Saturday, July 31, 2010

Prayer Request

Just wanted to post a quick thank you for all of you who have been praying for our family and also to ask for your continued prayer as we navigate these difficult days following the death of our precious baby girl.

We have also been facing some additional family struggles as Tim's mother, Karen is battling illness. Friday as Tim and I left the hospital without our baby girl, Karen was being admitted to Creighton University Medical Center. The doctors have since identified 3 masses in her lungs that are cause for concern. She will likely continue to be hospitalized in the upcoming week.

Please keep her and our family in your continued prayer. We have felt the power of your prayers in the past weeks and months, and know, that Gods hears and answers our prayers.

We are so grateful for each prayer lifted up.

In constant prayer,
Melissa and Tim

Friday, July 30, 2010

Please Join Us

Services for Amelia Grace Lorang
will be held
Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
Mount Olive Lutheran Church
7301 N. 28th Ave
Omaha, NE

9:00 am – 10:00 am Visitation/Viewing - Mount Olive
10:30 am – Funeral Service - Mount Olive
11:30 am – Graveside Service - Evergreen Memorial Park
Luncheon to follow services - Mount Olive (Luther Hall)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Build A(n) Amelia Bear

Click here to see all the Build A Bear Pictures

Unfortunately, there have been mommies before me
that have had to face saying
both hello
and goodbye
to their precious babies
in what seems the same breath.

Fortunately, those mommies (and daddies)
have opened their hearts and arms to us
as we face
well, tomorrow.

One such mother shared with me that her family had gone to
Build A Bear and made each sibling a bear
containing a recording of their baby's heartbeat.
Today we made the trip to Build A Bear,
Amelia's recorded heartbeat in hand,
and made two stuffed animals
one for Noah
and one for Mommy.

Noah and Daddy named his fishing bear
Mackerel "Mac" the Monkey.
My bear is named the only name that came to mind,
Amelia Grace.

In 12 hours we will finally meet
our little Amelia.
Only God knows how much time we will have together.
We are in constant prayer,
knowing in full, He will take care of it all.


A familiar verse shared with me today,

For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

grains of sand

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Monday, July 26, 2010

from Psalm 91

For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.

For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them."

- from Psalm 91

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Big Brother Noah

click on this image to enlarge it.

He named him Noah and said,
"He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands
caused by the ground the LORD has cursed."
~Genesis 5:29

The tears fall so quickly in these last days.

And still...
we find ourselves
so incredibly blessed
by both our children.
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Friday, July 23, 2010

more from the garden

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Funeral Pall

 "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ"
Galatians 3:27

In the weeks following Amelia's diagnosis
we were given several special gifts.
This baptismal onesie was one of them.

On Amelia's baptism day
we will not have a chance to dress her
in this sweet white garment,
but she will be clothed in a different way.
She will be Clothed in Christ.

Mount Olive has a special funeral tradition. That tradition is the covering of the casket with a cloth called a pall. As you can imagine, the funeral pall typically used at Mount Olive is far to large for our itty bitty Amelia. So, rather than the pall, we have chosen to use this baptismal clothing to cover her casket.
I think it will work perfectly.

I found some historical background on the tradition of a funeral pall I thought I would share for those of you that may be unfamiliar...

A pall is simply a large cloth that covers the casket. Centuries ago, when the pall was first used, it was generally black, the color of death and mourning. In Scotland the black pall was called a "mort-cloth"; it was used to cover the bodies of the poor who could not afford caskets. In the Netherlands, even the horses that drew the hearse were draped with a black pall.
Today, palls are usually white. As part of the liturgical renewal that has followed Vatican II, the primary emphasis in Catholic funerals has moved from mourning the death to expressing hope in the resurrection. Other communions as well have adopted liturgies that resonate with the promise that all who are baptized into Christ have "clothed themselves" with Christ, and that all who are buried with Christ in baptism will be raised with him in newness of life. Palls are often adorned with Christian symbols that focus on Christ and on the resurrection.

The pall helps the congregation focus on the worship of God and the hope of the resurrection.

The white color of the pall reminds those assembled of their faith in the resurrection and further symbolizes putting on the robe of Christ's righteousness in baptism. It is especially appropriate to recall baptism— the beginning of a Christian life—as the body of someone who has faithfully served Christ during life enters the church for the last time.

