Before I actually put this post out there I want you to realize this is my words, my thoughts, my feelings. These haven't been shared with other people before and I just feel the need to put this out there.
This week I have been planning my son's Internment Service. Let me tell you, no parent should EVER have to do this. Ever. This is so hard. I think it's hardest thing I have ever had to do. Just arranging the few things I wanted to do is heartbreaking.
During all of this I have looked back in my journal more than once. And I came across my letter to Otis. I wanted to share it with you.
My Dearest Otis,
Today marks 3 weeks since you were born. Wow, what a change in 3 weeks. Today. Today was hard. Today I go back to the hospital. I go back to where this nightmare began, which resulted in you coming into our lives way earlier than planned.
I know that only by the grace of God, your life has touched so man. But somehow I feel rejected by God. I knew you longer than anyone on this earth. I knew the moment we were pregnant. I felt you move, grow, change. But I never got to see you grow, change and become the man you may have become.
I guessed you were a girl, hoped you were a girl as this was our last pregnancy. But with the problems we started having (not hearing your heartbeat on the dopplers) I had this gut feeling you were another boy.
You would be that baby brother who would be protected by his two Big Brothers. You would be instantly loved by their friends and be taken care of by Kyler and Quinton.
The three of you would be in a constant state of mischief. Always making me second guess quiet moments in the house and having my heart in my throught as you "busted myths" in our backyard.
You would be my fastest moving baby. Always wanting to catch up. You would walk sooner, talk sooner and grow up way too fast for me.
By the time you went to school you would be more than ready and for 1 year all of my boys would be int eh same school at the same time. When you started, you would have been "Kyler and Quinton's little brother" but soon after you would own your own at school. And I would become "Otis's Mom".
You would ride a bike so early, swim laps before teachers thought you could, reprogram the TV just by rolling on the remote as a baby and play music better than anyone.
You would have been your fathers son, in every sense. You would have been tall, and skinny, had brown hair and looked like him (minus the Leverton nose you have like Aunt B). You would have loved being outside, kicking the ball around with your brothers, working with your hands. Maybe my love of music would have been shared and you would have sang or played piano. But maybe not.
Oh, my sweet baby. There is so much I don't know about you. I don't know what your eye colour would have been; I don't know what your voice would have sounded like; I don't know how you would have skinned your knees the first time; what your friends would have been like; what your favourite food would have been; what your "put me to sleep" song would have been; I don't know if you would have been a "geek" like your daddy or an athlete or a musician or something totally different.
I do know something. I know I love you. I loved you before you were given to us. I loved you the moment after the first pregnancy test came up positive. I loved seeing you every time I got an ultrasound. I loved you and your brothers every time they talked to you in my belly. I loved feeling you dance inside. I loved the one night Quinton talked and sang to you and you were dancing in my belly. I love you.
When it got to the point in my hospital stay where we had to make the choice we prayed. We prayed so hard God would make that choice for us. God would save you from anymore pain or problems my body was causing yours and you would be safe.
I still remember the moment we were told you didnt' have a heartbeat anymore. I praised God for not having me make a hard choice. I thanked Him for saving you from more hurt and pain. And I praised Him for bringing you home, where one day I will see you again in Heaven.
I remember the last time I felt you move. It was after having my CT scan done. They put on over 40 lbs of led gowns on my belly to keep you safe and you didn't like it.
That night you did alot of moving. I could feel it all. I talked to you for a bit, told you we all loved you and even sang you Kyler and Quinton's "put me to sleep" songs (Baby Beluga and Wheels on the bus). I wrapped my arms around my belly and held you. Slowly the moving stopped. I'm pretty sure that's when God took you home to be with the angels and Baby Casey.
On Nov 28th around 3:30am you were born. I hate it when people tell me you were "delivered" or just a "stillbirth" not born. Because you were. You were born. While a tiny baby you were handsome. You had the smallest nose, the cutest face and you looked wise beyond your years. You were perfect.
We miss you. Even after 3 weeks I still have moments each day where I think of you. Where I miss you or where your brothers ask about you.
Thanks to God's blessing of having you be a part of our lives our family is complete. I have 4 babies. Two are here with me and 2 are in Heaven. What more could a mom ask for?
I love you Otis Gus Gilbert. Now and forever and I will never forget my baby