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.
She didn't.
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.

6 comments:

Shannon said...

Erin- you were and are the best mother that little Lily-pie could have. You cherished every moment. I remember so many times when we were all together you were trying SO hard to introduce Lily to every wonderful thing in the short time she had. I remember you coming over for Dinner around Christmastime- and all of us were in the kitchen- and wondered where you had wandered too. You had taken Lily into the living room and propped her with pillows so she could look up through all the lights on the Christmas tree and you were just laying by her whispering to her and stroking her face. I know that you not only did everything you could- you repeatedly went above and beyond. I am so grateful that you shared your beautiful angels with me. They taught me so much in there short time here. So much love packed into such a tiny life. I love you- Happy Birthday Lils!

Stinky said...

I have no words, other than Happy Birthday lily, and what a beautiful comment above ^^

Allison said...

100% agree with shannon. You were THE BEST. Do not doubt yourself or that Lily knew how much she was loved for one second. I'm sure she is in heaven shaking that beautiful little head every time you let those thoughts and doubts creep in. Don't do it. You may not have had a lot of time to get to know her but she knows YOU, that you absolutely did do your best, and that you were the perfect mother for her. When it's all said and done you will have all the time in the world together. xoxoxoxoxo

Brittani Martin said...

Remember that the Lord loves Lily just as much as you do. He sent her to the right Mom and Dad that he KNEW would do the right things for her and give her the best in a short time. He wouldn't have sent her to just anyone!

thack said...

Ditto to everyone, Bean. Lily was so lucky to have you! And we were all lucky to have Lily. xoxoxo

Alex said...

Oh sweet Lil. She didn't need to be here long, but you made her time here cozy and the best it could be. She's happy playing with her sister, and waiting to see you again.