We would’ve been sitting on the couch right now, you asleep on me, probably freshly bathed and nursed.
I would’ve been composing some sort of 1 month post with all your baby milestones.
The other kids would be getting ready for bed and coming to kiss you goodnight a hundred times. They would probably wake you up and make you all cranky and I would laugh because you’re all so adorable.
I wonder if these thoughts ever stop. Or will I always wonder what we’d be doing if you were still here?
It’s only been 25 days and I’m not sure how we’re supposed to do life without you.
This isn’t how I pictured spending my December. It’s 2 days before Christmas and instead of reveling in the magic of the newborn stage, we had your funeral. After you were born, we had one day with you. One glorious, perfect day before everything changed. Then we spent the next 5 days in hospitals with you hooked up to monitors and machines, not knowing if you would make it another day.
Your daddy and I have seen things no parent should have to see. But here’s the thing, son- we were never alone. Emmanuel. God with us. He was with us the entire time and He has given us everything we need to survive this, gifts that only He could provide.
Strength- as we walked through hospital hallways and looked into your doctor’s eyes when the words they spoke were every parent’s worst nightmare.
Peace- as we watched you take your final breath and slip away from us, into the arms of Jesus.
Joy- to get out of bed every morning, to carry on for your siblings and create memories with them this holiday season.
Faith- to know that even when we don’t understand, we can trust in the Lord’s plan and know that He works all things together for good according to His purpose.
Comfort- in our darkest moments, when the pain is so unbearable, we can physically feel it in our chests and stomachs.
Love- His tender mercies that have been sprinkled all around us throughout this entire journey, often times through the kindness of others.
And finally, Hope- the hope we have in Jesus and the promise of heaven.
This Christmas, in the midst of heartbreak, I still have a reason to celebrate. This isn’t how I pictured spending my December, with you in heaven on your first Christmas, but still, I rejoice. I celebrate that baby in the manger, the man on the cross, and the hope we have because of Him.
Thank you for opening my eyes to this, sweet boy. This is, perhaps, the greatest gift you’ve given me through your life and death. I will see you again, my darling boy. I love you forever.
Darling boy, today was your due date. You surprised us 2 weeks early, even though I specifically asked you not to come that day, since I had a sink full of dishes that I was too tired to wash. I always wanted a Christmas baby.
Your daddy and I didn’t think we’d have a 5th, but I said if we had another surprise babe, I’d love to have a December baby. Boy, were you full of surprises. I can’t help but think about the ‘what ifs’. What if you were still here, alive and well? You would’ve been 2 weeks old and probably starting to get pretty chubby like your brother did at this age.
What if I still would’ve been pregnant? 40 weeks pregnant and probably complaining to your dad about how uncomfortable I am, taking for granted my last moments with you safe in my womb. All of this feels so surreal sometimes. I keep saying you’re supposed to be here. I’m supposed to be cuddling my little nursling and watching Christmas movies instead of picking out an urn and planning a funeral service for my baby boy.
But the truth is you fulfilled your purpose here. Your life was so precious and powerful. You were here for 6 days and you reached more people than I ever could in my entire lifetime. So rest easy, baby boy, and I’ll see you again when my time comes.
One day. We had you for one day, Sterling. Everything was normal. Your newborn exam was perfect. You nursed well. You cried when your swaddled opened up and the cold air hit your soft newbie skin. It was pure bliss for one day. 21 hours to be more exact.
This mama had no idea what heartbreak and turmoil was coming her way. I’m so grateful that we had 21 hours of normalcy with you, to snuggle you and sniff your little newborn head. 21 hours before everything changed. 21 perfect, beautiful hours of you. Some parents don’t even have that with their babies and I will be eternally grateful for this day.
Randy and I want to express our deepest gratitude for the amount of support we’ve received during the darkest time of our lives. ‘Thank you’ doesn’t even begin to cover it. During this time, there have been little blessings sprinkled all throughout. Sometimes, they have come in the form of love and support from friends, family, and even complete strangers. And sometimes, they have come in the form of comedic relief- just funny, little things that have happened that brought laughter and joy to a painful situation.
I’m keeping a journal full of all the beautiful things that have come out of this nightmare and I would like to start sharing them with you soon. In the meantime, please know that every text, every call, every DM or PM, every comment, every prayer, every meal, every gift, every card, every donation, every share, even if we’re just on your mind, all of this means the world to us. From the bottom of my shattered heart, thank you.
As much as I wish I could be reporting a miracle, I have devastating news. Our beautiful Sterling was ushered into heaven last night, while being snuggled in his daddy’s arms. This has been the most excruciating pain we’ve ever felt, but we also feel the Lord’s presence, His hand holding us together, and His strength, peace and comfort.
Precious Sterling was born with a rare metabolic disorder that shut down his entire little system. We’ll never understand why we were chosen to walk this road, but we trust in God’s plan for our lives and for Sterling’s little life. It was short, but impacted many. Thank you for all your support, love and prayers. We wouldn’t have been able to go through this without you guys by our side and we love you all.
I love you, sweet boy. I’m so sorry for all the doctors, pricks, pokes, tubes, tests and scans. It killed us to see you that way, but truly, you’re a lucky boy. You had a fast pass to heaven and now I know you’re at peace. No more pain, just peace. Daddy and I will be here taking care of your sisters and brother, but we will be thinking about you every second of every day until we go home to be with you. The Lord sent us an angel for Christmas and although it has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done to have to give you back, my son, I wouldn’t change having you for the world.
Thank you for the 6 days we had with you. I love being your mama, Sterling.