One year ago today at 8:38 p.m., you silently entered this world. Your dad and I wished so much that the doctors were wrong, that you would let out a cry when you were born. Sadly, that was not the case. The nurses cleaned you up and bundled you tightly. Your daddy held you first. Such a beautiful little girl you were. It was almost hard to believe your dad and I created such a perfect little baby.
The last two days have been spent reliving the events of last year. What I was doing before my world was turned upside down. We talked about the evening of the 27th; we were cooking dinner and set the smoke detector off. Chris had asked me if Quinn kicked at how loud it was and I said no and continued on with cooking dinner. How sad that interaction makes me now. Our little girl was gone and it would take a couple more hours for the realization to hit and the panic to set in. I think of the doctor telling us that there was no heartbeat, I can sometimes still hear the sound of us crying in my head. The calls I made in the wee hours to my friends, leaving tearful voicemails explaining what had happened. Sometimes these memories are so vivid it seems like they happened yesterday and sometimes it is hard to believe that it all happened to us. Chris and I have said it was almost like an out of body experience.
We looked through Quinn’s memory box tonight. It has been awhile since we did that. The blankets still smell like her. Looking at her little things, all the memories we have of her short time with us brought a wave of intense emotion. It brought me right back to how I felt in those early days, the raw grief. Her ultrasound pictures, the DVD of her anatomy scan, footprints, her dress and hat. Everything we have fits neatly into the cardboard memory box that the hospital gave us.
I want to thank the people who have reached out to us today, sending cards, flowers, texts, and their love. Friends who released balloons by the ocean or made donations in Quinn’s honor. All of these gestures mean so much to us. It lets us know our sweet girl has not been forgotten, that she is loved not only by us, but by so many others. Any bereaved parent would echo these words: we just want people to remember that her little life mattered. She was a person, one who I carried for 8 ½ months. She is our first child, our first daughter.
So here we are, one year later, not the same people we once were. We love you sweet girl and we miss you dearly. We hope you continue to keep an eye on us and your sister. When we look at her, we can’t help but feel you with us.