My daughter was the wisdom of my world. Gaea Sophia, Greek for "Earth Wisdom", was this beauty in a world so cruel, calm in my storm. Hope where I was hopeless. After her twin brother died, I thought that I would die right along with him. I remember laying on the table at CHOP, as the doctors fought to stabilize my little munchkin, and looking up at the kind EMT who had carried Nicholas in the helicopter, who had nodded to me the entire journey that "yes, your little boy is okay", he slowly shook his head and began to cry. At that moment, I wanted to die. I wanted to let go and he said, softly, "Your other baby is going to be okay." And suddenly, amid the chaos, I felt her move. When he stepped away and Peter brought my beautiful baby boy to me to see, up close and personal for the first time, it was as though our little Sophie heard her daddy's voice and leaped for joy. She moved, as though to say "Hold me, too!"
Throughout the hospital stay, I held her, snug in my belly, my arms around her. She would sometimes find my hands and curl up in a ball. Othertimes, she would swim incessantly from side to side. Later, we wondered if she was looking for Nick. If Peter wasn't holding our son, I would hold him, one hand around his blanket, one hand on my stomach, so that I could hold both. I grieved but I couldn't grieve completely. Sophia gave the me hope that from our pain, we could still have joy. I wondered constantly how I would ever explain to my daughter that her brother had died... That I couldnt save him... That I couldnt keep them both safe... But then she would move and I would wonder if she could still talk to him somehow, if they could still be together someway.
She gave us so much in the two weeks we had her before she was with her brother again. For those two weeks, even though we were broken, it was the hope that she gave us, the strength from her older brother, and the belief that, no matter what, they were both safe and loved, that got us through.
And today, my little girl would be 11 months old. It's hard to believe 11 months have passed since her birth... That, in 2 weeks, her big brother will be a year old. My God... All that has happened... All that has changed... In a week, it will be 2 months since I gave birth to Alexander... Wow... To me, life stopped so long ago that seeing the pages on the calendar go by is just another reminder of how much of me has gone. Life goes by so slowly when you are childless and want a baby; having children changes everything. They grow up so fast and you grow older without even realizing it... Even when they are in heaven and you are trapped in the world below. It's made all the harder because, for you, the time until you see them again goes by so slowly and you feel each day drag on like the eternity that it has become...
This time in February, I was laying in bed, in the midst of the early signs of labor; my back felt like it was going to split open... Five hours later, my water broke and a half hour after that, the EMTs were called. At 6:08pm tonight, as I am on my way home from work, I will remember the culmination of 4 hours of hard, back labor: the birth of my daughter. It was during her labor that the realization that "Yes, labor is hard," came, immediately followed by the words that I hold in the silence of my heart, "but you can do it."
And so today, we celebrate our little girl's 11 month birthday. This morning, I made her favorite breakfast, the cream of wheat that personally, I'm not a huge fan of but that I would have given my right eye for during the 2 weeks we had with just little Sophie inside. Tonight, I'll cook, and we'll remember her and love her and pray for the day that we see her again.