Mirne and Craig's first child, baby girl Freyja, was born still at 28 weeks in July, 2006. No answers as to why. Little baby Freyja just slipped away. Sometimes babies just die.
Trying again after losing a baby is TERRIFYING. This I know. I believe it is even more terrifying when you have no answers as to why your baby died. This is why I sit anxiously awaiting Isla's autopsy results and praying we will have answers, and that whatever killed my sweet baby girl is preventable, and history will not repeat itself.
With no answers and no guarantees, Mirne and Craig had the strength to keep going and the courage to try again. Ten months later, oh joy! Another pregnancy. Baby boy Kees was born in February, 2008. Full-term. Healthy. I can only imagine the sigh of relief his parents felt the day that sweet baby boy came into the world. The bliss when they brought him home.
Only for Mirne and Craig that bliss was short lived. At 7 weeks, sweet baby Kees caught a virus. A run of the mill cold/flu virus that "should" have gone to his lungs. But with no sniffles or warning, and against the odds, the virus stopped his heart. Another precious little life cut short.
This is the part I cannot imagine. How must it have felt for Mirne and Craig to lose their second child? How must it still feel? It is just so incredibly unfair.
That is one thing losing a baby teaches you, life is just not fair. I thought I understood this before losing Isla, but I didn't really. The other thing losing a baby teaches you is that there really are no guarantees in life, and that no matter how much sorrow you have suffered, you are never immune to more. People try to reassure me now that one day I will have another baby. Really?!How do they know?
But there is always hope, right? After loss, the desire to have a child, a child who lives, is so incredibly strong. To me, it feels like all that love I felt the moment I laid eyes on Isla is sort of restlessly trapped inside of me, waiting to be poured into another little somebody. Of course that love will always be with Isla. My love for HER will never fade. I pour it into her photos, her little keepsakes, her flowers at the cemetery. But its not enough. There is still so much love inside of me, brimming over, waiting for another little person who I can hold and nurse, and just parent for a lifetime.
I believe Mirne and Craig's hearts must also brimming over with love. Love so strong that despite all their pain and sorrow, Mirne and Craig had the strength to continue to go on living and the courage to try a third time to bring home a baby, who hopefully will outlive Mirne and Craig. SO STRONG and SO COURAGEOUS, and just so loving.
Tomorrow (which is almost today in Amsterdam), Mirne and Craig's third child, another baby boy, is scheduled to arrive. I can't imagine the mixed emotions Mirne and Craig must be feeling right now. Above all else, I imagine they feel hope and of course love, but I also understand they must be feeling a great deal of fear and trepidation. It is so sad that it must be this way for them. Please send your thoughts and prayers to Mirne and Craig, and Freyja and Kees, and baby boy today. I pray that this baby boy lives to a ripe old age, with his heart beating strong, filled to the brim with his parents love!
In other matters, Mirne nominated me for an Honest Scrap Award. Yay!! Thanks Mirne. I'm so new to blogging, this is quite an honour.
The award is about bloggers who post from their heart, who write from the depths of their soul. In order to accept the award I must nominate seven fellow bloggers as recipients, and then list ten honest and interesting things about myself.
So, my nominees (in no particular order) are:
Catherine W at Between the Snow and Huge Roses
Carol at the Happy Sad Mamma
Molly at the Unlucky Lottery
Jaime at Missing Sydney
Laura at Moments of Pause
Barbara at Burble
OM at Overeducated Mommy.
Now, 10 honest and interesting things about myself...hmm..
1) my first name is Melissa. Not so interesting, particularly if you were born in the late 70s as I was and were one of three Melissas in your grade! But I realized when Mirne nominated me she only knew me as Isla's Mommy, so I thought some of you may be interested in knowing my real name.
2) as a child, and an only and lonely one , I felt deprived that I did not having any pets. Well, I had pets - I had a hamster, a cat, a rabbit, some gold fish, and a turtle, but I didn't have any of them long enough before they died or were given away by my mother to ever form that special human-animal bond. So, I now operate a tiny petting zoo. I have two cats: Essex and Indigo (Indie); and two dogs: a golden retriever named Mickey and a chocolate lab named Finnigan.
3) Essex's full name is Essex Cleopatra. Essex for my university residence, and Cleopatra because, well, it just suits her. She's the only other living lady in our house.
4) Finnigan was named before we met him or were even certain we would get another dog . After seeing a picture of cute brown puppy for sale online (who I decided looked like a Finnigan) and spontaneously visiting the breeder only to find out that puppy had already been sold to another family, Tim and I started sorta seriously contemplating getting a puppy. We visited several litters of golden retrievers and as irresistible as golden puppies are, none them felt right. I then decided I really wanted a brown dog to name Finnigan. We eventually visited a Labrador breeder, and there he was, in the middle of the box of pups, my Finnigan. His name really suits him. His nickname is "Goon".
5) I have several best friends, one of whom I have known since I was two. She is the keeper of my early childhood secrets, a true soul mate, and despite all she knows about me, I can't share this blog with her. She doesn't know it exists. I'm not sure why.
6) I used to treat myself to regular pedicures and now I don't ever want to change the nail polish that is on my toes. I had my last pedicure while I was still pregnant with Isla, about 9 weeks ago, and I wore the polish through my labour and delivery. Despite that the polish is starting to chip and my toe nails are long (gross, right?) I am hesitant to take the polish off. I think I will need to wear this colour forever. I should go find a bottle of this colour for sale somewhere before I start stabbing Tim with my toe nails in bed!
7) the raspberry colour font on the headings on this blog was chosen to match my toenails. It is a colour that will always remind me with Isla. I have this feeling she would like it.
8) the pink and white damask background of this blog was also chosen for Isla. I hadn't purchased much for her before she was born, but I did purchase beautiful crib bedding with a pink and white damask pattern. I had plans to stencil a pale pink damask pattern on one wall of her nursery, with a horizontal stripe and large monogram (IMJ) in chocolate brown in the centre of the wall, over her crib.
9) I desperately want to be a mother to another daughter, natural or adopted, and I hope she loves dolls! I still get the same rush of excitement and wonder as I did as a child when I visit the doll aisle in Toys R Us.
10) I have a shooting star tattooed on my left hip, with the words "Carpe Diem" written underneath. I was 21 years old when I got this tattoo. At the time I believed I had control over my destiny, and if I made a wish (the shooting star) all I had to do was seize the day (carpe diem) to make it come true. I want to keep making wishes and seizing each day, even though I know control is mostly just an illusion.