Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lily's Beach Prayer Flag

The lovely Carly Marie has come up with an amazing idea to honor of all the precious babies of Heaven. It is called the October 15th Beach Prayer Flag Project. Each year, she hosts a beautiful remembrance ceremony on Christian's Beach in Perth Western Australia, for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It is the very beach where she writes thousands of babies names on the shore with gorgeous sunsets splashed across the sky. So many people around the world wish they could be there in person for this special event, but since that is not possible, Carly got this incredible idea...

For babyloss parents around the world to make a 9inx12in blessing/prayer flag in honor of their precious little one! Basically you can use whatever materials you want (I love how much room for creativity there is) and put your child's name and special dates, if desired, somewhere on the flag. Then, mail them on down to Australia where Carly Marie and her friends there will string all the beautiful flags together to hang up at the beach for the candlelight ceremony.

If you still want to participate in this beautiful event, Carly said she will accept them until the day before the ceremony. Check out more information about it and quickly make your flag to send to Carly Marie at:
This is a beautiful and special idea and I am so honored to participate. I knew I wanted to as soon as I first read about it over a month ago...but then I forgot until my friend Morgan brought it up last Saturday. I realized I literally only had a couple days to plan it all out, get the supplies, make it, and ship it. Well, thanks to my amazingly crafty and talented mom who wanted to participate, we got it done in time!

The design for the entire flag was inspired by my sister's old pair of pajama shorts. My mom had been saving them because she loved the colors and butterflies so much and hoped to do something with them someday. Well we found that something. We took a trip to our local Michael's craft store and picked out the matching colors and accessories that we wanted to use. We felt a little bit under pressure with needing to finish it so quickly, so I expected to like it, but not love it.

Well, it turns out I LOVE IT! I couldn't be more happy with how it looks. I love the colors, the butterflies, obviously, and seeing Lily's name and birthday makes my heart smile. :)

It was truly so special to do something to mother and grandmother our Lily girl. We loved designing it together and my mom enjoyed making it for her precious granddarling. Thanks so much, mother dear, for helping me with this special project!! I am going to make the second flag to add to Lily's memory chest. I need lots more time than my mom lol. :)

This week, we got it in the mail to head across the world. Another special thing is my friend Morgan and I mailed our prayer flags together to save money on shipping. She made an adorable flag for her sweet son, Marcellus! It's precious to think of their flags going across the ocean together to get to their destination.

I am so excited to see all the flags together for such a beautiful evening of remembrance. It will be amazing to see all the love poured into these flags and how different people made them! They will take photos of each flag and then of them all strung together. I am sure it will bring tears to my eyes. What a powerful display of love for our little babes. Though they are not here to do things for daily, it means so much to be given the gift and opportunity to actually do something for them.

The "before" picture with all the materials ready :)

The "after" picture!
Look at the amazing detail.

I knew I wanted lace, but I was so pleased to find lace with flowers, since Lily is my little flower! I love the cross-stitch. The two butterflies on the top symbolize Lily and Luke in Heaven and the butterfly below symbolizes me, on earth. I know we will all be together again in NEW LIFE.
Carly asked us to send along a note with information about who the flag is made for, a little about them, their special dates, what part of the world they are from, etc. This is what I wrote.
My L's and Morgan's M's flags ready to go! You can tell they are very much for a little girl and little boy :)
Our little flags on their way to the land down unda! :)


Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Little Gal

Remember my friend Alyssa who I blogged about a couple months ago? She and her husband Kendrick were anticipating the arrival of their rainbow baby, Olivia Rose!!

Well, I wanted to give a little update for everyone who has been praying for their little family. Olivia arrived on July 31st and weighed the same as my Lily did at birth-7 pounds 9 ounces. Their whole journey has been so difficult with trying to conceive, losing their precious Liliana, going on bedrest with Olivia, and issues during pregnancy and delivery. Olivia truly is their little miracle baby. After spending a couple days in the NICU after birth, she got to go home with her happy parents.

