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My Letter to Gloria:

This morning you were the first thing I thought of. You always are. I can’t believe I gave life to such a beautiful little girl. I can’t believe it was you who I carried for so long. I loved being pregnant with you, I often wished I could keep you there forever and never have to worry about saying goodbye. A daughter. My daughter. I can’t believe I was blessed with a daughter and then had to say goodbye. 

Because you were so very sick inside me, I was prepared for you to come into this world looking different. You came and I looked at you, and you were more beautiful than I’d ever imagined. Everything about you was adorable, your little hands and nails, your little toes, your button nose.

I hope you got a good look at me too. Our eyes met when they brought you to me in your little isolette, but it still felt too far away. I hope you got to see me because I want you to know that it was me that had been dreaming of you for a very long time, it was me that played ballerina music for you, and it was me that constantly woke you up inside of me, just to feel you move.

I wish I got to stare into your eyes more but I was lucky to get that one moment with you, and I know it. They told me at every appointment that I wouldn’t get to meet you in this world, but they were wrong. You were so strong and a fighter and I knew it. In my heart I always knew you would be born and we would be in the same room on earth, even if just for a moment.

I felt your spirit while I sat with you in the NICU. I felt such strength and determination coming from you. I’d never felt so much love. You did so well, Gloria. I am so proud of how hard you fought and how much you wanted to stay with us. I think you would have been an ornery little girl, stubborn but the biggest sweetheart, also like your dad.

When they told your daddy and I you were on your way to heaven, they handed you to me. Your heart rate and vital signs went up for a moment when they placed you on my chest. I hope that means you did know who was holding you and you knew that we were finally together again. You were so warm from the isolette and you felt so right to me. Everything about you felt right as you laid on my chest, we were truly meant for one another. I wanted your daddy to hold you as you left. I watched him take you and say your name to you and kiss your cheeks.

You went to heaven in peace and we held you tight for hours after. Your aunts and uncles, your grandparents, they got to hold you too. You were the most wanted and cherished little girl.

We placed your little body in the most beautiful satin white dress with little pink flowers, matching bonnet, and matching shoes. I sent with you the softest blanket I could find. You have a little pearl bracelet and I have a matching one. We chose the most beautiful, restful, peaceful place for your earthly spot. It is surrounded by fields and pastures and has the most amazing sunsets. It’s near the church where your father and I said our wedding vows.

I had so many earthly dreams for you, Gloria. We were going to spend each day together learning and cuddling. All the books we were going to read, the walks with the dogs, the playing, and memories we were going to make. I don’t get those things with you, but I hope you are in heaven growing and rejoicing. I hope your great grandparents are telling you all about your daddy and I when were were little.

Gloria, you were my biggest dream and my greatest adventure. 

I’ll always be thinking of you and I’ll always be missing a piece of my heart.

I am yours forever and you are mine forever.

love,

your mommy

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Lisa Vanskike

Lisa is a graduate of Kansas State University. Wife and mother of two children on earth and one in heaven, she is an infant loss survivor and writes about her ongoing journey with motherhood and grief. She currently lives in Minden, Ne.

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