Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lily Elizabeth

The first time I felt Lily kick was around 16 weeks. The last time I felt Lily kick was the day before our 20+ week routine ultrasound, on March 30th. Learning during that appointment that she had no heart beat was a complete shock to Ryan and me. The days that followed were no better.

On April 2nd, the doctor told us that our 5 month old baby had been a girl, and we named her Lily Elizabeth. They would have only been 22 months apart. The Lily is a symbol of purity and beauty. Our Lily was perfect, according to our amniocentesis results. She lost her life because of the sudden onset of my Leukemia.

Lily's middle name is in honor of my mother, Mary Elizabeth, and my grandmother, Elizabeth. Right now, my grandma is taking care of Lily up in heaven. Grandma didn't get to meet Katelyn, but now she certainly has her hands full with Lily! Lily also has her older cousin, Timothy, to look out for her.

After we found out Lily had passed, family and friends comforted us by reminding us that "things happen for a reason." Even now that I know that reason-- the complications I had after her passing led the doctors to my diagnosis-- I still have a lot of "what ifs" that usually end with Lily being in the NICU of this same hospital.

In the middle of the night, I lie here in this hospital bed and grieve Lily's loss. I can't turn that grief off, but I do need to focus on what she gave our family. We would not have caught this disease so soon without her passing. Because we did, my sweet Katelyn will have a mother, Ryan a wife, and my parents a daughter.

Once I have recovered, we plan to do a private memorial. In the mean time, our spring garden will include Lily of the Valley.