Friday, May 27, 2011

Amelia's Marker

click on the image to enlarge

We went down to the cemetery this evening to place Amelia's Memorial Day wreath and pinwheel. To our surprise her marker had been placed just in time for the holiday. I feel bad that it took us as long as it did to do this last thing for her. I agonized for months over the granite color, size, text, layout, vases...
I hated everything.
Finally I came to the realization
OF COURSE I hate them all
they are grave markers
for our baby girl!

Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” John 20:11-13

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Thursday, May 19, 2011


"I have held many things in my hands, 
and have lost them all; 
but whatever I have placed in God's hands, 
that I still possess." 
~Martin Luther 

Lately we have been busying ourselves at home enjoying the nice weather and getting ready for Sam. I think it is finally sinking in that we might actually get to bring him home. In my heart I still feel some hesitation when I think about bringing him home from the hospital. It just doesn't feel right to assume we will get to keep this baby when we are so intimately aware that not all babies get to come home...

We had another u/s with maternal Fetal Medicine this past Monday. Sam looked great! He now weighs over 3 lbs and is is the 57%. I think he will easily surpass Noah and Amelia's birth weights, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see. :)

I was caught a bit off guard when our "super" doc wrapped up our u/s appointment with a "congratulations." I wasn't sure what to think of that statement at first and it left me pondering why a statement like that would catch me so off guard...I'm not sure even now if I can explain what was so off about it to me.

In regards to pregnancy, "Congratulations" seems a term reserved for those who just shared the news of their pregnancy or for those who have just given birth. Amongst the members of my Anencephaly Mommy group we often say congratulations along with expressing our sympathy as we sit helplessly by and watch the newest members of our group grieve the death of their precious child. 

Maybe it was the words he left out that have me questioning; "Congratulations on your healthy baby." In all the times we saw him when we were pregnancy with Amelia, I don't recall him saying congratulations to us...  
I imagine being a "baby" doctor he often leaves parents with a well wish and a congrats. He probably says it so often he doesn't even think about it.

Maybe it was the sting of a wish that never came true with Amelia. Maybe it was just another product of my new normal. A reaction from the mother bear inside of me that remains guarded in my hope for a healthy baby and defensive in my love for the daughter we lost. Maybe I have prepared myself more for loss and continued heartbreak than I have for joy and hopefulness. Maybe I am so focused on preparing to lose Sam, that a simple phrase like congratulations has become unexpected and strangely unwelcome.

I am left to conclude that my unease with his kind expression, is just another reflection of the complicated mix of emotions that comes with carrying a rainbow baby.

I wish I could tell you that I have sorted through it all and emerged on the other side less confused and with a small nugget of insight that has better prepared me for the many joyful congratulations that loom in my future, but the truth is, I haven't. 

And still,  
(to borrow a favorite phrase of mine from another baby loss mommy) 
I remain in the grip of His grace,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

thoughts on birthdays

In the last few weeks
three very special mothers
celebrated the 1st heavenly birthday of their sweet girls.
Each of these women belong to an Anencephaly support group for mother's choosing to carry to term that I am also a part of. I remember the birth of these beautiful girls as if it were yesterday. My tears flowed filling buckets as I mourned their loss and celebrated the blessing of their daughters brief but impact full lives, as I anticipated the birth of my own blessing, Amelia Grace.

Please join me in sending special belated birthday wishes to
Ella, Karinne and Olivia
and maybe a little prayer for their mommies too!
Happy 1st Heavenly Birthday Ella, Karinne and Olivia!

I realize to some of you who have never lost a child, that the idea of celebrating the birthday of a child in heaven might seem strange. But for many mommy's of babies in heaven, their baby's milestones, birthdays and anniversaries are a BIG deal. Whether they chose to recognize the day privately or with a public celebration such as a birthday party, mommies and daddies don't forget these special days of remembrance.

Tim and I have discussed (at length) ideas for how we intend to spend Amelia's first birthday. It may come as a surprise (or not) that initially we did not agree on much. We did decide that it would be best for our family to push back the c-section scheduling of Sam's birth from the 28th (Amelia's birthday) to the 29th. Many things factored into our decision. One of our hopes is that by doing so, we will be able to spend Amelia's birthday doing some special things together as a family.

