Sunday, May 30, 2010

Josephine Victoria

I could hear her newborn cry over the telephone, and with tears in my eyes I told my husband and boys good bye and hopped in the car. (okay it's not really hopping these days, more like waddling, and then squeezing in behind the wheel!) Feeling happy and excited, and emotional and anxious at the same time, I prayed as I drove to the hospital. I was glad to find a parking place right away, and took a deep breath as I walked up, passing the Hope angel and memorial garden for Eliana and all the babies in heaven who were born at Mercy, went inside and took the elevator to the mother and baby floor where I knew I would see her in the nursery.

My mom greeted me with a smile as I got off the elevator and my heart felt lighter as we walked together to peer into the window, and I got my first glimpse of my precious little niece Josephine Victoria. She was beautiful like her big sister, with a head full of dark hair like both of her siblings when they were born, and I was instantly in love with her.

After watching her being poked and prodded for a little bit, we took the elevator up a floor to labor and delivery so I could see my sister. This was my first time to venture to either of these places since I was there with Eliana last year. I took deep breaths as we walked past the huge blown up photos of adorable, healthy newborns that line the corridors, and into her birthing suite to congratulate her, and hear all about how the delivery went.

I'm so glad I had the opportunity to do this before I go again to give birth in the next few weeks. It was definitely good to see that everything went fine with her, and just to be able to face being in that environment again in a different situation. Most of all, so good to just hold and love that healthy little baby, and be reminded once again that miracles happen every day.
Just look at this sweet little gift from God!!
Josephine Victoria
7 lb. 5 oz.
May 24th, 2010

It got a little wild and crazy up there when my Mom and I brought my two boys along with my sister's son and daughter. I didn't get a lot of good pics because I was taking photos for my sister with her camera a lot of the time, but did come away with a few. Both of my boys seemed a little hesitant and unsure about the whole thing, but hopefully this will prepare them a little better for when their brother is born!

Although Jayden looks less than thrilled to be holding her, we're all so glad she's here safely and look forward to spending a lot more time getting to know her. Congratulations Shanya and Josh, and big sister Julia and big brother Joven!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Eliana's Birthday

Crystal at Calvin's Cupcakes made Eliana this adorable cupcake for her first birthday.

Mary sent two more beautiful works of art, including a birthday one!

The days leading up to Eliana's birthday/Mother's Day were emotional ones with the anticipation of what was to come. We were praying that the actual day could be a peaceful one, and even a happy time of remembering Eliana and thinking of her in heaven. We also prayed for good weather because we had plans to do a butterfly release at the cemetary. We've been having a lot of rain and cooler temperatures lately so I was worried that the butterflies wouldn't be able to fly.

God answered yes to all of those prayers. It was warmer and sunnier than forcasted, without a hint of rain. Of course I had a mixture of emotions on that day, but we were able to have a special remembrance time that honored Eliana's life and glorified God. My husband shared from Psalm 139, and we sang Jesus Loves Me, the first song we have taught to each of our children. I always find those words "Little ones to Him belong" bittersweet now, and a little harder to sing out loud. But, what comforting truth is found in those simple words.

The butterfly release was really special. There is just something about seeing those beautiful creatures fly to freedom that warms my heart when I think of Eliana, even as it saddens me at the same time. We're so thankful to Butterflies and Prayers for arranging for the donation of butterflies, and to Wish Upon a Butterfly, the company who chose to donate to us.

The story of Eliana's day is really best told in pictures:

My oldest son wanted to make her dinosaur cupcakes, because he had told her about dinosaurs when she was in the womb.

I made her a butterfly cake, of course.

We wished so much she could be with us, but it was special to watch the other kids at her "party" have fun and enjoy eating cake and ice cream like they would if she was here.

Getting lots of love from my boys on "Mommy's Day" as it's traditionally called at our house.

Eliana's big brothers holding her marker. It was supposed to be placed in the ground, but the wrong granite came in, so we just had the bronze part of it. It's hard to see in these shots, but it says
Eliana Grace Kline
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
May 9, 2009

The highlight of Eliana's first birthday was the butterfly release!

It was a day full of beauty, just like the special little girl we were celebrating.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

One Year

One Year…

I miss Eliana, and think of her every day. All week there has been a heaviness on my heart, and it has been harder to breath. But today, my heart is just broken. One year ago today, at this very moment, I sat alone in the Dr.’s office, waiting for my husband to arrive after learning that our daughter was no longer living. The saddest day of my life.

Now today, we have things to plan and do to be ready for Eliana’s 1st birthday in heaven tomorrow, but all we can do is just miss her. We have a special day planned with cake and ice cream, and a butterfly release at the cemetery, but it’s hard to make a cake, get balloons, and prepare a party for your child who is no longer with you. It all just feels so empty, like meager attempts to drown out the silence left by her absence. We want to celebrate her little life, and rejoice that she has been enjoying heaven for a year, but at the same time, what are her Mommy and Daddy to do but just miss her? It’s heart breaking that she won’t be here to smash her strawberry butterfly cake all over her face, or smile and laugh at the little butterflies that will take off all around us. Today the ache is just so deep, and even with our little boys around, the house is so, so quiet.

One year seems a long time, but for us who are grieving, we are back to last year like it was yesterday. It all comes back so vividly, as we think of one whole year of our lives going by without her. There is so much we have missed this year, and so much we will always miss on this earth.

Lately my three-year-old son has been talking about his sister more and more. Sometimes he still gets confused because I have been pregnant for so long. He will say something about Eliana in mommy’s tummy, and then we go through a little ritual:
“Jayden, is Eliana in Mommy’s tummy?”
“Who is in Mommy’s tummy?”
“Baby Brother.”
“Where is Eliana?”
Then his face always lights up with the biggest smile and he says,
“She’s in heaven with Jesus!”
“Will she come back?”
Sometimes he answers no, and sometimes yes, and the conversation continues accordingly.
Today we were talking about the new baby coming soon, and he said
“I want Eliana to come home to our house,”
And we had our same conversation about heaven. Then he got the saddest, pouty face he can make and said,
“Mommy, I wanted both of my babies to come home…”
Holding back the tears I answered “I know baby, me too.”

Yesterday in the van my oldest son Caedmon was teary-eyed when he said,
“I wish I had gotten to see Eliana…” I reminded him that he did see her, but he said,
“No, I wanted to see her alive.”
“I know Sweetie, we all wish that…”

Our little ones are so sensitive and intuitive it catches me off guard sometimes. It’s so sweet to see how they love their little sister, but so heartbreaking to see them missing her too. Today their feelings sum up my own, I wish so very much I could have held her alive, and looked into her sweet little eyes and that I could bring both of my babies home.

Eliana, we all love you so, so much, there are no words to describe. You are forever in our hearts, forever in our family.