#lilykatherineallenball

August 19th Day of Hope 💗🦋💙👼🏻 “The August 19th – Day of Hope Prayer Flag Project is a profoundly moving, poignant and healing event that was created to help inspire people who have experienced the death of a baby or child to create meaning amongst their grief. Not only is this project an incredibly touching way to honour these children’s lives, it also helps to break the silence surrounding the death of babies and children.”
The first picture is of Lily’s Prayer Flag (that my mom and I made) included in Carly Marie’s Candlelight Service in Australia on an August 19th a few years ago. 💗👼🏻🕯🇦🇺
#August19thDayOfHope #LilyKatherineAllenBall
August 19th Day of Hope 💗🦋💙👼🏻 “The August 19th – Day of Hope Prayer Flag Project is a profoundly moving, poignant and healing event that was created to help inspire people who have experienced the death of a baby or child to create meaning amongst their grief. Not only is this project an incredibly touching way to honour these children’s lives, it also helps to break the silence surrounding the death of babies and children.”
The first picture is of Lily’s Prayer Flag (that my mom and I made) included in Carly Marie’s Candlelight Service in Australia on an August 19th a few years ago. 💗👼🏻🕯🇦🇺
#August19thDayOfHope #LilyKatherineAllenBall
I turned 30 a few days ago. All the movies and shows that have to do with being 30 have been coming to mind recently so I’ve been watching (13 Going on 30 and the Friends episode - The One Where They All Turn Thirty).
I watched this episode in a whole new light than before since I’m there too. It’s all the more hilariously relatable to see how each of the six Friends characters had such a difficult time grappling with turning the big 3-0. I’m sure the writers included this episode because they knew people could relate. Many people wrestle with entering a new decade and all the emotions and thoughts that come with it. I’m mostly learning to embrace it, but I’d be lying if I said it’s still not hard.
Not only did the episode make me laugh in how relatable it is in the funny ways, but it also made my heart go out to Rachel in how I relate to her in the sad ways. In the episode, she expresses her disappointment in that she’s not married and doesn’t have children yet. Her friends encourage her about the good job and friends she has, and all the positive things in her life. Just as those in my life encourage me. But just as it is with Rachel, that doesn’t take away the sting of what’s missing or the disappointment of what we thought would be a part of our lives at 30. She talks about her plan of how she needs to do A, B, C and D in order to meet someone, get engaged and plan a wedding, get married and enjoy married life for a while, and then have three children. She realizes how time is ticking by. It made me think about that little internal fertility clock that ticks in my own head. It made me think of all the dreams deferred in my own life. It made me think of the life I want to build with my husband and the children I want to raise. It made me think of the little girl I birthed when I was entering my 20s, the little girl that would be turning 10 soon.
Continued below ⬇️
I turned 30 a few days ago. All the movies and shows that have to do with being 30 have been coming to mind recently so I’ve been watching (13 Going on 30 and the Friends episode - The One Where They All Turn Thirty).
I watched this episode in a whole new light than before since I’m there too. It’s all the more hilariously relatable to see how each of the six Friends characters had such a difficult time grappling with turning the big 3-0. I’m sure the writers included this episode because they knew people could relate. Many people wrestle with entering a new decade and all the emotions and thoughts that come with it. I’m mostly learning to embrace it, but I’d be lying if I said it’s still not hard.
Not only did the episode make me laugh in how relatable it is in the funny ways, but it also made my heart go out to Rachel in how I relate to her in the sad ways. In the episode, she expresses her disappointment in that she’s not married and doesn’t have children yet. Her friends encourage her about the good job and friends she has, and all the positive things in her life. Just as those in my life encourage me. But just as it is with Rachel, that doesn’t take away the sting of what’s missing or the disappointment of what we thought would be a part of our lives at 30. She talks about her plan of how she needs to do A, B, C and D in order to meet someone, get engaged and plan a wedding, get married and enjoy married life for a while, and then have three children. She realizes how time is ticking by. It made me think about that little internal fertility clock that ticks in my own head. It made me think of all the dreams deferred in my own life. It made me think of the life I want to build with my husband and the children I want to raise. It made me think of the little girl I birthed when I was entering my 20s, the little girl that would be turning 10 soon.
Continued below ⬇️
Amidst all the back-to-school-first-day photos, this is where mine would be.... You can imagine a beautiful 9-year-old 4th grader, with curly hair and blue eyes. There would surely be a big smile on her face and a colorful backpack draped over her shoulder. The twinkle in her eyes would tell of her excitement for a new year and all she’d learn and the friends she’d make.
That’s what I would be posting today and what I wish I was.
But March 16, 2010 took that photo and moment from me.
That’s what I want others to grasp about infant loss - when you lose a baby, it’s not a one-time occurrence that only affects you one day of your life. 
It takes away the first day of 4th grade too, and a thousand other days.
As John Piper described in a letter he wrote to comfort a mother who lost her son to stillbirth: “Amputation is a good analogy. Because unlike a bullet wound, when the amputation heals, the arm is still gone. So, the hurt of grief is different from the hurt of other wounds. There is the pain of the severing, and then the relentless pain of the gone-ness. The countless might-have-beens. Those too hurt. Each new remembered one is a new blow on the tender place where the arm was”
Today my heart is tender as I miss my 4th grader, Lily.
Who are you missing today and what grade would they be starting? 🍎✏️🎒👼🏻❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall #4thgrade #backtoschool #firstdayofschool #4thgrader
Amidst all the back-to-school-first-day photos, this is where mine would be.... You can imagine a beautiful 9-year-old 4th grader, with curly hair and blue eyes. There would surely be a big smile on her face and a colorful backpack draped over her shoulder. The twinkle in her eyes would tell of her excitement for a new year and all she’d learn and the friends she’d make.
That’s what I would be posting today and what I wish I was.
But March 16, 2010 took that photo and moment from me.
That’s what I want others to grasp about infant loss - when you lose a baby, it’s not a one-time occurrence that only affects you one day of your life.
It takes away the first day of 4th grade too, and a thousand other days.
As John Piper described in a letter he wrote to comfort a mother who lost her son to stillbirth: “Amputation is a good analogy. Because unlike a bullet wound, when the amputation heals, the arm is still gone. So, the hurt of grief is different from the hurt of other wounds. There is the pain of the severing, and then the relentless pain of the gone-ness. The countless might-have-beens. Those too hurt. Each new remembered one is a new blow on the tender place where the arm was”
Today my heart is tender as I miss my 4th grader, Lily.
Who are you missing today and what grade would they be starting? 🍎✏️🎒👼🏻❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall #4thgrade #backtoschool #firstdayofschool #4thgrader
This little girl makes me enjoy life in all new ways. I love life much more deeply because of what she brings the family. She makes the days richer. She makes me notice the beauty in the small moments and in God’s creation. She says so many sweet and funny things. What a GIFT she has been to me. It melts my heart how much she adores me right back. My dear, sweet niece. I had a wonderful birthday celebration at the beach with my brothers, sister-in-law, and niece. I was thinking how hard it was to have those moments end. To have those tender conversations and caring for her be so fleeting... because she is my niece. I want those moments to never end. I want my own little one that I never have to have a tearful goodbye with. Each and every day so much richer and fuller because of the life of a child. 💕 #LilyKatsCousin #auntlife
This little girl makes me enjoy life in all new ways. I love life much more deeply because of what she brings the family. She makes the days richer. She makes me notice the beauty in the small moments and in God’s creation. She says so many sweet and funny things. What a GIFT she has been to me. It melts my heart how much she adores me right back. My dear, sweet niece. I had a wonderful birthday celebration at the beach with my brothers, sister-in-law, and niece. I was thinking how hard it was to have those moments end. To have those tender conversations and caring for her be so fleeting... because she is my niece. I want those moments to never end. I want my own little one that I never have to have a tearful goodbye with. Each and every day so much richer and fuller because of the life of a child. 💕 #LilyKatsCousin #auntlife
I was born six days before my due date. I can't help but think how if Lily were also born six days before her due date, she would have most likely lived.
When my mom was in labor with me, my heart kept decelerating. The doctors were becoming increasingly alarmed and kept saying how they might have to do an emergency c-section. When I was born, the bottoms of my feet were dark and I was unresponsive at first. Obviously I quickly did become responsive and there were no lasting issues.
Things could have turned out entirely different on the day I was born. How easily my parents could have lost me. My own frailty and birth story is a reminder to me of everything I have lost with Lily. She was my mini-me, looking similar to me at birth, with almost the exact same measurements.
She was just as real and loved as me. I could have easily slipped away on August 12th, 1989, just like Lily slipped away from me. The last 30 years my parents have had with me could have been erased in an instant... all the memories, the laughter, the knowing of who I was growing up and who I've grown up to become would have been no more. Lily wouldn't have even been had August 12th gone differently. Every August 12th since 1989 would have been much like every March 16th has been for me since 2010.
Having lost my own daughter, knowing many people who have or had infertility issues (including my parents) and those who've lost children in many different ways, and seeing how I myself could have nearly died is a reminder of just how precious life is, and what a miracle it is to be conceived, born alive, and have the gift of growing up. May we never forget what a beautiful thing it is to be alive.
Thinking about my own birth and all my life has held up until this point highlights all that I'm missing with my own little girl. One life holds so much and I won't know any of what Lily's would have held beyond the womb.
I'm clinging to the truth that the Lord numbered both of our days and is sovereign... "In Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." ~Psalm 139:16 ❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall #30thbirthday #August12th
I was born six days before my due date. I can't help but think how if Lily were also born six days before her due date, she would have most likely lived.
When my mom was in labor with me, my heart kept decelerating. The doctors were becoming increasingly alarmed and kept saying how they might have to do an emergency c-section. When I was born, the bottoms of my feet were dark and I was unresponsive at first. Obviously I quickly did become responsive and there were no lasting issues.
Things could have turned out entirely different on the day I was born. How easily my parents could have lost me. My own frailty and birth story is a reminder to me of everything I have lost with Lily. She was my mini-me, looking similar to me at birth, with almost the exact same measurements.
She was just as real and loved as me. I could have easily slipped away on August 12th, 1989, just like Lily slipped away from me. The last 30 years my parents have had with me could have been erased in an instant... all the memories, the laughter, the knowing of who I was growing up and who I've grown up to become would have been no more. Lily wouldn't have even been had August 12th gone differently. Every August 12th since 1989 would have been much like every March 16th has been for me since 2010.
Having lost my own daughter, knowing many people who have or had infertility issues (including my parents) and those who've lost children in many different ways, and seeing how I myself could have nearly died is a reminder of just how precious life is, and what a miracle it is to be conceived, born alive, and have the gift of growing up. May we never forget what a beautiful thing it is to be alive.
Thinking about my own birth and all my life has held up until this point highlights all that I'm missing with my own little girl. One life holds so much and I won't know any of what Lily's would have held beyond the womb.
I'm clinging to the truth that the Lord numbered both of our days and is sovereign... "In Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." ~Psalm 139:16 ❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall #30thbirthday #August12th
Do you want to know what the difference is between the two babies represented by these birth certificates?

