A Song for "Sweet Lily" video

Lily was remembered by Maria at Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii. 😃❤️🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
From April, taken down by the river where she lives in Canada 😊❤️ #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily’s auntie and uncle... already thinking of her upcoming March 16th birthday... wanting to remember her... caring about my heart... not knowing I was already hoping they’d come and was going to ask them to. 😌🎈❤️ #LilyKatherinesBirthday #9thbirthday #March16 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
This right here. 😢
According to my Facebook Memories, on this date in 2010, I shared that I was "getting more and more tired and uncomfortable with every week." I was 32 weeks gestation.
My friend Bex commented on that post and said, "when you finally hold Lily in your arms you will forget all the discomfort. 😊❤️”
I responded and told her I was sure I would and how excited I was. I told her I had an appointment that morning and that everything was going well.
Along the same lines, I remember my mom telling me while I was laboring through the night, hours before arriving at the hospital, that I should picture Lily's face through the contractions... the sweet face I'd imagined countless times before. She said that would help me get through the pain, focusing on the beauty to come after the pain of labor and birth.
And it did help. All the physical pain was suddenly erased when my daughter came into this world and I gasped with awe over her beauty and the perfection of every detail of her.
In birthing her, I was able to do something tangible as her mommy, and that is a gift. The emotional pain of what I was facing for the rest of my life far outweighed the temporary physical pain.
When I finally saw and kissed her sweet face, it was all worth it... all the months of morning sickness, the aches and pains, the stretch marks, and the labor.
When anticipating birth and holding her for the first time, I never could have imagined what that would entail or that her heart would have ceased. I never imagined those little eyes would never gaze back.
When you’re pregnant, you often hear things along the same lines of “it’ll all be worth it when you go home with your precious new baby.” But not all of us do. You don't envision as a mother with a healthy baby and pregnancy that the months of nurturing them in the womb and laboring for them to be birthed will result in a tiny coffin and leaving the hospital with less than you came.
Yet that was my reality and as painful as it was and is... Seeing her face was worth it. Holding her was worth it. Visiting a headstone all these years has been worth it. Choosing life is worth it. Loving her is worth it. 💗
I read an article that really touched my heart. It is written by someone whose sister was born still many decades ago.
{I’ll temporarily link the article in my profile}...
I relate to so much of what this writer said. For one, she wrote, "My mother said she would have given anything, anything at all, to have had her baby live even for one short moment after birth, to have touched her warm face and stroke her tiny hand, to pour a lifetime of love into that fleeting minute. But it wasn't to be. The loss of that time haunted her. It broke her heart."
I get this completely. How many times I have wished that Lily had been born alive, even if just for a moment, so I could have seen her eyes. That is something I feel will haunt me for the rest of my days.
The writer of this post said of her mother, "In those days there were no grief counsellors, no dedicated support to help you through the shock. You were just expected to get over it... Mam didn’t talk much about that, about how Máire’s death had affected her. Even when we occasionally broached the subject, it was as if the grief still choked her, even though one, then two, and then three decades had passed. I realize now that it was simply too hard. The shock of losing her child was so overwhelming and so profound, that it was almost unbearable, and the longer it was left unexpressed the more it became impossible to articulate without spasms of grief. It was a sorrow that mothers of her time carried deep inside, and did not share."
Losing a baby is something you never, ever "get over." This mother was deeply affected by the loss of her precious daughter, from the time she lost her, all through the decades of living without her. Honestly, reading things like this brings me comfort and validation that I am not strange to love and miss Lily so much, even almost nine years later. And it would not be healthy for me to suppress my feelings.
[Continued below ⬇️]
At times I get the impression from people that they are curious as to why I love and miss Lily as much as I do since she never lived outside the womb.
Can a mother's love be comprehended or explained? Is Lily's value found in her days that were numbered few?
No, I don't love her because of anything she did and she doesn't have value for living a long life or for accomplishing something remarkable in the eyes of the world. I love her for simply being who God created her to be. He created her to live her days in the safety of my womb. She lived no more days than she was purposed to and no less days. She is valuable simply because she is HIS. She was crafted by His hand, in His very image. She's a masterpiece, His masterpiece!
A little girl who never opened her eyes to see this world has opened my eyes and heart to see what's truly important in this world. God has taught me more about selfless love, grace, the redemption of Christ, and the sanctity of human life through a little girl who never spoke a word or took a breath than anything else in this world. Lily changed my entire life, my heart, and my future. Her life is sacred because she was created by God and He has given her life great purpose! No striving on my part to get others to recognize her value will make her any more valuable. Simply by existing, she matters. And I can rest in knowing her value doesn't change depending on what others think of her. My love is no less real even if people don't understand.
It was a gift the Lord gave me when He opened up my heart to love her as much as I do. And because of how much I love her, I miss her with that same great measure. The grief, in turn, is also a gift, for even that points to the sanctity of her life and each life, no matter how brief.
