#lilykatherineallenball

My sweet little ones are with me in Daytona Beach, Florida 😌👼🏻🌹🌸🧡💗💛🌊☀️🐚🌴🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #WithMeWhereverIGo #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #sunrise #springbreak
My sweet little ones are with me in Daytona Beach, Florida 😌👼🏻🌹🌸🧡💗💛🌊☀️🐚🌴🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #WithMeWhereverIGo #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #sunrise #springbreak
Part of what makes first trimester loss uniquely difficult is the not knowing what the gender for sure was.
Therefore, it might seem odd to some that I refer to Luke Shiloh, lost at 6 weeks, as a “he,” and Violet Anne, lost at almost 8 weeks, as a “she.” I’ve also given them clearly very gender distinctive names.
For me, it’s about connection and healing. Loving, thinking about, and grieving my baby as a specific gender helps them feel more real to me and helps my mother heart connect better to theirs.
And giving a name is recognizing dignity. Someone is only given a name if they exist.
Now obviously I could be wrong. Luke could very well have been a “she,” and Violet could have been a “he.” But that doesn’t take away my love or their value. And it doesn’t take away the meaning and significance behind the names I so lovingly selected for them. What their names mean and who they are to me does not change with their gender. I feel much better referring to them using pronouns rather than “it” or “the baby.”
And honestly, I feel fairly confident that what I feel in my gut were their genders are correct. I believe God can reveal those things to us. 
When I was pregnant with Lily Katherine, I knew from the first trimester that she was a girl and her name was Lily. There was never any question in my mind. 
Looking back, maybe God allowed me to experience that with her so that I’d have confidence in Luke and Violet’s genders too. I believe that one day when I open my eyes to Heaven, I will know my children and they will know me. And all the questions will be wiped away.
I had ordered a SneakPeek gender reveal test online with Violet. The test analyzes a mother’s blood and the results are supposed to be pretty accurate. I was also supposed to have some testing done at the doctor at 12 weeks, which would have confirmed the gender. I could have taken the Sneak Peek test as early as 9 weeks, so I had just over a week to wait. Sending that unopened kit back was hard to do, and sad knowing I could have for sure known the gender in just a week and 2 days. 
Continued below ⬇️
Part of what makes first trimester loss uniquely difficult is the not knowing what the gender for sure was.
Therefore, it might seem odd to some that I refer to Luke Shiloh, lost at 6 weeks, as a “he,” and Violet Anne, lost at almost 8 weeks, as a “she.” I’ve also given them clearly very gender distinctive names.
For me, it’s about connection and healing. Loving, thinking about, and grieving my baby as a specific gender helps them feel more real to me and helps my mother heart connect better to theirs.
And giving a name is recognizing dignity. Someone is only given a name if they exist.
Now obviously I could be wrong. Luke could very well have been a “she,” and Violet could have been a “he.” But that doesn’t take away my love or their value. And it doesn’t take away the meaning and significance behind the names I so lovingly selected for them. What their names mean and who they are to me does not change with their gender. I feel much better referring to them using pronouns rather than “it” or “the baby.”
And honestly, I feel fairly confident that what I feel in my gut were their genders are correct. I believe God can reveal those things to us.
When I was pregnant with Lily Katherine, I knew from the first trimester that she was a girl and her name was Lily. There was never any question in my mind.
Looking back, maybe God allowed me to experience that with her so that I’d have confidence in Luke and Violet’s genders too. I believe that one day when I open my eyes to Heaven, I will know my children and they will know me. And all the questions will be wiped away.
I had ordered a SneakPeek gender reveal test online with Violet. The test analyzes a mother’s blood and the results are supposed to be pretty accurate. I was also supposed to have some testing done at the doctor at 12 weeks, which would have confirmed the gender. I could have taken the Sneak Peek test as early as 9 weeks, so I had just over a week to wait. Sending that unopened kit back was hard to do, and sad knowing I could have for sure known the gender in just a week and 2 days.
