On the 19th February, 1993, Billy-Jean was born. If I had any control over the situation she wouldn't have been born on that day because I was only 23 weeks pregnant. Only weeks before we had seen our cute little baby in an ultrasound and she was healthy and fine, even though I was ridiculously sick and very unwell for the whole pregnancy. It seems my body went into "get-it-out-of-me" mode and no amount of crossing my legs and willing her to stay was going to stop her being born - mind you we semi-succeeded (with the help of medication and hospitalisation) for a few days.
Unfortunately, Billy-Jean was not ready to enter this world - her lungs were not quite developed for breathing and so the moment she was born she stepped into heaven to spend eternity with her Creator. It was one of those highly emotional times of my life that I wouldn't want to repeat, but learnt and grew so much from. It just so happened to be the day before my birthday which added it's own emotional challenges as well.
I was adamant that I wanted my baby's hand prints and foot prints, which I got, but in my mind I imagined them as being in Plaster of Paris. Oh well. One of the counsellor-type people made sure to take some photos too, which are Polaroid and a little worse for their age.
It seems that I wax poetic at these kinds of times. I wrote two poems. The first one was inspired by the flowers and gifts I was given. DH gave me an amethyst ring for my birthday, sweetly wrapped in gold, and the flowers..!
A pastel rose without a thorn,
A star in heaven bright.
A little gift box brightly wrapped.
A truly precious sight.
A petal she has left behind.
Some stardust in the sky.
The wrapping with its precious bow
For us to remember her by.
We’ll keep the petals, stardust, bow,
And treasure them with love,
And look with hope upon life’s path
To see our girl above.
The second poem just flowed out of me. Some of my family bought a headstone for Billy-Jean's grave (which is near a gum tree in Uralla cemetery) and my Dad engraved the poem for the headstone.
She left us ere we knew her
Yet we loved her from the start.
She’s now with God in heaven
And she’s with us in our hearts.
We will not see her growing
Nor kiss her pretty face,
But we’ll always have her memory
And in our hearts a place.
We’ll see her soon in glory,
United we will be.
That hope will ever keep us
Until with her we’ll be.
15 years have passed since Billy-Jean's birthday. Occasionally we visit Billy-Jean's grave but it is not a pilgrimage because she is not there - the grave is just an untended reminder that life is short and that it is worth knowing where I will spend eternity.