Thursday, July 29, 2010

Memory Lane

As I mentioned in my last post, I started working on my scrapbook. This is proving to be very emotional for me. Ouch, it hurts my heart to see these pictures. To remember how quickly her body began to deteriorate after she was born. I don't like seeing her dark lips. Her feet began peeling. The smell of death. I will never be able to forget that smell. Mom says she smells it sometimes randomly. Why must that be burned into my mind? This whole scrapbooking thing is tough. But, it must be done. Her story must be told. I must have a concrete memorial for Lily. So her brothers and sisters can know her. So her nieces and nephews can know her. So future generations can get to know the little girl who changed my world. And I must do it while it's fresh. I must do it so I don't forget anything. I've been sorting through pictures and I came across this one. It was taken on March 13, the day before Lily's due date. Three days before Lily was born. That's my friend Candy. The photo was taken at her baby shower. I was full of joy, excitement, anticipation. I was so proud for everyone to see my enormous belly. I was huge, wasn't I? By this point, I had major sciatica pain. By this point, Lily was already gone. I was blissfully unaware that I was carrying my dead baby. It was the last picture taken of me while I was pregnant with her.


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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My New Project

I'm big into scrapbooking and have been wanting to create one for Lily for months now. So, today, my mom and I went to Michael's and picked out some things to get started. Just a few stickers and pages. This is going to be the best scrapbook I've ever done and will ever do, so I plan on taking my time on it. I'm going to do a couple pages at a time and spend all the time, energy, and money I need to. After all, this will be the only scrapbook I'll ever get to do for my daughter. 

I better make it good. 

I had planned on creating a scrapbook to document each year of her life. But, I didn't even get one full year with her. I'll post pictures to show the progress. The first few pages I'm going to be working on are the pictures from the hospital. Then, I'll move on to pregnancy photos and baby shower photos, all the things that celebrate Lily's life. I'm so excited about my new project! And I think it's a good thing for me to do now, around my 21st birthday on August 12th. It's going to be a rough month in August because Lily should be here, going to the beach to celebrate her mommy's birthday, wearing her adorable pink dress that is hanging in her closet untouched. This scrapbook should help a lot. I'm ready to see the finished product, but I almost don't want it to end. I'm saying that and I haven't even officially started it yet. 

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Remember

What does a babe in the womb feel like? I can't remember. What does it feel like to rub your hands over your enormously swollen, nine-month pregnant belly? I can't remember that either. What is it like to waddle from place to place? What is it like to look in the mirror and see all baby? And know that new life is almost here! What is it like for such joy and anticipation to flood through your veins? What is it like to look at your child alive? What is it like when your child looks back at you? What is it like to hear your baby laugh? What is it like to cuddle the most tiny, precious body you could ever imagine? What was it like to hold Lily at the hospital? How exactly did she look? How heavy did she feel? What was her hair like? These memories are fading more and more and I'm terrified of losing them completely. I'm terrified of not remembering everything about her, the only memories I have. I don't want to have to look at a picture to remember. 


What I can remember is how much I miss remembering these things. I miss my girl waking me up in the middle of the night, and it's just me and her alone. I remember how much I miss talking about how Lily was my little dancer because of how much she wiggled and kicked and punched. I remember how we joked and said she was polka dancing, or doing her Irish-jig, among so many other silly dances. I remember that certain holidays are coming where Lily was supposed to be here. I remember how last year I had said, 'well, this is the last Christmas I'll have without Lily.' I remember that March 16 will be coming so soon and I have no idea how I'm going to deal with it. I remember how much I want to be a mother, how much I've always wanted to be a mother. I remember how at the age of six, I used to dream of finding a baby in the grocery store and I had to rescue that baby, I had to take care of her. I remember how hard it is to look at the newest picture you post of your little girl and I just sit there, staring at her eyes, looking at her outfit, admiring her tiny feet. And the longing is there like never beforeI was born for this. I believe it's a God-given desire. So, when will I get my chance? 

I remember how every moment of every day I miss her. I remember how my dream my entire life is to be a wife and mother. I remember how this dream has intensified all the more since losing my baby.


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Friday, July 23, 2010

Lily's Rose Petal Name

Lily's name was written in rose petals by Bailey's mommy, Danae, as a part of the Rose Garden of Names. I especially love this since my middle name is Rose. :)


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Bound 4 Life!

I'm working on starting a Bound 4 Life chapter in the Raleigh area. Will you join me either here in Raleigh or in your own community?



Jesus, I plead Your  blood over my sins and the sins of my nation. God, end abortion and send revival to America!!






