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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Saturday, September 29, 2012

October is Pregnancy Loss and Infant Awareness Month

This picture was taken when our sweet angel Lilly was 4 days old, by a local photographer volunteering for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.  In this month's NILMDTS newsletter, I learned that October is Pregnancy Loss and Infant Awareness Month.  (You can read the Proclamation, signed by President Reagan in 1988, here.)  In honor of that, NILMDTS is creating banners, like ours above, for free.  All you have to do is e-mail a photo done by NILMDTS to Jennifer at with the name of your baby, the photographer's name, and the sex of the baby if it is a gender neutral name.

Aren't photos a wonderful thing to have?!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sunset picture and LillyBear's new hat

This is Tabby's version of a photo I posted of a gorgeous sunset with the caption "At the end of the day, all the children of heaven come together to paint the colors of the sunset."  She is learning to work with pastels:

Such a beautiful saying.  (I did not make it up.)  I can't help but think of it whenever I see a sunset with pink streaked in the sky.

LillyBear received some special gifts from C., a big sister of angel Hannah Grace.  Red hair bows:

And a Lilly colored hat!  They both made LillyBear feel so cute as she modeled them for us.

C. also sent crocheted hats for Solomon, Tabby, and Hunter and a soft flannel blanket for Solomon.  C. has her own Etsy site and sells her creations, in memory of Hannah.  (You can see C., Hannah, and a link to the Etsy site on the right side of this blog.)  Thank you C.!  You are so thoughtful!  :)

Solomon loves to look at the Lilly bunting hanging up by the changing table.  I think he loves the colors:

Speaking of colors, angel girl Jordan's mom sent him the rainbow colored "little brother" onesie:

"Oh my goodness, SeaHorse, you won't believe this one ..."  (What is Solomon trying to say in this picture??!!)

"Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would. May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged." - 1 Chronicles 22:11-13

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A tribute to "sneaky Lilly"

Here is Solomon's "sneaky" tribute to his big sister "sneaky Lilly":

We miss you sneaky Lilly!  Wonder if you're still kicking one sock off in heaven!  (First picture October 2010, second picture October 2011):

Friday, September 21, 2012

So what's in a name?

Yesterday my husband went back to work for the first time since Solomon was born.  He later said to me, "Take a guess at the top three questions I was asked today."  "Easy!" I replied.  I rattled them off and he said I was right.  Here are those questions, and my answers:

1)  How is Solomon?  He is eating well and sleeping A LOT.  The first few nights I actually had to wake him up to eat.  (I did that because he was not eating well during the day.)  But now that he is, I am letting him sleep.  And he is SLEEPING 6-7 hours a night!  That is, as long as he is snuggled against me.  (And yes that does make me a little nervous.)  He sleeps much of the day too (I wear him in a ring sling) but is slowly starting to have more awake and alert periods.

2)  How is Lisa?  I am recovering well.  Not back up to my normal energy level yet, but am getting there.

3) Are you getting any sleep?  Yes we are.  See question #1 above.  (And other new parents - don't be jealous - I feel like we "paid our dues" with Hunter!  He just turned four and still wakes up at night sometimes.)

Solomon's current favorite place - snuggled against Mamma in Lilly's sling:

Unlike the main questions my husband is getting asked, I'd say the most popular one I am being asked is, "Is the name Solomon a family name?"

Not until now!  When we had the ultrasound with Solomon, and found out it was a boy, my husband suggested about a half dozen names.  "Solomon" was among them, because Solomon was King David's "rainbow baby."   (See 2 Samuel 12)  He also suggested "David."  It is a quote from King David that we have engraved on Lilly's gravestone.  After David's child died, he said "Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me." - 2 Samuel 12:23  "David" also has special meaning to our family because just last year, my husband's uncle David died unexpectedly.  (David was only 4 years older than Frank, and they were buddies growing up.)

Our children loved the name "Solomon."  I was the one that could not commit to any name though.  Very unlike me.  That is until after the birth and I had looked at the baby awhile.  Then I said "'Solomon David' is just fine."

So that is the story of that.

Here is Solomon with Aidan the musical seahorse that big sister Tabby bought him:

Finally, check out all that hair!  I sure hope he keeps it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Stop the rumors! Here is what really happened ...

First things first - Tabby couldn't wait for Solomon to wear his "Lilly colored" outfit:

With all three of my N.C. babies I have gone to the Women's Birth & Wellness Center for care.  (It is the only free standing birth center in the state.  I am so grateful for the care and support of the midwives that I have received there.)  A nurse from the center came to our house today to check up on Solomon and I.  Thankfully our exams went well.  Solomon has dropped to 6 lbs. 13 oz., but that is of course not unusual right after birth.  He's eating very often now, though usually falls asleep a few minutes into it.

