It’s hard to believe 3 weeks have passed since our Beautiful Angel, Sephora Angeline, was born. The night before we left the birthing hospital, Chris and I were sleeping in our room…Sephora’s bassinet was empty…the nursing staff really wasn’t coming in to check on my physical health anymore. All we wanted to do was go home! As we slept, my nurse came in at 10pm and awakened us from our tenuous sleep . They needed to move us out of the room we’d been in, because they needed to use it for an emergency c-section that was coming through. We quickly (in a sleepy gaze) tried to gather all of our belongings. They insisted I ride in a wheelchair while they moved us to a completely baby-free wing of the hospital. What was even more disturbing was while we were there, I had enjoyed listening to the screaming babies crying. My aunt and brother had recorded Sephora crying while I was holding her in the recovery area. I still listen to her every once in a while. It reminds me that it wasn’t all a dream–she was born—we held her—she cried in our arms—we bathed her—we dressed her—we sang to her immediately after she was born—we smelled her and kissed her—we cried over her—we prayed over her. Every part of her we took in.
After sleeping that last night in a much smaller room, we finally were able to go home. We gathered all of our belongings again. They assisted me in the wheelchair, and they took me outside to my car. I had an empty belly, empty arms, and a broken heart. A hospital that is designed to deliver babies is the worst place to leave without a baby. For 8 months I carried her. For 3 of those 8 months, we knew she had Trisomy 13, and we cherished every single second we had with her. During my delivery of Sephora, when the doctor made the call to take me back for a c-section, I asked my nurse to turn up the volume on her heart monitor. Chris and I cried for a few minutes, but we had a solid 15 minutes to just listen to her– 45 minutes later, Sephora was born. After hearing we’d only have minutes with her, I had to muster up the strength to sing to her. As I sang to her, she started to pink up. Our minutes turned into hours.
Today is bitter sweet. We will keep on keeping on. We miss her and we love her…and I ache to hold her again. I believe she is still with us. As I stood over her garden the day we came home, and wept over not having her with me, I walked toward our garden at the front of our home. A yellow butterfly landed on the purple Russian Sage next to me, and it stayed there for a few minutes. (They labeled my room with a butterfly after Sephora had passed.) The yellow butterfly in our garden brought me peace in that moment. I looked to the sky, said a prayer, and I knew Sephora’s spirit had surrounded me. Sephora felt love every second of her life, and she knew nothing else.
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.” I Thessalonians 4:13-14