The difference is 20 years between birth dates. The difference is Virginia and North Carolina. The difference is merely an ounce between birth weights, with the same length. There is not much difference in their looks either.

They both were full-term baby girls when they were born. They both bear the names of flowers. They are both immensely loved.

Yet, one was born with breath and the other was not. One got to grow up and the other didn't. One will celebrate her 30th birthday in a couple days and the other never will.

One is me and the other is my daughter.

That one breath changed the fact that I got one kind of birth certificate and she got another.

One. Single. Breath.

Separates her mattering and counting in other's minds versus not.

It shouldn't. ❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall #CertificateOfBirthResultingInStillbirth
Do you want to know what the difference is between the two babies represented by these birth certificates?

The difference is 20 years between birth dates. The difference is Virginia and North Carolina. The difference is merely an ounce between birth weights, with the same length. There is not much difference in their looks either.

They both were full-term baby girls when they were born. They both bear the names of flowers. They are both immensely loved.

Yet, one was born with breath and the other was not. One got to grow up and the other didn't. One will celebrate her 30th birthday in a couple days and the other never will.

One is me and the other is my daughter.

That one breath changed the fact that I got one kind of birth certificate and she got another.

One. Single. Breath.

Separates her mattering and counting in other's minds versus not.

It shouldn't. ❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall #CertificateOfBirthResultingInStillbirth
She was more beautiful than this sunrise 🧡☀️🌅💛👼🏻 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #DaytonaBeach #Florida
She was more beautiful than this sunrise 🧡☀️🌅💛👼🏻 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #DaytonaBeach #Florida
I’m currently in Charlotte, North Carolina for a layover and am reminded of this Charlotte adventure with Lily nearly 10 years ago. I was 14 weeks pregnant at the time and was sick as a dog with morning sickness. 🤒 It was a hot weekend in the south in September 2009. We went to an NFL football game. I cherish the memories of her life! 😊👼🏻🏈🌃 #AdventureswithLilyKat❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall
I’m currently in Charlotte, North Carolina for a layover and am reminded of this Charlotte adventure with Lily nearly 10 years ago. I was 14 weeks pregnant at the time and was sick as a dog with morning sickness. 🤒 It was a hot weekend in the south in September 2009. We went to an NFL football game. I cherish the memories of her life! 😊👼🏻🏈🌃 #AdventureswithLilyKat❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Absolutely... or years. 👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #VioletAnne💜 #LukeShiloh❤️
Absolutely... or years. 👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #VioletAnne💜 #LukeShiloh❤️
My sweet ones were remembered by Ali in South Padre Island, Texas 💛💛💛👼🏻👼🏻👼🏻 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #VioletAnne💜 #LukeShiloh❤️
My sweet ones were remembered by Ali in South Padre Island, Texas 💛💛💛👼🏻👼🏻👼🏻 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #VioletAnne💜 #LukeShiloh❤️
This truth has remained a steady source of comfort for me over the last 10 years. Those of us who have lost our babies can rest in the thought that our babies endured no suffering, bullying, rejection, or any of the other things that can make life hurt. 👼🏻👼🏻👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #VioletAnne💜 #LukeShiloh❤️
This truth has remained a steady source of comfort for me over the last 10 years. Those of us who have lost our babies can rest in the thought that our babies endured no suffering, bullying, rejection, or any of the other things that can make life hurt. 👼🏻👼🏻👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #VioletAnne💜 #LukeShiloh❤️
My flowers were remembered by my thoughtful friend Liza in St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 😊🇻🇮💗👼🏻💜👼🏻🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #VioletAnne💜
My flowers were remembered by my thoughtful friend Liza in St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 😊🇻🇮💗👼🏻💜👼🏻🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #VioletAnne💜
Lily is getting some summer traveling in... This is in Hawaii, off of Maui looking towards Molokai! Thanks, Josiah 😊🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily is getting some summer traveling in... This is in Hawaii, off of Maui looking towards Molokai! Thanks, Josiah 😊🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
My sweet babies were remembered by my friend Melissa recently at Laguna Beach, Florida ❤️👼🏻🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #VioletAnne💜 #LukeShiloh❤️ #LagunaBeachFlorida
My sweet babies were remembered by my friend Melissa recently at Laguna Beach, Florida ❤️👼🏻🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #VioletAnne💜 #LukeShiloh❤️ #LagunaBeachFlorida
My mothering Lily caused my heart to expand in its capacity to love others because of my love for her. 
Because of having her, and even through losing her, I am able to fulfill the other roles in my life better. She made me a better auntie to Harvest. 
I’m totally the cool aunt. 😎✌🏼😉
My role as Lily’s mommy made me appreciate all these other roles in my life that much more. Losing her made me realize how precious it is to hold my niece and watch her grow, to laugh with my family and friends, and to just soak up this life. 
The thought crossed my mind that I sure hope in the distant future that I’m not the aunt that everyone feels sorry for because I lost the only children I’d ever have. I hope my living nieces and nephews won’t be the closest thing I’ll get to having my own children to raise. 😔 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LilyKatsCousin
My mothering Lily caused my heart to expand in its capacity to love others because of my love for her.
Because of having her, and even through losing her, I am able to fulfill the other roles in my life better. She made me a better auntie to Harvest.
I’m totally the cool aunt. 😎✌🏼😉
My role as Lily’s mommy made me appreciate all these other roles in my life that much more. Losing her made me realize how precious it is to hold my niece and watch her grow, to laugh with my family and friends, and to just soak up this life.
The thought crossed my mind that I sure hope in the distant future that I’m not the aunt that everyone feels sorry for because I lost the only children I’d ever have. I hope my living nieces and nephews won’t be the closest thing I’ll get to having my own children to raise. 😔 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LilyKatsCousin
“You taught me the courage of stars before you left. ⭐️ How light carries on endlessly, even after death. 💫 With shortness of breath, you explained the infinite. How rare and beautiful it is to even exist." -Sleeping At Last 👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
“You taught me the courage of stars before you left. ⭐️ How light carries on endlessly, even after death. 💫 With shortness of breath, you explained the infinite. How rare and beautiful it is to even exist." -Sleeping At Last 👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
A sweet letter + drawing from the little girl I sponsor through @compassion. Her name is Mita and she was born on the exact same day Lily was. It’s a way I choose to love a child in my own little girl’s honor. 🥰🌎❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall
A sweet letter + drawing from the little girl I sponsor through @compassion. Her name is Mita and she was born on the exact same day Lily was. It’s a way I choose to love a child in my own little girl’s honor. 🥰🌎❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily visited White Sands National Monument in Alamogordo, New Mexico with my sweet friend Tracey, who is on a cross-country summer road-trip with her family! ❤️👼🏻 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #WhiteSandsNationalMonument
Lily visited White Sands National Monument in Alamogordo, New Mexico with my sweet friend Tracey, who is on a cross-country summer road-trip with her family! ❤️👼🏻 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #WhiteSandsNationalMonument
When you lose a baby, you don't just lose an idea of a person or a potential possibility of a future.

