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