My dear, dear sweet Claudette Elyse,
Your daddy and I have had our fair share of "surprise" pregnancies. But not you love. We planned and tried to conceive you for months. When I saw the faint positive line in the Target bathroom, I wanted to scream for joy. Your big sis Amelie was at my feet and she super excited too. After so many negative test this was it; we were going to be parents again.
Our pregnancy was not easy, especially at first. The week we were to announce your arrival my mommy went to heaven. Her name was Claudette Olive. I told her on her death bed I would name this baby after her, thinking I would use Oliver. Daddy and I so thought you were a boy. My mom's quick reply was, "no one wants to pass on a name like Claudette." She knew you were a girl before we did.
The week after she died almost to the minute I started hemorrhaging. We thought we had lost you. As soon as the ultrasound machine turned on in the ER we saw our little fighter for the the first time. Your little fist and feet were kicking away.There were scares after that, but I always felt you would be immune to something really bad happening, perhaps because lightening doesn't strike twice right?
A few weeks went by and another scare. But instead of learning something was wrong, we learned you were a GIRL! Daddy and I were shocked and so excited. We immediately knew your name. Claudette (which means dies young) Elyse (which means God's vow of protection). Little did we know how the truth this name would hold.
The months went on. I felt you so much. You were so active, especially when your brother and sister talked to you. I grew to love you each second.As plans drew near for your arrival, your aunties got so excited planning their trips to be here. Your poppy, grandma, grandpa, pappa and nanny all were getting so excited too.
Even though you were our third child, we prepared as if you were our first. I got a beautiful, soft swing for you and packed your diaper bag for the hospital complete with a soft pink outfit.
One last appointment I was to have before your appearence. The day started so wonderfully. Poppy and I had a great lunch and off I went to see Dr. Mitchell. But you were not to be delivered the next week. God had other plans. Plans I couldn't imagine. Plans I wouldn't wish on my worse enemy.
So my sweet sisters came for your birth early and haven't left my side since.
The day of your arrival had all the makings of a great birth story. Lots of family, love, laughter, pictures and tears. But as your daddy says you lived your lifetime in an afternoon.
Oh Claudette, how I long for more than an afternoon of holding your sweet body, kissing your soft new skin. I want to know you at 2. At 10. At 20. I want to attend your wedding. I want to see your children. Instead I will see you in the sparkle of your brother Henry's eyes. I will see you in the spunk of Amelie. I will see you in their button noses and baby voices. I will see you in the calm spirit of your daddy.
Your legacy lives on my love. You have somehow healed so many by your mere presence, as quick as it was. And as much as I long for you every second, I will never forget your impact. As your Uncle John says, "you have a regal presence."
And soon we will hold you again, which makes me long for heaven even more. Until then rest quietly in grandma's arms and Christ' embrance.
We love you Claudette Elyse Elliott,