Sunday night Stephen was preparing to go on a business trip to Houston, TX and Jesstine and I were getting ready to go see our Tulsa family. We went to bed that night and I don't know if it was just the anticipation of the trip or what it was. I could NOT fall asleep. It hit me all of the sudden like it often does....I REALLY miss Babe B. This Saturday would be her 2nd birthday. Looking at Jesstine and how fast she is growing sometimes makes me ache that much more for my first little girl! I miss her so much. What do you do for the birthday of a baby like Babe B.? I would like to remember her in some way and commemorate her. I have to say though, I am not really all that fond of that day. It was perhaps the worst day of my life! I know that sounds extreme, but if you have been through it you know exactly what I mean. Last year, I was pregnant with Jesstine and had purposely blocked it out of my mind due to the emotional and physical struggles I had while I was pregnant. This year, I don't have that excuse. I listen to other parents (or read) who do special things for their deceased children on their birthdays. I just don't feel as though it is a day to celebrate. Besides, my child was born straight into heaven! She is too GOOD for an earthly birthday party right?
Anyhow, as I was lying in bed awake, I sobbed. It was hard to do and not wake my hubby up. I started to pour my heart into a blog entry that I thought I would post. It seemed like it was a bunch of randomness that was spilled out in the heat of the moment. Needless to say, it didn't feel right posting it and making people feel sorry for me. I am not really that kind of person. I still wonder though, what am I supposed to think or do about this day each year? For me it isn't a reminder of the typical joy that the birth of a child brings. It had its joyful moments. There is nothing like the first moment when you finally see this little being that has been growing and moving inside of you for what seemed like forever. But at the same time, the day is tainted with so much sorrow. Sorrow that is beyond what words can describe!!! I hate how my daughter can't be remembered in a more joyful manner as most children are. I know, I know. She is not, nor will she ever be "most children." She got to go straight to heaven and was perfect without even trying right???? It still is painful. Of the few memories I have of my little girl, the happy ones are SO outnumbered by the sad and sorrowful moments. I don't have a "pretty" picture of my little girl. I have some that will pass. I don't have even a beautiful picture in my mind of my little girl! (Unless you count the pictures that I see when I think of the lyrics to the song that was put to her picture slide show that was intended to be shown at her memorial service.) I have to make those up. So much sorrow surrounds that day. I know I will make it through that day each year. I just wish that I could celebrate the little bit of life I did experience with her. I guess, it is just different because of the circumstances.
This also goes to show that no matter how much time has passed, the death of a child is such a sorrowful thing, that if it ever happens to you, you may think you are fine and it will all of the sudden hit you! It is worse than the saying "like a ton of bricks." It is worse than the feeling of your heart being torn from your chest and ripped into a million pieces. It is indescribable pain and sorrow. You feel it each and every day, but some days it is so much a part of you it is all that you feel!!!
I know that I am not alone in these feelings. There are countless people out there who have experienced this or the loss of a child in general. As I have said in the past, it is kind of like being automatically a member of a club. Not one that you really intended to be a part of but one that you just are.
I guess I will end with this, I ask that you please remember my family as we go through this weekend. To many, it is just another day. To us, it is the day time stood still for what seemed like forever. Hold your children close and never take for granted each moment you spend with them. Even when they are writing on your walls with permanent marker or throwing an absolute fit in the middle of a store because you would not allow them to get a third copy of their favorite Elmo book! Children are a precious gift! There is nothing like the bond between a parent and a child. It should not be forsaken! I leave you with a few of the semi-normal images that we have of our Babe B. who is probably singing with the angels! You will notice that we do not share any of her face. This isn't because she was mangled or anything. It is just because we agreed early on that we would like to keep those to ourselves. We want to preserve that for our memories and let it be one of the few things that no one else gets to share between us and our daughter and perhaps someday with Jesstine and any other siblings. For now, this is what I am ready to share:
Here is one of the first ever photographs of Babe B. that we received. You will notice that of course it is only a sonogram, but when you have very few memories, you cherish every little thing!!! And of course everyone is ecstatic when you see your baby on a sonogram and they look like a real human being instead of just a bean! Also a reminder, we did not know she was a girl until the day she was born! I wanted a girl so badly, now I have two!!
This is one of my FAVORITE memories of Babe B. I loved this sonogram picture from the start! To this day, I cherish it greatly! This is one of the little feet (sometimes it felt like there were more than two) that kicked me each time I forgot to turn on the radio when I started up the car each time!!!
Here are those beloved feet again! I always thought that they looked like mine because of the way her second toe lies on her big toe on the right foot. It is so hard to say because I look at babies' feet and a LOT of them look the same! I will go with my first instinct which was that she had MY feet!
This was one of the memorial things that Agape'Care Cradle provided for us. It is very similar to the handout that was passed out at her memorial service. For those of you who don't know, "Guess How Much I Love You" was the name of a book that I INSISTED that Stephen read to Babe B. nearly every night. It is about a father bunny and a baby bunny who try and one up each other on how much they love each other. At the very end, the baby bunny is growing very tired and thinks he has bested his father when he says, "I love you right up to the moon." The father bunny says that that is far. He tucks the baby bunny in and kisses him goodnight and says, "I love you right up to the moon......and back." This was a picture from that story and we put "We love you to the moon and back" on Babe B.'s grave marker.
And last but certainly not least, her little hand. Again, I thought they looked like mine. She definitely had my crooked pinkies in her hand prints!! Looking at them though, they look a LOT like Jesstine's did when she was born!! Again, I will think what I want to because that is all I have of a connection!
Thank you to all of you who keep up with this blog and thank you to all of those who have supported us through this tragedy. We appreciate all of you beyond what we can say! A VERY special thank you to Shannon Barnes and all of the volunteers at Agape'Care Cradle for making it possible for us to have the tangible memories that we DO have!
Lacie, Stephen and Jesstine Hutchins
Babe B. Hutchins -July 11, 2007