Monday, December 02, 2013

December Babies

♥ Remembering those special babies in December. ♥

Little Muffin ~ December 1, 2007
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
Luke ~ December 24, 2010
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.

Friday, November 08, 2013

A Moment

The following is a guest post I did for my friend Stephanie at Girl of Grace exactly a year ago on her blog. I thought I would share it here.



There are certain moments you always remember. They are life-changing moments. There are times when these moments shift our whole world.
I still remember the exact moment when this happened to me. It was the day I was told my daughter wouldn't live.

Shock. Devastation. Sadness. How could this happen? How are we going to make it through this? How could God let this happen? Why us? Even amongst all the turmoil in my mind and my heart, I trusted God. People have wondered how I could do that-how I could have so much faith facing such a huge trial? All I know is that I didn't have any answers so I looked to the One that I knew did.

Waiting for the birth of my daughter was a sacred time where both grief and joy were intermingled. It was a time in my life that I felt closest to God. Perhaps it was because I was carrying a child destined for Heaven while God carried me. I cherish that time so much. I cherish each moment God gave me to mother her.

Another shift in our world came when Carleigh was born. I prepared as much as I could for her birth but no amount of preparation could have been enough for what it felt like in that room. There was a peace that surpassed any understanding that surrounded us. I always envisioned angels in the room escorting our daughter to Heaven as we waited to even meet her. What a beautiful sight our eyes couldn't see. I have said before that Heaven felt so close when she was born.

Those moments of carrying and holding my daughter I will keep with me forever. I never thought a little girl of 3 lbs 15 oz who never even took a breath in this world could impact my life so greatly, but she has. She changed everything I thought I knew as a person, a wife, and as a mother. She changed me for the better.

This road has been both broken and beautiful. I have endured intense heartache and intense love. Was it worth it? Absolutely, even just for one moment.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

November Babies

♥ Remembering November Babies ♥

Ella ~ November 1, 2010
Aiden ~ November 2, 2010
Brenna ~ November 2, 2009
Faith & Grace ~ November 3, 1996
Aiden ~ November 6, 2009
Chaya ~ November 6, 2008
Nicholas ~ November 7, 2008
Hannah ~ November 7, 2008
Zach ~ November 7, 2009
Jack ~ November 7, 2009
Calvin ~ November 10, 2008
Madeline ~ November 11, 2009
Baby Boy A & Baby Girl B ~ November 12, 2008
Lillian ~ November 13, 2009
Madeline ~ November 13, 2009
Kenner ~ November 13, 2008
TanaLee ~ November 13, 2009
Faith ~ November 14, 2009
Carly ~ November 15, 2007
Kasey ~ November 16, 2008
Alexandra ~ November 16, 2009
Cara ~ November 17, 2009
Hope ~ November 19, 2010
Eve ~ November 20, 2011
Olivia ~ November 20, 2009
Carley ~ November 20, 2010
Trevor ~ November 22, 2004
Alexander ~ November 23, 2008
Kolton ~ November 23, 2010
Jakin ~ November 24, 2010
Xavien ~ November 26, 2009
Abigaile ~ November 26, 2012
Matthew ~ November 28, 2009
Logan ~ November 28, 2005
Alyssa-Joy ~ November 29, 2008
Cora ~ November 30, 2009

If your baby is not on this list I am sorry. Please leave a comment to have them added.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day 31 ~ Capture Your Grief

Sunset: To close this project and this month of Baby Loss Awareness I thought that we could all photograph the sunset from wherever we are in the world. If there is no sunset where you are, you can still take a photo of the early evening sky. You just need to be able to get to a window. Remember to caption what State/Country you are from and the time.

I didn't capture the sunset this day so here is a picture of Carleigh's name at sunset on Christian's Beach in Australia.

Perth, Australia 2

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Day 30 ~ Capture Your Grief

Growth: Do you believe you have grown or are growing as a person since the loss of your precious baby? How? How do you see other people now? How do you see the world? Do you believe you have a higher purpose? Do you believe your baby had a higher purpose?

My little girl, who I held on this earth so briefly, changed my life profoundly. I’m not the same person that I was before she lived and died. She changed me for the better in many ways.

I believe I have a choice in how her life and death impacts me. I can choose to let grief consume me or I can choose to grow with the grief. I choose to grow with it because I know that by doing so I can truly honor my daughter.

I know that out of any tragedy God can bring beauty and He has certainly done that for us. Many good and beautiful things have come from the journey we have been on with my daughter and I have no doubt there will continue to be.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day 29 ~ Capture Your Grief

Healing: What has had the most healing impact on your life through this journey of grief?

I have found various ways of healing through my grief, but by far the biggest healing for my broken heart has been my 2 rainbow babies born in 2010 and 2012. A mother’s heart and arms will always long for the baby she lost but when those arms are filled again it eases the ache.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 28 ~ Capture Your Grief

Special Place: This could be your baby’s place of rest. If they do not have a grave, maybe you have a special place that you associate with your baby. A place you go to, to remember them. Where is it? Why did you choose that particular place?

One special place is the cemetery. It’s where we buried Carleigh so it will always be a special place to me. While I don’t visit as often as I used to, I still like to go when I can.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 27 ~ Capture Your Grief

Signs: If you believe in life after death do you believe your child has ways of contacting you? Have you had any signs?

I like to think that Carleigh has some way of letting me know she’s ok, but I cannot say for sure that she can. I see things that remind me of her and I have had experiences that can’t be explained.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day 26 ~ Capture Your Grief

Community: What does this community mean to you?

It means the world. It is people coming together to celebrate, remember, and honor their babies regardless of age, race, sex, etc. It is an instant connection to another person without even having to speak a word.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Day 25 ~ Capture Your Grief

#SayItOutLoud: Say It Out Loud is The STILL Project’s famous hashtag. STILL is a feature-length documentary film project aimed at breaking the cycle of silence surrounding pregnancy and infant loss. If you could say anything out loud about your journey with grief with the death or your baby, what would it be? What do you want the world to know? Is there a cause that touches your heart that you want to raise awareness for?

I would want parents to know that it’s ok to honor the life of your baby and to grieve your loss however you feel is best and not how other people think you should be doing it.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 24 ~ Capture Your Grief

Artwork: Have you created a piece of artwork in the wake of your baby’s death? Or maybe someone has given you some artwork to honor your baby? Please feel welcome to share links to your own website or to other artists.

One of my favorite artists is Stephanie at Beyond Words Designs. Stephanie painted this piece for me called Starry, Starry Night. It’s a little different from the original as it has brown hair instead of black. I wanted it as it went perfectly with my belly cast she painted for me.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day 23 ~ Capture Your Grief

Tattoos/Jewelry: Do you have a piece of jewelry in memory of your baby? Or maybe a tattoo. Please feel welcome to share links too.

My most special necklace is one I wear most often. It has a pendant of one of her handprints and on the other side her footprints. Her baby ring hangs on it. The chain is from the cross necklace she wore from her visitation and service. The little cross on it fell off, which I was sad about. I want to get it replaced with a replica but have not done it yet.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Beyond Words Designs Art Card Raffle

Stephanie from Beyond Words Designs creates amazing art cards that she sends to various organizations, hospitals, and individuals to give to families who are grieving the loss of their baby. Sufficient Grace Ministries includes these cards in the bags we give to our local families as part of our Perinatal Hospice and Bereavement Services.

Currently there are several baskets being raffled off to help raise money to be able to provide more art cards. It is only $1 to enter each raffle. The more entries you buy, the better your chances of winning. Please consider joining in for a good cause. Raffles end October 23rd!

Holiday Basket
Christmas is right around the corner and this year you could have this basket of goodies and share some holiday love all at the same time. This basket of Christmas Cheer is worth over $100.00 and every dollar you donate gets an entry into the raffle AND provides funds for 5 Memory Cards to be printed and distributed to women experiencing the loss of a baby. When you enter this raffle you can have your cake and eat it too...but don't worry, there's no fruit cake in here! #babyloss #love #hope
Holiday Basket ~

Rainbow Baby Basket
We are INCREDIBLY excited about this basket we are raffling off. It's full of beautiful baby things for a Rainbow baby (a baby after a loss) and when I say full, I mean worth over $425.00! Help We Remember You meet our $5,000 goal by either donating or by participating in this raffle, every dollar donated on the page enters you in the raffle ($1.00= 1 entry, $25.00= 25 entries, etc) and every dollar donated also buys 5 Memory Cards to be given to women experiencing a loss by her Doctor, Hospital or Loss Organizations around the world. This is money you can spend and feel really REALLY good about it. And even better if you win this fabulous prize!
Rainbow Baby Basket ~

Still A Mother Basket
We Remember You is raising funds for 16,000 Memory Cards to be printed and distributed to women who have lost a baby throughout the country via their Doctors, hospitals and through Loss Organizations. To reach out goal we need to raise 5,000 and have come a long way and you can help us get the rest of the way. This raffle basket is for the mother/family who has lost a baby to still birth. Every dollar donated is both an entry into the raffle AND prints 5 of our beautiful Memory Cards.  Still A Mother Basket ~

NYC Swag Bag
We are at almost 2,000 raised for We Remember You! SO exciting!! Please help us get the rest of the way there by either donating or participation in this completely Awesome raffle we are doing. There are NINE different baskets and are incredible values. Check out this first one. It's the swag bag from NYC's Fashion Week and it's worth over six HUNDRED dollars. Every dollar donated counts as an entry and every dollar you spend helps us provide 5 cards to women experiencing the loss of a baby, showing her love and providing her with resources for grief and healing.... what better reason do you need to dig deep (into your wallet)? NYC swag and you can feel good abut it at the same time?!! Hello! Share this with your friends, who wouldn't want to win this sweet prize? ;)
NYC Swag Bag ~

Angel Mom Basket

We Remember You is raising funds to have beautiful cards with a message of love with resources for grief printed and freely distributed to Doctors, Hospitals and Loss organizations throughout the country and throughout the world so that when women lose a baby they have one small piece of love and hope. It seems small knowing you are not alone is very big indeed. This raffle basket is worth over 100.00 and is full of beautiful things specially chosen for the mother who has lost a baby. Every dollar donated is a chance to win the basket AND provides funds for FIVE memory cards to be printed. Whether you win or not, the odds of touching someone's life are 100% and who can beat that?   Angel Mom Basket ~

Angel Dad Basket
Babyloss doesn't only effect the Mamas, but often times Dad feels unequipped to grieve or to show that he remembers his Angel too. Take a look at this raffle basket for Angel Dads. Every dollar donated is an entry into the raffle AND it benefits the Memory Card Project which provides cards with resources for babyloss free of charge to Doctors, Hospitals, and Loss Organizations throughout the country and even internationally. In fact, every dollar donated provides funds for 5 cards! So enter lots and win this for the babyloss dad in your life!   Angel Dad Basket ~

Miscarriage Basket
Miscarriage is something that effects a devastatingly large number of women every day, most of whom will grieve alone. The Memory Card Project works to change that by providing Doctors, Hospitals, and loss Organizations with cards that express love and provide resources for grief and most of all- tells her she is not alone in her loss. We have set a goal to raise 5,000 and have 16,000 cards printed and we would love your help in reaching that goal! You can be a part of that by donating or by participating in this beautiful raffle for a Miscarriage themed basket full of love that is worth over 160.00. Every dollar donated via this page provides you with an entry into the raffle and provides funds for FIVE cards to be printed.  Miscarriage Basket ~

Family Basket
When a family loses a baby it affects them all. You can enter to win this basket full of resources and amazing gifts aimed at a family and it includes a nearly priceless gift certificate for a line jump for a Molly Bear. A Molly Bear is perfectly weighted to be the same weight as the baby you lost and the current wait time is 16-20 months with requests opening only on the 30th of each month.
Family Basket ~

Get Creative Basket
This basket will get your creative juices flowing, it includes a wacom bamboo which turns your computer into a sketch pad and so much more! It's valued at over 125.00 and you get one entry for every dollar you donate on this page...and what's more, you also get to know that for every dollar you donate/entry you receive you are funding FIVE memory cards. That means you are paying for five women to have one small beacon of love and hope when she has lost a baby, and that's something you can feel really good about!
Get Creative Basket ~

Day 22 ~ Capture Your Grief

Words: Share your favorite quote, poem, song lyrics, scripture that you have found.

There are many words that I have found that I like. There is one that I liked that I chose it to be under the header of my blog.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Psalm 73:26

To me, this means that no matter what God will always be enough no matter what and He will give me the strength to carry on.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 21 ~ Capture Your Grief

Honor: Is there anything that you have done to honor your baby since they died? Did you give back to the community? Make a conscious decision to live as beautifully as possible? Take on the role of helping others in your situation? Maybe you work as an advocate for breaking the silence for our community.

I honor my daughter by helping others. One of the ways I am able to do that is through Sufficient Grace Ministries. I am so blessed to be able to be a part of this wonderful ministry that supports grieving families.

comfort bear and book

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day 20 ~ Capture Your Grief

Hope: Do you have hope for the future? What do you hope for those who will join this club in the future?

What helps me and gives me comfort through losing Carleigh is that I have the hope of seeing her again one day. I know that the brief moments we had on this earth are not the end.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Day 19 ~ Capture Your Grief

Support: Share about what has been the best support for you since the loss of your baby. Maybe it is a special friend or family member? A pet? An organization? What have they done for you? Where would you be without them?

The support of my friends, other babyloss moms (BLMs), who have been through the same thing has meant the world to me. I am so glad to have met so many on this road yet sad we have met at all. They get it when others don’t. They don’t judge my actions or feelings. Thank you to all who have been there for me!

This picture is from my most recent meeting of some other BLMs back in July.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 18 ~ Capture Your Grief

Release: What do you want to let go of on this journey of grief? Is it fear? Guilt? Worry? Deep sadness? Regrets?

I can’t really think of anything I need to “let go” of. I am in a good place with the choices I have made. There will always be choices I may question or things I wish I would have done, but I know that lingering on the what ifs and what could have beens will never do me any good because I can’t change anything. I know that I made the choices that I thought were best in each moment.


Wasn’t sure really what picture to share with this day so I chose a pic of a lantern being released from the SGM Remembrance Ceremony we had this month. We need to release the negative emotions that hold us down like we release balloons, lanterns, butterflies, etc for our babies.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 17 ~ Capture Your Grief

Time: How long has it been since your baby died.


I have spent every moment since then loving and missing her.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day 16 ~ Capture Your Grief

Seasons: Share what certain seasons or holidays mean to you now. What season did your baby die in? What season were they conceived/born in? Etc. Do you dread those seasons now? Are they more meaningful to you because of your baby?

Carleigh was born in early spring on March 28, 2009. Spring is the season of new life. Many animals have their babies. Tiny buds turn into leaves, flowers, and various plants. Carleigh is my little bud that never bloomed here on this earth yet beauty still emerged. I know her beauty is even more in Heaven.

Carleigh's Flower - Rory's Garden

I do not dread the spring or any other season with its holidays that make me miss her even more. Each day is another opportunity to love her and honor her here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 15 ~ Capture Your Grief

Wave Of Light: Today is October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Light a candle at 7pm to help create a continuous wave of light around the world for 24 hours. Photograph your light! Please remember to share your location for this day as well. Wishing you all a ton of love for this sacred day of remembrance.


♥ Remembering all the babies gone too soon from this earth. ♥

Monday, October 14, 2013

Article about anencephaly

A friend shared this article and I thought it was very well written. It shares many reasons why a baby with anencephaly should not be aborted. Some of the points made really make you think and I hope that it can change the mind of even one person out there who views a baby with anencephaly as a baby who should be aborted. Babies with anencephaly may not live long but it is still a life worth living.

