I followed people's advise and bought the "micro-preemie" hat and preemie clothes. The clothes didn't fit, the hat did. :o( I remember the moment I first laid eyes on her... they held her up for us to see over the barrier shield they had up. She looked just like I had expected from seeing other photos. There really isn't any preparing yourself for a moment like that... the one thing I know for sure about that moment is that it was just that... only a moment.
When she was on me, Matt & the nurse were fiddling with her hat trying to get it to stay on. I told them not to worry about it... I said "I don't care, just leave it off". I didn't care what she looked like or what she was missing. I loved her for everything she did have...and everything she didn't have. She was my baby girl. Perfect in God's sight; perfect in mine. I felt sad for her that she was broken, but I wasn't afraid or ashamed of her. I hated that it meant she couldn't stay, but I loved that it meant she was Rachel... my anencephalic daughter. I loved her with all that was in me, just the way she was. The one thing I knew for sure in those moments is that I was going to make the most the time we had left together...if only moments.
In the hours I held her after she died, I kept her close to me and snuggled with her all night. I didn't plan on that ahead of time, but it felt right. She was going to stay somewhere that night, and I felt like it should be with me. I spent time with her doing the things I would normally do with my babies when they are born. I even blogged with her there in my lap. :o) She did a lot of blogging with me in her days... But as the morning came and I knew the time was drawing near that I would have to give her away, the moments were never going to last long enough.
On the way to her funeral, my mom picked me up and the country song "one more day" came on... I shut it off. I can still picture exactly where we were when I did. I knew if I listened to it, I would start crying and never stop. I'd love another day...but I'd take another moment.
At her service, I didn't want it to end. Time was standing still and flying by at the same time. After everyone filed out, I went and opened her casket up again. I had to see her...to touch her... to kiss her. I couldn't bear to think that this was the last of my moments with her.
So today, I was sitting at my computer and I glanced up and saw the picture of me & her. I took it down off the shelf and just smiled. She was so cute. I remember telling people who came up to me at her service about her dimples on her hands... my favorite. Her arms & legs and hands & cheeks were chubby. She looked just like the rest of our kids, a little more like Sam...Mama's mouth & Daddy's nose...she was our daughter and their sister.
She was beautiful....every moment she was alive and every moment since she's been gone. Perfectly beautiful.
I teetered between a smile and tears as I memorized her features again, wishing still for one more moment with her.