Friday, May 29, 2009

Pancake Breakfast



Kinda late notice since I forgot, but tomorrow there is a Pancake Breakfast at Max & Erma's located at 1107 Trenton Ave in Findlay, OH. The all-you-can-eat breakfast is from 8-10 am and tickets are $5 and will be available at the door.

Proceeds will go towards some of Carleigh's expenses and to the Neural Tube Defect Research Fund.

So if you are in the Findlay area please stop on by! If you are a follower of my blog and are in the area I would love to meet you! Hope to see you there!

Thanks Emily!

You know, I really have to chuckle in amazement at how God works sometimes. If you recall in a previous blog, I gave away my angel wing necklace to a mom I thought needed it more than I did. (Continue to pray for Jen's sister! And pray for my friend PJ too! BTW I sent those necklaces out today for you guys!) Today in the mail I got a necklace from my friend Emily from CM. It is a mother's necklace and it has gemstones of my 3 girls' birthdays-Hannah & Kyndra in January (red stones) and Carleigh in March (blue stone).

So in giving a necklace I got one in return!! Just amazing. Thank you Emily! It's wonderful!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

2 Months

Today is Carleigh's 2 month birthday.

After a not so good day at work Kyndra and I made a visit to the cemetery. Luckily, it wasn't raining when we stopped by. Kyndra had fun playing around Carleigh's grave and getting into the dirt. Then she ran around in the grass for a little bit.






Happy 2 months my sweet Carleigh! I miss you so much but I know you are so happy in Heaven with Jesus. I can't wait until we are together again.

Winner of Memorial Day Giveaway

Congratulations to PJ!!!

Enter a lower limit: 1
Enter an upper limit: 17
Random Number: 10

Your comment was #10 on the list and you won! How exciting!! I will get a hold of you later today. ;)

BUT it's not over!!! I have a special surprise!! After reading a certain comment I really felt led to give up my own necklace.

"my sister is on the verge of delivering her baby with T18.. this would be a perfect gift to give her.. we spent yesterday with her and are doing our best to remember the positive parts of the pregnancy and praying that we get to see little Grace Marie for even a short time. hugs to you holly!!"

So, Jen M. I am going to give you my necklace for your sister. I think she needs it more than I do. Email me at caring4carleigh@yahoo.com so I can get your info.

Let's all keep Jen's sister in our prayers!!

(If you're thinking "shucks, I didn't win", it's ok!! I do plan to have more giveaways in the future so stay tuned! These giveaways are just way too fun for me to ever stop doing.)

I made a difference

Not long after I wrote and read my poem I Will Be Your Voice at Jordan's memorial I got a call from Holly from the women's center saying that they had been talking to a girl who was pregnant and considering an abortion. They had given her all the resources and everything but she was still undecided and had an appointment scheduled to get it done in a few days. Holly "just happened" to have a copy of my poem with her that day and gave it to the girl as a last ditch effort to change her mind. She wanted to make sure, even after the fact, that it was ok that she had done this. Well, absolutely!! I prayed that my poem could make a difference.

I visited the center one day to drop off some items and I was talking to Shelia and she told me that because of my poem the girl changed her mind and was not going to get an abortion. You have no idea how ridiculously happy I was at that moment! For one, I was so grateful that she would never have to know the pain of abortion. Plus, I was happy that something good had come from my experience.

God works wonders, doesn't He?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

God's preparation

I can't tell you the many thoughts that run through my head during the course of one day. There are way too many. I could probably post several blogs every day with everything that I have up there. Today was no different, but I'd like to write about one of them in particular as it is one that has been on my mind more than once lately.

I talked on the phone with Celia yesterday and near the end of talking with her our conversation went to finding out the diagnosis. Many families that get a diagnosis of anencephaly struggle with what choice to make and with good reason-it is a very difficult one. Either way you are faced with the death of your child. But you get to choose-sooner or later?

I have to say that I never struggled with what I would choose. I knew right away I would carry Carleigh to term. I actually knew I would before her diagnosis-even before she was conceived. I'm sure if you've been following my blog you've seen me mention how I felt God prepared me. Well, I'd like to dig a little deeper and share a little more about that. I'll start at the beginning.....

I joined Cafemom March 14, 2008, which was a few months after Kyndra was born. (She was born January 10, 2008.) I joined mostly out of curiosity. I had a Myspace account and they always had Cafemom ads on there and one day I just decided to check it out. I'm very glad I did. I've met wonderful mommies through the site that have given me a lot of support and encouragement. (Love you all!) In May, I joined an abortion debate group and in June I posted the question "What would you do if you knew your baby had a fatal condition and would either die in utero or soon after?" I posted a link to the story of Emily Rose as an example. Emily Rose had anencephaly. My response to my question was "It really got me thinking and after reading the story above I am more sure than ever that I would continue with the pregnancy." Along with this I had also vowed I would never have another abortion as long as I lived. Ever. Even if my life depended on it. I honestly would rather die. (This could be a whole other post in itself!)

Now I just didn't read the story I mentioned. I read many stories just like it but not all with a diagnosis of anencephaly (but many were). For some reason I felt compelled to read them. I felt drawn to them and I had no reason why. I simply didn't just read the stories either. I researched about the diagnoses they received so that I knew quite a bit about them. (This is part of my nature-a need to know everything. Maybe that's why I have so much "useless" knowledge.) I remember thinking at the time that such sad stories only happened to other people and not me. That would never happen to me.

Reality check. It did happen.

My daughter got diagnosed with anencephaly.

Was this a coincidence? I really don't believe so. I truly believe that God saw what was ahead of me and prepared me for it. This is not something I write just to say it. I've put a lot of thought and prayer into it. Why did He choose to prepare me when so many other families get the same diagnosis? I can't answer that because I don't know. But I feel very blessed to have had this preparation.

"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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord... Jeremiah 29:11-14

How true this scripture rings in my heart!! God has definitely blessed me through this journey! God has given me hope. He has given me a future. I called out to God and He answered me and our relationship grew stronger and my faith deeper. There were some stumbling blocks along the way. I admit I didn't have a lot of empathy for those who decided not to carry to term. I didn't recognize at first that my attitude was less than appropriate. My emotions were pretty up and down at the time but God finally got through to me. I am ashamed that I was that way, especially since I had made a choice to terminate years before and here I was judging people for something I had done myself. How wrong I was!! God forgave me for behaving in such a manner and allowed me to meet mothers who had made this difficult choice and I was able to gain understanding and much empathy and I am truly, truly grateful. I am still very sorry I acted like that. Not my best moment.

I am truly amazed at my own journey. I am a different person than who I was when I first began this road back in December. I am a better person. I have been called strong and courageous. Many have said they don't think they could be as strong or travel the road I have been on and continue to walk. I can tell you this for sure-my strength, my courage, my everything comes from God! Without Him, I am nothing. That day in the office when the world came crashing down, do you know what I said to God?

