Layne Grace was born silently on October 15th, 2009. Through her silence she reminded me of the most important lesson in my life. I was reminded of the meaning of unconditional love. The love that only a parent can comprehend.
Layne’s ultrasounds indicated she was healthy and growing, with no physical warnings the pregnancy was normal. I remember the appointment which was to inform us of the baby’s gender. Unfortunately, her legs remained crossed and we joked, “She must be a polite little girl.” We waited impatiently for the next ultrasound, where they would try again. This time they said, “It looks like you are going to have another baby boy!” Surprised by this, we swung into action preparing for our second son.
After Layne was born the doctor wrapped her up and handed her to me. I held her, kissed her, and hugged her. Eventually, I unwrapped her blanket in search for anything that would provide an answer as to why she did not live. Finding none, I did discover that my sweet baby boy, was actually the baby girl I had first envisioned. She looked healthy,perfect in fact, most likely a cord accident; however, to our surprise, she most obviously was not a boy. She was indeed my sweet, polite baby girl.
My mom, Layne’s grandma, made a special outfit for her new grandson to wear home. Fortunately, the hospital gave us a baby girl onesie, a real blessing for two reasons. We did not want to put our little girl in an outfit made for a boy, but more importantly, the butterfly applique embroidered on the onesie made me think. The word, ‘beautiful” was elegantly stitched beneath it. I whispered, “You are beautiful, Layne.” As I was holding her, I stared at the butterfly. Layne was perfect and already in Heaven. Although she did not breath our air, she did live inside of me. I loved her deeply and felt proud to be her mom. I began to connect her life to that of a butterfly’s. A butterfly’s life is short, but when we see one, its beauty and grace brings a moment of happiness. Somehow, giving birth to Layne did this for me.
When I arrived at the hospital I knew I would be delivering a baby that was not alive. My emotions were confused; I did not know how I would feel when I held this baby, but I do now. I loved and always will love Layne as though I spent an entire lifetime with her. When I held her after delivery I realized, I know this sweet girl. She lived in my belly for 9 months; her movements were smooth and soft. She is the little girl who kept her legs crossed at the gender appointment, and tricked me into believing she was a boy. She is the sweetheart reflected in a butterfly, and the girl who reminds me to love unconditionally. She encourages me to believe in the power of family, friendship, and the importance of helping others. She is an angel I can count on.
I still feel her presence everyday. I know this may sound crazy, but I would do all of it over just to feel her and hold her again. I knew after Layne was born that I was completely and totally unable to let her go of her. This is why we are carrying our love for her on through Layne’s Project. Layne is not gone in many ways. We want good to come from her spirit and for everyone who is blessed with a child to recognize and appreciate their gift. If everyone who reads this message hugs their child a little tighter and loves a little more, then we know Layne’s mission is being fulfilled. As the saying goes, “Our joys will be greater, our love will be deeper, our lives will be fuller, because we shared her moment.”
We believe your baby’s spirit has a purpose too and is loved by so many people. We understand the hole in your life now, and the unconditional love you feel for your baby. Hopefully this website will provide a place for you to go when you need someone to understand and might allow you to share with the world the love you have for your beautiful baby.