Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Free Babyloss eBook!

The lovely Beth Morey put together this beautiful eBook for parents that have lost a baby. 

In it she includes several beautiful quotes, links to helpful resources, and several ideas for how to honor and remember your baby. Click on the picture below to download your free copy! 

Thank you for this, Beth! :)


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Handprint Necklace?

I have a question for all my babyloss friends...

I got a personally engraved necklace with Lily's footprints on it last year from My Forever Child. Eventually, I'd really like to get one with her handprint. I love the work that My Forever Child does (it seriously looks just like her prints!) But, I am wondering if anybody else has recommendations for where to get personally engraved jewelry like this? I would really like it to be not just her print, but somewhat indented into the necklace (if that makes sense). And My Forever Child doesn't do it like that. I'd appreciate any and all feedback! 

Thank you :)


Friday, July 27, 2012

Sky Lantern Release Video

Thank you to Noah's mommy, Jenn, for including Lily and Luke in her sky lantern release that she had for Noah's 2nd birthday in Heaven. Those of us with babies in Heaven love seeing their names and having them remembered by others! You can read more about the release on Jenn's blog here.

Here are Lily and Luke's names on the sky lantern (it's a screen shot from the video, which you can watch below).


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Beauty Will Rise...

All over the internet, there are websites, groups, blogs all focused around babyloss. Websites and articles that make other women feel so understood. Right at home. For me, they are often just another reminder of how different I feel. I see posts about "what to expect when you're expecting your rainbow baby," posts about infertility, and posts about life with a rainbow baby. But, where's the post entitled, "what to expect after your baby dies and it's not the time to have another?" Losing a baby already puts you into the "different" category. That in itself can make you feel misunderstood and alone. But, what about when you're single, early 20s, and cannot try again and have no idea if and when you will be able to...when it seems everyone around you that had losses at or around the same time as you (or much after) are now pregnant or trying to get pregnant. And you hear announcement after announcement and put a smile on your face as you wish "congratulations." And you truly are happy for them, but through your smile, there are also hidden tears. I've honestly not met anyone with a story like my own. Sure, there are similarities. 
I don't want others to think I am throwing myself a pity-party. I don't want to give myself any reason to feel sorry for myself. I don't want to compare my life to other's lives.
But here's the truth...

Most days, my entire body literally aches with longing.

My heart feels heavy.

My empty arms ache for the baby I once held and had to give back and for the babies I've not yet held.

With tears in my eyes, I type this now...I just wanna be a wife and mama. To a healthy, living, breathing baby.

It hurts so badly to see all my friends getting married and having healthy babies. So many happy engagements and weddings and births. I feel left behind.

When I got this message today from a girl who went to the same college I did, now lives in the same state I do, had a loss of her own, and is now pregnant with her rainbow...I wasn't expecting it at all. It was as if she could see right through me. See my heart and how deeply it hurts. It truly feels good to feel as if someone sees me. It feels like so much of the time, everyone is just so caught up in their own lives, their own sorrows and joys. I just want you to know how much that means to me.

I wanted to let you know that you've been on my mind today...Know that I'm praying for you. I can't imagine how strong your desire is to mother a child here on earth. My heart aches for you. I am praying that God would be faithful to fulfill those desires for a husband and children soon. I promise you, when He does, the waiting will be so worth it! In the meantime, know He is using you in great ways!

It's days like today, when I feel nearly crushed beneath the weight of all this, that I turn up Beauty Will Rise so loud that I can feel the beat of it pulsing in my veins. I sing along, at the top of my lungs, as if to make myself believe what I'm singing, even when I don't feel it or see it. It's like I have to sing it to believe it. Through tears and a shaking voice, I sing...buried deep beneath all my broken dreams, I have this hope: Out of these ashes, beauty will rise and I will dance among the ruins. I will see Him with my own eyes. Out of these ashes, beauty will rise. For I know, joy is coming in the morning...in the morning, beauty will rise. It will take my breath away to see the beauty that He's made out of the ashes.

Out of the ashes of my abortion...beauty will rise. Beauty has risen. Out of the ashes of losing Lily, beauty will rise. Out of the ashes of these broken dreams, beauty will rise. It truly has already taken my breath away to see the beauty that He's made out of my own sin. Out of my bondage and rebellion, He brought me into freedom in Christ. Out of my abortion, unplanned pregnancies, stillbirth, more beauty than I could ever comprehend has risen. The ripples of this will echo into eternity. Will continue to take my breath away. 

"Beauty From Ashes," by Beth Morey

This is the story God is writing for my life...though there are chapters full of sorrow, there are also chapters full of joy. Each page has joy spilling over. And my Jesus has never left me and has strengthened me in moments of weakness and given me peace under trying circumstances. I trust He has a better future planned for me than I could imagine. And even if it's not what I would plan for myself, I trust that He knows best. I am sure whatever He holds for my future will take my breath away...I long for the day when Christ is reunited with His bride...and I will see my Lily and Luke again there. I can only imagine the celebration. Jesus truly makes all things new. One sweet day there will be...No more tears. No more aching. No more longing...

