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Sunday, 27 December 2015

Christmas 2015

Christmas - it's one of those milestone events that bereaved parents count down to knowing it will be a hard day, while others don't give it second thought as they get caught up in the season.

Anyone, whether they have lost a baby, child, father, mother, grandparent, relative or close friend is going to feel the absence of their loved one, especially that first Christmas. Of course it cannot be the same as how it used to be or how you envisioned it to be.

Christmas 2015 was very different to a year ago. A year ago I was literally 4 weeks pregnant and had just found out we were having another baby a few days before Christmas Day. That's when we told out families. I cooked the Christmas ham and ate no seafood, but I was gloriously happy knowing it would all be worth it when we had a healthy baby born in 2015. A year ago Ava was alive, tiny but very much alive and growing. In fact at this point she was as healthy as any 4 week gestation baby would be, as the lymphatic system doesn't develop (or fail to develop properly until the 6-7th week of pregnancy).

This Christmas, we were hanging our three children's personalised baubles and decorations that people had given us on our tree. This Christmas, I was also decorating my daughters shelf where her special things and my most precious possessions lie. I set up a little Christmas tree and hung a few decorations, a tiny stocking, a Santa hat and babies first Christmas angel. I know some people think that I am so weird/morbid for doing this, well, some people think it's weird that I even have a shelf that I keep my daughters urn and special things in the middle of my living room but that's a whole other blog post! The thing is you can think you would behave one way if you were in the same circumstances but you really have no idea at all. I see my friends decorating their precious babies graves and urns and gardens and think how lovely and heartbreaking it is at the same time. This is all we have, this is all we can do for our babies at times like these.

It was nice to receive messages from friends and family wishing us a Merry Christmas and also mentioning Ava either in the message to our whole family or acknowledging that Christmas must be hard for us.

In the end Ava's absence was very much noted. We had a great day spending time with both sides of our family and extended families, but she was very much missed by her Daddy, her brother and sister and I. It was very apparent that the should have been a four month old with us being dressed up in a cute Christmas outfit, being fed at church, screaming in the car, being passed around for cuddles among family, having Christmas photos with her cousins and grandparents as you only ever get one "First Christmas", sleeping in the bassinets do having her siblings fight over who was opening her presents!
Joy and sadness can truly co-exist and I have found this time and time again this year. 

As a Christian I am so thankful that God sent his son Jesus to earth to be born 2000 years ago and later to die on the cross for us. Because of his sacrifice I now know that I will get to spend eternity
with him and a perfectly healed Ava. There is much I am thankful for this Christmas, but in this messed up world I still miss our daughter terribly.

John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

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