Amelia will more than likely enter the church only once in her time with us.
On that day she will be covered by this onesie
used as a baptismal pall.
It will remind us all of our baptism day
and the hope of new life in the resurrection of our Lord.
Amelia will be clothed in this onsie
on the day of her funeral
just as she will be clothed in Christ

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Love Letter

Sweet Amelia,

Today marks the beginning of our last week together with you safely tucked inside Mommy's belly. We have known for the last 4 months that this day would come along with several difficult days and months to follow, and now, here we are.

There are indeed so many things that we had wanted to show you in this life. Far to many of those things we will not have the chance to share with you. But there is one thing that I know you can feel and understand, and that is our love for you. A parent's love, is a love like no other. I know that you can sense our love, even now, despite any earthly limitations of your small developing body and mind.

Now you understand this love in part; soon you will understand in full, all things.

And still, in our certainty of your knowledge of our love for you, your father and I continue to feel compelled to express that love to you daily.

We love you Amelia Grace.

Mommy & Daddy

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

The verse above is my confirmation verse.
At the time it was given to me, I suppose my pastor hoped it would be a source of comfort in the years following the confirmation of my faith.
I'm sure he hoped I would revisit this verse,
hoped I would treasure it,
maybe even cling to it.

If he had those hopes
he can rest assured.

I'm clinging.

Monday, July 19, 2010

9 days.

I start today by facing the darkness.
Today marks only 9 days remaining
until the birth of Amelia Grace.
single digits.
Would there ever have been enough days with her
safely tucked inside?

I have begun to look at life,
in this new world I find myself in,
in list form.

My list categorizes day to day issues, feelings and events
into one of two columns
Things I know for sure
Things I don't know at all

It's a long list on both sides.
As you may have guessed
the things I don't know at all side
is a bit longer than the things I know for sure.

There are a few things on the list that haunt me.

I know
My daughter will not live without me
but I don't know
how I will live without her

There is only one thing on the list
that offers any comfort...

I know
Amelia will rest in the arms of Jesus
and though I don't know when my day will come
I will join her there someday.

If I am totally honest with myself
and with you
I will admit that some days
what I know and what I feel don't quite match up.

Today my mind knows
Jesus is enough.

but today
my heart is screaming out
I just want my baby
she would be enough.

And still...

Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, “Where is this God of yours?” My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration! Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again-my Savior and my God!
Psalm 42:3-6

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Amelia's first camping trip

click the image to enlarge
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Friday, July 16, 2010

He will carry you.

"Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Isaiah 46:3-4

I have come back to this verse so many times on this journey.
Each time I read it I feel as if God is revealing a new secret to me.

In the beginning it was a source of comfort.
God will take care of Amelia.
He knows her and He loves her.
He made her and will carry her safely through
her life
and her death.

In the days that followed
I found encouragement in this verse.
God has carried me since my own conception.
He was not only there at my beginning,
He is the beginning.
He has been at my side every day of my life.
He will not abandon me.
I do not carry the burden alone.

he said,
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
On the days where I have found it difficult to keeping walking
the road He has laid out before me,
He gives me strength
for each step,
and with each breath
He sustains me.

He says to me,
to Amelia,
to Noah,
to Tim,
to all of us...
I have made you and I will carry you.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I have many hopes for Amelia's birthday.
The one hope that is foremost in my mind today
is this...

I don't want to cry.
I don't want to miss a minute
in tears.

I'm not sure how I am going to be able to control this one...
and before you start thinking to yourself
that I should allow myself to cry,
let me explain why I'd rather go without
the tears.

If I cry, I won't be able to see clearly
my gorgeous baby girl.
We don't get a second chance at these
And moments it seems,
is all we will get with our daughter.

I want to see clearly
each curve of her face,
the shape of her eyes,
the color of her cheeks,
each wrinkle
in each finger and toe,
elbows, knees,
lips, ears.
I want to see it all.
Remember each detail
not fogged with tears.

Even in the hours after she passes
I hope my eyes remain tearless
because I know
those few hours with her body
are the last hours
I will see her
until we meet again.