Continued below ⬇️
Lily girl is leaving her mark over at @lovewhatmatters. I am honored to be sharing her story and to be a voice for us bereaved mothers (and fathers). The link is in my profile. 💗👼🏻🌸😌 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LilysLegacy #MyBeautifulGirl #LoveWhatMatters
Lily girl is leaving her mark over at @lovewhatmatters. I am honored to be sharing her story and to be a voice for us bereaved mothers (and fathers). The link is in my profile. 💗👼🏻🌸😌 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LilysLegacy #MyBeautifulGirl #LoveWhatMatters
A rainbow baby in the pregnancy and infant loss community is the baby born after the loss of another baby. ☔️🌈
The week of Lily’s March 16th birthday was rainbow baby week. The irony of that is not lost on me....
I marked the should-have-been 9th birthday in Heaven of my baby who was born too late or she might have been here to celebrate too. 
While I planned her birthday and relived those days leading up to her too-late birth, I was going through a miscarriage, of my first rainbow baby - my baby who was born too early the very week her big sister was born too late, or she might also still be here. All during rainbow baby week.
My sweet rainbow baby was due on October 5th, just four days past my first baby’s should-have-been due date, a decade apart. I thought this pregnancy and birth was to be healing. 🌈😞 #VioletAnne💜 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
A rainbow baby in the pregnancy and infant loss community is the baby born after the loss of another baby. ☔️🌈
The week of Lily’s March 16th birthday was rainbow baby week. The irony of that is not lost on me....
I marked the should-have-been 9th birthday in Heaven of my baby who was born too late or she might have been here to celebrate too.
While I planned her birthday and relived those days leading up to her too-late birth, I was going through a miscarriage, of my first rainbow baby - my baby who was born too early the very week her big sister was born too late, or she might also still be here. All during rainbow baby week.
My sweet rainbow baby was due on October 5th, just four days past my first baby’s should-have-been due date, a decade apart. I thought this pregnancy and birth was to be healing. 🌈😞 #VioletAnne💜 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
This is the letter to Lily that I wrote her and read aloud at her Celebration of Life Service in late March 2010:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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. Your first birthday and how you'd get cake all over your special birthday dress. Your first trip to the beach and mountains.
Continued ⬇️
This is the letter to Lily that I wrote her and read aloud at her Celebration of Life Service in late March 2010:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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. Your first birthday and how you'd get cake all over your special birthday dress. Your first trip to the beach and mountains.
Continued ⬇️
13 days separate these photos. 13 days and a lifetime of memories made. 13 days and yet changed so totally and completely.

One was taken the day before my due date, with Lily "in front" in my belly, and the other taken the day before her burial with her in front of me in her coffin. Anticipating her birth to anticipating her burial.

You know how people take the "before and after" photos, the first while pregnant and the second after the baby is born, wearing the same outfit? Well I realized that this is my version of that. 😢❤️
13 days separate these photos. 13 days and a lifetime of memories made. 13 days and yet changed so totally and completely.

One was taken the day before my due date, with Lily "in front" in my belly, and the other taken the day before her burial with her in front of me in her coffin. Anticipating her birth to anticipating her burial.

You know how people take the "before and after" photos, the first while pregnant and the second after the baby is born, wearing the same outfit? Well I realized that this is my version of that. 😢❤️
Days like today are the days nobody else remembers.
To me, March 27th will always be the day I left my little girl's tiny and perfect-but-without-breath 7 pound 9 ounce 21 inch body behind in a grave in a cemetery in Virginia. To me, it will be the day I watched as her tiny white casket, inside her cozy Moses Basket, was covered with tears, rose and lily petals, and dirt. And I had to leave her there. I had to walk away, with a piece of myself in the ground. I was just barely out of my teens when I buried my baby.