I trust You.

And I continue to trust Him. I am in no way more special than anyone else. Just a girl who has faith that her God can do anything.

I WIll Be Your Voice

I wrote this poem towards the end of my post-abortive counseling for Jordan's memorial. This poem was also the inspiration for the theme "Will You Be The Voice?" for my local women's center fundraising banquet last year and it was shared during that time. A left a copy of this poem at the National Memorial for the Unborn when we visit last October.

I Will Be Your Voice

When I look back on that time
It fills me with regret.
The day I had an abortion-
A day I’ll never forget.

I should have been so glad
To be carrying you in me,
But instead I was filled with fear.
So scared and so lonely.

I thought my only option
Was to get rid of you.
It’s not what I really wanted.
I couldn’t face what was true.

Instead of telling my parents
I made the dreaded call.
I didn’t want to disappoint them.
I thought it was best for all.

The day soon came to get it done.
The memory is just a blur.
They said you weren’t a baby.
Just a burden they would cure.

I woke up in recovery
So cold and so numb.
I didn’t realize at the time
Exactly what I had done.

Five years I have denied you,
But no longer can that be.
Your sister opened up my eyes
To the reality I now see.

I murdered you that day-
December 19th of 2002.
But I know that God has forgiven me.
He’s made my life brand new.

No longer am I filled
With all the grief and shame.
He took it all away from me
And I’ll never be the same.

I know that you’re in heaven
Looking down from up above,
But I wish you were here with me,
My baby, whom I love.

It hurts that we’re apart right now
But God still needs me here.
Though He’s preparing a room for me
In a place with no more tears.

Dear Jordan, Mommy’s sorry
For making the wrong choice.
I promise I’ll make it up to you.
I will be your voice.

~Holly Haas, June 2008

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reading Group-Chapter 7

Chapter 7 is titled "The Heartbeat of Love."

The author mostly shares a personal story with us in this chapter so there isn't a whole lot to discuss. So I'd mostly like to hear your thoughts on what he shared.

1) What did you think of Tammy's story?

2) Do you think more pregnancy centers like the one she went to should exist?

Any other thoughts are welcome!

It's still NOT up!!

The forecast for the next few days is rain (of course that could always change) so I thought I would stop by the cemetery after I picked up Kyndra to check and see if her marker was up yet. It was nice at the moment so I figured it would be a good time. I had hopes it would be there, but yet again, I was disappointed.

The foundation is set and ready to go. They filled in some more dirt on her grave where it had sunken in a little bit. Yet, her marker is still not there! Why is it taking so long!? It's been 8 1/2 weeks since she's been gone and it was only supposed to be 4-6 weeks. I think I've been pretty patient about it but now I'm starting to get a little irritated.

I guess I'll check again later in the week.

Monday, May 25, 2009

In remembrance of Carleigh...

My friend Christina, who I know only through the blogging world, has posted a wonderful post in remembrance of Carleigh. She visited the New Jersey shore and wrote Carleigh's name in the sand and threw a pink rose in the ocean. So now Carleigh has had her name written on the sands of the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans.

Thank you, Christina! I'm so glad we have gotten to know each other! And I am so touched at your tribute to my little Carleigh!

Please click here to visit this beautiful post.

Memorial Day Giveaway

Happy Memorial Day to everyone! I hope you are enjoying spending time with your families and remembering those who have served and are currently serving our country. Without them, we wouldn't be enjoying the many freedoms we have today.

A lot of families also remember loved ones they have lost on this day. Anthony and I went back to visit our family over the weekend so we didn't visit the cemetery or take any flowers. But we would have had we stayed home. I do plan on visiting this week though and I'm hoping Carleigh's marker is finally up by then.

Over the weekend I did a little shopping and I got a few shirts at Maurice's. I only had to spend $10 more to get a free flipflop and I couldn't pass up on that offer. I found a necklace with 2 angel wings and I really liked it so I picked up an extra one to give to one of my readers who has lost a precious child. The necklace is a longer one and is silver in color. Each wing is about 2 inches long from end to tip of the wing.

So, if you have an angel in Heaven, whether you lost them early in your pregnancy or a little later in life, and you would like to win this necklace just leave a comment and tell me if you did anything to remember your little one today. This giveaway will end Wednesday right before midnight.

(New Reading Group post will be up tomorrow evening. Figured I'd give you all a break for the holiday.)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Little Faith is in Heaven

Just in case you don't know yet, little baby Faith went to be with Jesus yesterday. Faith has been such an inspiration and has shown God's love to so many people.

I got on Facebook last night and heard the news when it was posted. I was in complete shock. I knew Faith was having some difficulties but I never expected her to go so soon. My heart aches for Myah so much.


Please pray for Myah and her family through this difficult time they are facing. I praise the Lord that Myah got such wonderful time with Faith. A true blessing!!

Please leave an encouraging word for Myah at myah.walker@yahoo.com. Let her know you are praying for her.

Myah, thank you for sharing Faith's story with the world. I know you faced some difficult times in the journey but you trusted God and you loved Faith unconditionally, no matter what people said. You are a wonderful mother, woman, and friend. I love you!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

8 weeks

It's been 8 weeks today since Carleigh entered the world before she even got to see it. It's just amazing to me how the time passes. I can picture it all in my head still.....so clearly that it seems like it was just yesterday that I was holding her. I remember the feel of her skin when I touched it. Her tiny body next to mine. When I close my eyes and picture it I wish I could open them and she'd be there.

So little. So precious.

I'll forever miss my little girl.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thank you Caroline!

Thank you for the waterball, Caroline (ccmom69 from CM)! I got this gift today from her and it is such a nice gift! Kyndra likes that little rabbit that she sent too. I handed it to her and she hugged it. The ball plays the music "Always In My Heart". Kyndra wanted to play with it too but I wouldn't let her. A little too breakable.


Also, thank you to those who have recently donated to the Neural Tube Defect Research Fund. I have added you to the list.

Water temperature?

I have a question for everyone who reads my blog...

What temperature is your water when you take a bath?

When I was doing my interview with Heidi for the Duke Study one of the questions asked about exposure to hot tubs, saunas, etc. She said that baths didn't count because the water isn't hot enough, but it really made me wonder. I take really hot baths and I wondered how the temperature of my baths compared to that of a hot tub. So, I drew my bath water just like I normally would and before getting in I took the temperature of the water with my digital thermometer. I took several readings and it averaged out to be 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, I don't know how accurate it is taking these temperatures with a household thermometer but my bath water is hotter than a hot tub.

They recommend not setting a hot tub hotter than 104 degrees and say that pregnant women shouldn't be in water hotter than 100 degrees for longer than 15 minutes.

If this is the case then I am in serious hot water....both literally and figuratively.

I think I might email Heidi about this and ask her what she thinks.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Marker in the making!

