Pardon my for reminiscing...this is also my journal
About 18 weeks ago, we received the unsettling news that not all was right with my SIL's pregnancy.
Terms like spina bifida, holes in the heart, frequent ultrasounds, and high risk pregnancy were used.
I hoped that the doctors were being ultra-cautious.
When they wanted you to be delivered early, we discussed the fact that all SIL's babies come at 42 weeks, sometimes 43, but NEVER 36 weeks...of course you were measuring small!
Then finally a date was decided upon and you entered the world ...unwillingly -all four pounds of you.
At first they tell me you didn't want to breathe, but then you did.
They gave you a long name...four names if you count your last name....one for each pound?
You had surgery in those first days to close your spine.
You amazed everyone by passing the "car-seat test".
At one week old, you were allowed to come home-- before Christmas, your mom missed the celebrations though...
She stayed home with you most of the time, feeding you every 2-3 hours,
Learning how to feed with an NG tube...another learning curve
We needed to hold you on a pillow so that you could breathe.
Your siblings gathered round and held you and loved you, sneezed on you and coughed...but you didn't catch those viruses.
For awhile we dared to hope that you would beat the odds and be one of those Trisomy 18 babies that lived a year or more...
Then you started having times of apnea....
Sleep was difficult for mom and dad.
Then one Saturday morning when you were almost seven weeks old, your daddy called and said "Amy went to be with Jesus"
We gathered and wept...
I can't imagine how hard the grief for parents and families who didn't have the warning we had.
Your daddy made the coffin, no plain wooden box for his little girl, it was fine work.
Your big sister made a little white dress for you.
Plans were made for the visitation and the funeral....God also planned a snow storm and an ice storm in the same week.
Your visitation was planned for Tuesday and your funeral for Wednesday afternoon...we had a snowstorm on Monday and an ice storm on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
When we arrived at the church for the funeral the trees were crying chunks of ice.
As far as I know, everyone was safe on the roads.
You rest in the same graveyard as your great-grandparents, but as we told the children, you aren't there, you are with Jesus.
Your little brother asks about you, as does your cousin Shekinah. As the 11th child, you have lots of people missing you. We don't understand why God planned all this, but we will go on.
I will try to remember the lessons I learned....the love we saw poured out on your family....the people that came laden with food for the freezer or the next meal, the school lunches that were provided, the diaper rash ointment that was brought, the list would go on. I need to remember to do the same if I have the chance.