I remember the first day I felt uncontrollable grief.

You were four days old, and I received the first of nine consecutive phone calls explaining your complexities.

Heart, brain, kidneys, mouth, spine, genes . . .

Every piece of you seemed mismatched and unfinished.

Tainted, I clawed to hold onto normalcy. Around every corner, another dead end.

You weren’t who I thought you were. You weren’t who I planned for. I wasn’t prepared to love you.

With piles of paperwork, zero concrete outcomes, and minimal hope, I grieved over and over as life as I understood slipped away.

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Throughout your life, I would be lying if I said I didn’t compare you to everyone else. I would be lying if I pretended I didn’t think about waking up one day and holding you with no complications. I would be lying if I proclaimed I didn’t want to erase all of the differences that made you, you. I would be lying if I said I never questioned my ability to love you.

I spent so much time creating a version of you in my mind that fit my perspective of perfection. All of your imperfections—I battled. I assumed they were the enemy. I assumed without them, all would be better. I assumed the world could never accept you as you were. I was embarrassed to confront myself with the same assumption.

Tonight, almost two years after your passing, I was overwhelmed with how desperately I miss you. ALL of you.

I miss being your mom. I miss everything you taught me. I miss your chapped hospital lips and your beeping monitors. I miss drawing up your medications and holding you so that your breathing was not strained. I miss fighting for you. I miss loving you. All of you . . . perfectly imperfect you.

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As tears fall down my face, unexplainable peace swallows me as I finally understand why God picked me to be your mother. Through every uncertainty, every weakness, drawback, and flaw, God spoke to me. He taught me how to love you. Where my endurance lacked and where your body fell short, His love covered us. Whole, complete, and perfect.

Sydney Hatcher

Sydney Hatcher is an author, a founder of a nonprofit, a mother of three daughters, and above all, a lover of Christ. After losing her second daughter, Carmen, to a rare genetic anomaly, Sydney published ’Carmen "The PICU Baby" A Journey of Medicine and Miracles’ and started the nonprofit: Carmen's Miracle Makers Inc. Her passion is to assist families, find good in each day, and celebrate within hospital walls. Sydney's raw perspective alters the view of worth and instills hope through the darkest days. As part of her healing, Sydney Recently published ’Still Fighting- Battles of a Bereaved Parent’ and her first children’s book titled: ’And if You Can’t’ - both now available on Amazon!