“...life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no; Ain't even grey, but she buries her baby. The sharp knife of a short life." -The Band Perry 💕🌸
Days like today are the days nobody else remembers.
To me, March 27th will always be the day I left my little girl's tiny and perfect-but-without-breath 7 pound 9 ounce 21 inch body behind in a grave in a cemetery in Virginia. To me, it will be the day I watched as her tiny white casket, inside her cozy Moses Basket, was covered with tears, rose and lily petals, and dirt. And I had to leave her there. I had to walk away, with a piece of myself in the ground. I was just barely out of my teens when I buried my baby.
“...life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no; Ain't even grey, but she buries her baby. The sharp knife of a short life." -The Band Perry 💕🌸
👼🏻👼🏻👼🏻
💗Lily Katherine💗
💙Luke Shiloh💙
💜Violet Anne💜
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Even within the loss community, there is unfortunately a lot of comparison. Who has the deeper pain or more difficult circumstances and loss? 
Those who’ve had miscarriages resent that their losses can be undermined by those who’ve had later losses, while those who’ve had stillbirths resent having their loss called a miscarriage. Don’t even get me started on post-abortion grief. Those who’ve had losses not by choice think mothers who did make a choice forfeited their right to grieve.
As someone who has experienced all 3, I thought I’d weigh in on the subject.
My womb has held life 3 times. It has also held death 3 times. It has birthed life 0 times. In the last decade of my life, I have lost a baby through an agonizing full-term unexplained death shortly before birth at 40+ weeks in 2010 (Lily Katherine), a baby through a forever regretted abortion at 6 weeks in 2009 (Luke Shiloh), and a baby through the tragedy of miscarriage at just shy of 8 weeks in 2019 (Violet Anne). The conclusion I’ve drawn is this: There is NO easy way to lose a baby. It’s pointless and harmful to compare and to judge others for their grief. 
The thing is, I don’t think grief/loss can even 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. You are left longing for more. 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 and the way in which they were lost. 
We all have different stories and what is perceived as “worse” or “better” will always be pointless. Our stories are what they are.
To further explain... My grief over my abortion has regret surrounding it. That is a unique type of mourning in and of itself and mothers need to be given that space to feel what they will. A loss is a loss is a loss.
On the other hand, although I didn’t choose to lose Lily or Violet, my grief feels different with each of them.
Continued below ⬇️
👼🏻👼🏻👼🏻
💗Lily Katherine💗
💙Luke Shiloh💙
💜Violet Anne💜
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Even within the loss community, there is unfortunately a lot of comparison. Who has the deeper pain or more difficult circumstances and loss?
Those who’ve had miscarriages resent that their losses can be undermined by those who’ve had later losses, while those who’ve had stillbirths resent having their loss called a miscarriage. Don’t even get me started on post-abortion grief. Those who’ve had losses not by choice think mothers who did make a choice forfeited their right to grieve.
As someone who has experienced all 3, I thought I’d weigh in on the subject.
My womb has held life 3 times. It has also held death 3 times. It has birthed life 0 times. In the last decade of my life, I have lost a baby through an agonizing full-term unexplained death shortly before birth at 40+ weeks in 2010 (Lily Katherine), a baby through a forever regretted abortion at 6 weeks in 2009 (Luke Shiloh), and a baby through the tragedy of miscarriage at just shy of 8 weeks in 2019 (Violet Anne). The conclusion I’ve drawn is this: There is NO easy way to lose a baby. It’s pointless and harmful to compare and to judge others for their grief.
The thing is, I don’t think grief/loss can even 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. You are left longing for more. 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 and the way in which they were lost.
We all have different stories and what is perceived as “worse” or “better” will always be pointless. Our stories are what they are.
To further explain... My grief over my abortion has regret surrounding it. That is a unique type of mourning in and of itself and mothers need to be given that space to feel what they will. A loss is a loss is a loss.
On the other hand, although I didn’t choose to lose Lily or Violet, my grief feels different with each of them.
