It was strange waking up in the morning without Mila. It definitely feels like something is amiss. I'm no longer pregnant, but I don't have my baby either. Someone is missing. At the same time, it is good to be home with our six little loves again after being gone all day yesterday at the hospital.
The kids are really refreshing to be around right now. I need their simple childlike faith & and naive childlike outlook on life. To them, yesterday was a GREAT day. They woke up to Bunicu being here. He took them to the park. He took them to In-n-Out. They came to the hospital (first time ever in a hospital for all of them, except birth) & got to see their cute baby sister. Then back to Bunicu's for dinner, games, and the NBA finals. It makes me smile knowing that they look back on that day as the day Mila was born, not necessarily the day she died.
After breakfast today, my dad took the kids to the park (he is one incredible man...thank you, Tati), and Aaron and I finally had some alone time to process yesterday. We can't really talk too deeply about things in front of the kids, because the thoughts and emotions of Mila's birth and death are so overwhelming and consuming, that we would not be able to pay attention to our kids or take care of their needs. So we waited till we were alone, but while they were home, we asked them how they thought and felt about it all. It is sweet to hear things from their perspective. I love that they have only cute memories of their baby sister. Her fuzzy head, her cute toes, her perfect little hands.
We also had some business to take care of today, such as getting a breast pump and making burial arrangements. We decided we would bury Mila and not cremate her, since she was born alive. (I still can't believe the Lord gave her to us alive like that...what a gift!)
I did a lot of walking (from the rental shop to the nearby hospital to ask about whether the NICU takes breast milk donations) when I picked up the breast pump, and it felt so wrong. What should/would I be doing if Mila were still with us? I would be sitting in bed nursing or something. Why am I out here in this busy city walking around like this, when I just gave birth 24 hours ago? It felt so wrong. And it made me sad. I hurried home so that I could sit and rest and act like I just had a baby.
I'm hoping the pumping will force me to sit down and pause and rest and just sit on this for a while. I don't want to move on with life so quickly and get back into the old routine. I need to establish a new routine right now. But then I don't want my new normal to involve talking to a cemetery representative. Or donating breast milk because I have no baby to feed it to.
I came home and found Lily asleep on Aaron. That never happens. It was incredibly heartwarming, but it reminded me of Mila. Daddy's getting love from this baby girl, because he has another baby girl that he can't ever snuggle with again.
That night we went to Genesa's dance show, because that was important to her, and we already paid for the tickets. We received a few heartfelt hugs from those who had been praying for us and knew. Thank you. At this point, I'm not sure who knows and who doesn't, and I really don't want to be out in public yet, but this is important to our oldest daughter, and we love her just as much as we love all of our kids. So we went, hid in the back, avoided eye contact, avoided conversations, and watched our big girl dance. And she danced beautifully.
But everything right now makes me think of Mila. I see little girls dancing, and Lily stands in her chair to copy them, and I lean over and whisper to Aaron that Lily will definitely be in dance, and then I think to myself how Mila would also have made such a cute dancer. We would have watched her here in this auditorium. She would have danced beautifully, too. But she never will. Not here on earth, anyway.
We successfully snuck out before the show officially ended and made our way home. On the way home, I began singing "head shoulders knees and toes" to Lily and Ethan to cheer them up a bit. They were both pretty upset on the way home. I wonder how these little ones are processing the news of their baby sister. But as I'm singing this song, I can't help but think of Mila's head...her soft, velvety head of hair. Mila's shoulders, knees, and perfect little toes. Mila's big eyes, and smushed ears, and tiny mouth and smushed nose, and I weep. We all cried together in that back seat.
Saying good night to the girls, Lily asked me to sing. And I always sang the same song every night. "God watches over you, He will not slumber, yes the Lord who watches Coco & Lily & the baby in Mommy's tummy, will not sleep." But there is no more baby in Mommy's tummy. And God is not watching over Mila here on earth, because she is not here anymore.
It's been a full 24 hours since I had to let go of her.
Here I am on the healing side of things, and it is much harder than I imagined it to be. Everything reminds me of her. I miss her so so incredibly much. I'm in tears thinking of it.