For those who decide that it is best for their family to terminate, there is no judgment. I only hope that those who decide this route do so for themselves and are not coerced in any way. Families have a right to make their own decisions for their baby with complete knowledge and without influence from anyone.

Day 14 ~ Capture Your Grief

Family: What does you family look like now? Is it just yourself carrying your child’s heart in yours? Do you have other children? A partner? A pet? You may not have what society perceives as a family but we all know that just because you cannot see any children, that does not mean that they are not a part of your family.

This is the most recent pic that I have of our family. It was taken October 2012.


I have a husband who I have been married to for 8 years. I have four living daughters and one daughter in Heaven. We also have another little baby in Heaven. We always find some way to include Carleigh in family photos. In the picture above we have her Carleigh Bear from Molly Bears in the photo.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Day 13 ~ Capture Your Grief

Book: Have you read a book about grief that helped you immensely in your journey of grief? Please feel welcome to share the book and links to where it can be purchased so others can find it.

It’s not a book for everyone, but it reaches out to parents facing a poor or fatal diagnosis for their baby. This book is an excellent resource for those families. It was not yet out when I was carrying Carleigh, but I wish it were. It would have been so helpful. I did read the book after it came out and even reading it afterward was helpful to me. I felt more of a connection to other families. They had been where I had been and they felt how I felt. Every family facing a poor or fatal diagnosis needs to read this book before deciding whether to terminate or carry to term as doctors do not often have the answers families seek.


The book can be bought on Amazon and is available on Kindle too.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Day 12 ~ Capture Your Grief

Article: Have you read an article about grief that you would love to share with everyone? Maybe it is something from Still Standing Magazine or a blog post from your favorite blogger or writer. Please feel welcome to share who wrote the article and how the article resonated with you and also the direct link to the article if it is online.

I can’t really pinpoint just one article. I’ve read so many that the ones I would consider sharing I don’t remember what they are titled. I have read a lot of good articles on Still Standing Magazine, which centers on loss and infertility.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 11 ~ Capture Your Grief

Emotional Triggers: What triggers emotions associated with grief for you? Is it the weather? A scent? Photos? Places? Holidays? Words? Certain people?

I think the better question would be what isn’t a trigger. There are lots of things that make me think of Carleigh. Not everything is a sad trigger, but I can never really be sure what will or won’t be. Some days and moments are just tougher than others.

Service 100

One emotional trigger for me is church. It’s not because I’m angry at God because I honestly do not have any anger towards Him about losing Carleigh. Being in church and singing songs and listening to the sermon touches the deep and tender places of my broken heart. It has gotten easier with time to not cry every single service, but it does still happen.

We had Carleigh’s service in our church. We often sit in the very same pew where I held her for some of those last moments. I closed and sealed her casket in the very same sanctuary we worship in each Sunday. How could it not be emotional?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day 10 ~ Capture Your Grief

Beliefs: Do you have a certain belief about what happens to us after we die? You might believe that we go to a heaven or you might believe that our bodies eventually turn to dust and that is the end of our story.


I fully believe in God and the Bible. I believe that when we die on this earth we go to Heaven. I draw much comfort knowing that this is not the end. One day I will see my children again and then we will never be separated.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Day 9 ~ Capture Your Grief

Music: This might be hard to capture in a photograph so why not post a youtube clip of a piece of music that reminds your of your baby/ies/child/ren. Why this piece of music?

There are many songs that make me think of her or even think of a certain point in time on this road I’ve been on. So to choose just one is impossible, but I will share one of the many.

There is a song I found a few years ago that I had never heard before, which only makes sense because it was released in January 2009 and we lost Carleigh in March 2009. I found it accidentally while searching on some random music site. I heard it and it just blew me away. I have loved it ever since. It is Still by Gerrit Hofsink. I bought it the very same day I heard it.

source51h wDmBl4L._SL500_AA280_

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Day 8 ~ Capture Your Grief

Color: What color/s do you represent your baby? Why that color/s?

If you can tell anything from this blog then you might easily gather that the color I associate with Carleigh is the color purple. The color purple came when my pastor’s wife threw me a prayer shower and the color for the shower was purple. It just stuck. It was her color. Although, Carleigh did not wear any purple in any of her outfits after she was born. She had an outfit with little pink bows and she had a fuzzy pink blanket. A girl needs a little pink. :)

Her casket that we picked had a purple hue and the inside was purple. The blanket she was buried with was trimmed in purple ribbon. Almost all the flowers that everyone sent us were purple. Anthony wore a purple dress shirt during her service. The things we do to remember her often include the color purple. It’s become my favorite color.


Monday, October 07, 2013

Day 7 ~ Capture Your Grief

You Now: Where are you in your grief right now? How are you feeling? How far have you come? Are you wrestling with anything? Is your heart heavier or lighter now?

Right now I am in a good place. The heaviness of grief does not weigh me down, but that doesn’t mean it just went away. It still resides in me and will remain as long as I’m missing my little girl. No matter how many good days I have there are still days when the grief is harder and the missing is more.


I am looking forward, but never moving on. I seek the light, but I don’t forget the darkness. I know that both joy and sorrow can exist together. I have learned to dance to my own song and be comfortable in it no matter what other people may think.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Day 6 ~ Capture Your Grief

Ritual: Do you have any rituals to help get you through the day? Maybe it is a daily affirmation or prayer. It could be that you light a candle or recite a mantra etc. Do you do anything meaningful on special dates for your baby?

Every year on Carleigh’s birthday one of the special things we do is celebrate the end of the day with a cake that was made for her. It is something I look forward to as I get to decide what the cake will look like and I always want it to be something special. It’s the one splurge I make every year just for her.


Saturday, October 05, 2013

Day 5 ~ Capture Your Grief

Memory: What memory do you have of your child that stands out for you the most? It may be a positive or negative memory. When you think of your child what is the first memory that comes to your mind?

I am extremely thankful that I knew ahead of time that Carleigh wouldn’t survive as it gave me time to plan and know what I wanted when she was born. It gave us time to make treasured memories and gather precious keepsakes. There are not many negative memories of our time together so when I think of that time my mind easily goes to a happy one.

The first memory that comes to my mind is the moment after Carleigh was born and she was placed on my chest. The little girl I had been waiting months for was finally in my arms. In that moment, it didn’t even matter to me that she was born still even though we hoped so much to meet her alive. I was just so caught up in HER.


I’ll always wish we had one moment longer because the time we had together will never be enough. It is hard to fit a lifetime of memories into such a short time. I can still remember how it felt to hold her and kiss her. I hope I always do.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Day 4 ~ Capture Your Grief

Legacy: Do you believe your child left a legacy behind? It could be something very simple but meaningful.

Carleigh’s life has undoubtedly changed mine. There will always be a sadness and longing for my baby girl as long as we are apart, but I am at a point in my grief where I can say that her death has changed me for the better in ways that would never have happened had she not died. I am thankful that she left a purpose behind in me and a desire to honor her through serving others who are grieving. That is just one of the many legacies she left behind.

A little over 3 years after Carleigh’s birth my sister experienced the loss of her daughter, Leah. This little girl has also changed my life for she set me on the path of bereavement photography. I photographed those precious moments in the hospital for my sister and brother-in-law.

The photo below is from what I consider my very first session. It is Leah’s footprint on my sister’s finger.


It is because of Carleigh that I became involved with Sufficient Grace Ministries and am able to photograph precious moments for families who have to say goodbye too soon.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Day 3 ~ Capture Your Grief

Myths: Do you believe there are any myths about grief? You could write the myth on a piece of paper and photograph it.

There are many myths out there about grief. Most people believe them until they find themselves grieving. One of the big myths out there are the things that people say to those in the midst of grieving. I have heard some of these myself.


These are all things that people think are helpful or are ok to say when it’s really not. None of these phrases help a grieving parent. Even if they believe some of them to be true, like God has a plan, it is NOT something you want to hear from someone else who is only trying to make everything seem ok when it’s not.

October Babies

♥ Remembering October Babies ♥

Claire ~ October 1, 2009
Cayla ~ October 2, 2009
Meredith ~ October 3, 1974
Shelomith ~ October 4, 2009
Isaac ~ October 7, 2008
Samuel ~ October 7, 2010
Blumpy ~ October 8, 2009
Cana ~ October 8, 2008
Caleb ~ October 8, 2012
Maribel ~ October 8, 2008
Samuel ~ October 9, 2009
Cadynce ~ October 10, 2009
Elisabeth - October 12, 1990
Adelle ~ October 12, 2009
Rebekah ~ October 13, 2009
Madison ~ October 14, 2010
Emma ~ October 14, 2008
Jamie ~ October 14, 2009
Nathan ~ October 15, 2009
Tayler ~ October 17, 2000
Dylan ~ October 19, 2000
George ~ October 20, 2008
Colin ~ October 20, 2009
Gracelynn ~ October 21, 2010
Kennedy ~ October 22, 2009
Johanna ~ October 23, 2009
Christopher ~ October 24, 2009
Jacob ~ October 25, 2010
Sami ~ October 26, 2009
Lukah ~ October 26, 2009
Anastasha ~ October 26, 2010
Lhiam ~ October 26, 2011
Faith ~ October 28, 2008
Aiden ~ October 28, 2009
Claire ~ October 28, 2010
Lainey ~ October 29, 2011
Adam ~ October 30, 2009

Sorry if your baby is not on this list. Please leave a comment if you would like your baby added.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Day 2 ~ Capture Your Grief

Identity: What is your child’s name? Why did you chose that name? What is the meaning of their name? If they were born, what were their birth details. What were their features? Who are they?

Abiding Hope collage

Her name is Carleigh McKenna. Her name was chosen before she was born and before we even knew she would not survive. Carleigh means 'free man' and McKenna means 'ascend'. Her name seem very fitting for her.

Carleigh was born on Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 3:49 am. She was 3 lbs 15 oz and 13.5 inches long. Even... though she was small, she still had long fingers and toes and chubby baby features, especially her cheeks! Because of her anencephaly, the top of her head was exposed but despite this she still had quite a bit of hair. It was dark brown and I made sure to get a few locks to keep.

She is the 3rd of our 5 daughters. She is a precious gift of God that we were not able to keep on this earth yet she continues to bless our lives. Every day I am thankful for her. My life is different because of her. It’s taken a path I would not have chosen for myself had she not died, but on this path I have found many good things and ways to continue to honor the memory of my daughter. She lives on through me and through others she inspires.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Day 1 ~ Capture Your Grief

Sunrise: Just like last year, I thought it would be very meaningful for us all to capture the beginning of this journey and important month by us all getting up early to photograph the sunrise from wherever we are in the world.

Well, most days I am up and at work too early to even see any sign of the sun. Today I was unable to get a picture of the sunrise so I took a picture of the sky after I got home from work.


Capture Your Grief


Joining in again this year to share through pictures.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

SGM Fall Auction

The Sufficient Grace Ministries Fall Auction is currently going on over at the Caring for Carleigh FB page. Click the link below to head over and start bidding! Help the ministry by raising money to support grieving families.

Monday, September 02, 2013

September Babies

♥ Remembering September babies. ♥

Connor ~ September 1, 2006
Truett ~ September 1, 1998
Evan ~ September 1, 2011
Megan ~ September 2, 2008
Shyla ~ September 2, 2009
Peyton ~ September 4, 2009
Tiffany ~ September 4, 2009
Sebastian ~ September 4, 2011
Samantha ~ September 5, 2008
Morgan ~ September 8, 2008
Audrey ~ September 10, 2009
Amalya ~ September 10, 2012
Baby E ~ September 11, 2008
Bella ~ September 11, 2009
Ethan & Jacob ~ September 13, 2009
Briar ~ September 13, 2010
Andrew ~ September 15, 2003
Layla ~ September 15, 2008
Sienna ~ September 15, 2010
Trinadee ~ September 15, 2009
Everett ~ September 16, 2008
Ryan ~ September 17, 2010
Evel ~ September 18, 2009
Fisher ~ September 18, 2009
Hunter ~ September 19, 2009
Hannah ~ September 21, 2009
Brayden ~ September 22, 2009
Lucy ~ September 24, 2009
Skye ~ September 25, 2008 
Tristan ~ September 27, 2009
Ciaran ~ September 30, 2009
Zoey ~ September 30, 2010

If you would like your baby added leave a comment so that I may add them to the list.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

August Babies

♥ Remembering August babies ♥

Gracie ~ August 1, 2009
Isaiah ~ August 3, 2008
Lily ~ August 3, 2008
Weston & Willow ~ August 3, 2013
Andrew ~ August 7, 2009
Skylar ~ August 7, 2010
Cayden ~ August 8, 2009
Elliot ~ August 10, 2009
Kelsey ~ August 11, 2009
Evelyn ~ August 11, 2011
Ethan ~ August 11, 2009
Bryson ~ August 12, 2009
Michael ~ August 12, 2010
Sebastion ~ August 12, 2010
Emma & Chase ~ August 12, 2009
Reese ~ August 13, 2009
Aiden ~ August 13, 2010
Bryston & Colton ~ August 15, 2010
Leilani ~ August 17, 2010
Brinley ~ August 18, 2010
Hope ~ August 19, 2008
Peyton ~ August 19, 2010
Oliver ~ August 20, 2009
Jonathan ~ August 20, 2011
Isabella ~ August 21, 2008
Savannah ~ August 23, 2010
Nevaeh ~ August 25, 2009
Addison ~ August 27, 2010
Madelyn ~ August 28, 2009
Malia, Nathan, & Anthony Jr.   ~ August 28, 2011
Gloria ~ August 29, 2006
Luke ~ August 29, 2009
Ezra ~ August 30, 2008

If you'd like your baby added please leave a comment!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A breakthrough for Potter’s babies

I remember reading when Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler was told that her baby had a fatal diagnosis of Potter’s Syndrome and that her and her husband decided to carry to term. I was so glad that someone in the public eye had made that choice so that others can see that it is a valid option and that terminating is not the only choice despite what doctors may tell their patients.

An article was recently published that shared more about her baby’s birth and life. Her baby was born alive and breathing. She has been doing well for 2 weeks now. During her pregnancy, several amnioinfusion procedures were performed to allow for lung development. Since her baby’s birth, she has been receiving dialysis for her lack of kidneys.

This is great news for families who are expecting a baby with Potter’s Syndrome because they know that there is hope for their baby to live when before doctors gave them no hope.

On the other hand, this news is quite the blow to families who have already had a baby with Potter’s Syndrome. This blow is especially hard for families who asked for the very same things (amnioinfusion and dialysis) and were told no. They were told that it would not help their baby and their baby would not survive even if these procedures were performed. Now it is proven that with these treatments, babies with Potter’s Syndrome can survive. It is a very hard pill to swallow and my heart goes out to all the families, including my friends, who have had to deal with some very tough emotions and grief with this news.

To Jaime and her husband, congratulations on the birth of your little girl. She really is a miracle. I hope that from her story she will be an example to other doctors out there that these treatments do work. I hope that more doctors will be willing to try them and save babies with Potter’s Syndrome. I pray that she continues to do well and that eventually she gets the kidney transplant she needs.

To my friends and Potter’s families, I’m so sorry that you were not given the chance to even try to save your very loved and much wanted babies. It isn’t right and it’s ok to be angry and to grieve over this news. I know how I would feel if it were my Carleigh and I would feel devastated to know that I could have done something but was prevented in doing it. My prayers go out to you.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The gift of perinatal hospice

I shared this video and status on FB yesterday evening and wanted to share here too.


Ever wonder what the purpose of perinatal hospice is? This video shows very eloquently the journey of perinatal hospice for both family and caregiver. This just isn't a good idea or an afterthought. This is a model that needs to be implemented everywhere.

At Sufficient Grace Ministries for Women (and Families) Inc. this is what we offer families along with our bereavement services for those families who find out their baby has already passed. We have a deep passion for walking with families through difficult times when it would be easier to turn away.

When I was carrying Carleigh I contacted a perinatal hospice associated with a hospital and I never heard back from them. My husband and I had to navigate our own way through a foreign land. At SGM, we aren't just words on a paper or website to make ourselves look better. We do what we say we will do and our goal is if a family asks for our services, we do not turn them down.

Over 4 years ago, after learning my daughter had a fatal diagnosis, I wondered why God would choose me to carry a child that would not survive. This is why. I cannot give thanks enough that God would allow me to be in the most sacred of places and to share moments that few on this earth will ever witness. It is a great honor and privilege. I can't say it enough.

If you or someone you know is in need of our services, please contact us. To find out more about what we offer, please visit our website.

And thank you Kelly Gerken for being with me every step of the way while God blows our socks off.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

For the Love of Carleigh ♥

Megan from Teeny Tears shared with me the recent post on the Teeny Tears blog highlight the diapers donated by Stillbirthday in memory of Carleigh to the hospital where I work.

You can read it HERE.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Seasons of Grief

I wanted to share a little about Seasons of Grief. It was created by my friend Shannon in memory of her daughter Skylar to “ help your heart heal and to celebrate your memories.” You can read her story here.

Shannon created a beautiful centerpiece for me that celebrates Carleigh. It turned out so beautiful. Here are pictures of it inside and outside.


Seasons of Grief, in addition to centerpieces, also offer cards, bookmarks, mistletoe, and name pictures.

Monday, July 01, 2013

July Babies

♥ Remembering those babies with special days in July. ♥

Jonathan ~ July 1, 2009
Samuel ~ July 1, 1992
Leah ~ July 2, 2008
Tristen ~ July 3, 2010
Chai ~ July 3, 2010
Madeleine ~ July 7, 2009
Noah ~ July 7, 2009
Weston ~ July 7, 2012
Solomon ~ July 8, 2010
Rylyn ~ July 9, 2005
Vivian & Annemarie ~ July 12, 2008
Hunter ~ July 12, 2001
Heather ~ July 13, 2001
Jeremiah ~ July 13, 2010
Noah ~ July 13, 2010
Jillian ~ July 14, 2009
Thomas ~ July 14, 1998
Isaac ~ July 14, 2005
Gabriel ~ July 19, 2012
Alanna ~ July 21, 2009
Nathan ~ July 21, 2011
Faith ~ July 22, 2009
Bryston ~ July 24, 2009
Luke & Aaron ~ July 24, 1996
Amiee ~ July 25, 2009
Anna ~ July 25, 1998
Evan ~ July 25, 2009
Babybear ~ July 25, 2008
Brydon ~ July 25, 2006
Matthew ~ July 27, 2002
Jayden ~ July 27, 2007
Amelia ~ July 28, 2010
Kathlyn ~ July 30, 2009
Little One ~ July 30, 2008

If you would like your baby added please leave a comment.

Monday, June 03, 2013

June Babies

♥ Remembering babies in June. ♥

Wyatt ~ June 1, 2009
Palmer ~ June 1, 2011
Shana ~ June 3, 2010
Xavier ~ June 4, 2009
Wyatt ~ June 6, 2010
Matthew & Joshua ~ June 7, 2008
Nolan ~ June 8, 2009
Leyland ~ June 9, 2009
Rylyn ~ June 9, 2005
Gabriel ~ June 9, 2011
Dylan ~ June 11, 2008
Mikayla ~ June 13, 2010
Calypso ~ June 14, 2007
Mackenzie ~ June 17, 2009
Austin ~ June 17, 2009
Eli ~ June 17, 2010
Esther ~ June 18, 2007
Brenna ~ June 18, 2011
Aubrey & Ellie ~ June 24, 2008
Jack ~ June 24, 2010
Harper ~ June 25, 2010
Drew ~ June 30, 2010

If you would like your baby added to the list please leave a comment.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Scrapbook Tags

Thank you to my friend, Sarita, for the lovely scrapbook tags for my baby. I already had some she had made previously so it was very nice to get another set.


Thursday, May 02, 2013

May Babies

♥ Remembering those babies with special days this month. ♥

Anthony ~ May 1, 2009
Leah ~ May 2, 2012
Bethany ~ May 3, 2009
Emily ~ May 3, 2008
Olivia ~ May 3, 2010
Beckett ~ May 4, 2009
Jenna ~ May 5, 2009
Christian ~ May 6, 2009
Kristen ~ May 7, 2009
Moira ~ May 8, 2009
Stevie ~ May 8, 2010
Eliana ~ May 9, 2009
Cali ~ May 9, 2011
Ella ~ May 10, 2010
Noah ~ May 10, 2009
Karinne ~ May 10, 2010
Olivia ~ May 12, 2010
Janessa ~ May 14, 2009
Iris ~ May 14, 2008
Gerardo ~ May 15, 2008
Tatum ~ May 15, 2008
Rylan ~ May 15, 2010
Shealyn ~ May 17, 2009
Gideon ~ May  17, 2011
Duncan ~ May 19, 2009
George ~ May 19, 2009
Leila ~ May 21, 2009
Vayden ~ May 23, 2009
Jack ~ May 24, 2009
Lane ~ May 27, 2009
Joel ~ May 28, 2009
Harper-Grace ~ May 28, 2011
Julius ~ May 30, 2010
Wyatt ~ May 31, 2010
Ayana ~ May 31, 2009
Sophia ~ May 31, 2011

If you would like your baby added to the list please leave a comment.