If I had things my way, we would be having a HUGE birthday party, inviting all Amelia's family and friends to share in the festivities, including a 3 tier fondant cake, balloon release, crafts for the kids, etc...
Tim would rather not (and I totally get that!)
All of my best laid plans sound amazing in my head, but then I cringe at the thought of  people not coming to her party or dreading coming and feeling uncomfortable about a party for a dead baby. And I am brought back to the harsh reality that I am a mommy of children in heaven. So, unless someone has been just where I am; they aren't going to understand. That single fact, even though it makes me feel really lonely sometimes, also leaves me thankful. Thankful they have never had to bury a child...

Tim and I tossed around the idea of doing another blood drive similar to the drives held last June in Amelia's honor, but in the end, we decided against it.
however we have agreed,

To ask our friends and family (that's you!) to donate blood on their own in Amelia's memory anytime in the month of July. For those of you that would like to donate and are regular donors, I realize this may take some coordinating (which is why I am giving you a heads up now) but I hope you will consider it. :)  We would be honored if you would be willing to donate in her memory and let us know that you did. I can think of no better way to celebrate her life than giving life through the donation of blood.

You can call to schedule an appointment or to find a drive near you 1-800-RED-CROSS or go to

Greater love has no one than this:
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  
John 15:13 

Friday, May 13, 2011

and I quote...

“But there’s a decision that I find God is asking us to make: 
whether we are going to choose to interpret our circumstances based on what we hold to be true about God, 
or whether we’re going to judge what we hold to be true about God based on our circumstances.” 
~ Laura Story

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You Are Beautiful

One of my blogger friends posted this MercyMe song recently. Although this song is about much more than baby loss, the message I heard when I listened to this song, was for our Amelia.
Having had the privilege of carrying Amelia Grace, I was challenged in many ways. Though there are a few things I would have done a bit differently looking back, I have no regrets in regards to carrying her to term. As the mother of a child with a condition such as Anencephaly I had some concerns about what it would be like on the day she was born, more specifically about the way should would look.

Despite any fears, I knew I would love her, just as she was, despite her imperfect skull, her open wound and "anencephalic" characteristics. My fears about her appearance were intensely "motherly." For the most part, I was fearful of others reaction to her. Would they shudder? Would they stare in morbid curiosity? Would they pity her? Ultimately would they think less of her, love her less because she was not a picture perfect infant?

I knew they would not see her as Tim, Noah and I did, with unconditional love. I was and am still VERY protective of my daughter. Tim and I were cautious of the photos on display at her service. Cautious not because we felt a need to hide her Anencephaly, but because we didn't want her defect to inhibit others from seeing just how beautiful she really was. Maybe it was too overprotective of us. Maybe we were inadvertently sending a message that we were ashamed of how she looked...

None of that matters now.
No doubt she is healed and playing at the feet of our Lord. Just as we will all be healed and made beautiful someday. For Tim and I, it's hard to imagine her as anything less than perfect; just as she was on the day of her birth and just as she is now, in heaven.

Miss you so much beautiful girl!

Beautiful - MercyMe
The days will come when you don't have the strength
When all you hear is you're not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart they'd see too much

You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are made so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His
You're beautiful

I'm praying that you have the heart to find
Cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you've held inside so long
And they are nothing in the shadow of the cross

You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are made so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His
You're beautiful

Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You're the one He madly loves
Enough to die

You're beautiful
You're beautiful
In His eyes

You're beautiful
You were meant for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You're meant for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His

Don't forget to pause the music at the bottom of Amelia's blog before playing the video!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

39 weeks - Giveaway!!!

Today I am happy to announce a "Giveaway" of sorts available to anyone who is facing a terminal pregnancy, or is pregnant with their rainbow or is just plain pregnant.

One of the most treasured things I was given while pregnant with lil' Miss Amelia was a fetal heart Doppler from another baby loss mommy. I could listen to Amelia's heartbeat, at home, anytime I wanted to! It was amazing!

Since discovering I was pregnant with our rainbow, Sam, I have continued to use the monitor whenever I feel uneasy or just need to remind myself, "Yes, this is real and it's going to be OK..."

All that being said, I have been in touch with some amazing folks at BabyBeat who have offered to do a 3 month promotion on Amelia's blog with a 10% discount of Doppler rental and a FREE keepsake CD of your little ones heartbeat. The code to receive this offer is AGL10.
(Your account will be flagged to receive the free CD when you rent the monitor.) Visit their website to redeem your discount and make a recording of your precious baby's heartbeat!

Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions. I would love to help! In fact, I would love to hear from anyone who put this savings to use!

Miss Amelia's Heartbeat

2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.   
Colossians 2