Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Friday, October 12, 2012


I want to take a moment to use this platform to express some recent thoughts and feelings that I've had about abortions.  Seeing as a little over a year ago I was given the advice to abort Annalise when finding out about her "terminal diagnosis" at 20 weeks gestation I feel as though I've earned a minute to express my feelings on the topic.

With elections so near it seems like I hear about pro-life vs/ pro-choice every day - there is always something in my FaceBook news feeds about it or a campaign commercial on it.  I just finished watching the movie "OctoberBaby" (which I cried pretty much the whole way through) about girl who survived a failed abortion and went on to find her birth mother.

My stance has never been so strongly against abortions as it is now that I have experienced the loss of a baby against my own choices.  I was reading back over my first few entries on this blog and it's so difficult to remember those days filled with such overwhelming pain and horrendous choices.  I vividly remember sitting on the couch in the doctor's office when she asked James and me if we wanted to have an abortion.  I remember her strongly advising an abortion because "the fetus" had a 90% chance of dying in utero.  And I vividly remember feeling so offended that she would even dream such a thing could be a choice!  A "fetus" is a human - and this fetus was my human!  She was my first born baby and no matter how many cards were stacked against her, I was choosing to let this situation play out naturally, hoping and praying for the best.  I distinctly remember a voice screaming at the top of its lungs in my head over and over again saying: "I AM NOT GOING TO MURDER MY CHILD!"  There are arguments for pro-choice such as my situation:  the fetus will not survive because of a genetic abnormality.  Then there are arguments about the mother being raped; it's her body/her choice; mother is not prepared to care for a baby at such a young age... no matter the argument, the outcome of an abortion is still a murdered baby.  I also believe if I would have chosen to abort my baby that day, the emotional and spiritual baggage and consequences would have followed me and crippled me for the rest of my life.  If I would have chose to abort Annalise, this blog would not exist and I would not have had the opportunities to reach so many of you.  I have even had one reader tell me that my story stopped her from having an abortion, because she saw how completely I loved my unborn baby, how deeply the loss hurt me, and how strong I remained because of my faith.  Now that I have Ava, this unbelievable miracle, I can't fathom ever hurting such a precious and perfect little baby.

I have also met a lot of women through this experience who for some physical reason, are not able to have their own children and would give anything to adopt an unwanted baby.  There are good, amazing families out there who are desperate to adopt, and mothers are just killing babies by choice, instead of giving that child an opportunity to live.  I would give my own life to give Annalise the opportunity to live a full and healthy life.  My own life...

I am going to share a photo of Annalise on this post.  The first photo I have ever shared publicly.  I just want to show the world that at 25 weeks gestation, that little life is as human and complete as you and me.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

1 year

My sweet Annalise,

I can't believe that it has been 1 year since I held you.  This last year has been so crazy.  It has been filled with pain, sorrow, anger, hatred, love, joy, anticipation, anxiety, fear... it has been exhausting.  I have thought of you every day and have missed you tremendously.  Thank you for the special moments when I just know that you are smiling at me from heaven and sending a little "hello" my way - moments such as hearing "our song" on the radio when I'm really feeling down and missing you.

This year has also brought us your sister - Ava.  Having all these first moments with Ava just makes me think of you even more and reinforces the pain of losing you.  I never knew until now the depths of what I was forfeiting when I lost you.  I look at your sister and I see you.  You two really look alike and I can't help but wonder if your personalities would have been similar. I thank God I will have you BOTH one day... what a blessing.

Daddy and I visited your "resting place" today and dressed it all up for your 1 year birthday - balloons and flowers.  I know you are having the most amazing celebration in heaven.  A celebration that can't compare to anything here on earth and I am grateful for that.

Happy Birthday sweetheart.
I love you with my whole heart...


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ava Grace

Sorry for not writing in so long.  How do I explain it without seeming heartless... I still think about Annalise all the time - constantly.  But, I have found that if I spend too much of my time dwelling on the pain of the loss that it's impossible to experience the joys of this new baby.  Trust me, I'm not "replacing" our girl with thoughts of this new little one... I think about both my girls constantly.  I just know, if I keep revisiting the pain, I will never be truly happy.

Ava Grace is what we named our new little one.  Friday May 11th makes 27 weeks along.  There are so many emotions going into this pregnancy... fear, joy, nervousness, anxiety, worry, anticipation.  It's been a crazy roller-coaster of happiness and fear.  I know for both James and I there are times that we are still holding our hopes and joy back because a little voice still comes into our heads saying, "Don't get too excited, it's not over yet... she could die too."  This is awful, I know, but I'm just being real - this feeling comes almost daily.  Then there are the times when Ava is just kicking around like crazy in there and my whole world stops for just a moment and I feel relieved, happy, hopeful and blissfully grateful.  Truly though, there is nothing to worry about because the doctors have given us perfect reports and the pregnancy is going along very smoothly (aside from some leg and back pain).

Just this weekend, I was working on preparing the nursery.  There was a large cardboard box in the closet filled with stuffed animals, toys clothes and blankets originally given to Annalise.  I was trying to decide what to give to Ava and what to put in a keepsake box.  Of course this brought the emotions and I just sat in the nursery closet and sobbed.  James heard me crying and came to comfort me... then we both just sobbed for a bit.  We miss our girl - that will never change.  I just pray that God can give me the strength not to dwell on the pain - and not to feel guilt for not dwelling on the pain.  I pray that I can be a happy and whole person for Ava.  I pray, with God's grace, I can be a good mother to her.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

6 months

I can't believe it's been over 6 months since we said goodbye to our little angel.  Don't think that because I've been quiet on here that I've not thought about my daughter every single day since the day I delivered her.  Having this new life growing inside of me only makes the thoughts of Annalise more frequent and more real.  I visited her grave yesterday and spent some time crying over how unfair it is that our first born is buried in the ground.  Don't get me wrong, I cling to the knowledge that she is whole and healed in heaven - it's what gets me through every day.  But there's a side of me that is angry, hurt, and so envious of those that can hold their newborns - alive.  There is no pain more profound than the pain of holding your dead child.  It's unexplainable.

I keep thinking to myself that I am going to be the biggest sobbing mess on the day that this baby is born - alive and healthy - when I can feel his/her life in my arms.  I was robbed of that with Annalise and I pray that this coming birth will bring continued healing for James and me both.

Many days, I still feel lost.  Miranda is still here, but I feel like all the vibrance I once had has dimmed a little.  Maybe it's maturity setting in (haha), or more likely it's just me still healing and still grieving.  Daily I feel like something is missing.  Annalise's death left an actual hole in my life... I feel it all the time.  It's such a strong feeling, I swear it has a life of it's own.  I keep feeling like I need to fill that void with something meaningful - such as writing a book, or starting a foundation... something that would honor and immortalize her memory.  I keep praying and searching for what this is.  I feel like I'm going crazy not knowing what it could be.  I hope I find it soon.  I know one thing for certain and that is I need to fill my life with deeper, more meaningful things all around, because after experiencing what I did some of the normal, regular, frivolous things I used to "enjoy" don't hold the same attraction they used to.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Sibling for Annalise

We are so happy to announce that we are pregnant again!  I am 12 weeks along and so far, everything seems to be going well.  There's not much the doctors can tell this early on, so the next couple of months will hold the critical answers we are waiting for.  We have decided not to do any early genetic testing - we are just waiting, and trusting God, that all will be well at our 20 week ultrasound.

This pregnancy has been certainly emotionally taxing and faith testing so far.  We have fears.  I am terrified.  I have spent countless hours in prayer begging for peace, faith and that all will be perfect this time.  I thank God for this little one and find myself feeling guilty at times for allowing the fear to steal my joy for this pregnancy.  It's a daily struggle right now.  We find ourselves trying not to get too excited with the thought in our heads that if we let ourselves get too high on emotions, it will just be that much larger of a heartache when it doesn't work out again.  I hate this.  I hate that our only knowledge of pregnancy and childbirth is such a traumatic one.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there with us every step of the way with Annalise.  She is such a treasured gift and I am so happy that she is my first child - I will never forget every moment of all my firsts with her (whether they be good or bad).  Please continue to pray for us that we can have peace and joy in this pregnancy and for a happy, healthy baby.

I wanted to share a verse from my devotions this morning.  For some reason, through the loss of Annalise and every day afterward, this particular devotional has spoken EXACTLY what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it... it's great.  John 14:27  "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
When I'm desperately searching for peace right now, and full of fear, God speaks a huge reminder into my life.  I know, no matter what, that everything will be okay.