Look at what my friend, Amanda, bought for Lily...(not the same Amanda I introduced you to earlier...though this Amanda and I also met at the University of Delaware). She has twin girls (age 5 now) that were preemie size when they were born. I had asked her for advice on where to purchase something soft and sweet, as I was having trouble finding anything appropriate for Lily's anticipated small size (3-6lbs) and special enough for the occasion. Look what arrived in the mail yesterday:
Inevitably, as we prepare for Lily's birth and death, there are moments that allow the reality and sadness of Dec 12th to settle in. There will be no joy on that day. But, I will continue to pray for love and peace to embrace her, to surround us, and to comfort our families.
Some have asked if we wish we didn't know about Lily's condition, like the many mothers who experienced this type of loss 20+ years ago (before ultrasound technology was regularly used). In the beginning of this journey, I would have probably said, "yes". To experience the shock of the diagnosis and to lose your baby all in a matter of moments. Well, at least it appears as though you'd be able to get the grieving done all at once.
But, God knows my heart. Perhaps He knows the shock of the diagnosis plus the loss would have been too much for me all at once. Perhaps He knows I needed these months to wrap my mind around data, to prepare birth plans, keepsakes, and funeral plans, to prepare my children's hearts, and ultimately, to grow stronger spiritually. "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:10-12 There is nothing like suffering to bring you to the feet of the cross. To search for goodness in the midst of a trial, to lean on His strength in times of weakness, to set our eyes on eternity, and to learn what it means to trust in Him alone.
And so, we prepare what we can for the time we will have. An outfit for burial, a special blanket to wrap her in along with our love, gifts from (and ultimately for) the boys, photographs, and keepsakes for remembrance. More bittersweet moments.
While we prepare for the things we can, we know that Lily's hope and future is in Heaven and a place is already prepared for her. Jesus said, "In my father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you". John 14:2