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.
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.
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.
Ryan, Danielle, and Asher
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.