Tuesday, November 29, 2016
It's been over a year since I've posted, and a very busy year at that. On February 4, God decided that our family needed another baby. I've always felt in my heart that I wanted another child, but I never knew if it was because I knew I had 3 children, but only had 2 here on Earth. And if that would be the case, then I would never catch up. I would always feel one child short. I just couldn't distinguish the difference in wanting to have another baby and feeling emptiness from Avery Kate's death. Brandon and I decided to leave it in God's hands. I was terrified! I swear the moment we decided to leave it up to God, he took over and I was pregnant. It took me a few months to comprehend that we would have another baby, and once again I was scared. I knew what it was like to raise a baby following the death of another child, and it was rough! I didn't think my heart could handle that again. And for all of you who remember my pregnancies...this one was no different. Vomiting every day, all day. Multiple hospital visits (along with some friendly home visits) to receive IV fluids. It was just as terrible as the other three, yet I still felt so incredibly lucky and blessed to have another child growing inside of me.
Evie Elizabeth Soileau was born almost four weeks early on September 21, 2016. She weighed 6lbs 8oz and was absolutely perfect. Evie is the perfect blend of all three of her sisters. At different moments of each day, she will look exactly like Hallie, then she will fall asleep and look like Aubrey, and then when her hair gets crazy and fluffy, she looks just like Avery Kate.
Hallie asked me if Avery Kate had picked out a sister for them and sent her to Earth. Absolutely! I couldn't think of any other way to explain it. And the funny thing is, now that Evie is here, I feel like our family is complete. I guess God really did know what He was doing after all. I'm still a nervous wreck and completely over protective of her, but I know in my heart that she is here to stay. And in a way, I feel like I have a piece of Avery Kate back with me. We have her hooked up to the apnea monitor from the hospital which is definitely a blessing and a curse. I can sleep at ease knowing that it will alert me if she stops breathing or if her heart rate becomes too high or too low. On the other hand, it also has many false alarms. The first night that it went off, I fainted. Yep, I jumped up out of a dead sleep, obviously too quickly, and the combination of the loud beeping from the machine and my completely still baby was just too much for me to handle. So down I went. Thinking back on that night makes me giggle, although it wasn't very funny at the time. I even chipped the paint on the wall in our bedroom; I've always had a heard head. There are less false alarms now that I've found the "magic spot" on her belly to put the leads. And you know, even though I know in my heart that Evie is here to stay, I still worry like crazy. But then I think back to that bible verse, "For we walk by faith, not by sight." I take a deep breath, and let it go because it's out of my hands.
Today was the day that I've dreaded since Evie was born. Today, she is the same age that Avery Kate was when she died. To add to my anxiety, a friend here in town lost her baby in the 39th week of her pregnancy. I went to the funeral home last night, and her baby was there lying in the same place that we had Avery Kate five years ago. The memories flooded my brain. Everywhere I looked, I was reminded of that dreadful day where I was able to see my baby's body for the last time, tuck her in, and say goodbye forever. Her baby was so perfect and it's just heart wrenching to see another mom experiencing so much pain, a pain that I know all too well.
Needless to say, I was extremely tenderhearted this morning. I've watched Evie like a hawk since we woke up. I had a nice long walk with another friend who also has a sweet angel baby in Heaven. Seriously? Why are there so many mommas of angel babies? It just doesn't seem fair. Anyways, it was great therapy for the both of us, since she also visited the funeral home last night and was flooded with her own memories of her awful day there as well. After our walk, I just came home and held my sweet Evie girl. I swear I've been squeezing her and kissing her face since her 6AM feeding! I look at her and I feel many different emotions. I'm so thankful that God chose me to be her mommy. I'm so thankful to have each and every second with her. And then, I'm afraid. I'm afraid that in an instant, my heart will be ripped from my chest once again. I look back to where I was five years ago, and I've come so far. Then when all those memories are flashed back at me, I feel like I take a step back in my grief journey. I'm OK, it just reminds me of those days when I thought my life was perfect and the days when I was oblivious that my worst fears could ever be a reality. It's been five years since I've had those feelings, but I must say, since Evie was born, I've felt the closest to my former self. I still have that vacant space in my heart and in my arms, and I know I am changed forever, but I'm becoming a little more OK with our new "normal."