|Amanda's drawing of Baby #7|
We only knew about you for three weeks yet you were making you presence known a couple of weeks before that. Like the day that Amanda first went down the 10 meter ski jump. I was so sick and queasy by the time I climbed up that hill to send her down. And then a few days later, at Amanda first ski jumping competition. I felt so sick that day too. I thought I just had virus. But the queasiness continued on through the week. It was the week before Amanda's skating show. I was thankful for the nights Mike could take her to practice. I was feeling very sick the day of the show. I was sitting in the bleachers with all the little girls in their cute little costumes. I actually looked around to find the quickest way to the bathroom. Thankfully we got through the show without any trouble. After that, I finally decided to take a pregnancy test. The little plus sign developed immediately. I couldn't stop smiling. I was so excited to have the chance to be your mom.
Your dad was so surprised too. He couldn't believe it and he couldn't stop smiling either. He had such a good time telling people you were on the way. I wanted to keep you a secret. I was afraid people wouldn't be happy for us. But he said that we were happy and that was what mattered most.
We waited until your daddy's birthday to tell your sisters. We had your big brother Tyler tell them the news. Tyler was on speaker phone and we said, "For his birthday, Daddy's getting a new...." Before Tyler could answer, Amanda yelled, "Boat?!" When she found out he was getting a baby she said, "What if it's a boy?" She was worried about having a brother. They were very excited for you to be born. They didn't understand how long it takes for babies to grow. Amanda asked, "What if the baby is born when Daddy's in Denver?" We told her not to worry. You would be born long after Daddy got home from Denver.
I thought about you often. I had to make sure I was eating frequently. Daddy's been having us eat more plant-based meals but you wanted MEAT! My friend Mikki thought for sure that meant that you were a boy. You should have seen Daddy's eyes light up when I told him Mikki's prediction. He was hoping you would be a boy. I thought about how we would fit your car seat into our van. I thought about what kind of car seat we would need to buy since the one we have been using would expire shortly after you were born. I thought about where you would sleep and considered large-scale remodeling to make room for you in our house. I wondered if we really would get to open that box of baby boy clothes. I thought about who would take care of your sisters when I had to go to the hospital since grandma would be off hunting. I wondered if you would arrive late just like my last two babies. I wondered what your doctor would be like. I considered having you at home and even contacted a mid-wife who works in the area. I ordered some maternity clothes. I thought I could get some good deals of clearance stuff for next fall. I wondered just how much extra weight you would insist that I carried.
We had a lot of fun together. You were there on the day I skied almost to the top of the "mountain" with Amanda's ski class during a blizzard. Six inches of snow fell during the two hours of class time. Amanda was scared but I told her we would never forget the day. I was scared about driving home safely but we made it. You were there the following week when we skied all the way to the top of the mountain. We had so much fun skiing with Amanda and her class. You were there when Amanda and I skied in the dark after watching her cousins do some ski jumping. You were there when Amanda started ski jumping. You were there when I first tried ski jumping. You were there when Amanda, Grandma and I skied on a cold, windy day and met five deer on the trail.
You came with us on a trip to visit Cousin Elisa at her new house. You made me feel a little queasy on the trip but I thought it would only get worse so we made the drive shortly after finding out that you were there. Elisa and all the cousins were very excited to hear you were expected. They love new babies just as much as we do. They also love books and asked me to read to them moments after I walked in the door. You were there when Joshy was having me read books about cars and engines and saying, "Isn't this fascinating?"
We are so sad that we will not get to see your face on this side of heaven. We are thankful to know you are safe with Jesus. We have decided to name you James Francis. That was my grandpa's name. I'm sure you've met him already. You were due right around Grandpa's birthday in November. We live very close to where Grandpa is buried and can easily bike there. That is where we will place your remains once the ground thaws. Francis is also an important name because it is the name of the new pope. You were our Lenten baby and the new pope was chosen during Lent. That seems significant and important. If you turn out to be a girl, we can change it to Jamie Frances.
You were born on Palm Sunday. That was a day of celebration that turned into sadness and soon we will be celebrating again. Holy Week is a week of intense emotion and that's what your short life has brought to our family as well. There was great celebration when we found out you were growing inside me and then great sadness when we found out your heart was no longer beating. Some day we will be celebrating the blessings that you will bring into our lives. Blessings that we can not even imagine today.
You were always loved. You will be always missed. And you will be always remembered.
Your mom, dad, sisters and brothers