I picture myself on a mountaintop, surrounded by God's glorious creation, with my arms outstretched to the Heavens. I am twirling around and around, with eyes closed, crying out to my Great God. My Redeemer, my Healer. The only One who can bring beauty from all this mess. Beauty from my sinful, broken heart. 

Out of my losses, my longings, my sorrow, and my hope...beauty will rise.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dr. M's Office and Medical Records

A couple weeks ago, I made that trek across town to Dr. M's office. That same trek I've made countless times before to Lake Boone Trail. I had to go sign a paper releasing my medical records. I haven't been back there since my 6-week postpartum check-up in April 2010.

My friend Morgan was so sweet and went with me for what I knew would be a difficult thing to do. The building is right by the birthing center where Lily was born. Everything seemed so familiar, yet strangely so different. Walking down the hallway to the elevator, I saw glimpses of my pregnant self...who I was before my loss. It's coming up on three years since I began my care there. My heart was racing as we got closer to the office. I held up my hands to show Morgan how I was shaking uncontrollably. We made the spontaneous trip after having coffee one afternoon. It was before 5 p.m., so we assumed it would be open. I wished I could just give my permission to release my records over the phone or by mail. But they told me on the phone I had to come in. For some reason, they closed early. The next time, I'd be prepared.

I called to set up a time when I should come in. Morgan went with me that time too. That time, I was nervous and shaking again. I walked in, dreading seeing a pregnant woman in the waiting room. There was no one else there. I was nervous to see the old receptionist, J. Instead, we were greeted by someone I had never met. That was a relief. I asked for the papers that I needed to sign and said I wanted all my medical records, as well as all my daughter's medical records. I stressed this because I didn't want them to leave anything out. She looked at me and then Morgan with a look of confusion. She then asked if Morgan was my daughter...umm, okay? How observant people are, I tell ya. Morgan is older than me, which maybe you can't tell just by looking at us. But, you can certainly tell we are around the same age. I then said, "no, I mean my daughter who was stillborn while under the care of this practice." She then gave me a clipboard with papers to sign. I took it, still shaking and hoping she didn't notice. I sat down in that same spot I sat in so many times. I took a moment to look around me at the waiting room and all the familiar sights. Morgan helped me decide what I needed to check and sign. Then, I handed it back to the receptionist and left. I made sure once again before leaving that there was nothing else I needed to do but wait. She assured me there wasn't. I didn't want to have to go back into that office again. The place that once held so many happy times is now a reminder of my hopes and dreams that all died with Lily on a stormy day in mid-March. I thought the office visit went quite well. I didn't see anyone that I knew and no pregnant woman or new baby was in the waiting room. I was in and out of there quickly. And I had a friend there that understood why it was difficult for me and supported me.

The receptionist told me a company comes in to deal with medical records and they would make the copies and send it directly to me in the mail. I don't know why I waited so long to get them. It honestly never really crossed my mind. I guess I didn't really know what would be in the records. My friend Morgan told me that all my information from each visit would be in my records and that made me really want them. Lily's heartbeat, my measurements...I cling to any little thing I can know and have.

A few days later, I got a call from that receptionist from Dr. M's office. She informed me that she had given me the wrong paper to sign and that I'd need to come back in to sign something else. I was quite frustrated with this. How careless and unprofessional is that? First of all, it's not exactly convenient for me to drive across town again to go sign something. And it's emotionally hard to go into that office...again. That time I went in alone and there were pregnant women waiting. They all stared at me as I came in and walked right to the front desk with the sliding glass door. The receptionist came out quickly and had the paper all ready for my signature. As I was signing, I heard the door open and B came out to call a patient back. She was one of the people that worked there when I was a patient. It felt really awkward because I know she saw me. I wonder if she recognized me? I didn't say anything and tried not to make eye contact. It's just overall uncomfortable for me to be there. I can't imagine women that continue their care with the same doctor who they were seeing when they had a loss.

I decided to go over to the hospital to get Lily's autopsy results because the receptionist was unable to tell me if those would be included in my medical records. Don't you think people should know things like this if they have that position?

Anyways, after three trips to Dr. M's office and one to the hospital medical records office, I finally got both mine and Lily's records....that's an entire post in itself. Sigh.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Behind the Blog (the reasons why I share)

I'm sure there are people that come across this blog of mine who wonder why I share my story so openly and honestly. I thought I'd share how this blog ever came to be in the first place and why I share as I do.