The rumors are flying about what actually happened during my labor so I thought I better address that!  First up - NO - I was not in hard labor for 36 hours straight!  (Whew!)  As many of you know, my last two labors/delivery were very fast.  3 hours total with Hunter and 1 hr. 40 min. total with Lilly.  (That is from the 1st contraction until I have the baby in my arms!)  So with this baby, my main concern was getting to the birthing center on time.  Well it turned out, we got there WAY on time.

I woke up to my water breaking about 1:15 a.m. on Friday the 14th.  Twenty minutes later I had my first contraction.  The contractions began, between 5-7 minutes apart.  I called the midwife and she agreed we needed to be on our way.  So off we went.  The contractions were "manageable" which I happily credited to drinking lots of red raspberry tea.  I thought it was neat that I was going to actually have a baby on his official due date.

But by 6:00 a.m., the contractions had stopped.  I was so surprised!  Since my water had broken, the midwife wanted me to just stay at the birthing center.  (The baby and I were at risk of infection, in the 10% of women who's water breaks first - birth is then within 24 hrs., and we had close to an hour's drive.  So yes, we would stay.)  A couple hours later I started taking an herbal remedy to try and get the contractions started again.  It did, but they were only a measly 4 contractions an hour.

I did exercises and bouncing on the birthing ball.  We went for a long power walk.  Lots more doses of the remedy.  Two different midwives asked me gently if I was holding back because any emotions due to Lilly.  (I wasn't.  But I do find it fascinating that the mind can be so strong it can stop/hold back labor.)  Finally we were sent to go out to dinner and another walk!  Contractions were still only a few an hour.

The only other "excitement" was that I had fevers shoot up twice.  I drank a ton of water, and the second time was also hooked to an IV.  The midwife said it could be a sign of dehydration - or infection. And if they couldn't get it under 100 degrees quickly, then they would take me to the hospital.  Thankfully, we got it back down quickly. 

During the night Friday, contractions started a little more.  Then by about 6:00 or so on Saturday, they were much more frequent.  I'm a little fuzzy on times, but by 8:00 they were strong and frequent (5 min. apart).  After an hour or so of pushing, Solomon was FINALLY born.  (That was certainly the most horrible, excruciating pain I have ever felt.  Thanks a lot Eve!)  They say labor is like taking a 50 mile hike.  I never thought that before until this time.  But when all was over, I couldn't remember ever being so exhausted and weak in my life.

Shortly after that, M., the midwife that helped delivery Lilly called me, just so happy.  She said she knew it was the 15th (Lilly had died exactly 9 months earlier) and didn't want me to feel bad about that.  She pointed out that it was a beautiful sunny morning and that she knew Lilly was happy and God was good, and she cried.  It made me smile and cry.

We left the birthing center 5 hours later.  What an exciting homecoming we had!  And a little later in the day, as I gazed at my Lilly and Jesus picture, I just saw Lilly's smile in a whole new way.  Here's the picture again (I always love to share it!):

It looked like Lilly and Jesus were making special plans!  Like the most amazing plan of sending a surprise rainbow baby boy to us on her 9 month angel-versary.  And ... there is another surprise, concerning a "Lilly colored" farmhouse that began to fall into our laps shortly before Solomon's birth.  But that is a story for another post ....

Thank you angel girl! 

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Welcome Rainbow Baby

We were blessed to welcome our son, Solomon David, into our arms today, September 15, exactly 9 months after losing Lilly.  Thank you God and Lilly for this special little guy!

Solomon weighs 7.5 lbs. and is 20 inches long. 

Labor and delivery were long and difficult, but of course worth it!  I will post more about his story asap. 

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . . ." - Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wings and rainbows

Today I received several pictures from Triplet Butterfly Wings of a beautiful butterfly released in Lilly's memory.   Lilly's butterfly was released yesterday.  You can see this picture, along with a couple sentences I submitted, on the Triplet Butterfly Wings blog, under "September 11, 2012" and "Lillian Eva."

The woman that raises these butterflies and releases them, in memory of angel children, lost triplets in 2007, when she was hospitalized with congestive heart failure.  During that time she had an emergency c-section.  Two babies lived 6 days, the other fought for 89 days.  (read her story here.)  These butterflies she raises are released in a memory garden for her triplets.   I thought this was such a beautiful idea.  There are so many people out there that have turned personal tragedies into beautiful gifts for others.