Until my daughter is out of my sight,
I ask
that my tears find another way out.
I want to see my daughter
on her birthday.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Isaiah 40:28-31

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

super dad

In our family, everyone has their role to play.
When Noah falls (or more commonly smashes) into something and gets a boo-boo, he usually wants his mommy to make it feel better. As the sobs calm and the tears slow, we both look to Tim to do only one thing; fix it.
That's is what Tim does; he fixes things.
Sometimes his is able to fix something for me just by attempting to fix it.

On this journey there have been difficult days.
I have watched my husband struggle alongside me.
I can see his frustration and I know
he desperately wants to fix it.
But he can't.
He carries a heavy load as Super Dad.
He makes the forts, fixes the broken toys, and drives the car safely through the storms.
He's not perfect,
but Noah doesn't know that and neither does Amelia.
Sometimes I forget too...

Yesterday we had regular OB visit in the afternoon followed by a visit to Bergan Mercy to tour the new labor & delivery rooms/floor with our "nurse Angee" and then met with a hospice nurse and neonatologist to go over our plans for Amelia's birthday.

There were so many parts of yesterday that were challenging.
Not the least of which,
viewing the gowns the hospital has on hand
for babies like Amelia.
Gowns for babies whose parents did not come
to the hospital
prepared for a funeral.
Tim had to turn away.

This hurt is sometimes more than we can bear.
Sometimes I think about the sadness our Lord must feel
for us as we stumble through this life.
Just like any father
cannot stand to see their child hurting,
it must be hard, even for Him
to watch us hurting
knowing he has the power to heal Amelia.
Knowing he can fix it.

And still,
He has a plan for us.
He does not delight in our pain.
He just knows and sees what we cannot.
He has already fixed it.

My thoughts race back to Noah...
When he falls;
we pick him up and patch up whatever damage has been done
Apply a band aide,
a cold pack,
maybe Tylenol...
Sometimes his tears last long beyond what is reasonable.
But we let him cry it out.
It hurts to watch him,
but we just hold him until he is ready
to admire his Thomas the Train band aid
and everything feels
all better.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Monday, July 12, 2010

Amelia's Garden

This weekend we began work on Amelia's Garden.

Over the past weeks we received a couple gift cards to Mulhall's in Omaha and decided to purchase planters to honor our baby girl. I had thought we would plant a tree; but knowing that we do not intend to stay in our current house forever, decided against it. I think Tim was relieved I had changed my mind because the thought of moving a tree to a new house may have been a bit daunting for him.

The planters will go where we go.

We can plant flowers in them every year honoring our sweet Amelia. And when the planters have seen their last days, we can break them up and create a mosaic to remember her by...

Tim and Noah were quite the little worker bees. (I mainly supervised.) I planted her flowers in the pots and Noah watered them with his little bucket, before moving on to washing up his favorite truck. ( It was Tim's when he was little, and I am certain it contains lead paint or some other banned children's toy components-so it is a yard toy only!!!)

I hope to add many things to her garden in the coming months and years. But it feels good to have it started while she is still with us. It feels good to have a place to go that celebrates her life.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Cross Sighted

This morning I was a bit at a loss as to what the blog entry for today should say. I asked Tim if he had any ideas and he referenced a verse used in the devotional message our pastor gave before last night's board meeting. Here is the verse.

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
2 Peter 1:3-9 (New Living Translation)

Tim shared that pastor's message had focused on how we often times are nearsighted on our walk through this world. In other words, we cannot see the big picture. Jesus walked these same dusty roads, but he was not nearsighted as we are. To use pastors words, he was cross sighted. Keeping his eyes fixed on the big picture, Jesus faced the same hardships as we do, and more, all the while understanding the big picture.
I suppose technically he was the big picture.

and I am reminded again today,
as the lyrics of Amelia's song
(I Will Carry You-Audrey's Song)
play in my head and heart...

But there's a greater story,
written long before me,
because he loved you like this.

There is work to be done.
God has big plans for each of us
No matter how small.
Our Lord has given us many gifts
the greatest of these is himself,
new life in the death of his son.

Early on Tim and I made a silent pact,
we would not waste Amelia's life.
Along with this we must acknowledge
his blessings in both our trials and triumph.
We must be cross sighted
in this new life he has given us.