In October 2009, when I was four months pregnant with Lily Katherine, my mom came across a video tribute that Lauren had made for her precious son, Jonathan, who had Trisomy 13 and lived for less than an hour after birth. From there, we found her blog. I remember weeping as I saw the video and as I poured over their amazing story. I also remember thinking I couldn't imagine that pain and didn't know if I could ever handle it. The story especially impacted me because I was pregnant. I was so blessed by Lauren's blog and decided to start my own. I had never really thought about blogging before, though I have always enjoyed writing. I decided it would be a great way to share my story and how God had changed my life through my daughter's life. I wanted to encourage other young women to choose LIFE for their babies, when facing a crisis pregnancy. It was an easy way to share with others all that had happened in my life and all God had done without having to discuss it in person. I also wanted to chronicle my pregnancy and Lily's life once she was born. My first post was entitled My Hope for this Blog.

The months passed and over time, I wasn't thinking much anymore about Jonathan and Lauren. March rolled around, the time when Lily came and went, and it was then I remembered their story. I was overwhelmed with how good my God is. I knew that He had led us to their story to prepare us for a future, a loss, only He knew was to come. I went back to visit Lauren's blog and was connected to the online community of babyloss. It was the support and encouragement I needed. If it weren't for Lauren's blog, I doubt I would have ever known about this online community that has come to mean so much to me and has been an instrumental part in my journey of grief and healing. It has also given me a platform to share my story of redemption and LIFE. I remembered the beautiful songs Lauren had in her video and emailed her, asking their names and who they were by. If I hadn't of seen Lauren's video, I would never have had known about the perfect songs I played at Lily's services. To this day, those songs are still my very favorites.

I never could have dreamed that my little blog would turn into everything it has. It has changed and transformed through the different seasons of the soul and the different twists and turns of life the Lord has taken me through. I thought it was to be one thing, but God had much bigger plans for it than I did.

Nothing in me desires to show what a wretched sinner I am, yet I write because I am compelled. With everything in me, I declare Jesus is Victor always, and it is my desire that whoever reads or hears my story will walk away with that truth in their heart...

Any darkness can be overcome by the precious blood that the Lord Jesus Christ shed for us. And it is only by His blood that we even have testimonies to share! What an honor and a responsibility it is to share hope, truth, and life with those who don't know Him. With each breath, I will sing Him praises and tell of how He transformed my heart and breathed life into my being. I share my story with you because He has made the desire so deeply engrained in my heart that I have no choice but to proclaim to all who will hear how He has saved a wretch like me! This isn't my story, it's His story, the story He's chosen to write for my life. I am weak and I am nothing without my precious Lord. Oh, but what a blessing and an honor to be chosen by Him to be the words in His redeeming story of LIFE!


I pray the Lord brings who He wants here and I truly believe He does. He has shown me that my words have weight. People will listen to me in a way they wouldn't listen to others because I have actually lived through these things. I have experienced an abortion, an unplanned pregnancy, and the loss of a baby. I truly believe one day I will be speaking and writing much more, but right now, this place is my ministry. I must remain faithful here before God entrusts me with more.

This is who I write for:

-For women in unplanned pregnancies. I pray that through my story, someone else might choose LIFE for their baby. I pray that whoever is reading this will see the gravity of their decisions. Maybe you are in an unplanned pregnancy right now or maybe you will face one in the future. I pray you remember these words, this story, and CHOOSE LIFE. The Lord has you here, reading this, for a purpose. I can truly say I get it because I do. These are not empty words, but words from someone whose walked in those shoes. Twice. The first time, I chose an abortion. The second time, I chose LIFE. And even though my daughter died at fullterm, I would never choose another way. The loss of her is so different than the loss of my first baby. She died with dignity. I promise you the Lord will give you what you need to choose life and obey Him. Take it from someone whose chosen both ways. No matter what happens, whether you choose adoption or parenting, whether you're baby is stillborn like mine was or whether they are born completely healthy. Know that no matter what happens, when you obey God and choose LIFE, He will give you what you need. When you choose LIFE, no matter what comes, it is the right choice, a choice I've never regretted!

-For post-abortive men and women. If you are in bondage because of a past abortion, you don't have to be. Jesus will meet you there. You don't have to live with the sorrow that leaves you breathless, the shame that cripples. You are not alone. If you need someone to talk to as you begin walking down your path towards healing, I am here for you. But, remember, I am a mere human. Jesus is the only one who can truly give you what it is you need. Cry out for Him and watch as He runs to your rescue. I pray that through my story women and men will see the healing God can offer your heart after an abortion. One in four women have had an abortion. That means that many men have been involved in it as well, whether they realize it or not. Because it is something that happens so often, I am sure that there are people who will read these words of mine who have been in these shoes. Don't be afraid to accept your child as your own. It is so important to name him/her. Ask the Lord to reveal to you what gender your baby was. Ask Him what his/her name is. I can tell you from personal experience how healing this is. It is so important that people talk about the issue of abortion and not leave it hidden in the dark. There are women that have lived with the pain, shame, and regret of it for decades. It is time to bring what is in the darkness to the light!