I pray Lily's life is a reminder to us all that nothing we do or have makes us valuable. The car we drive, the house we live in, the job we have, all these things are temporal. Our value comes in being children of God. Each of us has been valuable from the moment of our conception and nothing in this world can add to or take away from that intrinsic value. 💕
Today a friend of mine asked me some difficult questions about Lily. I always want people to feel free to ask me about her/to talk about her, especially when it comes from a place of genuine care. So for the record, know that I LOVE opening up and sharing about all things Lily related. Anyways, my friend asked me if I birthed Lily. I thought I’d address her question because I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about what exactly stillbirth is. It is not the same as miscarriage (I’m not saying miscarriage doesn’t matter, it’s just different). When a baby is stillborn, he/she passes, but they don’t disappear or exit the mother’s body unseen. Lily was birthed just as any other living child. And she was loved just as much too. I explained to my friend that Lily was born 2 days past her due date and was a healthy 7 pounds 9 ounces and 21 inches... just without breath for no known reason. I labored and birthed her. She had adorable eyelashes, eyebrows, and fingernails. She looked just like me! I cuddled her and cherished her for those few sacred hours. I have the heart and body of a mother... it’s just my child was made for a different land. She also asked if I think it would be harder to have been deprived knowing Lily outside the womb or to have gotten that time and then lost her... and to that I can only answer from my own experience. I don’t think grief/loss can be compared and I don’t think there are any winners. At the end of the day, when you lose a child, they are gone. The amount of time with them doesn’t alter a mother’s love. You don’t love your child more at 15 than you did at 10. There are factors of loss that are dependent upon the age of a child when they are lost. I wish with everything in me I had been able to gaze into Lily’s eyes and could have made some memories. We all have different stories and what is perceived as “worse” or “better” will always be pointless. Our stories are what they are. Though I cannot speak for anyone else, I know that my love for Lily will never lessen or be less than my love for any other potential child. There’s enough room in a mother’s heart to expand and grow for as many children that occupy it. 💖
Spent 1 blissful Christmas carrying you and now 9 without you... Wonder how your eyes would’ve sparkled looking at the tree or what gifts I may have gotten you. What games/activities would you be into? What would you look like? Who would you be? ❤️🎄❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall #HonoringLilyatChristmas
Lily has been remembered and loved all over the world in 2018! From multiple states to across oceans - in Virginia, Uruguay, St. Marteen, the Canary Islands, North Carolina, South Carolina, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Kenya, Maine, Florida, Italy, the Philippines, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Canada, California, and Bermuda! 🥰🌎🇺🇸🇺🇾🇮🇨🇯🇲🇩🇴🇹🇭🇰🇪🇲🇽🇳🇿🇨🇦🇧🇲🌊🐚☀️🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢❄️☃️❤️ #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatsNameintheSnow #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
I’m so touched that Everlee’s mama included Lily in this beautiful project she does in Everlee’s garden in Minneapolis, Minnesota for Christmas! She has ornaments for all of Everlee’s Heaven-friends in her garden. Here is Lily’s ornament and some photos Sarah shared of the garden blanketed in pristine white snow! ❄️☃️❤️😌🥰✨⭐️🎄 #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #EverleesGarden #HonoringLilyatChristmas
From Kristen, who thought of Lily in Newport News, Virginia! 🥰💗 #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily was remembered by Chloé on Waikanae Beach in Wellington, New Zealand! 🇳🇿🥰🌊🐚☀️🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
As a follow-up to my last post:
My mom found this darling little Betsy Ross doll at GoodWill last week. I got it for Lily’s memory chest because we visited the Betsy Ross House when Lily went to Philly in December 2009! Swipe to see a photo of me+Lily🤰🏼 in front of the house, plus a photo of the little socks 🧦 we got Lily at the Betsy Ross House. They are now in her scrapbook. 😌 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #AdventureswithLilyKat❤️ #RoadTrip #FamilyVacation #LilyinPhilly #PregnancyMemories #SacredPregnancy #BetsyRoss #BetsyRossHouse
These pics popped up in my Memories. When Lily went to Philly between Christmas and New Year’s 9 years ago. 🎄🎉
I was 29 weeks. She was growing big and strong and I couldn’t button up my coat 🧥 anymore (see photo #2). 😂
Such wonderful memories of adventures with Lily!
One of the photos I’ve shared is of us at Christ Church, where George Washington, Betsy Ross, and others attended. ⛪️
❤️❄️🌆🌃🚙☕️🏈🇺🇸😄 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #AdventureswithLilyKat❤️ #RoadTrip #FamilyVacation #LilyinPhilly #CityofBrotherlyLove #PregnancyMemories #SacredPregnancy
A Christmas Day visit to her cousin 🎁🎄🥰❤️
My family was talking about Lily and Harvest kept calling out, “Lily, where are youuu?!” We realized she was looking for one of her little best friends, who happens to be named Lily. It stings anytime I hear someone with that name because it is sacred and it is hers... but it especially pricks my heart knowing my niece doesn’t think of her cousin when she hears it, but instead her friend. 💔 I know that as Harvest grows up, she will better understand about Lily Katherine and her older cousin who lives with God. 👼🏻 For now it makes me smile that Harvest likes visiting Lily’s spot and especially likes her lamb. ☺️ #LilyKatsCousin #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilysSpecialSpot #LilyKatherineAllenBall
One of my Christmas gifts 🥰💜💙💗🦋🎁🎄 #ButterfliesforLily #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Merry Christmas from our little family to yours 💗👼🏻🎄🐱 #MyVersionOfAChristmasCard #KittyNotPictured #StillAMother #LilysSpecialSpot #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilyKatherineAllenBall
I posted this picture and these words 4 years ago today... definitely worth sharing again as it still holds true:
“My grandmother, sister-in-love, and I visited Lily's spot today to decorate it for Christmas. Before we left, I spent some time just lost in my own thoughts of how much my beautiful girl means to me. Kala and Bumma went to the car to give me space. I had no idea my thoughtful sister-in-law was taking this candid photo for me. It is so symbolic - me standing before her grave, missing and loving her always, yet the sun on the horizon, as a reminder of the hope I have in Christ, that I will one day see her again. This is my now, but she and Him are my future. The bright sun is what overwhelms the picture with beauty, even in a cold and lonely cemetery in December. On this first day of winter, I trust that spring is coming. This photo is completely unedited.” ❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall #firstdayofwinter #LilysSpecialSpot #wintersolstice #springiscoming
❤️🧡💛💚 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #Australia #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilyKatherineAllenBall
This is Lily's memorial Christmas stocking, made with love a few years ago by her great-grandmother... my grandmother... our Bumma.
Now that Bumma isn’t here, it makes the stocking more precious than ever before.
Bumma made a stocking for me as a little girl, and she's made one for my own little girl. We picked out the colors, design, and yarn together. We wanted the colors to be Christmassy and also Valentine-ey because I had a Valentine’s Day themed baby shower.
I plan on hanging her stocking each year, one day hopefully next to the stockings of Lily's future siblings. My girl will always be a part of my life and Christmas.
I was Bumma’s first granddaughter and Lily was her first great-granddaughter. This is something special the three of us can share. Bumma was here when Lily was and she would have seen her grow up until age 7. That is so hard for me to know they would know each other if Lily were here, and she won’t know my future children.
Having this stocking reminds me that Bumma did love and know Lily. She loved her and knew her because she has the special bond that a great-grandmother has with her great-granddaughter, even if they never officially "met." And she knew her through me. Now she’s met her in a way I haven’t yet!
If you're a bereaved parent, I'd love to see a photo of your baby's stocking if you have one. 💕❤️🎄 #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilyKatherineAllenBall #MyDearBumma
Lily in the Philippines again with my friend, Melissa! This time at Puka (Shell) Beach in Boracay, Philippines. It blows me away and touches my heart deeply to know my little girl has been taken places I will likely never go. She is remembered and loved by so many people. ❤️🇵🇭🏖🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily was honored by my friend, Bex, on Mission Beach, in San Diego, CA 😄❤️🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily was honored by my sweet friend Melissa on White Beach Boracay, Aklan, Philippines 🇵🇭😍🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
This is my favorite of Lily's ornaments, not because it's the prettiest, but because of the story behind it...
I got this ornament when I was pregnant with Lily, on the day of my first ultrasound - September 21, 2009 - when I was 15 weeks gestation. Right after my ultrasound appointment at LifeCare Pregnancy Center, my mom, little sister Emma, and I went shopping at JCPenney where we looked at the baby stuff. I randomly saw these little ornaments with all different names and found "Lily."
