Darling Baby Girl,

You died before I realized you had lived.

I can only imagine that you would have looked like your five older siblings because they all look like each other. I can only imagine carrying you in my womb, for I carried you for such a short time. I can only imagine you being delivered into my waiting arms. I can only imagine all of us crowded around the birthing pool and weeping for joy as you entered the world like we did with the others. I had a massive panic attack that I know caused your death because a few hours later I started bleeding. I am so sorry. I wish I could have controlled it but mommy had a nightmare about losing one of your siblings and when she woke up her body had already spiraled out of her control. Usually, I am in control and I can stop this from happening. But not that night. That night the dream was so real and so overwhelming that my body collapsed. That night it was meant that you would die within my womb. I woke up on the morning of the 22nd, the day we celebrate the Queenship of the Virgin Mary, and realized almost immediately what was happening, although I had never experienced it before. I rushed to the store and bought two pregnancy tests. The line showed up right away and I dissolved into tears. I rushed out to tell your daddy that I had just found out that you were and were no more. We cried together. We cried for the little one we would never know. We cried because our hearts are already broken and held together by a crown of thorns. We cried because we knew right away that we already love you and yet you had left us. Just as with Maggie an entire future of possibilities has died. People that could have existed. Relationships created. Oh, so much just snatched away right before our eyes and despite our cries. There is something so very surreal about looking at two pregnancy tests. The first shows that life exists. The second shows that this life has passed on to eternity.

We knew that we would name you Regina in honor of our Blessed Mother but we were having a hard time coming up with a middle name. I was loading clothes into the dryer and I said, “Maggie, what should we name your sister?” Instantaneously the word warrior came into my mind. I thought that it was such a strange word and it didn’t feel right to call you Regina Warrior! As I sat next to the dryer and cried St. Joan of Arc came to mind. She was a fierce warrior and Maggie loved her. Nicaea asks St. Joan to pray for us every night. I immediately realized that Joan is to be your middle name. You are now a warrior with Maggie and our friend Genevieve. You all fight for souls together. I can’t think of a better name for a warrior woman then Regina Joan.

We continue to cling fervently to the cross and to Jesus who loves us. Regina Joan, I can only imagine what you saw when your eyes opened. To behold His face and then to see your big sister makes me feel so very happy for you. What a beautiful life you have now. Just as I do for Maggie I will do for you. I offer up all of my sufferings for whatever it is you want to accomplish here on earth.

I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me seems so very fitting for our earthly journey.

“I can only imagine when that day comes
When I find myself standing in the Son
I can only imagine when all I would do is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine
I can only imagine”

Mommy loves you both so much and one day she will be standing there with outstretched arms and we will all be together again. Until then my darling girls I will strive to do good here on earth in your names and the name of Jesus our Savior.

Regina Joan, pray for us.
Magdalene Thérèse, pray for us.

Love forever and ever,

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