Our littlest man is four months old! James is growing and changing every day. At his four month appointment last week, he weighed 15 lbs. 6 oz. and was 25.25 inches long. That puts him right at the 50th percentile all the way around, but everyone that sees him comments on how big he is! He’s “solid and strong” as the doctor said and we think he’s just perfect.
James smiles, laughs and “talks” so much every day. He found his feet and his hands and both are constantly in his mouth. He’s starting to get pretty good at grabbing for a toy and putting it in his mouth too. He actually fell asleep during his nap today holding his feet! I guess he didn’t want to lose them?
James can roll both ways, but much prefers to roll from back to front. He’s a happy little guy (most of the time) and keeps us on our toes with his sleep schedule – or lack thereof. James gets a big kick out of Bailey and saves his biggest smiles for her and Pete. He adores Pete and doesn’t take his eyes off him. If he’s crying or sad, all it takes is one look at Pete to make him smile again. It is so fun to watch their relationship develop. It’s hard to imagine what life was like before James arrived, it feels like he’s always been part of our family. We love our little buddy so much and are excited for the months ahead!
Brienna would be five years old today. Five. I can barely wrap my head around the fact that it’s been five years since I held her in my arms, breathed in her scent and tried to memorize every single feature on her little body.
Sometimes, I worry that I’m forgetting. And yet, there are some moments that are etched in my brain with such clarity that I can relive them as if they were happening in real time. I will never forget the joy of finding out we were pregnant, or when we learned we were having a girl. I’ll never forget the heartbreak of finding out Brienna was sick. And I’ll certainly never forget being in labor, giving birth and then hearing the doctors tell us that she had no heartbeat. That our precious, teeny-tiny baby girl had died.
When I stop and let myself think about that day, really think about that day, the grief crushes me all over again. Time marches on, but my heart still hurts. And yet, loss and love are two sides of the same coin. Experiencing the pain of loss has made the experience of love that much richer … for us, they go hand-in-hand.
In years past, the anticipation of Brienna’s birthday felt harder than the actual day. But this year, today feels especially difficult and emotional. Five feels like a big milestone. As I watch my friends enroll their kids in kindergarten, I can’t help but wonder what Brienna would be like as a five year old. Would she be loving Disney princesses and the movie Frozen? Probably. Would she be precocious and sweet like her little brother, Pete? Or would she be gentle and quick with a smile, like her littlest brother, James? It makes me so incredibly sad that we don’t get to know. But we do know that she is as loved as any little girl can be loved.
We celebrate Brienna, because as sad as I am that she is not here and as much as my heart aches, I am so much better because of her. Our family is stronger because of her. So today, we did things to honor her memory. We ran 6.2 miles for her 6.2 birthdate, we picked flowers for her bench and we ate mocha chip ice cream from Crescent Ridge because it used to make her dance. And we spent a long time at the cemetery visiting our baby girl.
It was an emotional day, but as I hugged Pete before bed and rocked James to sleep, I couldn’t help but smile through the tears. I am so grateful to Brienna for the gift of herself. Happy 5th Birthday, our sweet Brienna Marie. We love you and miss you so much.
They say there is a reason, They say that time will heal, But neither time nor reason, Will change the way we feel.
No one knows the heartache, That lies behind the smile, No one knows how many times, We have broken down and cried.
We want to tell you something, So there won’t be any doubt. You’re so wonderful to think of, But so hard to be without. -Author Unknown