It is hard to see through the tears,
in these last days with our daughter.

and still,
by the grace of God,
we can see the cross.


Thursday, July 08, 2010

242 days

I have carried Amelia for 242 days.
I have carried her for 8 1/2 months.
If you want to get down to the "real numbers"
technically I have carried her, as an egg,
since I was developing in my own mothers womb.
That's a long time.
I have to admit,
the physical burdens of pregnancy
have begun to take their toll.
I am tired.

This morning on my drive into the office,
I played Amelia's recording of "I Will Carry You."
It is getting difficult for me to sing it to her.
I am often breathless,
and the lyrics easily overwhelm me
with sorrow.

The recording, as you might remember from a previous blog
is me singing her an incredible song (written by an incredible group!).
This morning as I listened,
I heard something new.
Instead of my voice singing the lyrics,
I heard hers.
I heard my daughters voice - where it had been my own
she sang,
"I will carry you, while your heart beats here
I will praise the one who's chosen me
to carry you."

Let me explain.

So many people have commented
throughout this pregnancy
that they admire my courage, they say I am brave
I have struggled with this.
I have no special bravery.
I have a daughter that is going to die.
My choices are limited.
All I am doing is loving my daughter
enough to carry her for the duration of this pregnancy.
Women do it all the time - no one calls them brave!

What I find even more ironic
about the thought that I am extra brave
is that
during this pregnancy,
I have been brought to my knees.
More than once,
I have been humbled.
It has been made clear to me, in this unexpected turn of events,
that I can do nothing on my own.
I control nothing.

Truth is,
in this pregnancy
it me who has been carried,
not the other way around.
My daughter, at less than 5 lbs,
an "imperfect" infant,
not strong enough to survive without me,
is carrying the both of us.

God is using her, to carry me.
It may take a while for you to allow that to sink in.
It's OK.
It's taken me 242 days.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Amelia's day

We had an OB appointment yesterday afternoon.
For the most part it was routine;
pee in a cup, check blood pressure,
listen to that gorgeous heartbeat.
Yup, pretty normal, except one small detail.
The time had come to schedule my c-section.
For weeks choosing this date has brought an overwhelming amount of anxiety.
Largely due to the fact that while we are scheduling a day
to meet our precious Amelia face to face,
we are also choosing the day that will, more likely than not,
be the day of her death.
In sticking with our intention
to follow the plans we had made for Amelia before her diagnosis,
we have chosen to schedule her c-section at 39 weeks,
unless God has another day in mind,
our Amelia Grace will enter this world
Wednesday, July 28th, 2010.
Dr. Kirsch thinks it will be first thing in the morning.
At first I thought....well, more than likely we won't be sleeping much the night before, let alone able to sleep in, so what does it matter how early he schedules us!
But, as we left the doctors office
Tim confided that he had quietly hoped we could deliver her in late in the evening.
When I asked him why he offered up a response that I was not expecting...
He explained,
if she is born late in the day, her life might span 2 days.
I was touched in that moment in a way I cannot describe.
2 days.
the honor of a dash between the moments that make up her life here on earth...
What does 2 days really mean?
Does that dash really offer anymore significance to her life than a single day on her marker?
We have prayed for the time the Lord gives us with our daughter
to be peaceful and painless, however short that time may be.
We know that the Lord's plan
will be the best plan for our sweet Amelia and for our family.
At the end of the day, possibly the end of that day,
Amelia's life will have impacted us and countless others
in a profound way.
So profound, that it cannot be lessened by the absence of a dash on her tombstone.
Whether she is born still or stays here on earth with us for minutes, hours or days;
a dash, or lack of dash will not sum up her life.
God has used her life for so much more than a dash,
and we will rejoice in that.
Open for me the gates of righteousness;
I will enter and give thanks to the LORD. 

This is the gate of the LORD
through which the righteous may enter.

I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.

The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;

the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.

This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:19-24

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

holiday weekend

This weekend, although we did not venture far from home, we attempted to pack in as much "holiday" as we could. Friday was our anniversary so Tim and I (and Amelia) went out to dinner. We had thought we would head to the local nursery to pick out some yard/plant/tree memorial items for our little princess but it closed at 8:00 which didn't leave us enough time after dinner. We ended up taking a walk at the furniture store instead. I only liked 2 of the couches "I tested." I am thinking I might be a bit more particular with comfort/firmness when pregnant? (Tim argues I am like this all the time) The contractions finally got the best of me and we headed home.

