There are actually quite a few photos that I've not shared here because they are not good quality, I look awful in them, or the toll of death is too evident on my tiny little baby.
It's not that I think the photos are disturbing to look at, it's that I know others will think that. I can't bear that thought. I must protect her in the only ways I can.
I'm sorry if it makes you feel uncomfortable when I share photos of her, but she is perfect and precious (I mean, just look at that button nose) and she is my daughter. I want to show her off just like any other parent, and these are the only photos I have of my child. She was real.
I am incredibly thankful for the photos I do have, but looking at them isn't always comforting. I wish with every ounce of my being I knew what she really looked like, before death ravished her delicate form. I wish I could look at a photo of her and see only her beauty, untainted by the sting of stillbirth. It's not that I don't see her beauty, because I do... though I fear others won't. It's not that I cannot look past the uncomfortable and sad aspects of what stillbirth is and does. It's that I wish I could know what my own child looked like. I am haunted by that. I want to know what my baby looked like while in the womb alive. I want to know what my little girl would look like now at 6-years-old.
While I walk this planet, I will remain haunted by not knowing. I will always wish I might have had just one single moment to meet her with her eyes open and see her for who she really was. To have a photo to cherish always that truly captured Lily Katherine Allen-Ball... not merely her Earthly shell.
Oh, I ache for the day I will meet her in all her beauty. I find solace in that hope.