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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

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Lilly Memorial Project - donation to MAMA Project

"For to have been thought about, born in God's thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest and most precious thing in all thinking." - George MacDonald

This is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.   Every year, about a million pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of the newborn child.  Ten to 25% of all "clinically recognized" pregnancies end in miscarriage, according to the American Pregnancy Center.  Also, 1 in 160 pregnancies end after 20 weeks, and are considered still births. 

Lilly was not an infant when she died.  She was 17 months old!  But I still think of her and include her during this time.  Last October, I had a miscarriage, and nicknamed that baby "Blueberry" because that was about the size of the baby when it died.  (You can read my "letter" to Blueberry here.) 

Lilly - 16 months
Yesterday was the International Wave of Light where people from around the world light candles to babies that died.  Here are my Lilly-colored candles lit for Lilly, Blueberry, and angel babies everywhere:

Years ago, Tabby and I started putting together different donations for a group called MAMA Project.  (See donation kit ideas here.)  I don't remember how I first learned about them, but they are doing a great work in helping very poor families.  They are a Mennonite based group in Pennsylvania that do a lot of work in Honduras and Haiti. 

In MAMA Project's recent newsletter, I learned that one of the things they were in need of was a pulse ox.  There are hospitals in Honduras that hardly have any medical equipment at all.  I started thinking about Lilly's pulse ox and decided I was now ready to part with it.  (I still have a lot of her medical equipment in a closet.)  

Lilly - snoozing away and hooked up to her pulse ox

Even though I really was happy with my idea, when I actually got out the pulse ox box and opened it up I just wanted to cry.  (In the grieving process - you never know when tears will take you by surprise!)  So I distracted myself and remembered with a smile this old blog post and how Hunter, as a toddler, was so fascinated by Lilly's medical equipment.  He had me make a pulse ox for him that he could hook up to his dog Sam:

When the medical team at MAMA Project is examining and treating children, they like to give them a little stuffed animal or toy when they can.  So I decided to buy two beanie baby type bears off of Ebay to include in my donation.  A Lilly-colored bear who's tag says she is named "Spangle" and blue bear who's tag actually says "Blueberry."

the donation
the donation between LillyBear and a bigger sized "Spangle bear" that I got as a gift ... AND ... I just noticed Hunter's washing machine Christmas ornament snuck into the picture!  WHAT????!!!!

Even though I believe the pulse ox and little bears will help others, I think that just the act of donating them in Lilly and Blueberry's names blesses me the most.

Frank gave me a copy of this article from BreakPoint titled "Dealing with Miscarriage & Stillbirth."  The article included an interesting quote from a book called Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver:  "A miscarriage is a natural and common event.  All told, probably more women have lost a child from this world than haven't.  Most don't mention it, and they go on from day to day as if it hadn't happened, so people imagine a woman in this situation never really knew or loved what she had.  But ask her sometime:  how old would your child be now?  And she'll know."

My two children would be 5 years old and 5 months old.  How old would yours be?


  1. Mine would be 33, 26, and 7 years old. <3 Beautiful post, Lisa!

  2. Awww, Jana. Won't it be glorious to meet them one day?

  3. Marty would be 14. Our other 2 little ones in heaven would be 17 and 15.

    1. There really will be some big reunions one day. It gives me comfort to think of sibling groups together in heaven. (This is when I should insert a smiley face because things are perfect for them. But it still makes me sad for us.)

  4. Three months. My rainbow baby is due in January. I shared the same quote last week. It's amazing, heartbreaking, and yet strangely comforting just how common miscarriage is. We and our babies are not alone!

    1. Yes - so common yet so secretive! Guess I'll never "get it." I'm so glad to hear your rainbow baby is growing and due in the new year!