Happy Birthday Ava
by Karla ° Friday, April 13, 2007

Dear Ava,

Tomorrow, the 14th of April, would have been your second birthday baby girl. Like last year, your father and I will release a balloon for you, and blow out the candles on your birthday cake. It will be an ice cream cake again, the kind with the thick cookie crumble bottom because that is my favorite kind and I bet you would have loved it as well.

This year your brother will be joining us. You would have loved him so much Ava. He is bucket loads of fun and loves to smile and talk has mastered the manly art of thunderous farting. I bet you would have found that funny too because fart jokes never get old.

He is fourth months today, and I’m very concerned for him because he is slipping off the growth charts and not growing very well. In two months he has fallen from the 25th to below the 3rd percentile and I’m feeling like a big huge failure at this whole mothering thing. All I wanted was to love, cradle, nourish and protect my children and I failed at doing that for you and now if feels like I am failing your brother too.

Your father and I plan on moving soon and I want you to know that it has nothing to do with leaving any of your memories behind and everything to do with finding a place to call home where we can finally start rebuilding our life together. This place has never felt like home after you left us. I’ve tried Ava, I really have, but I can’t see past all the heartaches we have had here. I may have failed on my promise to protect you, but your memories will come with us no matter where we go and that is one promise I know I can keep.

I wish I could have another chance too hold you and tell you that I love you and think about you every single day but somehow, I like to believe that you already know that.

Family Photo

Happy Birthday Ava.

Love and Kisses


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Birthday blessings. She is loved, and I'm sure you're right that she knows it.
Posted by Blogger Julia :  April 13, 2007

Karla, I've been reading your blog for months and it has become really quite addicting...

So today in an effort to make you feel somewhat better, (I hope you don't take it as me shoving my religion off on you) I'll post this song, that has helped me through my struggle with infertility. Perhaps it will help you with your loss.....

Many hopeful moms and dads, try to have a child of their own, some never get the chance, others do and see them grown, and then there are those who are expecting, that precious baby soon, but she’s gone before she ever leaves the safety of her mother’s womb.

Jesus has a rocking chair, and He holds that precious baby, with oh such tender care, He takes the place of mom and dad, He’s the greatest parent a child could have, don’t worry ’bout the children there, Jesus has a rocking chair

There are those who have a boy or girl, a lovely gift from God, but sickness or a tragedy takes them from their parent’s arms, Daddy’s wish for days gone by, and Mama’s long for that lost child but a child is not lost when you know just where they are....

Jesus has a rocking chair, and He holds that precious baby, with oh such tender care, He takes the place of mom and dad, He’s the greatest parent a child could have, don’t worry ’bout the children there, Jesus has a rocking chair

She was 18 and not married, expecting her little one, in a time of confusion she took the life of her
son since then Jesus forgave her, and He took all her shame away, but still she cries missing her baby, and she hears the angels say.......

Jesus has a rocking chair, and He holds that precious baby, with oh such tender care, He takes the place of mom and dad, He’s the greatest parent a child could have, don’t worry ’bout the children there, Jesus has a rocking chair
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  April 13, 2007

I'll be thinking of you and Ava tomorrow. She is loved so much and I know that she knows that.
Posted by Anonymous andrea :  April 13, 2007

Been readin you for what seems like forever and still to this day I feel every bit of grief you are going thru. I really have no comforting words as I don't feel there are any BUT PLEASE don't be so hard on yourself. I may not know you but feel that you are a very good loving mother, Nate will catch up and go on a growth spurt that will jsut blow your mind. He is a very handsome lil fella and those blue eyes just make me all warm and fuzzy feeling inside. When my days are not so good I come to your blog jsut to look at his pictures...guess I may be stalking..LOL Try to ease up on yourself some and enjoy this baby days as much as possible, one day soon you may have to look up to him to disipline him, I know I had to with both of mine, which isn't saying alot as I am only 4'11" with shoes on..LOL I will join you tomorrow and release a BIG BEAUTIFUL balloon for YOUR AVA on her day, here in MS! I wish you peace and happiness.
Southern Belle
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  April 13, 2007

Karla - lots of strength and love coming your and your husband's way, across the miles.

You are not failing Nate. And you did not fail Ava. Anyone who knows you, who reads your blog, knows that you have nothing in your heart for your little ones but loads of love. You didn't do anything wrong. God had bigger and better plans for your sweet little girl. Maybe her purpose is to watch over Nate. And you'd better believe she's watching over you and your husband. She is your angel in heaven, your Ava, and Nate is your angel here on earth.

Keep writing. We're all supporting you. Hang tight to those memories. She knows how much you love her. And I'll bet she misses you, too. But she's always with you.

All the very best,
Posted by Blogger Megan :  April 13, 2007

Tender thoughts are being sent your way, Karla.
Posted by Blogger Anvilcloud :  April 13, 2007

Wow. I don't know what to say except to tell you that I got tears in my eyes while reading that. What you have been through is terrible - I know that having watched a close friend go through it. I am thankful that you have baby Nate, but I know that doesn't take away the love and the pain and (obviously) the guilt that you feel for Ava. I am so sorry. I don't even know you, but I am thinking about you today and tomorrow.
Posted by Blogger rebcram :  April 13, 2007


I know tomorrow will be hard, but I hope you and Mark can find a little peace in knowing that Ava is so dearly loved by so many people. She will never be forgotten. And Nate will grow up knowing how special his big sister was. I truly believe she is a little guardian angel looking over the three of you.

Would you mind if we helped you celebrate, and released a balloon for her here in Ottawa? I would love to make up for my lack of courage 2 years ago.

Posted by Blogger Cate :  April 13, 2007

Tomorrow I will also release a balloon into the air for Ava.

Karla, you are a wonderful mother. Ava, BabyBean, and Nate are all lucky to be blessed with a mother that is as warm and loving as yourself.

Although you feel like you are failing Nate, the reality of this all is that he is one of the luckiest babies on the face of this planet to have a mother like yourself. In good time he will catch up sweetheart.. don't fret. A lot of babies start out small in life!

((((hugs)))) Thinking about your family today and tomorrow...

Posted by Blogger Melanie :  April 13, 2007

Karla, I too got tears in my eyes as I was reading. That was so beautiful spoken. I too will be releashing a balloon in memory of your sweet little girl tomorrow. I think of you and your family often and hope you know that you are loved! Happy Birthday sweet Ava. Hugs.
Posted by Anonymous Beth :  April 13, 2007

just beautiful.
Posted by Blogger Emery Jo :  April 13, 2007

Happy Birthday, Baby Ava! We are thinking of you!
Posted by Blogger ~*Courtney*~ :  April 13, 2007

Karla I am thinking about you!

Happy birthday sweet girl!

You are not failing Nate by any means. You are a fabulous mother!

What did the pediatrician recommend for Nate, if anything at all.
Posted by Blogger TBG :  April 13, 2007

She knows that she is loved and thought of and missed every day. You are a wonderful mom and some things were just out of your control. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow on her birthday.
Posted by Blogger Stephanie :  April 13, 2007

You are not a failure. You are NOT a failure, Karla.
Happ birthday, sweet Ava. I'm certain she would have been an ice-cream cake fan. :)
Posted by Anonymous Amanda :  April 13, 2007

Happy Birthday, sweet Ava. What a blessed little girl to have a family who loves you so. Watch out for your mommy and your daddy and your little brother Nate. They love you so.

Karla, thank you for sharing your life with us. You are a fantastic mom. Nate is obviously a healthy and happy little boy. Percentiles, perschmentiles.

Take care of yourself. May peace and comfort be yours.
Posted by Blogger Jezer :  April 13, 2007

You have not failed as a mother and Ava knows just how much she was loved and is still loved.

I will be thinking of you and Ava tomorrow and also wishing her a Happy Birthday. HUGS
Posted by Blogger Tammy :  April 13, 2007

SOB!!!! She is so pretty. Karla I realize nothing I can say will ease your pain, but I'm thinking of all of you.

On a different note, Brandon is also in the 3rd % he has been since he was almost a year. The doc did a bone growth test, and blood work and found nothing wrong, he said some kids are just small. Since Brandon has now stayed in the lower range the Doc says I will just have a skinny little kid. No worries. As long as he's eating, pooping and peeing you are fine. Some kids are just meant to be skinny or short, just like some have huge heads and are extra tall.

