December 14, 2016
My sweet little boy,
You're a big brother! Can you believe it? Your little sister's name is Maely Grace Anderson and she was born this past Friday, on December 9th at 12:34 PM. Oh Mr. T, she was the prettiest baby girl I have ever seen! Your dad and I think she had at least as much hair, if not more, than you did at birth- and she was born 4 weeks earlier than you! It was feather soft, and so dark and thick. Her lips were absolutely perfect with the cutest cupid's arrow above her top lip, right under her adorable, little nose. And her cheeks! They were super squishy and oh so round- perfect for smooching. They looked just like yours when you were born :) She was everything and more we could have dreamed she'd be!
But Maely couldn't come home with us, Trevor. Your dad and I knew she wouldn't be able to, and we've been so sad about it for a long time. We've known since September that something was wrong with Maely. I had to see a special doctor who knows more about unhealthy babies when she was still in mommy's tummy (20 weeks along). The doctor only had bad news for me; after looking at Maely he explained a big list of things that were wrong with her. I asked the doctor what this meant for Maely's birth and the rest of her life; he looked at me and said that we'd be lucky if she was born alive, and if she was, she'd die very soon after birth. I went home and cried and cried. I knew you could tell something was wrong by the way you looked at me as I sobbed. My whole world was crashing down, as were my hopes and dreams for the relationship you were supposed to have with your little sister.
At another appointment about a month later, we learned that Maely's most serious problems were that she had a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (her diaphragm didn't fully develop and left a space for her liver to float up into her chest cavity and pushed her heart out of place), a Septated Cystic Hygroma (a group of cysts in the back of the neck) and Unilateral Renal Agenesis (she only had a right kidney, and it wasn't formed correctly). Finding just one of those birth defects is pretty fatal, so her outlook was hopeless.
I kept praying and begging for a miracle. I didn't know if it was part of Heavenly Father's plan for our family for her to live; but I still hoped for the impossible. Then at an appointment the day before Thanksgiving, an ultrasound showed that Maely had little to no amniotic fluid left around her. This was because the one kidney she did have was done; it had overworked itself trying to do the work of two healthy, functioning kidneys. I know these medical terms will always be hard for you to understand, Trevor; I have a hard time understanding them myself. But this wasn't good news and meant that Maely was even more likely to die in mommy's tummy than before.
Your dad and I continued to try and enjoy every second we had as a family of 4. We did a lot of things while I was still pregnant with Maely that we would have wanted to do if she could have grown up with you. We never knew when her heart would beat for the last time, so we tried to cherish the time we had with her. We still prayed and hoped for a miracle- but a different one than before. This time we asked God to please, please, let Maely be born alive. We now understood and accepted the fact that it was not His will for her to stay on earth, but prayed that we could have 2 minutes with her. We also asked that she not feel any pain or suffering in the few minutes we hoped to have with her. It seemed too much to ask for, for her to be able to meet you, but that was our biggest hope. That was our new miracle.
And then 5 days ago, she came into the world. I had a c-section and prayed Maely's already fragile body would handle it well, that there would be a better chance of her making it for a minute or two. And guess what, Trev? Maely WAS alive! She even opened an eye when your dad held her right after she came out of my tummy. Your pediatrician was there to make sure she didn't show any sign of distress and to keep checking her heartbeat. Each time he listened she was still with us. And then it got even better because you got to meet her a few minutes later! It was such a special, sacred, and miraculous moment. Yes, we got our miracles! I know you knew that she was your baby. You were so sweet and curious! I loved watching my little boy touch my baby girl. I will never forget it.
Then after one precious hour and six minutes Maely had to go. I know that your grandpa Mick (my dad) was there to take her home to our Heavenly Father after she had fulfilled her purpose on earth. We had her for SO much longer than we ever could have imagined was possible. She was a fighter, just like you are. She held on for such a long time and gave us the sweetest memory we've ever made as a family. Ever since I found out I was having a girl, I started to dream about how fun it would be to watch you grow up as Maely's protector and always be watching out for her. But now she'll be watching over you from heaven, and sending protection from above. And let me tell you Trevor, it doesn't get any more special than that.
I have no idea why your dad and I got so lucky to have not just one, but two perfect kids, with the most special of spirits. I know that your Father in Heaven has a plan for you, and it included you coming to this earth in a body with Down Syndrome. I know that you will accomplish things that the rest of us regular folk will never be able to! And I know that Maely's spirit was so righteous and perfect that she only had to come to earth for that short time. Imperfect bodies with perfect spirits; that what you have and she was given for her short time on earth.
Your dad and I have always believed that families can be together forever. We know we'll be hanging on to your coattails to have a chance at eternal salvation, "the greatest of all the gifts of God." But we need you and your perfect self now more than ever to get back to God, our Savior Jesus Christ and Maely- heaven knows she's already there! Our biggest goal really is to be with you forever, Mr. T! Forever with Trevor and Miracle Maely.
|11/25/16 playing with Maely <3|
|Miracle Maely with a heartbeat!|
|Meeting little sister for the first and last time|
|A few hours after she passed, but still one of mom's favorite pictures|
|Right before we let her body go. "See you later, Maely! I love you!"|
To learn a little bit more about The Plan of Salvation, visit https://www.mormon.org/beliefs/plan-of-salvation :)