Friday, January 3, 2014

Better Late than Never?

Day 3's post turned into an early morning on Day 4 post...but the day somehow got away from me.

I watched our friends little girl, Marina, today. We are coming up on the one year anniversary of her mothers death (and her 1st birthday).

Even though it was almost a year ago (she passed away on January 11), I still can't get the incident out of my mind. It's not something I care to talk about often (if at all).

One year ago today - Vanessa and I were both very pregnant. She had plans to be induced on Monday the 7th (and head in on the night of the 6th). I was so very excited and nervous for her and anxious to hear how the delivery went as my own delivery was impending. I still have the text messages from Sunday evening (the 6th) on my old cell phone...her husband Justin and her had kept the babies name a secret and I was anxiously awaiting every detail. I remember her telling me that she was going to take some melatonin to help her sleep because she herself was very anxious. I can't remember exactly what time Marina Corrine was born, but I know it was before noon.

I was so very excited for my beautiful friends and their gorgeous little girl and I couldn't wait to meet her. With being pregnant myself and due in only a few short weeks, Eric and I were unable to make it up to the hospital to see baby Marina and Vanessa. We made plans to visit her that Friday morning. I had a doctors appointment that morning and I sent Vanessa a message to make sure it was ok for us to stop by. She wasn't feeling well and was heading in to see the doctor herself but said that it would be fine if Eric and I stopped by to see her and Justin and the baby.

I packed up a present and we headed to our doctors appointment to have my routine prenatal appointment. The doctors and nurses know us and they also knew that we were friends with Vanessa and Justin so they asked if we had seen the baby yet because she had been in right before us. After my doctors appointment we headed over to their house.

When we walked in Vanessa was asleep on the couch and Marina was in her bilirubin blanket. Justin handed me Marina and I couldn't believe that she was actually here...that this beautiful little miracle that had caused her momma so much grief while she carried her was finally here and bringing her mother and father so much joy.

Vanessa awoke for a short period of time and I was able to tell her that her little girl was beautiful and start to get the story of Marina's delivery. From what I was told, her delivery wasn't bad at all and I am so grateful for that. Vanessa seemed so happy to be a mother and even said she would go through all of the pains of pregnancy again. While discussing Marina's birth, we lost Vanessa. I don't wish to go in to details but I don't think I fully realized what was happening while it was happening. Even as the paramedics came and I was holding her baby girl in her kitchen, I couldn't get my head around it.

A part of me knew Vanessa was no longer with us when they took her in the ambulance....but most of me didn't want to believe it. How could that be possible? How was I left standing in her kitchen holding her BRAND NEW BABY and she wasn't here anymore? I told myself that they were going to fix her right up...and in a few days she'd be back to normal and we could laugh about another troublesome pregnancy (or post pregnancy) symptom.

A few hours later, while I sat in Vanessa's home holding Vanessa's baby, we received the phone call that she had passed away at the age of 27. I was overcome with grief. I didn't take the time to fully feel my emotions as I was 3 weeks away from delivering my own baby and a lot of my focus was on that as well. I felt like I had to be strong and pull it together for everyone, including my baby growing inside of me.

17 days after Marina was born, I brought my 6 lb 2 oz daughter, Eliana Beatrice in to this world. 13 days after we watched our friends life slip away we watched our lives begin with the breath of this little girl who is now my whole world.

Marina brought me comfort the day Vanessa she continues to do. But watching Marina also sometimes brings me great grief as well as guilt and feelings of inadequacy. Why do I get to be a mother to my daughter and she doesn't? Why do I get the hugs from her daughter that she so deserves? Am I teaching them the right things? I'm not as patient as a person as Vanessa was and sometimes I feel like she would be doing so much better at this than I am. I miss her. I miss what we could have had, raising our daughters together.

But...there are two little girls that need me. And with Gods patience, grace, and understanding I will continue to do everything I can to make sure that their lives are full of love, hope, joy and laughter. Marina got to know her mother for such a short period of time but I know that Vanessa lives on in Marina's quiet intelligence and her passion for books.

And sometimes when Marina snuggles in for a hug, I can feel Vanessa's hug from above too...I just hope she can feel that I'm hugging her right back.


Sarah Kopf said...

This is so beautifullu written. A touching and tearful (on my part) tribute. Hugs, Rebecca!


Lisa Daul said...

So beautifully written! I started crying.