Tag Archive | Sephora’s Garden

Sephora’s 2nd Birthday

Sephora Angeline

Sephora Angeline

Sunday, May 18, 2014

This weekend was one of the most challenging weekends to get through, in my more recent days.  The day Sephora was born was definitely scary.  I was so sick…my husband tells me I was actually dying.  Sephora was being taken from us 8 weeks earlier than we’d planned for.  It was a whirlwind of a day filled with intense stress, fear, excitement, sadness, and anticipation.  After we’d been told they were giving me a c-section, so Sephora had a chance to survive for a few minutes, we just held each other and cried.  Our friends and family that were with us that day left the room, but all did the exact same thing.  They circled the room and prayed for anything that they thought we may have needed for comfort.

Sephora’s birth was extremely overwhelming.  Diana, a Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep photographer, joined us in the OR to capture every moment of her life outside of my body.  When Sephora was born, they took her to the warming table to quickly warm her up, dry her off, and administer a little oxygen.  When the oxygen didn’t work, (she was still very blue), my husband carried her over to me and placed her on my chest so I could experience a few seconds with her alive.  After saying hello and kissing her forehead, I did exactly what I did to comfort her every single day while I was pregnant.  I sang to her.

Sephora’s baby brother was born 9 days before her 1st birthday (2013.)  We walked through “Sephora’s Garden” and celebrated with a few friends who decided to come over.  It was small, quiet, and peaceful…just like her.

Sephora’s 1st Birthday

For Sephora’s 2nd birthday, we enjoyed the beautiful day as a family.  We didn’t do too much actually.  I’m not certain why this birthday was so much more emotionally difficult than her first.  May it is because many people have moved on.  Most have forgotten about her, or don’t talk about her as much as before.  Why should I expect anyone to remember?  She isn’t here anymore.  That’s just it though!!  She isn’t physically here.  Those who weren’t in the thick of the experience with us are busy remembering dates for their own children.  …and that’s ok!  I wish more people talked about her.  I wish more people remembered.  I wish her story impacted more lives.  Maybe one day it will.  Until then…I’ll keep talking about her, looking for little signs that her spirit still surrounds us, and wishing she was still on earth with us.

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Fall Changes

I have to say, today is my first “bad day” in a long time.  After giving life to Sephora and losing her to Trisomy 13 almost 5 months ago, I suppose I am supposed to welcome the bad days with the good.  I was just outside sitting on “Sephora’s Bench,” made by my dad, which overlooks Sephora’s Garden.  Fall certainly is in full swing.  There is a chilly breeze, leaves are starting to change colors, and the plants are slowly beginning to “die” or grow dormant.  The plants in Sephora’s Garden are doing the same, and it saddens me.  As I sat there, admiring her garden and watching it go to sleep, I was reminded of the day she was born.  We were blessed to have 4 1/2 beautiful hours with her before her angel wings flew her off to Heaven.  But the slow changes of her garden make me sad, because her garden will be dormant until new life begins in the spring.  I cried for a few minutes as I began to feel closer to her in her garden.  I miss her more than I am actually able to describe with words.  A part of me is missing.  A part of us is missing.  Today, I try to speak words of truth, love, life, and wisdom.  Yet today, it is a challenge that I am struggling to complete.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 ESV

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …”

Sephora’s Garden

Sephora’s Garden was created by my husband and our dear friend, Jodi, while I was in the hospital with Sephora.  As the end of summer winds down, I’ve noticed that many plants in our garden are just beginning to bloom!  Our garden is filled with bumble bees and butterflies of all different shapes, sizes, and species.  Every time I open the front door, I can’t walk out without a smile on my face because these beautiful creatures are all over the garden!  Butterflies chase each other as they glide from flower to flower.  I’ve even gotten close enough to watch the bees as they collect the pollen on their feet.  Something I saw the other day, was a bird in our garden.  I’m not sure what type it was, but it was eating the little bugs off of our cone flowers!  It hopped from bloom to bloom until it got its fill of bugs.  What a blessing Sephora’s Garden is.  Watching it bloom, grow, blossom, and change brings such a peace to my spirit.  It makes me feel closer to our precious little Sephora in Heaven.

In simple humility, let our gardener God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life. James 1: ~21

Friends

Mommy, Daddy, and Baby Sephora Angeline

Sephora has forever left a hand print on our hearts.  She is our little ray of “sunshine” from Heaven.  She is every butterfly we see.  She continues to show us how perfect her life was, even thought we lost her tragically after 4 1/2 hours of life to Trisomy 13.  There has been a time when I said Sephora is off of the radar of many people that we know.  I feel as though some have continued on with their lives as if she were never born.  In a way, I feel like some have completely forgotten about her.  Then there are others who love Sephora as if she were their own.  These people continue to love us every day.  Some of them have added to her beautiful memorial garden. We share memories and photos of her.  We talk about Sephora’s Garden and how to make it grow larger in the years to come.  Sephora is very real in their lives.

Sephora is a constant reminder of how precious our time on Earth is.  She taught us a lesson about unconditional love.  She taught us not to sweat the small stuff, because life does go on.  We’ve learned that all life is beautiful, and you take the good with the bad.  You make lemonade out of lemons.  You find the good in everything.  Today’s blog is dedicated to those who continue to love Sephora and who continue to love us every single day.  Whether a friend, acquaintance, or family.  Thank you for your love, encouragement, and compassion.

