Tuesday, May 9, 2017

With Angels From 5Ks to Marathons

Our very first Running with Angels 5K was held 13 years ago.  Becky McKnight was there, and it was her very first race.  Now she is running marathons!  She will run the St. George Marathon this October, in memory of her sweet Vivian Bluebell.  What an adorable name.  And what a journey this has been, not even three months ago, for her family.  Becky sent me many pictures.  I got through the ones up until the one I share here, when the tears came flooding through.  I think it was the expression on this beautiful mother's face as she bids an earthly farewell to her little one; one that many of us can recall, and no doubt we remember, as Mother's Day approaches.

I'm glad you were able to recover from the delivery, Becky.  Thank you for sharing your story and pictures with us.

And run a mile for me, will you?  :)

Vivian Bluebell McKnight was named after her 2 magnificent great grandmas’. She came into this world weighing only 2 lbs 3 oz at 33 weeks. She had many obstacles to overcome; she was breach with the cord around her neck and no amniotic fluid. The biggest obstacle we both had to overcome was sepsis. Without knowing I had sepsis and it was passed to Vivian. As I was going into septic shock she was whisked away to the NICU and I felt good that I would get to cuddle with her soon.  Sam was grieving this time because he already thought Vivian was gone and he thought he was losing me too. Vivian and I were both stabilized and received blood, fluids, and antibiotics. I was in so much pain I could hardly breathe. In the morning the nurses came to get me to go up to the NICU and see my sweet Vivian in person and not just on FaceTime, when Sam went up to see her. As I was struggling to get out of bed and get into a wheelchair the NICU physician came into my room and delivered some heart wrenching news about our daughter Vivian. He told us that her stats were falling and they just could not get them up. He continued to say that she would not make it through the morning. It felt like a nightmare, it wasn’t supposed to happen to me. This was our Vivian, Katherine’s sister she had prayed for every night. Katherine wanted a little sister because she was tired of playing with her 2 older brothers and younger brother. I was able to hold Vivian for 45 minutes and sing her my children’s favorite primary song “Teach me to walk in the Light”. I never heard her cry but was able to look into her big brown eyes looking up at me. When she passed in my arms I couldn’t even cry because of the amount of physical pain I was in.  
My in laws brought Katherine and Henry to the hospital and the primary president brought Tristan and Alexander to the hospital. They were not able to see their sister living but they were able to hold her sweet little body. Later that day we had many visitors come by and show their love for us. I was grateful for all the company because I was in so much pain I could not let myself cry. My midwife brought in a friend of hers to take pictures of Vivian that day so I could always have her sweet face with me. 
After all the days’ visitors had left and we handed Vivian over for the night, my husband and I tucked ourselves into bed for some sleep. I remember waking up in the middle of the night when the nurse came in to give me more pain relief and antibiotics, I was able to move a little without pain and then I felt the relief of tears sting my eyes. I spent the whole rest of the night crying. It was a healing moment for me when I was finally able to grieve for my daughter and hug my husband. 
We were continued with many great blessings in and out of the hospital during this time. Vivian had a beautiful funeral. I was able to play my violin for my sweet baby all the primary songs I would have sang to her at night while putting her to sleep. This was such a tender moment; I didn’t play for anyone at the funeral or even my family. I sat next to her sweet little bed and played just for her. I hope that day she was looking down from heaven to see and hear the love we have for her. 
Sam and I were able to later design a beautiful headstone that showed her sweet life here on earth. It has become a sweet place for us to visit. In my continuing journey of healing I find solace in making angel gowns for our local hospitals out of wedding dresses and find strength in training for the St. George Marathon and improving my abilities in Crossfit. I had planned to run the marathon and train for it after Vivian was born in April. I was encouraged to continue with my goal to run it and in memory of my sweet baby. 
I think about her often and long to hold her. I am told as time goes on the pain will lessen. I think to myself, “Do I want it to lessen?” “Will I forget her as time goes on and pain lessens?”, “Will others still want to hear me talk about her?”, and “Will she be remembered or lost?” I don’t know all these answers. I hope that one day I will. I know I will see her again and that day can’t come soon enough. I want the day where I have all off my children and I don’t feel that empty void where Vivian is supposed to be here on earth. 

Vivian Bluebell was born February 16th 2017 and passed away February 17th 2017. She was able to visit us for 12 hours. Her life was short here on earth but it changed me and changed our family. Until I can hold her in my arms I will hold her in my heart.