3 weeks.

I’m not really sure where to begin today. My heart is so full of emotion and aches as we begin to reach weeks that last year, were of the most painful weeks and days in our lives. I guess I’ll begin with a bit of what happened on this very date last year.

August 23rd, 2010, I went in for another check-up on our Eisley-girl and instead of releasing me to go home, they put me in the hospital to be monitored and to be on strict bed rest. I was already on strict bed rest, but being home with a 1-year-old (at the time) “strict bedrest” wasn’t as strict as it could have been. Being hospitalized, I was only up to use the restroom and shower. I’ll never forget that first night in the hospital. They put me in a labor and delivery room for the night, until they could ready a room for me, as an antepartum patient. They hooked me up to a monitor and immediately began checking on our Eisley-girl. As Ted and Chase arrived, I could see the fear written all over his face. We both felt so helpless.

Ted had just begin his fall semester load of classes that very day. I had called him as he was leaving the college to tell him I wouldn’t be coming home anytime soon. It felt as though everything was slowly digressing and going downhill. We held so tightly to hope amidst this chaotic journey we were on for our daughter’s life. Ted and Chase weren’t able to stay with me and had to head back home, 1 hour and 15 minutes away. I wept when they left and then found that I couldn’t breath. That was the moment I had my first (of many more to come) panic attack. My nurse Lindsey (whom I love and can’t wait to see again) put me on oxygen and calmed me down and comforted me.

I don’t think I slept but maybe an hour that night. I looked around the labor and delivery room and couldn’t help but think that I shouldn’t be there in such a situation like we were. I saw the little area in the corner where they put your newborn infant to clean and measure, etc. I just felt so sick and terrified. The memouries still haunt me from that night. The only window I had in my room was a sky light that was way up high. I felt hopeless and oh so weak. I just cried out to God. Not even aloud, just within my heart. The most desperate cry from the momma heart in me.

The very next day I was moved into a room with a window and a view. I was so grateful for the sunlight. I felt something change within my heart and decided then that I would make the most of my time with my Eisley-girl. I am so thankful that I did that. I wrote her notes and read them aloud to her everyday.

 I sung and sung and sung to her. I prayed for her. I watched Gilmore Girls “with her”. I always held the palm of my hand on my belly and savored her every movement within.

(“143” was Ted and I’s silly way of saying “I love you” when we were dating. When I saw her heart rate at 143 repeatedly one night, I couldn’t help but think she was saying she loved us and snapped this photo for Ted and I)

I cherished my time with her and I often wonder if that change in my heart was actually something that was preparing my heart for September 14th. I missed my Chasey-boy and my Ted but I am so thankful for those last few weeks I had to focus on just her.

Today, August 23rd has arrived. I’ve sent my hubby off to his second fall semester of college and we’re 29 weeks pregnant with our Boy S who is growing and thriving within me. I feel hope, but I also have this constant ache, an Eisley shaped hole in our family remains. I long so much for her to be here, even still and I feel like I’ll be one of those momma’s who always ache. I read that happens with some and I really feel, that’s me. Maybe it’s because it was our girl, our precious Eisley-girl, who I’d dreamt of since I was a teenage girl. She’s captured a place in my heart that will never ever be the same again.

Her first birthday is coming up so quickly. I feel like I’ve barely been able to catch my breath since she passed away and now the date of her death (September 14th) and the date of her birth (September 17th) are arriving ever so swiftly.

I am so thankful for a Father in heaven who reaches our hearts with comfort and peace amidst the aching. And the most incredible thing is that even as He is comforting our hearts, I know our Eisley-girl rests between His strong shoulders.

Around 3 weeks from now, we’ll be both grieving and celebrating our Eisley’s life.

Oh my heart…