Tuesday, March 08, 2011


It snowed like crazy last night. So naturally I decided to do spring cleaning/organizing today. I went through all the girls clothes and bagged up all the tiny baby girl things I'm not going to need again. There were a few special things I kept, mostly because I'm not ready to get rid of them. The blue and white summer dress that Charlotte wore. The outfit I dressed Lily in the morning she died--pink and green and white. The lamby sweater. The white and yellow gown.
Maybe I'm saving them for my sister's babies, maybe they will remain in the drawer until I pull them out and dress my grandbaby in them while her mom is out. Maybe in a couple years, during another spring cleaning, I will stuff them in the bag along with the too small 2T stuff that today is so fresh and cute and crisp. Hard to say.
It's been a month since Lily died. I hate waking up Sunday morning and immediately counting the weeks. I continue to have a hard time with the fact there are so few good happy memories. However I was reminded in a letter recently that Lily spent 40 weeks inside me that were warm and cozy and quiet, and only 14 or so out in the cold rough world. Four in the NICU with her mother hovering over her most days and the nurse the other. Ten at home sleeping and stretching and taking coconut baths. One week in the PICU. One day in a white dress in the temple. Four nights in bed in between her parents,sedated and bundled.
It wasn't that bad. It just wasn't particularly good.
But--
If she had been born still I would've been devastated. If she had in the delivery room I would've regretted never feeding her. If she had never come home from the NICU we would've said "If only she could have come home, if only she could have spent time with her sisters, if only we could have had her with us." If she had died before the terrible seizures began, we would have wondered if heart surgery was all she needed to go on. And if she had died in the hospital, we wouldn't have had that last quiet night snuggled next to her, and held her in our little family in the light of my bedroom window as she died.
So it was okay. As time goes on I can see the wisdom, I can see the pattern, I can almost, almost see the plan.
Some day it will be better than okay. I can hold on to that.

10 comments:

Team Carter Jay said...

I think that we need those bad memories to tell us that it's ok that our little angels had to leave because we know that they are completely healed now. It's what makes it tolerable. BUT we will always, ALWAYS want more of the good memories because it never EVER feels like it could be enough. Still praying for you and your family. <3

Julie said...

Love and prayers being sent your way. I've really had you on my mind lately. Especially through yet another dreary storm. We all need spring!

Today I was in Desert Book and picked up for you Elder Jeffrey R. Hollands's book "Created For Greater Things." I actually read it today. I am almost positive someone must have already given you this and maybe many people. But I figure you can pass it on to someone else. We can all use a little encouragement and uplift.

Many of the thoughts make me think of you and how you are such an amazing person Erin. You help so many of us as you share you life with us. Hope you know how much you are loved!

Julie

Julie

Tales of a Hockey Wife said...

Thought you might like to read this....I find it so reflective! I read this on a blog one time, and I kept it. You might have seen it....but if not I hope you like this...

Welcome to Holland.

I'm often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability-to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The coliseum. The michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags, and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes on and says, "Welcome to Holland". ??

"Holland?" you say, "what do you mean" Holland"? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy"

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is, they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go and buy a new guide book. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for awhile and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills...Holland has tulips....Holland has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned".

And the pain of what will never, ever, ever, ever go away....because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But....if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you my never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

Enjoy Holland!

Cheers!

We have Angel Wings said...

Erin,

I found this poem after one of my miscarriages and wanted to share it with you. You might have seen or heart it before, but maybe you can find some comfort in it.


"A Pair of Shoes"

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.

Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.

But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much.

Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.

Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

Author unknown

((hugs)) I have been thinking about you a lot lately.

I love you.

♥ T

Nicole said...

*hugs* I have no words, only tears and prayers for you guys... xox

The Jensens said...

I have a friend who when she could no longer have children collected all of the outfits she knew she would miss and made them into a beautiful quilt. I thought it was a fun idea and you can snuggle in it too!

Lacey said...

I think there will always be the what ifs, but truth is she was home most of the time, and cozy with her sisters and mommy and daddy!

Lavonne said...

I am sure she cherished every moment with the ones that love her...she is beautiful.

New follow, I have BT of 1&13
-Lavonne
*Our Wish*

Anonymous said...

Erin, I have followed your story since I saw Lily's obituary. Thank you for sharing. Five years ago on Mar. 3, my daughter gave birth to a precious baby Lily who remained with us for 70 short, wonderful min. As I read you lastest entry on Mar 8, I did a comparison with the short time we had with our Lily. Both grandmas got to hold and love her, her brother got to wrap her in warm blankets and Mom and Dad never let her out of her sight. I believe things unfolded as they should. We still miss and long for her and would give anything to have her here. On her birthday every year my therapy is to take knitted blankets, hats, booties and other tiny baby items to the breavement manager at LDS Hospital where she was born in her memory and out of gratitude for the loving care she and her family were given on that day. Please continue to share with those that can benefit from your experience and your strength. By the way Our baby Lily's middle name is Ava!

Carleton & Robyn said...

Erin, could I get your email address. I wanted to send you a little note. Mine is carlandrob@gmail.com.