Monday, January 11, 2010

Sewing the Broken Heart by Hand

I am so glad that I didnt update this blog while Ava was still here...we had so much fun, and now I literally have all the time in the world to write down all the beautiful, traumatic, special and heartwrenching happenings.

Today I tried to take down the sweet little outfits, pictures and blankets that we used for the viewing held in my mom's house. Within a few minutes, I found myself clutching the blanket the hospital gave us after Ava died, crying and rocking myself and the empty blanket in the rocking chair. I grieved for this sweet little girl who I could no longer watch as she slept, the girl I couldnt snuggle, and those precious lips I could no longer kiss. Through the tears I noticed that the blanket I was holding to my chest had been hand stitched. It was sweet and very tender; multi-colored handprints with a pink border. The care of those hand-placed stitches really caught my eye, and I thought of the complete stranger who had cared enough to make this blanket for grieving parents, such as I.

I thought of the multitude of kindnesses that Wade and I have received from the hands of friends, family, even the Wal-mart employee...I felt so blessed and comforted to know that these special people have been God's hands in helping Wade and I through this time.

Then the hurt came stronger with the realization that nothing--not the hand-stitched blanket, not the hugs, the prayers, the meals, the cards, or the flowers--could take the sting away. I wished that whoever had so lovingly crafted this blanket could just as easily and expertly sew my heart back together, saving me the long hours of reflection, deep sorrow, and prayer that will be ahead of me. But then, what kind of a life would that be; a life devoid of feeling, of love, and the pain that often accompanies deep love. No, God forbid that I rid myself of the longing to hold my Ava baby again, orthe longing to hear the gentle sigh she would let out as she settled into a comfortable snuggling position. I will always love my little girl, and though I sometimes wish the pain away, I am grateful for the beauty that is always within a struggle, if we can just find it.

The beauty here is that I have no regrets about my time with Ava. I loved her with all my heart, and loved how I had to spend every minute with her. I loved that in order to take a bath, I had to move her bassinette, her oxygen, and her monitor into our tiny bathroom. Those baths were kinda tricky cause I had to get out several times to peek into her bassinette and check on her, but I wouldnt have ever changed it. I was definitely not a perfect mom, but Ava knows that I loved her with all my heart, and that is beautiful. I plan on seeing her again, and how exciting will that be!

Thank you to the Jennifers, the Heathas, the Ashleys, the Moms and the Dads, and the loving neighbors and friends who were, and hopefully will continue to be, brave enough to cry with us as we celebrated the beauty of life with Ava. And if I could offer up a favor, please keep calling and sending messages, even if I dont answer. It is difficult to answer the phone when grieving deeply.

I am home in Logan now, and I begin the task of storing the baby clothes, the toys, the empty bassinette, returning the hearing aid, etc. I have great hope for the future, and great peace, and great tears.

I am going to be writing often now; I am actually considering writing a book...and I am going to be using this blog as kind of a sounding board for that. Please dont be strangers, and feel free to contact me anytime. I love a good laugh, a good cry, a good conversation. And I love you all. Those of you with kids, please hug and kiss your little ones extra for me.


  1. Jessee,
    This was beautiful. And so sad. I wrote a narrative of how the day went on Saturday if you want a copy (my sister Ashlee wanted to know how it went. Also, when I'm feeling a lot, I just need to write), it's yours.
    Please write a book. My friend Reyna said that her mom read a book called "Gone Too Soon" when she lost her infant and that that helped her a great deal.
    All of my love to you and Wade.
    The Grinch :),

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  3. Hun, thanks so much for sharing. Being a mother has been the greatest challenge of my life, full of ups, downs, and days that pushed my patience farther than I ever imagined I could handle. Your “story” has deeply touched my heart. When I wake in the morning, and get to hold my little girl, it will feel like the first time. It’s unfortunate that it takes such a tragedy to remind me how precious every moment is, but at the very least you have given me, and surely many others, a moment of clarity. Love Ya >-------0--------< Jesse. That was me giving you a hug.

  4. Lovely post Jess. You have been in my thoughts and prayers often. I love that you were able to embrace motherhood and Ava so fully and make the most of the time you had together. That is a beautiful thing to see. I love your stinkin' guts! Keep writing!