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

For more resources and information for post-abortive men and women, click here.

-To educate others on abortion. It is not a political issue, but an issue of life and death. It is important we educate ourselves on the truth of abortion, so that we can fight it! We must pray for the end of abortion, by praying for hearts and laws to change. I fight for unborn life, but, I also fight for the women in the unplanned pregnancies, as well as those who have already chosen to have an abortion. There are many people that are hurting. I feel that the culture and so many people put the face of a monster on women who've been involved with an abortion and the enemy uses this to keep these women silent. These women are not monsters! And don't pretend like you understand their situations until you walk a mile in their shoes. It is easy to agree with beliefs, never being tested by them yourself. No, these are precious men and women who are loved by God as much as these unborn babies are. He has a plan for both. He desires to heal, redeem, transform both. Abortion hurts everyone involved. But no matter how one is affected, He is greater! Be available to these men and women as a listening ear. Pray for them!

-To cope with my losses and work through my grief. It is so healing to have a place to come where I can just be. I can say and write however I'm feeling about my losses and that's okay. Writing has been such an instrumental part in my healing. I encourage others to try writing as well, rather in a private journal or a blog or both (like I do). Through my writing, I want to document this journey, so I can look back and see how faithful God has been through it all. Writing and photography are creative outlets for me and this is a place where I can do both.

-So others will know Lily and Luke through these words. These words will forever be there for my children, grandchildren...all the way up to great-great-great grandchildren to read and know my heart and my babies. I will never let their names and legacies die! So often, I wish there was something solid that I could read or hear to know my family that passed away long before I came to be. I want my future family to know me in a way I never knew my great-grandparents.

-For men and women who have lost a baby at any gestation or a child at any age. Through my sharing, I want to break the silence of men and women who've lost babies and show that it's okay to talk about it. I want to give a face to these women. I want to encourage them along their own grief journeys and point them to Jesus. I want to give others ideas on how to honor and remember their babies. I also want to share songs, blogs, websites, and other resources for babyloss parents.

Click here for my babyloss resources.

-For the unborn. To be a voice for Luke Shiloh and Lily Katherine and show all who will hear how precious and valuable each life is to our God. All is not lost...Luke Shiloh's life had meaning and purpose and God is using it, even though he's not here. Because of his life, people are seeing how abortion affects women. People are seeing how precious each life is to our God, through the stories of both my precious children. The cry of my heart is that the Lord would use the lives of my babies in the life of another. In this place, I want to share other stories of LIFE from men and women around the world. I want to share books, blogs, movies, and other Pro-Life resources.

Click here to see my compiled list of Pro-Life resources.

-For pregnant women. To help them realize how precious this time of their life is and not to ever take it for granted. To make memories during this time...doing things like taking a belly cast, getting a 3D/4D ultrasound, getting beautiful maternity photos done and other things to cherish forever. Because the thing is you never know how long you will have and what a sacred time this is.

-For anyone who feels they are beyond the healing and forgiveness of Christ.

"There is no pit too deep that God's love is not deeper still." ~Corrie ten Boom

I am working on a post to go much further into this.

-To declare that His strength and grace is sufficient in all things. The Lord has shown me that He desires me to live each and every day like March 16, 2010. Desperately relying on Him for everything and knowing I am helpless without Him. Depending on His strength and trusting fully that He is sufficient for me. Every moment of my life, whether full of sorrow or joy, should be spent at His feet. He desires to be a part of all aspects of my every day.

He is using me, weak Hannah Rose, to show others how He can provide strength to get through any and all things, when you call out to Him and depend on Him. Me, terrified of child birth, never thinking I'd have to birth my deceased child. I stand in awe, totally amazed, that I got through all this. At times, I find myself looking back on everything I've been through and almost not believing it really happened to me. I find myself wondering how I did it all. And He gently reminds me, you didn't do it. I did it through you. And I smile to myself and think, ah, yes, my precious Jesus. And I realize I wouldn't have the strength to get through that today. I feel so weak. He reminds me that no, I don't have the strength to get through it today because I don't need the strength to get through it today.

My mind goes to a conversation Corrie ten Boom (one of my spiritual heroes) had with her father as a young girl. Fear had come into her heart as she thought of the possibility of her father dying and she thought she couldn't live without him. Her father, Casper, then asks her, "Corrie, when we go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your train ticket?" "Why, just before we get on the train," she answered. "Exactly. And so our wise Heavenly father knows when we're going to need things too. Don't run out ahead of Him, Corrie. He will give you the strength you need, just in time."

