Two years ago this morning (9:35am to be exact), Natalie met Jesus. We knew that she was going to die, but that didn't make it any easier when she actually left. I remember she was gagging a bit on the formula I had just given her, but I didn't think of much of it since she had done that a couple times before. Thank God my nurse was in the room, because it became obvious very quickly that she was in trouble. She started having trouble breathing, and her neonatologist rushed in and indicated that this was probably it. She looked at us, and I told her that it was OK, and that Jesus was waiting for her. She squeezed Samuel's finger (she grabbed it and held onto it as soon as she started to struggle) and took once last hiccupy breath and went to Heaven. I remember feeling like the world had ended. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would hear the words "time of death..." spoken in regards to one my children. After the fact, I was a bit surprised the the intensity of my grief when she died since I had thought I had "prepared myself". I don't think that there is a way to prepare yourself to watch your child die in your arms. I think that one of the things that hurts the most now that she is gone is that there is nothing I can do to make this hurt feel better. When I am having a bad day and missing Malachi or Samuel, I can go home and spend time with them. But when I hurt for Natalie, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can ease that hurt. Spending time with my boys helps, looking at pictures helps, but nothing can fix it. On days like this, I wish the Lord would come really soon so I can snuggle her again. I miss my little girl.
I'm not sure why this year I feel so compelled to spill my guts on my blog. Complete strangers read my blog, for heaven's sake!! But it feels really good this year...a kind of therapy, maybe?? Oh well, whatever works, right! :)
Yesterday, we had wanted to go to the zoo in Portland. Now that we have kids at home, we want to start doing fun things around her birthday to remember her and to have her siblings to have something fun to associate with her. Well, we cancelled that plan since the weather was so crummy. Instead we went with my parents up to Ikea since I needed to pick up some things for the spring banquet for the church mommy's group I am decorating for. Malachi was so good...didn't fuss once even though he hadn't had a nap and his eating schedule was off. He just watched people and played with whoever was holding him and was just a happy little boy. He's got the flirting thing down pat...hmm...wonder if I need to worry! :) We also went to a one year birthday party for one of Malachi's buddies. Malachi really liked watching him open his presents and smash his cake...he was even so nice and shared his frosting with Malachi...so cute. It was kind of hard to be there since the little boy has the same b-day as Natalie, but fun at the same time.
Today, we provided the altar flowers at church in Natalie's memory. We have decided that every year we will have the arrangement we had made for her memorial service recreated and have it at church around her birthday and anniversary. It's only been twice now, but each time it looks a bit different, but still similar and very pretty. We have also decided to take a family picture with the flowers every year for her scrapbook. I think that it will be a fun way to watch the family grow and include her, too.
Well, thanks for bearing with me these last couple of days...I will try not to be so depressing I promise! Ten month pictures and update to follow!