Today, you would have turned one. I’d like to imagine Heaven throwing you the most spectacular birthday bash. The kind of party I so desperately wish I could give you. The room would be full of pink balloons, glittering decorations and I can see you at the center of it all wearing a princess tiara and fluffy tutu.
Instead, I’ll have to settle with making a few cupcakes in your honor. I could easily curl up in the fetal position today, but I’m going to try and be strong for you. I have a lot of mixed emotions about this day. It’s the day you died which makes me think about all the memories we missed out on this past year, but it’s also the day you came into existence and became our daughter.
I knew this week would be tough, but today is exceptionally painful. It’s hard not to relive this day because it left a permanent scar on my heart. All I wanted was a single moment to meet you. I carried you my entire pregnancy knowing you would die within minutes upon birth. I accepted the doctor’s diagnosis and determined that I could get through it all just so I could have a single moment. A still piece of time for me to look you deeply in the eyes and tell you how there’s not a single soul on this earth that wanted you more than I did.
I never got that chance Audrina and it literally breaks my heart. I can’t cry enough tears, or fast enough to let out the agony. I often think about the moment my uterus tore and how it might have felt for you to slowly slip away from us. I live in regret every day for choosing a natural birth over the C-section. People always tell me, “you can’t think that way” or “how were you to know”. It just makes me angry, because I’m your mother and it’s my job to protect you.
I want you to know, I had a sense of impending doom when considering C-section as an option. About a month prior to your delivery I had a feeling that I would die from a C-section. I had just got the babies down for a nap and was about to relax downstairs when it hit me. I couldn’t shake this sick feeling that I wouldn’t live past the month. I went as far as to write your father a goodbye letter just in case I didn’t make it. Then one week before your due date, you flipped right around from the breeched position and doctors approved my wishes for a natural delivery.
It makes me sick to contemplate how it all turned out. I swim in a thick pool of regret everyday just wondering how things could have went differently. Why were you born with a death bearing condition? Why did I have that awful premonition? Why did my uterus tear when I had no prior C-sections that would put me at risk for it. None of it makes sense, I just want to beat my head against the wall when I analyze how it all went wrong.
Despite the unimaginable horror of losing you the way I did, I’m left with what can only be described as “God watching over me during my darkest hour”. The experience had such a profound impact that it cushioned the blow of what should have destroyed my sanity. God came to me through a song, and I’m convinced he did it to reassure me that you are safe in heaven. I still get goosebumps when I hear “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”. I literally flashback to my stay at the hospital and my heart swells with the same intense peace and serenity that washed over me the morning I lost you.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard it or the sensation I got, a feeling like God was speaking directly to me through the song. I woke up at 2:30 in the morning and the moment I opened my eyes I heard the song start to play. Then, while I was in labor with you I heard it again. I pushed and pushed and just felt so defeated that I couldn’t get you out. Aaron handed me my headphones and it relaxed me in a way that all the modern medicine in the world could not. What some might call a coincidence, I will only know the truth in my heart and how it comforted me during my darkest hour.
Flashing back to the day you were born, March 23rd, 2018: I came out of a C-section that nearly took my life and felt thankful to be alive. That morning, you went to heaven and in the process, I was reassured by God with a beautiful message. My mom arrived to my bedside with the movie Heaven is Real. I had been desperately searching for the movie all weekend because I remembered how the little boy had a near death experience and talked about visiting his sister in heaven.
As I watched the movie, tears came pouring out of my eyes. There was that song, (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing). I laid in my hospital bed listening to the song in disbelief. It played for the third time, then a fourth, fifth and sixth time. I had watched this movie nearly 6 years prior but didn’t recall the song having any relation. It didn’t have any meaning to me back then. It was only in that moment that I turned on the movie and heard the song play 4 more times that it really confirmed the message came straight from god.
An entire year has gone by, and I have yet to hear the same song come on my Brian Crain Pandora station. It makes me wonder if it ever will again. I mean, Brain Crain is a classical music station and I never hear any songs with words or hymns for that matter. I still watch Heaven is Real and get goosebumps every time Colton meets his sister. Your death, as devastating as it is. . . has brought me closer to God. I was never one to think about heaven, but it’s starting to look like an amazing place now that you’re in it.
I imagine you up there dancing in a field of wildflowers, twirling around in a pink floral sundress. I can see you smiling at butterflies and laughing at fluffy white bunnies, living in a state of complete joy with the love of God lighting up your world. I often think about the day we will finally be reunited. I picture myself 80 or 90 years old, after a life well lived, still waking up every morning wondering, waiting and wishing you were here. I’m fairly certain I won’t fear death. After spending nearly a lifetime of living in anticipation, I will finally get to meet you.
So today, I celebrate you Audrina. I’m grateful for you and your eternal life in Heaven. As long as the sun rises and falls I’ll think of you. I promise to keep your spirit alive by living passionately in your honor. I hope to spread more joy and find opportunities to serve others walking along the same jagged path I’ve crossed. I’ll take you with me while I endure a lifetime apart. Until I see you again, I’ll carry you in my heart.