Today is your due date. Instead of anxiously awaiting your arrival into the world, we are anxiously waiting for the pictures of you. We took your big brother to see his first movie at the movie theater today, in hopes of creating some happy memories on what is now a sad day. I am so happy that you are in heaven with Jesus, but I am so sad that I didn't get to be your mommy here for more time than I did.
When Daddy and I found out I was pregnant with you, we were a little scared. Two babies? Your big brother keeps us really busy, how would we do with adding another baby? You were very much wanted and planned, but it took us one month longer than we hoped to get pregnant. Daddy, Joey, and I all have July birthdays, and we wanted you to have one, too, but God gave you a different month. You made your presence known right away, even when you were too small for me to feel your kicks. Nausea, heartburn, and fatigue were my constant companions for the first 12 weeks or so, but I knew the end result would be worth it.
When we had our first doctor appointment, they couldn't find your heartbeat, but said it was still early to hear it with the doppler, so they sent us for a quick check with the ultrasound. Your heartbeat was perfect and strong, and you were exactly the size that you should be. From then on, we had our monthly appointments at home with the midwife. Joey always liked to help her take my blood pressure, and when it was time to listen to your heartbeat, Daddy and Joey would do a little dance to the rhythm of your beating heart. Grandma and Auntie Kay Kay also got to hear that most special sound when they came to visit.
When it was time to find out if you were a boy or a girl, I was nervous. Everyone told me they thought you were a girl, but I wasn't sure. God told me right away that your brother was a boy and that I should name him Joseph, but I hadn't heard anything from God about you. I was so used to being a mommy to Joey that I was nervous whether I would be a good mom to a girl or not. They did the 20-week ultrasound, and said you were a girl, and sent us back to the waiting room to speak with the doctor.
While we were waiting, Daddy and I talked about names. We wanted your name to honor your Nannah, and also to honor my side of the family as well. I suggested Harper Pauline. Daddy said, "That's it! I love it!" Harper was your Nannah's last name before she married your Papaw Larry. Pauline was my Grandma's first name. Paul was my Grandpa's first name and your Grandpa's middle name, so it was a way to honor all three of them.
As the weeks went on, I got excited about buying things for you. The walls in your bedroom are lime green, and I was too tired to paint them, so I decided to make that color work. We bought lavender curtains, a purple rug, and your crib bedding had a white background with lime green, purple, and lavender accents. Grandma was so excited about you, it seemed like she was always sending us packages of clothes in the mail. Aunt Shelley made you a special quilt with your name on it, and Granny Ann bought you a pretty pink dress. Auntie Kay Kay bought you an LSU dress, an essential for any little Tigers fan.
At the end of May, Daddy took Joey's crib apart so that we could use it for you. Your big brother did great switching to a big boy bed. The first night was interesting, but he has done great ever since. He is such a sweet, loving, smart boy. I knew he would love you so much and be the best big brother. He does not understand what happened yet, but I promise I will explain it to him when he is old enough to understand. He will always know that he has a little sister in heaven that can't wait to meet him.
Mommy is trying so hard to not be sad, because I know you are not sad. You never had to endure anything difficult in this life, you were safe in my tummy while you were here. I wondered if you would have curly hair like me or straight hair like Daddy and Joey. We already knew you would have blue eyes, just like the rest of us, and no booty, just like the rest of us!
I was so looking forward to having you here with us - rocking you, cuddling you, watching you sleep, seeing all of your firsts - smiles, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking, talking. What would your first word be? Would you be as obsessed with dolls and princesses as your brother is with trains and trucks? Would you be a tom-boy or a girly girl? Or somewhere in between? I dreamed of doing girly things together when you were older - shopping, pedicures, tea parties. Would you want to wear dresses and skirts all the time? A tutu? (Even though I had no intention of buying any).
I will never know the answer to any of these questions. What I do know is that you are in heaven, and I will see you someday. I will get to be your mommy for eternity someday. I hope you know how much you are loved. Mommy misses you every second of every day. My heart hurts and it will never go away until I can see you again. You will never be forgotten. I love you, my sweet baby girl.