
ScotlandYour mom held you, and then it was my turn. I felt both happy and devastated to be holding my second son in the palm of my hands. We cried. We told you about your brother and sister. We visualized you running through open fields somewhere, free, happy, and full of life. We sang to you. After singing the final line of “Silent Night” to you… “Sleep in heavenly peace…” we knew that it was time to say goodbye.
You were with us for way too short of a time, but you will be remembered forever. We named you Scotland Bansley Riles, and your mom and I will bring your ashes with us someday when we travel to Scotland. Usually we don’t travel with our kids (they’re a little too crazy), but we want to show you the world.
Our precious Scotty… I miss you more than I’ve ever missed anything. We love you. We will honor you. We will be better parents and people because of you. Thank you.
Riles said that he posted this letter and is speaking about this because he said when people go through a miscarriage they feel they are all alone.