As Aubrey's birth gets closer, I start to get really nervous. I've been contracting for over a month now and I'm just in a lot of pain. My doctor has asked me to stay home, but I really don't want to. I finally agreed last week and you know what? He sure did know what he was talking about! I have felt so much better! I haven't necessarily been resting, but it's been really good for my mental health. I was able to finish Avery Kate's baby book. I had the pictures printed out to go in there and I tried my best to fill everything out. It was just hard to stretch the "first year memories" section. I had to write that her vacations were to Lafayette and New Iberia. It was really hard to leave those lines blank where I was supposed to put the date of her first tooth, when she crawled, when she walked, her first word, etc. It's just not fair. I wanted to experience those moments with her. Those lines will be blank forever. It's just not the way the world is supposed to turn. I was also able to move some things around that I simply left like they were since November 9. I still had Avery Kate's pacifier on the table next to my bed. I didn't want Aubrey's to get mixed up with that one and I didn't want to see it and get sad once Aubrey was here. I put it in Avery Kate's shadow box and I feel good knowing it's there. I just couldn't throw it away. I just feel like being home allowed me to tie up some loose ends that needed to be done on my own time and when I was by myself. This has truly been the perfect opportunity for that. I'm so thankful to be given this time to mentally prepare myself for my sweet baby Aubrey.
I went to the graveyard the other day with Hallie. When we pulled up she asked me why we were going there. I told her, "I just want to check on Avery Kate real quick ok?" "But Mom, she's not there. OK? So you can't check on her," she responded back to me. What an eye opener! She's absolutely right! She's not there. It's just her shell. Wow, it took a three year old to explain that to me. "I'm just going to check on her grave then. OK, Hallie?" I told her. She was fine with that. Well of course I got a little teary eyed and when I got back into the car I grabbed a tissue and blew my nose. "Why you crying?" Hallie asked. "Oh, I'm not crying, Hallie," I told her. "Then why you blowing your nose?" She asked. "I just have a sniffle. I'm OK," I said. "Well, Mom, Avery Kate is in Heaven and you can't cry for her. We are about to have a new baby sister here and she wants you to be happy. Avery Kate told me that Aubrey doesn't want to go to Heaven with her and Paw Paw. She wants to stay here with us!" My jaw dropped. "Well that's wonderful, Hallie. I sure hope you're right sweet girl!" I said. And I sure hope she is. Although, I feel in my heart that it will all be OK this time.
Some friends of ours also had babies around the same time Avery Kate was born and of course it was time for their first birthday parties. At first I wasn't too sure I would be able to make it to their birthday parties. I just thought it would be too hard. When it came to be time to go though, I was actually alright. So Brandon, Hallie, and I went to the first party on Saturday. It was great and made me smile to see such a happy celebration. Now the birthday party on Sunday was a different story. I often look at this girl as a way to watch Avery Kate grow up. I look at her milestone pictures on facebook and I feel like I will always watch my baby grow up through her. Brandon had a headache so Hallie and I went to the party. It was super cute! They even had a petting zoo and Hallie had a blast. I was totally fine up until we sang "Happy Birthday." The little girl was adorable with her little bow and I just pictured Avery Kate looking the same way. I started to tear up, but quickly swallowed the lump in my throat and shook it off. Right after we sang, Hallie had to go potty. I brought her to the bathroom and right when I closed the door she said, "It smells like Avery Kate in here." I asked her, "What smells like Avery Kate?" She said, "This bathroom." Now let me assure you that this was a hunting themed bathroom with no baby stuff anywhere to remind Hallie of her sister. Not only that but even though this little girl makes me think of Avery Kate, Hallie has no clue of that. Why would she say that out of the blue? So of course it made me just smile and I said, "Maybe Avery Kate is here with us Hallie!" She quickly responded, "Mom!! She's not here. That's so silly!" Of course she made me laugh, but I was still comforted by the fact that she smelled her. I believe Avery Kate was there. I also believe that children know far more about God and Heaven than we do. Sometimes I wish I had that special "power" like Hallie has. She's so smart and I feel so lucky and blessed to have her in my life. She keeps me grounded when I need it the most. It does make me wonder though....what else am I missing that she sees?
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
~ Mark 10:14
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Monday, September 3, 2012
The day that I'd been dreading for the past few months finally was here. I had anxiety about it all week and was just so nervous about the way I would feel. A part of me was mad at God for not allowing Avery Kate to be here with her family on her special day. Another part of me was depressed because I wanted to be having a big birthday party for Avery Kate with a special cake and a cute little outfit. And then a small, very small, part of me was happy for her because I knew she'd have the best birthday anyone could ask for. She got to celebrate with Jesus. It was her Golden Birthday (Turning 1 on the 1st) and I bet it sure was golden up there. But again, I'm human and wanted my baby with me on her birthday, so only a tiny part of me could feel comfort by thinking about that. Although it did bring a little smile to my face and to my heart imagining what she was doing up there. I just kept imagining her little face digging into her birthday cake; gosh I miss her so much!
I let Hallie pick out a special balloon to bring to Avery Kate's grave. She also wrote a little note that we tied to another balloon. She was going to send her birthday note to Avery Kate in Heaven, but she had a break down and couldn't let go of the balloon, so it's still in our car. The thought was there though! We also got Cypi's cupcakes. Hallie ate an entire strawberry cupcake (a Cypi's cupcake is equivalent to almost 2.5 normal cupcakes) on her first birthday. I just had to eat one for Avery Kate's birthday. It just brought tears to my eyes and caused a big lump in my throat the whole time I ate it. It should have been Avery Kate chowing down on this cupcake, not me. It just made me realize what she was missing. I'm not even sure if those are the right words, because she's the lucky one! She is in the happiest place imaginable. But as a mother, I feel like she'll never have a birthday party, a Christmas morning with her family, a family vacation, etc. I could go on forever with my list of she'll never..... I guess it might be me who feels like I am really the one missing out on something though. I want to celebrate with her and do all of these things with her. So in the reality of all of this, Avery Kate is more than OK, and as a mother, that's really what I want for her. One day I'll be OK about this too, just not now. I don't think that any mother should have to go to a grave yard to bring her child a birthday balloon. It still doesn't make sense to me sometimes, and it might not ever make complete sense to me. That's just the place that I allow my faith to fill in the gaps. That's what will keep me going.
We had a very special birthday dinner with our family and closest friends. It was so amazing to feel a room full of such love and support. These people, along with many, many others are the reason that we have made it through each day. There is absolutely no way we could have done this alone. Brandon, Hallie, and I are so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives. It gave me goosebumps to walk into a room full of people who were there to celebrate the life of Avery Kate. To me, it meant that she has touched their lives in some way and she is still remembered. It truly was an amazing feeling.
When we left the restaurant, we all went to Avery Kate's grave. We lit sky lanterns and sang "Happy Birthday" to our sweet angel as the lanterns drifted off into the sky. It was just breath taking and everything I imagined it would be. We all held hands and said a special prayer. Honestly, the experience I had that night is just indescribable. It was a celebration of a sweet angel's life, not a sad, depressing night.
I miss "my little fluffy head" every single moment of every single day. I realize that this birthday was only the beginning. Brandon and I were talking about how we will be remembering Avery Kate on this day for the next 80 years, God willing. She will never be forgotten. We are all so lucky to have known her. We were truly blessed to have an angel living amongst us for ten weeks last year. Now, I feel that we are blessed to have her watching over us and protecting us every day.
Happy Birthday to my sweet girl! I love you and miss you with every piece of my heart.
Here is the Happy Birthday Song video:
Here is a link to the full video of the sky lantern send off: