We called all the family back in to the hospital and confirmed that today was the day. As the day went on and kept progressing, at 05:38pm, after 37 hours of labor, we got to meet our sweet little baby, Evangeline Joy Wilcox. She came out weighing 3 lbs 6.4 ounces and was 16 inches long. We were very blessed to be able to hear her cry a few times, have her open her eyes a few times, and she stuck her toungue out a few times (a trait she picked up from her mommy). She had very light hair and her eyes were greyish/blue and she was just perfect. It was unbelievable to be able to hold this little baby that had been in my belly for 32 weeks. I cuddled with her for her 45 minutes on earth and, while doing so, her daddy and I sang "Jesus Loves Me" and "Happy Birthday" and whispered sweet words into her ears. As Josh would say, it was the most amount of Joy and the most amount of sorrow in one hour that we will probably ever experience. After about 45 minutes, we realized that our little one had gone home to be with Jesus. We called everybody back into the room and had a baby dedication. When talking, our pastor said, "in one day, little Evangeline got to meet her mom, her dad, and her creator". The hospital staff was great to us. We were able to keep Evangeline as long as we liked. Josh and I took turns through the night holding her. I can remember falling asleep but waking myself up to the fact that my head was laying gently on top of hers. There are no words I could type that would represent the love and passion I have for my child. While I knew where Evangeline really was, I still felt connected to her through this little person in my arms. It was one of the hardest moments of this process, but I was finally able to hand Evangeline over that Monday night. While we prepared for the funeral, so many thoughts and emotions ran through me. What is she doing today? Why is she not still with me? How will I move on from this? Will I ever get over this? I never realized how much you can miss someone and I long for her daily. I know she's in a much better place than this world, but I still ache for her.
A beautiful day. I thought that Evangeline had given it to me. We, as a family, got together with a few of our pastors and celebrated Evangeline Joy's life. It was a beautiful service as we laid her to rest with my pawpaw Baston. God provided a good amount of strength to Josh and I and enabling us to speak at her service. Our family sang a song based on Psalm 23 along with poetry and finished with singing "It is Well".
After June 30th.
People call us "stong" and "faithful". We get compliments on how we're handling losing our Evangeline. I love the compliments but there are plenty of times that we feel so lost and confused. There's nothing that prepares you for losing a child. No amount of books or conversations can prepare you for feeling this. The one thing that's provided us peace is knowing that our baby girl is with our loving Father, Jesus Christ. There's also peace in knowing that I will see her again one day. I am not bitter. I am not mad at God. Just heartbroken. Healing comes over time. Peace from God comes over time, as long as we turn to Him for that peace. The following scripture was read at the service:
New International Version (NIV)
Peace and Hope1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
The following are some photos of our precious Evangeline. She is a beauty;) . At the bottom of the photos is a video collage put together by our good friend Loree Wheeler.