Once I had a little rose closed up inside my womb
But Jesus called her to come home before my rose could bloom

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Poems for Donna Rose

For Her

She tosses through the night in broken sleep

No comfort does she find, no sweet repose

There is no help for her in counting sheep

For she can only dream of Donna Rose

The emptiness consumes her as she weeps

Her troubled mind is full of all her woes

Her broken heart a steady rhythm keeps

In honor of her darling Donna Rose

No sound she makes, no whisper, not a peep

Her silent tears she struggles to compose

Her memory, a jumbled, painful heap

And full of only thoughts of Donna Rose

She's overwhelmed for she did not suppose

That she could ever lose her Donna Rose.

December 12, 2010

Death reared his ugly head and looked me in the eye.

"The thing you cherish most is mine. It is no use to try.

I've come to steal your joy. I've come to dim your light.

I've come to magnify your pain and fill your soul with fright."

He took from me what I regarded as most dear

He pierced my soul clear through with his most cruel spear

He bruised my weakened heel and battered me about

He grasped my faith candle and tried to blow it out.

But with each breath he spent, the flame grew ever higher

In trying to dim my faith, he wrestled my messiah

Though I had little strength, he could not overcome

For God became my rock, my shelter and my home.

And Height and depth and death are powerless when faced

With God, his all surpassing love, his mercy and his grace

Donna Rose

Darling child, my precious little rose

Once I held you close within my womb

Now, my Lord has drawn you ever close

Never once were you allowed to bloom

Always to be claimed by death's repose

Restless here, I long to see my babe

Observe your life as you mature and grow

See your tiny hands, your precious face

Embrace you, love you, never let you go

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Week 5

Ben and I have been working through our grieving process as best we can. It isn't easy. There are days when all I want to do is cry. Ben has his moments of anguish as well. We'll be doing just fine and then a song will come on the radio, and we find ourselves weeping, missing our girl and feeling so helpless.

Both of us have experienced some anger, some need to blame someone. Me, I tend to blame myself, my body, for rejecting my darling little one. Ben's anger is more that the doctors didn't try to do something. They told us there was nothing they could do, but sometimes we wonder what would have happened if they had tried.

I was thinking about Donna today. Ben and I were shopping for clothing and we were having trouble finding a suit jacket to fit his long arms. It reminded me of how long Donna's arms and legs were in proportion to her body. She takes after her daddy. And she was so perfect to us, so beautiful.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Grief is a strange creature. It comes and goes as it pleases, seemingly more heightened in the face of friends' joy. It pricks you when you want to be happy for someone else, reminding you of all that could have been.

A friend who is expecting a baby at about the time that Donna Rose should have been born posted ultrasound pictures of his little girl and I just bawled. I would be doubly sad if he and his wife lost their little girl the way I lost mine. So, why does it pain me to hear his marvelous news? Why can I not share in the joy that new life brings?

Maybe it's because my little girl would have been three weeks old today if she had lived. Three weeks ago, I was asking them to give me an epidural because the physical pain was so great. I was tired, I was dizzy from the other medication they'd given to dull the pain, and I was grieving, knowing that my beautiful baby wasn't going to make it.

There is no epidural for grief.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Week 3

I'm so blessed in the people I know, especially my family and fiance. Ben insisted that we go visit my family. He felt I needed them. It was nice to have a little snuggle time with my niece and nephew. I don't know of anything more healing than unconditional love, and particularly unconditional love from children. I think Ben needed them as much (or more) than I did. Ben has been comfort enough for me.

I know I've scared him a couple times over the last month. It's really hard not to get angry and blame my body for not protecting my little girl. I know I couldn't have done anything to prevent her being born, but I can't help but feel a little defective. My body didn't do what it was supposed to and she's gone. I couldn't keep her safe. I feel helpless and hurt and guilty. There was a day this last week when it took huge effort to do anything. Ben made me get up and go shopping (grr on him for making me go alone). And I worry that this will happen again. I know I could not handle losing another baby and with the odds being so high (1 out of every 3 pregnancies ends because of infection.) it's frightening to think of trying again someday.

And then there's the grief Ben doesn't know about. I can't shower without crying. That was where I sang to baby and shared my dreams for her with her. Every shower brings with it a shower of pain. Every time I lay down, a wave of grief sweeps over me because I can feel that she is not tucked safe away inside mommy. Ben's seen me cry at night, but I doubt he knows what sparks it. Any time alone is questionable. Sometimes I manage just fine, but there are times when all I can do is cry because the only thing besides me in the room is a feeling of loss. It does get easier with time. But the ache for my baby will never entirely disappear.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

To Donna Rose

My dear daughter,

It has now been a week since you were born and your father and I held your lifeless body in our arms. I can't tell you how much we miss you. It's hard for your mommy to know that she can never hold you again. But you are with Jesus and he will hold you as much as you need holding. And he will hold your hand when it needs holding.

I looked yesterday for some bible verses to be used at your memorial service next week. You know, Jesus has a special place in his heart for little children. And I know that he prizes your innocence and purity. I know that he weeps for the pain your father and I are in. We are finding comfort in each other, but we miss you. You are a part of both of us and we will never forget what you have meant to us.



“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” Ecclesiastes 11:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. Do not be afraid… for I am with you… declares the Lord.“ Jeremiah 1:5,8

“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, [and] curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all [my members] were written, [which] in continuance were fashioned, when [as yet there was] none of them.” Psalms 139: 13-16

“But Jesus called them to him, saying, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.’” Luke18:16

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

Keith Green – Psalm 23

Mercy Me – Jesus Bring the Rain

It is well with my soul

Amazing Grace

Jeremy Camp – There will be a day

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

In my hometown, there is a free theme park for kids called Storybook Land. Storybook Land has all sorts of things for kids to do. It’s a wonderful place. Everything there is based off of nursery rhymes, fables, and fairy tales. One of the exhibits illustrates the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. There’s something funny about the exhibit though. Laying in a small bed is a little blond girl. Standing over her in shock are Mama Bear and Papa Bear, but Baby Bear is nowhere to be seen.

Perhaps the bear family is like my own. When I learned I was pregnant, Ben was extremely delighted, immediately calling friends to tell them he was going to be a daddy. I was a little more nervous, knowing that my parents would be disappointed that I’d chosen to start my family outside the bans of marriage. Ben immediately decided that we were the three bears. He was Papa Bear, I was Mama Bear, and our little one was our little cub, our little baby bear. “Cubby” became our nickname for our little one.

My pregnancy seemed very normal. For the first three months, I felt ill every day. I had to adjust my diet both for nutritional reasons and to keep food down. Month four hit, and the illness magically stopped. We were thrilled, we’d hit the golden period of pregnancy and we would soon be able to see our beautiful baby. We entered week 19 and I went in for my ultrasound. They told us she was a girl and we were thrilled. She was beautiful and everything was perfect.

And then in week 21, for unknown reasons, I gave birth and delivered our daughter. She was beautiful and tiny, and the doctors said, when I went into labor, that she could not live outside my womb. Ben and I held our lifeless little girl as long as we could. So now, the bear house is a lot like the one in Storybook land. Papa Bear and Mama Bear stand over Baby Bear’s bed in shock and Baby Bear is nowhere to be seen. But someday, a little stranger will fill that bed. And if the stranger just happens to be a little blond haired girl, this Mama Bear and Papa Bear won’t complain.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dear Donna Bear

I hope you would be proud. Your mommy and daddy voted today for an amendment to our state constitution to recognize you as a person. The amendment reads as follows: Section 32. Person defined. As used in sections 3*, 6**, and 25*** of Article II of the state constitution, the term "person" shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.

*Section 3. Inalienable rights.All persons have certain natural, essential and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.** Section 6. Equality of justice.Courts of justice shall be open to every person, and a speedy remedy afforded for every injury to person, property or character; and right and justice should be administered without sale, denial or delay.*** Section 25. Due process of law.No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.

We love you, our Donna Rose, and we know you WERE indeed a person.