I just got a few pictures via cell phone from Anthony showing the work in progress at the cemetery. Carleigh's marker will be going up soon! I'm so excited! I can't wait to see it! So the foundation is poured and they are filling the top of her grave with more dirt as it was sinking a little. I plan to make a visit next week and hope that her marker is finally up by then.


Reading Group-Chapter 6

This week's reading was Chapter 6 titled "Instruments of Healing".

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV

We all face tragedies in life. Satan tries to take advantage of us during these times. He means to harm us and break our relationship with God. During difficult times we must remember to draw closer to God, as it is only He that can sustain us. God can bring goodness and light in our lives during the times it is very dark. He can use our experiences for good-for ourselves and for others.

1) Do you think God can use your loss(es) for good? Has He already done so? Please share.

Anger is a normal response to the loss of a child. We shouldn't try to hide it but we also shouldn't take it out on people who don't deserve it. Instead, take it to God. Tell Him why you are angry and ask Him to help you deal with it and release you from its bondage.

2) Have you felt any anger or bitterness since the loss of you child(ren)? To whom or where has your anger been directed towards?

Undoubtedly, we've all been there.....receiving a not-so-nice-but-well-intentioned comment from a friend or family member. Perhaps some of those comments weren't even well-intentioned. No matter their intention, they can hurt. The fact is we've lost somebody we love very much and it hurts regardless of how much time they spent here on earth.

3) Has anyone been insensitive to your feelings of grief for your child(ren)? What are some of the things that were said to you that you wish hadn't been?

The author makes the statement in the book that the grief we experience may not be as great or the season of grieving as long since there are not many memories to deal with.

4) Do you agree with the author on this? If your child(ren) was with you for a little while, whether in the womb or in your arms, what memories do you cherish?

5) What dreams did you have for your child?

Guilt is another normal reaction to grief. Often, parents feel like they could've done more to help their child(ren) and then things would've been ok. Guilt can surface from choices that were made. We need to turn this guilt over to God and allow Him to heal us. It isn't always easy but if we keep steadfast in Him we will prevail.

6) Do you carry any guilt over the loss of your child(ren)?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Written in the sand...

I'm sure you've seen where you can get your child's name written in the sand and have a picture taken of it. Well, I wanted to get one done for Carleigh and I was going to go to Carly but they aren't taking any new names right now. Then I thought how wonderful it would be to get her name written in the sands of Hawaii since she was still with me when we went there on vacation over Christmas! So I found Aloha Remembered. Emily, who runs Aloha Remembered, also has a blog called Stepping Stones for healing after loss.

I paid $15 to get Carleigh's name in the sand. The profits they make are donated to places like the March of Dimes and SHARE.

The beach that the picture is taken on is called Temple Beach on the island of Oahu. The beach is on the windward shore around the town of Laie (where Emily's sister lives), near the LDS temple and the Polynesian Cultural Center. (Of course you won't know what the heck I'm talking about unless you've been there.) There is a garden there and it is designated as a 'quiet place of reflection'.

Here is a picture of Temple Beach:

And here is a picture of Carleigh's name written in the sands of Hawaii:

I paid $3 extra so that I could get some sand and a shell from Temple Beach for Carleigh's scrapbook or memory box. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to get some of the sand her name was written in.

To go to her blog to see Carleigh's name in the sand click here. You can leave a comment!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Testimony

This is my testimony I gave at my local women's center (Clinton County Women's Center) fundraising banquet on October 18, 2008. I wrote the following the day after the banquet:

Well, last night was my local women's center fundraising banquet. I gave my testimony of my abortion and my poem was also read. The banquet's theme was based around my poem "I Will Be Your Voice". The title of the banquet was "Will You Be The Voice?" I was sooo nervous about going up for my testimony. I personally did not read it but I was up front the whole time with my Anthony while it was read. Anthony and I were introduced and then Holly, the director of the center, started reading. I guess, according to Lindsey and her husband Jarrod, that my testimony caught everyone off guard. I don't think they were expecting to hear from someone who had experienced the tragedy of abortion because when the first line was read they noticed people sitting up straighter, eyes getting wide, etc. Lindsey said as they were reading it you could hear everyone start sniffling. Made an impact indeed. While it was being read Anthony and I just held hands and I stayed pretty close to him. Couple of times I just buried my head in his arm. After Holly read it she brought us up on stage and thanked us for sharing our story. As we went back to our seats we got a standing ovation. It was just awesome. Next they read my poem and of course I got most teared up with that. Overall, the banquet was really good. Didn't really care for the food but I'm not a chicken person lol. After the banquet was over I had a lot of the ladies from the center come and give me hugs. I know them all pretty well and it was great to have their support. Also a lot of other people came and thanked me for sharing my story and my poem. I talked to a woman who volunteers for the center who had an abortion (I had met her once before at the table host dessert buffet) and we talked for a bit like only those who've been there can. The guest speaker, Jayne Schooler, was good and we got a free book she wrote called "Mom, Dad...I'm Pregnant." It's a very good book. Right now I just feel so great. I feel so proud.

I've decided to post my testimony that was read at the banquet. I wrote most of it and Holly added some things (and I approved) to help people have a little more understanding.

Here is the story of the biggest mistake of my life..........my abortion.

I grew up as a Christian and knew that abortion was wrong. I never thought that one day I would be in that situation. In July 2002 I met who would later become my husband, Anthony, and we starting dating. I found out in November that I was pregnant. I wasn't on any type of birth control, which was naive. I honestly thought getting pregnant would never happen to me and I was so scared when I found out that I was. Anthony already had a 2 year old daughter from a previous relationship and I knew he probably wasn't ready for another, especially since his first daughter was born at 25 weeks. Waiting to find out whether my pregnancy test was positive or negative was such a long wait. When I found out it was positive I remember just being in shock and thinking that this wasn't happening to me and it wasn't true. I told Anthony and at first we really didn't know what to do. I was so scared and I absolutely did NOT want my parents to find out. I was afraid of what they would think of me and that they'd be disappointed and mad at me. We talked about an abortion, and I felt like it was the only choice I had. I wasn't thinking clearly at all. Before, I just couldn't understand why anyone would ever have an abortion, but you just have no idea how difficult it is until you're living in the situation. I did end up telling my best friend and she said she would support whatever I decided to do. I could tell though she didn't want me to have an abortion. I wish now she would've talked me out of it! I wish I would have known that there was help and support for me at a place like the Clinton County Women's Center, but I didn't know.

