My daughter from the moment I first felt her, I knew her. She had this fun personality and was opinionated. There came a point where she didn’t like me laying on my back, so she would kick and punch and move all around untill I turned on my side. She also didn’t like it if I rested anything on my belly. She would kick and punch till I moved it. There were times when depending on her position you could totally see a big bump. I think it was her shoulder. But if I pushed on that bump, she would kick or hit back.
My friend, she would write on her blog about her mirco-preemie Abby. She would talk about how “She (Abby) is not just beating the odds, she’s defying them.” I would read through those posts and think, I want to write those things about Taryn. But, I could never bring myself to talk about any kind of progress Taryn would make. For one, it seemed like every time Taryn would make progress, she would get sick again. And two, I didn’t want to publicly look too optimistic and then if something bad happened have people say…”she wasn’t thinking right. The signs were all there, her daughter was really too sick to survive.”
So, I held back a lot. I wanted to tell everyone all the wonderful things Taryn would do. I wanted to be a proud mom. I kept all her successes to myself or I shared them only with Ben and the nurses.
I hate, “I told you so.” or “I tried to tell you but you wouldn’t listen.” I didn’t want to look stupid because one day Taryn did something really cool and I blabbed it to everyone and then the next day she was sick. I didn’t want anyone thinking I was being nieve about the severity of the situation. So, I kept quite.
BUT, my daughter was amazing! She came into this world way too early and lived for 100+ days! She never gave the nurses or doctors a hard time. She always just layed there and took whatever they had to do. EVERYDAY at least 2x a day they pricked her heel for blood. Before they would do it they put a heel warmer on her. She knew the pain that was coming, but she just layed there and didn’t even mind. All the tubes and wires and beeping she had to deal with…and she was so sweet about it all. We were told so many times how sweet her personality was. That she would just look at you and could melt your heart.
My girl loved to cuddle. I held her for the first time when she was 3 weeks old for an hour. That is unheard of. But she loved it. She loved the sound of my voice. She knew my voice and you could see she would start to improve. I can’t explain how it felt to physically feel my heart grow with love. When she finally opened her eyes and would just look into mine, I could feel her telling me how much she loved me. She would just stare and stare at me, and then eventually get sleepy. She would try so hard to keep her eyes open, but she would close them and open them. I would wrap her up tighter and tell her it was ok to go to sleep and that I would be there a bit longer but I would be back tomorrow. She would eventually give in and fall asleep. Everyday around 3 she would wake up for me.
She was feisty too. She had busy hands. She liked to pull on her tubes, and she always broke free of the expert swaddles that the nurses would try. She hated a dirty diaper. And everyday around 5 she would start working on her poop for the night shift.
There was no doubt, she looked exactly like Ben. But, she had my brother’s hands and feet. And even though she could have been Ben’s twin, she also looked so much like my brother when he was a baby. Her blond, blond hair…both my brother and I were like that when we were born.
My little girl, somehow managed to make my heart grow to fit all the love I had for her. But, she’s gone now and the love is still there. I don’t know how ease that love out of my heart. Because soon, I feel like my heart is going to explode. But, if I ease the love out of my heart to help me feel better, what if I lose all the love I have fo her and I can never feel love for her again?
We never got to the point in her care where I was really able to hope and dream about what life would be like outside of the NICU. So, I don’t mourn the loss of her not getting to come with us. I mourn that I never really got to see her full face without tubes. I never really got give her kiss after kiss after kiss. I never really was able to hold her like you would a healthy baby because she was just so delicate. I’m mad that I don’t ever get to use her name. I can’t call out to her and for her to respond. Her name is now only linked to her memory, not a real tangible person. And it’s stupid and silly, but I loved that name…and I am mad that I can’t use it.
I want my sweet Taryn back. I want to see her grow. I want to be able to tell her how much I love her. I want her to be able to feel how much I love her. I logically know that she knows it all now. She is healthy and whole. I even know that she can still feel my love for her. But, it’s still hard because I don’t have a baby to hold and physically love. All I have is her blanket to cuddle up with.
She was an amazing little girl. truly the light of our life. Our little girl who I was and am still so proud to call my daughter. If there was ever a time I wanted to know what it was like to experience God through someone, I was able to experience Him through Taryn.
I love you my sweet little girl, and I miss you so.