Letters to Norah // 23 Months

Joanna ZuidemaComment

Hello, Norah.

Sweet girl, in just one short month we’ll be celebrating your second birthday. I simply can’t believe that much time has passed since you made your appearance earthside — two broken and beautiful years.

My first time seeing Norah

My first time seeing Norah

While I was pregnant with Lora, one of my biggest fears was that your presence would begin to fade once she was born. What I’m finding is exactly the opposite; your sister’s arrival has been breathing new life into our memories of those precious days spent with you.

Every moment — from walking in the doors of the hospital, to the c-section, to watching Lora’s chest rise and fall with every breath has brought memories of our time with you vividly front and center. Even just looking at Lora reminds me of you.

I see you in the little crinkle of her ears, the chubby rolls that cross her arms and thighs, the delicate fingers and perfectly tiny toes, and the way she puts her arm over her eyes when she sleeps.

These similarities between you and your sister are sacred little gifts.

Lora loves to hold tight to Norah’s baby ring which I wear as a necklace. Norah still has the same one on her little thumb.

Lora loves to hold tight to Norah’s baby ring which I wear as a necklace. Norah still has the same one on her little thumb.

When I look at your sister, Norah, my mind is also filled with countless questions about you. 

I wonder how similar you two would’ve been. What would your voice have sounded like? Would you have had tired fusses that could only be calmed by the magic of your daddy’s arms? Would you have held yourself up just to gaze into your mama’s eyes?

Norah, were you ever afraid, frustrated, or in pain – craving only the sound of your mama’s heartbeat to soothe you? Did we respond to your all your needs or did you feel unheard, your silent cries going unnoticed?

This list of questions will only grow as time marches forward. My soul will continue on in anticipation of the day I get to hold you in my arms again, sweet girl – the day all of the questions will be answered.

Pregnancy after loss is a beautifully complex experience and parenting after loss appears to be no different. In so many ways we’re like first time parents, but it’s that very naiveté that lands on our hearts like a sharp knife – Lora is our second daughter, but we’re learning how to parent a living child outside the hospital for the first time.

All of our time with you — my pregnancy, your five days earthside, these past two years — has shown your daddy and I how God has a powerful plan for your life, with death being irrelevant.

I cling to that lesson as we navigate this new type of parenthood with your sister. We know her life will be nothing like we’ve imagined — it will be so much better.