Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflections on 2012

I can hardly believe another year has flown by. It feels like I was just writing my "Reflections on 2011!"

Not as many "exciting" things have happened this year as last year. I was so focused on preparing for Ellerslie and then going to Ellerslie in 2011. And obviously in 2010, I had Lily and was dealing with grief a lot. So, this was the first year that nothing really "big" happened. After I graduated from Ellerslie, I figured I'd come home and something life-changing would be happening...whether a new chapter in my life beginning or something happening. I am not even quite sure what I mean by "something." But none of what I thought may happen did. Well, that's not entirely true...

In the spring, I made an announcement on my blog that I was going to be the assistant to a young woman who is a Pro-Life speaker. There is a lot to the story and I must be careful in what I say because I don't want to dishonor the Lord or anyone else in my sharing. However, I feel it is time to write about what happened and what God has taught me through it this year. I had become friends with this young woman through both our stories. She contacted me in March and asked if I would be her assistant. It felt like a dream come true and I was beyond thrilled. I had come home and was asking God, "what next?" after Ellerslie. I didn't want to do anything until He showed me that's what He wanted me to do. I know with all my heart that He wants me to share my story, both in speaking and writing. And this opportunity to be her assistant was going to "open the doors" for me to get one step closer to this dream. A dream that I believe God has placed in my heart because it is His dream for me.

I have been praying and thinking about how much of the details to share and I have come to the conclusion that I don't need to share many. A lot of things happened. The assistant position ended up lasting for only a month and a half. By the end of April, it was over. I was devastated when it didn't work out and literally cried my eyes out the night I found out. I was angry, with this girl and with God...I asked Him why would He let it all happen just to end so soon after, before it all truly even got started? I was angry that I was treated poorly and felt totally disrespected. Was I not good enough? I was crushed because it seemed like my dream was finally coming true. It seemed perfect. Then, it all came crashing down so quickly. 

I was saddened by it all for a while. I thought I was about to have the opportunity to share my story on a broader scale. I was going to be traveling the country, with the opportunity to share my story with many people in the Pro-Life movement. I was crying out to God, asking Him why, when He began to reveal things to me and spoke gently to my heart...

He has shown me at least partly why He allowed it all to happen. I realized I needed to surrender my life and future into God's hands afresh and trust that He knows what's best for my life and future. He has the plan and timing all figured out. I need to trust that He does everything for a purpose, even all of this. And He promises to work it all together for my good and His glory!

The biggest thing God has taught me through this has been a really tough lesson to learn, but so very necessary. He basically showed me that too much of my identity was becoming my dream of being a Pro-Life speaker and writer. I was literally becoming wrapped up in it. I am not saying this desire in and of itself is a bad thing because it's not. As I said, I know this is a God-given dream and desire. However, anything in our lives can become an idol if we place it above God in our hearts. I knew that I needed this to happen to learn these hard lessons. Was I pursuing the dream or the dream-Giver

God has shown me I am not to be a "Pro-Life writer and speaker" but my calling is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My story just so happens to be one about unborn life, unplanned pregnancies, and abortion. However, the central focus of my story is JESUS. The only reason standing for LIFE matters is because of the Author of LIFE! Without HIM, none of this matters! What a lesson this is!! I am not to run with all my heart after this dream, but run after my Jesus and trust Him to fulfill those dreams in His own time and way - not mine! And if something doesn't work out that I think seems pretty great, I need to remember that He can see things I cannot.

Before all this happened, I was naive about the "Pro-Life movement." After this experience, I learned a lot about it and realized that just because people say they are "Pro-Life" doesn't mean they love Jesus. And because I share Him, I will be rejected by some. But, I know that I am never to change the message of my story, depending on who I'm sharing it with/where I'm sharing. Maybe my ideas of where I will speak or the type of speaker I thought I'd be are not God's ideas and I need to be okay with that.

A couple other highlights from this year...

In April, I spoke for the second time at Ellerslie Leadership Training in Colorado. I was out visiting my sister at the end of her Basic Ellerslie Semester and God just worked it out while I was there. I am so thankful for that opportunity!

On New Year's Day, I gave Luke Shiloh his name. On February 6th, it's been three years since losing that means it was his first "Heaven Day" that I knew his name. It was the first Christmas that I knew his name. And the first year I knew what his official due-date was. It made it a lot harder in ways because I have made that connection in my heart. I put together a memory box for him and got his name in the sand photo written by Carly Marie. Giving him a name and seeking out ways to honor him has been extremely healing and necessary.

