To The Baby Who Was
The Sassiest little angel there ever will be.
It is the day of the gender reveal and I am so excited to hear the news I've been eagerly anticipating from the moment Your Brother told me you were inside Your Mother's belly.
I stop at Krispy Kreme to get a dozen doughnuts for guests and, of course, 3 delightfully decorated doughnuts for the kids.
We're all there - all the people who adore Your Mother, Your Father and Your Brother. We watch as Your Father and Brother open the first box labelled Baby 1 and cheer madly as a flurry of pink balloons escape and fly up into the sky above us. We can hardly contain ourselves, but of course we still have another box to go - another baby whose gender is going to be revealed.
Your Father prompts Your Brother to open the second box and to my sheer astonishment I watch as more pink balloons fly away amid cheers and laughs and squeals of joy. Two baby girls. That's who was in Your Mother's belly. That's who we were to love endlessly - and I really couldn't be happier. Your Mother laughed and explained to us all how surprised she and Your Father were when they learned the news from your doctor. Your Father looked slightly bemused, slightly nervous, slightly terrified, but definitely happy. It was a happy day. I hope you felt that too.
Fast forward a few months later and we are hosting Your Mother's SECOND baby shower. It has to be one of the hottest most humid days of the month thus far and I remember thinking, whilst setting up before the event, how incredibly uncomfortable Your Mother must feel. She was carrying 2 baby girls for a little over 8 months and had effectively been sharing more and more of her body with you and Your Sister. If it were me, I'd likely not attend any event on a day as hot as this, I thought to myself as I wiped sweat off of my forehead and plundered on with the setup. But Your Mother is not like me. She is far more gracious and far more understanding and so she arrives at her Baby Shower, looking bright, beautiful and radiant.
When I think back to that day, I remember now how Your Mother mindlessly caressed her belly, presumably to 'touch' you and Your Sister. She spoke of you both as though she already understood your personalities. She spoke of you both with love and hope. I remember, as a part of one of the 'games' at the event, we all were asked to fill in a form with wishes for you and Your Sister, after which Your Mother would select 3 forms to read aloud. As I wrote my wishes for you and Your Sister I looked around at all the ladies who graciously attended the event. They all wore grins across their faces as they recorded their wishes for you both. It dawned on me how fantastically magical it was that a roomful of adults could all love 2 little girls we were yet to meet. I hope you felt that too.
I wrote my wishes for you and Your Sister and found myself wondering about you. I wonder what you'll be like; I wonder who you'll admire most in this world; I wonder what your laugh would sound like; I wonder if you'll like me at all... I wonder about you. But despite all my wondering, I knew with certainty that whoever you chose to be and whatever you chose to do in this world, you would be infinitely loved.
Two days later I am parking my car at the hospital and walking towards the entrance, dreading what I know will be confirmed. Your Grandma's face confirms it all. Imagine, if you will, that there is a porcelain statue which physically carries all your love which you feel for those dearest to you and that that same porcelain statue is shattered in a split second. Imagine your face as you desperately hold those pieces of shattered porcelain in your hands, hopelessly wanting to put it all back together again. That was the look on Your Grandma's face.
You were so loved darling little baby who was... You were adored and cherished and greatly anticipated. Learning that you were not to be was heart wrenching and devastating. Watching Your Father have to process that knowledge was even more so. You see, Your Father loved you so much that his love spilled out of him, into tears, rolling down his cheeks. He loved you so much he wept for His Baby Who Was - he wept for you. He had so much he wanted to teach you, so much love to give to you. He had so much of himself ready to devote only to you.
Your Mother... Your Mother loved you from the moment she felt you inside her. She has loved you for every second of your life and she will love you for every second after it.
You were loved my angel. For the time that you were on this earth and within this family, you were loved. I do not know what happens after death and I do not know whether I believe in the existence of a soul, but if it does exist, then my wish for you is to remember how deeply you were and will forever be loved - The Baby Who Was will forever live in our hearts and especially in the memories of Your Mother, Your Father, Your Brother and Your Sister, who I think will miss you the most. Look out for them all - guide them as best as you can and love them as wholly and as unwaveringly as they love you.
You are The Baby Who Was - you are the little girl we didn't meet; the little girl we will never hold; the little girl who stole our hearts without meeting us or touching us - you, my love, are magic.
Find your peace in your place in this world and find your way back to Your Mother, Your Father, Your Brother and Your Sister whose love for you is infinite.
The Baby Who Was will come to be... one day... and you will come home to a family who loves and appreciates you. We all look forward to that day, my angel. Until then, find your peace.