So I thought I would call a medical clinic "just to get information". I called a clinic in Columbus, OH and the woman who answered was nice and before I knew it I had an appointment. Talking on the phone with her I was scared. I was afraid of her judging me and thinking I was a bad person, but she was very calm and acted like it was no big deal. So in November I went for my first appointment. I honestly don't remember much about that appointment. I know I filled out papers and they did an ultrasound. The ultrasound was for the purpose of determining how well developed and how large the child inside me was. They did not show me the ultrasound. It was not a happy event like going to the doctor for a pregnancy check-up. I do remember wanting to see the ultrasound screen but the lady had it turned away from me. Before I left I had an appointment to have an abortion on December 19, 2002. Until that day came I just went on with my daily routines. My pregnancy still wasn't real to me even at this point. I just felt like I was in a haze. To this day there is a lot I do not remember from the time I found out I was pregnant until the time of my abortion. I guess I've just suppressed the memories.

The day came and Anthony and I left for Columbus. We just told everyone we were visiting one of his friends that lived there and then we were going to go shopping. We arrived at the clinic, filled out papers, and paid them. It cost $350 to kill my baby. I was about 12 weeks along. They took me back and Anthony left for a bit. I went to this room that had a table with some stirrups. They put an IV in me. Everyone was very nice and we made small talk but they didn't really tell me what was going to happen. I was lying on the table talking to the nurse beside me and then the next thing I remember was waking up in a room with a bunch of other girls. When I woke up many of the other girls were crying. I guess it was from all the cramping, but I just felt numb. I wasn't cramping at all so I just went back to sleep. I woke up later and felt fine physically. I think that made the whole experience a little unreal too. I felt the same physically when I left as when I came in. The nurse took me to the restroom and checked my bleeding and then I was able to leave. Anthony and I drove back home. I slept the whole way back. After I went back home I went to work. Immediately after the abortion I didn't have much remorse. I honestly felt relieved, which I guess is normal. At times I tried rationalizing getting the abortion. I was taking diet pills at the time and I was afraid I had given my baby a birth defect. Of course that didn't really make it any easier. I went into denial.

Years pass and Anthony and I got married in 2005. We started trying in 2007 to have a baby. I found out I was pregnant in May and we were so excited! We thought right after we had the abortion that God might punish us and never let us have any more kids. Everything with my pregnancy was fine until Oct 6 when I had an episode of bleeding and I was rushed to the hospital. The rest of my pregnancy I was monitored very closely. Kyndra was born on Jan 10, 2008. It was such a happy day! Her birth has been such a great event in my life but it has also stirred up the worst. Since she has been born I think often about the baby I have lost. I think more about it now that I have in the first 5 years. I think it's because I see what that baby could have been and it grieves me. I didn't know then what I know now about fetal development. I wish I would've known. It breaks my heart to think of what I put my baby through. My only solace is that my baby is with my Heavenly Father and one day I will hold my little one again. Both my husband and I have asked for forgiveness and if we could go back, if only we could go back, we would have never, never chosen that for our baby. I did give my baby I lost a name. I feel like my baby would've been a boy so I chose Jordan Leigh.

I am now in the process of rebuilding my life and taking back what the enemy stole from me in his deceptive attempts. I am an active part in a local church. I am now a member of several online abortion groups, and I went through Christian-based, post-abortive counseling at CCWC. It has helped a lot. If there have to be others out there that have experienced what I have, and there are, (one in four), it is so good to know I'm not the only one out there with regrets, and I'm not alone in the decision I made. Well God is a God of second chances. I'm not alone. God's grace and forgiveness are unending. My life has been so much better since I've given it back to the Lord. He has given me the peace I desperately needed. However, I will never, ever forget the experience and I hope that I can help other women who have gone through the same thing or are considering abortion. People need to know what abortion really is and how deceiving many clinics are. People need to really understand what it does to the mother as well as the father, besides the obvious destruction of the child involved. The Clinton County Women's Center is there for women and men who are facing the same fears and mistakes that I experienced. My hope is that you will be there to stand in the gap with them. To make it possible to save others from this devastating experience.


The banquet ended up being a great success! There were 209 people in attendance and the money in cash, checks, and pledges came to $21,765. Later my poem was printed in the newsletter they send out. I will share my poem next week.

Impromptu visit

Today was a really nice day outside. It was warm and sunny with a slight breeze. On my way to pick up Kyndra after work I decided that I wanted to go to the cemetery and visit Carleigh's grave. It was the perfect day to do so and my mood was really good.

So I picked up Kyndra and we headed on out there. I was really hoping that her marker would be up but as you can see.....it wasn't. (Sorry for poor picture quality-I took them on my cell.)

However, it looks like they plan on laying the foundation pretty soon. They have a rectangular area spray painted white. Of course, I am just assuming that is where it is going to go. I hope the next time I visit at least the foundation is down. It would be even better if her marker were up.

I found that the pinkish rose I placed on her grave on Mother's Day was still there. It was buried in the grass so I got it out and placed it on top. The leaves are brown on it but the pretty pink color of the rose was still mostly present.

I put Kyndra down and let her wander around in the grass. She had fun walking around and even went over to Carleigh's grave and just looked at it.....and then fell on it. Clumsy girl. :)




We enjoyed spending a little time with our Carleigh on such a nice day.

And here's those horses that were present on the day of Carleigh's burial.


After our visit was finished we went back into town and dropped some things off at the Clinton County Women's Center and I got to see Holly and Sheila. Sheila and I talked for a little bit and then Kyndra and I left to head to the bank and then home.

Thank you, Lord, for such a beautiful day!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bike Run

The Caring for Carleigh benefit bike run was Saturday in Findlay. Registration was from 11am-1pm at the Whiskey Venue. I had never been to Whiskey Venue but I had been there when it used to be Brandy's back in my college days. It's quite a nice place! We had about 30 bikes register for the run. We were expecting more but with the weather the way it was we weren't surprised. Before we left I thanked everyone for coming out and explained what the run was for. Then we all got on our bikes and headed out!

Our first stop was at Dave's Hideaway in Findlay. No sooner had we went in the bar then the rain starting pouring down. Are you kidding me? It was raining when the radar showed no signs of it. We stayed there for about a hour and decided to take off when the rain let up. We lost some riders at this point. Everyone who had rain gear suited up. Anthony and I did not have rain gear but it wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. My pants got wet on the ends from water splashing up but that's about it.

The next stop was Clark's Bar & Grill in Mt. Blanchard. My brother-in-law Todd got us and Anthony's parents some rain suits and we put them on at this stop. Mine was absolutely huge. They didn't have smalls so I had to suffer with a medium. It looked way funny on me. I had the pants pulled all the way up to my boobs and it still looked like I was carrying a load. I snacked on some Ballreich's and water. (If you are unfamiliar with what Ballreich's are then I am sorry for you. They are the most wonderful chips in the world and made in NW Ohio!)

We went to the R-Bar in Carey next. It was still rainy outside at this point. A lot of people got food at this stop. I got some breaded mushrooms. When we came out of R-Bar the weather was totally different! It was warmer and it had stopped raining and was almost dried up and the sun was starting to peak through. Wish it would've been like that at the beginning!

