Friday, December 12, 2014

One month

One month...I can't believe it's been a month. Some days it feels like it just happened.

One month...other days it seems like a lifetime ago.

The days that feel like a lifetime hurt the worst. I would think they would hurt less. But on days like this all I can think about is how long it's been since I've held my daughter.

One month...I miss Ted when he takes a nap. The thought of not holding my daughter for a month is absurd to me. 

I miss herI miss her with every single ounce of my being.

This may sound strange to some, but I loved her funeral Mass. It was a celebration. I cried, but I also smiled and I may have even laughed. I sang and I rejoiced. It was the first time in my entire life I know with 100% certainty I did something right. I knew from the moment I received her diagnosis my life would never be the same. I knew it would be the hardest journey I would ever face. I knew I would experience pain and heartache that no one should ever have to endure. But more than all of that, I knew it was going to be worth it. I gave her life, and although it was short, we lived it together, and we lived it to the fullest. At her funeral Mass, I could rejoice because I did something right. I can live the rest of my life knowing with 100% of my being that my daughter is in Heaven. Her entire life on Earth was perfect.

A very good friend was gracious enough to take some pictures at Lily's funeral. She just sent them to me...perfect timing. I really needed some new pictures. Bittersweet as always, but I am so thankful for these pictures.

One month...I don't want to think about the day when there won't be anymore new pictures. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Polar Express

I have the best family in the world.

Truly, they are amazing and I am so tremendously blessed.

My family has given us so much love, prayers and support since we first learned of Lily's diagnosis. Every single one of them sent us a card, a text, or an email. They have spoiled us with donations and gifts. They would send a message or text randomly just to let me know they were thinking about us.

When we went to Iowa this summer, they were there for love on us and to ask about Lily. The very greatest gift they've given us is remembering Lily with us, and loving her just like everyone else in our family.

I really didn't think any of them could top it...

But then they did!!

They all got together and surprised us with an amazing care package!! They sent us gift cards, house cleaning certificate and the best of all...

A trip to the North Pole!!

We traveled to Williams, Arizona to take a ride on the Polar Express.

It was magical.

My sister bought Ted some adorable Christmas jammies. Seriously...I can't even handle his cuteness.

He loved every second of it.

He got to meet Mrs. Claus and write a letter to Santa.

He loved waving to everyone when we were on the train.

He loved dancing to the Christmas carols and eating his cookie.

He was mesmerized by the lights and loved seeing Santa.

He loved to ring his Christmas bell.

It was a moment I will never forget.

But with these sweet, tender memories we make, comes the sorrow and grief of missing Lily...always. As we reached the North Pole, seeing all the lights, the "Believe" song and seeing Ted's face light up, it just hit me like a ton of bricks - through smiles and laughter come so many tears... 

I want my daughter here too.

I feel like this is just the beginning of these bittersweet moments...moments that fill you with so much joy you could burst, and then so much grief you can barely breathe. I spend much of my days smiling, laughing, and then just like that...once again, something happens - or nothing happens, and I am reminded my daughter is not here

I miss her so much.

I know I use this word a lot, but it truly is bittersweet. So sweet that my family would provide such a bitter to think of why.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Perfectly made

I hate the word stillborn. I hate that it means my daughter does not have a birth certificate or even a death certificate. It makes me feel like to some her 42.2 weeks of life were invalid or insignificant.

But what others don't know is this...she wasn't just alive, she was thriving inside of me. 

She was strong. I felt her kicks more than I ever felt Ted. 

She had a strong, steady heartbeat that sounded like music to me. 

Our midwife was in awe of Lily's strength as she liked to show off at our OB visits. She would ask if I've been feeling Lily move at all and Lily would answer for me with a big flip or kick. 

She would often say, "Now that's a strong heartbeat" or "Nothing wrong with that heartbeat at all".

I've mentioned before how bittersweet it was to hear that. Sometimes it felt like a slap in the face. Her heart was perfect and strong, but it wasn't enough...

But she was still perfectly made. Her organs were all perfectly formed. She could swallow and hiccup. She had ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes. She had perfectly kissable, squishy cheeks. Her nose was a perfect button nose.

I miss her. Not because it's the holidays. I miss her because it's been almost a month since I've held her. I miss her because it's Wednesday or Saturday or Tuesday. I miss her because she should be in my arms right now.

I can still remember how she felt in my arms. I can still feel her cheeks on my lips. I can close my eyes and still see her perfect button nose. And I can look at my finger and still see how perfectly her fingers wrapped around mine. 

I pray with all my heart I never lose that. As much as it hurts, it brings me so much joy when I think about how much love and grace filled that room when I held her. All I saw and felt was my daughter, fearfully and wonderfully made...