If you are new here or have stumbled across this page, welcome. You may be unfamiliar with our story. At the end of June 2013, our beautiful baby girl Shaundi was born and she was perfect and such a joy! In early September, my husband found her unresponsive and not breathing. Life with one of our babies gone has been hard. I’ve shared our journey here.
It’s two years later.
Here we are. We have survived.
I think of Shaundi every single day. Sometimes I think of her every single moment. There are days that it seems like every breath is deep and hard because I’m still hit with moments of shock and dismay. Other times a whole 24 hours can pass by and I don’t hear the sound of her name anywhere except in my mind and in my heart. Hearing her name aloud is like bells on quiet day. It doesn’t hurt, it feels good. It reminds me that she was real, our baby was real, our love was real.
There was a weekend we spent at a lake together along with extended family and close friends. It was just over two years ago. All three of my baby girls sat on a bench on the boat. I snapped a photo. Shaudi is looking. The other girls are more interested in her than in smiling for my photo. This photo sits on the mantel of our fireplace.
Several times over the past few months, the girls have curled up next to me and looked at the photos in that room. Twice, twice I’ve been told by my babies, “I wish I could jump into that picture. I wish I could go back there and start over.”
Me too, love. Me too. I wonder if things would be different. I wonder if it was possible to go back and change things, would they really be different? Could I change anything?
If you ignore this giant hole in my heart, the one where it was ripped away and taken from me, if you ignore that and if you can look past it all, we are good. The girls are growing, they are healthy, they are smart and we have a new baby. He’s not quite a baby anymore, but he’s the baby of the family.
When he lived beyond the 73 odd days that Shaundi did, I felt good. When he turns one this month, what’s left of my heart will do a happy dance. I’ll breath a tiny sigh of relief and know that my job is never over but at least I can get through that first year, because I wasn’t sure I could. My confidence was shaken. My ability to believe that everything…almost everything would be alright.
If you take all of that crap away, we are good. We are just your average, normal family.
We are the Mann family, and we are good.