We headed over to Sonny Jack's in New Riegel and then made a stop at The Stable in Arcadia. We raffled off some tshirts at The Stable from Thiel's Wheels in Upper Sandusky. Then we left and headed over to Taylorpalooza where the Rock-n-Roll Outlaws played. The bon fire there was unbelievably HUGE. We did a 50/50 drawing there and raffled off some other tshirts. We made almost $200 off the 50/50 as the person who won generously gave the money he won back to us. It was so very nice!! The run itself we raised almost $400. (And the happy hour a few weeks ago made around $350.)

First stop at Dave's Hideaway before it started raining.

Anthony and me at Dave's Hideaway in Findlay.

At R-Bar in Carey.

At R-Bar.

Being silly at R-Bar.

On the open road...

The run after it got nice (thank goodness!).

We might be holding another bike run in the fall. Danny, the owner of Whiskey Venue, talked to me at Dave's Hideaway about having some type of fundraiser for neural tube defects in the area and to help raise awareness. He said there's nothing like that in the area and it would be good to have one. Danny has spina bifida but you would never know it. He was telling me he his 3rd surgery not too long ago. So I think he might partner with us again if we do hold some type of fundraiser. I imagine our beneficiary would be the Center for Human Genetics at Duke to go to their Neural Tube Defect Research Fund. All the details will need to be worked out. But I think that would be really awesome for this to turn into an annual event-something great to do in Carleigh's memory.

Reading Group-Chapter 5

Chapter 5 of I'll Hold You In Heaven is titled "In Heaven As A Person".

Now there are heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies, and the glory of each is different from the other. 1 Corinthians 15:40

The author shares with us the story of David committing adultery and then murder. I recommend reading this to help clarify the story. I found it quite interesting!

1) How does it make you feel to hear David's words "I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me"?

2) Do you have hope in being reunited with your child(ren) one day?

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.

Psalm 139:15-16

We are told in the book of when Moses and Elijah were with Jesus the disciples recognized them as who they were but yet had never met them or knew what they looked like.

3) Do you believe you'll be able to recognize your child(ren) in Heaven?

4) What do you imagine meeting your child(ren) will be like?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Tattoo

If you follow my family blog then you know I was thinking of getting a tattoo this weekend. I wanted to get something in memory of Carleigh and so I finally decided on her hand print and her name. So before we left to go to Findlay for the weekend I printed off several hand prints of hers that were different. I wasn't sure when I would have time to get a tattoo done over the weekend because Saturday was the bike run and Sunday we would be leaving to go home.

I managed to squeeze it in after the bike run. My sister-in-law, Chantel, called Time Bomb in Findlay and Scott said he could do it. I was glad! Anthony kept telling me I could get it done next weekend but I really wanted to get it done this weekend. Kinda like I want it done and I want it done now! lol

I decided on getting Carleigh's right hand print on the back of my right shoulder. I wanted to get 'Carleigh McKenna' but with the small size of her hand it would look too odd having both so I just went with 'Carleigh'. Scott wrote out Carleigh's name himself (and I doubled checked to make sure it was spelled right).

I had quite a crowd getting it done. My mother-in-law and my cousin (Judy and Bre) were there from the start and then Anthony and his dad (Bud) came about half way through. Anthony's dad took some pictures.

Now this was my first tattoo but I wasn't nervous at all. Needles don't bother me. I poke people with needles all day for my job and I don't mind getting poked with them either. I was pretty sure it would hurt at least a little bit. Chantel figured I'd do just fine since I "smile through labor." lol The worst part was just getting started. Scott did Carleigh's name first and then her hand print. At first I was wondering how anybody could possibly think of getting a second tattoo but once I got used I could see why. You just get used to it.

I think it turned out really good and I love it!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Winner of Giveaway #3!!!

Congratulations to Lynnette Kraft!!!!

Enter a lower limit: 1
Enter an upper limit: 39
Random Number: 32

You were number 32 on the list (thanks to your extra entry!) and have won the Mother's basket from Mellow Yellow Soap Company!

Please email me at caring4carleigh@yahoo.com to confirm your prize!!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaways! I really enjoyed reading all of your responses. I've had so much fun doing these giveaways that I plan to do more in the future.

Finally, a big thank you to Sue from My Forever Child and Karin from Mellow Yellow Soap Company for sponsoring the giveaways. I very much appreciate it!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

3rd Mother's Day Giveaway


Today's giveaway is courtesy of Karin from Mellow Yellow Soap Company.

"Mellow Yellow Soap Company was created out of a passion for all things natural and genuine and in response to my experience with having a baby/child with very sensitive skin. While I really enjoy the fragrances and colors found in many soaps available online, I wanted to create soaps that were free of artificial dyes and fragrances."

I have a sample of Karin's soaps from when I bought some of her Domino Pads and I love it! Once it's gone I want to buy some more.


This Mom's Basket includes basket, 1 Vegan Cocoa unscented (but has a nice natural cocoa butter aroma), 1 Goat's Oats and Bees Bar, 1 Milk & Honey Face Bar, 1 Honey Almond Lip Balm, and a wooden soap dish to keep your soap dry.


What do you need to do to enter the giveaway?
Just leave a comment telling me what you love most about being a mother. (Make sure you stop by Mellow Yellow Soap Company too!)

Who is eligible for the giveaway?
Everyone! If you want to increase your chances of winning just follow my blog! All my blog followers who enter will be given an extra entry.

When does this giveaway end?
This lovely giveaway will end at midnight. The winner will be announced tomorrow.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bike Run this Saturday!!


The flyer above is pretty self-explanatory but this Saturday is the bike run. I am hoping we have a good turnout for it. So, if you are in the area and you have a motorcycle come on out and support us! Anthony and I will be leading the run.....on this:

Right now there's rain in the forecast so pray that it changes to something a little nicer!

Winner of Giveaway #2!!!

Congratulations to Shannon!!

Enter a lower limit: 1
Enter an upper limit: 47
Random Number: 14

You were number 14 on the list and have won the 14k gold filled necklace from My Forever Child!

To confrim your gift please email me at caring4carleigh@yahoo.com.

There's one more giveaway to come so you still have a shot at winning if you haven't already!

Reading Group-Chapter 4

Chapter 4 of I'll Hold You In Heaven is titled "Destiny In The Afterworld".

God wants us to be in eternity with Him. He sent His son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sins.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. John 3:16-17

1) What does it mean to you to know that God loved us so much that He let Jesus die for us?

The Bible tells us that when innocent ones like our children leave us on earth they are taken immediately into the Father's presence.

2) How does it make you feel to know your child(ren) was ushered into Heaven once they left this world?

Losing a child is a great tragedy. Satan will use this opportunity to try and bring you down. He will try to separate you from God. In the midst of our grieving and pain we must seek Him. He can bring you the comfort and peace you are searching for. Satan means to harm you but God will lift you up. Just reach out your hand.