Continued below ⬇️
Lily was remembered her birthday week by Ashley in Kona, Hawaii! 😊💗🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #March16 #9thBirthday #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily was remembered her birthday week by Ashley in Kona, Hawaii! 😊💗🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #March16 #9thBirthday #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
I’ve been surrounded by beautiful + colorful flowers this week, from thoughtful friends and family. The first photo is the basket my mom had delivered to me at work, and the second photo shows all the flowers that have been brightening my days. 💕💐💜 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall #March16 #9thbirthday
I’ve been surrounded by beautiful + colorful flowers this week, from thoughtful friends and family. The first photo is the basket my mom had delivered to me at work, and the second photo shows all the flowers that have been brightening my days. 💕💐💜 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall #March16 #9thbirthday
Sweet Lily girl is ready for her 9th birthday. 🥰9️⃣ I put together the flower arrangement (with roses and lilies of course) and got the balloon and flag on Etsy. 💕❤️💐🎈🎉 #LilysSpecialSpot #LilyKatherinesBirthday #9thbirthday #March16 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Sweet Lily girl is ready for her 9th birthday. 🥰9️⃣ I put together the flower arrangement (with roses and lilies of course) and got the balloon and flag on Etsy. 💕❤️💐🎈🎉 #LilysSpecialSpot #LilyKatherinesBirthday #9thbirthday #March16 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
❤️💕🧁💕❤️
Red-velvet treats for Lily’s birthday, a favorite tradition started when I had red-velvet cake at my Valentine’s-themed baby shower. Monarch butterfly cupcakes and petit fours. 😊🎉🦋 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #RedVelvetforLily #ButterfliesforLily #March16 #9thbirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall
❤️💕🧁💕❤️
Red-velvet treats for Lily’s birthday, a favorite tradition started when I had red-velvet cake at my Valentine’s-themed baby shower. Monarch butterfly cupcakes and petit fours. 😊🎉🦋 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #RedVelvetforLily #ButterfliesforLily #March16 #9thbirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall
A beautiful baby girl that I carried, birthed, and love should be turning 9 today. It's my birthing-day.
9 years since I held that perfect-but-without-breath 7 pound 9 ounce and 21 inch body and saw my face in hers.
9 years of treasuring her life and mothering her legacy.
9 years of her name being written all over the world in the sand, snow, and everywhere in between.
9 years of writing and speaking about her.
9 years and the missing and love haven't changed.
Honestly, I am at a bit of a loss for words this year. I have been so busy with working full-time and taking Masters classes and just life in general that I've barely had time to process Lily's birthday and my memories and feelings surrounding it. Not only that, but I'm dealing with some difficult things right now, which compounds my grief with it being Lily's time of year.
Around her day each year, I like to go back and read my blog posts where I see how we've celebrated her on each of her past birthdays. This year, I honestly don't have much planned. It made me feel sad to see how many special things I've done in her honor in the past and guilty for not doing more this year.
As I was contemplating these feelings, I realized this is pressure I put on myself for no reason. Her birthday season might look different each year. Some years I might go to the beach or somewhere else different and fun, while other years (like this year), the plans may be more simple. Some years I might get a tattoo or deliver hospital comfort boxes, while other years I may celebrate in a quieter way. There is no need for any pressure because my love for Lily does not wane... despite what is going on or not going on or how many years have passed.
This year, I need things to be gentler and simpler. This year, I will cherish long-held traditions and the memory of her life within mine. This year, I will let go of the pressure or the need to do certain things or write certain words in order for her life to "count," in order for the great loss of her to mean something. She matters and nothing in all of the universe could ever change that. I love her and nothing will diminish my devotion as her mommy.
Continue reading ⬇️
A beautiful baby girl that I carried, birthed, and love should be turning 9 today. It's my birthing-day.
9 years since I held that perfect-but-without-breath 7 pound 9 ounce and 21 inch body and saw my face in hers.
