A touch of life

I received an email a couple of weeks ago from a lovely woman who is a new friend to me, a fellow writer and mother named Jessica, from Four Plus an Angel.

She attached a link to a post that she believed reflected a series of small moments from her life.

Jessica wrote:

Your site and all it stands for is beautiful. I lost my daughter a little over three years ago and since then, have learned that life is truly about the smallest of moments because they may be all you have.

I wanted to share a post with you I wrote on the most recent anniversary of her passing. I think it truly illustrates how our family has learned to live through the big and small moments.

I clicked on the link to her post, Today, and was so incredibly grateful that she reached out to me … that she wanted to share her story with me.  Her words are painful and beautiful and brave.

The more I read of her story, the more I knew that Jessica was a perfect fit for Small Moments Mondays. I asked her if she would consider sharing her story here and she generously agreed.

After you read this post, please go read Today, Thoughts on Thanksgiving, and The Autism Story.

Jessica inspires me to be even more grateful for all that I have … and all that I’ve lost.  She is strong and beautiful and appreciative in the face of tragedy and loss.

She is remarkable … so simply remarkable.

Thank you, Jessica, for sharing your story here. It is so incredibly generous of you.  I’m so honored that you wanted to share your story here on in these small moments.

Much love to you, lovely one….

A Touch of Life — by Jessica

The triplets were born at 28 weeks.  28 weeks and 5 days to be exact.  I was counting.

I lived in the hospital, staring at my feet and a calendar on the wall, x’s marking each day that the mix of medication and bedrest had given my babies.  After the threat of delivery at 19 weeks, 21 weeks, 24 weeks and every few days from then on, making it to my last trimester seemed a miracle.

I knew that my babies would be in the NICU and I was as prepared as any soon-to-be mom of triplets could be.  I had toured the unit, watched the babies born too soon struggling with life, given the nurses the eighth degree, researched feeding and bonding and every possible medical complication under the sun and I was ready.  We could do this.

But when the time came, and my babies and my body could not wait any longer all my readiness fell to my surgical slippered feet.

Nothing could have prepared me for the delivery of three babies at once, the sea of hospital masks, the hum of machines, the buzz of anticipation encircled by the quiet of hope.

As the first baby came there was no calm before the next.

There was urgency and monitors and calls for oxygen.

There were NICU teams and respiratory therapists and relays to incubators.

Baby A, my little girl, was brought past me first, all of her 2 pounds 10 ounces shocking me into the delicate world of mothering a preemie, though not as alarming as the 1 pound 14 ounces of her brother, the next to wriggle his long pink limbs near my face.  As the nurses brought them to me, one tiny baby at a time, I wanted to take in their every feature and hold them and love them but it was not yet my turn.  They needed intensive care and I felt that need and urged the nurses along, fighting my yearning to take trace every ounce of their fragile babyness.  I would see them soon enough.  Forever was ahead of us.

There were moments between the delivery of Baby B and C, my son and my next daughter… enough for me to take in the what was happening, settle into my excitement and wait for her.  As she came by I adjusted my focus, trying to see her 2 pounds 5 ounces of features through the mask of oxygen, already mingling with her labored breaths, and as I tried to move my hand to her face she held me first.  Her tiny pink fingers, white at the tips as they wrapped around mine.  And I did not feel that urgency I did with her siblings.  The nurse pressed forward with her before I was ready for her to let go.  I wanted to keep her there, suspended at my cheek, squirming with new life, explaining to me that she already knew who I was.  My first touch from one of my babies, who, entwined with her brother and sister, had endured the push and pull of life all those weeks that labor threatened.  She was here, and so was he, and so was she.  All alive and fighting, a testament to faith and hope and unending love.

And this small moment, this first touch, was the clearest, tiniest, most profound moment of my life, of my pregnancies, of our 77 days in the NICU, of my marriage, of my days as the mother of four living children, and the mother of one who is not.

One who stopped to tell me that she was okay, and I am her mother and always will be.

One who squeezed a moment of her short life into my waiting hand before she left this place for another.

Please, please go visit Jessica at Four Plus an Angel.  You won’t regret the time that you spend there with her.

Thank you.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for reading Jessica’s story.

You can also find Jessica on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Tim

    That post choked me up. So heartbreaking. Jessica is such a loving mother and can easily express her love for all her children in her writing. Such a lovely sentiment that she is her mother and always will be.

  2. Cheryl @ Mommypants mommypants.com

    Beautiful written.

    Stunning in its heartbreak.

    A true reminder of how precious life is, too precious to rush through it.

    Thank you for sharing your moment, your baby, with us.

  3. Mama P mamatoo3penguins.blogspot.com

    This story really touches my heart, it is so amazing how babies touch our lives, even if we are only graced with their presence for a short period of time. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  4. andygirl

    I have no words, just tears. thank you.

  5. So profound and…I really have no words. This post took my breath away.

  6. bywordofmouth

    Nichole, you really know how to bring in the best. Jessica writes a beautiful blog about her family, their triumphs and their sadness. She also has a tremendous sense of humor – am so glad to see her showcased over here – she is a treasure to be sure.

  7. Jessica your ability to take such a heartbreaking moment of your life and write it so beautifully is amazing. Thank you for sharing it.

  8. This was such a touching and heart wrenching story. Thank you for sharing with us. Must have been so hard for you to share. Your babies are beautiful!

  9. katie sluiternation.com

    Oh Jessica. This takes my breath away with it's beauty and love. Thank you for choosing Nichole's place to share this story…this insanely precious and important small moment.

    This is one of the hugest "small" moments I have read.

  10. Rebecca manicmamag.blogspot.com

    I am speechless.

