16 Days. The number of days we had to love on our sweet Avelyn here on this earth. Period.
It's so crazy to think about our journey the past 2 weeks and 2 days vs our journey almost 2 years ago. This time is how it's supposed to go, how a mommy envisions things going...feeding your new little one, changing LOTS of diapers - and with a little boy we are finding out having some fountain-like experiences during those diaper changes :), and getting in LOTS and LOTs of snuggles at every chance possible. Thankfully we are blessed to be experiencing all of these beautiful things this time around. Two years ago come May, was much different. No nursing, but lots of pumping - enough the staff @ Children's Mercy graciously informed me there was no more room for my abundant milk to be stored in their freezer. Lol. A few diaper changes, but many wires & tubes to work around; good thing there were no fountain-like moments then, as that would have been a whole new ballgame. LOTS of snuggles, but in a different way; unable to hold our sweet Avelyn until a few moments before our Father held her, but still loving on her nonetheless - by holding her hand (or I should say her squeezing our fingers :) ) or by doing what the nurses called "hand hugs" where I would place one hand on her head and the other somewhere else on her fighting but swollen body, and by singing to her at every chance I could - "You Are My Sunshine," "Overcomer," "Beautiful Girl."...trying to show her love in whatever way I could since we were unable to do typical baby snuggles.
At my 6 week follow-up appointment with the nurse practitioner at Children's Mercy two years ago come June, I just so happened to run into the OB who delivered Avelyn, Dr. Satija. This was a meeting set up by God, as Dr. Satija is rarely at Children's Mercy (she mainly works next door at Truman) and she only works 24 hour shifts (and spends a lot of this time at Truman). We just spoke briefly, but these words I will never forget.--She said she was thankful that Avelyn was here on this earth long enough for us to "show her how much we loved her." At first this kind of upset me, as I didn't fully understand or even necessarily agree with what she was saying. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. We weren't guaranteed 16 days with our sweet daughter - just like none of us - none of our kids, grandkids, moms, or dads - are guaranteed any days here on this earth. And for Avelyn, if Josh hadn't of asked the doctor @ Overland Park Regional further questions about her hydrops, and specifically her heart, on May 5th - we most likely would have been sent home to wait for another week until our next appointment, and maybe never met our sweet girl alive on this earth. But instead, as a result of Josh's questions and God's amazing grace, the doctor that day did further testing and referred us to Children's Mercy with an appt. on May 7th to "rule-out" a heart condition...only for a few hours later for us to meet our sweet daughter and welcome her into this world. Things thankfully fell into place so that we were able to meet her on this earth...and spend a precious 16 days with her, and be able to show her how much we love her.
As for the love shown to both Avelyn and AJ for these 16 days each, I truly believe - though shown in different ways - it is the same love. We gave all the love we had to Avelyn those 16 days, just as we have given all our love to AJ. A couple brilliant suggestions Aili's pediatrician gave us to help AJ get his days and nights figured out has been to, during the day: open up our blinds - to let the sunshine in :) - and also to have some noise going on. So, the other day I was going through some of the songs on my phone and listening to them as I was holding AJ. I came upon a song I had gotten about 2 years ago. It's called "Slip on By" by Finding Favour. If you have time, please listen to it. Here is the link:
And here it is on YouTube:
"Hear the sound of my little boy sayin, 'Daddy can you come play with me?' but I was too busy."
"That I'm never gonna let another moment like this slip on by."
"And God gives us only so much precious time."
It's so easy to let time "Slip on By." But friends, let's try to make the most of it. "This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24) Make time for God - our Savior. And make time for others you love, those whom YOU want to show how much you love them. Tell them, show them, love them. Our precious time here on this earth will slip on by. It is slipping by at this moment. Give your life to Christ, then let Him multiply your love for all those around you. Make the most of whatever number your "16 days" might be to show them how much you love them.
Love & Hugs to each of you...
A few pics from our 16 days: