Merry Christmas to those celebrating on Earth and in Heaven.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaways for my day on the 25 Days of Giveaways. And now the winners!!
Giveaway #1 – $10 GC to My Forever Child -- Gottjoy!
Giveaway #2 – Crystal Heart Ornament -- MK
Giveaway #3 – Round Ornament -- Big Love, Big Acceptance - or so I say
Giveaway #4 – $10 GC to The Midnight Orange -- Hope
Giveaway #5 – swan sculpture -- Bethany
Giveaway #6 – $10 GC to Somewhere Over The Rainbow -- Kristi
Giveaway #7 – $10 GC to Mountin Designs -- Sarah
Giveaway #9 – $10 GC to Best Art Studios – alliecat
Congrats to all the winners!! If you are a winner please email me at email@example.com. If I end up not hearing from someone I will choose a new winner.
There is also a giveaway going on today at my Caring for Carleigh FB page.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
On Sunday I finally was able to get to the cemetery and put up Carleigh’s winter flowers. They are the same ones as last year but we used them again since they were still in really good condition.
I did get a purple stocking for her too but the girls got a hold of it and it went missing. We’ve tried to find it but they must have hid it somewhere good. I’m sure it’ll turn up eventually.
So far this season has been good emotionally. I’ve had a few moments though here and there. Christmas is my favorite holiday so I have always enjoyed this time of year. I know it is difficult for many who have lost children. We imagine them opening presents and having fun with family. We wish they could help decorate the tree and sing Christmas songs. We know the holidays would be so much brighter if they were here. I hope that during this time of year that everyone can find something to bring them a little joy.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
This is my 3rd year participating in the 25 Days of Giveaways and I’m excited to be doing this again. Thank you Tina at Living without Sophia and Ellie for hosting this wonderful event. I always jump at the opportunity to have a giveaway because I enjoy them so much! This year I decided to give away things from some of my favorite shops (in no particular order).
My first favorite shop is My Forever Child. Sue has so many pieces to offer and if you don’t see something you like just let her know and she’ll work with you to create what you envision. (I’ve worked with her several times on pieces for my friends and she has done a fabulous job!) I have many pieces that I have come to cherish from here, especially my custom hand/footprint jewelry. I’ve also given away many pieces here on this blog. I believe that every mom should have a piece of memorial jewelry to remember her child whether it be a ring, bracelet, pin, or necklace. So I would like to give away a $10 gift certificate to My Forever Child.
My friend Sue from My Forever Child has generously donated a Personalized Crystal Heart Ornament in gold. The front and/or back can be personalized with names, dates, scripture verse, or a special saying. It comes hung on a white satin ribbon. These are new this year in the shop along with several other ornaments. Thank you Sue!
My friend Sue from My Forever Child has generously donated a Personalized Round Ornament in gold. This ornament features the My Forever Child signature baby feet in teardrop heart, image engraved into the ornament. The front of the ornament is engraved in Cursive font with, "So Softly You Tiptoed Into Our World, But What An Imprint You Left Upon Our Hearts". The back can be personalized with names, dates, scripture verse, or a special saying. It comes hung on a red satin ribbon. These are new this year in the shop along with several other ornaments. Thank you Sue!
My second favorite shop is The Midnight Orange. D. Antonia is a wonderful sculptor and friend and her pieces are just gorgeous. I got my first piece back in 2009 but didn’t become an active collector until March 2011. I honestly don’t know why I waited so long because I love collecting them! I know many people who also admire her work but have yet to get one. D. Antonia has generously donated a $10 gift certificate to The Midnight Orange. Thank you so much!!
This sculpture from The Midnight Orange is called To Safe Passage and I actually purchased this as part of my personal collection but I would like to pass it on to someone else as I plan to get a purple one in the future. The description of this piece is from D. Antonia, “Swans represent a lot of different things to me. For these pieces I want to depict that they are carrying these babies from this world to the next. I find the sorrow in their posture and their silent grace are perfect for their special passengers.”