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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back to Work

I started working as a waitress at an Italian restaurant. Going back to work after having and losing my baby is hard. It makes me anxious thinking about facing the world, dealing with insensitive comments, pregnant bellies, and people not knowing about Lily, me not knowing how to respond when asked if I have kids, etc.

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a picture of my grief

The Lord gave me a picture of my grief, a picture of letting go and giving my hurts to Him....

I danced with You, God. 

We twirled around and around and around and around. It was full of passion. Full of love. Full of beauty. Full of grace. I clung to You. You clung to me. I rested my head on Your shoulder. You comforted me. And as we danced, I let go. I surrendered. I imagined myself letting go of everything, all my worries, concerns, hurts, fears, and doubts and giving them to You. Clinging to You, instead of to themIf I cling to You, dance with You, there is no room to hold onto anything else. 

And if we're dancing and I'm focused on You, I can't focus on anything else. And if I'm letting You lead, You'll lead me where You want me.


Dance with me, Lord. Take.the.lead.


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Saturday, July 17, 2010

a gloomy day

Dark, gray clouds hang overhead and the thunder roars. It claps and startles me as the lightning strikes. The day is gloomy. Yes, I'm thankful for the rain. I'm thankful that the earth is being rejuvenated and the beautiful greens are returning once again. The grass is no longer stiff and brown, but luscious and lovely. I do enjoy sleeping through thunderstorms and hearing the rain pound on the roof and outside my windows. But, the storm seems to represent something more than that these days. The gloominess of the day is reflecting the gloominess in my heart. I'm hurting. Because I miss Lily. But, it's more than that today. I'm hurting for so many hurting people. For the mom who just lost her third baby. I try not to let myself think of her pain too much because I don't want to get so sad, when I'm just trying to get by. 
But, today, for a few minutes, I think the Lord allowed me to feel the pain she's in. My heart was aching, heavy, and broken. Tears streamed down my face. I don't understand it. And I have no words to try to explain why this happened. My heart aches for the mom who lost her baby last year, and now lost her brother this week. Why? Death is such a sad, unforgiving, continual, final thing. It can never be changed. Her brother can never go back to before the car accident..and maybe leave the house a few moments earlier to avoid what happened altogether. I can never go back to before my baby was born and replay the events that led up to her death. I will forever wonder if there's something I could have done?...something different my doctor could have done? Something I should have known...
And sometimes I get these crazy thoughts like I want to say to whatever woman I see with a healthy baby, "You have no idea how blessed you are! You better not take it for granted!" And for some reason, whenever I see a woman with a baby or young child, I get bitter and resentful and automatically assume the mother doesn't fully appreciate her child. I know it's ridiculous and of course I would never really say anything so crazy, but that's what I think. And then today I thought while looking around at so many moms and babies, maybe that woman lost her baby years ago and that's her rainbow baby. Maybe she takes every moment with that child as a sacred gift. 


And when I see pregnant women, I just want to say, "Don't take any moment for granted! You never know how this is going to end!" And that sounds so mean, but it's almost like I want to prepare them for heartbreak. But, I would never tell them something that would scare them out of their blissful pregnancy. And maybe it's not only because I want to save them from being shocked at the hospital when they go home with empty arms...Just because I say something wouldn't change anything anyways. It would just make them afraid. And I don't want that. But, maybe I just want them to know that I don't have my baby! Maybe I want them to feel sorry for me. Maybe I want them to know how much it hurts. But, I would never wish that on someone. So, tell me why do I think all these crazy things?! 


And then I wondered, while watching pregnant woman after pregnant woman pass me by...how many women that lost their babies looked at me and thought the same thing when I was pregnant? How many women were envious of the life that grew inside me? How many women wanted to tell me not to be surprised if when it was all said and done, I ended up with nothing but a saggy stomach. How many women saw the blissful smile on my face and had to hold back the tears? And this brings to mind a story that one of the ladies in my infant loss support group told me about. She was sitting outside at a restaurant as a pregnant woman was with a group of people, just laughing and having fun. And they were taking photos and had no idea who was behind them. A woman whose world just shattered on a day in mid-January when her twin sons were taken from her. They had no idea that maybe they shouldn't be so blissfully unaware. And she mentioned that when they got those photos back, there she'll be...in the background, crying and broken. And they'll have no idea why. They'll have no idea just how much she was hurting. And they'll have no idea that she was hurting because she saw them taking pictures.
So, today I'm hurting. I'm sorry for your pain. Know that I'm feeling it along with you and if there's anything I can do to help carry your burden, I humbly ask you to tell me. For now, I will ask the Lord to give me some of your pain, to lighten your load, to shed some of the tears on your heavy heart...