It's so special that I got it then, before any doctor told me she was a girl. Deep in my heart, I knew I was having a girl and that her name was Lily.
It was the first ornament I ever got her and one of the first things I got for her in general. I cherish those memories. 🎄🎁❤️❄️⛄️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilyKatsChristmasTree #JCPenney #snowman #snowglobe #snowglobeornament
Part 2/2❤️🎄
Lots of posting today because I have a lot to catch up on sharing. 😊
This is the poem I was asked to read aloud at the Angel of Hope Memorial Candlelight Christmas Service this week (swipe to hear the last part of the poem). Remembering all your loved ones with you this holiday season. #WEREMEMBERTHEM 🕯 #AngelOfHopeService #Christmas #CandelightService #LilyKatherineAllenBall
When I posted my last photo of a maternity Christmas shirt I came across, someone commented and said I should buy it as an act of faith... so, I decided to share this...
About 3 months ago, I shared how I saw this little onesie at Target and how painful it was to see. I realized around that time that I wouldn’t be having another baby in my 20’s (Lily was born at 20 and I’ll be 30 next August).
A few days later, I went back to Target and purchased that very onesie. I purchased it despite the pain, doubt, and fears bubbling over in my heart. I purchased it as a way to combat the pain, doubt, and fear.
It is my act of faith.
Daring to hope. Hope takes courage doesn’t it? Especially when it seems your dreams will never come true.
But I choose to hope against all hope. I choose to hold onto my dreams, with open hands. I don’t want to cling to my dreams as if I have a right to them, but I don’t to lose my ability to dream either because of fear and discouragement. I don’t want to allow bitterness to take root and grow.
I want to keep dreaming, all the while trusting the One who can fulfill my dreams... the One who can give me new dreams... the One who uses unfulfilled dreams...
He is daring me to dream... won’t you too? 🌈👶🏻 #rainbowbaby #invisiblemotherhood #daretohope #tinymiracle #stillmotherhood #stillamother #LilyKatherineAllenBall #pregnancyafterloss
Look at the darling feet of my unspeakably precious baby girl. Missing her always. 💗
“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved.
But this is also the good news.
They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up.
And you come through.
It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” ~Anne Lamott #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily’s ready for Christmas 🎄🥰❤️⛸ #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilysSpecialSpot #LilyKatherineAllenBall
It was around this time of year in 2009 that my sister Emma, cousin Anna, and I had a little maternity photo shoot. I was 25 weeks pregnant with my sweet little Lily girl. I will always treasure these photos and be so thankful we took them. Those months I carried my little flower will forever remain some of the most precious of my life. New life growing within - can such beauty and such a sacred honor ever be fully described or even comprehended? I miss you, my wee babe. And I can’t help but wonder... will I ever know this feeling and experience again? 💕🌸 #sacredpregnancy #pregnancymemories #LilyKatherineAllenBall #Lilybelly #babybelly #missingmygirl #sweetbabykicks
Only the sweetest little girl and one of the best ultrasound photos ever! This was Lily on this day in 2009, when I was 24 weeks 2 days pregnant. Lily was looking right at us, as if she was saying "Hi Mommy!” I’m so thankful I have glimpses into her world. ☺️💕🌸 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #sacredpregnancy #pregnancymemories #lifeisbeautiful
There isn’t a snowflake like another and there is nobody like you, Lily girl 💙❄️☃️❄️💙 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #HonoringLilyatChristmas #EveryLifeisPreciousandUnique
💗🎄💗 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilyKatsNameintheSand
🎅🏼❤️🎄 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #HonoringLilyatChristmas
My mom told me something recently that I didn’t know before... she mentioned how on the weekend of my niece’s birth, that she called Bumma to let her know I was walking with a family through the loss of their baby (that’s a story in and of itself).. she told her she had something sad to tell her, to which Bumma responded, “Oh no, it didn’t happen again!!” Meaning she was afraid that my mom was about to tell her my niece (Bumma’s second-born great-granddaughter) was also gone. I didn’t know Bumma said this. I didn’t know about her reaction. It struck me how much loss impacts every member of a family and how it changes the way we think and feel about events surrounding pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
“If you subtract any one member you have not simply reduced the family in number, you have inflicted an injury on its structure." -C.S. Lewis

There will always be a limp from the injury left from losing Lily. The injury on my heart and on our family structure. ❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall #MyDearBumma
My youngest cousin turned 18 today (crazy!). My family was texting in our family group chat about a sweet photo of Thomas right after his birth. My mom remarked on how even as such a tiny preemie, you can still tell it’s him, and she’s right. It’s his 18-year-old face in the face of a newborn. And it got me thinking... and wondering... what would my 8-year-old Lily’s face look like now? Would we be looking at her too and marveling over seeing her newborn face in her now-little-girl face? Thomas was still himself, wrapped in a tiny precious bundle, just as Lily was still herself. She was the same person she would have been at 8 or 18... she merely needed time. Time to develop. Time to grow up. Time for us to know her as a newborn and one day at 18 and every age in between. Time that we never got. Entry #5000 in the moments that take your breath away and make you miss your baby when you bury them before you even got to know them. I miss her sweet face. 💕🌸 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily in Bermuda with my friend, Tracey! 🇧🇲😍🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
This card made my day. 😌🦋 Thanks for thinking of us around PAIL Remembrance Day, @munchkin.avery! 💗👼🏻💙
Someone asked me about my tattoo of Lily’s name on my wrist today. Shortly after, they were telling me about a mom who lost her daughter at age 1. From the things she was saying, it was evident she didn’t equate me as having lost my daughter as well. As much as I don’t want it to bother me, it does. It bothers me that people think of my 7 pound 9 ounce baby with the cutest eyelashes and fingers as a “pregnancy loss.” It bothers me that I feel as if my status as a mother is in question. Here is the truth: Lily was every ounce as much my child as any other child is to their parent. You don’t love your child more depending on their age do you? You don’t love them more when they are 15 than when they are 10? That’s faulty logic that doesn’t work with my child merely because of her age. You also don’t love your child based upon what they do/accomplish right? I would give *anything* to have met Lily alive. Can you imagine what it’s like to not know what your own child would look like? Imagine the day your child was born and being told instead on that day that their heart was no longer beating. All the years of memories would be erased. When your baby dies, those memories remain “unopened memories,” as I saw my friend Amanda phrased it. Be gentle with the mothers and fathers with unopened memories. And another thing, we don’t need to compare pain. Each loss carries with it different heartaches and we need support, not harmful and hurtful competition and judgement. 💕👼🏻🌸 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
I went to the N.C. State Fair this past weekend. I wished Lily was there with me. Every year, I get a new memorial ornament to hang on #LilyKatsChristmasTree. I found this beauty at the Village of Yesteryear, where vendors sell their uniquely crafted items. ☺️💗👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #NCStateFair
The annual North Carolina Chapter of The TEARS Foundation Rock & Walk! Always a highlight of October. Love seeing friends, honoring Lily (our daughter, niece, granddaughter, and cousin), and raising money for other babies and their families for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Harvest pushed “cousin bear” in her stroller and we wore our butterflies. 🦋💗👼🏻💙
I want to again mention that this is now my blog Instagram account. If you want to follow my personal account, you can do so @hannah.rosie89 😊 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #ButterfliesforLily #TEARSFoundation #LakeBenson #GarnerNC #TEARSFoundationRockandWalk #PregnancyandInfantLossAwarenessMonth
Day 15 ~ Wave of Light
• Capture Your Grief 💗👼🏻💙
🦋Light a candle in memory of your child and become part of the most gorgeous day on the bereavement calendar.🦋
It’s a magical and beautiful night, one of my favorite nights of the year. It’s October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, a day when people all over the world light candles at 7 p.m., which creates a wave of light all across the globe. I ate dinner by the light of Lily’s name. It’s about the sanctity of life. It’s about remembrance. The babies of Heaven of so many dear friends I’ve met over the years are on my heart tonight. Who are you remembering? 🦋💗🕯💙👼🏻 #WaveofLight #WOL2018 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #October15 #PAILRemembranceDay #CYGforLilyKat #CaptureYourGrief2018 #CaptureYourGrief #WhatHealsYou #PregnancyandInfantLossAwarenessMonth
Day 13 ~ Educate
• Capture Your Grief 💗👼🏻💙
🦋What do you want others to know about your experience with grief?🦋
John Piper wrote a letter to a mother grieving the loss of her son who was stillborn. I go back and read this letter at least once a year because I’ve found it to be extremely comforting and validating! This man truly gets it.
I’ll let his words be what I want to share about the grief I feel in losing Lily:
“God’s crucial word on grieving well is 1 Thessalonians 4:13: “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” Yours is a grieving *with* hope. Theirs is a grieving without hope. That is the key difference. There is no talk of not grieving. That would be like suggesting to a woman who just lost her arm that she not cry, because it would be put back on in the resurrection. It hurts! That’s why we cry. It hurts.
And amputation is a good analogy. Because unlike a bullet wound, when the amputation heals, the arm is still gone. So, the hurt of grief is different from the hurt of other wounds. There is the pain of the severing, and then the relentless pain of the gone-ness. The countless might-have-beens. Those too hurt. Each new remembered one is a new blow on the tender place where the arm was. So, grieving is like and unlike other pain.
There is a paradox in the way God is honored through hope-filled grief. One might think that the only way He could be honored would be to cry less or get over the ache more quickly. That might show that your confidence is in the good that God is and the good that He does. Yes. It might. And some people are wired emotionally to experience God that way. I would not join those who say, “Oh, they are just in denial.” But there is another way God is honored in our grieving. When we taste the loss so deeply because we loved so deeply and treasured God’s gift — and God in His gift — so passionately that the loss cuts the deeper and the longer, and yet in and through the depths and the lengths of sorrow we never let go of God, and feel Him never letting go of us —
(Continued below ⬇️)
Day 12 ~ Just Breathe
• Capture Your Grief 💗👼🏻💙
🦋How do you cope when people say the wrong thing? What could they say instead?🦋
In the early years after Lily’s death, it used to bother be much more when people said mean or insensitive things to or about me.
I have come to realize most (not all) people simply don’t know or understand and truly do want to help.
I would be lying if I said even after 8 1/2 years that I have forgotten some of the words spoken and they don’t still prick my heart upon remembering.
The difference being that I now realize they don’t get it, but those of us mothers who’ve buried their babies DO get it... and we are not alone.
I hope that in my openness and sharing my heart, that those with all of the answers and none of the problems will begin to understand what losing a baby feels like. I hope they never have to personally feel what it’s like, what would cause a mother 65 years after losing her baby to put in the paper how much she still misses him and how she still thinks of him daily. Only those of us in this club we never wanted to join understand that it is something you’ll carry forever and there is no “getting over it.”
But we also don’t *want* to “get over it.” Because you see... we will never get over loving our babies and therefore we will never get over losing them. We will never be the people we were before having and losing them. This is not something we will “recover” from, as if we have the flu.
It’s nothing to be ashamed of and doesn’t mean we aren’t moving forward when we continue loving and missing the children that grew within. The grief points to the sanctity of life. Is it fair to tell someone to stop loving their own child? Could you stop loving yours? Which of yours would you be okay with burying?
I think the most hurt I’ve felt over the years is from people (especially those I’d think would be supportive) who try to make me think there is something tragically wrong, abnormal, and unhealthy with me to continue loving and talking about my daughter.
To move on from Lily would mean to forget her which would mean I don’t love her. That isn’t possible.
(Continued below ⬇️)
Day 11 ~ Honor
• Capture Your Grief 💗👼🏻💙
🦋Do you do anything to honor your child's memory on special dates?🦋
I shared a bit about what my family does throughout the year to honor Lily on special dates for an earlier topic this month.
Today, I want to share about some of the projects I do on special dates because of her.
For Mother’s Day, Lily’s birthday, PAIL Awareness Month (or just a regular snow day), I write the names of babies in Heaven in the sand, snow, or on flower petals.
For Christmas, I like to do something such as send ornaments to loss families or send a gift through Operation Christmas Child.
I’ve created comfort boxes that are donated to the hospital where Lily was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. The boxes are filled with memorial items, keepsakes to gather while in the hospital, and resources to help the parents make informed decisions that will not be regretted later, as well as to help them in the days ahead. It is my hope and prayer that one day all hospitals will be equipped with the tools and support to walk with families through the loss of a baby. 🌸 #CYGforLilyKat #CaptureYourGrief2018 #CaptureYourGrief #WhatHealsYou #PregnancyandInfantLossAwarenessMonth
The PAIL Awareness Movement began in America in October 1988 when President Ronald Reagan designated the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. 👼🏻
Here are some ideas for getting involved this month (read much more on my blog ~ link in profile!)
💗Remembrance Walks
💙Candlelight Ceremonies
💗Wave of Light
💙Go Pink and Blue
💙Capture Your Grief
💙Random Acts of Kindness
💗Comfort Boxes
💙Name Project
💗Invite Others
Day 10 ~ Love Letter
• Capture Your Grief 💗👼🏻💙
🦋Write your child a letter. Tell them everything you want them to know.🦋
This is a letter I wrote to Lily in March 2010, which I read at her Celebration of Life Service.
Dear Lily,
My little love. My constant companion. My precious flower. You whispered "goodbye" before I had a chance to say "hello." I'm left with a bruised heart and shaken dreams. Empty arms desperate to be filled with you. When I heard those words, those dreadful words, that your heart was no longer beating, it was like I was suffocating. I keep having to remind myself to breathe...Why is it so hard to breathe?! I couldn't cry at first...I was just shocked. My world was shattered, crumbling around me. Somehow the physical pain didn't seem to matter much anymore. You went straight from my womb to the arms of Jesus. Why did you have to go? Doesn't He know I need you here? Doesn't He know that you're my world? And yet life goes on. I still hear laughter. The moon still rises and the sun still sets. But, I won't forget. Even when I smile, thoughts of you are always dancing in the back of my mind. Shouldn't the whole world just stop? Mine has. How does the wind still blow? Doesn't it know you aren't here?
Oh, the plans I had for your life. All the things I wanted to show you and teach you. I longed for the day you would finally fill all those clothes that are just for you. I waited and waited to see that beautiful, toothless smile I'd imagined so many times before. The way your eyes would sparkle. I would rock you for hours and softly sing sweet lullabies in your ear. I can't help thinking of all that could have been. All that was meant to be. You should be at home in your Moses basket now, not in that little white box.
What will life be like when what should have been your firsts come? Your first 'mama,' your first grin, your first giggle when you’d see me coming to get you out of your crib in the morning, your first tooth, the first time you'd crawl…and walk. Your first Christmas and how your eyes would light up with all the beautiful lights and decorations.
(Continued below ⬇️)
Day 9 ~ Transformed
• Capture Your Grief 💗👼🏻💙
🦋How has this experienced changed you as a person?🦋
Lily Katherine's new life in the womb was a symbol and reflection of the new life the Lord was cultivating within me.
How I miss those months when the presence of her new life was tangible and felt.
From a poem I wrote for her: "As my belly grew throughout those months, so my darling did my love for you."
My heart stretched and grew in its capacity to love and embrace my daughter's life and God's plan for my life while my belly stretched and grew in its capacity to nurture life.
In the years since she left this world for her forever Home, my love has only proven to deepen with time. And the new life Jesus breathes on her legacy now mirrors the life He continues to bring me and many others because of her.
My mothering Lily caused my heart to expand in its capacity to love others because of my love for her.
Because of having her, and even through losing her, I am able to fulfill the other roles in my life better. She made me a better auntie to Harvest, a better sister to Joseph, Adam, Emma, and Kala, a better daughter to my parents, etc.
My role as her mommy made me appreciate all these other roles in my life that much more. Losing her made me realize how precious it is to hold my niece and watch her grow, to laugh with my family and friends, and to just soak up this life.
Lily opened up my eyes to the beauty and sanctity of life. She made me sensitive to others pain and unique experiences. Mothering her has made me a better future mother to living children.
There’s literally no way I could capture all the ways she’s transformed me, in body, heart, mind, and spirit. 💕👼🏻🤰🏼 #CYGforLilyKat #CaptureYourGrief2018 #CaptureYourGrief #WhatHealsYou #PregnancyandInfantLossAwarenessMonth
On this date in 2009, I had one of the most memorable experiences during my pregnancy... I had a 3D/4D ultrasound at just shy of 18 weeks, where we were told conclusively Lily was our baby GIRL, though I knew in my heart all along she was. I saw her dancing on the screen, doing her "drama queen" pose 👸🏼 where she put the back of her hand on her forehead and tilted her head back, 😂 and heard the sweet melody of her heart beating. ❤️ I'm so thankful for the keepsakes I'll cherish forever from that day - a DVD of the ultrasound (our only "home video" I'll ever have), her recorded heartbeat, ultrasound images, and pictures and a video of us there all talking and laughing. 😍 As soon as the tech told us, "the baby is a girl," we all burst out with joyful ahhhs and my mom exclaimed "Lily!" What precious memories. 💕🌸 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #pregnancymemories #sacredpregnancy
Day 8 ~ Support
• Capture Your Grief 💗👼🏻💙
🦋Share your favorite support resources. Have you come across any therapies that have aided you and if so can you recommend any for others?🦋
I have found it to be extremely helpful to connect with other loss parents, both in person at local infant loss support groups (more so in the early days after Lily’s birth) and remembrance events, as well as online, through blogging, my public blog Facebook page, and private Facebook groups. It is especially helpful for me at this point in my journey to talk with other mothers without living children (check out the Still Mothers Facebook page and website at www.stillmothers.com).
The many people who have loved Lily with me over the years have been the biggest support and have truly helped carry me. From those who have written her name in the sand or in other creative ways all over the world, to those who have sent cards and gifts, to my dear friend Heather who wrote Lily her very own song, to my sweet friend Ashley who used her baking skills to help me make red-velvet cookies to take to the hospital where Lily was born for her birthday one year, to my thoughtful friend Stacy who raised money through her nonprofit to help me get Lily’s permanent headstone, to the friends and family who have gone to candlelight ceremonies and walks with me, to those who have simply reached out and let me know how Lily’s life has impacted theirs, to those who let me hear the beauty of her name on their lips...THANK YOU all for your support, kindness, and love! ❤️😊
Over the years, I have come across many helpful websites, ministries, and resources that have helped me process and heal. I have a list on my blog of resources for loss parents that I periodically update (need to do so soon). I’ll temporarily link it in my profile. 🌸 #CYGforLilyKat #CaptureYourGrief2018 #CaptureYourGrief #WhatHealsYou #PregnancyandInfantLossAwarenessMonth
Day 7 ~ Wisdom
• Capture Your Grief 💗👼🏻💙
🦋What advice do you have for family and friends wanting to help a loved one who has experienced the death of their baby?🦋
What I’ve shared for today’s prompt is from a post on my blog called “How Family, Friends and Coworkers Can Help When a Baby Dies.” I go into further detail in that post, which will be temporarily linked in my profile. What would you add?
~ACKNOWLEDGE: This can be one of the most important things. Realize that this baby was very real and an irreplaceable part of this person's life and family. Don't be afraid to acknowledge their existence and that special place they will forever hold. And don't be afraid to acknowledge that it is a devastating loss. Do not pretend it never happened! And please don't avoid seeing them, calling them, etc. ~SPEAK THEIR NAME: Don't be afraid to say their child's name. He/she was a very real person! "If you know someone who has lost a child and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died, they didn't forget they died. You're not reminding them. What you're reminding them of is that you remember that they lived, and that's a great, great gift." -Elizabeth Edwards
~*DO* SOMETHING: Send flowers, a card, drop off a meal or things like groceries, toilet paper, milk, tissues, etc. (they will most likely not want to be out and about in the real world for a while), go visit, offer to take their other children out for an afternoon, or send a special gift. Get creative! Take them a box with a candle, two matching blankets (one for baby and one to be kept with family), a picture frame, a grief journal, cards for babies hand and footprints, a little baggie for baby's hair, etc. "Meaning to" do something is not the same as actually doing it.