You lose a very real would-have-been life and future, full of all the many small and large things that comprise a life.

You lose knowing what their hobbies and interests would be, the things that would make them laugh, what college they would have attended, who they would have married, who their children would have been... these things just scratch the surface.

The person who is lost before birth is the same person at the core of their being who would've been in 5, 10, 20, 50+ years. All that was needed was time, development, nurturing, and love.

Of course we as humans are shaped by our experiences too, yet a massive part of who we are is determined before we are even born.

The way we will look as we age is already determined, our personalities, the things we will enjoy and prefer... all of these things are wrapped up in the tiny precious package that is a newborn baby.

When this precious life is lost, it's not just an idea that is lost, but the package that was ready to be opened, that suddenly never will be. The contents that were already there are somehow lost, leaving the family with an empty feeling of being somehow gipped and deprived. This package was in your lap ready to be finally opened after shaking it and longing to discover it for 9 months in eager anticipation, then suddenly death steals it back. That's a little bit of what losing a baby feels like. ❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall
When you lose a baby, you don't just lose an idea of a person or a potential possibility of a future.

You lose a very real would-have-been life and future, full of all the many small and large things that comprise a life.

You lose knowing what their hobbies and interests would be, the things that would make them laugh, what college they would have attended, who they would have married, who their children would have been... these things just scratch the surface.

The person who is lost before birth is the same person at the core of their being who would've been in 5, 10, 20, 50+ years. All that was needed was time, development, nurturing, and love.

Of course we as humans are shaped by our experiences too, yet a massive part of who we are is determined before we are even born.

The way we will look as we age is already determined, our personalities, the things we will enjoy and prefer... all of these things are wrapped up in the tiny precious package that is a newborn baby.