I met my dear new friend named Brittany, who has been such a blessing in honoring Luke with me!

I am now a nanny part-time for three different families. I love all the precious kiddos that I care for! I know that this is not what I will be doing for the rest of my life, but it's where God has me today and for that I am thankful...

Though things didn't happen this year the way I planned, hoped, or thought...I now see that seasons such as the one I'm in are necessary. Sometimes it may feel like big things aren't happening, but that can be the time that God works the our hearts, in our lives. These times are for a prepare us for a future only He can see. Instead of being disappointed, sad, or upset about where He has us, may we trust He has a reason for each season. May we cling to Him through the storms, the valleys, the mountaintops, and every place in between.

What about you? What has God done in your life this year? What has He taught you? ...I'd love to hear about it!

I want to say thank you to everyone who reads these words of mine, who loves me and my babies, and supports me. I would love to know that you are here - just leave a comment saying so! :)

Happy *almost* New Year! :)


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ornament Swap for Luke and Lucy

This Christmas season, I participated in the Remembering Together Ornament Swap, where I made an ornament for someone who has lost a baby and received one in honor of Lily. Sometimes I feel like I neglect Luke and don't do enough for him, because I'm always doing things for Lily.

So, I asked my friend Brittany if she wanted to do a swap of our own in honor of Luke and Lucy. We shared with each other the things that remind us of our babies, to give ideas on what to make. We both also decided to make one similar to the one we made for each other for ourselves - just with things that remind us of our own baby. We took photos of the two matching ornaments together before sending them to each other. :)

Here are the ornaments I made.

Obviously the one on the left is Luke's and the one on the right is Lucy's. I was thinking for a while about how I'd make Lucy's ornament and was suddenly struck with inspiration. :) I got all my supplies at Michael's.

The color purple reminds Brittany of Lucy, so I filled a clear ornament with purple pompoms. Dandelions also remind Brittany of Lucy, so I looked up white and black photos of dandelions and found one with three, to symbolize her third Christmas in Heaven. I knew I wanted to include her name somehow, so I edited her name and the dandelion picture together in Photoshop and then printed it out and glued it on a fancy tag. Her name is written in my favorite font, called "Jellyka Western Princess." I glued some purple glitter to the dandelions to add a special touch. I then used a white mini-pompom string as the hanger. I thought it complimented the other pompoms nicely.

For Luke's ornament, I used blue pompoms. I tried to find green because that is the color that reminds me the most of him, but only found blue. That is okay though, because blue reminds me of him too. Then, I did the same thing with his - I wrote his name with the same font and edited it in Photoshop with a black and white image of a butterfly (what reminds me of him). Then, I printed it and put it on a fancy tag.

Brittany asked how I fit the tags into the small hole. I didn't realize that this would be a problem lol until I came to it. I ended up gently bending the tags and putting them in the hole and then straightening them out once they were in there. Thankfully, you can't notice they were bent.

Here are the ornaments that Brittany made.

The one on the left is for Lucy and the one on the right is for Luke. Each year, Brittany makes an angel ornament out of different materials in honor of Lucy. And as I mentioned above, the color purple reminds her of Lucy. For Luke's ornament, Brittany made it in the shape of a butterfly (as I said, butterflies remind me of Luke). And she made it green, the color that reminds me of him. When I told her that, she didn't know the exact shade of green I meant, but ended up choosing the perfect one! She also asked me what Scripture verse reminds me of Luke and I told her:

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." ~Psalm 147:3

She included his name and that Scripture reference on the front of his ornament.

Brittany also sent a little tag to hang on the tree that says:

In Memory of Luke Shiloh
Who Lives Forever in the Heart of his Mom,
But Rests in the arms of the Lord.
Matthew 5:4
(Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.)

She made one of these tags for herself for Lucy as well.

Luke's ornament is so beautiful and creative and I am proud to hang it on his and Lily's mini-Christmas tree! I am going to display it each and every year. Thank you so much for making it for me Brittany...and thanks to your kind husband for using his power tool to help you make it. :) I love it! This was a great idea to do the ornament swap. And it made me happy to do something in honor of Luke for Christmas. It was the first Christmas that he had a name. I loved having the honor of remembering Lucy with Brittany and it was very nice to have someone remember Luke with me.

