By Sarah Rieke via Still Standing Magazine
On this day five years ago my daughter died. She was our second baby, our first little girl.
She had beautiful, full lips, and cheeks for days (how I wish there had been days!).
And in the teeny moment where she mustered up all her failing strength to open up just one little eye, I saw that it was blue.
She was my precious Evie-girl.
She still is.
Five years removed I sit here and wonder what I would say to a mother in my shoes, a mother who is carrying a fatally diagnosed baby to term.
What would I say to the tender, breaking heart with tears in her eyes who clutches her belly and feels the life kicking inside of her and thinks –
How can what they told me possibly be true? How can it possibly be true that this baby is going to die?
To that sweet maternal soul, I say this:
Embrace the life inside of you, no matter how brief that life will be. Don’t let yourself slip into the lie that this baby will not matter.
They will. They absolutely will.
And you will want to give them your whole heart while you can.
Because, I think if you’re honest with yourself, you will find they already have it.
Name your baby. Give them the best, most meaningful name you can think of.
You will speak it, you will write it, you may even have it etched in permanent ink onto your skin one day.
But that name will become sacred to you.
Make it beautiful.
Live every single day in the present while they are still with you. Don’t allow your mind to live in the, “what-if’s” and, “how will I’s” that threaten to annihilate you every moment.
Beat them down with an iron will that is committed to fully experiencing each day that your baby is still here.
It will be hard; it will be so hard.