Monday, January 31, 2011

the good, the bad, and the ugly

When I opened my in-box this morning I received a notification that someone had posted a new comment on the recent "6 Month Missing Amelia" post. It was the kind of comment that no blogging baby loss mommy appreciates.

Anonymous posted:
"As I read all these posts I feel sad. Sad that Amelia is not with you, but sad more for Noah, because he is still with you and seems like you are dwelling on losing her when hey Noah is still with you! "

The very first thing I did was delete the comment.
Second, I considered whether I should respond.
Since the commenter chose to post anonymously,
I was unable to do so privately.

I feel that part of my purpose in blogging
is as a voice for the baby loss community.
For that reason I decided a response was warranted.

First and foremost I would like to say
this comment breaks my heart.
It is hurtful and judgmental
and is not in ANY way loving or constructive.
That's enough about that.

Second, I'm am so very grateful
to be surrounded by such an amazing and supportive
group of friends and family
particularly within the baby loss community.
I am so grateful for you.
I'm grateful that you all have shared your walk with me,
and allowed me to share mine with you.
Grateful that you have not been silenced
by your fears or your grief...
others have heard your story and have been encouraged by it.
I have been encouraged by it.
You are an amazing community of mothers and fathers.
God's grace and mercy shines through you and your children.

 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 
Ephesians 4:29

Friday, January 28, 2011

6 Months Missing Amelia

Sweet Amelia,
With every month that passes since you left us 
I find myself bewildered all over again.
Has it really been 6 months since I held you?
For me time has slowed, the world goes on, 
but I can still close my eyes 
and put myself right back into that hospital room with you;
hearing your voice, kissing your cheeks.

Almost daily, I toggle between wishing that you know just how very much your daddy, brother and I miss you, and wishing...hoping that you don't know how much it hurts us that you are not here. 
Knowing you are safe and happy with Jesus is such a comfort, 
but it still so hard to go on without you.

Today I am finally getting around to mailing in the fingerprint impression we made on your birthday. I have been scared to mail it in until now for fear that something would happen to it in the mail or while being made into a charm, and it would be lost forever. I couldn't bear the idea of losing another piece of you...

But today, on your 1/2 birthday, I'm going to be strong enough. 
I'm going to let go, and pray 
this charm finds its way back to me safely.
It seems ages until I will see you again.
Oh, how I miss you sweet baby...
oh, how Mommy misses you.

I am so blessed to be your mommy.
If there is any goodness or strength in me
it is from Him, and through you.
You are the very best of me.

Sending you butterfly kisses and all of my love,
Priceless Prints

Click this image to enlarge

A Song for Amelia  
Please pause player below to listen to 
"Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle

Although this song may seem more of a lamentation,
when I hear the words of this song I find a much different message
and I see her heavenly face. 

All the precious time
Like the wind, the years go by.
Precious butterfly.
Spread your wings and fly.

She'll change her name today.
She'll make a promise and I'll give her away.
Standing in the bride-room just staring at her.
She asked me what I'm thinking and I said "I'm not
sure-I just feel like I'm losing my baby girl."
She leaned over...gave me butterfly kisses with her mama there,
Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
"Walk my down the aisle, Daddy-it's just about time."
"Does my wedding gown look pretty, Daddy? Daddy, don't cry!"
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

25 Weeks - Remembering Amelia

click this image to enlarge

Sunday I had the honor of speaking
as the parent reflection at a memorial service
honoring babies lost at Alegent Hospitals in Omaha
from July through December of this last year.
It was another opportunity to speak our daughters name out loud
It is such a blessing to share her story with others.
Such a blessing to speak her name, and to let her legacy live on.

It was a lovely ceremony,
including a candle lighting and reading of the infants names.
Each mother was given a single white rose.
It felt good to stand before those parents
and affirm the value of their child's life.

They were here,
even if for only a moment.
They mattered.
They lived.
They are remembered.
They are loved.

They are worth EVERY tear. 

When I got home I placed the rose and candle
in a small cubby in our dining room where I have
a remembrance candle and cherub baby
that were gifts to us following Amelia's death.

I have spent some time worrying over how and where to create
a special place in our house to display Amelia's things.
But truth is, she is everywhere in our home,
she is in every room we are in.
Her absence is felt in every space.

She was here.
She mattered.
She lived.
She is remembered.
She is loved.

She is worth EVERY tear.

Psalm 42:1-5  
1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
   so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
   When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food
   day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
   “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember
   as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
   under the protection of the Mighty One

with shouts of joy and praise
   among the festive throng.

