It's hard to believe that 9 years ago I was bravely proceeding through so much newness and pain. The day before I had learned that Faith did not have a heart beat and that we would begin inducing her delivery the next day. So there I was, in the hospital, filling out loads of papers, explaining over and over that the baby would be still born, arranging my recovery to be in the medical wing rather than in maternity so I wouldn't have to hear everyone else' s babies crying. All in all, I was well cared for. When the anesthesiologist came to give me an epidural he said he intended to make me as comfortable as possible, unfortunately the medication only worked on one side and one sided labor is just as bad as the full shebang! You can imagine his disappointment as he came back and had to fix things. He gave me plenty of medication after that; I couldn't feel my legs for quite some time. Then there was the nurse who didn't realize my situation. When I expressed my fear of her drawing blood she told me to be brave, that it would all be over in a little bit and soon I'd be a mommy. She ran back into the room several minutes later and embraced me and apologized for her mistake.
Andrew and my mom were with me through the whole thing, and my dad, Andrew's mom, and my brother waited all day long in the lobby of the hospital. Sadly, when it was all said and done I was almost too scared to let them come in the room, thankfully my mom helped me refocus and everyone had a chance to come in. My grandparents wanted to be there but it was too late at night, they came up first thing in the morning to visit us. It was so hard to leave the hospital with empty arms and such an empty feeling inside me where she had been for more than 9 months. It's true what they say about women who've lost babies experiencing empty arms syndrome, it is a real and painful feeling, a longing and ache. I clutched pillows and blankets and teddy bears, and eventually it subsided. It really helped me that so many people were willing to talk about Faith and our experience. I'm sure it was painful for our friends, too, but they were so open and loving. They even brought us meals and helped me with cleaning the house and other mundane things that seemed too normal for the grief I was experiencing. Their approach really helped in the healing process, it helped me regain my footing in life. Relatives and friends sent flowers and gifts, made blankets, quilts, and even purchased a star in memory of Faith. I was also blessed to meet up with a newly formed group for women who'd lost babies and walking with others who'd been down the same road was very helpful.
Just a few months after I delivered Faith I had to muster all my strength and attend the baby shower of a friend. By the end I was sad and tired. A friend ran after me as I was leaving and said she had something for me. She had made an angel night light as a gift for the new baby and had made one in memory of Faith as well. I was astounded that someone had been so thoughtful.
I look forward to entering heaven one day and, after praising and thanking my Savior, embracing my daughter and seeing her in her perfect body, healed and healthy. I don't think there will be any words, just emotions and connection and joy. At least that's how I imagine it. I remember worrying if I would forget Faith, or stop loving her as much when I had other children to care for. Nothing could be further from that. I appreciate my tears for her, 9 years later, as evidence of never ending love.
I'm so grateful that I walked though the healing process in a very healthy way. I feel like I learned as much as I could and I grew as much as I could. Looking back at myself as just 23 years old at the time, I am so proud.
Your beautiful, fragrant rose has bloomed again, reminding me that you are fully in your glory now, too. I can't wait to see you again, baby girl, you have my heart. I look forward to meeting you in your heavenly body and just being close to you again. Through you, your brother and sisters have an appreciation and greater understanding of heaven and death and the fact that earth is not our forever place. They know they will meet you one day. Because of you I was able to experience complete dependence on God and trust of his plan. I got to see how well he would care for me and over and over you have been a bridge that has allowed me to tell people about God's love. Happy Birthday. Love, Momma