9 years of treasuring her life and mothering her legacy.
9 years of her name being written all over the world in the sand, snow, and everywhere in between.
9 years of writing and speaking about her.
9 years and the missing and love haven't changed.
Honestly, I am at a bit of a loss for words this year. I have been so busy with working full-time and taking Masters classes and just life in general that I've barely had time to process Lily's birthday and my memories and feelings surrounding it. Not only that, but I'm dealing with some difficult things right now, which compounds my grief with it being Lily's time of year.
Around her day each year, I like to go back and read my blog posts where I see how we've celebrated her on each of her past birthdays. This year, I honestly don't have much planned. It made me feel sad to see how many special things I've done in her honor in the past and guilty for not doing more this year.
As I was contemplating these feelings, I realized this is pressure I put on myself for no reason. Her birthday season might look different each year. Some years I might go to the beach or somewhere else different and fun, while other years (like this year), the plans may be more simple. Some years I might get a tattoo or deliver hospital comfort boxes, while other years I may celebrate in a quieter way. There is no need for any pressure because my love for Lily does not wane... despite what is going on or not going on or how many years have passed.
This year, I need things to be gentler and simpler. This year, I will cherish long-held traditions and the memory of her life within mine. This year, I will let go of the pressure or the need to do certain things or write certain words in order for her life to "count," in order for the great loss of her to mean something. She matters and nothing in all of the universe could ever change that. I love her and nothing will diminish my devotion as her mommy.
Continue reading ⬇️
Read my post from yesterday before this one...
I’m not sure what compelled me to take this poor-quality picture, but I’m going to call it “self-portrait an hour after being told my baby’s heart had stopped beating.” 💔
It’s interesting how loss changes someone. Losing Lily made me a documenter of life, love, and yes, even loss, afraid of missing a moment gone by, a moment I can’t get back. I’m always thinking of how to capture these moments, feelings, and experiences. Because I know what it feels like to wish you had captured more and to not be able to change it.
So this is the honest face of a mother who is grieving the loss of the third baby inside of her. Her eyes are especially sad because this isn’t the first time she’s known the sting of death within....
My womb has held life three times. It has also held death three times. It has birthed life zero times. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around this heartbreaking reality. In the last decade of my life, I have lost a baby through an agonizing full-term unexplained death shortly before birth at 40+ weeks in 2010, a baby through a forever regretted abortion at 6 weeks in 2009, and a baby through the tragedy of miscarriage at almost 8 weeks in 2019. 
Although it’s utterly heart-wrenching to come to terms with, I believe with every part of my being that each life that God has allowed to grow in my womb has been for a beautiful purpose. And I am forever honored to be Lily Katherine, Luke Shiloh, and Violet Anne’s mother. We grieve deeply because we love deeply and because we value the sanctity of each individual and irreplaceable life created in the image of God. I plan on sharing more my feelings and thoughts on the differences and similarities between my losses, but one thing that is the same, is the LOVE I will forever hold for all my children. 👼🏻👼🏻👼🏻❤️❤️❤️ #VioletAnne💜 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LukeShiloh❤️
Read my post from yesterday before this one...
I’m not sure what compelled me to take this poor-quality picture, but I’m going to call it “self-portrait an hour after being told my baby’s heart had stopped beating.” 💔
It’s interesting how loss changes someone. Losing Lily made me a documenter of life, love, and yes, even loss, afraid of missing a moment gone by, a moment I can’t get back. I’m always thinking of how to capture these moments, feelings, and experiences. Because I know what it feels like to wish you had captured more and to not be able to change it.
So this is the honest face of a mother who is grieving the loss of the third baby inside of her. Her eyes are especially sad because this isn’t the first time she’s known the sting of death within....
My womb has held life three times. It has also held death three times. It has birthed life zero times. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around this heartbreaking reality. In the last decade of my life, I have lost a baby through an agonizing full-term unexplained death shortly before birth at 40+ weeks in 2010, a baby through a forever regretted abortion at 6 weeks in 2009, and a baby through the tragedy of miscarriage at almost 8 weeks in 2019.