John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Great Aunt Jackie & Great Aunt Adrienne

“Auntie” Annette & Great Aunt Sherry

Danielle, Sidney, and Chelsea rushed from work to meet our precious Sephora

Sunshine & Butterflies in Sephora’s Garden

It’s a beautiful day to sit by Sephora’s Garden.  There is a cool breeze.  The sun is shining.  It makes me want to run upstairs and sing “You Are My Sunshine” to all of her memories in the closet.  Can you tell I’m feeling emotionally stable today?  The pink angel wing begonia is still in full bloom.  I can’t wait to plant more things in Sephora’s Garden next spring.  I’d love to line it with Forget-Me-Nots and more plants that attract these beautiful butterflies that we continue to see since her birth!  I have never seen so many butterflies in my life!  The only thing that could make today better, would be to find a little baby somewhere to hold and cuddle with.

ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you… Job 12: 8a

Sephora’s Due Date

I woke up this morning knowing that today was the day Sephora was “supposed” to be born.  Instead, she was born 7 1/2 weeks ago, due to me developing a severe case of preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome.  Had she been the “typical healthy” child, she would have survived.  Her heart wasn’t strong enough.  Her lungs weren’t ready.  Her tiny but perfect head was filled with fluid.  Trisomy 13 had completely taken over her body.  Despite all of these abnormalities, the extra 13th chromosome in every cell in her body, and 2 extra fingers…she was perfect.  Our beautiful little girl had curly, dark brown hair.  She weighed 3 pound 9 ounces, and was 16 inches long.  She had the tiniest cry, and would stop crying to listen to me sing the song I’d sung to her every day since we found out we were pregnant…”You Are My Sunshine.”  She lived 4 1/2 hours and passed in my arms at 2:50am.  I held her in my arms and kept her warm through the night as I slept, until I returned her to her bassinet at 8am to eat breakfast.  She stayed with us almost the entire time we were in the hospital.  As the sun shines and the butterflies fly through her garden, I know she is at peace.  I know she knew love.  I know she smiles down from Heaven at us and laughs with her other angel baby friends.  She was our first born.  Our first daughter.  Our “Beautiful Angel.”  Our Sephora Angeline.

1 Samuel 1:27–28
“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him [her] to the LORD. For his [her] whole life he [she] will be given over to the LORD.” (NIV)

Butterflies

Our little Sephora’s life has taken up so many different types of symbols, meanings, and truths.  My husband feels closest to her while he’s working in the garden.  I have to say, I’m still sort of searching for that feeling of closeness to her.  Her ashes are sitting next to me as I write this.  The teddy bear that plays the sound of her heart beat is across the room.  When I became pregnant, I never imagined my first baby would not come home from the hospital.  I’d never heard of babies dying after they were born.  My ignorance told me that some women miscarry very early in pregnancy.  Some miscarry in the first trimester.  Some miscarry later.  Some even give birth to babies that are stillborn.  One thing I do notice, is some women choose to talk about their losses, other women choose not to talk about it.  I can’t stop talking about our precious little Sephora.  So many questions run through my head these days…  How did my body not recognize that the precious little person we created was sick?  Why did she have to have Trisomy 13, one of the most rare and most severe chromosomal abnormalities that exists?  Why did God choose me to carry such a beautiful baby only to call her home to Heaven a short time later?  When she was born, she looked just like my husband.  She was perfect!  Why did she have to die?  Why didn’t God choose to heal her and to fix all of her internal defects?  We prayed every day!  What did we do wrong?!  Did we not pray enough?  Were we praying for the wrong things?  Why?

When we came home from the hospital 4 weeks ago without our precious Sephora, I visited a small area under the tree in our back yard that my husband titled, “Sephora’s Garden.”  Her small little garden is shaped like a heart, and the plants in her garden have symbolic meaning.  The White (grief) and Pink (love) Bleeding Hearts have finished blooming for the season, but the Blue Angel Hosta and the Angel’s Wing Begonia continue to grow.  I feel close to Sephora when I stand over her garden.  I imagine her laying with me under the big tree, cooing while I sing to her.  Like my husband finds closeness with Sephora through gardening, the one symbol that has taken meaning for me, is the Butterfly.  The day we came home, I stood and overlooked  Sephora’s Garden, cried over top of it, and walked to the front door of the house to go inside to lay down.  Before I walked in, I stopped and admired the rest of the flowers my husband and friend Jodi had planted while I was in the hospital.  As I stood under the trellis,  a small yellow butterfly landed on the Purple Sage next to me and stayed for a while.  When I tried to get a picture, it flew away.  That was my sign, my symbol.  A simple butterfly.

I find butterflies surround me almost everywhere.  I have a butterfly charm bracelet with Sephora’s name and birthday on it, cards, books, pictures, and jewelry box with butterflies too!  Yesterday, I took my husband to a beautiful garden as a surprise, and a reason to be with each other outside of our home.  He marveled at the different types of plants, trees, and ground coverings.  We visited the Butterfly House, and were amazed!  Butterflies were gliding through the air everywhere we looked!  They were peaceful.  Beautiful.  Perfect.  Sephora is my butterfly house!  Who knew a creature so small, fragile, crush-able, colorful, and light as air, could have such a short beautiful life and a story to tell?  Yes.  The sweetness, amazement, beauty, perfection, and simplicity of a butterfly is my Sephora.

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.