Everyone was trying to guess the baby's gender, it seemed the mass consensus was that it was going to be a boy. I said a girl. I seem to have a sixth sense about the sex of babies before the parents find out and I hadn't been wrong yet.
However, this summer, my sister learned that the baby has a condition that makes it very unlikely that it will live outside the womb for very long. I didn't know what to say to her when we found out, and so I didn't say anything for a while. I know she was grieving, here she was, able to feel the baby kick inside of her and she had to plan a funeral because it was unlikely to survive.
She is a very strong person however, I don't know what I would do if I was faced with a similar situation. But she decided that she would carry the baby to full term and hope to share a few moments with it when it was born. My parents went so far as to build a casket for her, a true labor of love.
Little Olivia Kamille was born on veteran's day, just past midnight. I got the phone call shortly after she was born asking me if I wanted to see her as she was still alive. We drove to the hospital, and seemed to hit every red light and every distraction that could prohibit us from getting to the hospital right away.
She was so tiny, just about four pounds, and she was cradled by her mother who wanted to spend as much time as possible with her baby. They delivered her and gave her right to her mom, they had decided not to prolong her life any, knowing that she would pass.
I held her for a few moments, feeling how light and fragile she was, she was still alive, but her heart was only barely beating. Her little hands and feet were so soft, It was a blessing that she lived as long as she did. We left after about an hour, knowing that her little family wished to have some time to themselves. My sister and her husband have scheduled berievement photos through an amazing organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep to help remember little Olivia. We're holding the funeral some time this week.
I don't know how I would take the news of knowing I was carrying a baby to term that would not survive, and it has shown a great deal of the strength and character my sister has. She has her own blog about her pregnancy and her family and the feelings she has been going through during this time. I don't think she will mind me posting my thoughts and experiences of my neice's birth and death on my blog, or directing you to her own.