Wednesday, April 27, 2011

38 Weeks - It's been 9 months tomorrow

9 months since I held you 
in my arms for the first and last time here on this earth.

Your baby brother Sam 
has been much gentler on mommy's belly than you were ;)
Still, I was so grateful for every move you made!
Mommy always knew you were alive and well;
each kick, jab and belly roll...tiny blessings 
from the biggest soul I have ever known.
We miss you so very much baby girl.

It has been raining a lot here lately. 
Just like last year at this time, when you were safe in my tummy.
I think of you each time it rains and I smile 
knowing where you are 
there are no more tears,
no cloudy days,
only His glorious light.

Love you sweet girl!


Psalm 139
written with love for all 
and for you, sweet Amelia Grace

 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
   Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
   if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
   if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
   your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
   and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
   the night will shine like the day,
   for darkness is as light to you.
 13 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
   How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
   they would outnumber the grains of sand—
   when I awake, I am still with you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

37 Weeks - A Broken Cross, A Broken Heart

I arrived at Bergan Mercy for a 24 week u/s of Sam on Monday at around 3:50. My appointment wasn't until 4:15 and I was less than a block from the cemetery. I wanted to go, but I had only "driven by" once before without Tim or Noah with me. 
But I have time...I should go I thought.

When I pulled up I saw what no Mommy wants to see.
Everything we had put out for her, ALL of her decorations had been removed. All that remained was a battered green marker id-ing her spot as "Amelia Grace Lorang."
It looked like a paupers grave, forgotten and untended.
The tears came without control. I could hardly get out of the car.
I knew the cemeteries policies but had been under the impression that they "left Babyland alone."
Clearly they do not.
Beginning March 1st, all grave decorations must be attached or contained in a cemetery approved vase.
We have yet to purchase a marker for our little Amelia.
Which meant not only had all that we had lovingly placed there for her had been removed and piled in trash heap just behind the cemetery office, but that anything we placed there between now and mid November would be removed as well.

I have been planning for weeks, the design of an Easter basket for Amelia's grave that I now know cannot be.

I would not have expected to lose all emotional hold of myself at the realization that I could not decorate my daughter's grave. I hardly shed a tear at her funeral service for pities sake!!!!
Why this? Why now?

With the help of the Manager of the cemetery,
I waded through the garbage in search of Amelia's things.
Her pinwheel ~ gone...
sometimes people rummage through and take the nicer things, he explained.
Her Purple cross~only a portion remained dangling from the bent metal frame.

I managed to find a small angel and some remnants of her red Christmas flowers. The manager stood by as I tiptoed through the pile, there anything in particular you are looking for?

Not really I said. There was a pinwheel I said.  
Just her things I said.
I told him it was ok, I understood. There was nothing he could have done...
I quietly loaded the flowers and plastic angel  into the trunk of the Acura and hurried away the tender apologies of the manager trailing behind in the exhaust.

In the parking lot facing the maternity center where Amelia was born and died, I tried to pull myself togther. It took me almost 15 minutes just to stop crying enough, to walk through the hospital doors for my appointment.

My heart is still in pieces days later.
This morning I laid it all at the foot of the cross and I was comforted by these words...
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.
1 Corinthians 15:54

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 
Romans 6:4-5

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Miss A's Blanket

Click this link!!! Boys, Buttons, and Butterflies: Miss A's blanket...

Anyone recognize these gorgeous footprints?!? This blanket is in the mail making its way to me right now! I can hardly believe it, this Mommy embroiders blankets just for baby loss mommies and daddies...isn't that so special! Yup, I think I love her. ;) ~Melissa

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sam - 24 weeks 4 days

Can you see his little face?
Weighing in at 1 lb 10 oz this "big" guy is doing great!
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

36 Weeks - about Noah

Since learning of Amelia's condition a little over a year ago, Tim and I have agonized over many things. If one thing has proved to be particularly difficult, is the best way to explain it all our son Noah.

At the time of her diagnosis, Noah was just 1 1/2 years old and barely understood that there was a baby in Mommy's belly. Each night in his bedtime prayer, we prayed for baby Sisa (he couldn't pronounce Amelia at first). We cherished every hug & "belly kiss" he gave her, wondering all the while, "How much of this does he really understand?" "How much of this will he remember?" "Will he remember his sister at all?"

