by, Cody and Nikki Hawkins
Our beautiful daughter, Skylar Rose, was born on November 6, 2022. We discovered a few months before the 20-week scan that she had several conditions deemed “incompatible with life.” The doctors informed us that she would not survive birth and could come anytime between then and full term, depending on several factors. We chose to carry her anyway and to love on her for as long as God would give us.
During my 34th week of pregnancy, we threw a celebration of life party for her while she was still with us. We called it “Skye’s Day” and invited 40 of our closest friends and family to come to celebrate and love on her while she was here. We decorated the house to look like a heavenly sky, with clouds, stars, and all things sunset colored. We painted rocks for her grave and made bracelets with her name. We played Skylar-themed trivia, and we wrote notes in her bible. We soaked in her wiggles and kicks and took lots of photos. We celebrated and loved her big, cherishing Skylar’s life for the beautiful and precious daughter she is.
The night before that party, I had been contracting all day. We kept it a secret because we didn’t want it to change the mood for the day and just prayed she would stay long enough to make it to her big party. As her parents, we just wanted our daughter to have her one big day- where she could soak in everyone’s love and celebration of her. Especially since we knew it would be her last moments here on earth.
As contractions ramped up throughout the party, we eventually announced that we would have to leave for the hospital shortly. Many tears were spilled, everyone knowing what that meant. So we transitioned into a time of prayer and laying hands on her. We prayed over her, over us, and over the birth as a whole and all the unknown, beauty, and devastating heartbreak we were walking into. In hindsight, we can’t imagine going into her birth any other way than surrounded with prayer and covered in supernatural peace and the presence of the Holy Spirit. My mama heart is so full knowing Skye’s last day with us. She got to spend having a party thrown for her, hearing everyone’s love and prayers over her before making her big debut that night. I’m sure she and God timed it that way for her, her mama, and daddy.
Despite her breech position and birth being high risk for many reasons, we still opted for a natural delivery to spend time peacefully together in bed following birth, knowing Skye would likely pass during labor. Four hours later, Skye made her way naturally and quickly into the world at 2:41 am. It was the holiest, most peaceful birth experience I could’ve imagined. We didn’t monitor her during birth, as we were told she wouldn’t survive labor, so when they laid her on my chest, and she squeezed my finger and took in a breath, all we could do was weep and praise God for the miracle our little warrior girl was. Skylar lived in our arms for 70 minutes. She even opened her eyes for her mom and dad and held our fingers. We got to snuggle her, sing worship songs over her, kiss her face and fingers and toes, and tell her over and over again how loved she was. She defied so many odds and gave us the greatest gift of a little time on earth with her as something to hold onto until we join her again in Heaven. I’m so thankful God gave our little family that time; to say hi to each other, hold each other, squeeze fingers, see each other’s faces, and feel the sacred love and connection we all share.
At 3:51 am, our perfect little Skylar Rose went peacefully from her earthly daddy’s arms into those of her Heavenly Father. Her whole little life on earth, from conception until she went to be with Jesus, she knew nothing but pure, complete, unconditional love from her parents. We poured out every ounce of fathomable love on our little girl. She never has to doubt for a minute that she was (and still is) so loved, longed for, chosen, and cherished.
Every day since losing her, we are acutely aware of the constant ache and absence of our precious baby girl, who should be in our arms and home. We grieve her loss. We also spend forever grieving the “what could’ve beens” and “what should’ve beens.” But we force ourselves to shift perspectives, maintain a heavenly mindset, and focus on all of the “what will be’s” when we are reunited again in Heaven. All of the things we will still get to experience with her, the eternity we will spend with Skylar, the life, joy, memories, milestones, and love we will share with Skylar, and our family will be made perfectly whole. We know that there is a greater reality than this broken one on earth. Until then, we will faithfully sift through the mess and be intentional and purposeful with the time God has us here while simultaneously taking comfort in knowing that we are also one day closer to Jesus and Skylar. Until then, we will always proudly and lovingly talk about our beautiful Skye baby and long for our daughter in Heaven. She will forever be a member of our family, and if we are blessed to parent children on earth, they will always know her as their big sister in Heaven. We know she’s not gone from us forever, she’s just our not yet, and when we see her again, that embrace will be the most beautiful reunion I can imagine. We love you, Skylar Rose Hawkins.
Love, Mom, and Dad
Want more from NILMDTS?
Get the latest articles, news and updates directly to your inbox.