My Sweet Baby Girl,
What a beautiful experience you have given us. From the very beginning, we have felt your loving spirit and adorable personality. I absolutely loved carrying you. You were very sweet to not make me sick. You were a tiny dictator when it came to eating, drinking, and peeing :) Your amazing father was so unbelievably patient and didn't ever hesitate to give you what you wanted (even if it was actually what I wanted). We would joke about how spoiled you were and how you were running the show--the truth is that we were sublimely happy giving you everything you needed. We pictured different scenarios with you as a child and imagined your little personality handling each situation. I knew you and your dad would have a very special bond. You are named after his incredible grandma and that means everything to him. I also knew that your dad would be your comforter. When you needed advice, a shoulder to cry on, or just wanted to talk about weird music--he would be the one you go to. I pictured you being witty and sassy, and often leaving your dad and I speechless with no other choice but to laugh.
When we found out you were a girl, it just confirmed what I had already known/wanted. The doctors told us they were extremely concerned about your condition. We were devastated, but found peace and comfort through priesthood blessings and the plan of salvation. We held out hope, and even joked that you were just playing a prank on us, and you were actually perfectly healthy. Each doctor's appointment brought more sad news, but we found hope and optimism in between visits. They found that you had a couple things going on. The Hydrops was the most concerning, and the Cystic Hygroma was what led us to the genetic testing. They found that you had a genetic translocation with your 6th chromosome. They had never seen this before. We joked that you just really wanted to make a statement. Our last visit it Dr. Glenn was very difficult. He told us that he had never seen a baby this sick make it. It broke our hearts. We knew it was a strong possibility, but to have all hope taken was something I couldn't accept for the next few days.
Later in the week, I decided to tell your Grandma Lezlie what the doctor said. She was devastated. She had been so excited to meet you and had spoiled you with all sorts of clothes and things for your nursery. That weekend (Labor Day Weekend) we went to Lake Powell with Grandma and Grandpa Bennett and all your aunts and uncles from that side were there. We felt like it was a good time to tell everyone what the doctor said. It was Aunt Sicily's birthday so we felt bad, but she said she was okay. Everyone was very sad, but there was a certain peace about it. You loved Lake Powell--even when your dad tackled us in the water--I pretended you didn't like it, but I knew that was the sort of thing you would love to do with your dad. When we headed home, we stopped to get a hamburger (your choice), and i felt that you were in a different position. Your head was normally on the right side of my stomach, but I started to feel something hard toward the bottom of my stomach. Looking back, I wonder if that was you moving, or if that is what happened after your heart stopped.
The next day we went to the specialist hoping for more answers. Up until that appointment, I had been terrified for every doctor's visit--fearing they would tell me that your heart stopped. For some reason I didn't think about it for this particular appointment. I was very nervous, and we said a prayer for peace and strength. When they started the ultrasound, your dad and I could tell that the swelling had gotten a lot worse since your last appointment about 3 weeks before.
When they got to your heart, we could see that it wasn't moving. She tried to zoom in and get some heart tones, but nothing was happening. She said there wasn't a heart beat, and that the doctor would be in to talk to us about that. I started crying, but held onto a little bit of hope that the doctor would come in and do another try--and maybe she could find your heartbeat. When the doctor came in, she didn't try to find it. She just explained the next steps. I was in a weird place where I was trying to stay calm so we could know what to do, but my heart was breaking on the inside.
We called your grandparents on our way over to Dr. Grover. They were very sad, but did their best to stay strong. Dr. Grover gave me lamanaria to induce labor and sent us home. It was a weird calm that we felt. Looking back, I think it was a mixture of wondering what labor would be like, and also trying to think through all the difficult decisions that no parent should ever have to think through. Grandma and Grandpa Bennett came over that night and we had a really sweet conversation. We went back the next morning and she gave me more lamanaria. We went home again and I slept a lot and your dad watched the Apple event--both of us trying to stay distracted. Grandma Lezlie and Aunt Sammie came over and were very supportive.
The next morning we checked into labor and delivery. The nurse gave my cytotec because I was at a 2. They said it normally takes between 3-5 doses before you would be ready to come. With 3 hours between each dose, we thought we were in for the long haul. We would soon find out that you had your own plans :) About a half hour before it was time for my second dose, I started to have really bad "cramps". I told myself to hang in there until the nurse came back, and I would ask for something to help, but maybe not the epidural. About 15 minutes later they got a lot worse so I called for the nurse at her convenience. About 10 minutes after that, I told her to please come quickly. She came in and I told her I was in A LOT of pain. She said the anesthesiologist was in a c-section so she would give me some morphine to hold me over. She said I was in hard labor so when I was comfortable, she would check me again. I was still at a 2 when she first came in, and then after the epidural kicked in, my water broke. It shocked me. I thought for sure I had lost control of my bladder and just peed everywhere. The nurse checked me after that and I was ready. She said she felt baby parts.