My third favorite shop is owned by my friend Katy. She has generously donated a $10 gift certificate to her shop Somewhere Over The Rainbow. This shop offers a variety of items pregnancy and infant loss items and I personally have the Custom Baby Memorial Plaque and the Wooden Memory Box. Thank you Katy!
My fourth favorite shop is Mountin Designs. This shop has items related to loss such as memorial stepping stones, wall art, and ornaments. My personal favorite is the stepping stones. I just love them and one day I want to get one for myself. I am giving away a $10 gift certificate to Mountin Designs.
My fifth favorite shop is MoonlightAura. Krystal specializes in sign language sculptures and her designs are very unique. She has several sculptures that I believe really reflect loss, such as her Heart-Shaped Hands Sculpts. Her Butterfly Landing Sculpture is also precious. One of my favorite pieces from her shop (and that I also own) is her I Love You sign language sculpture. I am giving away a pearl and a silver I Love You sign language sculptures similar to the ones picture below.
My sixth favorite shop is Best Art Studios. I just love this art shop and while I haven’t bought anything for myself yet I definitely plan to in the future. Jaime’s art is so unique and beautiful and I just love the trees that she paints. Her line Heartache and Poetry is very moving and I find I can relate it directly to losing a child. (And I love it when they have their 50% off sales!) I am giving away a $10 gift certificate to Best Art Studios.
These giveaways are open to all BLMs. You must be a BLM in order to enter these giveaways. To enter, just leave a comment with one of your favorite memories of your baby. I think during this season we all deserve to feel a little joy and I believe remembering something good does that. These giveaways will remain open until December 31st at 11:59 pm EST so that everyone in different time zones has a chance to enter. The winner will be announced the following day.
Wishing everyone a gentle and merry Christmas.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Today it has been 9 years since I made the choice to end my pregnancy at the age of 19. I can’t believe that it’s been that long already.
I don’t like thinking about that day very much because it is one of my lowest moments and not something I’m proud of. There’s so many emotions wrapped up in that decision and the aftermath of it. I could never put them all into words adequate enough to show people who have never experienced it what it is like. The whole experience opened my eyes and made me a less judgmental person. I became a girl with a scarlet letter and I still wear it. I’ll always wear it.
I’ve often wished I could go back and make a different choice but then where would I be today? I don’t think I would be who I am right now and I am happy with the person that I am. All of my mistakes have shaped me and while I would adamantly call my abortion the biggest mistake of my life I am torn in wishing I could take it back and finding peace with my decision.
I am in a good place though thanks to the bible study Forgiven & Set Free and God’s healing touch. While I still have regret and guilt, it does not consume me and I am so thankful for that. I remember when I was so weighed down by what I had done and how that felt and I never want to feel like that again. It didn’t feel like me.
No matter how you lose a child, certain things stay with you-certain memories stand out. There is quite a bit that is hazy to me from that time but I’ll never forget walking in and then out of that clinic. I felt shame and relief. Such an odd mix of emotions.
There was a period of time (5 years to be exact) that I tried to forget it even happened, but you can’t push something like that away. I couldn’t forget my baby no matter how hard I tried. It was only after I became a mother to a living baby that I realized my first baby deserved more. My baby deserved a name so I chose the name Jordan Leigh since at that time I did not have a feeling if my baby was a boy or girl so I chose something gender neutral. Jordan most likely would have been born at the end of July.
Today, I think of you, my sweet Jordan, and I’m wishing you a happy birthday in Heaven. I’m sure you were waiting with your arms open wide for your sister Carleigh. I imagine you two up there having so much fun together. I’m just glad you have each other until I can get there too. Mommy loves you.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Yesterday, December 15, 2011, was 3 years since we received Carleigh’s fatal diagnosis. (In case you are wondering D-Day is what many of us anen mommies call our diagnosis day.)
The day went fine and I actually didn’t think about it too much. I did reflect a little though. While I remember exactly what happened from my ultrasound on, I find it harder to remember all the emotions I was feeling then compared to 2 years ago or even last year. I guess that’s just a part of time moving on. Reading previous posts about that day help to remind me and I’m glad that I wrote it down.