 5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
   Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and my God.
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Monday, January 24, 2011

12 Weeks - Amelia's baby brother or sister

There s/he is-looking right at you!!
I know, it's not the most obvious of pictures
but it is indeed a picture of our
healthy baby.

God is good all the time.

Thank you so much for your prayers
and please keep them coming,
we still have a long road ahead of us.
But today was the first step
and I am very happy to say
NO anencephaly.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Prayer Request

Ever since we found out we were pregnant again, we have been anticipating our 12 week diagnostic ultrasound (u/s) with the head of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Bergan Mercy Hospital in Omaha. The day is finally (almost) here this coming Monday. The u/s will happen at the same hospital, office, doctor and possibly room where we learned of Amelia's Anencephaly.
The same hospital she was born and died in.
We have not been back to the hospital since her birth.
I have prayed that God's peace will find us on this day and give me the strength to get though those doors without completely falling to pieces.
I believe God has answered my prayer and "opened the door."

I really needed a good reason to walk through those doors again.
It may sound silly but I needed to walk through those doors for Amelia...
and God has given me that chance.
We will indeed have the chance to walk through those doors
this Sunday (just 1 day before our u/s)
for an infant loss remembrance service
that I have been asked to speak at.
God's timing is always perfect!
The last time I walked into that hospital she was safe in my belly.
This time she will be safe in the arms of Jesus and foremost on my heart. sigh

Sunday, I will walk through those doors again, in her honor, focusing only on her and Him.
Monday, I will do it again for her baby brother or sister.
I am so blessed!

One of the things I came to understand more fully
on this journey with our little Amelia is that
Prayer is so powerful!

That being said,
If you wouldn't mind...
Could you please say a prayer for the families I will speak to on Sunday and that the Holy Spirit will give me the words they need to hear?
Will you pray for the outcome of this u/s for our new little baby? That whatever the outcome, this new life be used for His glory! And, if it is His will, that this baby (and mommy) be brought through this pregnancy healthy and safe.
We would so appreciate every single prayer.

17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 
2 Timothy 4:17

    7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 
8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  
10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 
11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 
Matthew 7:7-11

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

24 Weeks - Taking down the tree - Someday

Posted by PicasaI have been waiting to take down our tree.
Waiting for the last of Amelia's ornaments to arrive.
Yesterday, posted from the U.K.,
the last ornament arrived.
Each ornament shown above has a very special story,
and each of them has touched my heart this season.

The butterfly at the top left is one of 3 butterfly ornaments given to us
by my Aunt Jean & Uncle Dale.
With the ornaments was a poem that explained,
the gift of three butterflies...even in the winter.
Some of you may recall a previous post where I explained how
butterflies remind us of our little Amelia
and hoped that God would send us butterflies- even in the winter.

The top right is a gift from Lorrie, Ella's Aunt.
Ella is a very special baby, who like our sweet Amelia,
at this very moment sits at Jesus feet. sigh
The kids don't have personalized stockings yet,
so this year we used this ornament to id Amelia's stocking
and one of Noah's ornaments to id his.
It was perfect.

The middle left was described in a previous post
and was given to us the day of  Amelia's funeral.
It is a locket
engraved on the inside
Amelia Grace

The middle right is a gift from a blogging Mama
from the UK who lost her precious daughter
Florence Violet in July 2009.
She blogs at
and describes her blog as "a rather odd mix of sewing and grief."
I always enjoy reading her posts.

The bottom seashell ornament is a gift from my choir buddy
and sweet friend, Lois.
I mentioned in a previous post that Christmas Eve
was a particularly difficult church service for me.
This ornament was given to me that night
just after the service ended
(along with a special gift for Noah I might add!)
I don't think I have ever seen something so beautiful.
Tim and I opened it when I came home from church
by the light of our Christmas tree.
It was one of my favorite Christmas memories this year.
It reads:
Every Life Leaves Something Beautiful Behind

I'm leaving the tree up a bit longer,
but not too much longer!!
But, I'm just not quite ready yet.
As for the ornaments,
I can't promise you they will be boxed up with the others.
They are just to pretty to hide away till next year...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Amelia Grace Lorang

Thank you to Melissa Lane at The Wishing Tree for including our little Amelia on her tree!!!

Check out all the babies on her tree by clicking here!
AngelWishTree button

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

23 Weeks - Guilty

 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.
Zechariah 12:10 

Stumbled on the above verse this morning and it really moved me today so I thought I would share the verse.

These past few weeks I have been weighed down by a fairly new battle for me. It's complicated, as are all of the emotional processes since Amelia, but I think it is important that I give this emotion a label rather than just bundling it into my daily struggles with "grief."

