Tomorrow is our daughter Janie Rose's birthday.
And it also happens to be Mother's Day.
I've been a bit more contemplative lately.
For those of you who don't know, Janie Rose died in my womb 8 years ago when I was almost 7 months pregnant. Nothing like that had ever happened to us before. I was completely shattered. Broken. Brought low.
Today, looking back 8 years, the pain has subsided some.
I heard a song recently. It's by Mercy Me. This phrase describes me perfectly:
Even though a part of me has died
Take this heart and bring it back to life
I'm falling in Your arms open wide......
It's been a really long, really tough road.
When we found out that Jane had died, my doctor gave me the option of having her that day, or he said I could do whatever I wanted. That day, when I had been in the hospital for some hours, my favorite nurse was working and she said that if I came back on Wednesday (this was Monday) I could labor with her and she'd take care of me. That's what I did. I felt very well taken care of. Several of the nurses that I knew came to my room to sit with me and cry with me and just hug me and offer their support. That was priceless to me.
When she was born I got to hold her. Oh, how hard that was. She weighed 1 pound 12 ounces and she was 14 inches long. She was perfect in every way, except her dear little face was crushed from the hard contractions. How sad I was to see my tiny daughter that way! How I sobbed! I lavished kisses on her hands and her fingers and her toes. She smelled just like a newborn! She had dark hair.....I will never forget those few hours. Her face so crushed my heart that I had the nurse swaddle her completely and I held her and sobbed.
The nurses said we could have her for as long as we wanted, and after the initial few moments of checking me over, they left us alone. How do you know when it's time to hand over your baby to be taken away?
After a few hours, we felt that it was time to give her to the kind man who came from the chapel we had chosen.
I will forever remember my husband tenderly taking her in her soft pink blankey with the bright red cherries on it and carrying her down the hall to where the man waited. My husband had to hand over his teensy baby daughter to be buried in the ground. He says he still can't think about it because it does still hurt.
I never, ever wanted to go through an experience like that again. I was certain the Lord would never call on us to repeat that very wrenching trial. I was sure that we had paid our dues, as it were, and done what, in my broken mind, I viewed as penance for some horrible unknown sin.....
So that when I saw Olivia's still body on that ultrasound screen three weeks after discovering her in my womb beside her sister, I whispered
"Please God, not again"
I remember Janie Rose. I will always carry her in my heart and in my mind. The pain and heartache is a part of me now. I love her just as much as I love any one of my earthly children.
And until that day when there are no more tears and no more pain for me......
I'll store her precious name in the locket of my heart.