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

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Capture Your Grief--Day 25: #SayItOutLoud

I recently read an article that touched my heart because I knew the mother's heart break.  And then something I could totally relate to knowing Lily would not stay.  It did feel like I "had done all this for nothing" and it is even something I struggled with for many months after she died.  And the following words finally brought some healing to my heart:
" Some have wondered why she’d put herself through a pregnancy and birth when she knew she’d go home with empty arms. “It isn’t all for nothing,” she says. “You can still love that baby, protect that baby and give that baby a peaceful goodbye. That’s not nothing.” "

This is exactly what I did, what we did.  Lily was loved, protected and left this world without knowing any different.

This is what I am saying out loud: Carrying to term after a fatal diagnosis;  “It isn’t all for nothing, you can still love that baby, protect that baby and give that baby a peaceful goodbye. That’s not nothing.” by Amy Kuebelbeck




Capture Your Grief--Day 24: Artwork

This is a very special and beautiful picture that my daughter did for me for Mother's Day 2012, the first one after Lily died, the first Mother's Day one of my children was missing.  I was so touched that she knew exactly what I would love...for her to remember I was Lily's mom too!

Capture Your Grief--Day 22: Words

I have many quotes and many Bible verses that I love.  I chose a simple one: Psalm 127:3

Capture Your Grief--Day 21: Honor

I became the Provincial Local Leader of my province (Qc) to help break the silence. 

Capture Your Grief--Day 20: Hope

I have the hope I will be reunited with Lily in Heaven. I hope with all my heart that I will spend eternity with all my children in Heaven, as this is the only way and place it will be possible for me to have all my children with me. 

I have the hope that at some point in my life I will be able to help other parents/families that receive a fatal diagnosis through the bittersweet journey of choosing to carry their baby to term with all their love. I have the hope that somehow Drs will stop offering termination as the best and only way to "deal" with fatal prognosis, but that they will see value in carrying special miracles to term.

Capture Your Grief--Day 19: Support

I have shared often that the support I got from my friend Jenn was the best and priceless.  But today I chose to share about the support I received from my husband.  My husband grieved too.  He was a good support in the way that he never tried to push me in my grief, he is patient and still loves me even though grief changed me.  A part of me wish that we could share more about our grief just like I am able to share with my friend but I am thankful he never left my side and never criticized the way I grieve.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Capture Your Grief--Day 23: Jewelery

I bought  this pendant for myself and received it just before Lily's first birthday in Heaven.  I never had bought something like this for myself before but it was worth it.  Lily's foot print goes where I go and it shows " she was here", "she had value".

Capture Your Grief--Day 18: Release


18. Release: What do you want to let go of on this journey of grief? Is it fear? Guilt? Worry? Deep sadness? Regrets?
On this journey of grief, I want to let go of the guilt I still have of letting her go.  A mother should not have to have to make the horrible decision to let go of her baby's body...  I know she was not with us anymore but I wish someone had forced me, that someone would have had to literally take her away from my arms because I am a mother who would never part with my child without fighting.  Instead, I made the call, I said "it is time" and I hate that I was able to do this.

Capture Your Grief--Day 17: Time

I delivered Lily at 1:26 am on April 8, 2012.  As of day 17, (October 17th), it has been 1 year, 6 months, 1 week and 2 days since I held my girl. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Capture Your Grief--Day 16: Seasons

We found out Lily was growing inside me in late Fall, almost Winter.  We announced her to everyone with our Christmas wishes.  She left this earth in the Spring.  She was due in the Summer.  She could have been part of every season!  As I was able to capture this past year, she still is, just in a different way.


Capture Your Grief--Day 15: Wave of light

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  This is my candle remembering Lily and so many other precious babies tonight.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Capture Your Grief--Day 14: Family

I always wanted a big family.  We were still young and very healthy, I never thought I could be a mother to a baby in Heaven.  But it is what it is.  Now my family pictures include symbols or a footprint of Lily because God chose my family to carry Lily and remember her precious short life.  In this picture, I am pregnant with our Rainbow baby and my 7 year old daughter is making a butterfly shadow with her hands to represent Lily.

