So, it seems this year is going to contain everything that I DON’T expect.
This January I gained a skill-set that I never wanted: planning the funeral of a child.
The morning of Dec 31, our 7 month old left us. Without apparent reason or need. We muddled through a miscarraige two years before and let me tell you, the loss is the same, but it is also more. The baby we lost two years ago is named Faith to remind us to keep the (Faith). The baby girl A.J. we lost at the start of this new year. I can’t seem to wrap my mind around it.
I discovered I was pregnant by (almost) chance. I have one of those ‘super cool’ systems that allowed ‘business as usual’ to commence for the first half of my pregnancy with A.J.. Christmas eve I decided to take the pregnancy test on a hunch, and was overjoyed with the result. I was pregnant! The family my husband and I want got tangible. We celebrate Faith as our first child and we love her still. This was going to be the first baby we got to hold in our arms. ‘Overjoyed’ falls far short.
As I said, my ‘system’ is odd. Instead of a due date in September A.J. was due in May.
If ever there were fairy-tales A.J. shattered them. EVERYTHING with her was perfect. I was blessed to have a home birth. It started with just an awareness of the stuff ‘down there’. I went for a walk with my husband. I sat down. I told him to call the Midwife – the show was on the road. A mere hour and fifty minutes (yes, 1:50) later A.J. was born healthy and perfect. There are no words to describe the awesomeness of holding a baby in your arms for the first time. Ecstatic, amazed, bewildered, overjoyed, ‘cloud 9’, flying, all fall short of the first moments. I cried with joy.
As early as two months A.J. was able to stand on her own. Not just stand, but stand on our hands and balance. It was SO cute! She loved the ‘freedom’ of her exer-saucer. A.J. was fascinated by the wind blowing through the trees outside. The little girl both watched her dad and got giddy when he came home. She learned that dad’s toiletry kit was important, and was even able to distinguish toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss – and then proceeded to try to use them. A.J. would fall asleep while in her cloth carrier and close to mom’s heart.
She reveled in just living, and challenged us to do the same.
Anne was a perfect attendee at a conference we attend yearly and even won an award for ‘youngest attendee’. Was so soothed by a trip to the beach she fell asleep to the sound of the waves – a girl after her mothers heart. Anne and we, her parents, got to experience some of the greatest firsts together, a friend’s second birthday, first ‘big girl’ food (sweet potatoes), road trip (Las Vegas, then San Diego), fingers petting a cat, rain, pumpkin patch, snow, Halloween, Thanksgiving, phone call to grandma, Christmas. All amazing and cherished. All far too few.
The morning of Dec 31 my husband, as per usual, checked on us – his wife and little girl. That was when, though still pink and warm, he realized that our daughter was no longer breathing. It must have been within seconds. He shook me awake and immediately started CPR. All of the classes and practice we have both taken in the rescue effort didn’t seem to matter.
We live in a small town and the closest paramedic is just a couple doors away from us – she was the first on scene within minutes.
Our little, sweet baby left this world in our hands.
I have so much more that I want/need to pour-out…. just can’t seem to make my fingers work at this moment…..
Anne Julia Grace W., was and is the most amazing person I have ever met! It breaks my heart that I can not hold her. …. can’t type more now for lack of vision for proof-reading…. ….. bear with me…….