Valencia’s favorite position is to lie on someone’s chest and feel and hear their heart beat. She can sleep like that for hours. So the Sunday before last when I brought her to visit her sister’s grave for the first time, I set her in her favorite position. A million thoughts went through my head. “Laurencia’s little body is only about 4 feet away.
It’s as if they are together again but not really.
Does Valencia remember feeling her? Does she remember her heart beat and that’s why she likes being on my chest? I can’t remember feeling Laurencia on my chest. I wish she would have been with us longer. How long will it be before they are truly together again? I don’t want it to be soon. Is that selfish? Does Laurencia know we are here?
Does she know us? Where is she? I know she’s not really here but she really is here.”
John 14:1-4 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”
And then I had to scoop Valencia up because it was chilly and I had to chase after Mae who likes to run rampant through the cemetery.
She likes to run rampant through pretty much anywhere. If you’re friends with me on Facebook you already know that. And you know how we’ve been doing since Valencia has been home. I’m not going to lie, it’s been hard but infinitely better than her being in the hospital. Hard because Mae is terribly in love so I can’t set Valencia down anywhere without risk of Mae attacking. Mae also begs to “hode” her ALL OF THE TIME but I can’t let her since she still doesn’t get that the baby is still fragile. As you can see from the video, letting her hode her isn’t a good idea. Oy vey.
*for the record, I was RIGHT there, inches away and this is NOT the norm, I don’t just let Mae hold her without me also holding her beneath her. I thought I’d let her try without me but clearly she’s still not quite at the age which can grasp that a baby can’t be tossed around
Oh how I wish I could instead be telling of the trials of Mae and her TWO baby sisters. My greatest goal most days is figuring out how to keep both Mae and Valencia alive. Noble goals, I know. I’m not joking either. It occurred to me how quickly and easily Mae could really hurt her without knowing it, Valencia is still so tiny! She just has no idea that her love is lethal. I think I may, in a sleep deprived stupor, have offered Mae up for sale on FB last week but I retract the offer. No, she hasn’t gotten better but dangit if she isn’t the cutest and funniest and squooshiest thing. Plus I had too many takers. I don’t blame you all, there is nothing on Earth like a Mae Mae. Even when she gets into my brand new eyeliner and long lasting lipstick when I had to answer a call from the kids’ teachers, knowing full well the ramifications of making the choice to answer the phone and leave her alone for 5 seconds. The result:
I’ve been trying to find new things to keep her busy like taking her to lunch with Polly at school. After about one hour she started to melt down and I had to drag her out kicking and screaming. BUT, before that she was hilariously cute following Polly to the wash hands line and then lunch line.
All the while Polly’s awesome, amazing, sweet, kind, loving teacher held Valencia and loved on her. Her teacher also let Mae loose on some coloring pages in the classroom later and let Mae take over her entire free time. We have been SO FORTUNATE with our kids’ teachers and school.
Valencia is now nearly 7 lbs. and growing well. I thought there was a chance she’d actually sleep in her crib for brief periods in the nighttime since she slept in her bassinet in the hospital but I thought wrong. She’s just like all of the others and she doesn’t want to be set down at night. She’s also got her days and nights mixed up pretty well which has been challenging as it usually is when the newborns come home. She’s so dang sweet though that holding her all night isn’t the worst thing I can think of 🙂 I am praying that somehow we can at least get to a few hours of sleeping at night since I have to go back to work soon! We’ll figure it out.
In other news, we dressed up for Halloween and Valencia was the star of the group. Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs. My cousin Lana gave me two big bins of adorable girl clothes (I knew she’d have cute things, she has five boys and one little girl!) and in the bins was a 0-3 month snow white costume. As soon as I spotted it I knew what we had to be for Halloween! Dorks, I know. My poor, long-suffering husband. He was Dopey — the kids (and I) thought it was hilarious. I was Sleepy of course, Gabby – Sneezy, Wyatt – Doc, Bella – Happy, Polly – Bashful and Mae – Grumpy.
We were finally able to schedule Valencia’s baptism which is coming up in a week and we will be getting ready for several holiday parties and birthday parties. Everyone says the first holidays without Laurencia will be especially difficult. I am going to try to incorporate loving reminders of her in everything we do. I had photos taken of Valencia and used a little lamby in the photos as a reminder of her sister (she’s got her arm around it in the photos at the cemetery). I get asked A LOT about Valencia when I’m out with her. She’s so tiny so people ask how old she is. I should probably just say “three weeks” and leave it at that but I don’t and it invites questions. I try to explain about Laurencia in a way that won’t make others uncomfortable but still not deny that she was really here. Two little boys in Wyatt and Bella’s class were sitting next to me while we had lunch. They are identical. I asked them if they were and they said, “Yes!” I told them that I thought it was pretty neat and that Valencia has an identical twin too. I was holding her so all of the kids were oogling over her 🙂 The little guy said, “Well, where is she?” And I told him, “Heaven”. “Oh, she died?” “Yes.” “That’s sad, that’s really sad.” He was so sweet about it. I didn’t want to stress him out but the facts are the facts. I am learning that kids sometimes understand things in ways we can’t, sometimes better than we do. Polly told me the other day that she was really sad and upset that she didn’t get to see or hold Laurencia while she was alive. I had no idea. We generally talk about Laurencia casually throughout our day but this time I had asked if there was anything they were thinking about or had questions about. I told her I was sad too that she didn’t live longer and that I didn’t get to hold her in my arms more while she was alive. I also told her that I have video of when she was alive and I’d show it to her. I could never possibly describe how grateful I am that my sisters were there during the delivery to capture those precious few moments.
Back to these moments…and back to chasing Mae and feeding my sweet Valencia. Thanks again for the sweet notes and for asking about how we’re doing!