Naomi Faith was our second child, and our second daughter. Her death on March 9, 2009, opened the door to the world of pregnancy loss for us. I miss her every day. Read below about what I remember about this special daughter.
I remember thinking that it could take a long time to get pregnant again, since it took three years until we were expecting our first daughter.
I remember being astonished at a positive pregnancy test after only three months of trying.
I remember taking secret mommy and daughter pictures for my husband's Christmas present, knowing that I was pregnant with our second child.
I remember being due in August.
I remember sharing the news with family over the holidays and enjoying the thought of adding a new cousin to the mix by next Christmas.
I remember looking for double strollers, because of course we would need one.
I remember realizing we would have two children in diapers at once.
I remember planning out when my maternity leave would be, and reading about tandem nursing.
I remember the abdominal pain one Sunday in January that brought us to the emergency room.
I remember fretting about getting a CT scan because it could hurt our baby.
I remember consenting to an appendectomy, and praying for our baby.
I remember hearing our baby's beautiful heartbeat after I woke up from surgery.
I remember being told a week later that it was not appendicitis, but a carcinoid tumor.
I remember alternating between fear for myself and fear for our child.
I remember trying to decide on when to have the recommended follow-up surgery - during my pregnancy or after delivery.
I remember getting the results of our nuchal translucency scan back.
I remember being told our baby could have Down Syndrome.
I remember feeling utterly overwhelmed at yet more bad news.
I remember researching Down Syndrome online one afternoon, and committing to loving our baby no matter what.
I remember planning a more detailed ultrasound for Tuesday, March 10, to learn more.
I remember eating chocolate chip pancakes at home Saturday, March 7.
I remember having abdominal pain again. Bad.
I remember that it wouldn't go away.
I remember the call to my OB office, and their suggestion that I come in.
I remember finding out that our baby was okay.
I remember the ultrasound technician writing our baby's gender down for us, for later.
I remember that the pain wouldn't go away.
I don't remember Sunday because of the morphine.
I remember Monday morning, March 9, hearing a nurse say that my baby's heartrate was fine.
I remember realizing, not much later, that something was very, very wrong.
I remember calling for the nurse.
I remember her saying that it could be the baby coming.
I remember knowing that I was 18 weeks pregnant and that no baby that young could survive.
I remember begging them to keep her alive anyway.
I remember the nurse midwife saying that my baby wasn't moving.
I remember us holding our daughter.
I remember her perfect features, down to her tiny fingernails.
I remember the nurses being so loving and careful with her.
I remember them asking us for her name.
I remember telling the nurse midwife to please cancel our March 10 ultrasound.
I remember the emergency surgery that followed for what turned out to be twisted intestines.
I remember days in the hospital, recovering.
I remember nights in the hospital, weeping.
I remember opening the note the first ultrasound technician had written for us: It's a girl! She had been right.
I remember the stream of visitors, many of them friends with their own stories of loss.
I remember the nurse who had lost her firstborn son.
I remember the man who had lost his toddler son.
I remember the smallest flicker of hope that I could survive, too.
I remember seeing the same kind of yellow rose that was on my door, on another door down the hall from me.
I remember thinking about that other mom, that I wished I could talk with her, too.
I remember thinking that it might help both of us.
I remember preparing for her burial and memorial service.
I remember looking everywhere for a burial gown to no avail, until a dear friend made us one.
I remember my husband lovingly making a treasure chest in which to bury our daughter.
I remember visiting a natural cemetery and loving it and hating it at the same time.
I remember leaving her body there and saying good-bye.
I remember the many people who came to her service.
I remember those who helped us with it, who sang in it, who spoke at it, including others familiar with the heartache of losing a baby.
I remember pouring all the love of birthdays, graduations, and other celebrations into that one day.
I remember that when it was over...it was over.
I remember knowing God's peace.
I remember being confused by God.
I remember being angry at God.
I remember that I stopped trusting God.
I remember opening my Bible again and daring Him to prove His love to me.
I remember when He did.
I remember when I began dreaming of a way to bring other bereaved parents in our community together.
I remember wanting others to know that they are not alone.
I remember wanting a legacy for my daughter that would outlive her, and maybe outlive me.
I remember that her birthday would have been the first week of August.
I remember that this year she would have been five.
I can smile now, and I have found my footing again, and life is full of joy, and God is good!
But I will never stop remembering.