Nine months ago, today, you were born.
That means it’s been eighteen months since you first came into my life, and into my womb.
I had so many dreams and goals for you. There was so much I wanted to show you and share with you. We should have had the whole world to experience together, and yet that never happened. I was never ever able to show you anything except the inside of the PICU.
I could never carry you outside the walls of the hospital, so now I carry you places in my heart.
This past week I carried you to the beach in Kenting. Do you remember the last time I was there? We were there. Together. The last time I was in Kenting was on my babymoon, almost exactly a year ago.
I remember feeling quite pregnant with you at that time. Little did I know that I would still have almost ten weeks more to go before you decided you were ready to come out.
When we decided to go back to Kenting last week, my first thought was of you. It made me so sad that we were returning without you, when the last time we had been there was to celebrate you.
It was just another reminder of the emptiness that I have in my arms and in my heart and in my life.
Still, it was a trip I needed to make in order to conquer that source of grief. I’ve found in my grief journey that if I shrink back from the things that make me sad then they just grow bigger and scarier and harder to overcome in the end. I knew that if I didn’t go back to Kenting now, then I would never want to go back and I would forever claim it as “the place where we had the babymoon of our daughter who is now dead.”
The trip was short (less than 48 hours) but it was just what I needed to heal that piece of my memory. We took your foster brother Champ, which was great, and a part of the healing process. God uses him almost every day to help me heal, and although he isn’t our forever son, he is the baby we have now that can allow us to do the things we always wanted to do with you.
I got to take him to his first trip to the beach. I got to dip his toes in the cold ocean water. I got to hold him while he slept with the warm sea air blowing across his face. All those things that I had wanted to do with you, I got to do with him.
But he is not you…
…and we did not forget you.
You were there with us. You were there in the multiple Superman shirts and necklaces that I saw. You were there in your name written in the sand, and you were there in my heart.
So here’s to the many more adventures that I can share with you. Here’s to the experiences that I am learning not to shy away from, but embrace, knowing that I carry you with me.
Here’s to you always being my little girl.