*Trigger Warning for Loss *
On the night you were born, the moon was full and ripe. Good Friday was hanging heavy in my heart; sacred and holy...but full of grief, so full of grief.
It's a strange thing to grieve at a birth before a first cry. A hesitant expectation. You shocked all the doctors, consistently defying the odds for months...but still we didn't know if there would even be a first cry.
When you were born, everyone held their breath. There was a hymn playing in the background as we waited, wide eyed, to see if you would breathe.
You did. You gurgled a cry.
You were created perfectly, Ellie Mae, even though your 6th chromosome was not there. Tears fell down my face as I photographed your tiny hands clutching at your daddy's finger, your lips, your perfect feet. There was no denying your creator loved you.
For days your family and friends gathered to wait for you, to welcome you. Ebbing in and out of the room like the tide; loving and serving and then giving space. It was obvious their love for you and your family. It was so deep, so tender, and such a beautiful part of your story.
The hours following your birth were filled with grandparents ooing and ahhing, just like they always do, tears, laughs, treasuring every minute. It felt a bit numb to me, like I was in a sacred dream. Your mama and daddy loved you for a lifetime in those minutes, in those hours.
The nurse and I sang the doxology over you. It wasn't pretty but it was beautiful.
I was so honored, so deeply honored to have witnessed your short life, Ellie Mae. God reached my heart in a way I didn't think possible that night.
When morning came your breaths had gradually finished. Gentle.
Your big sisters came to meet you full of joy. That's when the heaviness set in. Their eyes were bright as they discovered your tiny features, just like it always is with siblings.
A beloved blanket was given up, wrapping your tiny body in it. Chubby baby hands comforted Mama. They knew you weren't there but still they asked,
"Why can't we take her home, Mommy?"
My heart is broken that they couldn't.
Easter came two days later. Full of hope and life eternal.
Words cannot even touch the sorrow left in the hearts here.
I can't heal it, but I can shout from the roof tops that you lived!
I can share it far and wide: the beautiful story of your birth.