Merry Christmas! :)


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Luke and Lucy

"Gone Too Soon" by Stephanie Dyer of Beyond
Words Designs
. This beautiful painting reminds
me so much of Luke and Lucy because they
were gone too soon from this world. It
portrays a mother who has lost her baby
 early in pregnancy.
In mid-November, I received an email from a girl who has since become a good friend of mine. Brittany found my blog address on the memorial wall at the National Memorial for the Unborn, which I left on a piece of paper there on Mother's Day 2011 (when my brother and I visited with some friends). It caught her attention because she also blogs and she wanted to read my story.

It turns out we have a lot in common and lots to talk about...we are now "email pen-pals" and write back and forth at least a couple times a week. It's always so fun to see something from her in my inbox! :) In just a month and a half, I feel like I've gotten to know Brittany so well. We never seem to run out of things to share with each other.

We have a lot of the same beliefs about Jesus and life and have a very special connection because of two precious little ones that came and went in 2009...we both regretfully had abortions at the ages of 17 and 19. And those two babies have changed us forever. A big part of who we both are now is because of them. We were both also the same gestation - 6 weeks - when we had our abortions. Brittany has a name plate for her baby on the wall at NMU, just like I will be placing a plate on the wall for Luke.

I have tried to find other stories of young women like myself who regret their abortions...who have named their baby...who love the National Memorial for the Unborn...who are passionate about LIFE and standing up for LIFE...who believe that it's important to honor these babies short time on earth in beautiful ways. I have found that in Brittany and I am so thankful to the Lord for her sweet friendship.

Brittany named her baby Lucy Marie, who she feels God has revealed to her is a girl. Lucy's name is even close to Luke's name...And Luke, Lucy, and Lily all begin with an "L" and have four letters.

I want to be a Pro-Life speaker and share my story and so does Brittany! We talk about sharing our stories together one day - how amazing that would be! Brittany will be speaking in front of a large church for Sanctity of Life Sunday in January, so pray that God speaks through her! Pray that someone may hear her story and choose LIFE if they are in an unplanned pregnancy or find healing if they've had an abortion and are living in shame and guilt.

We enjoy talking about all sorts of things from our day-to-day life. But we especially love having someone to talk to that understands this grief and this love.

I can see many reasons why God brought Brittany's friendship into my life. We are able to encourage each other in our journeys without our babies, cheer each other on in speaking out for LIFE and share resources that have been a part of our healing. We also enjoy talking about our dreams to be a voice for life and share different ideas for ways to get involved, as well as different things going on in the "Pro-Life movement." It is nice to have someone who is comfortable talking about Luke with me and loves and remembers him with me. Often times with others, it can feel somewhat awkward to talk about Luke. I feel no judgement or condemnation with Brittany...just someone who "gets it" and understands the hope and healing I have found in Christ. Yet she also understands that this is something I will carry with me forever. So many people think that those who have had an abortion have no right to grieve that loss since it was their choice. Brittany and I hope to show people that it is okay to grieve your baby, no matter how he/she was lost! (I have a lot more to say on this and will be posting about it soon). It is my honor and joy to remember Lucy with Brittany. For Christmas, we did an ornament swap in honor of Lucy and Luke (which I will be posting about in my next blog entry).

Another thing God has revealed to me...I have slowly been dealing more with the loss of Luke through the years. Everything with Lily happened so fast and so soon after losing Luke, that I haven't truly processed and worked through everything with him yet because I was so focused on her. I honestly didn't even realize there was more with Luke that I needed to deal with until Brittany and I started writing. She has encouraged me to find a Post-Abortion Bible study small group to work through at a local Pregnancy Center. I have thought of doing this before, but couldn't find anything in my search. She found one for me online and I will now be starting the study in January. I doubt I would have decided to do this, or even found a local study, at least at this time in my life if it weren't for her. I know that God supernaturally healed me from my abortion when I chose LIFE for Lily, and I know where I am in Christ and that I am washed whiter than snow, redeemed, and set free...but I believe there may be things deep down in my heart that are still buried and that the Lord desires to bring to the surface to deal with. I don't want to leave anything unhealed when I know God desires to heal every bit of my heart and life! If Brittany hadn't of told me how much going through a study helped her, I might have thought I didn't need it.

