I'm knitting a blanket. I've never actually knit more than a couple of rows before, so this is new for me. I'm not sure that an actual knitter (person who knits? I have no idea what the word is) would call what I'm doing knitting, but I'm watching videos online and trying to pick it up. I'm guessing that the blanket won't be done this year... Or maybe even next... But I guess the bottom line is that I'm knitting a blanket for Harper. My hands need to be caring for her. I asked the nurse in her room if I could fold up and throw away her dirty diaper after she died; I need to be her mommy. There is really no way to explain it to someone who has never lost a baby. Physically doing something for Harper that is normal to do for your baby is healing for me.
Blankets for my babies have always been sort of a big deal to me. Finding a perfect, cozy blanket to love on is a way that I bond with them before they're born. When I was pregnant with Londyn I spent way too much time looking for the perfect blanket. I finally fell in love with one that was (no surprise here) pushing 100 dollars. I bought it, then returned it (you're welcome babe :)), and ended up with one that was a mere 60 dollars. It was perfect... Until I washed it and ruined it. I learned my lesson, and with Burke I bought much cheaper (but just as adorable) ten dollar blanket from target.
The day after Harper was born, I started telling Dana that we needed to find a way to get her a blanket. It was just important for me that she had one. I didn't like seeing her laying in her little isolate with nothing to snuggle with. I thought about it all day. I wished that somehow there was a way that we could have been prepared. Then on Wednesday when she died, I was so sad that she never had her own blanket.
During this process, God has met me numerous times right where I am. He's done this in different ways, but one of the ways that has meant the most to me was in a word that was given to us from a stranger who was praying for Harper. She had a vision about her and sent the following to a friend who gave to us:
"I woke up in the middle of the night praying for Harper, and I saw/felt/knew Jesus holding that little baby in His arms. Harper was in an upright position, like if you were burping a baby, and He was whispering into her ear and smiling. Holding her so close. I can't remember the blanket, but it was special, not just an ordinary receiving blanket. I couldn't see her; she was so wrapped up in the blanket. It was just so neat to see Jesus holding her; He was swaying with her."
My baby's blanket mattered to God. It mattered enough that he woke a stranger up in the middle of the night to tell her that He is holding my Harper and that she has a blanket. I have to trust that my God is telling my baby all of the things that I wish so badly that I could tell her. That I wanted to have the perfect blanket for her. That her mommy loves her more than life. That I would have woken up in the middle of the night to rock her back to sleep if she was scared. That I couldn't wait to see what she was going to look like when she got older, and to see what her little personality was going to be like. There's so much more....
As Harper was taking her last breaths, I asked the nurse if I could take her off of the pillow we were holding her on (because of all of the tubes) and hold her upright against my chest. They helped me figure out how to position her, and I got to hold her sweet body so tight as she went to be with Jesus. In that vision, that's how Jesus was holding Harper. She went straight from my chest to His, and straight from hearing our voices to hearing His voice. As hard as it is for me to work out in my heart why God chose not to heal Harper, I know that His provision was so sweet that day.
As I sit and knit a blanket for my Harper, as I let my hands care for her in the only way I know how, I can rest in knowing that she is with the One who knows us both inside and out. My arms feel so empty, but it somehow helps me to know that her's don't. She does have the blanket that I thought she didn't have. It was so important to me, and Jesus knew that. When I think about her being in Heaven without me, I have to trust that she is taken care of. And, that Jesus will tell her all of the things that I wish I could. There are no words for how much I wish that she could be here with us and have the blanket that I am making for her. As impossible as this road is, I love knowing that she has a blanket where she it. And I can only imagine what Heaven's blankets look like.