Capture Your Grief--Day 13: Book

The book that I chose to buy first is Safe In The Arms Of God by John MacArthur.  It is filled with truths, comfort and hope from the Bible.

Capture Your Grief--Day 12: Articles

I do not have a specific article that comes to my mind but a blog, written by a wonderful mother of 7.   Looking for a song for Lily's memorial video I found her blog when I watched her son Noah's memorial video.  What she had to say about her journey through grief and her unconditional love for Noah touched my heart.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Capture Your Grief--Day 11: Emotional Triggers

I had to think longer about this topic... I tried to figure it out but I don't think I did.  One thing I could think of is taking a shower.  Pregnant with Lily, when I took a shower is when I would feel her kick the most.  Then, pregnant with my Rainbow baby, at the same stage, he would also move more while I taking my shower, this definitely brought back precious memories.  And still, on days I feel more fragile, in the shower is where emotions resurface.  And also of course the weather does have an effect, something about gray skies and rain reflects my grief...  As for all the other times when memories flash back in my mind and tears still fill my eyes, I still have not figured out most of the triggers...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Capture Your Grief--Day 10: Beliefs

I believe that because of God's grace, my baby Lily is in Heaven.  She is safe, free from all suffering and sorrow, surrounded by perfect pleasure, knowledge, comfort, love and joy. I also believe that because of His grace and mercy through Jesus Christ's sacrifice and resurrection,  I will be reunited with her again in Heaven. The Bible says that I need to be born again to have eternal life.  This is what I believe in.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Capture Your Grief--Day 9: Music

I found out about many beautiful, touching songs while I was carrying Lily and after she passed.  We used "I will carry you" by Selah written and sang because of Audrey Caroline for Lily's memorial video and I also I used to sing it to her many times a day, in the shower and rocking her.  I also sang her "Jesus loves me" while rocking her and rubbing my belly every evening in that chair in the picture.  This is the song I chose to share for day 9, the song that reminds me of her.  She was weak and so was I and it was comforting to know that Jesus was stronger and He would take care of Lily and He would carry me through it all.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Capture Your Grief--Day 8: Color

When I found out I was pregnant, I was secretly hoping for a baby girl and my kids were hoping for a girl out loud!  Why not hope to even the genders?   Because it didn't really matter and because we like having the surprise at birth, we decided not to find out, despite a fatal prognosis.  Pink is classic I know, but I love it for Lily.  Maybe because to me it makes it more obvious I am the mother of 3 girls. When I had my oldest girl, I don't remember why, I didn't care so much for that color.  With years, after 2 boys, I changed my mind and promised myself I would get lots of pink if I had another girl and I did for my 4rth and I loved it!  Pink is sweet, soft and delicate just as I like to imagine Lily in Heaven.  When God paints the sky pink at sunrise or sunset, it always reminds me of my girl who soars completely surrounded by His light and glory...

Capture Your Grief--Day 7: Me now

This is me now.  I am healing.  I am happy, sad, fearful and grateful all at once.  My arms are filled with comfort sent from God, raising my children is my daily challenge and joy, my husband is still standing by my side and my home is where I love to be.  Every day I am amazed by God's Mercy and Grace...

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Capture Your Grief--Day 6: Rituals

I would not qualify what we do as rituals...I would rather like to say we have traditions.  Like for all my children, I plan to bake and decorate a special cake on Lily's birthday it is important for me to do so because I worked hard to deliver her that day, she was an important human being, my daughter.  This is also why I ware my "Lily pendants" as a way to say she was here, loved by us, loved by her Creator.  With this pendant, I also can easily include Lily's memory in our photos.  On special occasions I also like to remember Lily like we did in this picture.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Capture Your Grief--Day 5: Memory

This topic is hard for me to share about with the pictures that were taken that night/morning so I am using this one:


These are the stairs I climbed a few hours after I had to let go of my baby's lifeless body.  One of the things I remember the most is the euphoria and pride of finally holding Lily in my arms after 11 hours of labor, the last ones having been crazy intense because of the artificial induction and having done it without any pain medication. Then, having to take the horrible decision to part with her, she was already gone but I still felt like I was abandoning her.  I couldn't bring myself to share the picture of that moment for now.  This picture represents the emptiness I felt for months after losing Lily.

