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.