I’m a Big Sister! – in Heaven…

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Nora snuggled into bed with me this morning and brought a book to read as she often does. With sleepy eyes I rolled to my side and opened the cover not paying attention to what she grabbed. There it was staring back at me “I’m a Big Sister!” the book my friend Nicki sent to Nora when we first found out we were pregnant. I was thrilled at the time and she LOVES this book. After the babies died I didn’t take the time to dig through the books and hide this one away. I WANT her to know that she is a big sister. She’s a little sister too but that’s a bit harder to explain so for the moment we keep it simple with the memories that she herself has and the fact that she is so proud of. She is a big sister. She knows this.

I take a deep breath and read through the pages. Pages that explain the adjustment of big sister and new baby and all of the exciting things that big sisters get to do. Nora doesn’t get to do these things being the big sister of babies in Heaven and with each page turned my heart hurt a bit more for her. My heart hurts for me often but it’s something all together different to hurt through her eyes. We get to the last page and the little girl in the book gets to push the stroller and is rewarded with ice cream (one more thing that big sisters get to do that babies do not). Nora looks at me and I hold my breath. She will say something. I know she will say something.

“Mommy?”
“Yes Nora?”
“When do I get to be a big sister and push the stroller and get ice cream?”
“Well you are a big sister Nora but your baby brother and sisters are in Heaven”
“Well … I want to have a baby here now”
“I know Nora” and before I can say another word she says,
“God is going to give us another baby right now so I can push the stroller and have ice cream. I told Him.”

… deep breath …

“I’m glad you asked God honey but we don’t know if He’ll send us another baby or not. No matter what though you will always be a great big sister and some day you will see them again in Heaven. We can have ice cream anytime if you’d like to do that too.”
“Yes mommy but I want a baby brother.”
“Did you know that you have five brothers and sister in Heaven?”
“No I have six mommy.”
Okay then.

I proceeded to tell her that the babies’ birthday was coming soon and that reminded her that HER birthday was also coming soon and then she was off making plans for her own party and I was left dreaming of ice cream and strollers and my little girl missing out on big sister things and what my little ones will be doing to celebrate in Heaven this year. Do they have ice cream cones in Heaven?

My sister-in-laws gave Nora a beautiful book after the babies died. If they hadn’t written inside of the cover I likely wouldn’t have remembered it was from them as I have no memory of getting it. Sadly I have no memory of a lot of those days. I was shocked at the similarities in the illustrations between the two books. I love that. It’s called “Heaven, God’s Promise for Me” by Anne Graham Lotz. (pictured above on the right)

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I love looking through each page and seeing the groups of three everywhere. Three ducks, three lambs, three rainbows. The message is beautiful and so comforting. The pages are filled with joyful creatures and children on every page (and yes, a little girl eating an ice cream cone).

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I especially love this page and the beautiful picture of Jesus wiping tears away.

BigSister_Heaven_Book_4If there are tears on your face
When you arrive on that day,
Jesus Himself
Will wipe them away.
Inside there is no crying.
Inside there is no pain.
Inside there are no bad people.
You’ll never be lonely again.





BigSister_Heaven_Book_3I love looking at the pictures of the children and trying to imagine which ones might be my kids. Maybe that sounds dumb. But I do. My busy little Elliot with brown hair and eyes riding a fuzzy lamb?










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My spunky Alice snuggling with a lion with cute little pigtails?

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My Alexis with crazy hair swimming with sharks? I bet she’d have been a good swimmer with her long legs and feet. She loved to stretch out in my tummy so I imagine her here where she didn’t have to fight for leg room.










The beautiful reply that AnGel Ministries wrote to me:

“Your deep love for the Lord Jesus and your unwavering trust in Him in the midst of your heartache and grief is an incredible testimony. Not only that, but to know that He used Anne’s book, Heaven: God’s Promise for Me to touch your heart and life in such an incredible way during this time is a precious encouragement for Anne.

What a blessing it was to read your post! Surely God will use it in a mighty way to speak into the lives of many other grieving parents.

As you approach the anniversary of Alice, Elliot, and Alexis’ home-going, please know that it has been our privilege to pray for you, your husband, and your dear Nora. May the One Who is even now preparing a place for us lovingly bless and tenderly keep each of you as you keep your eyes fixed on Him.

