Hey sweet girl! I hope that you are having fun in heaven. I am a couple of days shy of 24 weeks along with your brother which means that I am reaching the point of viability. It is very reassuring to know that Blake would have a great chance at life if I went into preterm labor from this point forward. I don't think that will be an issue, but it eases some of my irrational fears none the less.
Halloween was pretty tough for me. I feel like my facebook newsfeed was filled with sweet babies dressing up for the first time. It was hard to know that you should be dressing up too. Fortunately, the monthly prayer service at your cemetery fell on Halloween. I was grateful to spend that special time with you, all of the other Holy Innocents, and their parents, even if it wasn't the way I had always envisioned your first Halloween.
This past Friday was the Feast of All Souls. Our church held a special mass to remember all of the parishioners who had passed away throughout the year. They sent out an invitation addressed to "The Family of Avery Alis Ogburn"--it always makes my heart smile to see your name in writing.
All of the parishioners who attended the mass were grieving over the loss of a loved one. Some seemed very recent and raw, while others were further out. Regardless of the types of loss, it was a place where I felt like I belonged. There was an understood connection throughout the church. Father Don did a beautiful homily about the afterlife and then he and Deacon Todd lit a candle to represent each loved one who had passed. Hearing your name brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.
Your Aunt Lindsay and some close family and friends are throwing me a baby shower in honor of your little brother tomorrow. I am very excited to see all of our Florida family and friends and celebrate Blake's life. As much as I have looked forward to this day. it also tugs at my heart strings a little. Remembering that I was never able to have this experience with you takes me back to relive this point in your pregnancy. I have not been to a baby shower since your birth--partly because it was still too painful, but partly because I was unable to attend for one reason or another--so tomorrow will be a wonderfully emotional day I am sure.
As Thanksgiving rolls around, I realize that I am most Thankful for my children and their wonderful father. Losing you was, and still is, excruciatingly painful. It will be a hurt that can never fully disappear. But, having you in my life--even just for a moment--outweighs every bit of heartache that we have encountered.
I am thankful that your brother, Blake, is healthy and fully formed inside of me. I am so grateful for the chance to raise a child here on earth and to have the ability to protect him. It also brings me so much peace to know that he has a special guardian angel who will be protecting him when I can not.
I am thankful for your dad and our unwavering relationship as husband and wife. I knew that I he was my soul mate from the moment we started dating and I am so thankful to share this roller coaster of a life with him. I love that I can bare my soul to him and that he is always there to pick me up when I fall. I am thankful for his positivity through tough times and his humor when I am feeling down. I am most thankful that he has allowed me the opportunity to be a mother and that he is an amazing father.
I love you so much Princess,
20 weeks with Blake