The past week has been rough for me. I am thrilled to announce that I am the aunt of a new precious baby girl born last Saturday. Her name is Kameron (but if you ask Jacie, it's baby Pumpkin) and she is absolutely gorgeous. She is so tiny, born at only 5 lbs 11 oz and 18 inches long. I am so thrilled for her parents and her brother and sisters and I know they are so happy to finally have her here.
I hope that my brother and sister-in-law know how happy I am for them. I truly am. But it's been so hard. When we went to visit them in the hospital it was the first time I had been back in Labor and Delivery since that awful morning that I was wheeled out with empty arms and tears streaming down my face. As we were walking in I was having flashbacks of that painful morning and it took all my strength not to break down and cry. I wanted to be strong. I definitely didn't want everyone to see me cry, I just don't think they would have understood. Once I got through the doors and to my sister-in-laws room I had calmed down enough to enter. Once inside I saw her holding that sweet little girl and again I felt panicked inside because I thought I might burst into tears. I didn't want to but I knew I had to hold that baby girl. I have held a few babies since Avery but none were newborn girls. The last newborn baby girl I had held in my arms was my own, still child. So when my sis-in-law held that little bundle out to me I sucked in a deep breath and reached out my arms.
I was so afraid that Kameron would look like Avery, with dark hair and a pudgy nose. Luckily I didn't see many similarities... only the tininess did they have in common. I couldn't imagine a smaller baby as I was holding Kameron but I know that Avery was much smaller. Almost 3 whole pounds and 5 inches. It made me sad that I couldn't remember exactly how small my baby was once I held another in my arms. As I sat there studying her perfect little fingers, she opened her eyes and my heart dropped down into my stomach. That was my cue to give her back, I wasn't strong enough to hold her any longer. I was reminded that my daughter never opened her eyes, never took a breath. It was too much to bear.
As we were walking out of the hospital, Skeet kept looking at me... I know he was expecting me to break down at any moment. But, since we were with my brother and my nephew and nieces I kept counting to ten in my head and I held back the tears (something I have gotten better at over the last year). I did better later that night when we returned to pick up Kennedy and Jacie so that their parents could have some time alone together. But the next day when I stopped by their house, I went back to being right on the edge when I saw that they were happily home with their new baby, something else I never got to experience.
I did good... I held in all the tears until Sunday night. Skeet was gone, he had left for Boise that day, and I knelt at my bedside to say my prayers. When I thanked my Heavenly Father for Avery ( like I do every night) the floodgates opened and I didn't know if they were ever going to stop. The deep aching in my heart and my arms rushed back, as strong as it was immediately after I said goodbye to her and it hasn't gone away. All week I have been feeling that emptiness and loneliness that I felt after coming home with empty arms. I am not sure how much longer it is going to hurt like this but I have been praying for peace. I just want to be happy again, if that is even possible.
Today I will go out to Avery's grave, and I will talk to her, because I know that it is the only thing that seems to make me feel close to her and that is what I need now more than anything.