Saturday, Tim got up early to go fishing and Noah and I headed to the back yard for some water fun. While I relaxed in the chair, Noah and his bucket made the rounds watering each corner of our yard...not that our yard needed any moisture mind you-it has rained plenty!

Sunday, started off a bit disastrous. No need to bore you with the craziness. We were indeed ready to go to church, unfortunately by the time we were all ready it was 9:15 (church starts at 9). So, since we were up and ready to go, we went to breakfast instead, followed by a quick trip to Cabella's to "see the fishies." Tim cooked wings that afternoon and we headed off to his sisters for fireworks. Noah loved the fireworks. As for Amelia, I would say she could have gone without them. She doesn't seem to be a big fan of loud noises. Have I mentioned yet that some run away fireworks actually went of right underneath the chair Noah, Amelia and I were sitting in?!? My tush was numb until the next morning!!! No worries though as neither I, my jeans nor my children seem to have incurred any injury! However, we (Amelia, Noah and I) did spend the rest of our firework viewing safely inside the house. What a night. Happy 4th little Amelia!

Monday, Tim and I both had the day off. We asked Noah if he would like to go to the pool or the zoo...he answered quite clearly..."peacock." So off to the zoo we went! It was a great day full of monkees (monkeys), peacocks, fishies (fish), sharks, turties (turtles) trains and lizids (lizards). We even got to have lunch while watching the baby sea lion. So dang cute!!!

Last night as I reflected on our holiday, I couldn't help but dwell on the fact that time is catching up with us. Despite my efforts to "pack it all in," we will soon be out of time with our little Amelia Grace. I had to giggle though, when an image of the ticking crocodile who ate the clock in Disney's Peter Pan popped into my head! (Do you remember him!?!?)

Time will soon catch up with us.
I can almost hear that silly croc swimming
not to far behind as we sail onward,
and still,
we remain assured
there will be
a happily ever after for us all.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Amelia's Birth Plan

Were not sure if this is our "final draft" but I know it helped us to see what other peoples birth plans looked like when we first received Amelia's diagnosis, so I thought I would put ours out there as well...

Amelia Grace is due to enter the world on Aug 2nd, 2010. She has been diagnosed with Anencephaly. Knowing that our time with her will be short, it is important to us that as many of our needs be met as possible. My husband, Tim, is to remain with us at all times. Dr. Daniel Kirsch will be delivering her. We have chosen to have a c-section (during the week of July 26-30) in hopes of improving the chances of a live birth and insure Amelia is under the least amount of stress possible. We would like to record the birth in the OR, since this may be the only chance to record her while alive. We have requested that a professional photographer (Steve Kowalski of a Better Exposure) be admitted in the OR to photograph the birth. We have discussed this with Dr. Kirsch.

I would like to have the least amount of medications as possible. I do not wish to have any narcotics or sedatives prior to the birth. I do not anticipate having anything in surgery, other than an epidural. Unless a life-threatening situation arises, I do not wish to be knocked out during the c-section. When it is time for Dr. Kirsch to take Amelia out, we would like the screen to be lowered so we can see her.

We do want the usual suctioning, drying off, etc. done, but would like it to done on my chest or within my reach by Angee Fuoss, RN. We intend to baptize her immediately after birth and would like water and a cloth available for that purpose. If our pastor (Rev. Roland Jank, Jr.) cannot make it to the delivery, Tim & I will baptize her. We want to be told right away if she is breathing or if she has a pulse. We DO NOT want any chest compressions, intubation, or IV’s done on Amelia. If she is not breathing, we would like efforts made to help initiate her breathing only. We would also like her given supplemental oxygen if needed. If she is doing poorly, we ask that she be given to us to hold. If she is to die right away, we want it to be in a parent’s arms. We anticipate that Amelia will be born with a large opening to her occipital area and neural tissue will be exposed. If she is holding her own, we would like a dressing placed to any open area. We would prefer it be dressed with Saline or Vaseline gauze, and then an outer layer of gauze, whatever works best. We would like for staff to keep our family updated during this time so they will know if Amelia was born alive or not.