I have many more memories that I will always cherish and keep forever in my heart.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Capture Your Grief--Day 4: Legacy

Lily's Legacy to me...a renewed stronger Faith in my Creator.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Capture Your Grief--Day 3: Myths



Having #1-2-3-4-5 and #7 will never replace #6.  Lily is our 6th child.  I could already see where her car seat was going to fit in our mini-van.  I could picture her crib in the room she would share with a sibling when she would be old enough.  I could imagine her birthday parties in July, serving corn on the cob and hot dogs on a hot summer day.  She is the baby that I didn't bring home.  She is missing.

Having other children does not take away the heartache.  Having other children helps you get out of bed every day, they keep you going because you have to.  But they cannot replace Lily.  They hurt too, they lost a sister, we grieve together.  They helped me smile again and each and everyone is unique and couldn't be replaced.  This is also true for Lily.

Having a Rainbow baby does not make you forget.  It reminds you every second that life is fragile and to be thankful for it.  A rainbow baby brought me comfort but Lily is still missing.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Capture Your Grief--Day 2: Identity

Day 2:  Identity

Lily Hope Letourneau
April 8, 2012
2lb 2oz, 11 inches.

At 21 weeks, we found out our baby had a fatal condition.  We chose not to find out our baby's gender, we still wanted a surprise.  I felt a strong need to find a name for her, my baby was a human being, her heart was beating, she was alive and breathing through me.  Lily Hope is the name I came up with for a baby girl.  All of our children's names start with the letter "L", she would be no exception! Lily flowers are delicate and fragile, just like her life was, just like life is for anyone.  I latter learned that Lily also meant "purity and innocence".  She was born still, all she ever knew here on earth was our love for her.  "Hope" because this was all we had left.  Hope for a miracle, hope that she would heal, hope that if we had to let her go, she would be safe and healed in Heaven.

Lily's due date was July 28, she would have been my first summer baby.  Little did I know, I would deliver her on Easter morning, that Easter lilies would forever remind me of her, that her middle name would indeed speak of the Eternal hope that comes from our Faith in God..

She weighted 2lb 2oz, measured 11 inches.  She had a cute button nose, blue eyes and very short an very blond hair all over her head.  She had 10 perfect fingers and 10 perfect toes.
Before she died in my womb, she would kick when I would take a shower, I could tell she heard me when I sang and talked to her while I rocked her.

I found out at birth part of who she was; a girl.  But unlike I did with my other children, I didn't get to slowly discover her personality.   I like to imagine that somehow, in heaven, I will get to know her the way I would have here, softly discover who she is, and catch up on time we lost.

But who was she?  I cannot say I knew her but I know she was meant to be who she is now.  She was precious, unique and loved.  She had a purpose, like all of my other children, a gift from God.

We had taken pictures with both gender names we had chosen.  This is hers.


Capture Your Grief--Day 1: Sunrise



The sunrise was very different this year.  Last year was cloudy and rainy, inside this is how I felt too.  My loss was like a shadow over my thoughts, smiles, my emotions.  This morning I woke up to the most precious sight beside me; my rainbow baby.  The ray of light and hope that God knew I needed, that we all needed in our lives.  This morning, the sun was shining both inside my home and in the sky.







Monday, September 30, 2013

Capture Your Grief 2013

October has arrived, my Rainbow is 1 month old, leaves are changing colors and falling.  At that time last year I was dreading the cold season ahead.  Cold scared me.  Empty trees scared me.  Five months before, I felt the cold like never before coming home with empty arms just hours after delivering.  It was chilly that Easter Sunday morning.  It warmed up but my chest and arms remained cold for weeks. 
But then I participated to the Capture Your Grief 2012 event , where I got to take and share pictures about Lily, she would be included in our memories for a whole month!  This has been so healing.  From then on, I knew I would be capable of facing the cold.  My camera could still capture my love for life, for Lily, for my children for my family.  It could still capture God's love and mercy for us.

