My Julian and Preston,
A year ago today, at 3:15, you were born into this world in what can only be described as one of the most painfully beautiful moments of my life. You both were so perfect, so tiny. I can’t even describe to you the amount of shock I felt at seeing you, hearing you, watching you move. When you see ultrasound pictures for so long, it’s hard to picture an actual baby inside your womb.
This morning I woke right before it happened. I had to pee of course, your brother tends to treat me as his personal trampoline. As I lay back down, I turned over determined to think of you but not to cry, and of course that didn’t happen. Your Daddy was woken up and flipped over in fear something was wrong, and I managed to choke out, “It was…” and he said, “Oh poo,” and just held me close. I told him, “I need to cry and then I’ll be ok.”
That was all I needed.
This morning your sister snuggled into bed with me. And Charlie, who is beyond annoying in the mornings with his need to make up for any time not near us. We talked about what I would do today “See Miss Mary (my therapist) and go get a ‘blah’ shot (the one in my rear)”. She laughed. Just wait till she has to get another one. She has been a rock through this, your sister amazes me in her compassion and sensitivity. I am beyond blessed to have her as my daughter.
Tomorrow is really our day for you. For all babies born too early. We’re walking in the March of Dimes in both your memories. I am looking forward to doing something tangible and unique for you.
I miss you both. I miss the years I never had and the memories we never made, but I am so thankful to know I will see you again one day. And in a place where we can always be together without the pain and tears. Today, left here on earth, we will be a family that remembers you both. Cherishes the time we had. Loves the children we are able to raise here while holding you both in our hearts and minds.
It’s hard not to “do” things for you as a parent would, so I continue to write and talk about you both. Refusing to let you be snuffed out in a society uncomfortable with your story. I’m your Mama, whether you run and play here or above. And in being that, my love for you has to somehow be shown.
Thank you for the impact you’ve made on us. On me as a mother and a person, to fully grasp the concept of life and the pain other women endure with this part of motherhood very few want to talk about. This hasn’t been an easy year, but you both made it worth it. In the brief 7 minutes and 2 hours and 25 minutes you lived, you changed all our lives forever. You’ve changed so many more, it’s been a blessing to watch a community unfold from all faiths and walks of life to join together in this. I would have never imagined the incredible love from so many.
We love you. Your sister remembers you both as “2 babies in heaven with Jesus” and your brother will know you too. I carry your footprints on my arms, Daddy carries your memory in his heart. Thank you for giving us a year that we never imagined. We hope you both are peering down and can smile at each other, saying, “How proud we are of how far they’ve come.” We’ve given it our best shot.
Daddy, Mama, Bella, and Baby.