Monday, November 28, 2011

Helpful Resources

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Drew and I were able to go to Houston to see family, and we had such a great time! Loved getting to just relax and enjoy time with family. Thinking about all that we have to be thankful for,  I have been thinking about how through this pregnancy Drew and I have been so blessed by the support and countless resources God has brought to our attention through family, friends, books, etc... I wanted to create a list of all that we have found in hopes that these resources might help someone else going through a similar situation. When we first found out about Layla's diagnosis we felt so scared, upset, and helpless. How do you even begin to cope with something like that? Dealing with all this is a daily struggle for us, but through various resources we have been encouraged, supported, and helped. Here are the sites, books, etc... that have guided us through this process and I pray that it will support and bless others as well:


*I Will Carry You, by Angie Smith
*A Gift of Time, by Amy Kuebelbeck and Deborah L. Davis
*Heaven is For Real, by Todd Burpo

* (They have a ton of online support groups; I joined the "Carrying Pregnancy Despite Poor or Fatal Prenatal Diagnosis" and cannot put into words the support I have found in talking with the women in my group who are going through situations very similar to mine.)

* (Amazing organization that specializes in remembrance photography-they will come to the hospital and take professional photos of your baby and you free of charge.)

* (Organization that provides a number of services for families that lose their baby before, during, or shortly after birth. They provide community resources, help with birth and funeral planning, and will send you a beautiful keepsake kit free of charge.)

* (A great page of resources, plus hospitals across the country that have perinatal hospice programs and will walk with families through the process of carrying and saying goodbye to their child. There is not a program in Oklahoma unfortunately, but there are many elsewhere.)

* (They provide blankets, clothing, and other handmade items for premature and sick babies, as well as those babies that are not expected to live long after birth. My mom got in touch with a wonderful lady in the organization who is making Layla a beautiful gown as a gift to us, I can't wait to see how lovely she will look.)

This is by no means an extensive list, just the resources God has shown us so far that have really blessed us. I am sure I will have to add to this list as we find more. All of these resources truly honor your child and make us feel so supported and loved. They are a reflection of God's loving care-that he is taking care of Layla and providing us with some tangible memories and keepsakes of our time with her. If you are going through this situation, I pray that you will find comfort through these resources. Know that you are not alone and there are many people who will walk with you through this if you would like. If you aren't going through this but know someone who is, please share these sites and books with them. It can be so overwhelming and you can really feel very alone at times, so giving them some tangible things to read/research that let them know that others have gone through it can be an enormous help.


Thursday, November 10, 2011


I have really wrestled with God over Layla, asking Him over and over "why??" and being angry with Him and wanting so badly to bring my baby home and get to do all those wonderful fun baby things. Something He showed me the other morning though is that I really have no right to demand He give me anything. I don't say that in a self-hatred, you shouldn't ask God for stuff kind of way, but in the truth of my smallness and God's greatness. Just to know Him is an amazing thing that I could never, ever earn. I think He wants us to ask Him to move, to bless, to be present, but to also remember how blessed we are to have HIM, and that He is 100% enough. Tough to remember, but the peace in that is overwhelming. Something else He reminded me of is what an honor it is to carry Layla right now, in this moment. We are just as much her parents if she lives 1 day or thousands. Praise God for His tender mercies and joys, that for today I get to enjoy feeling my daughter kick and move around, and I get the privilege of caring for her for whatever time God gives me to do so, because first and foremost she is His. Here is a song that has really spoken to me lately:

The Valley Song (Sing of Your Mercy) by Jars of Clay
You have led me to the sadnessI have carried this painon a back bruised, nearly brokenI'm crying out to You
I will sing of Your mercythat leads me through valleys of sorrowto rivers of joy
when death, like a gypsycomes to steal what I loveI will still look to the heavensI will still seek Your facebut I fear You aren't listeningbecause there are no wordsjust the stillnessand the hungerfor a faith that assures
I will sing of Your mercythat leads me through valleys of sorrowto rivers of joy
alleluia, alleluiaalleluia, alleluia
while we wait for rescuewith our eyes tightly shutface to the ground using our handsto cover the fatal cutthough the pain is an oceantossing us around, around, aroundYou have calmed greater watershigher mountains have come down
I will sing of Your mercythat leads me through valleys of sorrowto rivers of joyI will sing of Your mercythat leads me through valleys of sorrowto rivers of joyalleluia, alleluiaalleluia, alleluia