It's Independence Weekend here in the great nation of the U.S. of A.. While most Americans are celebrating the birth of a nation I am celebrating the loss of a treasure.
July brings so many feelings for me. Vividly remembering our time together. Your pregnancy was anything but easy. Little did I know that the worst was only coming.
July 4, it was a beautiful day. I remember it vividly. I was on light activity, but it was a holiday so we were planning on going to the farm for a cookout. The sun was shining brightly, it was warm but not overly hot just yet. I rested on the swing on the patio while your brother and sister played in the yard. I was sluggish and tired but that was nothing new. The day went by smoothly, just taking it all in and thinking you would be with me the next 4th, you'd be nine months old and probably starting to cruise. Daydreaming of what was to come.
I slept well that night, which was a feat in itself. I had become restless worrying about you. In hindsight, worry is nothing but a waste of energy because what will be will be.
July 5, the sun was blaring early in the day. It was gorgeous. Your grandma had bought the kids a swimming pool to occupy their time. They were up early and begging me to join them in the pool. I didn't have a bathing suit so I meandered outside in my pajamas and slid down into the warm water. You immediately started kicking like crazy. The kids splashed wildly as you moved around my belly. Their little hands laying on my skin to feel you kicking. They giggled intensely at this, it was the first time they had ever felt you. You loved hearing them so happy, it only made you dance more.
This day stands out the most in my brain. This memory is one of the most vivid of the entire pregnancy. I have so many pictures from this day, your brother and sister playing in the pool and making goofy faces. These photos litter the house, but I want it no other way. They are memories from one of the happiest times of my life.
I went to bed that night, exhausted but feeling incredibly happy. I should have known that this was the calm before the storm. They say when you are on the verge of dying that you miraculously feel better in the days before passing. And I felt better than I had in weeks. I was so happy, energetic, and feeling over the top good. This was the eye of the storm. This was the calmest it would be before I weathered the worst to be.
You have to weather the storm to see the rainbow
The next few days passed as all the others, I was tired, and didn't do much other than lay in bed whilst your brother and sister played. Brianna was prepping for Kindergarten and was excited about school. (That quickly changed)
July 8, I went to the doctor for one of twice weekly visits. Everything seemed okay. There you were kicking away on the ultrasound, your heart rate happy and healthy. My OB had cleared me for light activities and had said I could ride with your dad to get the oil changed in the car. I came home and went back to bed as per my normal routine. I showed Kaden and Brianna your ultrasounds and we talked about how excited we were to meet you. Sleep went as usual that night.
July 9, the day that will live in infamy in our family. The day a piece of my soul died. The day I became incomplete. I woke up, and you were slow but active. We decided to head on to get the oil changed. You gave us a couple of big kicks before we left so I knew you were okay. We drove to the dealership to get the oil changed, my iPod blaring James Brown, your sister's choice. I danced in the seat of the car as we drove down the interstate. The only word to describe our family at that moment was happy. The trip took much longer than intended, I was tired. I was hungry and your siblings were too.
We made it home and had a snack, then as per my routine I crawled into your brother's bed and rested. Your dad decided to take the kids to see Despicable Me in the theater while I took a nap. I didn't feel well at all and you had been quiet for a bit. I rested while you rested. I woke up after they returned and felt no better. You were still quiet, I was worried. I decided to eat dinner and if that didn't perk you up I would head to the hospital.
Dinner came and went and I asked your dad to drive me right into the storm. I knew as we pulled into the parking lot of the hospital that I would not be coming home. This was the moment that I actually felt my heart shatter into a million pieces. As the nurses scanned my belly, faking that they didn't know how to use the machine properly as they waited for my doctor to arrive. My doctor came and delivered the news, and I was wheeled into a different room. They induced labor and so the wait began.
I waited for you, 3 long days. And when you came, though I felt empty and broken, you were the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on. You were placed in my arms, and my heart broken a million times over. Perfection, too beautiful for this life.
I thought the worst of the storm was over, little did I know that I was only laying low in the middle waiting for the worst to come. I took myself out of the eye of the storm and pressed forward, wading through the raging waters so that I could see the rainbow on the other side.
May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.
So while everyone spends their weekend barbequing, lighting off fireworks and spending time celebrating the birth of our nation, I silently celebrate the moments we had together. I quietly think about you. There are always tears, but there are smiles. And while I am shaking my fist at those shooting off fireworks at 3 AM, I am doing so with a thankful heart that you gave your life so that Bird could have hers.
I may not understand the why's or the how's but I believe that Bird was meant to be. I had made the choice that you would be my last baby and as time passes I find that I believe that Bird was still in waiting, and to keep me from making the wrong choice, you gave yourself so that she could live. So this independence day, I celebrate you, MY hero. MY baby. MY Harper.
I love you my sweet, sweet girl. More and more every day.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there... I do not sleep.
I am the thousand winds that blow...
I am the diamond glints on snow...
I am the sunlight on ripened grain...
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you waken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of gentle birds in circling flight...
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry—
I am not there... I did not die...
May God give you … For every storm, a rainbow, for every tear, a smile, for every care, a promise, and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh, a sweet song, and an answer for each prayer. ~Irish Blessing - See more at: http://cardsbysandrarose.com/product/general-get-well/51873-irish-get-well-wishes/#sthash.hjwbYMgm.dpuf