Although it’s utterly heart-wrenching to come to terms with, I believe with every part of my being that each life that God has allowed to grow in my womb has been for a beautiful purpose. And I am forever honored to be Lily Katherine, Luke Shiloh, and Violet Anne’s mother. We grieve deeply because we love deeply and because we value the sanctity of each individual and irreplaceable life created in the image of God. I plan on sharing more my feelings and thoughts on the differences and similarities between my losses, but one thing that is the same, is the LOVE I will forever hold for all my children. 👼🏻👼🏻👼🏻❤️❤️❤️ #VioletAnne💜 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LukeShiloh❤️
Today is the day I think about how if Lily were born on this date in 2010, she would be alive. We'd have the birthday girl here to celebrate and I'd be able to share photos from her party on a blog about her life, rather than a blog about her death too. It makes me terribly sad to think this is the last full day she lived on Earth. Why couldn't my body have gone into labor before it did, before she died?
If she'd been born today, if today were her birthday, she'd most likely be alive. That's a hard truth to grapple with. I missed meeting her alive and having her here with me (hopefully for the rest of my life) by just a few short days. 
More on the blog ~ link temporarily in profile ❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Today is the day I think about how if Lily were born on this date in 2010, she would be alive. We'd have the birthday girl here to celebrate and I'd be able to share photos from her party on a blog about her life, rather than a blog about her death too. It makes me terribly sad to think this is the last full day she lived on Earth. Why couldn't my body have gone into labor before it did, before she died?
If she'd been born today, if today were her birthday, she'd most likely be alive. That's a hard truth to grapple with. I missed meeting her alive and having her here with me (hopefully for the rest of my life) by just a few short days.
More on the blog ~ link temporarily in profile ❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Another getting close to Lily’s birthday March message that moved, humbled, and encouraged my heart right when I needed it:
“I have followed your blog posts for years. I stumbled across your website when I was searching if there were support groups or forums for people who ever had an abortion. I was feeling huge regret and sadness and your blog posts helped me get through it. It’s still not something I openly talk about. I have a living child now. And I still struggle some days asking myself how I even deserve this beautiful, smart little one. I felt so much sadness reading about Lily. And I love that you have shared your story and continue to share her story as well. I pray that you too get your rainbow baby someday. ❤️ I wanted to reach out to you to let you know that your story is beautiful and I look forward to all the posts and emails.” 👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #March16 #9thbirthday #LukeShiloh❤️
Another getting close to Lily’s birthday March message that moved, humbled, and encouraged my heart right when I needed it:
“I have followed your blog posts for years. I stumbled across your website when I was searching if there were support groups or forums for people who ever had an abortion. I was feeling huge regret and sadness and your blog posts helped me get through it. It’s still not something I openly talk about. I have a living child now. And I still struggle some days asking myself how I even deserve this beautiful, smart little one. I felt so much sadness reading about Lily. And I love that you have shared your story and continue to share her story as well. I pray that you too get your rainbow baby someday. ❤️ I wanted to reach out to you to let you know that your story is beautiful and I look forward to all the posts and emails.” 👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #March16 #9thbirthday #LukeShiloh❤️
From my blog post, “What March Means To Me.” 💕
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In her book "Shades of Blue," Karen Kingsbury describes a character, who was grieving a baby she lost a decade earlier, in such a way that it felt like she was writing about me:
"Her life had moved on, and she tried her best to live in the moment. But their baby remained in the shadows, a constant presence, there in Emma's mind the way the date or day of the week was there. She didn't go through the hours reminding herself constantly that this was Friday. It simply was Friday. And that fact stayed subtly with her, coloring the background of everything else about the day. It was like that with their baby."
