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Aila Jane Walker | June 24, 2014

Aila Jane Walker - ©Danielle Walker

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To my dear blog readers and fans-

We want to thank you deeply as a family for your support after my post about our daughter Aila’s (AY-luh) condition. We are so appreciative of all of the hundreds of thousands of you who already loved our sweet girl and held her in your hearts before she was born.

Our darling Aila was born Tuesday night June 24th at 7:53pm and passed peacefully in my arms at 8:39pm. She weighed 1 pound 5.8 ounces and had her brother’s nose and daddy’s lips. She was just the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

We had the immense joy of knowing her on this earth for 46 minutes before she went to be with Jesus. I was able to hold her for 12 hours and study her sweet face all night long. The pain that we feel from missing her each day is inexplicable. I ache for the day when I can kiss her forehead and hold her in my arms again.

But we are simultaneously walking through each day rejoicing

But we are simultaneously walking through each day rejoicing in the privilege of being parents to Aila for her short time here and that we got to meet, cradle, and kiss our sweet daughter before she was gone.

 

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This last 8 weeks has been the most trying time of our lives, but we live with no regrets. During that time, we grew so deeply in love with our daughter. With each kick and movement. With each ultrasound. We were adamant that we would enjoy Aila’s time in the womb and did as many things as we could in our short time.

She and I finished our book Meals Made Simple. I only had a little bit left after I learned of her diagnosis and wanted to honor her life by doing what I love most. I began to write the book shortly after I learned I was pregnant and wanted to finish it with her by my side.

As a family we were able to take her and Asher to Disneyland, a baseball game, lots of hikes in the hills surrounded by oak trees, and many family barbecues and swimming time. She spent mornings snuggling on the couch with her brother and I watching cartoons. She knew the sound of my voice singing songs throughout the day. She perked up anytime her daddy would enter the room and was always willing to let him know she was still there with a little kick from her sweet little legs.

These are the things we will never forget and are thankful we had the opportunity to experience.

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We thank you all again for your prayers and support during this unfathomable time.  I’ve read your thousands of comments and emails and know your hearts and how much you are yearning to help us. I wish I could tell you there was something you could give us that would make this better, but there is not. But we have figured out a way we can give Aila’s life even more purpose, and we would love for you to partner with us.

We have been deeply impacted by all of the organizations and people who supported us and want them to be supported in return. So we have set up a fundraiser in Aila’s name that will provide financial assistance to them. If you would like a tangible way to show your support, please take a look here and donate if you feel led.

donate here

Aila_Jane_Walker_Fundraiser

Love,
Ryan, Danielle, and Asher

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Please read my update post on Life after Aila


My deepest gratitude to my nurses and doctors at UCSF – especially Jessie. Your empathy, reassurance, and compassion was invaluable.  Jennifer Skog for the memories of my pregnancy. To Abby from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep for helping us remember our short time with our baby girl.

  • Janae Q.

    I am so glad you had the pictures taken. You will never regret having those memories. My husband and I had stillborn twins at 20 weeks and also had pictures taken. They are so precious. One day at a time. The deep ache gets better but it’s never gone.
    The analogy I was told: Think of a weightlifter. If they try and lift all 200 pounds in the beginning they will crumble. But slowly over time, they build the strength. The same is like the deep ache of grief. It will get easier to carry, but it will never leave you.

  • Holly

    Sitting in my car listening to the rain and looking through bleary windows at my son at soccer practice. Your words brought me to tears. I lost our 2nd child five years ago when I was only 10 weeks pregnant.
    Thank you for sharing and putting to words these things. This pain that is so deep it feels like a fiber of my very being. But also you voiced the “knowing” that one day you will see her again. As sure as our connection is to these beautiful children–strong and real no matter how much time passes–so it is also certain that we will see them again.

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  • Jessica

    I just lost my identical twin boys Jack and Evan due to an infection that caused me to go into pre-term labor..I too long to kiss their little face. I was 21 weeks, I feel your pain…my husband and I gain strength daily! They were our first children.

  • Jenifer Gaston

    Danielle, I’m so sorry for the loss you and your family experiencing. I just came to your blog for the first time this evening. I had two stillborn children, one 29 years ago, and one 20 years ago, both daughters. You will never forget your sweet baby, and talking about it and sharing is so very good for you. I will pray for comfort for you all. You will her in Heaven someday…. Just hold on to that, while you are here mothering your Son, and being a wife.

    Donna, in the 29 years nice the loss of my first child, I have never heard more beautiful words. Thank you, as the tears stream down my face. Very sweet words. I have always known I would see my babies again in Heaven, but you touched my heart…. Thank