A Letter to My Daughter on Her First Heavenly Birthday

Our sweet, precious Mary Elliott,

First and foremost, what an undeserved pleasure it was to be hand picked by our Lord to be your earthly mommy. Your time here was fleeting and painfully short, but oh, so significant - and I have the privilege to call you mine. We get to call you ours.

You were such a strong little girl here on earth. How you managed to stay stay inside of me for seven weeks after losing all your fluid, and never retaining it, I will never know or completely comprehend. But you did it. You stayed still and strong. God was undoubtedly with you.

The days following your short life here on earth, I continuously held on to the loss of you. I contemplated why you were placed inside of me and then taken away so quickly. When I was pregnant, I'd spend days dreaming about holding you in your nursery, watching you play and giggle with your sister, and enjoying each day as you grow. Then, in the blink of an eye, all those precious moments I looked forward to were stolen. They would never happen. And after your untimely exit, in those first few weeks, I couldn't help but focus on all of those daydreams never playing out. They were stripped away from my life.

As time passed, I continued to pray for you and think about you daily; I then considered that you were never meant to stay in this world. Maybe you were never meant to grow up in front of me. Those daydreams of you and your sister together would only ever be memories I created on my own - and while this is a painful reality, it's also beautiful. As I made this realization, I began to wonder why exactly you were placed inside of me? Why would a precious life be given to me and then taken away before I could even grasp the reality that you were gone?

I've thought of a thousand different scenarios and I will never really know until I can ask the Lord. But for right now, while I continue to graze this world with my simple mind, I will clutch onto the most beautiful reason I can imagine. A reason that makes it all bearable.

You were placed inside of me to save your sister's life. 

It all makes a little more sense this way - and hurts a bit less. Since your conception and early days inside of me were so closely monitored, I know that you came along a couple days after Sadie Ann. I imagine God foreseeing a rupture during my pregnancy. He sent you along to be the lower baby and to take the rupture that would not heal. He gave you strength to remain inside of me for seven weeks. Until you and your sister were 23 weeks and 2 days - possibly the exact gestational age your sister needed to be to then survive outside of my womb. This, I imagine, is why you were given to me and why you were placed inside of me. Your purpose in this life.

Whether this is the reason or not, you still saved your sister's life through your strength. She's here with us because you held on each day following your rupture. Each morning that I had an ultrasound and we didn't see any fluid around you my heart broke a bit more, but I was always thankful you were hanging in there despite the undesirable circumstances. So today I not only admire your strength, but thank you for your strength. Because of it, I do get to hold your little sister each and every day. I do get to watch her play, learn, and giggle. I've watched her over the past year smash statistics, beat odds, and show the world what a miracle baby looks like. And I thank you for that. You helped provide her with that chance. 

So here we are, a year later. It still hurts. I still cry. I never know when it will hit me, but when it does, it hits hard. I'm confused all over again; I'm angry, in incredible pain, and I lose myself in the uncontrollable tears. I want to drop to my knees and scream because it hurts so bad. This is something I've come to grips with over the past year and that I will experience for the rest of my life. I will forever grieve the loss of you because there's no getting over the loss of a child - no matter how long or short their lives here were.

On the day you were born, after the chaos of the room cleared out and I was rolled away to a quiet and empty post-pardum room, I had so many of my sweet L&D and antepartum nurses come by to express their sorrow and sympathy for our loss and the new situation that was in front of us. That afternoon was easily a blur, but there was one conversation I remember so vividly. A nurse came in my room, sat on my bed with me, and held my hand. She told me:

You haven't lost anything if you know where it is.

It was so profound and exactly
what I needed to hear. It gave me hope in that dreadful situation and it's something I've reminded myself of countless times in the past year. I haven't lost you because I know exactly where you are. My faith gives me hope and confidence that one day I will hold you again. Your eyes will be open, your lungs will be strong, and the tears that fall from my face onto yours will be tears of complete joy. Oh I look forward to that day.

Until then… Every day I think of you, but especially this week and on December 16th. Your beauty and purpose puts a smile on my face despite the pain of not having you here. I love you, oh, so much! I miss you daily, but I know you will have the most incredible day celebrating your first year in heaven! I can only imagine what it must be like. I love you. Happy First Heavenly Birthday, sweet girl! 


Mary Elliott
December 16, 2014
1lb 3oz, 12.5" long


Unknown said...

So thankful I had the chance to be in Sadie Ann's life !

Mira's mom said...

This is so beautiful. So full of God's grace and faithfulness in your life. Thank you for sharing.

Mira's mom said...

This is so beautiful. So full of God's grace and faithfulness in your life. Thank you for sharing.