Sunday, October 23, 2011
Happy Birthday Lily
Last Monday, on the 17th, we celebrated Lily's birthday. We were in Disneyland. It was a good place to be on her birthday. Last year when Lily was born, we weren't even sure we would pursue "heroic measures" to keep her alive. We were hoping we wouldn't have to. Charlotte was born to a room of people who didn't expect her to breath, let alone live, so she had to take the reins and prove she could make it. We hoped Lily would do the same.
Within minutes she was laying in my arms struggling to breath, grunting and turning blue. Her blood sugar was tested and it was very low. The nurses looked at us and we nodded and she was whisked to the NICU. So fast. Was that the right thing to do? Should we have just said goodbye minutes after saying hello? The room was bright and everyone looked terrified. It was not a wonderful day. Later I visited her and held her and it was good and quiet and she was pink and lovely, and then I returned to my room and fell into a drugged fitful itchy sleep. It was hard.
Lily's life was touch and go from the beginning. We kept hoping and praying, we gave her every chance, every opportunity to decide to stay. A long NICU stay, a g-tube, serious talk about heart surgery. But it wasn't meant to be. She was an uncomfortable visitor here, she knew she didn't belong here. I guess we knew it too, even if we fought it. We knew she wouldn't stay for long, but a few years? Why not? I don't know if I made the most of the time she had here. I don't know how I could have done better. I do wish I had held her more, and slept with her more, and hadn't kept waiting for her to get healthier. I cling to memories of those morning coconut oil baths and the quiet days the other girls were out of the house and it was just us. Why didn't I just sit with you more? Why didn't I just stop?
Oh Lily. We will get to know you later. Or perhaps we will know you, all of you, your smile and your quirks and your likes and dislikes, from the moment we meet, and wonder how we ever forgot. But right now all we can do is send you a pink Mickey balloon, sing a birthday song with dear friends and wonder, honestly, why you had to come and go. We won't really understand for a long while yet, but I have faith that it will all make sense eventually. I hope you will know I did my best, all I could do at the time.
Happy Birthday Lily. I miss every part of you and grieve for all I didn't get a chance to know.