3) When you were most desperate in your grieving who did you reach out to? Who helped you the most? Were there times you felt extremely low with little hope? How did you overcome these low points?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

2nd Mother's Day Giveaway


Today's giveaway is courtesy of Sue from My Forever Child. Thank you Sue!!
At My Forever Child they offer a wide variety of remembrance jewelry to help comfort those who have lost a child.

"The My Forever Child™ Collection was born out of a desire to create unique keepsakes for those touched by the loss of a child. No matter what age the child died at, it is very important for the grieving parent to have their child remembered and acknowledged. Even though the child is not with them physically, the parental feelings of love do not disappear. Parenthood is not measured by the length of time spent raising a child. The child is always in the parent's heart, hence the phrase "My Forever Child™"."


To learn more about My Forever Child and Sue please click here. Stop by her website and take a look around. She has lots of great gift ideas!! Part of the proceeds from sales at My Forever Child are donated to Charitable Organizations that are committed in making a difference in the prevention of future losses and child advocacy causes.


The giveaway is for a Family necklace in a 14K yellow gold filled round design personalized with your family monogram and your children's names. It comes with coordinating gemstones and an 18 inch gold filled chain. This necklace is a new design by Sue that has not yet been listed! So, when you win she will photograph your finished necklace and use that photograph for her website as a sample. How cool is that!?


What do you need to do to enter the giveaway?
Just leave a comment telling me about the mom who has inspired you the most. (Make sure you stop by My Forever Child too!)

Who is eligible for the giveaway?
Everyone! Whether you have endured a loss or not you can still win! If you want to increase your chances of winning just follow my blog! All my blog followers who enter will be given an extra entry.

When does this giveaway end?
This lovely giveaway will end at midnight. The winner will be announced tomorrow.

Winner of Giveaway #1!!

Congratulations to Jodi Lansink!!!

You were number 36 on the list (thanks to your extra entry) and have won the sterling silver necklace from My Forever Child!! I couldn't help but smile when I had saw that you had won. What a sweet gift for you!

To confirm your gift please email me at caring4carleigh@yahoo.com.

Don't worry my faithful followers there are 2 more giveaways to come so you still have a chance to win a special gift.

Monday, May 11, 2009

6 week checkup

Today I had my 6 week checkup with Dr. F. It went well! They moved their office so I actually had to drive to my appointment instead of just walking to the other side of the hospital. Bummer. My BP was good and so was my weight. I've gained some weight since my 2 week checkup so I'm at 111 lbs now. That's great!

Did my checkup and everything is looking good and I'm feeling fine. We talked about birth control and I have no plans to go on any as we are fine with getting pregnant again. Dr. F gave me a prescription for a prenatal vitamin. She'd rather me be on the prescription strength than OTC, which is fine with me. So I'll be picking that up this week. We chit chatted about some other things and it was a overall pleasant appointment. I didn't make an appointment for my yearly checkup. I told them I'd probably be seeing them before that. lol

*Edit* I've had a few people ask me how work went today....It went good! Things flowed great and we weren't super busy, which was nice on my first day back. No awkward moments as of yet so that's good! Had some nice banter between my fellow techs just like before I left and I enjoyed that. (I'm still laughing at you Lindsey.)

1st Mother's Day Giveaway



Today's giveaway is courtesy of Sue from My Forever Child. Thank you Sue!!
At My Forever Child they offer a wide variety of remembrance jewelry to help comfort those who have lost a child.

"Our mission at My Forever Child™ is to create unique acknowledgement and memorial keepsakes, remembrance jewelry and sympathy gifts to comfort those touched by the loss of a Child, no matter what age- miscarriage, stillbirth, pregnancy and infant loss, newborn baby, toddler, older child, teen and adult death. We also have special pieces for trying to conceive with positive affirmations and metaphysical gemstones for fertility and pregnancy support."

They can take your child's actual hand or foot prints and put them on a necklace, bracelet, or keychain. If you recall this is the kind I was presented with by Sue. Click here to see my bracelet.
Stop by her website and take a look around. She has lots of great gift ideas!!

The giveaway is for a Mother's necklace in a sterling silver tab design personalized with your children's names and birth dates if desired. It comes with coordinating gemstones and an 18 inch sterling silver chain. This necklace is a new design by Sue that has not yet been listed! So, when you win she will photograph your finished necklace and use that photograph for her website as a sample. How cool is that!?

What do you need to do to enter the giveaway?
Just leave a comment and tell me about your Mother's Day! (Make sure you stop by My Forever Child too!)

Who is eligible for the giveaway?
Everyone! Whether you have endured a loss or not you can still win! If you want to increase your chances of winning just follow my blog! All my blog followers who enter will be given an extra entry.

When does this giveaway end?
This lovely giveaway will end at midnight. The winner will be announced tomorrow.

Reading Group-Chapter 3

Chapter 3 of I'll Hold You In Heaven is titled " Life To What Degree?"

Some of our babies never fully developed their human bodies while others did. The bodies we have here on earth are different than the ones we will receive in Heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:40)

1) What do you think heavenly bodies look like? Do you believe your child(ren) has a perfect body?

The author shared a story of an elderly woman in his congregation. During the Depression she had an abortion and years later her and her husband dedicated the child they lost long ago to the Lord.

2) Did you dedicate you child(ren) to the Lord? If so, please share the experience. If not, is this something you would like to do?

Jeremiah 1:5 says "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart for my holy purpose. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations."

3) How does it make you feel to know your child(ren) was known by God before they were even conceived?

The author takes us back to the story of Mary going to Elizabeth after being visited by the angel Gabriel. We're told that the babe in Elizabeth's womb leapt upon hearing Mary's greeting, as Mary was carrying the long awaited Messiah. Elizabeth was then filled with the Holy Spirit.

4) Do you believe your child(ren) is spiritually sensitive to our Maker?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Mother's Day

Today has been up and down. The day started out well enough. Anthony got up with Kyndra for once since it was my "special" day. Of course, I had to wake him up to get her. He sleeps like a log, unlike me. While getting ready for church I got a call from Celia's husband, Phillip, but I was in the bath. I finished getting ready for church and while we were on our way there I called him back. Celia had little Noah this morning at 8:38 am by C-section. Go over to her blog to hear more. Keep Celia and her family in your prayers please. As of right now, he is still with them.

We were late leaving our house and had to stop to get some gas in the van too so we were late for church. Not too bad though courtesy of my husband's speedy driving. Things were going well and then our pastor's wife, Holly, went up to speak and was getting ready to pray. I stood up and asked her if we could pray for Celia. I almost couldn't keep it together telling everyone. I had some of my church family surround me and lay their hands on me as we prayed for Celia. They prayed for me too, which I very much appreciated.

