That morning Janie Beth's hands had loosened up. I thanked God so much because I was able to get her prints and trace her hands and feet. I think I almost cried! It was a special morning just Joey, Janie, and I. I gave Janie Beth a bath and then rubbed her with lotion. I used the lavendar scented wash and lotion from the NICU. I now keep lavendar germX at home because it reminds me of Janie Beth. :) There are times I want to smell her or be reminded so I go GermX my hands. She was dressed in the dress that Katie Jo picked out and wrapped in a pink blanket.
We had a wonderful nurse that day. She asked questions about Janie Beth and genuinely cared. I loved that she wanted to know! We even joked a little before we left.
The thought of calling the funeral home and having them come get Janie Beth wasn't sitting right with Joey and I. It was a call we just couldn't bring ourselves to make. Thankfully, someone told us that we could transport her ourselves because she was so small. There was peace in that decision.
While Joey loaded the car, I sat with Janie Beth and sang and talked to her. I cried more than I had the entire stay at the hospital. I wanted those moments to last forever; to soak her in completely.
I was allowed to carry her out to the car. I walked instead of riding in the wheel chair. The nurse did have us go down the staff elevator. I kind of felt for the food guys in there, but they already knew because they were the ones that brought me my food earlier. It felt good to be holding her and carrying her. We even freaked out a lady when I got in the car holding her in the front seat. :) The security guard had to tell her it was ok. That brought laughter to Joey and I.
I am thankful that we got to take her on her first car ride. We still got to do "firsts" with Janie Beth, just not in the normal way.
Then, we pulled into the parking lot of the funeral home. We drove around back. Joey came around the car to get Janie Beth. I hugged her so tight! I held on a bit longer. This was it; the last time I would hold my precious baby girl. As I watched them go inside I just cried. I held my pink lamb and cried. Joey carried her in and laid her on the gurney himself. He said it was one of the hardest things he has ever done; that and being with her when she was disconnected. He came back to the car and we cried together.
We both had on shirts that we had put Janie Beth's footprints on. We went to Arby's to grab a bite before going to pick up the other kids. I wondered if anyone wondered. Here we were with shirts that had footprints and no baby. I am not sure if we talked much while we ate or not.
Even though the day was really hard, it was filled with peace. The peace that only God can provide. He was in control. We let Him guide our steps, and He blessed our time with her! I am so thankful!!!
I put "and Joy Michelle" in the title of this post. I put it there because this day a year ago is affecting me with Joy Michelle. You see, I have not left her with anyone except Joey while at home, or once now at my mom's on Christmas when Joey and I went to the cemetary. I feel like God is calling me to the choir at church. I have peace that that is His desire. I love to praise the Lord in song!! I have missed singing.
But, in order to do that, Joy Michelle will have to stay in the nursery. Now, I have never had a problem with this with any of my other children. I was the nursery for the older 2, so I didn't deal with this, but Eli did stay in the nursery. Everytime I think of leaving her I want to cry. I know she will be fine and that they will take great care of her, but I still want to cry. I realized a week or so ago that the last time I left my baby with someone other than Joey or my parents was at the funeral home. I feel as though this is another step God wants me to take in my healing. A hard step, but a step nonetheless. I will start in a week or 2 and leave her only during the worship service. She will continue to stay with me during Sunday School at first. I would gladly sing in the choir with her strapped to me. ;) But, that might be a bit distracting for me and others. I know that God will give me strength for everything that He calls me to do, and I am excited to see the blessings He will bring through this, but for now I am praying for God to prepare our hearts for leaving her for that short little time.
This day was a blessed day last year, and it will be a blessed day spent with family today. We are stepping into a new year. We are leaving behind the first year of Janie Beth. It hurts! We are stepping further away from her memories. Yet, we are stepping closer to seeing her again. It is bittersweet.
I am excited to see what God has planned in this new year of 2011. 2010 wasn't all bad; Joy Michelle joined our family, and God has done amazing things in our hearts. I know God has some big plans, and I am just going to hang on and enjoy the ride!