Your aunts Sicily and Savanna were there and the grandmas walked in right then. Your Grandma Lezlie was so funny because she brought coloring books and Uno cards--again, we thought we had a lot of time. Your Grandma Michelle held my hand and tried to warm me up because I had the chills. And those ice chips--they were heavenly. Your dad gave me a wonderful blessing and we sent everyone out.
When the doctor came in to deliver you, she said, "baby is trying to come out." I told her you had been a little stinker, so it didn't surprise me :) You were breech, so I saw your little foot pop out and my heart just melted. It was the most perfect, tiny foot I had ever seen. Your head had a lot of swelling so it took some work to get you all the way out. I didn't see you for a little bit because it took some time to get all the placenta out. They wrapped you in a towel and brought you to me. You were very red and swollen, and you were the most beautiful, precious baby I had ever laid eyes on. You were born at 5:15pm and you weighed 1 pound 11 ounces, and were 11 inches long. Your dad and I spent some time alone with you and just snuggled your sweet little body. We were surprised, because it wasn't a sad time. We felt the spirit so strong, and we were just overwhelmed with joy. We were holding our baby girl!
Your dad went to get everyone from the waiting room so we could bless you with a name. Your dad wrote you a letter explaining why your name is so important, so I won't go into that. I will say that you are a very loved little girl, and we know you will bear that name with honor. People who were there: Gma Lezlie, Gma and Gpa Bennett, Aunts Sicily, Savanna, and Ingunn, Great Gmas and Gpas Bennett and Hendry, Aunt Sammie and Uncle John, Cousins Katelyn, Jackson, Alyssa, Abby and Madi, and of course your mom and dad. You are very loved my sweet girl.
Your dad gave you a beautiful blessing and the spirit was very strong. You were blessed to know how much you are loved by your family and your Heavenly Father, and that through the atonement, all the blessings you seek in your eternal progress will be blessed to you. He wanted you to know that your mother and father are praying for you and loving you, and that we are grateful for you and all the joy that you have brought into our lives. He then closed your blessing of gratitude. Everyone held you again and said goodbye. Gma Lezlie, Aunt Sammie, Sicily, and Savanna stayed and helped Heather from Angel Watch do your hand and feet molds.
Your Aunt Sicily started to get really sick and she felt really bad, but she had to go home. Your Aunt Savanna had some special time bonding with you and taking pictures which we are very grateful for. We got to hold you and I got some very special pictures of you holding my finger. Savanna and Heather put you in a cute diaper, bracelet, hat with a bow, and they wrapped you in the sweet blanket that Aunt Sammie got you.
Gma and Gpa Bennett came back and held you. It was a very special time to spend with you and family. We were loving all your little features like your tiny fingernails and your little toes and fingers. Your little leg kept going up--we think it's the same leg from your ultrasound :) You could feel your tiny little bones--especially in your right knee. Your tiny nose was just adorable and your lips. The most kissable lips I ever laid eyes on. When we opened your little mouth, you could see your sweet tongue. Your dad and I joked that you probably slept like your momma because your mouth would stay open. Oh my sweet girl, those moments are so precious to me.
After a little while, it started to get late, so family gave you loves and said goodbye. Your dad and I had some alone time with you that I will cherish forever. Your dad read you the letter he wrote you and then we snuggled as a family. You laid on your dad's chest and I laid in his arm. I still long for that moment. When we go to bed now, I always think of that memory and it brings me to tears. Partly because I long for that experience again, but also because it was such a special time and I am extremely grateful we had that opportunity.
About 10:30pm, we decided to say goodbye and we gave you to Heather. I kissed the top of your head and gave you squeezes. I will never forget the feeling of your sweet little body being so close to mine. Your daddy gave you some loves and then we said goodbye. We were very sad, but we could still feel your presence very strong, so we didn't feel like we were really saying goodbye. We stayed in the hospital that night and left the next morning. Maybe it was the morphine, or maybe it was a tender mercy--either way, that day was a very happy, special day to us. I am so so grateful for the time we had with you and the joy we felt holding you in our arms. I will never forget it. And I can't wait until we get to hold you in our arms again my sweet girl.
Always and Forever,