So many people have said to me they don't know how I've gotten through this and that they never could. It was never me, but my Jesus and I pray my story points all hearts to Him. I pray whoever hears this story will not walk away thinking Hannah Rose, or Lily even, but Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, for it is He for whom every heart is longing. I pray you will see that He gives us what we need the moment we need it, not a second before or too late. His "train ticket" of grace is there for us to face things we could never imagine facing before. It doesn't make things easy or take away the pain, but somehow it is sufficient to bear what would otherwise crush those who have not made the Lord their hope. Don't expect to understand or know today what you may face tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~Matthew 6:34. If you're called upon to face something unimagineable, rest assured that grace ticket will be handed to you by our loving Father the moment you get on the train, not a moment before. God's strength is there for us when we need it and is not overcome by our circumstances.

Count your weakness as a joy, a gift because it can draw you to Him and He can prove Himself faithful in your life!

"He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." ~2 Corinthians 12:9-10

So, my friends...how did you start blogging and what are the reasons that you do?


Monday, July 16, 2012

Lily's Special Spot

Lily is buried in another state from where I live. I know that I will always have ties to Crozet, Virginia and that is where my family is buried, so I knew I wanted her put to rest there. But, that makes it really hard on me since I can't go visit her special spot as often as I'd like. I can't take her flowers and make sure everything is well-maintained. One day I will be buried right next to my girl. No matter where I end up living on this earth, my final place of rest will be with my first born little love.

Going to the cemetery was once a place that brought such pain and heartache. It was so emotional just to make a visit there, especially since I couldn't go often. I am in a different place in my grief these days, so it truly feels like a place of beauty and peace. It feels like I'm near my girl when I am there. Yes, I realize that she is truly with Jesus, and that only her body is there. But, oh how I loved love that little body. Oh, how precious it will always be to me.

I realized recently that cemeteries used to seem so creepy to me. Most people are uncomfortable with driving by them, let alone visiting them. But, it is so peaceful for me now. I was visiting family and friends in Virginia this past week and made a trip to Lily's spot each day I was there. I took a couple of friends with me (Patricia and Rachel) that had never been before. I love having a place that's just for her. 

Lily's special spot :) She has her angel statue from her Great-Aunt Nana, a windchime from her Great-Grandmother, the temporary marker from the funeral home (finally!), the marker that I brought for her (will post more about that later, but I got to place it this past week), and roses and lilies.

This is Lily's temporary marker from the funeral home. So glad it's finally in and that people can now find her spot when they go to visit her! My brother, grandmother, and I went with the lady from the funeral home and placed it on Friday afternoon. Unfortunately, they weren't able to fit her whole name on there. Hoping and praying to have something permanent in sooner rather than later.

They recently planted some trees at the cemetery! Here is Lily's spot, as well as her Great-Grandparents and Great-Aunt Rachel's bench behind her spot. Look at those beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in the background! I LOVE this view! I enjoy going out there to sit and think. The bench is really unique. It is a bench, so it's meant to be sat on. I go out and sit on the little bench right next to Lily's spot, and I think about Lily, Rachel, and my grandfather who are all at Home with Jesus. Sometimes my family and I will take a blanket to sit on to the cemetery and have ice cream in honor of my grandfather or something else special for Lily, like red-velvet cake. :)

Fresh lilies for my Lily. Brought them to her on the 16th of the month. It also just so happens to be my grandparents 57th anniversary, so that was special to visit Bumpa with Bumma. I also left fake roses there, so that when the lilies dry up, she will still have some pretty flowers until the next time I visit.

The ground that holds her body is Holy. It holds a piece of my heart. A piece of my future in Heaven...

On the first visit to the cemetery last week, the pain of missing Lily felt so raw. I was crouching down over her grave and the tears just started falling. I was thinking of my little flower, who was resting just feet underneath me. I said to my brother...it's so strange to think that I should have a daughter running around, but instead she is buried beneath the ground. How wrong that is. It is a fact I don't think I will ever get used to. How different trips to Virginia would be if she were here. How different everything would be if she were here.

If you too have lost a child, perhaps you understand the feeling of wanting to dig up that dirt, just to see and hold your baby once more. Of course I am not crazy enough to do that and realize she is very much gone, very much with her Lord...but my mind cannot tell my mother heart how to feel.

I love all the trees that surround the cemetery. There is a fence that is around all sides. On one side of the cemetery, hidden by trees, is the high-school I attended. I never could have dreamed back in those days that one day I would bury my own child just a few hundred feet from where I sat in class. And literally, just feet from the trails I ran by the school during cross-country training.

On a cool day, perhaps this fall, my grandmother and I are going to go visit the cemetery and walk around and look at all the headstones (it's a small place). I feel a special connection to the people layed to rest there because it is where my girl is. I especially want to visit the babies and bring them flowers.