I also really want to start volunteering at a Crisis Pregnancy Center next year and I want to be completely ready for that and do everything I can to prepare. I have already worked through a Bible study and have dealt with my grief over losing Lily. I am not sure exactly what I want to do at the Pregnancy Center, but I have felt God drawing me in that direction for a while. Before, it didn't quite feel like the right time, but now it does. Brittany also volunteers at her local Crisis Pregnancy Center and is part of the reason I have decided to pursue this. She mainly works in the Post-Abortion ministry (which is some of what she will be speaking about in January, along with sharing her story). It has been nice to ask her questions about what it's like to volunteer and what not. We are able to share our different experiences with each other, which has been a huge blessing. Since talking with Brittany, God has stirred in me more of a heart for Post-Abortive men and women. I feel him calling me to step out more in this area and will be sharing more of that soon.

Brittany lives very close to the National Memorial for the Unborn and will be coming to Luke's Remembrance Ceremony when I have it there in the spring (I have a date on my mind and hope it works out). It will be wonderful to meet her in person, give her a big hug, and remember both our babies together. I am so happy she will get to be there! She had a Memorial Service for Lucy there and has given me ideas for what to include in Luke's Service. When I place Luke's name plate on the memorial wall, it will be right above Lucy's! They are saving the spot for me. It will be very special and sweet to know their plates are right by each other. I like to picture them being friends in Heaven. And I know one day, Brittany and I will meet our precious babies. I look forward to meeting Lucy too!

At NMU, they have a wall where people are free to leave remembrance items for their babies. Since Brittany lives so close, she has offered to take things there for me that I want to leave for Luke. I will mail it to her and she will take it for me. Items can be left on the wall for only a year, so when that times ends, Brittany said she will mail them back to me, so I can keep the things in Luke's memory box. How thoughtful and sweet of her! :)

I have loved sharing different resources with Brittany as well as ideas to honor and remember Lucy. It has been so special to share with her ways I had chosen to memorialize Luke. Just talking about him so much has helped me process things more and connect with him more, as my child. I feel a deeper love in my heart for Luke now. I thank the Lord for this precious friendship that has drawn me closer to my son. I look forward to lots more emails to be exchanged with my new friend! :)

Today is a very significant day for Brittany, one that I want to recognize. Today is Lucy's 3rd "Heaven Day." December 29th, 2009. Today is also the date a year ago that I first saw Luke's ultrasound photo.

I lit a candle today in honor of Lucy on her
Heaven Day. I took a photo with an angel
because angels remind Brittany of Lucy. :)

Lucy and Brittany, I am thinking of you both today. You are very special to me already and are on my heart and in my thoughts often. Lucy, your beautiful legacy will live on. I know you and Luke must be the best of buddies in Heaven! I can't wait to meet you, little girl! Your mommy is a precious friend to me and a wonderful mommy for you to have...She will always be your voice. Much love always, Hannah Rose

Photo by Carly Marie

You can read more about Brittany's story on her blog in honor of Lucy, called Her Name is Lucy.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Eden's Wings

Eden's Wings is a ministry started by a gal named Molly in honor and memory of her daughter, Eden Elizabeth. She "provides a tangible symbol of healing, hope, and remembrance to bereaved parents through their handmade bracelets."
This is what Molly wrote about Eden's Wings on her Facebook page:

"Our precious daughter, Eden, was born sleeping on March 18, 2012. After 38 weeks of healthy pregnancy, her death came as a complete and devastating shock. In the following months, I struggled with finding purpose behind her death. I began to search for ways to remember my sweet baby girl's short, but profound life. Through this mission, I founded Eden's Wings. It is my hope that when you look down and see your bracelet, you are reminded that your child is loved and remembered."

I received my beautiful bracelet in the mail on Christmas Eve. I waited until Christmas morning to open it. What perfect timing - it felt like a Christmas gift! :) I wore it all day on Christmas and each time I noticed it on my wrist, I smiled as I remembered my two precious babies that the blue and pink symbolizes (I was able to select the dangles I wanted on the bracelet). Though I wish with all my heart that they were here to celebrate Christmas with me, it brought me joy to know they are not forgotten. They were a part of the day, even if through something as small as a bracelet. The bracelet is seriously gorgeous. My mom loves it too. I plan on wearing it only on special occasions so that it lasts a long time. 