Today I am battling guilt.

I mentioned it was complicated, though I am saddened to know that for many of you reading this, I will not have to explain myself any further.
You know all to well, what I mean when I say I feel guilt.

I feel guilt that I am pregnant
while others around me struggle to conceive.

I feel guilt that Amelia's place in my womb is now occupied by another baby.

I feel guilt that my body failed my sweet Amelia; that I failed her.

I felt guilt at the reality that I may fail this child in the same way.

I feel guilt that am am not overwhelmed with joy at this pregnancy.

I feel guilt that babies are still hard for me.

I feel guilt that this child should have been scheduled to enter the world on July 28th...but we just can't.

I feel guilt at the thought that readying for another baby will correspond with Amelia's first birthday.

I feel guilt that we have decided not to have a birthday party to remember her and to celebrate her life.

I feel guilt that "Amelia's room" will eventually have to be turned into a nursery
for her brother or sister.

I feel guilt each time I shut the door to her room.

I feel guilt that we were unable to decide on a marker before the first frost.

I feel guilt in accepting I might be in the hospital on Amelia's 1st birthday.

I feel guilt that I desperately want to have another girl.

I feel guilt each time someone offers a congratulations...

I feel guilt if I am too happy.

I feel guilt if I am too sad.

The guilt itself isn't complicated.
It's wading through it day after day.
I just have to set it aside.
Acknowledge it's there, and it's real,
and then just set it aside.

But like most things,
if you don't face them, 
they find you.

My hope, I suppose, is that by acknowledging this guilt here;
I will tackle step one in conquering it.

I'm giving to you Jesus,
all of it.
Because to be honest, it's just to darn heavy to carry.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Having troubles holding it together?

Take it to Jesus friends...

Don't forget to pause Amelia's playlist before viewing this!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

22 Weeks - thoughts on the future of this blog...

I have wrestled a bit over the past 5 months with one question...
How long should I blog here?

Initially I decided that I would blog
for as long as I felt it served a purpose,
then later I decided I needed a more finite goal.
I would blog about our journey with Amelia, each Wednesday,
until what would have been her 1st earthly birthday,
July 28, 2011.

That is kind of where I am at now.
In thinking about how long I should continue to blog here,
it got me thinking about the reasons I blog.
Why do I do it?
Who is the blog really for?
Should I talk about the new baby growing inside of me here?
Should I share updates about Noah here?
Should I delve into my grief here without sensor?
Is this my personal journal
or Amelia's journey?

It isn't as easy as you might think to sort it all out.
When I started the blog it was a way to update our family on the day to day changes with my pregnancy with Amelia and as a way to share our little girl's brief life with a family she would never know on this side of heaven.

In the weeks that followed the blog reached so many more people than I ever dreamed would be touched by our story and our Amelia. The blog took on a new voice and became a testimony of our Lord's hand in all things. It became my daily devotional, recording the ways God was leading us down the dark and twisty path laid out before our family. The blog is Amelia's story, her legacy.

The blog also became a lifeline for me as it connected me with so many amazing baby loss families experiencing a loss similar to ours. These women have walked along side me, offering encouragement, solidarity, prayer and love. I have not, and likely will never, meet any of these women (and men) but they are continuously in my heart, mind and prayers. I like to think Amelia's blog has served as a lifeline for parents who received a similar or terminal diagnosis in the weeks and months following March 15, 2010. I prayed that parents receiving the diagnosis "Anencephaly" would in their hunt for more information, Google to find our story, rather than the horrors and negativity we initially found online. I prayed that these parents would find us and be encouraged, strengthened and supported as we were when we discovered this amazing community of Christian Baby Loss Moms & Dads.

Believe it or not, this blog has pushed my own personal boundaries of what I keep buried deep inside myself and what I allow the world to see. Though in so many ways I am a very "public" person - when it comes to my grief I would much prefer to keep it all hidden. I HATE crying in front of people. I don't even like to appear sad in front of people. My entire life I have worn the mask of a smile and it has been my shield. I believe daily, hourly even, we are given a choice of how we will react to things. I prefer Joy to all other expression. Who wouldn't really? Who doesn't love to be happy?!? The loss of my daughter is the first time in my life where I am so overcome with sadness that it truly is an effort to be joyful at times.

