Yesterday we did some extensive cleaning and organizing of the house because Pat invited some of his coworkers over for dinner. I picked up this picture to dust it, and Sam and Evan started talking about it. They had always thought that it was Sam apparently. I told them, no, that this was their sister Lauralei, our first baby. Then I looked at her and my heart broke all over again. I cried because I never got to meet her living even though she was full term. I cried because I know exactly when she died during labor, when her little heart was slowing, and how painful dying must have been for her. I wish she didn't have to hurt. I would have done anything to prevent her from feeling that desperate pain.
She was perfect. She had much wrong with her (Edwards syndrome), but from the outside, she looked perfect. I still remember sitting alone in our quiet apartment just feeling her hiccup inside me. I never felt much other movement since she wasn't very strong, but she always hiccuped. I know that I'll be with her again, because Heavenly Father told me so. But I miss her. That was a very dark and hard time. This is the best photo I have of her and one of the only ones.
Thirteen years ago she was born on December 19th about a month before our 1st anniversary. Pat and I have now been married 14 years this January.
I've now been through more medical procedures than I never knew existed back when we were dating and took this happy photo. And more heartache. Ignorance is bliss. Seven of my twelve pregnancies have been lost. Some in very scary circumstances as happened last month.
But I have been richly blessed with my five living children and love them so much and believe that children are "an heritage of the Lord". Like watching a tiny plant push up out of the earth, life begins to grow, and it is such a miracle! I get to be the one that takes them through the veil into this life. President Monson, our prophet said "Mother, who willingly made that personal journey into the valley of the shadow of death to take us by the hand and introduce us to birth- even mortal life- deserves our undying gratitude."
I just feel blessed to be able to be a mom. There is no more challenging or better job out there.
Today, one of the kids was talking about something in the house that was beautiful, and Evan replied, "The only thing beautiful in this house is Mom!" In awe I started singing, "Be still my soul...", in an angelic voice and we both laughed and laughed.