My Amazing Daughter

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.

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12 Replies to “My Amazing Daughter”

  1. My dear sweet Nellie, my heart continues to break for you both. I am so afraid of growing my own family and it even being a fraction complicated as what you have been asked to endure. There are no more deserving people than you and Ben for happiness and wholesomeness. Please remain strong and positive, and ready to accept Gods gift again due to you. Love always, me.

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  2. Janelle,
    I know one thing. and that is you (we) will know her on a level ever exceeding what we could have imagined here on earth. Jesus said that He has gone and prepared a place for us…She is at that place!!!
    YOU Janelle have something waiting for you!! whatever else this life on this planet may bring… heaven will be extra special for you.
    I truly ache for you right now…and words can’t offer the peace that the Lord Jesus has given us through his death, ressurection and future with Him…but I know that what your heart longs for will be met far above what you could possibly imagine. i look forward to the day… on the other side of glory when i can see Jesus, my loved ones… and especially your reunion with Taryn.

    the barker famiy is still prayin for ya! 🙂

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  3. Peace. I heard how amazing your wee one was when we would talk. There was no hiding the love you have for her. The love you have for her will always be there, it will just change. Love you. Miss you

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  4. Sweetheart, you are the most amazing mother and wife and I’m so sorry we had to experience what we did.Im so thankful to have such a loving and caring wife as a support and partner in life. Our little Taryn was so fortunate to have a mother with such a love and passion for her daughter that would do anything to see her through anything in life and she will never forget you.
    God is with us and will see us through every difficulty in life we face, I am blessed to be by your side and you by mine. I love you so much and will always be there for you.

    Your Love,
    Ben 🙂

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  5. I had a sad day yesterday. Not what we were talking about before I left but it was after. A friend of mine asked if everything was ok and I just wanted to cry. Yesterday I saw a horrible accident and it was obvious that someone had died Multiple ambulances were driving away with no sirens. When I drove by the wreckage I almost lost it. I started to think of taryn and I started to cry. I miss asking about how she is doing I miss praying for her I miss getting excited over her ounces gained. I just still struggle ….My mom does to …. We are not ready to be over her. From a purely selfish standpoint I want her back too.

    I don’t have encouraging words this time around. I just know that because taryn was who she was and lived a life a great significance she may actually have captured more of your love than anyone and that will never change. What will change is the acuteness of your pain in your loss. That will fade and all that will be left is love for her.

    Love you!

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  6. I remember when you told me that you finally got to hold her, and I asked, “weren’t those the best few minutes of your life?!” Because the first time we held Abby, we each got a whopping 8 minutes! When you told me she allowed you to hold her for an hour, I was so happy and so jealous. That was the first time any baby in the NICU at the time had done something better than Abby. And at that time, I took it as a sign that she would make it. Now I know it was because she knew she had limited time with you both and wanted every second to count. And it did. She really was amazing, Janelle. And don’t worry, no amount of time passing, or grieving will ever allow you to lose love for her. Your heart cam only grow from here.

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  7. You don’t know me, but I came across your blog recently. I want to tell you how amazing you and your daughter are. I have tears in my eyes right now as I read this beautiful post and think of how strong she was and what an incredible bond you will always have.

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  8. Such a sweet letter about Taryn… I thank you for sharing it with the rest of us. Taryn will always be a part of you, and the love you gave her will survive forever. You had and still have a connection, yet it is hard not to want it to be still on a physical level and this is the grief, isn’t it? The sadness, the frustration, the longing… all so understandable, Janelle. It doesn’t make it any easier to know that we “get” what you are saying, I guess, but I want you to know that we do. We care about you and Ben. And, we will always care about Taryn, too, even though she is not sharing this life with us on earth. Her little spirit survives, and so does our sweet thoughts and feelings for her. That doesn’t change for us, and I know that it will not change for you, either. You are her mother and your bond and connection is so deep and to the bone… And it always will be present in your core. She was conceived, and was born, and she lived with you long enough for you to develop and unveil her own little personality and character traits. What you learned about her in her 100+ days would only have become more accentuated and pronounced. She was a gentle, yet strong little girl and she had the ability to persevere under stressful situations. I imagine that she was a lot like her mother and father.. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree… Hang in there, you two… She would have wanted you to do just what you are doing: Processing, discussing, crying, sharing, reliving, grieving, and continuing to love her, miss her and appreciate her for who she was… Taryn was blessed to have such a good mommy…

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