  5. Jessee,
    I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. My prayers are with you and I wish you all the strength in the world to work through this time.
    Natasha (Williams) Limb

  6. Jesse you are so much stronger than I could have ever been. I really look up to you and wade in this time and know that you were the perfect parents for ava and heavenly father knew that. You could see and feel the love that you guys gave that little girl. I admire you both and we are just around the block if you need anything. My life is enriched just by knowing you guys.

  7. Jessee, you are an amazing person. So optimistic. That was a beautiful post to read. I will be keeping you in my prayers. Also, we need to catch up some time. It has been too long.

  8. Jessee! You are welcome to come snuggle Gil anytime you feel like it. You know where we are. We're going to be moving back to Logan before fall so we should be get together since we'll both be there. Love you!

  9. Oh sweet Jessee. I noticed your Facebook status and followed you here. My heart is broken for you. I'm so very sorry. You're brave to share your feelings, and I'm grateful for it. Your faith is inspiring. I too hope you'll write that book. We're praying for you.

    Love, Leslie De Souza

  10. Jesse, you are an inspiration. Your words made me cry! I wish we still lived in Utah so I could keep in better contact and come visit. I am so sorry for your loss and if you ever ever need someone to talk to please call (801) 822-4331. You will definitely be in my prayers.

    Nicole Caywood

  11. Jesse I always knew you were such a strong person but you continue to amaze me. I am so sorry for your loss and our prayers are with you. Being a mother myself now I can't even begin to understand what you are going through but I know you will come through shining. Send me an email and I can invite you to our blog

  12. Jesse,
    I was so sad to hear about your loss. I can't imagine how much you must hurt, but remember that you will be able to be with her again. Your life will go on and so will hers, she was too perfect to live in this world. what a compliment that is to you!! When my sister lost a baby at 1 week, she put on his marker'"The crown without the conflict" that pretty much says it all.. We love you and will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.
    Linda and Martell Brower

  13. Sweet Jess! It was such a beautiful and profound experience to be with you on Saturday. You could definitely feel the spirit of that sweet little girl and it was amazing to see how many lives she had touched in her short time on this Earth. I know that she is continuing to touch many other lives. We know that this is just the beginning and that you still have a lot of grieving ahead of you, but we are grateful for your testimonies and examples. We were deeply touched by your words this weekend. Keep praying, keep reading, and keep WRITING. A book is a wonderful idea. Love you both.

  14. I too saw your facebook status, came here and just cried. I'm sorry for your loss Jesse. I'm happy for the obvious joy your little ray of sunshine brought to you both. You, Wade and sweet Ava will be in our prayers.

  15. I know that I say it a lot, but I will say it again. I love you. I am sorry beyond words that you have to go through this. I'm always a phone call away. See you soon in the Logan zoo.
    Love, Ash

  16. Hey Jessee,
    That post was just absolutely beautiful. (I wish I could write like that.) I'm so sorry about Ava. She is a lucky girl to have a mom like you. Thanks for always being a great example to me...especially when we had our callings together. I am also amazed at how strong you are. Morgan and I just wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you and your family and you are in our prayers.

  17. Just after my husband and I left our son at the hospital with the coroner I received a phone call and I was dumb enough to answer the phone. I couldn't say anything beyond hello. Like what do you say? Uh, no I'm not doing well. My son just died. I didn't answer the phone for a while. I didn't want to talk to anyone. But like you, I loved the notes/cards/flowers. I wanted it all.

    When you're ready, find the book "Silent Cradle: Help and Understanding in Time of Pregnancy Loss" by Judy Gordon Morrow and her sister Nancy Gordon. Though it is written for miscarriage/stillbirth, it is fabulous and one of the best I've read in the past 15 months. It has awesome journaling cues to help you figure out what's going on inside of you. The journaling hurts, but it's so helpful.

    Grief must be tackled head on and worked through. It doesn't just go away if you ignore it. It seems as though you are well on your way to surviving this devastation in your life. I'm sorry you didn't get to see Ava grow up. It's hard.