Molly is honoring Eden is such a beautiful way. Not only is the bracelet significant because of what it stands for and not only is it pretty, but it means so much to know that Molly is ding this out of love for her daughter and all our babies in Heaven. It is so special that it was handmade with love.

Click HERE to follow Eden's Wings on Facebook and to request your own bracelet. And click HERE to visit the Eden's Wings website (notice Molly used my photo of my bracelet on the header). :)


A Baby Changes Everything

I remember hearing this song in years past, but forgot about it until a couple weeks ago when I was driving down the road listening to the Christmas station. Tears filled my eyes as I listened to the words..."a baby changes everything," and thought of how my own two sweet babies changed everything for me.

A baby changes everything...

A precious baby named Jesus came to Earth to change everything. It's because of his birth and death that my entire life is changed. He was sent to earth to rescue redeem us all.

A precious baby girl named Lily was sent to save me, her mommy.

Though I am so thankful for her life, at times I am consumed with missing her and thinking about her death. I want our home to be filled with her life. Her cradle sat by my bed and waited for a little girl who would never come home. It was only ever empty and desolate of her life. The cradle that still remains empty.

Empty Cradle custom piece from The MidnightOrange

Yet, the Lord has whispered gently to my heart that my cradle that sits bereft of a child isn't empty. I saw someone who was also touched by babyloss explain it before, though I can't remember who, that because Jesus was placed in a manger over 2,000 years ago, He filled our empty cradles with hope, joy, peace, love, and life.

He alone makes the empty cradle in my heart and home bearable. His promise of Eternity with her and Him makes the empty cradle filled.

I know that though my cradle is empty and will never be filled with Lily or Luke this side of Heaven, they will fill my arms for all Eternity.

Baby Jesus was everything we all needed, and Lily was everything needed to bring me back to Himself.

I don't know if I will ever fill that empty cradle here, though I so long to. I know that the emptiness of the cradle at times will overwhelm me, but I also know my Jesus is enough to comfort me and satisfy my longing heart. Whatever your "empty cradle" is, He is able to fill it with His love and peace.

A baby changes everything...

Here are the parts of the song that remind me of Lily and Luke:

Teenage girl, much too young
Unprepared for what's to come
A baby changes everything
Not a ring on her hand
All her dreams and all her plans
A baby changes everything

And she cries!
Ooh, she cries

My whole life has turned around
I was lost, but now I'm found
A baby changes everything, yeah
A baby changes everything


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Donation in Honor of Lily

I entered into a Christmas Giveaway that Catherine from Gabriel's Garden hosted and won $10 to be donated to any charity or organization of my choice! 

I chose the donation to be made to Molly Bears because of how much I love this amazing organization! I know how much my Lily Bear and Luke Bear mean to me and lots of other families are waiting for their bears to fill their arms. 

It's pretty neat that Molly Bears now gives out "In Memory of Tribute Certificates" whenever a donation is made! 

I only wish I was able to donate to all the places that have blessed me so much. I plan on giving to a different place that has given so much to the babyloss community each year in honor of Lily's birthday.

Thanks for hosting this, Catherine! :)
In 2012, Molly Bears has made 1823 bears! That's 1823 arms around the world comforted by the weight of these priceless bears. It's amazing that they have been able to donate so many, but there are still literally thousands waiting to receive their bear. Please consider making a donation today, either in honor of your baby, the baby of someone you know, or just to support this ministry. Even if you can't donate a lot, don't feel like it won't make a difference. Any little bit helps! You can donate by clicking here. :)


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Eve Candlelighting

Thank you Catherine for including my two precious babies in your Christmas Eve candelighting for babies of Heaven. :)


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Another Christmas Without Them

I can't help but notice the empty spot on the carpet by the Christmas tree. The gifts that aren't wrapped and looking sparkly and beautiful. No wrapping paper all over the floor. No toys strewn throughout the home. No giggles and squeals of excitement and delight. No Christmas pajamas. No hugs and kisses. No awe over the Christmas lights and ornaments. None of the precious things that come with having a little one in your home at Christmas.

This would be Lily's third Christmas! Fourth really, if you count the year she was in the womb. This would be Luke's fourth Christmas. He would be about 3 years and 3 months old. Lily would be about 2 years and 9 months old. I miss them both so much...every day, but especially days like today.

