To my little Georgia,
From one little sister to another – where do I even begin.
The day I came to meet you at the hospital, the sun was shining and the air was warm. It was late September and it was Spring at last. But to us, it could not have felt more like a winter’s day. Looking outside, it was almost as though the world hadn’t yet realised you had passed.
The nine months leading up to that day had felt like an eternity. For your mum and dad I suspect it felt even longer. Their journey to get you had been a bumpy one. There were already scars on their hearts from loves lost before you.
So, from the day your mum and dad announced they were expecting you, we all made our own private bargains with the universe. For months we held our breath whenever the phone rang. We waited on ultrasound results with hearts in our throats. Until, eventually, we started breathing normally again, and excitement replaced fear.
We didn’t know if you were a boy or a girl or what your name would be. So instead we impatiently waited for THAT call. The call that would give you your own little identity. But instead, just days before you were due, we got that other call. And a new scar formed on our hearts
Four years ago, when your big sister was born I loved her fiercely straight away. I knew I would feel the same when you came into the world. I was so excited to hold you in my arms, breathe in your new baby goodness and marvel at your little hands and feet.
But when I heard that you had passed away I was scared I wouldn’t feel the same. I was frightened I would be too scared to touch you. I was worried that all I would see would be a lifeless body, of a little baby, that I didn’t know. But as soon as I saw you, I realised those fears were mislaid. And, I loved you instantly. The feeling was fierce. I didn’t need your heart to be beating to feel that love. It was truly unconditional. For a moment or two I even forgot you had passed. I smiled at you and touched your little nose, and told you how much I loved you. It felt so normal to hold you.
For a moment, the movement of my chest, as I breathed with you against it, made it look like you were breathing with me. But as the blanket you were wrapped in slipped from my arm, and your cold skin pressed against mine, I was suddenly reminded that I wouldn’t be able to hold you forever.
As we spoke about your death, through broken voices, the pain of the situation was palpable. We talked about things that should never have to be discussed inside a maternity ward. While other families in neighboring rooms celebrated new little lives, we spoke about the knot in your cord. We said goodbye to you when we should have been saying hello. We asked questions that didn’t really have answers. And we tried our hardest to fit in a life time worth of cuddles.