We resolved ourselves to be honest with him when he asked about her, keeping it simple and as "un-alarming" as we possibly could. We questioned if we should have him with us at the hospital on her birthday and in the end decided, yes, he should have the chance to meet his sister. As it turned out, he was in the room when she died. Looking back I have often wondered, was she was hanging on just to meet him?
In the following weeks Noah would wander into "her room." One day,  wondering just what he was up to, I followed him in. He was looking at her picture! He pointed right at a famed photo of her and said "sisa."
He only saw her for a few short hours in the hospital and on the day of her funeral yet, he recognized her in a photograph.
He remembered her.
I cannot describe to you the wave of emotions that came over me in that moment.

Noah loves to look at pictures of her and to visit the cemetery, which we explained is a place we go to remember Sisa, rather than where she is buried. At first we had told him we were going to see Sisa, but that was just confusing when he could not actually see her there. We have told him that she is in heaven with Jesus but I just am not sure how to explain that her body is still here...
So far he has asked us very few questions but has made numerous references to her and statements about her. Some make me smile, others break my heart in two.

We had intended to wait until our 20 week ultrasound to tell Noah about our pregnancy, in hopes of avoiding confusion between this new baby and our Amelia, but he figured it out on his own (still baffles me!) and asked if there was a baby in my belly as we were reading his bedtime story.
Much to our surprise, he has never confused the two of them.
He has however asked some difficult questions about Sam.
The most heartbreaking of questions...
"Sam come home with us, Momma?
he come stay with us? at our house?"
I told him yes, but I'm not sure if I was very convincing. Most days I am not convinced that he will be coming home with us. I pray that he will. I think that he will, but I don't know that he will. How can I make that promise?

And still, the joys far outweigh the sorrows~when I remember the promises my Lord has made to me, to our family and to each of us.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, 
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, 
plans to give you hope and a future. 
Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

35 Weeks - selling the furniture

For those of you who have followed our story for some time,
will recall that, knowing with all my heart
at just 15 weeks, that Miss Amelia was indeed a Miss,
I purchased all but her crib in sweet anticipation of her arrival.
A few weeks ago Tim and I decided that the time had come
to sell Amelia's furniture.
We had no place to store it,
no extra bedroom to furnish,
and if I am completely honest,
it served as little more than a painful reminder
of the dreams we once had of raising a little girl.
I hung onto it in hopes that Amelia's little sister
would be joining our family this summer,
even though I knew from the beginning, that Sam, was well, Sam
and more than likely would not be in need of his big sister's nursery furniture!

Last week we sold it on Craig's List, split up amongst two families.
It went very smoothly, Praise be to God!
And happened very quickly
which I was very, very thankful for...
I have always been a "pull the band aid off fast and get it over with" kinda gal!

The room looked so empty without her furniture.
But it has always been an empty room
without Amelia.

Despite our plans to time delivery of Sam's furniture
to follow the refinishing of the floors in the nursery,
we ended up bringing home his furniture (in part)
the day after Amelia's was moved out.
I have walked in that room at least a hundred times.
I keep thinking it will get easier.
and it has
in some ways.
But for us there will always be an empty room, empty highchair, car-seat...

I often worry that people think of Sam as a replacement
for Amelia.
As if somehow having him means we never lost Amelia.
Kinda' crazy I know, surely no one actually thinks that!!!
It think it's just the Momma bear in me. :)
Sometimes I feel like I should wear a shirt that reads -
CAUTION Healing Mommy heart inside.
or maybe more like this...

rather than the growing belly holding my precious rainbow baby
that signals 'Baby on Board' everything is OK now
Then maybe people could not so quickly forget
the sweet baby held in this very belly just last year.

 14 Yet Jerusalem says, “The Lord has deserted us;
      the Lord has forgotten us.”
 15 “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child?
      Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?
   But even if that were possible,
      I would not forget you!
 16 See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
      Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.
Isaiah 49:14-18 
(New Living Translation)