After church we ate at KFC and by this point Anthony had already done a few things to irritate me. We stopped by the Hallmark store to pick up a birthday card for Alexa, my bff Lindsey's daughter. She turned 1 year old today. I ran in to get a card and told Anthony I would only be a minute and he decided to go get the van washed. So I had to stand outside and wait for him to finish. I wasn't pleased. Our next stop was Swindler & Sons Florist. They were open today since it was Mother's Day. I went in and I bought a pinkish rose for Carleigh and I had them make me up something for her vase in case her marker was up. Then Anthony and I went out to the cemetery.

Much to my disappointment, Carleigh's marker was not there. I really wish it was. Anthony and I pulled up and got out of the van and went over to her grave. I placed the rose there on the ground and I just sat there on the ground. And I cried.

Finally I got up and Anthony and I just stood there holding each other. I went back to the van and Anthony talked to the groundskeeper, who was mowing at the time. He asked Anthony if everything was ok. He told Anthony that he has to fill Carleigh's spot with more dirt since it sunk in the ground a little. I guess just everything settling.

We stopped by Alexa's birthday party to drop off the card but we didn't stay. After visiting the cemetery I just wasn't up to it. Lindsey understood.

So now I am home.

Tomorrow I go back to work. 6 weeks already. I'm already foreseeing some awkward moments. You know, the ones where people knew I was pregnant but have no idea that Carleigh is in Heaven. All of my department knows and that is where I spend most of my time so hopefully all goes well. Pray for a smooth day!

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there-whether your child is on earth or in sweet Heaven. In honor of this special day I'm going to be holding a few giveaways for my faithful blog followers and the rest of the blogging world this next week so keep your eyes open and spread the word!

Oh, and in case you didn't notice in the top left hand corner of my blog you will see a rotating link to Compassion. Maybe this Mother's Day you can bless a child with a "mother from afar".

Saturday, May 09, 2009

God brought us some friends

Recently I had the opportunity to meet a mom on Anencephaly Support who lives near to me. (She's close to where you're at Ashley!) Her name is Jenny and her husband is Josh. They lost their daughter, Kayden, on April 6, 2009 at 40 weeks. She was with them for 3 hours.

Now I do not believe it is coincidence that we just happened to meet. I think God brought us together. I really do! We've talked on the phone a couple times and I learned that they go to a Nazarene church too! Are you kidding me!? What are the odds of that!? Today we met Josh and Jenny in person. They were heading to a Reds game in Cincinnati so we met up at Bob Evans in Wilmington. It's so great to meet another Christian family in person who knows exactly what you're going through and how you feel. (Celia, I promise some day we will! Kathleen mentioned doing a big get-together some time and I think that would be really awesome!)

Let me tell you they are super nice! We ate lunch and talked. (I got biscuits and gravy.) We shared our experiences and feelings with each other. We were just like any other parents bragging about their children. :) It felt very comfortable to me.

Kyndra decided to act up a little but only because she was tired. Poor girl hadn't gotten a good nap in yet. She definitely didn't show her best side! (Way to make a first impression, Kyndra. lol)

I know for sure we would like to get together with them again. (I hope they feel the same!) Thank you, Lord, for bringing us together with such great people!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Letter to Carleigh

My precious Carleigh,

It's been over a month since you've been gone. At times it seems so long since we said goodbye and then other times it feels just like yesterday. How I miss you! I've loved you since the moment I found out I was pregnant with you. My joy was bursting at the seams. Although Daddy wished for a boy I longed for another little girl, a sister for Kyndra to be close to and grow up with. When it was confirmed you were indeed a girl I was so happy! My dream of having 2 girls close in age had come true.

But that dream was shattered when we found out that we would not be able to keep you. This wasn't supposed to happen to my little girl! From that moment I loved you more than ever before. People didn't understand my love for you. They couldn't understand why I would choose to keep you knowing you would not live. I would not back down from my decision. My path was set and so was yours. God knew that I would love you so fiercely and He was preparing me for you.

It hurt a lot to know that you would not live, but I picked up the pieces of my broken heart and I moved forward. I started to prepare for you. Really prepare. I don't think I spared a single detail. It was my way of having control of a situation that was out of my hands. It wasn't always easy, these preparations. I didn't want to have to look at tiny caskets and decide what color of granite your marker would be. Planning for your funeral felt so very wrong, especially when I could feel your little kicks inside me.

Do you know that I loved feeling you move? I did! I'd put my hand over your foot and you'd move to a different spot. Sorry if that irritated you but I couldn't help myself! Feeling your foot through my belly I imagined what you looked like. Would you look like your big sister? When we saw you on the ultrasound you definitely had your sister's chubby cheeks. I think you resemble your sister a lot, except your hands and feet. Yours were bigger with long and slender fingers and toes. You must have gotten that from me because Daddy's fingers are short and stubby. I loved your hiccups too. I was so excited when I felt them for the first time. Your hiccups were always so light. Many times I had to sit to even feel them. They got a little stronger as you grew bigger. Your hiccups gave me hope that you would be born alive.

But you weren't. You were gone before you took a breath. I hope that you didn't feel any pain or suffer during that time. I can't bear the thought of that. Towards the end your heart was still beating but it seemed softer and I hoped that it was just because you were dropping and we couldn't hear it as well. Your kicks started to come less frequent. But I still held onto my hope. You were born and placed on my chest. I was afraid of what you would look like, but you were so beautiful. You were perfect. How could I have been afraid?

Erin checked your heart to see if it was beating but it wasn't. I wished you could have been born alive. Even though I wanted that so much I was glad to have you in my arms. At that moment it didn't matter. I had you and it was enough.

We kept you with us until we left the hospital. You were always by my side, even when I slept. It felt so good to have you near. The day we left was very difficult. I knew what was coming next and I didn't want to face it. The most difficult thing I've ever had to do in my entire life was hand you to the funeral director and walk away. Burying you was easier than this. It truly broke me and I sobbed in your Daddy's arms. Just thinking of the pain I felt that day overwhelms me. I knew you were safe in Heaven and not in your body, but your body was all I had here on earth and I didn't want to let you go yet. I think the only thing that got me through the night was knowing I'd be able to see you again the next day.

Do you know how much you have impacted my life? Do you know how you have touched others? Your life had (and still has) such great purpose! I am so proud of you! I feel so very blessed to be your mother. This Mother's Day is bittersweet. I get to celebrate being the mother of such a wonderful little girl but yet you aren't here with me to celebrate. I'm going to visit your grave this Sunday and I hope they have your marker up so that I can put some flowers in your vase. I would really love to be able to do that on Mother's Day.

I miss you so much and I wish we were together. I wish your sister had you here. It comforts me so much to know you are in Heaven with Jesus. There's not a better place you could be. I wish I was there with you but my work here on earth is not yet done. I'll see you soon, my sweet baby.