If you are ever traveling through the central Virginia area, you should stop by Hillsboro Cemetery in Crozet to visit my sweet girl! :)

I would love to see photos of and hear about your baby's special spots! Please share in a comment below or in an email.

Here is a video tour of Lily's special spot!

Lily girl, missing you is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I knew this would be hard, but had no idea just how hard or just how long it would hurt so much.


Monday, July 9, 2012

A Shared Love of Roses and Lilies

A couple weeks ago, I visited my friend Alyssa at the hospital. She had been on bedrest there for weeks and since then, is now on bedrest at home. She's waiting for her precious bundle of love to arrive healthy and happy.

No matter how much time passes, it always takes my breath away to be on a labor and delivery floor. Even though she was in a different hospital than where Lily was born, it's still L&D. This hospital is actually closer to my home and is where I went for my very first prenatal appointment, before I started seeing my doctor who delivered Lily. Being there brought back different emotions.

Pray that all goes well for Alyssa and her husband Kendrick as they await the arrival of their sweet girl, Olivia Rose. Yep, that's right, she shares my middle name! I'd like to think that gives us a special connection. ;) They lost their daughter Liliana Michelle (or Lily) in spring 2011. So we share the love of roses and lilies. Isn't that sweet? Olivia is getting a beautiful mural painted in her nursery, which includes roses and lilies on the wall! I am always beyond thrilled for my friends who go on to have their rainbow babies.

Can't wait to meet you, little Olivia Rose! I'm sure your big sister Lily and my Lily are smiling down from Heaven.

How adorable can she be? :)


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Gendercide in North Carolina!

The Pro-Life group, Live Action, is known nationwide for their undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics for their illegal and unethical behavior. The latest video that was released by Protect Our Girls: A Project of Live Action shows two clinics in North Carolina who are participating in gendercide.

Gendercide: Refers to the systematic killing of members of a specific sex. Sex-selection abortion is defined as 'an abortion undertaken for the purpose of eliminating a child of an undesired sex.'

Most people think of other cultures such as China and India when they think of people preferring one sex over the other. What most people don't realize is that it is happening right here in America! And right here in North Carolina, just down the road from me!

In the video, the clinic in Raleigh is the very clinic I have been to several times to pray for unborn babies and their mothers and fathers. It is right across the street from where Lily was born. And the clinic in Chapel Hill is where I was praying when I met the founder of 40 Days for LifeShawn Carney, in spring 2011.

The House recently rejected the sex-selective abortion ban. What, I ask, has this country turned into?! We, as a country, condemn other countries that permit the practice, yet we have not restricted it or banned it! In fact, much of our tax dollars go to organizations that take part in sex-selective abortion! 

We MUST pray to end abortion now and FIGHT to protect both the unborn and the men and women affected by abortion!

-Learn more about sex-selective abortion.
-See all the undercover videos exposing sex-selective abortion.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Another Holiday Without Her

It's a big day for those of us who are Americans. It's a holiday I haven't really had the energy to celebrate in the last couple years. But, this year, I tried. My mom, brother, sister and I drove the 15 minutes to downtown Raleigh to watch the fireworks. And they were horrible. We thought we were being pretty smart by parking in a parking garage and then driving to the top, where there is a perfect view of the Raleigh skyline. From there, we expected the fireworks to be going off high in the sky. After waiting for an hour, we saw a teeny bit of them, but it definitely wasn't worth going out in traffic. The buildings blocked most of the display. We left before they were over, trying to beat the traffic. Trying to get out of the garage was a nightmare, leaving all of us on edge. Definitely won't be doing that again. I prefer to sit at home, celebrating quietly, perhaps with the Macy's Fireworks display playing on the television. I may even put forth the effort to dress in my red, white and blue.

Honestly, if Lily were here, this holiday and every holiday would be oh so different. I would love to dress up and dress my girl up patriotically. Maybe we would even match. I went to a 4th of July party at a friends house and loved seeing all the young kiddos with their adorable outfits on...just another thing I will never do with and for her...those moments catch me off guard when another piece of the puzzle I will never get to put together makes itself apparent. This is the first year I think she would really be excited about the fireworks and be able to participate more. Instead, I sit here imagining of all this day and every day might have held if she had lived...

"There isn't a little girl dancing through the twilight in a red, white and blue dress with 
a sparkler in her hand. And there should be. Oh, there should be." ~Angela Rodman

"America, you are beautiful. The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every 
human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless. If you want equal justice
for all and true freedom and lasting peace, then America, defend LIFE." ~JPII


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lily's LIFE and Legacy

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

This is how one little girl named Lily, who never once took a breath or spoke a word, has left a lasting imprint on this world. Her brief life has changed many hearts. If one baby who only ever lived inside her mother's womb can do so much, imagine what God can do with each of our yielded lives. Never feel like you are JUST ONE LIFE and cannot make a difference!