The blog has been a "safe" place to share the sadness I carry (as well as the Joy) that I do not feel comfortable exposing in person. I feel there is a great value to sharing the emotional struggles grief has forced upon me with other women who are facing similar battles. In our honesty, we can support and love each other, we don't have to remain silenced or isolated by our sorrow. Sometimes I do feel compelled to sensor what I share here knowing that there are people I see daily that cannot understand this grief and it's ugliness. Sometimes that makes me sad because I feel I am choosing to protect myself and those in my "real life" rather than offering solidarity and openness to those in my "virtual life."

Occasionally I am thrown a loop at the consequences of sharing our journey, my grief and our daughters legacy in such a public format. Sometimes I fear I have hurt people's feelings. Occasionally peoples comments hurt. Sometimes it opens the door to criticism of how I share and muddle through life with and without Amelia. I have been tempted to stop blogging, to draw the curtains and keep people out rather than welcoming them in and letting them see God at work in all parts of our lives. It is very scary to reveal your failures as a mother, wife, friend and as a Christian. Particularly scary when you reveal it to strangers you cannot see peaking into your life from the other side of a computer monitor!

But I feel strongly that I should not limit where God chooses to take our daughter's story no matter how that challenges me personally. And so I blog, and I pray, and I pray some more.

I still feel this blog has purpose in reaching other parents having just received a terminal diagnosis or going through the days, weeks, months and years that follow.

I pray that God continue to use me, my family and my daughter to reach people with his saving love and grace.

With all of the above in mind,
I have decided to stick with my original goal to blog here until Amelia's first birthday.
Wednesday will always be her day, whether I blog or not.
I have left the door open beyond that date and will continue to pray for guidance in the direction of Amelia's blog.

I do intend to blog about Amelia's baby brother/sister here on her blog. I feel that this pregnancy, a pregnancy following a loss, has a purpose in sharing God's grace, timing and perfect plan for each of our lives. This child is a part of Amelia and her legacy and in that way alone, has a right to be shared joyfully here on her blog; this journal of LIFE.

I ask for your prayers as I continue this journey of blogging in honor of our sweet girl. I will in turn be saying prayers for you. Prayers that God use our story to bring you closer to him.

On that note, if you would be so kind...
I ask that you share with us if and how our Amelia Grace has impacted your life. I will never tire of hearing the ways in which our Lord has used our little girl to touch you. You can comment on the blog or email me directly if you'd prefer at

"These things I have spoken to you, 
that in Me you may have peace. 
In the world you have tribulation, 
but take courage; I have overcome the world." 
John 16:33

Be anxious for nothing, 
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving 
let your requests be made known to God. 
And the peace of God, 
which surpasses all comprehension, 
shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:6-7

Monday, January 03, 2011

Peace, Love & Joy in 2011

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:
love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Galatians 5:22-23

This verse has quickly become one of my new favs!
Other than the fact that it is, and always has been, fabulous;
I have recently found new personal meaning
for this little bit of The Bible.

This past month, I was talking with Tim's mom
about this new pregnancy.
In that conversation,
she shared with me that when she thinks of this child
the word PEACE always comes to mind.
From the moment she knew we were pregnant with this child
she has had the word PEACE surface
over and over again in her thoughts.
This child will bring PEACE to our family.

She shared that in our pregnancy with Noah
she had similar occurrences
but with Noah, the word was always
That he would bring JOY to our family.
Since his birth he has done nothing but.

Sadly, while I was pregnant with Amelia,
no word surfaced for her.
I however, did continuously have one word
surface; and that word was
From the moment we knew we were pregnant again
we loved her.
She taught us a deeper understanding of love,
taught us so many things...sigh
She challenged us to express our love
to a child in utero,
a child that couldn't see, hear or feel as we do,
and eventually as a child in heaven.
Anyone recall the PRO love blog? :)
I could go on, and on...
Amelia is LOVE.

I am so blessed.
As I reflect back on 2010
there is indeed an overwhelming amount of sorrow.
In some ways I am glad to
"put this year behind us" sorta speak.
But I am also deeply sad to see it pass,
as the turning of the year takes us
one more day further away
from Amelia's time here on earth.
also one more day closer to seeing her again!

It is through tear filled eyes
I gaze back on 2010
and remember a LOVE
like I have never known.
And still, the fruits of the spirit are so evident.
LOVE Amelia, JOY Noah & PEACE baby
were all given to us by our Lord in 2010.

Knowing all this,
you might feel a bit of a smile
creep onto your face when I tell you this next part...
Yesterday night Tim, Noah and I ran out to pick up groceries
we passed a local catholic church
whose lawn sign was illuminated
 in the early hours of the winter evening.

It read:
Peace and Joy
in 2011

It made me smile.
It made me wince.
 It stung a little knowing
the one word they were missing.
But then again, in 2011
we are missing her too...