Last Monday, Aubrey was 9 weeks and 6 days old; the same age that Avery Kate was the day we held her in our arms for the last time. I had so much anxiety during the days leading up to that day. Sunday night we were driving on the interstate (sleep apnea monitor all hooked up on her) and Aubrey's machine went off. It showed that her breathing was either weak or non-existent. Really? This is the last thing we need! Luckily I was driving and Brandon jumped back there to check on her. She was fine of course, but again....really? Tonight? Once we were all sleeping Sunday night, guess what happened again? Yep! That darn monitor started going off again! I think it went off two or three times that night, and let me tell you, it takes a while to recover from that kind of wake up call. Aubrey was just fine every time the machine went off, but boy did my heart race! The machine makes a noise like no other. It's loud and high pitched, and frankly one that I will never forget as long as I live. Of all the times for that machine to start going off, it chooses now. My heart had a hard time recovering from that long night. Of course Monday I watched the clock and as it hit 11:19, I thought, "Aubrey is now one minute older than Avery Kate ever was." I just kept looking at her all day, looking deep into her beautiful blue eyes and thinking how I could not imagine losing her. It's something that I don't really have to imagine every day, but something that I remember feeling when I lost Avery Kate. And now somehow, all that pain came back to me on Monday. I was so scared that I would lose Aubrey, so scared that all this happiness would be taken from me, but of course I made it through the day. I have never held a baby so tightly or stared so long as I did on Monday. When I closed my eyes to go to sleep that night, I thanked God for Aubrey. She is truly a miracle and a blessing from above. God sent her to me to help me through hard times, make the good times better, and to know that nothing in life should be taken for granted. I feel so lucky and blessed!
During the past week, I couldn't help but feel like Avery Kate had missed out on so much. I've now had Aubrey for one week longer than I had Avery Kate. One week makes a big difference in the life of a baby. In that one week Aubrey was able to meet her new baby cousin, something that Avery Kate was never able to do. With every day that passes I think about what we would have been doing with Avery Kate. I had such big plans for her, and it makes me nervous to plan for Aubrey. I bought her Christmas dress and immediately imagined Avery Kate's Christmas dress hanging in her closet, a dress she was never able to wear. I just pray every night that God will let Aubrey stay here with us and she will be able to do all the wonderful things that I have planned for her. I guess I will have to let my faith take over, because only God knows what lies ahead for us.
So I didn't make Christmas cards this year. I don't know if it was a time issue or the fact that I really wanted my entire family together in front of the Christmas tree this year. Maybe it's a little of both. I just want all my babies together and it will never happen. I want to put my arms out and have a big girlie group hug with my three daughters. Again, it will never happen. I sometimes dream about what it might be like, and it's the best feeling in the world. But those are just dreams, not reality. I'll get passed this, but these issues are still very fresh.
Hallie has been talking about Avery Kate a lot lately too. While I was feeding Aubrey the other night, Hallie sat next to me and said she needed a bottle too. She said that I could feed Aubrey and she could feed Avery Kate. Before I could respond to her, she said, "Mom, that would be soooo special right?" Of course the only response I could give was, "Of course! That would be so special." Hallie is one special little girl let me tell you. She even made Brandon drive by the graveyard the other day to check on Avery Kate's Christmas tree. She is always thinking about her little sister and still wants to take care of her. I love that about her! When I pierced Aubrey's ears last week, Hallie immediately started to call her "A-Kate." I wonder if the earrings just made her believe that Avery Kate was back? She could have just been being silly too, but it really hurt my heart to hear her calling her that.
I am taking each day at a time now and thanking God for allowing Aubrey to be here with me. I know Avery Kate was sent to our family to be our Guardian Angel, and I think she is doing a pretty good job. I feel her with me when I get to my lowest points and I know she will continue to help me through each and every day.
I dressed Aubrey in Hallie and Avery Kate's little dress this morning. My plan is to frame all three of their pictures in my hallway. My Maw Maw and Paw Paw have their three girls in the same dress framed in their hallway and I have always loved looking at those pictures. I knew the day that I found out Aubrey was a girl that I would do the same thing. Here is a sneak peak at their sweet pictures. They each have a little piece of each other which I think is pretty awesome. Hallie was 4 weeks old, Avery Kate was 8 weeks old, and Aubrey was 11 weeks old in the picture. I love making pictures like this but I know deep down that it's only a matter of time when Aubrey outgrows everything that Avery Kate wore. It makes me so sad! But let's live in the present and enjoy all these little moments right?
I begin my home study for my new job tomorrow so I won't have much time to write. I am so excited to start this new chapter of my life, well I have to admit I'm a little nervous too. But bring on the new career...I'm ready! Merry Christmas :)