Guess what else...this week, I am officially Olivia Rose's nanny! It's such an honor, gift, and joy for me. I have so many things in common with their family so it makes it extra special. I truly believe Olivia Rose and I share a special connection because not only do we share our middle name, but her sister named Lily Allen (yes, we share a last name as well) and my daughter named Lily Allen are together in Heaven. Liliana was due on August 12th-my birthday!

I love cuddling this sweet baby and am so overjoyed for Kendrick and Alyssa that they finally have her in their arms, healthy and happy!

Olivia is only 6 weeks old now and is perfect for my little photography subject! ;) It is such a healing and beautiful thing for me to be around and caring for a baby girl. I am thanking Jesus for the gift He's giving me in caring for this very special little princess. He worked out all the details so I can continue with my other nanny jobs as well. My nickname for her is "the little gal." I already love her so very much and am excited to see her grow up! She couldn't have sweeter, more deserving parents. And seriously...she is truly a beautiful baby and already looks so feminine!

A precious picture of Olivia's adorable baby toes... I could only capture a couple before
she was fussing and ready to be held again. I don't mind holding her one bit ;)
Click HERE to read all my "Similarity Stories."


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

She Is Not Lost

"No losses are ever losses when we love; what we love is always with us, becoming part of who we are." -Ann Voskamp

She is always a part of me and every day that I'm alive, she will be too.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Two and a Half Years of Heaven

My Darling Lily,

The sky is breathtakingly blue today. Fall is almost officially here...There's a clearness that there hasn't been since spring and there is a crispness in the air. It's quite delightful actually. I can feel a change in the atmosphere, and I know the leaves promise to soon transform into gorgeous reds, oranges, and yellows...and my scarves and sweaters will need to be organized in the front of my closet.

There are so many little things during this time of year that remind me of when you were safely nestled within my womb. One of these things is pumpkin-spiced lattes. Maybe that's why I love them so much now, because they remind me of when you were here.

The first PSL of the season!

If seasons were a book, then a page would be about to turn. Another page turned in the story of my life without you. Another page that reminds me that I am farther from you than I was a season ago. This time of year always leaves me feeling so contemplative. I get sad reminiscing on days passed and how life changes so much from year to year. It's hard for me, someone who likes to be in a predictable bubble of comfort and familiarity. But, I know I'm not meant to live that way. I know I'm meant to cling to Jesus through each season of unknowns.

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."
~Corrie ten Boom~

He is my only constant, my only certainty in a world of chaos and pain.

I know that in living on earth, I must follow the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years that surely and steadily tick by, with no regard for who is left behind. I know that time for you is not what it is to me and that pain I feel in missing you at my very core isn't felt in your little heart. I know that you have no concept of time as I know it. I know that the ebb and flow of grief that comes and goes in my life isn't known in Heaven. I know that you have never tasted the saltiness of tears or felt the deep aching to see me again. It brings peace to your mommy's heart to know that you are completely at peace in the arms of our Heavenly Father. I know that it's a blink of an eye to you until we meet again.

But even in knowing all this, it doesn't stop me from missing you somethin' awful...

Today it has been 2 and a half years of Heaven for you...30 months...since I last held you and you flew to Jesus. It seems like so long, yet also just yesterday. I ache knowing I haven't felt your weight in my arms for that much time. It feels like so very long when I think of the possibility of another 60 or 70 years on earth without you.

"Time and distance quench a small love, but make a great love grow stronger."
~Richard Wurmbrand~

I am believing this to be so. My love for you grows greater with each passing day, as I long for the time when change is no more and the time without you will be made up for by eternity spent in the presence of Jesus, with you by my side.

Do you have beautifully-hued leaves up there? Do you run and jump in them, playing with the best Father ever?

I wish you were here to celebrate today, with a half-birthday breakfast and maybe a cupcake and candle later...but I will celebrate still.

You were loved all of your life and will be loved for the rest of mine...I love you to the moon and back, sweet Lily girl.

