Shared by Dawn Waymire
My sweet girl,
You were here only for what felt like a minute. We tried to fit a million stories into the four months we had you. I appreciated every moment: holding you. kissing you. telling you stories, reading to you. I often shared you with others—nurses, friends, your grandmas—but when it was night, with the lights low and the bedroom door closed so we wouldn’t wake your daddy, it was those summer nights you were mine and mine alone. I held your tiny body as we sat in the recliner, your sweet, soft hair tickling my chin. Our kitty curled on my outstretched legs—seeming to seek time with you as well. When you’d get hungry, your tiny baby dagger fingernails would scratch at my chest. I’d put you in your bassinet long enough to warm a bottle, and then hold you again. That’s where you belonged—on my chest. Heart to heart.
I remember the last night. A dozen times I thought you were taking your last breath. You’d rear your head back, your chest rattling. But I’d talk to you. Kiss your head. Tell you that it was okay, if you were ready. I comforted you until you fell asleep again.
I want to remember all of the other moments—I want to remember every effort to make memories and be a normal little family. And I do. I remember our walks through the neighborhood. A trip to the park. Our big adventure to a baseball game. Watching you in awe as you took in the world. Laughing as you left a wet mark on your daddy’s shirt. Your soft bunny feet and the way I wanted to inhale you after a bath. But there’s something about those final moments. You nestled under the soft blankets, the same place we’d spent every other night. I wanted to keep you every possible moment, but I knew that the time was near. I knew you were ready. And when morning came and you were still with us, I found myself surprised. Your dad and I bathed you, and you woke up. We looked into those bright, beautiful eyes one more time.
Now I know you were saying goodbye. I held you in my arms, our hearts beating together until yours gave out. Maybe it sounds crazy to honor that you were with me as your heart beat for the first time and for its last, but how many moms can hold their babies in their belly and then hold them as they gain their wings? It was a beautiful, sacred moment.
I remember the good times with you, because those made the world brighter. You made me laugh. You made me smile. You made my heart grow to where I didn’t think it would fit in my chest any longer.
And I remember the hard times. Because those, my sweet girl, made me a better mother. A better woman. A better human. My heart continues to beat. It is tattered. Torn. Broken. But strong, because that’s where I carry you now.
You can read more of Dawn's writing at: https://anchoringthewaymires.com/