Genevieve Arden | Clarkesville GA Newborn Photographer
Posted on Apr 10, 2014
This is a special post from a VERY special family. My heart aches and the tears flow as I read this. This is a very strong mommy, but not on her own. Her strength comes from the Lord Himself.
Words from mommy:
Not many people can say they would be excited to find out they’re pregnant with their fourth when the youngest is five months old, but I was. I wasn’t afraid, nervous, and regretful for a minute. My smooth sailing pregnancy came to a screeching halt at 22 weeks. It was rudely interrupted by a large kidney stone that turned my pregnancy into a nightmare. 32 IV’s, 9 procedures, 5 hospital stays, 2 stents and 2 percutaneous nephrostomy tubes later I delivered a healthy gorgeous baby girl at 32 weeks and 5 days. To say I get annoyed by hearing about people’s kidney stone stories is an understatement.
She had a fairly uneventful 5 week NICU stay and came home just in time for Christmas. Her sisters were thrilled. Life as we knew it hadn’t changed much despite our new addition. We adapted well and Arden grew to be an average for her age (not gestational age) baby! Along with her kissable chubby self were the most gorgeous blue eyes you’ve ever seen. The shape was enchanting, and quite frankly (I might be biased) I’ve never seen prettier eyes.
It was the day after my 29th birthday and we were at a friend’s house. It was a terrible rainy, windy, nasty day. We put Arden down to sleep on out friends bed and her sister down to sleep in a pack n play in hopes to play cards. Well she had other plans so we decided to go on home. We packed up the girls and my husband headed upstairs to get Arden. He yelled out that he needed some help and I thinking that she must have thrown up or pooped terribly said, “what…why??” Then I sensed the terror in his voice and I asked, “Is she not breathing?!?!” When he said no I bolted up the stairs to find a picture I can’t get out of my mind. I immediately attempted CPR, but deep down inside this nurse I knew it was too late. 911 was called and first responders arrived, paramedics finally came in and whisked her off to the back of the truck. We arrived at NEGMC and there they worked on her for a short time until it was evident there was no hope.
Family and dear friends quickly arrived to offer us very much appreciated support. It was horrific, indescribable, and completely traumatizing. I hear in my head each month on her month birthday “she would have been”, and when I see other babies her age accomplish milestones I think again, “she would have been” It repeats and repeats like a terrible dream you can’t wake up from.
I had plans nearly from the day she was born to post a picture of her on her first birthday of her first day of life intubated and in the NICU. I intended to brag about the fact that you couldn’t tell she was a preemie because she had met all her milestones as if she were full term, just because I knew she would. But instead I’m posting this picture along with these words to share a glimpse of the pain I feel with her memory.
I cherish the memory of mid mornings rocking her to sleep in her room. It’s like I can still feel her on my chest as I sit empty handed in the glider. I cling to the sound of her fat baby chuckle. I savor the few “firsts” I did enjoy. I clutch to the memory of coming into the NICU each day feeling like a new mom despite the fact she was my fourth not knowing what to do with the tiny little life wrapped in my shirt. And how could I forget those eyes…gorgeous.
When I try to savor these things the pain starts. It wells up in my throat making it difficult to breathe until it overflows and goes rushing into my chest like a wildfire. Once it burns my heart to a mere dust it trickles to my gut giving me a feeling of intense hunger. Once the hunger subsides shooting pains go down each leg pricking every toe. Then…I cry.
There is nothing crueler than having to relive a day of horror in my head almost daily. There’s nothing crueler than facing some of the haunting facts surrounding her death over and over. And there’s certainly nothing crueler knowing if I had done maybe just one thing different she would still be here today.
You can never prepare yourself to perform CPR on your own baby regardless of your recent PALS certification. You can never prepare yourself to ask a doctor to quit attempting to save your baby’s life because you know it’s not going to work. You can never prepare yourself to hold your deceased baby. You can also never prepare to plan your own child’s funeral. But you can prepare your heart for heartache of horrible tragedies in life by allowing Christ to come in and take over your heart and soul. He protects, guides, loves unconditionally, heals, and above all gives grace that surpasses understanding.
I fear that as time passes she will become the figure of a daughter we once had, instead of one that lived and breathed on this Earth. She had a special smile, incredible piercing eyes, and a chuckle that made your day. She was here…on Earth. I desperately want to remember every minute detail about Arden Piper but I’m sad to say that part of her has already faded with my memory.
Her death has changed me in many ways. Some are positive and some are not. I appreciate more than words can describe the ones who have taken the time to be patient with me, and tried their best to understand my grief. Those who have put their feelings aside and appreciated mine…good and bad. Between them and the knowledge of Christ’s love I can get out of bed each day. I’m proud of the actress I’ve become making things seem like I’m okay. No one wants to hear of the daily pain I feel, and I know that. I hope through this I can one day be an unbelievable help to someone who will unfortunately experience something similar.
Arden, To say I miss you is not an accurate description of the eagerness and yearning in my soul to have you in my presence. I do miss you though. I miss your presence in our new family memories, I miss the addition of chaos a baby added to our life, I miss your chubby squishy body that was so fun to squeeze. Your sisters miss you too, and I hope that the little ones remember you as they grow. Brynn talks about you daily and never wants you left out. Eden can’t say your name, but I know she misses you too as she grabs my necklace with your picture, kisses it, and says, “beebee”. I know Madeline is forever changed by your short time in her life, and she wishes to hold you just about as much as I. Until that sweet day when I do get to sprint to you, wrap you in my arms, and squeeze you tightly. I love you and miss you, my precious baby girl.
We were fortunate enough to be blessed with another baby girl. As most of you can imagine there’s a fury of emotions running through our hearts and minds welcoming this love. There’s healing of wounds, and reopening of wounds. There’s hope, and there’s fear. A hole seems filled, but almost deeper at the same time. (This may be difficult for one to understand) I’m in awe of her perfection, and thankful for the blessing she is and will be. Her sisters are in love, her daddy is wrapped, and I can’t be more excited to hold her in my arms. Our hearts are filled yet again as we’re pleased to introduce Genevieve Arden. Our God is an awesome God!
Continue to lift this family up in your prayers as they will be facing a one year mark very soon.