Some significant dates and events have passed and emotions have run up and down.....I am thankful for the hope I feel and the contentment that God has given me. Though this Christmas was filled with love, a missing part was felt as well. There have even been moments I have longed for the missing sleep of those special middle of the night nursing times. I used to love those times with my other kids, in the peaceful silence of night, just me and my baby sharing an experience only ours. Memories of life with a newborn flood my mind.
Hot, happy tears run down my cheeks as I read the status on Dec 19th of a wonderful friend of mine (my doula) who was due the same day as I was:
Wow, what a blessing and life changing event that must have been.....
As Zoe's due date has passed now, I no longer feel like I am still looking forward in anticipation to something that was supposed to happen. Instead it is more the feeling of something being missing. As we opened presents christmas day, Greg and I both found ourselves wondering who would have been holding her......it probably would have been Nana because she can be a bit of a baby hog when it comes to new grandbabies ;o) and how would our morning have looked with her here as well.
Before christmas, I had been on a long search for some type of ornament to represent Zoe that would hang on our big tree this year. We also wanted something special that we could do with the kids to commemorate Zoe's due date. We had a little white christmas tree that we decided we would decorate with the kids, using little pink and silver ornaments.
Just how does one pick an ornament that accurately symbolizes the love for and sacredness of a baby who has died? I am not sure there is such a thing......we searched and searched, finding many options of memorial ornaments but none of them quite fit.
I started to try and think outside the "ornament only" box.....what could we use? We went to the baby section of a few stores with mixed emotions and ended up looking at little socks and shoes hoping to find something. I was starting to think we were going to have to settle for something that was not "perfect." We chose to settle on a set of little tiny newborn socks that I thought we could maybe write her name on. As we turned to walk away I looked over and saw some little shoes that had been hung in the wrong spot. I showed them to Greg and they were cute but not what I had imagined. Then as I hung them back with the others of their kind, I saw at the back of the hook a little white, soft pink and purple pair of shoes with a little butterfly on them. Instantly tears sprang to our eyes and I felt they were as close as I was going to get to what I had been looking for. The butterfly is used symbolically to represent the short lives of miscarried and stillborn babies and how they will always be a beautiful part of the fabric of our lives.
Our search continued for tiny pink ornaments for our little tree. We went to 6 different stores that day. Finally I found some that were the perfect size and color of pink. We headed home to Moose Jaw and mom (who had kept the kids for us while we had some alone time on her due date) met us there with the kids. (Thanks mom!)
After supper we called the kids and Nana to the living room and gathered around the little tree. I had also found little silver cherub ornaments that were on little tiny clothespins.We took turns pinning them to the tree and then we asked the kids what their thoughts and feelings were. They talked about things like how happy Zoe must be in Heaven and how they missed her and how much they had been looking forward to having her here at christmas. We talked about how she was probably worshiping God right then. Then we each took turns praying and thanked God for her. It was another beautiful celebration of her life.
We kept the tree lit everyday throughout the holidays.
My mom wrote a beautiful letter to Zoe and I shut myself in my room, desiring privacy to read it Christmas day. It brings comfort to me to know my mom's heart, to know how much Zoe meant to her, and how much she looked forward to meeting her. I stayed in my room for about an hour while the tears fell....my first breakdown since just before her due date. Zoe was very much a part of our christmas even though she was not physically here. I am grateful that she is in my Heavenly Father's care and is hearing the praises of Angels as they sing. Merry Christmas baby girl, we love you forever and always.
I got this beautiful saying from another website but it had no author listed:
Precious Little One, We had you in our lives such a very short time, but we’ll hold you in our hearts forever. It seemed like only a fleeting moment, but it was long enough to see you, touch you, hold you, love you. It was long enough to know that your life was indeed a gift- no matter how brief, no matter how fragile, Your life was indeed a gift, and we’ll hold you in our hearts forever.