It is very important to us that Amelia be in the room with us at all times, preferably held by us. While I am being moved out of the recovery room, I would like to carry Amelia with me on the stretcher back to my room. If she has died shortly after birth, my husband and I will probably wish to spend some time alone with her, but would like staff to tell our families that she has passed. We will, however, want our son (Noah who is 2 yrs old) with us right away. We will have someone with our family designated to bring him back to us. We would like assistance from staff in bathing/dressing Amelia. If Amelia has passed, we do not want our time with her to be limited. We may want to keep her with us for several hours, and will let staff know when we want our funeral home (John A. Gentleman – Tony Allmon) contacted. Again, we request that our photographer (Steve Kowalski of a Better Exposure) be admitted to photograph our family and baby girl.

If our time with her allows, we would like to bottle feed Amelia. If she lives long enough to require nutrition, but is unable to take a bottle, we may want a feeding tube inserted. For however long we may have with her, we want her in the room with us. We do not want her taken to the nursery for any reason. I also want my husband to stay with me during my hospital stay. If the time for my discharge is nearing and Amelia is still with us, I want her pediatrician Dr. Michael Moore to come and assess her. I have already spoken with him directly and requested his services specifically. We request assistance in involving hospice for Amelia and home oxygen if necessary.

We have given consent to Nebraska Organ Recovery for the donation of Amelia’s heart valve and aortic arch after her death. A family member or a representative from our funeral home will come to the hospital to transport her to their off site OR within 12 hours of her death. Our NOR coordinator (Todd Jackson) should be contacted when she has passed.

We have known our time with Amelia, if any, would be short since her diagnosis in March. Please feel free to laugh and cry with us. We welcome the open expression of emotion from staff and family. Per your normal practice, please feel free to indicate our situation for staff and visitors. It is only in light of her condition that we have chosen to provide a birth plan. I know you are a competent, compassionate group of people. We thank you in advance for sharing in this experience with us and helping us to make as many memories as possible with our daughter while in your care.

Tim and Melissa Lorang

Friday, July 02, 2010

July 2, 2006

Today marks 4 years since Tim and I were married.
It doesn't feel that long ago
that we promised to love and good times,
and in bad.

Today, I am reminded of lyrics
of I Will Carry You by Selah
(the song my Mom and I recorded for Amelia)

Such a short time, such a long road
all this madness but I know
that the silence has brought me to his voice.

God has blessed me with an amazing partner on this journey
that he continues to lay out before us.
There have been times I thought I could see so clearly
the things God had in mind for us,
1 year down the road,
2 years down the road,
10 years - 20...
We have been blessed in ways I had not imagined we would be,
we have struggled in aspects of this walk
that I thought we had covered,
and we have walked with ease, together with God,
through some very dark days.

There are countless uncertainties that lay ahead.
Together we will continue to walk forward
knowing for sure, just a few things...

in this life:
we have known the deepest of love,
the unmatched joys of raising our children,
the unending mercy of Christ,
and the promise that there is so much more
that awaits us,
in heaven.

(His) Love never fails.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13

Thursday, July 01, 2010

He's already sifted through...

“Knowin’ Jesus has already sifted through what’s comin’ before it gets to me . . . Well, I reckon that ought to be enough.”
-taken from text by Tamera Alexander

I love starting my day off with notes from my family! This quote was sent to me by my Aunt Kay...and I LOVE IT!

Life is messy, it's unpredictable, and as we are learning, it can be full of trials and sadness.
And still, what a friend we have in Jesus.
Jesus has already taken care of what's coming and it is enough.
HE is enough.

Today is the first day of July, the month our little Amelia will be born and more than likely the month that she will be called to home to rest with her heavenly father. July is going to be tough.

I have found myself, more often than I would imagine was possible for this type A'er, saying, God will handle that, he'll take care of that part...

In the midst of all of this madness, I can still find peace in him. I don't know if I can accurately describe how awe struck that peace leaves me. Some days are harder than others, but I never lose that peace---even when I am not asking God for it. It's just there. Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute...

God will take care of it.