Some of you know but some of you do not so here is my story, our story, her story.
In fall of 2010 I was five months pregnant with my second. My husband, Andrew and I went to the baby’s first ultrasound. This would have been where we found out if our baby was a boy or a girl but we had already decided early on to wait and keep this a mystery. We were told our baby had the fatal condition anencephaly. We later found out the cause was actually Amniotic Band Syndrome, a rare and random syndrome. The head and face did not form properly and there was zero chance of the baby living outside the womb. Devastation does not even begin to describe.
We decided to continue the pregnancy. We decided but really there was no deciding about it. I could feel life moving inside me. I could not decide on what day that life would end. As parents we decided to give the baby time and a name. Jamie.
We carried. I say we because I could not have done it without Andrew, or Avia. She was almost five at the time. She brought me joy on the hard days. We hoped and we prayed because this is what parents do for their children. We cried too.
I was told with the diagnosis the baby would be stillborn anytime. The hospital bags were packed and we waited. Some days were long hours of feeling nothing and the many empty fears of not knowing. Never knowing. During these days I prayed harder, cried longer, and read my Bible more than any other time in my life.These days were cold and weary at the time but now looking back I see them as days of growth. As I mourned Jamie’s coming death I was becoming stronger. Some days were like any other day. Some days I laughed. Some days I didn’t. Some days, more and more days as they turned to weeks which turned to months, I got to know my child. I enjoyed just being with Jamie.
Jamie was born the day after her due date on January 22, 2011 at 6:30 in the morning. She lived 64 hours. She could hear, move, feel, make sweet little squeaky noises, and we believe smell, taste, and see as well. I was told she would not be able to do any of these things.
Many, more than I know, prayed for life for Jamie along with us. Thank you. We had hope. I do not regret any of this hope. It means we loved her and we did our jobs as parents in loving her. The job of parenting is different for every child. The job of parenting Jamie was to gently guide her from this world to the next. We were blessed Jamie lived to term, we were blessed she survived the labor, and we were blessed with every second of the 64 hours of life she had. Our prayers were answered. It was not the answer we were looking for and it was not the life we had in mind for our daughter but all life is a gift no matter how small.
This is not the end of the story. One year later on January 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm our son, Calvin was born on his big sister’s birthday. The story continues to grow. I do not claim to fully understand God’s answer. I probably never will in this lifetime and I am fine with that, but I trust in His answer more and more. More and more I see the good that He has done and continues to do because of Jamie.
Jamie inspires me in many ways. One way is in my art. White bears and snowflakes remind me of her. Rainbows become brighter after having weathered a storm.
Mostly she ignites creativity in me because there is so much I do not know about her. I enjoy imagining what she would like, colors, creatures, flowers. I imagine what she is like in heaven, what she does, and mostly what she looks like. She had severe deformities so her face is very much a mystery. She appears now and again in many of the girls I draw. She is like my own little muse. Jamie is an important part of The Girl in the Lane because she is an important part of our family.
Andrew and I would like to invite you to join us for Jamie’s Random Act of Kindness Day. All you have to do is be nice to someone on January 22nd. We simply want people to celebrate her life and bring a little good to this world for her birthday. Please join us.
My Jamie inspires me. What inspires you?