Hard to believe that she would be 5 1/2 today. I am sort of in a funk as I realize all the wonderful things we should be doing with her. The start of Kindergarten. The start of Girl Scouts. Swimming lessons and play dates. I sometimes mourn the "what could have been" and the reality of how sick she was and the medical issues that could potentially be a factor if she had lived. Either way, both suck in my mind, because either way, I would have loved to have her here. I find myself hurting around this time as Mother's Day is always near her 1/2 mark. Not to mention taking pictures of all the kiddos together makes me realize that there is someone missing. That there shouldn't be such a huge gap between Oliva and Emma-James. That I should have my four girls and soon to be 2 boys here with me. I look back on her birth and realize that the time I DID HAVE WITH HER was very precious and very special. I was blessed to have all the things I needed and wanted in her little life to come true. Things that I needed to happen to make sure I got through the pain and hurt of not having her with me forever. Simple things like putting up the Christmas tree as a family. Having her picture taking with Santa at the mall. Being able to have her home and no longer in the NICU.
I hated having her studied like a lab rat, and not looked at as a baby. It drove me nuts. I would argue and fight with doctors. Even got angry that they were reading medical journals from the 1990's regarding T-18. How naive that they really felt that medicine hadn't changed since in more then 14 years. That children were living with T-18. Some even thriving. I know the statistics of this is rare, but still.
5 1/2 years have gone by and many (if not all) of my friends have forgotten. I receive just one phone call a year for her birthday. I have to remind many of the fact I have 5 kids (soon to be 6) and out of the 5, four of them are girls. It makes me sad that they have forgotten or forgotten to care. Its wonderful that my oldest remembers. She reminds me every time I try to tell people of how many children I have. I don't intentionally exclude her. It's just sometimes going into the story can be hard and long. Some get upset and don't know what to say. While others say they are sorry and try hard to run away from the conversation. Both are hard. I love talking about her. Sharing her with the world. Letting people know how special she was. Its just death, especially in children is a hard thing for people to understand or talk about. Its the way we have cultured ourselves. Sad thing too. Because our children are the greatest gifts anyone of us could have. Why should it be such a taboo thing to talk about? Whether they are alive, or have passed on to a better place, they are still our children.
My sweet baby may be gone, but she is always, always in my heart and not a moment passes I don't think of her. Happy Half Birthday little one.
Big sister Olivia getting to see her little sister for the first time. This was a HUGE fight with the hospital staff. Siblings of babies in the NICU are only allowed to visit on the first Tuesday of every month. Of course, that had already passed. We told them that this was not an option as we did not know how long Anabelle had. I had to practically smack (and I would have) someone to realize that I wasn't going to go quietly and that Olivia needed to see her sister.
One of my favorite pictures in the hospital. Mommy, Daddy and Anabelle.
Anabelle the morning of coming home. She ended up getting a really nice tan after being under the billy lights for a few days.
First night home from the hospital
Our only family photo. Taken the night before she passed away. I felt so blessed to have this happen. The lady at the photo place even stayed after hours to make sure we got the most special pictures of her too. How awesome is that.