Today we got the call we've both been waiting for and dreading.
A nurse from my OB's office called to let us know that the chromosomal testing we requested came back normal - no known reason as to why our baby's heart stopped beating. She also let us know that we had a daughter. Not much can prepare you for what it feels like to hear someone say, "She was a girl" when it should have been "It's a girl!" or "She's a girl!"
"She was a girl" is a painful sentence to hear.
For the first 16 weeks of my pregnancy, I was absolutely certain I was having another boy. I joked about it, laughed about it, and generally felt at ease with the idea of adding another boy to our family. But when I laid on the table that day in September, hoping and praying to hear a heartbeat - I knew as soon as the image came up on the screen that we lost our daughter.
I don't know how I knew this - the ultrasound tech assured me several times that she couldn't see the gender. I even called back a few days later to double check because I had been SO sure that it was a girl - I thought surely the tech must have seen it. But they assured me that no, the gender was not able to be determined.
But over the last four weeks, as we've waited for these results - in my mind, I've thought "she", "her", and "daughter". I knew in my heart that we were waiting to find out about the daughter I won't meet in this lifetime.
Before we had the information from our doctors though, we talked about names. I couldn't bear to use any of the names we had been tossing around already. For some reason, naming this baby seemed a hundred times more important. I threw out the non traditional, the trendy and the names without meaning. I needed this baby to have an incredibly meaningful name.
It is, after all, the only thing we will know about her. Her short little life will be summarized by the only thing we can give her.
We talked about a few ideas, but one night I was laying in bed unable to sleep when I was consumed with the desire to look up names meaning "beautiful". Through a few different websites, I came across a name that I knew would be absolutely perfect and the next day shared with Todd, who quickly agreed.
We have chosen the name Lilia Faith for our daughter. Lilia, comes from the flower Lily, which represents innocence, purity and beauty. And the Hebrew meaning of the name Lilia means, "What belongs to me, belongs to God"
There are a lot of things in my life I could turn over to God with ease. Children are hard to let go of though - and I say this knowing that there are those who have experienced losses much worse than ours. Children who were stillborn, children who have fought difficult illnesses - these are all tragic endings to lives that are far too short.
Lilia's name will remind me that as sad as this experience is, my sweet daughter belongs not just to me, but to Him. And she is with Him now, beautiful and perfect. And there is nothing to fear, because as my husband reminded us all in a recent blog, we are called to be fearless and death will not get the final word.
While I never got to hold her, I will think of her often and be grateful for the daughter who will continue to teach me about life, about God and about myself.