Thank you to everyone who has let me know how Lily's life has affected yours. It blesses me more than you know to see how her little life is doing so much! She did accomplish all God sent her to earth for! If you'd like to share how she has impacted you, please email me at roseandherlily@gmail.comI will be updating as I receive new and find old emails, messages, etc.

God used Lily's life to save mine by bringing me out of my bondage and rebellion into freedom in Christ. I turned my back on all the drinking, partying, and men...because of her.

He used her LIFE to bring me to my passion and purpose, to be a voice for the voiceless. To speak up for the unborn.

He used her life to restore family relationships. Before I got pregnant, I was literally not even speaking with my family. Through her life, I came home and have gotten closer to my family than ever before. 

God also healed friendships through her precious life. My best friend and I hadn't spoken in nearly a year because of our differences. When Lily was born, she came to the hospital to be there for my family. Since then, we have the sweetest, strongest friendship with Jesus at the center. 

Lily has been the/a reason for many people's hearts to be opened to Jesus. Lives are being changed as eyes are opened to the truth of abortion. People are seeing the value and beauty of each individual life, created in the image of God.

This is just the beginning of Lily's legacy.


This is a first-hand account of how Lily is affecting lives all over the world:

From S:

Hannah, I came on here to reply to your message, and I was just taking a quick look through your pictures, and the Lord was definitely leading in that. I came across your story, and learned about your dear Lily, and I cannot tell you how deeply impacted and blessed I am by your story. It has pressed me deeper into the arms of our Jesus, and challenged me, and turned my eyes to see His face in a clearer, more beautiful way. There is a deep excitement and wonder within me to see how our King is going to use your yielded life to advance His Kingdom and bring Him glory in this earth, ushering many into His presence. It is indeed all for a reason, and His reasons are never mediocre - they are Heavenly! And beyond our greatest dreams. He is so good, and so utterly faithful, and I praise Him for what He is doing in your life.

From H: 

I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry about Lily. Your birthday blog post about her had me sobbing. I pray every night that God won't take my son home. The reason I didn't say anything before is because...Well, I'm just bad with the whole emotional thing. I've been reading your posts and blogs, and I gotta say you were the one person that could convert me into believing that pro-choice might not be the best thing. I just thought you should know.

From R:

I just wanted to say this afternoon as I was on Facebook, I saw the post you did so I clicked it and for an hour I read through your blog and precious Lily's story and the journey you have been through. I literally cried from the first word that I read until I watched the video of her life. That is an incredible story, Hannah, and it really made my heart sing to see how Lily's life drew you to the feet of Jesus, and even now she has drawn me to my Savior as I wept through her story. Sister, know that you are in my prayers. I can't even imagine what you go through on a daily basis. I just wanted to let you know that little Lily's life is still impacting people.

From H:

I just listened to your story, after having read it a few months back, and the minute you said, "okay" I started crying. I think you do a wonderful job of sharing your story. I can hear the strength of the Lord in your voice. Hearing your story was so much different than reading it. I think it's beautiful that you have the courage to share it, and what you said about Lily changing lives without even taking a breath really made me think. That little girl has changed so many lives. Your story, Lily's legacy, it has changed my life forever. It truly is amazing the way that God works. Keep sharing your story, that little girl lives on through your beautiful words. God bless you, Hannah.

From A: 

I just felt the need to tell you that you're such an inspiring person to so many; all that you have been through and the positivity you have taken from it is incredible. And to share your stories for everyone to read is so brave of you and yet to all who read them - I'm sure are thankful (I know I am). Your strengh gives others strength...just by hearing what you can overcome with your wisdom as well as through God's love and selflessness. Keep doing what you're doing :)

From N: 

Dear Hannah, I told myself I wouldn't email you because I'm sure you've been flooded with them...I've been looking at your profile everyday imagining what this could have been like and I cannot possibly imagine...as I sit here trying to see the screen from the tears that were brought to my eyes after reading your blog. Your daughter is beautiful and she really did look just like you amazingly. You were blessed by her. I think anyone who hears your story is. I will keep reading your blogs and crying for you because I can't imagine how broken your heart is.

From H:

I read Lily's story a couple months ago and the tears were streaming down my face before I was even half way through. After reading it, I curled up into a ball, and cried for two hours straight. It had such an impact on my life, and I think it's wonderful that you were brave enough to share your story. This may sound weird coming from a stranger, but I think about you a lot. To see you now, two years later, smiling, and being thankful for the time you had with her is inspiring. God bless you!

From E:

You are an inspiration. God has done so much through you and through Lily. I feel like my life is forever changed because I have been blessed to get to know you and your daughter.