~DON’T PRESSURE: Please never think that they will ever "get over it." Don't think they will go back to the person they were before their loss. This has irrevocably changed them forever and therefore it may change your relationship. Accept that. Be patient, kind, loving, and gentle with them. Allow them to grieve the way they need to. (Continued below ⬇️)
Day 6 ~ Healing
• Capture Your Grief 💗👼🏻💙
🦋What are your thoughts on healing, what does it it look like for you?🦋
Healing is not a destination where one arrives when the gaping missing ceases to hurt.
Healing is lifelong.
Healing is being able to honor, love, and celebrate your baby without fear of what others may say or think.
Healing is embracing the life you now have and the way your heart has changed because of the pain... because of their existence.
Healing is not trying to be who you once were or might have been.
It’s taking hold of all of who you now are: the good, the pain, the sorrow, the joy, and how somehow it all works together to make you the person you’re meant to be.
Healing is having eyes opened to the pain in others because of your own pain, and asking to be used to somehow help ease the heaviness of their burden.
Healing is how your perspective shifts because of your experiences and you learn to treasure the days given in a richer and fuller way than before.
Healing is embracing the gift of life because you’ve tasted the sting of death.
Total and complete healing will only come in Heaven, where all our tears will be no more. 🌸 #CYGforLilyKat #CaptureYourGrief2018 #CaptureYourGrief #WhatHealsYou #healing #PregnancyandInfantLossAwarenessMonth
Day 5 ~ Traditions
• Capture Your Grief 💗👼🏻💙
🦋What are some things you do to remember your child?🦋
There are several ways my family and I honor Lily each year.
On her birthday, we have something red-velvet, which started because I had red-velvet cake at my Valentine’s-themed baby shower. 🎂
We also have hashbrowns on Lily’s due date each year because they were my biggest pregnancy craving, Lily’s nickname was “Spud,” and her due date was National Potato Day. 🥔
We participate in the Wave of Light on PAIL Remembrance Day and a Remembrance Walk in October. 🕯
At Christmas, I get Lily a new memorial ornament for her tree. 🎄
I also usually do some sort of project in her honor for her birthday, Mother’s Day, and at Christmas.
We participate in a butterfly release for Mother’s Day. 🦋
I decorate #LilysSpecialSpot for the different holidays and seasons.
All of these ways we include Lily help carry me through. 🌸 #CYGforLilyKat #CaptureYourGrief2018 #CaptureYourGrief #WhatHealsYou #PregnancyandInfantLossAwarenessMonth
Day 4 ~ Today
• Capture Your Grief 💗👼🏻💙
🦋Where you right now in your grief?🦋
Eight and a half years out and the sweetness outweighs the bitter in bittersweet, without comparison.
Eight and a half years out and I feel comforted by my deep love for Lily... it's a love that reaches beyond the grave, a love unexplainable, a love unconditional upon her physical presence, a love that grows with each passing day.
As time goes on, I become more secure in what I share with her, a love that never needed any words or even eyes to meet. It's a love that could only have been placed within me by the very Author of life and love.
No striving on my part to get others to recognize her value will make her any more valuable. Simply by existing, she matters. And I can rest in knowing her value doesn't change depending on what others think of her. My love is no less real even if people don't understand.
I am afraid of Lily being forgotten about and not spoken of anymore, especially after I'm gone from this world. I want her legacy to live on. The desire for Lily's legacy to live on after me is something I must surrender to God. What He chooses to do with her story has always been and will always be in His hands.
My grief is a constant companion, but I don’t mind. After talking to multiple people over the years who lost babies even decades ago and how their love and pain irrevocably changed them, I realized this isn’t something to resist. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and doesn’t mean we aren’t moving on to continue loving and missing the children that grew within. The grief points to the sanctity of life.
No matter the hurtful and insensitive things people say to or about us and our grief/little ones, they do not get to dictate our love. They don't decide the validity of our grief/feelings/motherhood.
The depth of my love and missing is not measured by what others think it should or shouldn't be. Nobody gets to determine that for me.
As Jane Austen wrote, “I am half agony, half hope.” I will always long for my first born, while also longing for her future siblings.
I love you, my sweetheart. I know you are safe. I'm forever thankful you are mine and I am yours. #CYGforLilyKat
Day 3 ~ Essence
• Capture Your Grief 💗👼🏻💙
🦋Who are they to you? Do they have a name? What is the meaning of their name?🦋
This is my daughter, Lily Katherine, born 2 days past her due date on March 16, 2010
7 pounds 9 ounces
21 inches
My first born, my only born
As pretty and delicate as the flower she’s named after. 🌸
Just as people give flowers to others as a symbol of their love, so God demonstrated His love for me in giving me my little flower.
Both her first and middle names mean “pure and innocent,” though I didn’t know her middle name did too when I selected it.
It was as if the name “Lily” was planted in my mind in my first trimester. I always just knew she was a girl and that was her name. It caused my heart to connect with hers.
She is a symbol of my purity and redemption in Christ and she herself will forever remain pure and innocent.
She’s a first-born granddaughter, a niece, and a cousin.
There’s no way to capture all she means to me and will always mean to me. Or how much I will always long for her, my beautiful daughter of Heaven, who changed my heart, my life, and my future without ever speaking a single word or even taking a breath. #CYGforLilyKat #CaptureYourGrief2018 #CaptureYourGrief #WhatHealsYou #PregnancyandInfantLossAwarenessMonth
Day 2 ~ Purpose
• Capture Your Grief 💗👼🏻💙
🦋Tell us about why you are doing CYG this month.🦋
I’m participating in this project this year to connect with other loss parents and help them feel less alone, to raise awareness and hopefully bring deeper understanding to those who haven’t walked this path, and to mother Lily in one of the only ways I can. It seems to be always around her birthday in March and PAIL Awareness Month in October that I need to feel close to her and share her extra. #CYGforLilyKat #CaptureYourGrief2018 #CaptureYourGrief #WhatHealsYou #PregnancyandInfantLossAwarenessMonth
Day 1 ~ Sunrise 🌅
• Capture Your Grief 💗👼🏻💙
🦋Get up to watch the sunrise with us all. Share what part of the world you are joining us from.🦋
Catching up on the last couple days...