Always and forever yours,


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Whatever the Circumstances

God is always good, no matter what happens in this life. This quote by Corrie ten Boom is such a great encouragement and inspiration to me:

"Often I have heard people say, "How good God is! We prayed that it would not rain for our church picnic, and look at the lovely weather!" Yes, God is good when He sends good weather. But God was also good when He allowed my sister, Betsie, to starve to death before my eyes in a German concentration camp. I remember one occasion when I was very discouraged there. Everything around us was dark, and there was darkness in my heart. I remember telling Betsie that I thought God had forgotten us. "No, Corrie," said Betsie, "He has not forgotten us. Remember His Word: "For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him." Corrie concludes, "There is an ocean of God's love available - there is plenty for everyone. May God grant you never to doubt that victorious love - whatever the circumstances." 


A Walk to Remember

"A Walk to Remember"
By Kathie Mayo 

I walk to remember
the steps you’ll never take.
I carry you with me
as I firmly plant my feet.
Our trek started long ago,
before my belly swelled.
You were a love that grew-
like butterfly wings that beat.
Your gentle flutters then become
kicks upon which I would dwell.
And I would talk to you, sweet babe,
about the world you soon would meet
the sun always shown upon us then-
when you were in my womb.
And I was eager to show you the world
that would have been your home.
How you’d have loved the sun shining-
blue skies without a cloud.
The autumn leaves turning-
the snow falling all around.
The flowers in the summer-
would have filled your eyes with smiles.
And the rain that might have fallen
would have caused you great surprise.
You would have traveled far with me-
holding me by the hand.
And I’d have shown you all I could-
more than I can imagine.
You hold my heart tightly now,
as though we’re holding hands.
How far we’ve traveled, little one-
and my life with you has been sweet.
For I carry you in my heart
as I firmly plant my feet.


Precious Moments: Mommy's Love Goes With You

Oh my goodness, this morning I came across this beautiful Precious Moments figurine called Mommy's Love Goes With You. I am not normally one that likes these figurines and prefer Willow Tree figurines, but this one is absolutely beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. 

It speaks a thousand words of what a mommy feels when she gives her baby over to the Lord. Instead of tightly clinging to her baby as if she/he was hers to keep, this shows a mother willingly giving her baby to an angel to carry to Heaven. The mother has a tear streaming down her face, representing her sorrow, but also a smile on her face, representing her great joy. With outstretched arms, she willingly gives her baby back to the One who she truly belongs to, sending her forever love along with her precious little one. She fully trusts and knows she/he is in the best care possible, in the arms of Jesus. She knows that her Heavenly Father loves her sweet babe more than she ever could and that He has a plan for her sorrow and a purpose for her baby's life and legacy.

I hope to get one of these at some point. Apparently they were discontinued in 2007 and lots of babyloss moms have been wanting them back, so they are making them again! And they will begin shipping them out in October, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. How appropriate, right? Apparently, a blog friend told me they were selling on eBay for $1,200 before they brought them back because people wanted them so much!

If you want to get a figurine for yourself or someone dear to you who has lost a baby, you can do so on the website. They are $50 plus around $10 for shipping. On their website they say, "It is our hope that it brings a bit of peace to hearts that hurt beyond words." Indeed they will...


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stillbirth Remembrance Day

Today (September 6th) is Stillbirth Remembrance Day. It is a day set aside each year to honor and remember babies that have been stillborn. Still born. For me and other moms who have had stillborn babies, every day is stillbirth remembrance day because we remember our babies every day. It's something that could never be forgotten. However, I do like that there is a specific day to honor stillborn babies. Honestly, before experiencing stillbirth, I don't even remember ever hearing about it or even knowing what that word meant. I'm sure I did, but I just didn't give it much thought.

"26,000 babies are stillborn every year in the United States. That is approximately 71 loved and wanted babies every single day! 71 families every single day who are planning their child's funeral and deciding if they'd like to have them cremated or buried. 71 mothers going through labor and delivery, trying to prepare themselves to say hello and goodbye in the same day to their sweet babies they will love forever. Stillbirth is known as the great equalizer - if you think it can't happen to you and your child, you're wrong. Stillbirth strikes all races, all religions, all walks of life. And it happens much more often than anyone likes to think about." ~Heather Fettig

Lily Katherine
March 16, 2010

Remembering my girl and all other precious babies who we carry in our hearts, rather than our arms.