What gifts would I have gotten them? How would they have acted as they understood more what Christmas means as each year passes? I would have always taught them that today is about Jesus! We would have sung happy birthday to him and had a birthday cake. I would make sure they knew it wasn't about what gifts they got.

I wish you all a peaceful and merry CHRISTmas! May we focus on the true gift of Christmas, our precious Saviour being born into the world to rescue us. It is not about the gifts, the food, or anything else that this world makes it about. It's about HIM. And though I wish my babies were here for this special celebration of the birth of Jesus, I am so very thankful to know they are with He who this is all for!

Merry Christmas, my sweet ones. Mommy loves you.

Christmas in Heaven
by Wanda White

I see the countless CHRISTMAS TREES
around the world below with tiny lights like
HEAVEN’S STARS reflecting on the snow.
he sight is so SPECTACULAR please wipe away that tear
for I am spending CHRISTMAS WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.

I hear the many CHRISTMAS SONGS
that people hold so dear
but the SOUND OF MUSIC can't compare
with the CHRISTMAS CHOIR up here.

I have no words to tell you of the JOY their voices bring
for it is beyond description to HEAR THE ANGELS SING.

I see the pain inside your heart
for I am spending CHRISTMAS WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.

I can't tell you of the SPLENDOR
or the PEACE here in this place
Can you just imagine

I'll ask him to LIFT YOUR SPIRIT
as I tell him of your love
 as you lift your eyes above.
Please let your HEARTS BE JOYFUL
and let your SPIRIT SING
for I am spending CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN
and I’m walking WITH THE KING


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Names in the Sand in Italy!

My blog friend, Catherine, recently went to Italy, where she wrote Lily's and Luke's names in the sand! She sent me the lovely photos. :)

Their names were written on the shore of a beach located in Monterosso, Cinqueterre on the Mediterranean Sea. As you can see in the photos, it was a beautiful sunny day and the sea was so calm.

I love seeing their names written out, especially on the sand on beaches all over the world. The other two places that are my favorite where their names have been written in the sand are Australia and Hawaii. It is a beautiful way to remember and honor them. And it means so very much when others honor them with me!

Thank you, Catherine! You're the sweetest! :)


Friday, December 21, 2012

Out of Nowhere

There are moments in life that I expect to be difficult as a mother who has lost her baby. Holidays can really hurt. Thanksgiving and Christmas come in third in fourth for really tough days, only after Lily's birthday and Mother's Day.

Most of the time, I can brace myself and prepare.

But, there are other times when it comes out of nowhere and there's nothing I could possibly do to prepare for the emotion that bubbles up so deep inside.

Hearing another pregnancy announcement...growing of new babies. Those are the things that seem to be happening a lot these days with my age-group. I have now come to expect them to be hard.

But, then there are the moments that I am completely not expecting to be difficult. Like yesterday when I was watching Little Women with my mom and sister. It was so cozy in the living room, with our tree lit up and gifts underneath, the fire blazing, and just a Christmassy feeling overall. I was enjoying myself after an afternoon working. Then, the part comes on where Marmee rushes home to be by a very ill Beth's side. Poor Beth is laying there in misery and Marmee comes in to save the day. She knew exactly what to do to comfort and soothe. She knew how to break the fever. I never expected that watching this scene would bring me to tears. But, it did. The thought sprang to the front of my mind...I will never get to care for my sick child. I know that sounds ridiculous, but that is part of what being a mother is all about. That intrinsic nature to care for, protect, love your child through anything and everything. To make sure they feel well and are well. Moms usually know how to make everything seem better to their kids. I will never experience that part of motherhood with Lily...caring for her and pouring my love out on her in a way that speaks with actions, not only words. It's hard for me to explain, but I felt like I was grieving another thing that I will never know or experience with my first-born.

Moments like that can come so unexpectedly.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

The "Royal Baby"

The majority of the world knows who Prince William and Princess Kate are...and lots of us have heard recently that they are expecting their first child...the "royal baby." Everyone is so excited that they are pregnant with the little one who could one day be the next King or Queen. I think it's safe to say lots of people are obsessing about it.

My question is, why aren't we calling it the "royal fetus?"

