As I start typing this, it is still technically October 15, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness and Rememberance Day. As I sat in a prayer service tonight and watched my daughters name appear on a screen during a slideshow of names, I thought about what I remember. I do this often, so I wont forget anything. There are some things I wish I could wipe from my mind forever, but so so so many things I never want to forget.
It has been six weeks now since Shyla was taken from my womb and certain memories feel like they are already fading. So tonight, I just want to think about what I remember.
* I remember taking a pregnancy test last March and just knowing it would be negative...but surprise! Two little pink lines!
* I remember taking a 2nd test because there is just no way the first one is right...but there it was again! Those two precious pink lines.
* I remember the feeling in my stomach when I showed my husband those positive tests and the happy tears that followed.
* I remember trying to keep it a secret from my co-workers, making excuses to why I shouldn't lift that heavy box, or eat that lunch meat and sneaking out to my van to call and make the first Dr. appointment.
* I remember finding the t-shirt that my 2 year old would wear to make the happy announcement.
* I remember each persons reaction to that shirt after it finally sunk in. Hilarious!
* I remember how sick water made me.
* I remember the relief I felt when I finally pasted the first trimester. I thought I was in the clear and there would be smooth sailing from here on.
* I remember combing through baby names books and keeping lists of names I liked everywhere.
* I remember Ethan rubbing my belly and asking about "baby".
* I remember going to Oklahoma and standing under the survivor tree rubbing my growing tummy and thinking about the little one inside. It was so peaceful there. So odd that a place that was once torn apart with devastation could ever bring such peace and beauty. I really thought about the term "beauty from ashes" in this place.
* I remember feeling her move so gently that I almost didn't recognize it. It was like a quite ballet being danced inside. Such soft motions made me think this just had to be a girl.
* I remember going to all of my doctors visits with a lump in my throat. This pregnancy was just so different from the last.
* I remember how when Ethan would climb up into my lap she would push on him. It was like she knew it was her brother. I knew I could expect sibling rivalry, but already?
* I remember taking Ethan with us to the Doctor for the gender seeking ultrasound. He was getting impatient so we gave him a sheet of stickers...he was covered before we left that office.
* I remember my husband's face when the Doctor said the baby is a girl. He was so proud. He is such a great dad to Ethan and now was going to get to have a Daddy's Girl.
* I remember deciding her name would be Shyla...but keeping it a secret.
* I remember just sitting and rubbing my belly. All the time.
* I remember the swelling. It started in early August and before the month was half over, I had cankles and could wear only flip flops.
* I remember starting to get concerned, her little movement had stopped...what if...something is wrong?
* I remember telling myself it was in my head. She had to have moved and I just missed it.
* I remember the 30 minute drive to the hospital to get checked out.
* I remember the three nurses buzzing around trying to find a heartbeat with a doppler. There it is!...No, thats mine...
* I remember the doctor entering the room, asking for the blinds to be shut and touching the ultrasound to my belly...there is no red and blue pulsing...but maybe it was just my eyes...
* I remember hearing, "I'm sorry, but there is no..."
* I remember crying.
* I remember so much being said, but no explanation.
* I remember making all those phone calls.
* I remember prayers. LOTS of prayers.
* I remember not sleeping that night.
* I remember meeting my pastor in the parking lot of my Doctor's office the next morning to pray with us.
* I remember picking out a preemie outfit for her. A white with pink polka dots sleeper that had, "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" Embroidered on it.
* I remember actually sleeping that night.
* I remember the ride to the hospital the day she was to be born and hearing Third Day's Tunnel on the radio.
* I remember the peace that passes all understanding surrounding my husband and I as we waiting to be taken into the operating room.
* I remember the surgery, everything about it.
* I remember how eerily quiet it was.
* I remember the Doctor telling me when she had been taken from me, 1:26 pm.
* I remember seeing my husband hold her.
* I remember seeing her for the first time. She was so tiny. 1 pound 11 ounces and 13.5 inches long.
* I remember holding her.
* I remember hearing all the stories from women that had lost their babies. We WILL hold our babies again!
* I remember saying goodbye to her.
* I remember planning her celebration and trying to find the right songs, and being ministered to so much my two in particular. The two we played.
* I remember God's comfort during the hardest times.
* I remember the kindness of strangers.
* I remember going to church the morning of Shyla's celebration and singing my heart out.
* I remember so many prayers that day.
* I remember carrying her casket across the cemetary for the service.
* I remember the beautiful balloon release. 28 balloons. One for each week I was blessed to carry in my womb.
* I remember my son saying, "Bye Bye Shyla! See you later!" as those balloons drifted up and away.
* I remember seeing so many people who love my family and I at her service.
* I remember so so so so much about her, even though her time here was so short.
* I remember feeling so blessed to have a healthy son.
* I remember telling God I was ok if I never knew the medical cause as to why she is gong. I know there are going to be spiritual blessings from her short life.
* I remember asking that in leui of flowers, donations be made to the Pregnancy HELP Center in our area.
* I remember the day that we took a lot of these donations to the center.
I know in the big picture of things, these are not a lot of memories, but you see, I am not done making memories of my daughter and ways she has affected my life and the lives of others. I know this is still just the beginning of things that I will be remembering on October 15ths to come.
Today I put on my pink shirt and proudly placed my pink and blue ribbon with a gold footprints pin on my shirt. This is my day to brag about my daughter. She is beautiful and she is in Heaven right now crawling around the Throne of my Abba Father. I know He will take good care of her (and me) while we are apart. But we will be together again someday. I am so homesick when I think about that. Getting to Heaven and having Jesus place my baby back in my arms! I am glad we have October 15th to remember, but I am also so excited to know that there is so much more to look forward to!