I get asked often about what it felt like to have 3 babies squished into my stomach. I can assure you, they were definitely squished in there. Well, two of them were squished, Hayes was as comfortable as can be. He was casually sprawled out under my rib cage while Heath and Reese packed themselves into the depths of my belly, pushing themselves head down battling for first entrance into the world. Hayes was always relaxed and happy with where he was. When I went into labor, it wasn’t a surprise when Hayes was the last to be born…the baby of the bunch.
In the NICU, his seemingly relaxed body positioning continued as he sprawled himself as far as his teeny body would stretch in the incubator. Almost as if his arms and frog legs were searching for my rib cage. But I never mistook his casual demeanor as weak…he was strong and quietly determined! He was the first to take a bottle, the first to get off oxygen, and after 35 days, the first to make it home.
As any mother can attest, when your baby is born, you feel your love for them not begin, but grow as though you recognize them and remember the love you have seemingly always shared. It is because your love for them begins long before birth. I was learning about Hayes’ personality before he even made his debut into my arms. I loved him before I “knew” him.
As Easter came and passed I have been able to reflect on the love which I have for Hayes. To me, he is still as real as he was before he took his last breath. I still feel him, as clear as when he was pushing me in the ribs. Easter is that beautiful reminder that Hayes lives and my love for him will continue to grow. My love for Hayes will last forever.
Yesterday a package came in the mail addressed to me. I opened it up to find a small box with the label “Seeded Hope” on the top. Inside was this perfect gift. A necklace like nothing I had seen before. A gold chain necklace with a tiny pendant that encased a baby’s breath seed. Absolutely stunning. The note inside was that #HayesHint reminder of everything I had been reflecting on about Hayes all day. It said:
“You felt their breath, but all too short. You’ll never forget the day they took their last, their soul to rest. You’ll love them yesterday, forever and today.”
It is such a beautiful and meaningful reminder of my sweet boy that I will cherish forever. I cannot thank Seeded Hope enough.