So, again this year, I didn't want summer to end.  It was bittersweet, a wonderful pregnancy ended almost at the same summer did but I was happy, my arms were filled my precious  baby boy.  My heart never stopped aching for Lily.  My last perception of birth was still birth and my boy's birth brought back the bliss.  The memory of the heartache having to leave Lily's body was as fresh as if it had happened yesterday.  And it hurt so bad.  A shadow that soared over my pure joy of rocking my rainbow.  After these hard days of grief I consciously tried to avoid thinking about those hard memories in order to focus on my joy in an effort not to blink one second and miss out on those unique and irreplaceable first moments with my newborn. And I did, am and will savour every day. 

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month a time to remember these precious souls that are missed and loved and support moms and dads on the unthinkable journey of grief.   I now am ready to face the season of remembering, I want more healing. I will participate to Capture Your Grief 2013.   And it starts in less than 11 hours...

Day 1-  SUNRISE

The sunrise was very different this year.  Last year was cloudy and rainy, inside this is how I felt too.  My loss was like a shadow over my thoughts, smiles, my emotions.  This morning I woke up to the most precious sight beside me; my rainbow baby.  The ray of light and hope that God knew I needed, that my family needed in our lives.  This morning, the sun was shining both inside my home and in the sky.










Every Child Matters

Today, September 30th is Orange Shirt Day.  This day was established to honor those who survived Indian residential schools and remember those who did not.  In recognition of the harm the residential school system did to children's sense of self-esteem and well being, and as an affirmation of our commitment to ensure that everyone around us matters I wore an orange shirt today.  My heart breaks thinking of all those helpless, precious children taken away from their home and thinking of the heartache their mother suffered having a part of themselves ripped off.  Prayers of healing and peace for these families.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

It has been a long time...

It seems like forever that I wrote here.  Summer and my Rainbow baby sure kept me busy!  I think I needed to focus on my growing belly and my other kiddos and my way of doing that was simply not sharing and keeping everything in my little bubble.   And I still feel this way now that my Rainbow is here but I do have some things I wish to share.






As I said, this pregnancy has been one of my main focus this summer.   I simply wanted to enjoy every minute of it, capture all I could think about and remember it always.  When I found out I was pregnant, I had to remind myself that every moment counted because life can be brief and I chose not to let fear be stronger than my joy.  And joy took over!  I had to remember each day to put my trust in the Lord as I thanked Him for my precious baby. 





As my due date approached, at 35 weeks, my middle child had a fever.  It's all it took.  This shook my trust and put a shadow over my happiness and bliss  Days before I gave birth to Lily that same middle child had a fever and needed antibiotics.  I couldn't be there for him because I was put on bed rest at the hospital.  This little harmless childhood virus scared me and took me back to that point in my life where that same child was sick and I couldn't be there for him because his baby sister was sick and about to die in my tummy.  The thought of story repeating itself crossed my mind without my permission and I also was not looking forward for the kids catching it one after the other and myself...  I once again had to fix my eyes on Jesus and pray.  No one else got that virus!  A true relief and blessing!

At 39 weeks I had to go in for an ultrasound, baby was transverse so we planned a version for the next day.  Here I was, in the hospital once again...  Ugh, why??  I hate it there!!  I was planing a home birth, this baby had to turn and be born as planned!  So, praying hard and doing exercises I had found on Google, I got to my version appointment the next day and baby's head was down, high but down!  Praise God!  Little did I know that when the head is still very high, babies that have space like mine, tend to move around...


 
 
 


Still, I had high hopes for a home water birth.  My kids wanted to be there and my oldest was the photographer!  The pool was up in our room, as days went by, orientation visit in high school was done, first day at school and mandatory pictures of that day were taken...I was ready and anxious to hold my little one.  All my worries about the kids being able to be here when labor started were behind when my midwife induced labor at 3:00 pm at home by doing a striping on my membranes, making me drink a natural herb and using the breast pump. I was already at 5cm, I had a few contractions earlier that day.  At 6:00 pm, my midwife checked me to see if baby had dropped with labor, I was at 8cm.  Baby was still very high and my water broke!  So much water!  The main concern was the cord coming out first, this meant an emergency c-section. Oh please Lord, have mercy!   We had a small scare but quickly, my midwife realized that what she felt at the tip of her fingers was the bum!  I believe baby turned when my water broke, all of a sudden, I could feel the head in my ribs!  It all was going so fast, I was scared for my baby, I couldn't get the thought of him dying off my mind.  From that moment on, I was ready to do anything in my power to get him out alive and healthy!  I was transferred by ambulance to the hospital.   That was a horrible bumpy ride, lying on my side, pushing...  At the hospital, I begged not to have to lay down on that flat and cold table.  How was I going to be able to push my breech baby out in that position?  I could hear the heartbeat had dropped and all it took was the Dr telling me my baby was "tired" and I needed to push him out, with or without contractions... so I did...