This is not a sunrise from this morning, but it is a photo from October 1st when I was in Colorado in 2015. I remember gazing at the beautiful pink and blue sky that day and thinking about how the colors reminded me of the PAIL Awareness colors. 😌
I’m participating in the Capture Your Grief Project from Virginia. #CYGforLilyKat #CaptureYourGrief2018 #CaptureYourGrief #WhatHealsYou #PregnancyandInfantLossAwarenessMonth
Most everybody knows that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Two of my aunts are survivors of breast cancer. There is pink everywhere, from people you see wearing t-shirts at the grocery store to NFL players sporting pink shoes on the field. There are several walks to support this cause and billions of dollars pored into research. Millions of people acknowledge it, which I think is a wonderful thing. You basically can't live in the United States and not hear about it constantly during the month of October.
But, not many people know that October is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. It is far too often overshadowed. I would never want those other things to be forgotten about, I just want P.A.I.L. (pregnancy and infant loss) to be spoken about as well. I want commercials about it and money being pored into it by giant corporations. It is a worthwhile thing to research, understand, and talk about.
My daughter, Lily Katherine was stillborn 2 days past her due date. I had a completely normal, healthy pregnancy and she was a healthy baby. She had a full autopsy done and nobody could give me a reason medically for why it happened. Don't you think it's about time something was done about this? In the United States of America in the 21st century, thousands of babies should not be dying with no explanation.
I know I talk quite a lot about Pregnancy and Infant Loss. You'll see pink and blue strewn throughout my social media pages, especially throughout the month of October. But you see, to me it is not just another "cause." There are thousands of causes out there, aren't there? Support this, support that. Many of these things are important. This is not a cause, but our children. It's not merely about raising awareness for the sake of people being aware. PAIL Awareness Month is about honoring our babies and speaking out about the dignity and value of their lives, despite how brief. I don't just share the awareness ribbon or take part in the Capture Your Grief Project to make pointless noise. I am as outspoken as I am for a few reasons...
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. CarlyMarie just released her annual “Capture Your Grief” photography healing project that coincides with the month. I’m planning on participating to raise awareness, to connect with other loss parents, and to share Lily and feel connected to her. The details of the project will be on @carlymarie.leilani.becoming’s website. Are you participating too this year? ☺️🦋💕👼🏻🦋 #CaptureYourGrief2018 #CYGforLilyKat #GoingPinkandBlueforLily
Found a new Fall flag for Lily last weekend... thought she needed her own kittens and puppies because what little girl doesn’t love them. ☺️🐱🐶🎃🍎💛🧡🍁🍂👼🏻 #LilysSpecialSpot #LilyKatherineAllenBall #CrozetVA #gardenflag #babypumpkins
Yesterday was National Daughter Day. Here is something I wrote about my beautiful daughter...💕🌸
The intricate details of her beautiful feminine face are known so completely by her mommy.
So much so that when I see a picture of myself, I see Lily's face in mine. I see her in me and me in her.
It seems appropriate for us to share looks, as we shared everything else. Her heart both sprang to life and ceased in my body. She shared my body, making it her cozy home for the duration of her earthly life. She bears the name of a flower as I do. Her cells still live in me and her heart still beats with each beat of my own. Her legacy resides somewhere inside of my own, with our stories and purposes so closely woven together.
Our hearts know each other, reaching across realms, unaltered by the separation of the grave. We are tied together in Christ and nothing separates those found in His love. We may have never locked eyes, never had a conversation back and forth, but our mother-daughter connection is so much more than that. How could it not be? Her bones and flesh grew inside the form that is my bones and flesh. I felt her life. With each gentle or not-so-gentle movement inside of me, with each sound of her heartbeat or dance on the ultrasound machine, it was as if she was telling me all the words she'd never get to say.
I cherish you, my sweet daughter of Heaven... I cherish all you were to me while your heart beat here and all you are to me still. 💖👼🏻 #likemotherlikedaughter #LilyKatherineAllenBall #NationalDaughterDay
I first shared this last October and with Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month just around the corner, I want to share it again...
On a recent episode of “This Is Us,” a character says something sad happened a long time ago, as if because of the length of time elapsed, it shouldn’t hurt anymore.
Another character responded with vivid memories from his own life years in the past. He said, “I can just see it all so very cleary, I could just reach out and touch it. In my experience, there’s no such thing as a long time ago. There’s only memories that mean something and memories that don't.”
It’s been 9 years since my pregnancy with Lily and in an instant, the feelings and memories can come flooding back. Most of the time these days, they bring way more smiles and joy than tears and sadness. But they are still so vivid, like I could just reach out and touch them... touch the memory of what it felt like to hear her heartbeat, to see her on the ultrasound, to feel her dance, to birth her, to hold her, give her the hugs and kisses to last a lifetime... and then to bury her. They are vivid and yet distant all at once. There’s no such thing as a long time ago.
The love remains stronger than ever, which causes me to rejoice in these memories because they are all I have of my daughter. She was real.
And during the month of October, I’ll speak out about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month so others will understand when the mothers and fathers with children in Heaven want to share their little ones, it’s not because they aren’t coping or stuck on something they shouldn’t be... it’s because there’s no such thing as a long time ago, especially when it comes to the memories of their child’s life when memories are all they have. 💕👼🏻💙 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #GoingPinkAndBlueForLily #PregnancyandInfantLossAwarenessMonth
9 years ago today, it was love at first sight when I saw my sweet Lily Katherine dancing on the screen for the first time. She was squirming all over the place! Flip, flip, flop. Laughing, I joked, "if this is any indication of what's to come, I'm going to have my hands full!" She was so tiny, yet already so developed and full of life. I was witnessing the miracle of life. I'll never forget that hanging on the wall across from me during the ultrasound, there was a painting of a lily, as I saw my own Lily, whose name was already hers. Seeing this was like a sweet gift from the Lord, who knew her gender, name, and purpose already. Later that day, we went shopping and I found a snow globe ornament with Lily's name on it at J.C.Penney (swipe to see photo). Her name was imprinted on my heart, before a doctor ever confirmed her gender. 💕👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LoveAtFirstSight #MyLittleFlower 🌸 #15weeks #pregnancymemories #sacredpregnancy
“Anyone who sees this stone and the decorations knows she is one loved little girl.” -my friend who was with me at the cemetery today to get Lily ready for Fall 😌👼🏻🧡💛🌻🍁🍂🎃 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LilysSpecialSpot #babypumpkins #CrozetVA
I realized this week that I won’t be having another baby in my 20s.
I had Lily at 20 and I’ll be 30 in 11 months.
Walked by this rainbow onesie at Target today and a lump formed in my throat.
Trying to learn to accept and embrace the life I have instead of the life I hoped would be.
Hope deferred... it can make the heart sick. Jesus alone is the remedy and as I wrestle with so much pain and longing, I am learning what true faith is, in a way I wouldn’t know otherwise.