From M:

Hannah Rose is an amazing mother to know. She is an incredible witness to the Lord and I look to the strong faith she has as guidance for myself. Today I want you to know how special, beautiful and amazing Lily is. She has changed the lives of many without even taking a breath on this earth. I never got the chance to meet or see Lily, I didn't know Hannah Rose when she was pregnant, but that doesn't matter. I feel like I know Lily. I know her through her mother. I can only hope that my son is living on as much through me as Lily is through her mommy.

From J:

Have you thought of writing a book? Maybe a collection of testimonies from mothers who went through similar situations. You are a very good writer and there will be many more lives you will save by your story. I was touched by your testimony. God bless you!

From M:

You absolutely amaze me. You take one of the most tragic, soul-wrenching situations and see it for how God meant you to. Your strength, courage and grace in such an unbearable time, literally takes my breath away. God definitely has a plan for you and I'm sure it's a wonderful one. Lily was so very beautiful and oh so blessed to have had you as her mom. It's said in the Bible that our lives here on earth are a fraction of what our life will be in Heaven. You'll be with Lily before you know it.

From W: 

WOW... I can truly say you have an AMAZING testimony. I was so moved by it. I couldn't talk to my mom about it without crying! It's amazing to see how God used little Lily to reach you. He truly is amazing! And your story is powerful! Your story is dear to my heart. I watched my sister go through some of the same things. She got pregnant out of wedlock as well, but ended up miscarrying the baby. It was a heartwrenching time, but God used her situation to reach her as well. It's amazing how in our darkest hour, God reaches down and pulls us close, closer than we ever thought possible!

From N: 

I read through your blog and just wanted to encourage you by sharing how amazed I was at the level of maturity, honesty, wisdom, and depth in your writings. Your testimony about where you came from and the struggles you went through was very powerful. I know I can relate to a lot of what you shared, and I think God is going to bring girls into your path whose hearts WILL be ready and who will only be willing to hear from someone who has gone through some of the issues they are going through and can relate to them. I didn't know you at all during that time, but I can say that from talking with you last summer at the wedding and reading your blogs, I see you as a strong, beautiful, and godly woman. Your heart and your love for God is absolutely beautiful, Hannah, and I believe He is going to use you to touch many women in the future. I hope this is not too weird coming from a semi-stranger! Your writings just really touched my heart tonight, and I wanted to let you know. I was at a loss for words when I was told of your beautiful Lily's passing. We cried together for you. You've been on my heart and mind constantly and I just wanted to let you know we are praying for you and your family and that we love you. I was reminded of the song "Held" by Natalie Grant which you might know, so I looked up the lyrics with you in mind and thought how amazing it was that Lily's name is mentioned in the second verse! From now on, every time I hear it I will think of Lily. You are an amazing, amazing woman, Hannah. I remember our message conversation from last year when you talked about how you wanted God to use Lily's and your story to reach other young women, and I just want to let you know that He already has. Your faithfulness and quiet strength is such an example to me, as I know it is to countless others.  

From J: 

I finally got to listen (and finish, since I've tried to listen before) to your testimony. You did such a great job. I know public speaking is scary, and sharing your life story even more so. I was blessed to hear it, and your story has given me more courage to speak up for the unborn. I have been so afraid to say very much for fear of ostracizing friends who may have had an abortion that I don't know about. But I feel like God is putting it on my heart more and more to just be a voice when I have the chance.

From V:

I have been following your blog for a year now and you are a wonderful person. Your daughter Lily is precious. A beautiful angel. I got hooked on your blog when I started reading it. You are very wise and mature. Your story is amazing and I think you deal with it very well.

From J: 

As I watched your YouTube video, I cried. I stopped halfway, and went to go check in on my son as he was taking a nap. My tears fell on him. I want you to know how much I appreciated you sharing your story. Thank you for being courageous. Thank you so much.

From C: 

I've had a chance to read your blog a couple of times. I don't know how to tell you, but it is really so uplifting. It's just so beautiful how you are graciously handling what the Lord has dealt you and that you are turning to JESUS for help and love. I know that He is so honored by that. It's amazing how He glorifies Himself through tragedies like that, isn't it? And He reveals Himself to us in tremendous ways during those dark times. Praise the Lord for His mercies!

From J:

Hannah, this story is just so beautiful and powerful. Lily has had an impact on this world and it is a better place for her having passed this way.

From S:

This is the most beautiful story I have ever witnessed about how Jesus truly loves to work a new life in our heart. What a Creator!

From J:

I am sooo very sorry that Lily is no longer with you. I can't even begin to imagine what that is like. But again I thank God for giving you peace that passes all understanding. I know the Lord will use you mightily to help reach others. Thank you for sharing your heart for Him.

From A:

Thank you, Hannah....I've read your story on your blog and find your story to be so inspiring. Thank you for continuing to share.

Lily, this is a tribute to your precious LIFE and all God did in me and so many others because of YOU. I will forever praise Him for the gift of you...thank you, sweet girl...

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