Cadon Joy

Cadon Joy

My sweet Cadon Joy,

You were longed for, prayed for, and long awaited. You took over 3 years to conceive. We had finally made peace that our family must already be complete, but surprise! We were overwhelmingly excited and thankful for our new bundle of joy. We decided yet again, to be surprised and not find out your gender. It makes the months of awaiting your arrival that much more magical, as we wonder what you are, what you will look like, and who you will grow up to be. Our time together with you in my womb was so special. I truly embraced pregnancy and felt so in tune with you.

Our family experienced an extreme tragedy and unimaginable loss that made finding joy in life a feat that felt like it may never happen again. So, I begged you to come soon and to bring me some joy. And you did. You came fast and furious in less than two hours from the first contraction. The minutes after you were born are moments I wish I could forget. As much of an emergency your arrival caused, I do not think I realised the gravity of the situation until I saw you for the first time that next morning at 5am. That was the first time I was able to take you in. You were so beautiful and perfect in every way. You look so much like me. You have my nose, my facial shape, and even my cleft chin, just like your sister.

I touched you, held your limp hand, rubbed your soft hair, and kissed your full cheeks. It took seeing you to know your name should be Cadon Joy, because even in this tragedy you brought me joy. Rubbing my nose to yours and stroking your perfectly long feet and toes and wrapping your perfectly long fingers on mine, brought me joy. For 10 days we traveled back and forth to the NICU soaking every inch of you in for as long as we could. The first time I held you at 3 days old, I was filled with joy. No one could’ve wiped the smile off my face. Although you were laid on a cooling blanket and none of our skin even touched, my uterus clamped down and my breasts filled with milk for you instantly. My body knew you, and even my body felt joy.

We prayed constantly for you and over you for a miracle. We fervently prayed for complete healing and that we would one day bring you home. All the while knowing how profoundly ill you were. We held out hope, we fought for you, we advocated for you. And you fought. Your perfect body went through so much in those first 10 days. On your 10th day, the day we knew was coming, had come. Sadness, anger, fear, but mostly sadness flooded through us. But we knew we wanted you “home.” We didn’t know if our wishes would or even could be honored but I knew I wanted you in my arms rocking you as you met Jesus. That night you got to meet all your grandparents and meet your brother and sister for the first time. And after a very peaceful night sleep together in bed just the three of us, we brought you home.

We dedicated you to the Lord and let other family and friends meet you and tell you hello and goodbye and then the time came…

I got to hold you for the first-time skin to skin without tubes of any kind. I rocked you and hummed to you as you went to Heaven. As sorrowful and sad as that moment was, I felt an unexplainable peace. The next few hours with you were pure joy. I tried to enjoy every moment I had with you. Those moments will never be enough. I want more. I will always want more with you. More kisses and snuggles, just more time. My heart literally aches for you. I long to hold you and to nurse you. I long to hear your cry and to sing you a lullaby. I will forever wonder who you would have grown up to be.

I wish the questions your brother and sister ask us had different answers. I wish they could hold you and give you your paci and help change your diaper. I wish for more of the joy I felt when I was with you. Giving you back to Jesus was the hardest thing I have and will ever go through. I hope you know how wanted and loved you are and how much joy you brought us in your short 11 days on this earth. I will forever wish you were here for me to hold but I am praying for comfort knowing you’re in the arms of Jesus instead, my precious little angel.
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