"[God] has made everything beautiful in its time. ..." - Ecclesiastes 3:11a

We received some rainbow ornaments for Lilly's September memory tree recently.  This one is from angel girl Julia's family, and I took a picture of the ornament with the birth announcement of their beautiful rainbow baby boy:

These are from the G. girls, big sisters to Emily with Trisomy 18.  These girls are so creative - I never thought of making rainbow butterflies:

T. made our Rainbow Baby a blanket and a little satin trimmed clutch blanket.  She hand stitched both!  What patience and talent:

Yesterday, T. made LillyBear an outfit to wear - a ruffled skirt and shrug:

The way T. can crank out projects, I have a feeling LillyBear may have more clothes soon!  Thanks T.!

We're two days away from Rainbow Baby's due date.  Not sure what to expect.  H. was born two days early, T. was two days late, and Lilly was 2.5 WEEKS late.  As of right now, I'm not feeling any different.  But we're all getting more and more curious to meet the little guy!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lilly passes on her bed

Ever since Lilly died 8 months ago, I have kept her little co-sleeper bed right in it's usual place, next to my side of the bed.  It had on the same blankets, little pillow, and wool diaper cover that she had been using until it was time for her to go to heaven.  I also had put in it the outfit she was wearing when she died, and the blanket I had wrapped around her.  And her crazy sock monkey (who wears her handsplints) and Rainbow Baby's sock monkey and bear.

Lately I have felt like Lilly was telling me to go ahead and change the bedding, to get it ready for her little brother.  I didn't want to.  But tonight I felt like it was time.  I prayed about it and with my heart beating fast, took off Lilly's bedding, carefully folded it, and put it in a Lilly colored basket.  I plan to hang the special quilt up.

Yikes - what an empty looking bed!

I didn't leave it empty though.  I went ahead and made it all fresh, soft, and comfy for Rainbow Baby:

Lilly's crazy sock monkey seems to approve:


"Great sacrifices were offered on that day, and there was rejoicing over the great feast of the Lord in which everyone shared." - Nehemiah 12:43

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Rainbow month - Lilly's Memorial Tree

I had to run to the grocery this past Monday, and as greeted as I walked in by a large amount of red, white, and blue flower bouquets in honor of Labor Day.  T. and I promptly said "awwwww ..."  It was like they were made for Lilly and I.  They were gerbera daisies - my favorite flower - and red white and blue for Lilly.  But when I saw they were $5 I said "nevermind!"  I always feel guilty buying real flowers.  But when we rounded the corner, we found some bouquets that were only $1!!!!  (Some of the flowers in them didn't look as nice.)  I grabbed a bouquet - I don't mind paying $1.00!

Yesterday was the 4th (Lilly would have been 2 yrs. 2 months old) so it was the day to decorate Lilly's memorial tree.  The first thing I did was to take off the lights that came on the tree.  No point in having them on there since they no longer worked.  That turned out to be quite a job - it took 45 minutes!  We have 5 strings of colored lights we use at Christmas, and wouldn't you know, every one of them had some bulbs out.  So I picked the best one, which turned out to be the shortest strand, so it didn't add a lot of lights, but is much better.  I guess stores will be putting out Christmas stuff very soon so I will get a new set of lights then.

Our September theme is ... rainbows!  Just seemed appropriate with rainbow baby coming.  But I also think of Lilly when I see rainbows in the sky.

Here is our tree - it is still lacking one thing - rainbow artificial flowers.  We've found flowers just make such a big difference.  I bought a pack off Ebay for just a few dollars, but it has not arrived yet.  So I'll post an updated tree picture once it does:

We made paper ornaments and I also bought myself and the kids each a "stained glass" rainbow (suncatcher) to paint.

T. made this one for Lilly and Rainbow Baby.  The cloud says "Although they're apart they're together at heart."

This is what the artificial rainbow flowers I ordered look like (picture from Ebay):

"When the rainbow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” - Genesis 9:16

Sunday, September 2, 2012

"Hello" from Sneaky Lilly

Today I got out Lilly's carseat so that I could install it for Rainbow Baby.  As I pulled the cover back to get the instruction booklet out, I found a surprising thing.  One of Lilly's socks!  I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry.  All I could think was - a sign from "Sneaky Lilly!" all the way from heaven!  (If you don't know why we called her "Sneaky Lilly" go to this blogpost

How sweet to imagine her little foot in that sock - and her kicking it off and it being hid from me all this time!  "Hi Lilly!  We love you and miss you so much!"

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." - John 14:1-4