Much love and hugs,

Beginning of Grief

I saw somewhere, though I can't remember where now, that the birth experience (of a stillborn baby) is only the beginning of a lifelong process of living in grief. Some might think it's a one-time occurrence and that after leaving the hospital, it's over... but this perfectly describes that it's only the beginning.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How Family, Friends and Coworkers Can Help When a Baby Dies

I have had this post swirling around in my head for quite some time. Then, a couple weeks ago, a friend contacted me, asking for advice on how to be there for her friend who recently had a stillborn baby. I finally had the inspiration needed to write. I realize that many people have a friend, family member, or coworker that has or will at some point experience the devastating loss of a baby. So, what do you say/not say and do/not do when it happens? I have put together a few pointers on what I have found to be helpful in my own life. Of course these are only recommendations and people are all different, but more often than not I have found other baby loss parents feel the same. Some of these can apply to other types of loss as well, such as the loss of a spouse or parent. Thank you for wanting to reach out to your loved one. I hope this helps.

Acknowledge. This can be one of the most important things. Realize that this baby was very real and an irreplaceable part of this person's life and family. Don't be afraid to acknowledge their existence and that special place they will forever hold. And don't be afraid to acknowledge that it is a devastating loss. Do not pretend it never happened! And please don't avoid seeing them, calling them, etc. 

Also realize that not only was a child lost, but a grandchild, niece, nephew, cousin, etc. Reach out to the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. They are grieving too. 

-Speak their name. Don't be afraid to say their child's name. He/she was a very real person! Ask questions about the baby. Show that you care about the baby's life.

"The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes, 
But it never fails to bring music to my ears. 
If you are really my friend, 
let me hear the music of her name! 
It soothes my broken heart and sings to my soul!"
~Author Unknown~


"If you know someone who has lost a child and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died, they didn't forget they died. You're not reminding them. What you're reminding them of is that you remember that they lived, and that's a great, great gift."
~Elizabeth Edwards~

-DO something. When tragedy strikes someone's life, it really gets under my skin when people say, "let me know if there is anything I can do." Like that person is really going to ask for help, especially from people they aren't close with. So many people say that, don't ever do anything to actually help, and then go on with their lives and forget that person and their grief...but feel good about themselves for saying it. Don't just say things...actually DO something, anything! Send flowers, a card, drop off a meal or things like groceries, toilet paper, milk, tissues, etc. (they will most likely not want to be out and about in the real world for a while), go visit, offer to take their other children out for an afternoon, or send a special gift. It seems that people think since there is no baby, there is no need to take a meal. They may feel awkward about it. It is even more important to take a meal to the family when they lose the baby and don't get to bring him/her home. Not only will the mother be recognized overing from birth (just as if she had her baby at home with her), they will also be grieving intensely (which new parents of healthy babies aren't doing)! Get creative! Take them a box with a candle, two matching blankets (one for baby and one to be kept with family), a picture frame, a grief journal, cards for babies hand and footprints, a little baggie for baby's hair, etc. "Meaning to" do something is not the same as actually doing it. I know that's how I felt after losing Lily and now that a friend lost her husband, I am feeling the same way for her.

-Don't pressure. Please never think that they will ever "get over it." Don't think they will go back to the person they were before their loss. This has irrevocably changed them forever and therefore it may change your relationship. Accept that. Be patient, kind, loving, and gentle with them. Allow them to grieve the way they need to. Let them cry and scream if they need to. They lost not only a baby, but a toddler, child, teenager, adult, potential grandchildren. They lost all their hopes and dreams wrapped up into this precious life. They will not recover, as if they have the flu. They don't ever want to forget, but rather incorporate that lost little one into their life forever.

-Just listen. Sometimes, they will just need to share their heart. Don't act as if you know all the answers, especially if you have never been through a loss like this. Sometimes they aren't looking for advice, just for an ear. If you don't know what to say, it is much better to be honest, rather than fumble over your words. Tell them you are sorry you cannot take away their pain. Sometimes they will not want to respond to your texts, calls, and emails. But, that doesn't mean they don't appreciate them and that doesn't mean you should stop sending them. At times, a listening ear, an "I'm so sorry," and a hug is just right.