December 15th doesn’t hold the sting that it used to even just 3 years out but I will always remember this day every year it comes around. I could never forget the day our lives changed forever. One moment we were happy and excited about meeting another little girl and the next moment we were devastated that she’d never come home with us. Can you ever completely recover from that?
It still baffles me how well I handled that day. I can’t explain it other than it was a God thing. I should have been a complete mess but I felt covered in calm, even though there were times I felt like screaming and crying. Don’t be mistaken, there were tears. Tears of shattered dreams. Tears for a life that would be cut too short. Tears of a momma’s broken heart. Those tears still fall today for my little girl.
I never imagined when I woke up that morning that my whole world was going to change. But what if I did know? Would I change anything? I don’t think that I would. Changing something would mean changing my daughter and I just can’t imagine that. To me, she is perfect. Many people may not see it, but I see her with a mother’s heart. The love a mother has for her child is one of the deepest loves a woman can experience. I’m glad I got to experience that with her.
Monday, December 05, 2011
Sunday, December 04, 2011
This week for Illuminate we searched for letters and then took pictures to make a word. This word is one we had to choose to be a theme for us in the upcoming year. The writing is about the future and how things might look say a year from now.
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t worry too much about the future because your whole life can change in a moment. Plans you have made can take a totally different path than what you were expecting or wanting. I never thought that I would be where I’m at today. The facts are horrible to face. My daughter was diagnosed with a fatal disorder and she was born still over 3 months later. But when I read those words I don’t really see something terrible. I recall the precious time I spent with her, the memories we made, her day and night gymnastics in my belly, the joy I feel to this day of being her mom. I want to always remember these things.
It doesn’t matter if it is a day, a month, or a year from now as I want to always be able to cherish the moment. Sometimes I don’t always do that but I embrace it more than I ever did before my daughter died. I want to always feel so blessed for what I have been given. They say God gives and God takes away. I do believe that to a degree but I find it hard to apply that to the death of my daughter. God did give me a beautiful daughter but I don’t feel He took her away from me. Maybe it’s because she really isn’t gone forever. She is just away from us for a time until we are reunited again. I hate that we have to have a lifetime apart but I look forward to the day when we are together again.
Is there anything that I can change in this next year? Well, I can’t control many things in this life but the one thing I can control is myself and how I behave and react to situations and to people. In this aspect, I would like to do better.
When thinking of a word that I might try to have as a so-called motto for the next year I had a hard time deciding. I know people who have done the one word thing but I never did it until this assignment. I guess I just didn’t like the idea of one word summing up who I would want to be. I think there’s so much more to me than what one word could describe. So I tried to think of a word that could encompass many different areas of myself. I came up with just a few but one stood out above the others: SERVE.
There are many ways that I can serve. I can serve my patients at work, my family, my friends, those in need, and most importantly I can serve God with my heart.
It isn’t always easy to have a servant’s heart though. My own selfish nature goes against serving others. But there is Someone I can model myself after who is the greatest servant who ever lived and that is Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God but He lived to serve others. He served people who many looked down upon without caring how He would be perceived. He loved others wholly and unconditionally with a pure heart. I want to serve like that.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13
I think my daughter Carleigh instilled in me a will to serve. My own experience made me want to help others, especially other families who have lost a baby. I hope that in this next year to be able to serve in many more ways.
Friday, December 02, 2011
Hailey ~ December 1, 2009
Jayce ~ December 2, 2008
Rachel ~ December 3, 2010
Oliver ~ December 4, 2010
Rainbow ~ December 10, 2009
Gracie ~ December 10, 2009
Lily ~ December 12, 2008
Macsen ~ December 14, 2007
Charlie ~ December 17, 2009
Lyra ~ December 18, 2009
Jordan ~ December 19, 2002
Trinity ~ December 19, 2005
Sofia ~ December 19, 2010
Lucia ~ December 22, 2008
Anthony ~ December 23, 2006
Laken ~ December 25, 2009
Julia ~ December 25, 2009
Angel ~ December 27, 2009
Juanito ~ December 29, 2009
Janie Beth ~ December 29, 2009
Sorry if your baby is not on the list. Please leave a comment if you would like your baby added.