When this precious life is lost, it's not just an idea that is lost, but the package that was ready to be opened, that suddenly never will be. The contents that were already there are somehow lost, leaving the family with an empty feeling of being somehow gipped and deprived. This package was in your lap ready to be finally opened after shaking it and longing to discover it for 9 months in eager anticipation, then suddenly death steals it back. That's a little bit of what losing a baby feels like. ❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lilies, lilies everywhere! 🌸 From planted lilies in gardens to wild lilies growing alongside winding back roads. This time of year they are all over the place, bringing a smile to my heart with their beautiful hues and the reminder they bring of my own little Lily flower. June is when she came... 💗👼🏻☀️ #lilieslilieseverywhere #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lilies, lilies everywhere! 🌸 From planted lilies in gardens to wild lilies growing alongside winding back roads. This time of year they are all over the place, bringing a smile to my heart with their beautiful hues and the reminder they bring of my own little Lily flower. June is when she came... 💗👼🏻☀️ #lilieslilieseverywhere #LilyKatherineAllenBall
The intricate details of her beautiful feminine face are known so completely by her mommy.
So much so that when I see a picture of myself, I see Lily's face in mine. I see her in me and me in her.
It seems appropriate for us to share looks, as we shared everything else. Her heart both sprang to life and ceased in my body. She shared my body, making it her cozy home for the duration of her earthly life. She bears the name of a flower as I do. Her cells still live in me and her heart still beats with each beat of my own. Her legacy resides somewhere inside of my own, with our stories and purposes so closely woven together.
Our hearts know each other, reaching across realms, unaltered by the separation of the grave. We are tied together in Christ and nothing separates those found in His love. We may have never locked eyes, never had a conversation back and forth, but our mother-daughter connection is so much more than that. How could it not be? Her bones and flesh grew inside the form that is my bones and flesh. I felt her life. With each gentle or not-so-gentle movement inside of me, with each sound of her heartbeat or dance on the ultrasound machine, it was as if she was telling me all the words she'd never get to say. 
I cherish you, my sweet daughter of Heaven... I cherish all you were to me while your heart beat here and all you are to me still. 
Did your baby look like you too? 💖👼🏻 #likemotherlikedaughter #LilyKatherineAllenBall
The intricate details of her beautiful feminine face are known so completely by her mommy.
So much so that when I see a picture of myself, I see Lily's face in mine. I see her in me and me in her.
It seems appropriate for us to share looks, as we shared everything else. Her heart both sprang to life and ceased in my body. She shared my body, making it her cozy home for the duration of her earthly life. She bears the name of a flower as I do. Her cells still live in me and her heart still beats with each beat of my own. Her legacy resides somewhere inside of my own, with our stories and purposes so closely woven together.
Our hearts know each other, reaching across realms, unaltered by the separation of the grave. We are tied together in Christ and nothing separates those found in His love. We may have never locked eyes, never had a conversation back and forth, but our mother-daughter connection is so much more than that. How could it not be? Her bones and flesh grew inside the form that is my bones and flesh. I felt her life. With each gentle or not-so-gentle movement inside of me, with each sound of her heartbeat or dance on the ultrasound machine, it was as if she was telling me all the words she'd never get to say.
I cherish you, my sweet daughter of Heaven... I cherish all you were to me while your heart beat here and all you are to me still.
Did your baby look like you too? 💖👼🏻 #likemotherlikedaughter #LilyKatherineAllenBall
