Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My 26th Birthday!

This post was in my drafts and I realized I never published it, so here it is a few months late.

I wore a "Lily" necklace and my butterfly earrings for my girl

On August 12th, I celebrated my 26th birthday. It was a wonderful day. I spent it in Virginia, the very area of the country that I was born, surrounded by treasured friends and family. 

my Birthday Eve sunset

the beautiful Virginia summer sky on my birthday

The weather was amazing, my Aunt Nana made French toast for breakfast, we went to the Charlottesville downtown mall to have dumplings for lunch, then found our way into a cat store. ;) 

it was appropriate to go here on my birthday

my darling grandmother 

We visited Lily's spot and took her a bouquet of pink roses. It was incredibly special to visit her on my day. 

Bumma and I at Lily's spot

pink roses for my little flower

with my brother, grandmother, and sister

sister, Emma, and I

We then went up on the mountain to admire the scenery. 

I'll never tire of those mountains

my brother, Adam, and his dog, Bernerd

To finish the day, we ate a delicious dinner at Blue Mountain Brewery. It was a beautiful evening with a breathtaking view and dear friends and family to enjoy it with. 

with my sister, her boyfriend, my brother, aunt, uncle, grandmother, and mother

my birthday dessert that I shared with everyone after they sang "happy birthday" to me

My sister-in-law sent me hilarious birthday memes all day. ;)

I'm looking forward to seeing what the Lord holds for me while I'm 26! Thanks for all the sweet birthday wishes!

I was born six days before my due date. I can't help but think how if Lily were also born six days before her due date, she would have most likely lived.

When my mom was in labor with me, my heart kept decelerating. The doctors were becoming increasingly alarmed and kept saying how they might have to do an emergency c-section. When I was born, the bottoms of my feet were dark and I was unresponsive at first. Obviously I quickly did become responsive and there were no lasting issues.

Things could have turned out entirely different on the day I was born. How easily my parents could have lost me. My own frailty and birth story is a reminder to me of everything I have lost with Lily. She was my mini-me, looking similar to me at birth, with almost the exact same measurements.

I'm on the left and Lily is on the right

She was just as real and loved as me. I could have easily slipped away on August 12th, 1989, just like Lily slipped away from me. The last 26 years my parents have had with me could have been erased in an instant... all the memories, the laughter, the knowing of who I was growing up and who I've grown up to become would have been no more. Lily wouldn't have even been had August 12th gone differently. Every August 12th since 1989 would have been much like every March 16th has been for me since 2010.

Having lost my own daughter, knowing many people who have or had infertility issues (including my parents) and those who've lost children in many different ways, and seeing how I myself could have nearly died is a reminder of just how precious life is, and what a miracle it is to be conceived, born alive, and have the gift of growing up. May we never forget what a beautiful thing it is to be alive.

Thinking about my own birth and all my life has held up until this point highlights all that I'm missing with my own little girl. One life holds so much and I won't know any of what Lily's would have held beyond the womb.


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