  11. Stacey staceysmotheringmoments.com

    That made me cry. I'm off to read more. That was beautifully written.

  12. Such a joyous celebration of something so, so painful.

    You tell her short story so beautifully that I can only be happy that she was here at all, and feel less the grief that she was here so briefly.

  13. KLZ taminginsanity.com

    I don't think I can say it better than Lori but I'll try.

    Your love shines through. Through all of this heart ache your love shines through. I hope I'm half the mother you are.

  14. Megan-Best of Fates bestoffates.com

    So touching and heart-wrenching and beautiful.

  15. Jessica has an amazing way of sharing her experiences.

  16. Wow! I'm off to read her posts. What an amazing picture.

  17. jessb27

    Thanks so much Tim

  18. jessb27

    I was so happy to share, thank you for reading.

  19. jessb27

    I don't even know what to say, I am completely humbled by such amazing comments. Thank you Nichole for allowing me to share and to all of you for reading and for handling the memory of my daughter with such care.

  20. So incredible. I recently found Jessica's blog, too, and am amazed at her strength. Such an incredible story. Thanks so much for linking her to Small Moment Mondays – a perfect fit.

  21. Carrie Meadows

    I have more tears than words. This post was a gift. Off to check out your blog…

  22. MelissaDrMom confessionsofadrmom.com

    Thank you for sharing your story about your little Angel. Beautifully written.

  23. Mad Woman adiaryofamadwoman.com

    Yes, more tears than words. Thank you Nichole for showcasing another amazing mother's words and story.

    And seriously: your blog needs a top of the page disclaimer: have your tissues handy!

  24. Liz

    What a beautifully written story.

    Your strength to endure, and now to share, is so inspiring.

  25. gigi kludgymom.com

    Jessica, this is a truly fragile and beautiful post. You are amazing, and an amazing writer.

    Thank you for sharing your story of hope and sadness with us all.

    Much love to you!

  26. This is so absolutely beautiful. Makes me want to squeeze my kiddos and enjoy every moment that God blesses my life with them. My heart aches for all parents who have had to say goodbye all too soon.

  27. @jillsmo twitter.com/jillsmo

    (((((Jessica))))) I <3 you! Thank you for sharing your story xoxoxoxo

  28. I feel honored to have read this. Thank you for sharing this moment with us and reminding me of how much one little touch can mean.

  29. jessb27

    I was so happy to share it, you never realize how deeply pregnancy and birth bond you to your child until they are gone.

  30. jessb27

    Thank you for reading and honoring her memory, sorry for the tears.

  31. jessb27

    Thank you

  32. jessb27

    Wow, thank you so much for such an amazing compliment. Love being referred to as a "treasure" could you let my kids and husband know??

  33. jessb27

    I was so happy that Nichole allowed me to share it, keeping Hadley's memory alive is so important to me.

  34. jessb27

    I have wanted to share this for a long time but never knew how to do it justice with words, somehow it just finally fell in to place and I am so glad it did. It was great to share with such an amazing audience.

  35. jessb27

    I feel honored to have had this moment, I used to feel bitter about the unfairness of it but I have grown to feel lucky to have been the hand she was holding. So glad that you enjoyed reading.

  36. jessb27

    Thank you for taking the time to read and share her memory with me.

  37. jessb27

    Sorry for making you cry but thank you for taking the time to help me carry on her memory.

  38. jessb27

    Could this have been written any more eloquently? I am truly appreciative that you feel exactly what I wanted everyone to feel, the sense of gratitude I have just for being her mother, no matter how long she was here.

  39. jessb27

    I don't usually get goosebumps from comments but you guys are blowing me away. I am so glad you felt the love through this post. If nothing else, I hope the loss of Hadley's life helps others to appreciate the gifts of life they have in front of them.

  40. jessb27

    Thank you Megan.

  41. jessb27

    Thanks Shell, thank you for reading.

  42. jessb27

    Glad that you enjoyed, thanks for taking the time to read.

  43. jessb27

    Humbled by your comment and looking forward to seeing more of you in the blog world.

  44. jessb27

    Sorry for the tears but I truly appreciate that you read my daughter's story.

  45. jessb27

    Thank you Melissa, it was an honor to be able to share her.

  46. jessb27

    Oh no, sorry for all of the tears! I truly appreciate that you took the time to read and helped me in sharing my daughter's memory.

  47. jessb27

    Thank you Liz, I think Hadley left me much of her strength that day and continues to give me some when I need it most.

  48. jessb27

    Thank you for such an amazing compliment, I LOVE to write and being able to put my grief into words has been very healing. Thank you for reading and allowing me to share my daughter's memory with you.

  49. jessb27

    That is exactly what I hope my short moments with Hadley will do… make everyone go hold their kids that much tighter. Life is so fragile and I'm working on appreciating it more each day.

  50. jessb27

    <3 you too, thanks for visiting me here :)

  51. jessb27

    I was honored to share and to know that so many are reading is icing on the cake. Thank you for taking the time to read.

  52. Sherri

    I finally made it over here today, and wow….I am stunned. By the story, by the moment, and by the words you used to tell it.

    Thank you so much for sharing such a personal moment with us, and I will be visiting you to read more.

  53. Natalie mommyofamonster.com

    Jessica, that is such a beautiful post. It was hard to read, and I cried tears of pain for you, but it was lovely.

  54. jessb27

    You guys and your comments are amazing, I'm humbled.

  55. jessb27

    Thank you Sherri, thanks for reading and for helping me to carry on her memory.

  56. jessb27

    Sorry for the tears Natalie but I am so glad you read and I could share this moment with so many.

  57. Alexandra174


    I can't even speak.

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