On AGT tonight there was a cheerful 10-year-old girl who melodiously and passionately sang an opera song. Anybody else watch? 🎶 Her sweet voice and powerful range brought tears to my eyes... but another thing that caused a few extra tears to fall down my cheeks was seeing this remarkable child and her incredible talent/God-given gift... and wondering what my little Lily (close to the same age) would be doing and who she would be. It’s like this thought and feeling dawned on me in a whole new way somehow. I wondered how this girl’s mother must have felt watching her little girl spread her wings and shine. And I wondered in what ways I’d be watching Lily shine. Even if only on an elementary school stage at a talent show. My heart would beam with pride and love for my girl, no matter what she was good at (or perhaps not so good at) or what she enjoyed. I simply wish I knew what she might have chosen to do with her one wild and precious life. 💗🌸 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #AGT #AmericasGotTalent #onewildandpreciouslife
On AGT tonight there was a cheerful 10-year-old girl who melodiously and passionately sang an opera song. Anybody else watch? 🎶 Her sweet voice and powerful range brought tears to my eyes... but another thing that caused a few extra tears to fall down my cheeks was seeing this remarkable child and her incredible talent/God-given gift... and wondering what my little Lily (close to the same age) would be doing and who she would be. It’s like this thought and feeling dawned on me in a whole new way somehow. I wondered how this girl’s mother must have felt watching her little girl spread her wings and shine. And I wondered in what ways I’d be watching Lily shine. Even if only on an elementary school stage at a talent show. My heart would beam with pride and love for my girl, no matter what she was good at (or perhaps not so good at) or what she enjoyed. I simply wish I knew what she might have chosen to do with her one wild and precious life. 💗🌸 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #AGT #AmericasGotTalent #onewildandpreciouslife
Yes ❤️👼🏻👼🏻👼🏻
Yes ❤️👼🏻👼🏻👼🏻
My American girl is all ready for July 4th ☺️❤️🇺🇸💙💥 #LilysSpecialSpot #LilyKatherineAllenBall #AmericanGirl #July4th #IndependenceDay
My American girl is all ready for July 4th ☺️❤️🇺🇸💙💥 #LilysSpecialSpot #LilyKatherineAllenBall #AmericanGirl #July4th #IndependenceDay
I heard a guy on the radio this morning talking about gender reveal parties during pregnancy 🤰🏼 and he said it’s a fun way to find out the gender of your “soon-to-be child.” 🙄 Umm can a non-child even have a gender? 🤔 Lily was my DAUGHTER before birth, at birth, after birth, and even still. Always and forever my child. 💗👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #genderrevealparty
I heard a guy on the radio this morning talking about gender reveal parties during pregnancy 🤰🏼 and he said it’s a fun way to find out the gender of your “soon-to-be child.” 🙄 Umm can a non-child even have a gender? 🤔 Lily was my DAUGHTER before birth, at birth, after birth, and even still. Always and forever my child. 💗👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #genderrevealparty
When I look at my adorable 3-year-old niece and how she’s changed and developed since birth, I ache with wonder.
How I long to know *this* sweet face and personality at 9-years-old.
The wonder and ache never fade. The memory of this perfect face and girl will follow me all the days of my life. And that is both beautiful and heartbreaking. 😔💗👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
When I look at my adorable 3-year-old niece and how she’s changed and developed since birth, I ache with wonder.
How I long to know *this* sweet face and personality at 9-years-old.
The wonder and ache never fade. The memory of this perfect face and girl will follow me all the days of my life. And that is both beautiful and heartbreaking. 😔💗👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily is leaving her mark in Staten Island, NY today with Melissa 😄🌊☀️🐟🐠 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily is leaving her mark in Staten Island, NY today with Melissa 😄🌊☀️🐟🐠 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Mother’s Day flowers to me from me 💐
💕Pieces of my Motherhood💕
•
Real heartbeat
Unique DNA
My Luke Shiloh
•
A new name
He gave me
"Mother"
•
Only 6 weeks
Too soon with Jesus
Missed all my life
•
Another heartbeat
Unique DNA
My Lily Katherine
•
Memories held dear
Pregnancy to birth
My first-born
•
40 glorious weeks
Sacred and sweet
Beautiful girl missed
•
Another heartbeat 
First rainbow babe
My Violet Anne
•
A not-yet heartbeat
Unique DNA
My hoped-for baby
•
I pray more than weeks
But a lifetime to raise
His will be done
•
All my babies -
First-child-of-my-heart,
First-born,
First-rainbow,
Future first-to-raise -
Irreplaceable pieces of my motherhood 💗
Mother’s Day flowers to me from me 💐
💕Pieces of my Motherhood💕