Copyright © 2011 Anne Graham Lotz (AnGeL Ministries) Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved http://www.annegrahamlotz.com.

1st Birthday : Angel Baby Blankets

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January has been hard. We survived the holidays starting in October when we first found out we were having three a year ago. Somehow I thought when I got through all of those back to back family affairs that I’d be in the clear. I was wrong.

January 1st hit me like a ton of bricks. It was the first day I was in the ER and came to find I was dilating a year ago. It was the first night I was admitted to the hospital for observation and then sent home with full bed rest. It was when my parent’s and in-law’s lives were flipped upside-down living with us every other week to care for us. I’ve found it hard on several days to get out of bed. Somehow it feels like maybe if I lay there a little longer maybe I’ll have a memory of them that will bring a moment of peace to the day. Maybe I’ll remember how it felt to have them there with me every moment of the day. I hear the theme music to Downton Abbey and my head drifts back to the prior year for a moment. I watched a lot of that show while laying on my left side in bed trying to prop my laptop on a pile of pillows. The pillows. I had a LOT of pillows.

I’m struggling with how to remember them without being overrun with pain. I’m still very much afraid of losing all of my memories of them. Not of their story or what they mean to me – but of the very real details of what I lived with them for 22 weeks. How they felt when they moved. What they looked like in more than just a snapshot taken when they had already passed. Sadly in a mix of grief, horror, shock, pain and mass amounts of narcotics (I wasn’t allowed an epidural), much of it is a fog.

I’m struggling with what a birthday means when it was also the day of death for Alice. When the following day was the day of death for Elliot and Alexis. How do I celebrate their birth without reliving their death? How do I honor a life in a way that won’t rip us apart at the same time. How do I do enough without doing too much? How do I do much of anything in the frigid great north woods with snow and ice? How do I make it ok for Nora so she knows her siblings without making it too much? I don’t have the answers. Nate doesn’t have the answers.

I have had a tough year trying to keep my heart and emotions open to friends and family who care and want to know how I’m doing. I’ve also worn out my welcome with others who I’ve maybe shared too much with. I’ve taken steps back. I’ve met others who are walking through loss. I’ve shared details with strangers who understand in a way I never imagined. I’ve typed novels filled with tears to those who would listen when I couldn’t hold it back any longer. I’ve seen who’s willing to stand with me and who isn’t. It’s not easy to be my friend and I understand that and appreciate those who are here and still ask.

I’ve watched marker babies grow, smile, laugh, sit up, roll over and live moments that I dream of having with my babies. Some days I’m grateful to see them and know how my children could look and other days I’m angry.

I still have no answers about what their day will be but I’ve been inspired by a few other triplet loss mommies and I’m trying to find a way to give back in their memory this year and hopefully every year. I’m taking the first steps to put together at least three care packages to deliver to our local hospital where our babies were born. I want something special to share with another loss family. I want to make something that will bless their life and wrap another angel baby in love from a mommy who understands. I don’t know who made the beautiful things that my babies were wrapped in and that’s ok. Anyone who takes up that calling does it from a place of love like no other. I want to do that for someone else. It just feels right.

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I’m not a seamstress by any means and making gowns overwhelms me. So for this year I’m making angel baby blankets. I’m in the groove of crochet which is totally new for me. I like to think that my aunt Linda, master crocheter, is blessing me with some of her talent from Heaven because I’m loving it. I have one blanket done. I started it in church this morning and finished it this afternoon. Being the first one made it must be from Alice – my baby A. I’m not sure what else I’ll include but at the moment this is a start.

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If you’re interested in making angel baby blankets or any other items to bless our area please let me know. I’m thinking about contacting the organization that made our gowns to see if they need another resource person to gather finished projects even if I can’t sew them myself. I hope to contact the nurse manager at the local hospitals to see what their needs are. I’ve realized how blessed we are to have had the beautiful things we did for our babies. Others haven’t had these gifts and we got them without asking.

It’s not an answer but it’s a start. Every stitch was made with love and prayers. It’s hard to know that there is a baby who is likely safe in their mommy’s tummy right now who might use it. It quite literally breaks my heart in a way that you can’t understand unless you’ve lived this loss yourself.