Lane Noah was born on August 30th, a warm blessed Friday night weighting only 6bls 12oz.  My midwife had to reassure me that he was doing great a couple times.  He didn't cry right away and they took him on a table nearby where I couldn't see him because of all the nurses and Drs around.  But he was here and and alive! Thank you Jesus, thank you for your Grace and Mercy.

"I guess God knew his birth was going to be challenging so He kept him small..." 
                                                                                                           Jenn






My husband and our oldest made it on time to be there by my side and my girl did an amazing job taking pictures!  I was disappointed for my other children who missed it all but in the end, their baby brother was alive and coming home to them.  That same night, we came back home, my arms were not aching anymore, that feeling was priceless.  I was the happiest person on earth!  Little did I know, grief was waiting just around the corner and was about to hit hard.  But that night, that night was mine to breath in and let it fill and heal my wounds.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Including Lily's memory in our family pictures

I just published on my Facebook Page pictures of my family and my children together where I chose to include Lily's memory in them.  As I wrote in the description area of the album, including Lily in our pictures is important to me:

"This album was put together to inspire mothers who feel it is important to include their little ones who soar in family pictures. When I learned that my baby was going to die, I was hoping we could have at least taken a family picture after I delivered. Unfortunately, this was not possible. Just realizing and thinking Lily would never be part of our pictures just broke my heart even more. It is important to me to include Lily's memory in the memories we are creating as time goes on because she was a gift from Above to our family. I was advised to terminate, medical world didn't understand my love for this precious soul. I am thankful for that gift of her short life to us, therefore, she will always be a part of us even in pictures... ♥"
 
I am well aware that Lily is not here with us anymore.  I know Heaven is where she belonged.  But her short life was a gift from God to us, her family, her heart beated for 24w and 3d among us!  I am grateful I was chosen to be her mom, she was a part of us and I will remember her.


It comforts me to be able to have Lily's memory included in our souvenirs.  Because I found ways to do so, family pictures have become possible again and have not been all bitter.  Sweetness was simply added to them!  She is missed and never forgotten...












 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Celebrating Lily year 1


A year ago, I could not have imagined what where we are now would be.  How does a parent remember and celebrate a child that lives in Heaven?  Do we have to reduce this day to silence because no one is there to blow out the candle?  This day is about the day that I pushed her out, that I met her little lifeless body, that I held my baby, my gift from God, with pride and joy.  She is not less important because, on this Earth she only lived in my womb.  This is her day and we will celebrate the short life, the life that was hers, that she was given by her Maker.

Navigating through this journey of grief during the last 12 months, I found  that creativity through the art of photography was healing for me.  The beauty and magnificence of nature also brings me much comfort, especially sunsets or even the blue sky in general.  It blows my mind that God's creation can bring comfort to the brokenhearted! 

So, I asked friends and other bereaved mothers if they could take a picture of the sunrise/sunset or simply the sky seen from where they live and send it to me in remembrance of Lily.  The love & support  I received was priceless!





































baked and decorated a cake just like I always do for my children on their birthday. My mom used to do this also, I loved the details of the icing!  I kept it simple this time because of the low energy I had both physically and emotionally.

We also invited my children's grand-parents for a meal and some birthday cake.








"Lord, I will give thanks to you with all my heart. 
I will tell about all the wonderful things you have done."

Psalm 9:1



I am glad we could pause and make this day special because it truly was a unique day in 2012! My children also liked how we chose to remember and celebrate the memory of their baby sister.

"Children are a gift from God, babies are a reward." Ps 127.3