I started a blog yesterday in which I was going to explain the last couple of weeks, and the immense heart ache our family has endured since losing our youngest member, John William Smith.
That post is going to be a lot harder to write than I thought. So I decided to tell you about our happy, loving, smiley, curious, adorable, and absolutely perfect little fat man...
Angela started dating a man back in 2014 that as much as we tried to like him, he made it difficult. Our biggest issue was his drinking. He was a drunk. It quickly soured their relationship. After a roller coaster love affair, to say the least, Angela texted me one morning asking questions about symptoms of pregnancy. My heart sank. They were on again off again to the point of driving us crazy, at that moment off again, and in a slightly less than ideal position for a baby. I told her the most sure way to know was to take a pregnancy test.
It was positive. We began to worry.
Angela has the biggest heart in our family. She takes after our father and allows people to walk all over her. This man included. She also takes after our father in her silent suffering with depression. We were concerned about her depression and the higher risks associated with post-partum depression. We could not have been more wrong in doubting her.
Once her pregnancy was confirmed, she shook herself free from the boyfriend and set her sights on being a good mommy. She had a slightly complicated pregnancy. She suffered from pregnancy related diabetes and had to use insulin, making her high risk. She was going to have to deliver at Shands in Gainesville, possibly via c-section.
When I saw the first 3D ultra-sound of John I fell immediately in love. He had the chunkiest little cheeks. I spouted for weeks that he looked like me. I, myself cannot have any more children, and the prospect of cuddling this one fed my raging baby fever. I was so excited to meet him. We were all truly excited to meet him.
After 9 painfully long months, she was scheduled to induce on September 13th 2015. Mom and I packed up and headed with Mommy-to-be to the hospital. They got her all hooked up and we waited.
Waited some more...
...When finally a nurse told us to go home and come back the next day, it would be a while before she delivered. Mom agreed to stay and help Angela, and I agreed to come back the next morning prepared to spend the evening.
At approximately 2:30 pm on September 14th 2015, John came screaming into the world. All 8 pounds 15.9 ounces! Angela did so amazing. She was wore out, so we went to work while the doctors worked on Mommy introducing John to the madness of our family.
He was so perfect. So beautiful.
10 toes, 10 fingers, fuzzy dark hair, and the most pouty little lips.
I loved him so much. We all did. We all do.
He was the baby.
I spent the first night of his life with him and Mommy. Angela was exhausted from a long hard delivery, and John was hell bent on missing nothing. Most newborns sleep the majority of that first day. Nope not this little guy. Wide eyed and giving me a go for my money. About 5 that morning he decided he would take a nap. I didn't want to put him down. I just wanted to hold him and marvel in his adorableness. And I did. Moments that have saved my sanity in these horrible weeks. Moments that will forever be some of the best in my life.
We all rallied behind the two of them. When Angela fell ill a few weeks after he was born with bi-lateral pulmonary embolisms, my Mom took care of him. Virginia, our other sister, took care of him. We all stepped in. There was nothing I looked forward to after work like I did getting to go snuggle him and my kids, Scarlett and Evan. He was everyone's baby.
He loved everyone. He smiled at everyone.
I always had to creep in Mom's house because little man liked to sit in front of the windows and watch. When he would see people coming in the house he would rush to the front door. We all bumped him at least once with the door, and learned quickly to open slowly. I would stick a foot through first. If he was there, he'd give you a yank or rip the door open.
I miss those moments.
I'd give anything to go back in time.
He was such a good baby. One of those babies that never cried or fussed. He LOVED to eat. When he finally reached the age to eat table food, it was as if you laid gold on that child's plate.
But for as much as he loved food...Lord knows he loved his Mommy more.
There was love, adoration, everything pure and innocent in his eyes when he looked at her. Genuine.
Just to see that look again. To pick him up and feel his fat little fingers toy with my beaded necklaces. Touch my face. Go for my earrings...always went for the earrings.
I cut his hair about a month before he passed. I got on my hands and knees and crawled along Mom's house with him, cutting when I had the chance. Another moment that will forever have a sacred place in my heart.
We lost John 8 days shy of his first birthday, on September 6th 2016, and he was buried on his first birthday. It was the worst day of my life, so I cannot imagine the pain my sister is enduring. I would love to be able to take her pain away for just 24 hours. More than that I would have given anything to trade places with our baby that day. John suffered a severe head injury while in the care of a babysitter. There is still an open investigation so I'm not going to discuss details. And I'm just not ready to discuss the events of that day. I just hope there is justice for our baby.
It's been so hard to say the least, and life is more than unfair. We were blessed to be able to spend about 12 hours with his sweet little self in the flesh before he passed. We relished in being able to kiss his face, hold his hand, touch his feet...but it will never be enough. It was not long enough. Just so unfair.
I will follow up this blog once we have the findings and reports from the investigation, and hopefully answer the questions everyone has been asking. For now, please respect our privacy while the detectives do the very best they can.
There will never be enough words to explain just how amazing our little fat man was...how much life there was in his eyes...how much love in his smile...