Is an unborn child only a "baby" when he or she is wanted, but is otherwise a "fetus" or "blob of tissue/cells"? What is the difference between Kate's unborn child and the unborn child of a woman sitting in the waiting room at Planned Parenthood? Is it because Kate's child is "of royal blood" that makes it more important? Is the "royal family" more important in the eyes of God?

People act as if the value of a person depends on whether they are wanted, by their parents and by the world, in the case of Will and Kate's baby.

What if we treated all babies as the valuable gifts from God that they are? No matter who their parents are or what circumstances they're born into.

Another thought on this...though Kate is only in the early weeks of her pregnancy, the world would be deeply saddened, some probably even grieved, if she were to miscarry. Because they already announced the pregnancy, people would notice if she wasn't getting bigger as the months go by. But, if she is carrying nothing more than a "blob of cells," what I ask, would there be to grieve?

And if they decided they didn't want this baby, whether because it turns out to be a boy when they wanted a girl or vice versa, or because they just decide they aren't ready to be parents, would the world be okay if they aborted in the first, second, or even the third trimester? If it's  their "choice," not a baby until birth, and none of our business, why should anybody care or even discuss their baby until we know they want it?

Just some thoughts for you...


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lily's Christmas Stocking Project

I first heard about this project last year on Fran's "12 Days of Christmas With You in Heaven" series over on her blog, Small Bird Studios...Since then, a couple other blog friends have taken part in it. It's such a precious idea, so I want to do it as well, in honor of Lily. I have decided to change it a little bit from the way it is usually done.

"There is no footprint too small than it cannot leave an imprint on this world."

Lily's beautiful LIFE has left a forever impact on me and many others. I want to do something to honor her. I can never fill her stocking with things because she will never use things, but how about filling it with love and words

If you would like to do something for Lily this Christmas, here are a few ideas:

-Send me an email, message, or letter letting me know how Lily's LIFE and legacy has affected you. (Seriously, this means SO much to me!)

-Donate to a place that is close to my heart in her honor...places such as Lily's Legacy Comfort Boxes, Molly Bears, and Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.

-Commit an "Act of Love" in her honor. Some people call these "Random Acts of Kindness." It doesn't have to cost a lot of money or take much time. Get creative. Donate an Angel Tree box to a child in need, buy someone's coffee in the Starbucks line behind you, leave a more generous tip than you'd usually leave, smile more, pay someone a genuine compliment...the ideas are endless!

All I ask if that you do something in her honor and memory during the Christmas season. If you could email me at by Christmas Eve letting me know what you did, that would be wonderful. Simply put "Lily's Christmas Stocking" in the subject box. Please include your city/state/country. I am going to print out all the emails to fill her stocking and will read them all on Christmas morning. Anyone and everyone is welcome to participate! Thank you for remembering my girl with me this Christmas!


Update on Friend's Rainbow Baby

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for my friend Morgan, her husband Mike, and their precious rainbow baby. I want to give you an update on what's happened since I posted my prayer request.

Morgan and Mike welcomed a little BOY named Ethan Michael into the world this morning, December 18th, 2012, at 3:37am. He weighs 2lbs 5 oz and is 15 inches long. He is in the NICU and doing well. Right now he is on the bubble cpap, but he might have to go on the ventilator. They are waiting to see. His lungs are still premature, but having had the steroid shot does help.

Morgan got to have the kind of delivery she wanted and could see Ethan and hear him cry right after birth.

The little Christmas baby was born at 27 weeks, 4 days gestation and has a long journey ahead of him. He and his parents need continued prayers and support. Thank you for loving this family with me!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Prayer Request for a Friend's Rainbow Baby

I have written a lot about my friend Morgan, who placed her daughter Angela for adoption 10 years ago and then lost her son Marcellus at 12 days old in late 2011. She is a local friend, so I am blessed to get to see her often.

Anyways, I am writing to ask for prayers for her, her husband, and their unborn "rainbow" baby.

Morgan is currently 27 weeks, 2 days pregnant and woke up in the middle of the night last night feeling crampy and with a backache. She went to the hospital where she learned that she has a bulging bag and is in labor. The contractions were 5-10 minutes apart, but she has had magnesium and something else to try to slow down labor, which is thankfully working. The contactions are now rare, but the magnesium is really taking a toll on her physically. She has had steroid shots to develop Beamer's (baby's nickname) lungs faster. Her cervix has also been shortening.