I'll love you always,
Mommy

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Reading Group-Chapter 2

Chapter 2 of I'll Hold You In Heaven is titled " When Does Significance Begin?" Here we go!

God is always in our lives whether we choose to recognize it or not. We can't escape His presence-it's everywhere around us. It's in the sky. It's on the ground. It's the breeze blowing through the trees. He's everywhere and it's simply amazing. But what about our unborn children?

1) Do you believe that God is with each child in the womb? Do you believe he was with your baby (babies)?

Psalm 139 tells us that God is with us, even from the very beginning.

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

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, O 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.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

A question that has been much debated is "when does life begin?" This question can get people pretty heated. Not too long ago a law was passed in the North Dakota house that pretty much gives the same rights to "all human beings from the beginning of their biological development, including the pre-born, partially born." Boy, oh, boy was there an uproar about it! People were screaming that it would only outlaw abortion and birth control.

2) In your opinion, when does life begin in the womb? Have you ever come across people who don't agree with your opinion? What do you think of this possible law in North Dakota or even nationally?

Life in the womb is amazing. From a single cell we grow and develop. We definitely are fearfully and wonderfully made but by no means perfect.

3) If your child(ren) left you before their birth, how far along were you in your pregnancy? If you child(ren) was born alive, how far along were you when you gave birth? How long were they with you on this earth?

The author shares the story of Mary visiting Elizabeth after being visited by the angel Gabriel. Elizabeth was already 6 months pregnant and upon hearing the voice of Mary the baby in Elizabeth's womb jumped inside her with joy. He shares this to solidify that a life-both physical and spiritual-is present from the beginning. Our babies have a lasting, eternal soul.

4) Do you believe your child(ren) is indeed in Heaven? Does this comfort you? What do you imagine your child(ren) is doing in God's Kingdom?

In the next section, the author spends time with those who have lost a child through abortion. Often, the parent of an aborted child feels like they aren't worthy of forgiveness or that God or their baby couldn't possibly forgive them for the act they committed. It's simply not true. God is very loving and forgiving. There is nothing we can do that God won't forgive us of if we only ask. In God's eyes, one sin is not greater than another. Sin is sin. A child in Heaven does not hold any ill will toward the parent who chose to abort them. Feelings like that simply do not exist in Heaven. I imagine what they feel is purely love.

5) If you've faced an abortion, have you feared God and your child(ren) wouldn't forgive you? Do you know God's loving forgiveness in your heart today? If not, what feelings have kept you from accepting Him? How has God worked in your life? (This last question can certainly be answered by anyone participating.)

6) Did you face any pressures or fears in choosing abortion?

Remember that God loves you very much. He longs to have a close and personal relationship with you. Trust in Him and His will for you today. People and this life may let you down but God's love never fails.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

If a picture is worth a thousand words...


...then I'd like to know the words that describe this picture:


I was working on Carleigh's scrapbook today and this was one of the pictures I placed on one of her pages. This was on March 29. One day after Carleigh's birth. One day after she left us. I was getting released from the hospital. I was getting ready to change her from her hospital outfit into her outfit I would take her to the funeral home in. The emotions in this one picture just pour out to me.

That is a day I never want to relive.

My heart is heavy...

...for my dear friend, Celia. I know the day is fast approaching for you and I wish I could stop time to give you more precious moments. How my heart hurts for you! How I've cried for you! I pray for you constantly-that God give you comfort and strength during such a difficult time. Sometimes I just don't know what to say. Sometimes words can't say enough. Those are the times I wish I could give you a hug. A simple gesture. But I know with a hug you would be able to feel everything that is meant to be said.

I know you love Noah so much. You can see the love in your words but I also feel the pain there too. What you've been dealt is unfair. I could say the same for me, but I honestly feel it more for you. I ask God why does she have to go through this? I don't want your day to come. I frantically think how can I stop this? It's an unrealistic question, really, because there is nothing I can do. Only God has the power here. I feel so helpless. I want to try and make this better in some way but all I can do is pray and try and be a good friend.

I don't like to think about the days that lie ahead for you. I know there will be sweet moments, like meeting Noah. Oh, what a great moment indeed! But I also know of the darker moments. Moments I don't want to speak of. It's these moments that I worry for you. I've wanted to call you but I've been hesitant. I'm not the best in speaking the words I am feeling. I am much better at writing them out. I guess I'm afraid I would say something stupid or something that might upset you and I don't want that at all. You don't need that right now. So I pray for you instead. I plead to God for you. Lord, please give her what we all want the most....time. Lord, please give her a miracle.

I love you. I feel so blessed to have met you (and so many other wonderful anen mommies!). Thank you for being my friend, Celia.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Reading Group-Chapter 1

We're off to a good start so let's move on to Chapter 1 of I'll Hold You In Heaven. The chapter is titled "The Gift of Lives".

The chapter starts out with the author stating that the answers to our pain and grief lies in Scripture.

1) Please share a verse that helped you the most with your own pain and grief.

The book asked the question "was my unborn child, in the fullest sense of the meaning, actually a human being?" I think that we would all agree that our children were in every sense a human being.

2) What would you say to a person who thought your child(ren), no matter what age they passed, wasn't really a human being?

3) Do you believe the life of a child in the womb is eternal? (To clarify-Do you believe they are promised everlasting life just like us?)

Many people are passionate about the sanctity of life, which is a good thing, but the author notes that often people get too wrapped up in trying to protect life instead of sharing God's love.

4) Do you find this to be true? Have you known anybody that cares more for saving lives than sharing God's love? What do you think about this statement the author makes?

The next subject that is introduced to us is reincarnation. The Bible clearly states that we only have one life to live before being judged.
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment. Hebrews 9:27

With this thought, parents can easily fall into the idea that their child will come back to them in the future through another child.

5) Have you ever believed your child(ren) would return to you in the future? If so, has your view changed at all?

Another common area of thinking for grieving parents is to believe that their babies existed in Heaven before conception. Many times our children are referred to as "angels". The book gave the statement "God somehow knew better and that He took back the life He had earlier given from Heaven." God doesn't make babies to take babies. Death has been a part of our human lives since sin entered our lives from the fall of Adam and Eve and there's nothing we can do about it. Because of sin we cannot lead perfect lives or have perfect babies. Also, God doesn't send angels into baby bodies. Angels are a separate being from us humans and have been so since the beginning of time.

6) What do you believe in regards to babies and angels? Do you believe your baby (babies) is an angel? Do you think your baby (babies) existed before the womb?

God told man to be fruitful and multiply.
God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Genesis 1:28
God never said in the Bible that we are to have a certain number of children.

7) What are your thoughts on birth control? Have you used it before? What kind?

To God, children are very precious and are considered blessings.
Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:3-5
No doubt, I'm sure we all consider our own children, both here and in Heaven, as blessings.

8) Share how your child(ren) in Heaven has blessed your life.

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