Jesus, I pray for all the sweet women who read this who are feeling heartsick. Show them You are faithful. Teach them to trust and rest in You. 🌈👶🏻
* More Than Anything by Natalie Grant* 🎵
“I know if you wanted to you could wave your hand
Spare me this heartache and change your plan
And I know any second you could take my pain away
But even if you don't I pray

Help me want the Healer more than the healing
Help me want the Savior more than the saving
Help me want the Giver more than the giving
Help me want you Jesus more than anything

You know more than anyone that my flesh is weak
And you know I'd give anything for a remedy
And I'll ask a thousand more times to set me free today
Oh but even if you don't I pray

Help me want the Healer more than the healing
Help me want the Savior more than the saving
Help me want the Giver more than the giving
Oh Help me want you Jesus more than anything

When I'm desperate and my hearts overcome
All that I need you've already done
When I'm desperate and my hearts overcome
All that I need you've already done

Oh Jesus Help me want you more than anything” #LilyKatherineAllenBall #rainbowbaby
❤️❤️❤️Note: this account will now be connected to my blog/posts about Lily. If you want to follow my personal account instead of/in addition to, it’s @hannah.rosie89❤️❤️❤️
I’ve wanted an ornament with my sweet Lily’s footprints on it for years, so I was happy when I won this beautiful bamboo custom ornament from @abeautifulremembrance! 😍
It’s perfect to hang on the tree at Christmas and to keep on display the rest of the year. Her footprints are scaled down of course. ☺️🧡💛 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #ABeautifulRemembrance #LilyKatsChristmasTree
My two L’s were remembered by my sweet friend Laura at Parsons Beach in Kennebunk, Maine! It’s extra special when Luke is included, which isn’t often since he was lost at 6 weeks compared to Lily who was stillborn 2 days past her due date. Laura had a twin who passed away at around 6 weeks in the womb, so I think that gives her a special spot in her heart for Luke Shiloh. ❤️☀️🌊🐚🐋🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #mytwoLs
New lily solar lights for my little Lily flower 😍💕🌸 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LilysSpecialSpot #CrozetVA
9 years ago - August - my life changed for the better.
God poured love and hope into the cracks of despair and fear in my heart.
I look back and see His hand so clearly in many details of those days.
I was a fresh 20, pregnant and unmarried.
When I had no love of my own to give my baby, He gave me love for her. He stirred my heart and transformed me.
He used multiple people and circumstances to do this...
One being how He connected my heart to my baby in those first several weeks of my pregnancy, revealing to me she was a little girl named Lily. There was never any question in my mind what her gender and name were. Lily means "pure and innocent." She was a symbol of my renewed purity and redemption in Christ. Her new life growing in my womb was a symbol and reflection of the new life God was cultivating within me. Her life was the instrument used to bring me new life. When I was selecting her middle name, I had no idea at the time that Katherine also means "pure and innocent." I knew that God was with me and had a beautiful purpose for the sweet baby girl He was knitting together in my womb.
That month, He brought me a special friend named Bex (in photo) who had also experienced an unplanned pregnancy a year before, and placed her son for adoption (check her story out at @bex_tummymommy). She was the first person who knew my sweet girl’s name that has now been heard by thousands. She was a great light and encouragement in that time. It strengthened me to have someone speak into the hard, someone who understood the hard.
When I was 10 weeks pregnant that month, right around my birthday, I remember finding the Precious Feet pin on my aunt’s kitchen countertop, which are scaled to the size and shape of what an unborn child's feet look like at 10 weeks gestation. How “coincidental” that I stumbled upon this pin when I was that exact gestation. When I saw these feet, it was like it made it all the more real to me... I was pregnant. I already had a baby growing in my womb. She already had the tiniest, most precious little feet ever. It helped my mother heart to connect to my little baby.
(Cont’d below ⬇️)
Yesterday was National Rainbow Baby Day. 🌈👶🏻❤️🧡💛💚💙💜💕
A “rainbow baby” is a term commonly used in the pregnancy/infant loss community, referring to a baby born after the loss of a baby.
People like to imagine that everyone gets their rainbow baby. It’s assumed that if you know the heartache of pregnancy or infant loss that you automatically get a license to bring home a healthy little one, almost like it’s a guarantee to know that joy after being acquainted with such pain.
The reality is that not everyone does get a rainbow baby, some never and some not for a very long time. I’m not trying to be a Debbie-downer here, but please hear me out.
It has been 8 1/2 years since my daughter Lily passed away unexpectedly and for no known reason at full-term. I’ve seen my fair share of rainbow babies... in fact, some of those who lost their baby around the same time as me have gone on to have 4 children since that time! It’s like a fresh wave of loss parents comes along every year or so and then inevitably they have a healthy child soon after. I’ve seen this time and time again and it doesn’t get any less painful with each pregnancy announcement and birth.
It’s not that I am not overjoyed for them. It’s that I’m sad for those us who feel left behind. And I’m sad because I wonder if this is what I’m destined for, especially with the way so many parents of rainbow babies talk about them.
There is a community within the babyloss community of women who don’t have a rainbow baby (for many different reasons). We’re known as “still mothers,” because we are still mothers even when our motherhood is invisible to the world. We have a website and a support group with other mothers who “get it.” We are mothers who understand that not everyone is guaranteed a rainbow after the storm, but that doesn’t mean we lack hope. Many of us prefer not to use the term “rainbow baby” because the babies that we lost were not a storm. Our babies brought light and love and COLOR to our worlds and their death doesn’t negate that.
Parents of rainbow babies talk about their child bringing them out of the pit of the sorrow that comes when one loses their child.
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Amidst all the back-to-school-first-day photos, this is where mine would be.... You can imagine a beautiful 8-year-old 3rd grader, with curly hair and blue eyes. There would surely be a big smile on her face and a pink backpack draped over her shoulder. The twinkle in her eyes would tell of her excitement for a new year and all she’d learn and the friends she’d make.

That’s what I would be posting today and what I wish I was.

But March 16, 2010 took that photo and moment from me.

That’s what I want others to grasp about infant loss - when you lose a baby, it’s not a one-time occurrence that only affects you one day of your life.
It takes away the first day of 3rd grade too, and a thousand other days.

As John Piper described in a letter he wrote to comfort a mother who lost her son to stillbirth: “Amputation is a good analogy. Because unlike a bullet wound, when the amputation heals, the arm is still gone. So, the hurt of grief is different from the hurt of other wounds. There is the pain of the severing, and then the relentless pain of the gone-ness. The countless might-have-beens. Those too hurt. Each new remembered one is a new blow on the tender place where the arm was”

Today my heart is tender as I miss my 3rd grader. #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Who are you missing today and what grade would they be starting? 🍎✏️🎒👼🏻❤️

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