Real heartbeat
Unique DNA
My Luke Shiloh

A new name
He gave me
"Mother"

Only 6 weeks
Too soon with Jesus
Missed all my life

Another heartbeat
Unique DNA
My Lily Katherine

Memories held dear
Pregnancy to birth
My first-born

40 glorious weeks
Sacred and sweet
Beautiful girl missed

Another heartbeat
First rainbow babe
My Violet Anne

A not-yet heartbeat
Unique DNA
My hoped-for baby

I pray more than weeks
But a lifetime to raise
His will be done

All my babies -
First-child-of-my-heart,
First-born,
First-rainbow,
Future first-to-raise -
Irreplaceable pieces of my motherhood 💗
With Mother’s Day this weekend, my beautiful Lily is constantly in my thoughts, as are other mothers who’ve lost. In light of this significant day on the calendar, I want to share something I wrote, from my heart to yours..... 💗
If we're fortunate enough, our lives are comprised of hundreds of months, thousands of days, and millions of minutes.
For some of us, especially us mothers, there are certain minutes where time stands still and we just know we'll remember every detail surrounding that specific memory. For me, one of those minutes frozen in time is when my daughter was born.
After a healthy pregnancy, at two days past my due date, strong contractions had begun coursing through my body and I was eager to deliver my sweet Lily Katherine.
In those early morning hours of laboring, I remember how my mom had strengthened me with her calming and reassuring words and presence. She told me I should picture Lily’s face with each contraction, the sweet face I’d imagined countless times in the months leading up to this day. She said that focusing on the beauty to come after the pain of labor and delivery would help me endure with grace.
Hours later, I was being checked in for my anticipated delivery date, when my doctor was called in to do an ultrasound. What happened next is another moment seared into my memory. I’ll never forget those words, those dreadful words, “This is where her heart is, and it’s not beating anymore… I’m so sorry…”
All in a single moment, my whole world crumbled around me and my dreams were shattered. Shaking my head back and forth, the only words I could string together were “no, no, no.” I half wanted to plead with my doctor to keep looking until her heart somehow started beating again and half wanted to cry out with tears in my eyes and my arms outstretched to the Heavens, “can I please have her back?!”
That afternoon, on March 16, 2010, at 4:24 p.m., a perfect-but-without-breath baby girl was born. Instead of newborn cries, the room was filled with silence that pierced our hearts. Lily weighed in at 7 pounds 9 ounces and was 21 inches.
Continue ⬇️
With Mother’s Day this weekend, my beautiful Lily is constantly in my thoughts, as are other mothers who’ve lost. In light of this significant day on the calendar, I want to share something I wrote, from my heart to yours..... 💗
If we're fortunate enough, our lives are comprised of hundreds of months, thousands of days, and millions of minutes.
For some of us, especially us mothers, there are certain minutes where time stands still and we just know we'll remember every detail surrounding that specific memory. For me, one of those minutes frozen in time is when my daughter was born.
After a healthy pregnancy, at two days past my due date, strong contractions had begun coursing through my body and I was eager to deliver my sweet Lily Katherine.
In those early morning hours of laboring, I remember how my mom had strengthened me with her calming and reassuring words and presence. She told me I should picture Lily’s face with each contraction, the sweet face I’d imagined countless times in the months leading up to this day. She said that focusing on the beauty to come after the pain of labor and delivery would help me endure with grace.
Hours later, I was being checked in for my anticipated delivery date, when my doctor was called in to do an ultrasound. What happened next is another moment seared into my memory. I’ll never forget those words, those dreadful words, “This is where her heart is, and it’s not beating anymore… I’m so sorry…”
All in a single moment, my whole world crumbled around me and my dreams were shattered. Shaking my head back and forth, the only words I could string together were “no, no, no.” I half wanted to plead with my doctor to keep looking until her heart somehow started beating again and half wanted to cry out with tears in my eyes and my arms outstretched to the Heavens, “can I please have her back?!”
That afternoon, on March 16, 2010, at 4:24 p.m., a perfect-but-without-breath baby girl was born. Instead of newborn cries, the room was filled with silence that pierced our hearts. Lily weighed in at 7 pounds 9 ounces and was 21 inches.
Continue ⬇️
Made me smile to stumble upon these pictures of my Lily-belly that I don’t know that I’ve ever shared. That’s my baby girl in there. 😌🌸👼🏻💗 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #sacredpregnancy #pregnancymemories #babybelly