Happy 1st Birthday Leah

May 2nd marks the day that 1 year ago my niece, Leah, came into this world already gone. I called my sister to see how she was doing and we talked a bit. Hard to believe she would be one year old and that if she had not come into this world too soon that my niece, Natalie, would not have been born almost a month ago.
I’m so glad that I was able to be present (although I didn’t make it in time for her birth since I had to drive quite a distance). I had the privilege of being able to be present in tender moments and to be able to capture them, knowing how much they would mean later.


Happy Birthday Leah – We’ll always love and miss you! ♥

Friday, April 26, 2013

Officially a certified doula!!

After going through stillbirthday’s amazing doula training I have officially graduated and am a certified SBD birth & bereavement doula!


Also graduating the program for Sufficient Grace Ministries is Kelly, Jenny, and Stacie. Congrats ladies!!

Being doulas will allow us to better serve families as a part of the new perinatal hospice and bereavement services SGM has added to our services. New pages have been added to the website so please go check it out!!

If you are interested in becoming a doula, especially for SGM, the next stillbirthday training is in the fall. Please go to their website to read more about it. There is also a bereavement photography training for SGM on May 6th. If you are interested in becoming a doula or photographer for the ministry please let me ( or Kelly ( know. Right we are focusing on NW Ohio and the surrounding areas but chapters of SGM are a possibility in the future.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013


The SGM online auction is currently running on the Caring for Carleigh FB page.

CLICK HERE to see the items and start bidding!!

Still Together

stillbirthday has a new way that you can share on their site called Still Together. You can share photos on their site that show how you incorporate your baby into your family through different ways.

I recently shared a picture of our second rainbow Evanee with Carleigh Bear. You can see it here. Feel free to share your own!

Monday, April 01, 2013

April Babies

♥ Remembering April Babies ♥

Alex ~ April 2, 2009
Kayden ~ April 6, 2009
Audrey ~ April 7, 2008
Isaac ~ April 8, 2009
Laken ~ April 8, 2010
Asher ~ April 8, 2013
Kael ~ April 12, 2008
Vanessa ~ April 12, 2010
Andy ~ April 12, 2012
Sophie & Aiden ~ April 13, 2009
Blaine ~ April 13, 2010
Connor ~ April 14, 2009
Camron ~ April 14, 2009
Chase ~ April 14, 2009
Cherry ~ April 14, 2010
Layla ~ April 15, 2009
Seth ~ April 16, 2009
Thuong ~ April 16, 2009
Lachlan ~ April 17, 2009
Jordan ~ April 17, 2010
AnnaBella ~ April 18, 2010
Emily ~ April 19, 2011
Rosalynn ~ April 20, 2010
Carys ~ April 21, 2011
Chase ~ April 22, 2011
Sophia & Ellie ~ April 25, 2009
Jonah ~ April 26, 2009
Ayden ~ April 27, 2009
Naomi ~ April 27, 2009
Valentina ~ April 27, 2010
Ethan ~ April 28, 2009
River ~ April 30, 2009

If your baby's name is not on this list and you'd like it added please leave a comment.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Carleigh’s 4th Birthday

To celebrate Carleigh’s 4th birthday both Anthony and I took off of work and made plans for us to be together as a family (and wearing purple of course!). I made arrangements with the hospital to make some donations to the unit, which included tissues, disposable cameras, and some clay keepsake kits.


I also brought some treats for the nurses-purple cupcakes! They smelled so good!


I was also happily surprised to find out that stillbirthday had donated some Teeny Tears diapers to the unit in memory of Carleigh. That was so nice to see those on her birthday.


I talked to the nurses for a bit, including one of the nurses who took care of me postpartum, and I was telling them about training to become a doula and they definitely wanted me to let them know when I had finished  because they would love to have me come and help families.

Once we left the hospital we went to the cemetery to release some balloons.


I had planned on giving her new flowers but it was a bit chilly out and the water that was in the bottom was frozen and we couldn’t get the flowers out. They flowers still looked good from over the winter so we just left them for now. I wrote a message for Carleigh on a card and also the names of other babies to remember. Lainey and I let the balloons go and they went up and away (the butterfly balloon was dragging a little).


We packed back up and drove to the Cincinnati Museum where we spent the rest of the day. I thought it was fitting that we saw the Omnimax movie The Flight of the Butterflies. It was very neat! We also saw the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. The girls enjoyed the children’s museum the most.



On the way back home we grabbed some Chick-Fil-A (yummmmm) and the girls slept from all the playing. When we got home it was time for Carleigh’s cake! It was so beautiful and delicious too!


The girls obviously enjoyed the cake a lot. Evanee then had some fun playing with Carleigh Bear, who joined us for the day.


It was a good day for all of us remembering, loving, and missing her.

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