"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." ~Galatians 6:2


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Friday, July 16, 2010

another 16th...

Well, today, July 16th, is yet another month gone by...another 16th that I don't have my Lily. It is also my grandparent's anniversary and my grandmother celebrates, despite the fact that her husband isn't here to celebrate with her. Wow...four months. Already? At times though, it's dragged by.


I just saw on the news about the Kid's Exchange in Raleigh that's going on this weekend. I almost threw up. I thought about in January going to the same place, at seven months pregnant. Mom and I spent hours picking out the cutest outfits, finding a stroller, and just about anything else you can think of. We should be going again looking for deals...looking for clothes that fit my growing girl. But, no...I didn't even remember it was happening until I saw it on the news. And I remember telling mom right after Lily died that I still wanted to go when they had it in July, just for some sort of comfort. That sounds crazy, I know. Don't ask me why. But, now just the thought makes me sick. I remember mentioning that next time we went we would be pushing the stroller around, but Lily would be inside, rather than a bunch of stuff for Lily. We had so much fun, deciding which shoes were cute enough to buy, and talking with the lady at check-out that happened to have a daughter named Lillian Katherine, who she called Lily Kate. One of my favorite memories. My feet were hurting so badly and I was having trouble standing and walking for so many hours. I literally sat down in one of the aisles as mom kept searching for clothes. We found the cutest clothes too...clothes that I can't part with and I never want to. I just want to have a room always for Lily, no matter where I move or how many other kids I have. She's my girl. And she always will be. And I never want anyone to think I've forgotten her.


Something that made the day better today was spending several hours with my friend, Dayna. She's wonderful company and always understands. Also, I got these pictures today from another butterfly mommy. Thanks, Lisa. So, both of these things cheered me up somewhat. 




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Lily Visits a Waterfall

Lily visited a waterfall, thanks to Jasper's mommy, Lisa, from Waterfall Angels. It was sweet to receive this for Lily's 4-month birthday.



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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Waking Up

This morning, I awoke with tears in my eyes and such a heaviness weighing down on me. Waking up to a world where she isn't makes my heart ache because my dreams consist of a world where she is. A very real world. With a very real little girl. Last night, I dreamed of her. And you know those dreams that you can feel and it feels so real and you can see and what you see is so vivid? Well, it was that kind of a dream.

And I'm wondering if my dream means something, or if it's just my heart, my soul, my everything, longing for the part of me that's missing. Tell me if you have any ideas of what this could mean...

We were at a party with a lot of other babies and there she was. All of a sudden, she had gotten so big and I remember feeling sad that I didn't have pictures of her when she was smaller. I immediately knew it was her, even though somehow I didn't feel like I knew her because I hadn't seen her for a while, yet deep down I did know her. She had on a shirt that said, "Ginny" (my moms name). Don't ask me why, but it made sense in my dream. She looked just like my mom as a baby, who looked just like me. She had curly, blonde hair and soft, blue eyes. I looked out of the enormous glass window at the beautiful scenery while she played with the other children. We were leaving, walking to the car. I felt the weight of her in my arms. She's getting so heavy. I look down at her little face, smooshed up against my chest, her floppy body fast asleep. She was so trusting. She knew I would take care of her and cause her no harm. I took her to the car and placed her in the driver's seat. Kneeling down next to her in the pebble driveway, I stroked my fingers through her soft hair and kissed her smooth, pale skin. I thought to myself, "I thought she was gone?" But, here she was in front of me. I just watched her sleep. I drank in her presence. She fell backwards across the seat and I went around to the other side of the car to pull her up. We drove along an old, rugged road, just me and her. There were no yellow lines winding along as we drove mile after mile, gazing at the lush, green meadows in the distance. She was asleep. I was driving. And things were okay. 

Then I woke up. And remembered...the cold, hard truth. And tomorrow will be four months. And I'm back in this place that I thought I had already passed. This never-ending circle of grief and sadness. This life of everyday missing my girl.

Why do I have to wake up? ... from this dream, from feeling alright...

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lily's Abiding Hope Collage

I love this Lily collage from Jenna Belle's mommy, Franchesca, at Abiding Hope Collage. It has her sweet footprints and is full of phrases that I selected that capture her life.

About the project: "When a baby leaves this Earth, there will never be any new photos to add to a scrapbook or any new milestones to frame. The keepsakes the parents and loved ones may have are few and dearly treasured. By creating these collages, it is my hope to be able to create a treasured keepsake and help the family tell their child's story."