-Share resources. Please, as soon as your hear about their loss, mention the non-profit organization Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. They offer free, professional photography to families experiencing the loss of a baby. And they are located around the country. It is a gift of remembrance, that honors that child's life. Also, tell them about "to write their names in the sand." Carly Marie writes the names of babies who are in Heaven on the beach in Australia. Direct them to this blog in order to find more helpful resources

-Don't judge. It makes me really upset when people say harsh things to people for sharing photos of their babies. Please be sensitive about what you say and how you act. Remember that these are cherished photos-the only photos they will ever have of their baby! Those are the only memories they ever made with their baby. They won't get to post picture updates throughout the days, weeks, and months like other parents do. But just like every parent, they are proud of their baby and want to show him/her off. That precious baby is beautiful, no matter what condition they had or if they were alive or not at birth. Remember that no matter how short one's life is, they still are important, much-loved and forever will be missed.

"A person is a person, no matter how small." 
~Dr. Seuss~


"Parents of stillborn babies, or any other baby in Heaven, shouldn't have to hide their grief and hurt just because others are afraid of it or don't think they can handle it." 
-Honor their memory. Do something special to honor their baby's life. Get them a necklace with their baby's actual hand or footprint engraved (at places such as My Forever Child and Thumbies) or request for their name to be written on the beach in Australia at "to write their names in the sand." There are all sorts of special things to do if you give it some thought. It can be simple and you don't need to spend lots of money. Get them one of the Precious Moments: Mommy's Love Goes With You Figurines. Do a balloon release with their baby's name on it or butterfly release and take pictures to show them. Donate to some sort of charity in their child's honor. Plant a tree, make them a scrapbook, etc. The smallest of gestures can speak a thousand words of love.

-Show sensitivity. Before flaunting your baby's, your cousin's baby's, or whoever's baby's photos to this specific friend, think. Though you will never understand a loss like this unless it happened to you, try to imagine things that might be tough to deal with. Be sensitive in your actions and words. Ask your friend if they want to see those photos (just as an example) before thrusting it in their face. Before you start telling story after story of how your baby said his/her first word, startled crawling, walking, etc. remember that your friend will never experience those milestones, so it may be hard to hear you talk about them. Even before making that big pregnancy announcement, be thoughtful in how you handle telling your friend. Of course you shouldn't feel like you are stepping on eggshells all the time, but it says a lot when you show thoughtfulness. 

-Remember. After a short time, the flooding of phone calls and cards will stop and their loss will be forgotten about, at least by a lot of people. People will expect them to be moving on. It is often in these times that they will get lonely and especially need love and support. Sometimes it's the silence that hurts the most. Call them every now and again and ask them how they are. Let them know that you are thinking of them and their baby. It will bless them to know they and their babies aren't being forgotten.

Holidays and anniversaries will be very difficult without their baby. Make a point to remember their baby's birthdays, Christmas, etc. When you send a card for Mother's Day or other days, mention their baby. "Remembering so and so today" is really all you need to say. I know Mother's Day is always very difficult for me, especially not having any other children on earth to celebrate with. Not many people remember that I am and will forever be a mother on Mother's Day. Go out of your way to tell that person you acknowledge they are a mother! Mark the dates that are important to their baby (such as due dates, different anniversaries and days such as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day) and send them an email, a card, or visit them and let them know they aren't the only one that remembers what that day is to them and will forever be to them. As mentioned above, Lost for Words Card Line is a wonderful place to find cards for all occasions for babyloss parents.

Things Not To Do Or Say:

-Do not compare their grief to anyone else's!

"On a scale of one to ten, when your child dies, it is always a ten."
~a grieving mother~


"When you love someone and they die, does it really matter how long you have known them? Can one quantify the amount of love one holds for another by the months or years you have known them?" ~Sherokee Ilse~

-Do not say things like " God needed another angel," "There is another star shining brightly in the sky," "It wasn't meant to be," etc. It may sound comforting to you, but more times than not, it will upset your friend, especially when they are in the depths of their fresh grief.
-Please do not say that this person is still young and can have another.
One baby will never replace another!

