One of the couples that we met at Faith's Lodge lost their first baby, James, because of preterm labor at 23 weeks gestation. They had struggled with infertility, but finally conceived him only to loose him. I found out about a two and a half weeks ago that they were 23 weeks pregnant, and was overjoyed for them! They'd lost James about 11 months ago, and were now expecting their Rainbow Baby. Only to find out a week and a half later that Josephine was born, lived a short three and a half days, then went to be with her big brother, and Danielle (and Ashton, David, Drew, & Sprout... the other babies that we met through their parents at Faith's Lodge).
I knew I had to go out and be there for both of them at her funeral, as soon as I found out. I got in touch with the other parents and we got them a rock to put in James's memorial garden for Josie. On Thursday, I made the drive out to Madison with Nora and stayed with one of my friend's from college. (I debated on whether or not to bring Nora, as I understood it would be hard on my friends, but logistically we couldn't make it work - Adam works at 3am, and it would be difficult to find someone to watch her, plus I am breastfeeding her.)
I left our house Thursday around noon, loaded Nora and our stuff in the car and said goodbye to Adam. I got in the car and started it, and the radio turned on. It was about halfway though the song, but I knew Danni was looking down on us as I listened to the rest of If I Die Young by The Band Perry. (Just a couple of weeks ago I went to work on Danni's scrapbook at mom and dad's house, which I hadn't worked on in months. I was downstairs by myself listening to the radio, and the song came on then too.) It is a song that always makes me think of her, and lately it's been coming on the radio at the most appropriate times, like it did just then.
Friday morning was Josie's funeral. Ashton's mom also made it to the funeral, and was kind enough to watch Nora for me while I talked to Josie's parents. They had an open tiny casket for her, with a blanket wrapped around her, and a few toys for her. She looked to tiny and frail, but I managed to hold it together, not for too long though. When I looked through all of her pictures, and saw her parents reading a story to her and showing her a picture of her tiny big brother, I started to get all teared up.
As I was flipping the pages, one of Josie's great aunts started looking as I flipped though. One of the photo pockets held her neonatal shades. She looked a little confused, and I explained that some of the lights they use to keep them warm and healthy is hard on their eyes, so they put on these shades. We struck up a small conversation and I explained that I met Josie's parents at Faith's Lodge and had lost a daughter myself, but I couldn't image the pain of losing two children.
Ashton's mom couldn't stay for the funeral service, as she had to pick up her daughters. I stayed, despite Nora's fussiness. But, once I put her in the Moby wrap, she was content and dozed in and out, so I was able to stay. After the luncheon, I said goodbye to James & Josie's parents and gave them both a big hug, from me, from Adam, and from David's parents (David's mom wanted to carpool out with me, but wasn't able to make it).