They said that there have been cases of prolonging labor in a situation like this for as long as two weeks, but they feel Beamer will be here within the next day or two. If they are able to prolong later and her bag doesn't go back in, then there is a risk of infection. This is especially hard and scary for them, because she was 28 weeks, 5 days when she had Marcellus, who later died because of complications from prematurity. Morgan is doing an amazing job at staying calm.

I ask that each of you would please pray for this family, that God would give them peace and continued calm. I ask that you would pray for this baby, that God would put His hand of protection over him and would mature his little body quickly. Pray that Morgan won't feel too rough physically from the medicine. Please pray that the Lord's will would be done in this. Hearing this news today is just shocking and has been really hard to deal with. They have been constantly on my heart all day. I just saw this couple yesterday and was saying how beautiful Morgan looked (all belly) and they just seemed to be glowing and hopeful about this pregnancy. We were planning on taking her maternity photos this week "just to be safe." This baby is supposed to be a 2013 baby, so let's pray that God works a miracle and keeps baby in for several weeks longer! Morgan has already been through sooo much on her journey of motherhood and I just don't want her to have to deal with anything else on this road to bringing a healthy baby HOME!

If you think to pass this prayer request along, that would be great. They need as many prayers as possible.

Thank you!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Luke Bear-Made by Molly Bears

Less than a month ago, I shared my beautiful Lily Bear that the amazing Molly Bears made for me. In short, Molly Bears is a non-profit organization that creates weighted teddy bears to be given free of charge to families who have lost a baby. The bears are made to weigh the exact weight of the baby that passed away. It is a way to fill the empty arms of a family in need. Each bear is unique and special for the individual family.

Molly Bears has recently started offering mini micro bears for early pregnancy losses.
When we say Molly Bears is for each family grieving the loss of an infant, we mean each and every baby matters, starting from looking at that first pink line. Molly Bears can make bears that are 1/4 of an ounce up to 22 pounds. Peace and comfort sent with love. 
~Molly Bears Team
I had almost received my Lily Bear when they started making these precious little bears. I was planning on requesting my Luke Bear (who was lost at 6 weeks gestation) last month, when I wrote someone who is on the Molly Bear team who made my Lily Bear. I wanted to know if I should update my current wait-list number or if they wanted me to request another and have my name on there twice, with two numbers. (sorry if that's confusing lol). Anyways, the wait to get a bear is 12-14 months, so I was a bit disappointed that I had my Lily Bear and would have to wait a long while to get my Luke Bear. I was so surprised and excited when Tamberly said they would get my Luke Bear right to me! He arrived home on Monday. I am so thankful and happy to have both my precious bears home for Christmas! They are such a comfort. :)

As I mentioned with my Lily Bear, when you request your bear, you can ask for specific things to be included that remind you of your baby. For my Luke Bear, I requested that he be lightly colored, like my Lily Bear is. And I requested that he have a green/blue ribbon because those are the two colors that remind me of him (mostly green). And butterflies are very special and symbolic to me and make me think of Luke, so I requested that be incorporated somehow. I didn't really know how much they can customize the tiny bears. And I didn't know exactly how tiny it would actually be.

But, oh, look how precious! He is perfect...I just love him. His arms and legs move around, which is so neat and he just looks like a vintage bear to me. He fits perfectly in Luke's memory box. I love his blue ribbon with green polka dots and green butterfly!

Held in the palms of my hands.

Here he is in Luke's memory box.

Luke Bear and Lily Bear...don't they look cute together? :)

Molly Bears operates completely off of donations, so if you have the resources to donate some bears and/or other supplies or money to make the bears, please do so and help the many waiting families have their empty arms filled with something tangible and so very beautiful. You can also purchase a T-Shirt from the Molly Bears Shop, with all proceeds from the sale of the merchandise funding bear making.

If you would like to request a Molly Bear for yourself (this isn't for everyone, so you cannot request it for someone else, only for yourself) the request page opens on the 30th of each month for a 24-hour period. You can click here to see the information that they ask for. Look around on their website for lots more details.

Click here to become a fan of Molly Bears on facebook to keep up with their latest news.

Thank you sweet Tamberly for making both my beautiful bears and putting such love and care into it. And thank you for getting them home for Christmas! And thank you to Molly Bears for this absolutely incredible way you are serving the babyloss community!

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