-Don't say, "Well, at least you have other children." Think about it, if you lost one of your children, would you think, oh well, I shouldn't be sad since I have others? No way!
-Don't make them feel as if they are grieving "wrong." Everyone grieves and heals differently.
-Don't tell them you know exactly how they feel. No two losses are the same.
-Don't tell them it was for the best because something worse could have happened.
-Don't say, "Well at least you didn't get to know the baby." Any mother can tell you the incredible bond and love that is shared with a baby in the womb. There is nothing like it and there is no loss like it. 
-Don't say how you could never get through something like this and don't know how they are. As if they have a choice. 
-Don't tell them they will be mothers one day! They already are and will forever be! Their baby just isn't here with them.
-Don't tell them about your pet dying, as if to compare that to their child dying. There is no comparison and it will only upset them for you to mention such a thing. When you get a pet, you expect to outlive it. I know that it's hard to lose a pet because I am an animal lover. But losing a child is completely different and the pain is incomparable. You don't expect to outlive your child. The reason I mention this is because someone actually talked about their bunny dying to my friend, trying to relate and show they understood.
-Don't call to complain about your husband, children, etc. This person would give anything to have their child there with them!
-Do not change the subject or act awkward if they bring up their child. It might make you sad, but imagine how sad their every day is.

I'm sure there are things I am forgetting, but this is a good start. If you are a babyloss parent and can think of anything I should add, please let me know! And if you know someone who has lost a baby and have a question about how you can best be there for them, send me an email (at and I would be happy to discuss that with you. Thank you for wanting to be the best friend or family member possible. Just the fact that you are seeking advice, rather than assuming to be the expert, is a wonderful thing! Thank you. Please feel free to share this with others. Blessings to you!


Grab this button to add to your blog to help your friends and family know how to be there for those affected by babyloss! 
Rose and Her Lily
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Rose and Her Lily"><img src="" alt="Rose and Her Lily" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Saturday, September 1, 2012

My Miracle

photo my friend, Laura, took and designed for me with my favorite quote
There is a saying “The brightest light often comes from the darkest places” and I think that describes my journey so perfectly.

The things in my life that I never would have planned myself, an unplanned pregnancy and a fullterm stillbirth, were the very things God had planned all along for His higher purposes. In the midst of that darkness, a glorious light is shining forth, proclaiming to all who will hear the beauty of King Jesus!

Those on the outside looking in may say my story is a broken one, a sad one. Yes, that might be so. Yet, I serve an awesome God who has redeemed my life, my story, and brought me good and Him glory. He has turned this broken, sad story into something truly beautiful. It is often only in those dark, broken places, that God can work His miracles.

Yes, I believe He has worked a miracle in my heart and life. You might ask how it's a miracle when my daughter died?...

Let's look at the definition of a miracle:

1. an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
2. such an effect manifesting or considered as a work of God.
3. a wonder; marvel.

What God did to radically change the deepest parts of me is nothing short of a miracle. He used a sweet little flower named Lily Katherine to leave me forever changed...He brought me back to Himself through her precious LIFE. He broke the chains of bondage and sin through a little girl who never spoke one word or took one breath. He whispered deliverance over me.

Those who are in Christ have eyes to see what others cannot. Hope. Eternity. LIFE everlasting. This pain, the sorrow of this life, are all temporary. It will pass. Only what is eternal will last. I read this absolutely beautiful post on Angie Smith's blog last week.

"And here we are, the bride of Christ, facing the storm with a drenched smile.
Because we know what they might not...
And always behind the storm, a voice whispers from eternity: it is worth the wait, love.
And so we reman, eyes soaked with tears and rain.
Believing beyond our momentary affliction that all-consuming glory is near.
It is so near, love.
Come, Lord Jesus...quickly..."

Lily is my miracle because she brought me to this truth. This hope. I have everlasting life because of her life. My miracle is buried in a cemetery in Virginia. But she is speaking, God is speaking, through her life. She was and always will be my precious miracle.

Not all miracles happen on a grand scale. Some miracles only affect a few people. But, I'm realizing more and more as the days and months pass...this story is affecting and will continue to change so many more people than I ever dreamed possible...

All because of one simple act of obedience. One choice of LIFE. The ripple effects of that one choice will echo into eternity...

Choose LIFE today. Let Him work His miracle in your life.

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