Losing Lily and loving Lily colors every moment of my every day. Though I don't think of her nonstop, she is always there, in the back of my mind, in the midst of everything. March makes it even easier to remember and miss her. My mom said just as her four living children are always in her thoughts, it is only natural for me as a mother to have my child in my thoughts. Just because she isn't here doesn't change that mother's love.
Read more on my blog ~ temporarily linked in profile. 🌸 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall #March16 #9thbirthday
From my blog post, “What March Means To Me.” 💕
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In her book "Shades of Blue," Karen Kingsbury describes a character, who was grieving a baby she lost a decade earlier, in such a way that it felt like she was writing about me:
"Her life had moved on, and she tried her best to live in the moment. But their baby remained in the shadows, a constant presence, there in Emma's mind the way the date or day of the week was there. She didn't go through the hours reminding herself constantly that this was Friday. It simply was Friday. And that fact stayed subtly with her, coloring the background of everything else about the day. It was like that with their baby."
Losing Lily and loving Lily colors every moment of my every day. Though I don't think of her nonstop, she is always there, in the back of my mind, in the midst of everything. March makes it even easier to remember and miss her. My mom said just as her four living children are always in her thoughts, it is only natural for me as a mother to have my child in my thoughts. Just because she isn't here doesn't change that mother's love.
Read more on my blog ~ temporarily linked in profile. 🌸 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall #March16 #9thbirthday
A follower of Lily’s story sent me a message today that my sweet birthday girly visited her dream.
She wrote: “I had a dream the other night and I just have to share. It was so weird and so random because I hardly ever have dreams like this. Anyways, I was dreaming that my kids were playing and one of them asked me about S. I was explaining how she lived in Heaven and was being taken care of, when my daughter said "Oh, like Rose and Her Lily?" I was like what, what made you say that? She said, “I don't know, but I just had to say it.” I woke up totally surprised and I told myself I was going to obviously share this with you and as soon as I opened up Facebook, your post was the first to show on my News Feed. It could just be a coincidence, but I would like to believe she is trying to tell you “hello.” It is her month too. 💕”
It never ceases to amaze me that special Lily happenings occur every March. She somehow finds a way to let me know she’s okay. I believe it’s a gift from God, reminding me that Rose and Her Lily are still being held and cared for, no matter how many Marches come and go. There’s something oh so sacred about a dream visit. 🌸 #9thbirthday #March16 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LilyKatherinesBirthday
A follower of Lily’s story sent me a message today that my sweet birthday girly visited her dream.
She wrote: “I had a dream the other night and I just have to share. It was so weird and so random because I hardly ever have dreams like this. Anyways, I was dreaming that my kids were playing and one of them asked me about S. I was explaining how she lived in Heaven and was being taken care of, when my daughter said "Oh, like Rose and Her Lily?" I was like what, what made you say that? She said, “I don't know, but I just had to say it.” I woke up totally surprised and I told myself I was going to obviously share this with you and as soon as I opened up Facebook, your post was the first to show on my News Feed. It could just be a coincidence, but I would like to believe she is trying to tell you “hello.” It is her month too. 💕”
It never ceases to amaze me that special Lily happenings occur every March. She somehow finds a way to let me know she’s okay. I believe it’s a gift from God, reminding me that Rose and Her Lily are still being held and cared for, no matter how many Marches come and go. There’s something oh so sacred about a dream visit. 🌸 #9thbirthday #March16 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LilyKatherinesBirthday
A picture with my girl that I’ve not shared before, 9 Marches ago. 💕 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #pregnancymemories #sacredpregnancy
A picture with my girl that I’ve not shared before, 9 Marches ago. 💕 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #pregnancymemories #sacredpregnancy
9 years ago tonight when Lily was jammin' out in my belly at the Copeland concert in Chapel Hill. 🤓😋 I was 11 days away from my due date and 13 days away from Lily's birthday. #pregnancymemories #shehadthemoves #AdventureswithLilyKat❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall
9 years ago tonight when Lily was jammin' out in my belly at the Copeland concert in Chapel Hill. 🤓😋 I was 11 days away from my due date and 13 days away from Lily's birthday. #pregnancymemories #shehadthemoves #AdventureswithLilyKat❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall
It’s my sweetheart’s birthday month and though I think of her all the time all year, I especially think of her this month. Would you join me in celebrating her 9th birthday on March 16th by writing her name in some unique way wherever you are in the world? In the sand, in the snow, with flower petals, anything. 💕🌸👼🏻9️⃣🎈🌎 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherinesBirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall
It’s my sweetheart’s birthday month and though I think of her all the time all year, I especially think of her this month. Would you join me in celebrating her 9th birthday on March 16th by writing her name in some unique way wherever you are in the world? In the sand, in the snow, with flower petals, anything. 💕🌸👼🏻9️⃣🎈🌎 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherinesBirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall
In the pregnancy and infant loss community, a rainbow baby is a baby who is born after the “storm” of the loss of a baby. When Lily passed so unexpectedly, my entire family was heartbroken. So although I don’t have my own rainbow baby yet, I was thinking today how my almost-3-year-old niece Harvest is my family’s rainbow baby. Because isn’t every baby born after the loss of a baby the rainbow of the entire family? You are the sunshine and the rainbow, pretty girl. And that is not to say that Lily is the storm. Lily taught the preciousness of life and how to love deeper. Two irreplaceable beautiful girls with two beautiful purposes, who both bring rich color to our lives. Every life is a gift. The sweetest of cousins. 🌈💕 #rainbowbaby #LilyKatsCousin #LilyKatherineAllenBall
In the pregnancy and infant loss community, a rainbow baby is a baby who is born after the “storm” of the loss of a baby. When Lily passed so unexpectedly, my entire family was heartbroken. So although I don’t have my own rainbow baby yet, I was thinking today how my almost-3-year-old niece Harvest is my family’s rainbow baby. Because isn’t every baby born after the loss of a baby the rainbow of the entire family? You are the sunshine and the rainbow, pretty girl. And that is not to say that Lily is the storm. Lily taught the preciousness of life and how to love deeper. Two irreplaceable beautiful girls with two beautiful purposes, who both bring rich color to our lives. Every life is a gift. The sweetest of cousins. 🌈💕 #rainbowbaby #LilyKatsCousin #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily was remembered by Maria at Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii. 😃❤️🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
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
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
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. 😢
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. 💗
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 ⬇️]
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. 💕
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. 💖
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
One of my Christmas gifts 🥰💜💙💗🦋🎁🎄 #ButterfliesforLily #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Merry Christmas from our little family to yours 💗👼🏻🎄🐱 #MyVersionOfAChristmasCard #KittyNotPictured #StillAMother #LilysSpecialSpot #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
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
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 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 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
Lily was honored by my sweet friend Melissa on White Beach Boracay, Aklan, Philippines 🇵🇭😍🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
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
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
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
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
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
There isn’t a snowflake like another and there is nobody like you, Lily girl 💙❄️☃️❄️💙 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #HonoringLilyatChristmas #EveryLifeisPreciousandUnique
💗🎄💗 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilyKatsNameintheSand
💗🎄💗 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilyKatsNameintheSand
🎅🏼❤️🎄 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #HonoringLilyatChristmas
🎅🏼❤️🎄 #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.
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“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 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
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
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! 💗👼🏻💙
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
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
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
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.🦋
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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 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?🦋
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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 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 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
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
💗Nails
💙Capture Your Grief
💗Jewelry
💙Random Acts of Kindness
💗Comfort Boxes
💙Name Project
💗Invite Others
#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
💗Nails
💙Capture Your Grief
💗Jewelry
💙Random Acts of Kindness
💗Comfort Boxes
💙Name Project
💗Invite Others
#PregnancyandInfantLossAwarenessMonth
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 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
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
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

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