My dear, sweet baby girl,
How is it you have been gone nearly 4 years? Sometimes it seems time is flying so quickly I can't imagine how you've been gone that long. Other times I'm completely blind sided by how much I ache for you still. You have been on my mind a lot this past year. A friend started me on a project to crochet tiny outfits for stillborn babies. These outfits usually fit a baby who made it to 20 weeks. It's hard to believe you didn't even make it that long.
Last night I was talking to Dad and telling him how unfair I felt it was that you were gone so quickly. I feel you are very real to us but it seems like the world passed right by you without even hesitating a second. I felt as though I had no physical connections to you. You were gone so quickly you didn't even have a need for a single blanket. You didn't even make it to your first Christmas so the tiny stocking I got to put up for you sat in a drawer and still haunts me. But I have always wanted something that was yours. I have one ultrasound picture and that's it. No one made you anything. I didn't even make you anything. No blankets, no outfits, no tiny hats - nothing. I was never able to hold you in my arms or kiss your tiny head or have a single picture taken of you. Sometimes I am jealous of those mommies who have those things. At the time I may have felt differently - that it would have been easier to lose you before I could see you. But I don't feel that way now. Part of me wishes there was a tiny stone in a cemetery to mark your birth. Somewhere I could put pinwheels in the spring. Somewhere to sit and cry and wish you were with me. Is that awful of me to wish I had that?
I told Dad last night that it made me angry that you were gone so quickly that we didn't even have a chance to name you. You've just been 'the other baby' - and it's been 4 years. Dad asked me last night if I wanted to give you a name. We've known you were a girl since the night we lost you. Dad gave me a special blessing saying that "Heavenly Father is watching out for your daughter." We had been talking about names since we found out you were on your way, but we only had one we liked, a girl's name. Dad told me last night he's always thought you had a name - that one name we liked. The name had been brought up for each of your brothers, had they been girls, but neither of us have wanted to use it. I realize last night maybe that's because it's just supposed to be your name.
Lillian Jane Robbins
Perhaps you've known all along that's your name. Do you know why we picked it? Lillian is just a beautiful name. And lilies are my favorite flowers. We planned to call you Lily most of the time. We wanted you to have Lillian in case you wanted to be something that needed an official name on the sign out front. Jane comes from a nickname my grandma gave me - Tasty Jane. She always called me that. Rumor has it that she really wanted my parents to name me Jane and they didn't want to. And when I was little I said my name more like "Tasty" than "Stacy." I bet you've met her. She passed away 2 years ago. I miss her a lot. I hope you two are watching out for each other. She can teach you so many great things. You may be the only one of my children to really know her for a while, so I hope you take that opportunity to learn from her. She is a great example.
I suppose I do have one thing for you - a picture of Christ holding a baby. It has been packed away since we've been moving and it hasn't been out for over a year. I'm missing that painting. It reminds me that even though it hurts to be separated from you now that we will be together someday. The first time I saw the picture in Deseret Book I started crying almost instantly. I was with my mom and I told her I wanted the picture. She asked if it was for Caleb and I could only shake my head no and say, "for the other baby." It is your picture. But it's hard to cuddle with a picture. Dad suggested last night that I make you a blanket, like I did for each of the boys. I think I'm going to do just that.
I realized yesterday that in all the hours I have spent this past year making tiny outfits I had never once done something to celebrate you. I always think that December 8th is your day. Not really a birthday - since that was the day we lost you - I just think of it as your day. That day comes and goes every year and I find myself wishing someone else would stop and remember that day too. Usually I am pretty sad and lonely that day wishing for you. I decided yesterday that I want to have a celebration for you. The world may not recognize you by your name. No one will ever find your tiny headstone and wonder how we ever survived without you. The world may not recognize you were here. But I want to recognize you were here. I had you for 10 weeks. It sounds like such a short time but it changed my life. I can't just pretend it didn't happen. I want to celebrate you.
I don't know how we'll celebrate. I hope we come up with something that we can do every year. It may only be our family that celebrates you - but we will do it. I don't think we'll do cake and ice cream or anything like that. It's a different kind of celebration. Dad and I have plans to go to the temple this year. That is one place I feel very close to you. I spent half the night thinking up other things I can do for you. There are so many ways people celebrate babies who never had a chance to live on earth. I know some of them would think I was crazy to want to celebrate someone who wasn't even here long enough to get a name. But I want to do it. I want to make you more real in my life. When we buy a house I'm going to plant lilies - especially pink ones - all around. For you, since it is your name. And for me - since they are my favorite flowers.
You are a beloved daughter - both of your earthly parents and your Heavenly parents. Someday we will meet again. Thanks for sticking close to me lately. I love being able to feel you close - even if I sometimes wonder if I'm crazy looking around the room expecting you to be there. I love that you feel like part of our family. I wish I could see you playing with your brothers. I know they would adore you and that you would be the best big sister these two little boys could have. I love you, my Lily.