Thursday, June 13, 2019

Happy 3rd Birthday, Hadley!

Today is Hadley Grace's 3rd Birthday. I cannot help but imagine what she'd be like at 3 years old. Sass and sweetness, I'm sure of it. But today, I wanted to take some extra time and reflect on Hadley. Not on grief. Not on healing. Not on our Rainbow Baby. Not on the story--the heaps brokenness, healing, pain, grace, and sorrow that were all there in droves. Because's not about me. It never was. So, baby girl, this one's for you. Dad, brother, and I will be visiting you today, honoring your memory, going to do some of our traditional Hadley birthday things, and celebrating YOU.

I knew Hadley before I met her. This one was a rascal, through and through. My pregnancy with her was eventful and while we could never forget a baby was on the horizon, girlfriend made herself KNOWN. And really, is there any other way to make one's debut?

In addition to making herself known, Hadley knew things. She just did. She knew when we were praying over her (extra kicks), she knew when it was time to perform for the NST tests, and when she could chill. She knew her arrival would blow us right out of the water and her path to being brought into this world would be anything but usual. I wonder if she even knew her time with us would be brief. I suspect she might have.

Hadley delighted us....she still does. Her presence was a light in every sense of the word. In a dark and broken time, Hadley provided peace just by being her sweet self. Amidst the cords, oxygen, wires, beeping, and medical device mania, she lay there day after day---calm, peaceful.....radiant. We were frantically trying to figure everything out, drowning in medial jargon and doctor's meetings,  and I regret sometimes not just pausing and being with her more in those days. All of the answers were right in front of us the whole time.

When it was time for her to leave this world behind, Hadley exhibited more strength and courage than I I could have ever imagined. She existed in the space between perserverance and steadfastness on one hand, and peace and perfect rest on the other. There, in the middle, she gracefully bowed out of this life to one far more spectacular and tranquil.

After her life---her birth, time spent present with us, and her beautiful, sacred death, Hadley has continued to be with me and teach me. Hadley was an amazing little baby, a gift, truly, and it feels odd saying this about a 3 lb. child, but she exhibited a zest for life, a wisdom that surpassed any of my feeble understanding, and she proved to be a prime example of courage, grace, and surrender.

Hadley, we love you so much. We think about you every day, and each morning, Hank waves at the picture of "Big sis" and we say good morning to you. On this special day, your THIRD birthday, we remember and celebrate you even more than usual. Here's to you, Princess Baby. You are a blessing.

Savor Your Sparkle,
PS) If you want to read along on the whole journey of sweet Hadley click HERE Words fail to encompass everything about those days, but I tried to record it all as best as I could and I am so thankful to have these memories now.

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