It's late at night and I've been back and forth about sharing this all day. But I really feel like, as personal as it is, as much as I feel like this is my story and my baby, it's God's story and He is writing it so beautifully in our lives. We don't know how or where this story will end, but we know that when God is the Author of our lives, there's nothing we need to hide. I am sharing with you all a very precious part of my life with you tonight.
One year ago today I gave birth to a baby girl. (I know this because there are honestly days where I think to myself in a panic - "I gave birth to a baby girl three months ago- where is she??" or I'll wake up from a dead sleep panicking because I'm sure she's still alive and I forgot to bring her home from the hospital.)
She was already in Heaven when she was born.
This is hard for me to wrap my mind around compeltely. I honestly wonder in a non-sentimental but practical sense whether she watched from Heaven as her Mom and Dad held her still little body in the hospital that day.
I wonder what she knows about us. The sentimental side of me wants her to know how much we loved her - how we praised God for every day He blessed us with her. How I'm actually a pretty fun, albeit far-from-perfect Mom.
Evie, I want you to know that no one is better than your Daddy at bedtimes - he'll sit with you forever and stroke your forehead or rub your back until you fall asleep. He'll even sing the Doxology for you 10 times in a row if you ask him. He's also really good at lining up cars and building tall towers, and I'd bet he'd even be willing to learn to play dolls with you if you asked him to. Your big brother is a wild man but has a special, protective place in his heart for the little girls in his life. He would have given you a hard time, be sure of it, but he would have protected you fiercely if anyone ever gave you trouble.
In this video are the photos of my labor and the two hours we spent with little Evie Grace.
I've mentioned her many times before as our photographer but also as a now dear family friend: Claire Wise is a Nashville area photographer that volunteers for an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. She spent two of the hardest days of our lives with us, and the beautiful thing, is that we hardly noticed she was there. These photos are what I would grab if our house was on fire (assuming that Ryan and Oliver are already safe!) - they are our proof that Evie was here. They are our memories of her. They are so personal, so beautiful, so honest, and most of all, evidence of God's presence bringing peace into that place. We did not do this on our own.
About 3 minutes into the video is when it was time for me to deliver Evie. You'll see my family gathered around me, Ryan leading us in a prayer for grace and strength. That was a weighty moment. One that I had not fully prepared myself for. When I gave birth to Oliver, pushing him out meant "hello". It meant that I would finally meet my baby and begin a life as this child's mother. Delivering Evie meant "goodbye". She was leaving me. The Lord was good to us in that moment. He gave me the strength to do what I honestly didn't think I could.
I want to prepare you that this video may be difficult to watch. Don't feel badly if you choose not to watch it. I just want to make it available to anyone for whom it may be helpful. You'll notice that Evie had some deformities. Her ear was low and underdeveloped. He little leg was turned. These were not surprises to us. We love these things as a part of how God made her. She was so, so beautiful to us. She had my mouth - my big lips. And, in a few shots you'll notice her white swirly crown of hair - just like Oliver had. She was ours.
This video is a part of our testimony. We share it with you today, not only in remembrance of our baby girl, but in gratitude to our Father in Heaven for his tender mercies to our family - for his faithfulness to us in this year. We serve an amazing God. Nothing surprises Him. He is a masterful Creator. He does not make mistakes.
Join us, as you watch this video, in worshiping the Creator of Life, the Great Physician, the Comforter who reminds us this Easter weekend that death is not the end! He has risen - and in Him, we too can live forever!
(If your computer can handle it, you may want to click to view this full screen.
Otherwise, I'm afraid it may be difficult to read some of the text.)