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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Lily's Angel Wings

Here are Lily's angel wings from Nicholas' mommy, Lea, from Angel Wings Memorial Boutique. She not only captured this beautiful photo, but mailed the wings to me as a keepsake. I just got back from a trip and the wings were waiting for me when I got back. What a sweet surprise! :)


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You should be here

My dear Lily,

I wish you were here. The whole family got together the Sunday before last at the B&B where we house and dog-sit. All the aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and your great-grandmother were there. That weekend was really tough for me. I missed you more than I had for a while. 

I told you all about your cousin, Daniel, my first cousin who was born four months after me. We grew up as best buddies and I couldn't have been more excited that we were going to have a boy and girl, three months apart. You and Owen, two peas in a pod. You two were gonna grow up together and spend the months looking forward to the next time you'd see your buddy. You were gonna watch each other's backs. You were gonna enjoy each other's company as much as Daniel and I did. 

I met 6-month old Owen that weekend for the first time. You would be 3 months old now. You would be smiling now. It was so hard to meet him, little girl. I tried so hard, I promise you I did. But, I was overwhelmed with missing you. Somehow seeing Owen made the loss of you all the more real. Seeing a real, live baby. Not a lifeless baby like you were when I held you. It was especially hard, knowing you are his cousin, knowing you should have been there meeting him. I had looked forward to the time so much. 

I couldn't help feeling jealous, as I watched Owen's mommy hold him, kissing his forehead, feeding him his bottle. I quietly watched her as Owen fell fast asleep in her arms. I studied her as I watched her be his mother. And the ache inside me was there like never before. Never before have I wanted to be a mother so badly. 

Owen was the center of attention and you weren't mentioned once. It's like people have already forgotten about you. Like I'm not gonna remember you if people don't bring you up. I wish people would understand that I think of you and miss you no matter who says what. It just makes me miss you more when people act like you never were.

I didn't hold Owen for two days. I was jealous, I was hurting, I was angry, I was heartbroken. On that Sunday afternoon, he was napping when no one else was around. And I watched him. I watched him sleep, turning his head from side to side, breathing deeply, wiggling his arms around. I rubbed his back and I was so in love with this little boy. I can only imagine how much love I would have felt for you, my own child. I still feel the love. Owen is so precious, red hair, blue eyes. You would have been so cute in pictures together.

Daniel makes Owen laugh. He plays peek-a-boo with him and I look on as Owen waits in anticipation, knowing his daddy's face will be appearing any moment. And it grips my heart. I will never hear your giggle. I will never know how it might have sounded. 

On Monday, I finally held Owen. I knew you'd want me to. All I could think of when I held him was how much I loved him. How much I adored this little boy, who was a miniature Daniel. How could I not adore his son? It made me feel connected to you. It was okay. I was scared, but it was fine. I kissed his cheeks and held him close. 

Daniel was really dear about it too. He could tell it was hard for me and he was really sensitive about it. He understood. We went to the cemetery, just me and him, and visited you. We talked about you. We missed you. He wishes you were here too. I'm glad he has Owen...it's helping him grow up and mature.

Holding Owen was healing. It was beautiful. I just wish I could see him more often. I wish you two could have played together. From now on, as I watch Owen grow up, I will always know I should have a daughter the same age. I will wonder what you might look like, what you might enjoy, how you and Owen would love playing. And I'll miss you forever.

Love, Mommy




Daniel and I when we were kids

Daniel and I when I was pregnant with Lily

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Lily in the Forest

Stevie's mommy, Kristin, from Dear Baby Cook, carved Lily's name in a tree in "the forest" in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Babyloss Resources

*revised on November 9, 2012*

Songs:

Books:

Movies/Documentaries/Short Films:


Places of Support:
Memorials/Keepsakes:
(A lot of these places offer beautiful keepsakes, free of charge. If you see a Donate button on their website, consider giving to them so they can continue serving the babyloss community in the amazing way that they do.)

Special Dates to Remember:

Artwork:

Jewelry:

Photo Retouching:

Connect With Other Loss Parents through Blogging:
(if you would like to start a blog to work through your grief, Franchesca at Small Bird Studios designs blogs and extends a 20% discount to those blogging about the loss of a child, those facing infertility, and those adopting a child.)

Retreats:
When You Know Someone Who Loses a Baby:

Places That Help With Infant Funeral/Burial Costs and Headstones:


If you know of any other resources that could be added to this list, please leave a comment or email me at roseandherlily(at)gmail(dot)com.

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