Sunday, October 31, 2010


Neither Ben nor I realized how very hard it would be for us to go to church today. We got there, and I'm pretty sure we cried for a full half hour with all the hugs and sympathy from people. We are grateful for our church. We felt very loved, but it was incredibly difficult to be there. We stayed through the music. Wednesday I am certain we'll be a little more up to staying longer. Today it was just difficult. We know the people there love us and were excited for us to be getting married and have a little one. And we know they share our grief.

But grief is a somewhat selfish thing, and I think I have a tendency to want to cling to mine, to cradle it as I did my little girl just a few days ago. I don't mind sharing with Ben, holding him and having him hold me. Crying together, remembering together, just being together. But he and I are pretty much part of each other, so grieving together is natural.

It seems so ungrateful of us NOT to want to share our grieving with anyone else, I guess. Our situation generates sympathy from complete strangers. The shortness of a human life, the loss to new parents, her tiny perfection are all things that generate sadness. In some ways I feel like I need to provide comfort to those who are expressing sympathy to us.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 3

Yesterday, we said goodbye to our little angel when they sent us home from the hospital. I'm still so amazed at how perfectly formed she is, how tiny, how helpless.

It's good to be home, though hard not to have our beautiful little one with us. We're so grateful to our family and friends for all the support they've shown us. Last night, we had friends come love on us for a little while. Zipper was happy to see us. He knows something sad has happened and snuggles with all three of us, kisses all three of us, and tries to distract us with his playful behavior.

I keep thinking of how excited Ben was when we found out we were expecting. I am so blessed to have found such a good man. I've leaned on him a lot in the last couple of days, and he has held me up in so many ways. Ben has determined that I need my family and I think one of these days we'll be off on a spur of the moment road trip to go see them. I think he needs them as much as I do.

Meanwhile, we make preparations to celebrate the ever so brief life of our beautiful little girl.

Friday, October 29, 2010

To our little Donna Rose

Your mother and I love you very much. We miss you more than we could possibly say. You were only in our lives a short time and taught us so much. I won't say we aren't sad you're gone. We're devastated. But we're so happy you were with us the short time. You brought your mother and I closer together. We thank you for that. You brought us closer to God. We thank you for that too. We take consolation in the fact that you'll never know heartache , you'll never know pain. You're be happy and healthy for all eternity. You'll never know sickness. We'll never get to see you take your fist steps, but we'll never have to console you after getting your heart broken.

We honor your memory, We love you, and we'll celebrate your short life. We miss you already, so very much. And we love you, more than I could ever say.



Day 2

Some how, the second day is harder than the first. I think that it's because yesterday I had the physical pain to deal with. Today I don't have the concrete. All I have are feelings. Yesterday, I had a life moving about inside me, kicking and bobbing. Today, that place is empty and my little girl is with Jesus. I know she is better off there, but that doesn't stop the ache in my heart to grow her and hold her and love her.

Ben and I are so blessed with the outpouring of support from friends and family. The hospital staff have been wonderful to us, seeing to every need and our friends have been kind enough to express their well wishes. They tell us they don't know what to say. I don't think there is anything that can be said. Right now, we need our grief. We need the opportunity to cry and mourn and hold each other.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Losing Her

She is a piece of me, a long dreamt dream so close to fruition. And she is perfect in every way. She has teeny tiny fingers and toes, perfectly formed and beautiful. But her lungs are not yet developed and the chances of her living are none. Oh how I love her. and how sad it makes me that I will not get to hold her longer, that I will not get to nurture her beyond a few more days. Her father is devastated. She a piece of him too.

As I sit here, feeling contractions that make it more and more evident that God has a different calling for our little angel, I can't help but feel that the physical pain is so much easier to bear than the heartbreak. God has made me strong, and I am grateful that he has given me the ability to get through this. But I so wish that his will would allow me to know my daughter, to love my daughter into adulthood.

The test I failed last week pales in comparison. The emotional pain I felt in the dissolution of what I had hoped were promising relationships can't even come close to the measure of the grief my Ben and I feel. We are stricken to the core.

But we both believe that God would not allow this for no reason. And our only grasp on sanity right now is a belief that he knows what is best and that his will is perfect. We do not know all the what ifs.