You are absolutely not failing as a mom. You are doing just the opposite. You are caring and worrying and those are the things that a real mommy does. You have done such an amazing job at keeping Avas memory alive and I don't think there is anything better you can do for her now! Plus you and hubby did so great at surrounding Ava with nothing but love and tenderness every second she was alive. You guys showed her the best world she could know. Imagine that. Imagine being born and only ever knowing love and caring and tenderness. That sounds like the greatest way to live to me....It seems to me, as a mom, you did anything but FAIL with Ava you gave her a chance at a perfect world!

What a beautiful tribute to your precious Ava. I don't think you failed anyone, except maybe forgiving yourself, even when there is nothing to forgive.

Hugs to you and though I don't know you personally, I'm certain that you're a great mom!
Posted by Anonymous Chrissy :  April 13, 2007

Oh, Karla.

Two years.

I am glad that you choose to remember Ava's birthday, and share it. She was a beautiful part of this world, and if you did not share her with us, our lives would somehow be lacking.

Oh, and one look at those beautiful baby blues of Nate's and anyone can tell he is a little boy THRIVING on his parents love!

The best parents are those who are always wondering if just maybe there is a different way to approach things.

None of us get it right. Some of us pretend better than others.
Posted by Blogger Judy :  April 13, 2007

Thinking of you.
Posted by Blogger Kristin :  April 13, 2007

happy birthday to sweet ava. our hearts and thoughts are with you and your family.
Posted by Blogger wannabe mom :  April 14, 2007

There is no failure, just growth spurts, hugs, kisses and of course symophonic flatulence. Go eat some of that crumbly cake, kiss your husband and love on Nate. You, my dear, are one of the strongest people I know and you are blowing the rest of us out of the water with your brilliance as a mom.
Posted by Blogger Amanda :  April 14, 2007

Happy Birthday, sweet Ava.
Posted by Blogger Ashley :  April 14, 2007

You have so NOT failed as a mother, get those thoughts out of your mind this instant!

The weight of newborns goes up and down the first year, please try not to be too worried. Is he happy, smiling, farting? Most likely, all is well, and this is just a temporary weight drop.
Posted by Blogger Gina :  April 14, 2007

happy birthday to sweet Ava. so bittersweet to see her picture...she's beautiful.

on the very same day, two years ago, i was being airlifted to our regional children's hospital b/c my water had broken, at 24 weeks. we managed to hang on a little longer, but it wasn't enough. our Finn was born on the 29th of April, just a couple of weeks after Ava, and he died on the 30th.

i know the feeling of failure you speak of...our second son came early as well, though he's thrived and will soon turn one. all i can say is i've had to be gentle with myself through some of the worst of the heartbreak and despair...i've had to forgive my body and the world for that failure, that bad luck, that brutal shock. they say that carrying a child leaves that child's cells inside the mother for years afterward, so sometimes i force myself to remember that so i can be tender with myself the way that i'd like to be to Finn.

hope you find peace. and i hope our little ones who sort of share an anniversary have found each other, whatever comes after this life.
Posted by Blogger Bon :  April 14, 2007

Karla, I can't comfort your pain from your loss. I can't imagine the pain you feel. I get teared up just reading about your experience.

I wouldn't worry too much about Nate being small. I have 2 boys and each of them have done the same thing. Both were born at 7 pounds 2 oz. and were in the 25% for about 3 months, then slipped into the 1%-3% for weight and maybe 5th% for height. My one year old weighs in at 14 lbs. 10 oz. My 4.5 year old is still small for his age, weighing about 30 pounds, but he is healthy and happy. Some kids are just small. The growth charts are just a guide. Some kids fit on it, and some don't. Both of my boys eat and eat, but are still small. There is no harm in that. Do the doctors question it? Yes. Have they done some tests on them? Yes. Have they found anything wrong? No. Honestly, I enjoy my "little" boys. Makes the baby not slip away so FAST!!
Posted by Anonymous Candi :  April 15, 2007

Karla...been catching up as I've been busy as of late. I remember first reading about little Ava when I first found your blog. I was so moved then, as I am now. I know it must be difficult, but never, never, never blame yourself. You are such a loving and wonderful mother and there was nothing you could do. Please don't worry about Nate - he is adorable and the charts, percentiles, they are only GUIDELINES. They aren't the gospel. Don't let it upset you. Ava will never be forgotten. She is precious and so is your entire family. Hugs :)


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