This blog is about love despite a prenatal diagnosis, grief & healing after baby loss, hope, faith, pregnancy after loss and Hydrops Fetalis awareness.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Turning the page...

Here I am.  The year 2012 is almost over.  What a year!  2012, Lily's year.  I have learned a lot in the last year.  I have learned that I control nothing.  I have learned how important it is to trust God more than anything.  I have learned how painful it is to lose a child.  I have learned so much about grief.  Tomorrow, I will turn the page, I will change my calendar, 2012 will be over.  I have mixed feelings about leaving 2012 behind because as much as it held pain and sorrow, it also held love and hope.  For the year 2013, I know I still have a lot to learn.  I have hopes.  Hopes that Lily's short life will still speak about love, about how God has worked in my life because of her.  Hopes that God will continue to heal our broken hearts.   Hopes for a "rainbow"...

My middle child gave me this ornament for Christmas.  He chose it for me at Santa's Shoppe (a fund raiser at school) He told me it reminded him of Lily, he knew it would remind me of her too because of her middle name...Hope!  Reminding me it did!  It is also a reminder of so much more... Hope in Christ because God sent his Son Jesus on this earth as a baby so that all our sins could be erased, forgiven, because later He died and then, came back to life.  Hope because He promised He would carry us through our trials, He promised a future filled with hope.

"God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble" Psalm 46:1

"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

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I am a mother of 6

Last evening my daughter had a mini piano concert (only a few students).  The piano teacher was hosting this cozy event at her house with the support of her husband.  I had brought along all my kids which took a lot of the seats available!  Anyway, I was taken off guard at that moment when the husband asked: " You have 6 children don't you?"  I wondered if he remembered Lily died.  I didn't matter, he was acknowledging that I had carried her in my womb.   I simply answered I did and that the last one was in heaven.  Then he went on and asked, just like someone would naturally ask a mother with a little one in her arms: "How old is she?"  I think my eyes brightened up with a special spark of pure joy!  I got to tell someone, who genuinely wanted to know, how old my baby was in Heaven!...
That man doesn't know it but he made my day and probably the next few days or even weeks so much easier and less lonely for me.  He even introduced me as a mother of 6 to the people that came in...
It hurts when people say I have 5 kids.  I carried my 6th child 24 week and 3 days.  I had morning sickness during more than 3/4 of my pregnancy with Lily.  I had a sweet baby bump, I felt her kick.  I rocked her, sang to her, told her I loved her.  I was in labor for 11 hours and I cut her umbilical cord.  I held her in my arms and then, I had to let her go.  A few days after, my body started producing milk.   I did not dream all this.  She is my child.  I have 6 children.

How I would love to let that man know how his words were healing...I hope I get to...

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Remembering Lily this Christmas

Sweet Lacey...  The other day my sweet girl announced: "I will draw a Lily picture mommy!"  This was a few days after I had realized I was not going to be pregnant for Christmas, I had quite a few hard days there.  When I looked at Lacey's artwork, I thought this was surely the most beautiful Christmas decoration I would hang this year!  I still wonder why she chose to draw a rainbow?  I didn't dare to ask her because I like to think a rainbow baby is part of our future and the fact that she wrote Lily's name (with great application) and chose to draw a rainbow right beside reminds me of the hope I have for a Rainbow in my womb and in my arms!  She also draw a candle with Hope written on it like the one we have on Lily's shelf... She draw a lily flower and a Christmas wreath with a candy cane.  I just cherish this piece of art and most of all my talented girl!

In this post I also wanted to share some ideas to help remember our little ones at Christmas Season.   Whether our families count 1 or 2 parents with one or many children, the loss of our babies leaves an empty place around the table, an empty space where their Christmas stocking should be hanging.  At my house, when the time comes to decorate our Christmas tree, two little hands wanting to help will always be missing.  All my children receive a tree ornament every year, to think that they will all be represented every year in our Christmas tree, except for Lily, because she is not here with us, just feels almost like a punishment!  A lot of baby loss mothers (parents) make up new traditions, traditions that include their child in Heaven and states that their child is not forgotten, they always have a place in their hearts.  So, here are some ideas to recreate traditions after the loss of a child:

 1.  Create a Christmas candle for your child - decorate a pillar candle or decorate a jar to hold a tea light candle.

 2.  Make/Buy a Christmas keepsake and give to another baby loss mummy, include their child's name.
 3.   Find a way to take a Christmas photo of your child.

 4.   Make/Buy a Christmas decoration for your child - Make a Christmas stocking for your child. Encourage family and friends to make Christmas cards, drawings etc., to place into the stocking on Christmas Day.
5.  Buy a gift for a charity, for a child the same age as your child would be

6.Make a Christmas scrap-booking page for your child

7.   Write a poem /Finding a Christmas poem or song that speaks to your heart

8.  Make an "in memory" Christmas Card, either to keep or to send to someone special.
9.  Bring a Christmas ornament or memento at your child's grave/memorial/special place, take a picture.

10. Write a long Christmas card to someone who has helped in your grief

11.  Make Christmas cookies and decorate with the first letter of you child's name. 

12.  Perform a random act of kindness for a stranger.

Original ideas from Xavier's mother, Robyna May.

Our Christmas card, stocking hook, and tree don't need to be empty from our children's memories,  I will let my love for my precious daughter shine this Christmas, just like the love I have for my other children.

I also really like what you can find here:

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Getting ready for Christmas without her...

Waking up that morning, I was not prepared.  I was not prepared to face Christmas this way, without Lily, without any special news to announce.  I had hoped to be pregnant, to carry life this Christmas.  For two days I really thought it was happening, finally I felt like I could breath again, I felt overwhelming joy!  But reality hit me that morning, it was not going to happen.  And my first reaction was wishing we could skip Christmas this year.

So, I face Christmas season with the raw truth that someone will be missing in our Christmas card picture, a precious little baby girl will be missed preparing to celebrate, she will be missed Christmas morning...
The other evening, while I was hanging our Christmas lights, I noticed half of it would not work.  I cried, those lights were brand new from last year, my brand new baby was missing, it was as noticeable to me as these missing lights. 

In our family, Christmas is first of all the celebration of Jesus' birth.  Jesus, who came as a baby to save us.  Jesus who came to pay the price of my sins.  So I will focus on that more than ever before this year.  He is the reason for the season and reminding myself about that helps me get through preparing to celebrate with my family, my incomplete family.  I may not carry hope in my womb this Christmas but God gave me the biggest hope of all through His son Jesus, hope that I will someday meet my Saviour face to face and also be reunited with my sweet girl.
"Children are a gift from God, babies are a reward." Ps 127.3