15 Months

Today, Elliot turns 15 months old…in Heaven.

It’s so hard to believe it’s been 15 months since Ben and I last held our baby girl. It’s been 15 months since I kissed her cool cheeks and whispered I love you into her flawless little ears. It’s been 15 months since we learned what true perfection looks like.

It’s been 15 months since we were forced to give her back – the single most difficult thing we’ve ever had to do.

I know Elliot will always be ours. She’s shown us time and time again that she hasn’t truly left us. I strongly believe we will see her again someday, but I want her in my arms now. I want to hold and kiss her again, now. I want to rock her to sleep and sing lullabies as she tries to pull at my cheeks. I want to feel her warm skin against mine. I want to see her in all her toddler glory. I want to be exhausted due to sleepless nights. I want to feel overwhelmed by the never-ending loads of laundry and toy cluttered house.

I just want to feel my daughter’s love as it was meant to be felt. Here and now. Through kisses and hugs. Smiles and laughter. I want all of that. Not just for me, but for Ben too.

I know I say this a lot, but it never stops being true – I miss Elliot more and more every day.

A few days ago, on my walk to the train station, I passed a family of four. At first, I noticed the mother with her very small baby in her pack. The baby couldn’t have been more than a month old. I smiled at the thought of that being me very soon. Then I saw the dad pushing his young daughter, who looked to be about two years old, in a stroller. My heart swelled with envy.

That is supposed to be our life. 

Then I wondered, as I always do when I see strangers now, is that the life they had hoped and planned for? Or is someone missing from their family too? You just never know who’s hurting just like you.

After my weekly OB appointment yesterday, I went shopping at Target. I was in the baby section when I saw a really cute Big Sister shirt, just the right size for a toddler. My toddler. I was tempted to buy it for Elliot. Even though she will never be able to wear it, it’s still meant for her. She’s still a big sister.

She’s still our girl. Always and forever, Elliot is ours and we are hers.

I will always be happy and grateful for the time spent with her, just as I will always be sad for the time lost.

Happy 15 months, baby girl. We love you.

 

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