Made me smile to stumble upon these pictures of my Lily-belly that I don’t know that I’ve ever shared. That’s my baby girl in there. 😌🌸👼🏻💗 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #sacredpregnancy #pregnancymemories #babybelly
My sweet little ones are with me in Daytona Beach, Florida 😌👼🏻🌹🌸🧡💗💛🌊☀️🐚🌴🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #WithMeWhereverIGo #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #sunrise #springbreak
My sweet little ones are with me in Daytona Beach, Florida 😌👼🏻🌹🌸🧡💗💛🌊☀️🐚🌴🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #WithMeWhereverIGo #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #sunrise #springbreak
Part of what makes first trimester loss uniquely difficult is the not knowing what the gender for sure was.
Therefore, it might seem odd to some that I refer to Luke Shiloh, lost at 6 weeks, as a “he,” and Violet Anne, lost at almost 8 weeks, as a “she.” I’ve also given them clearly very gender distinctive names.
For me, it’s about connection and healing. Loving, thinking about, and grieving my baby as a specific gender helps them feel more real to me and helps my mother heart connect better to theirs.
And giving a name is recognizing dignity. Someone is only given a name if they exist.
Now obviously I could be wrong. Luke could very well have been a “she,” and Violet could have been a “he.” But that doesn’t take away my love or their value. And it doesn’t take away the meaning and significance behind the names I so lovingly selected for them. What their names mean and who they are to me does not change with their gender. I feel much better referring to them using pronouns rather than “it” or “the baby.”
And honestly, I feel fairly confident that what I feel in my gut were their genders are correct. I believe God can reveal those things to us. 
When I was pregnant with Lily Katherine, I knew from the first trimester that she was a girl and her name was Lily. There was never any question in my mind. 
Looking back, maybe God allowed me to experience that with her so that I’d have confidence in Luke and Violet’s genders too. I believe that one day when I open my eyes to Heaven, I will know my children and they will know me. And all the questions will be wiped away.
I had ordered a SneakPeek gender reveal test online with Violet. The test analyzes a mother’s blood and the results are supposed to be pretty accurate. I was also supposed to have some testing done at the doctor at 12 weeks, which would have confirmed the gender. I could have taken the Sneak Peek test as early as 9 weeks, so I had just over a week to wait. Sending that unopened kit back was hard to do, and sad knowing I could have for sure known the gender in just a week and 2 days. 
Continued below ⬇️
Part of what makes first trimester loss uniquely difficult is the not knowing what the gender for sure was.
Therefore, it might seem odd to some that I refer to Luke Shiloh, lost at 6 weeks, as a “he,” and Violet Anne, lost at almost 8 weeks, as a “she.” I’ve also given them clearly very gender distinctive names.
For me, it’s about connection and healing. Loving, thinking about, and grieving my baby as a specific gender helps them feel more real to me and helps my mother heart connect better to theirs.
And giving a name is recognizing dignity. Someone is only given a name if they exist.
Now obviously I could be wrong. Luke could very well have been a “she,” and Violet could have been a “he.” But that doesn’t take away my love or their value. And it doesn’t take away the meaning and significance behind the names I so lovingly selected for them. What their names mean and who they are to me does not change with their gender. I feel much better referring to them using pronouns rather than “it” or “the baby.”
And honestly, I feel fairly confident that what I feel in my gut were their genders are correct. I believe God can reveal those things to us.
When I was pregnant with Lily Katherine, I knew from the first trimester that she was a girl and her name was Lily. There was never any question in my mind.
Looking back, maybe God allowed me to experience that with her so that I’d have confidence in Luke and Violet’s genders too. I believe that one day when I open my eyes to Heaven, I will know my children and they will know me. And all the questions will be wiped away.
I had ordered a SneakPeek gender reveal test online with Violet. The test analyzes a mother’s blood and the results are supposed to be pretty accurate. I was also supposed to have some testing done at the doctor at 12 weeks, which would have confirmed the gender. I could have taken the Sneak Peek test as early as 9 weeks, so I had just over a week to wait. Sending that unopened kit back was hard to do, and sad knowing I could have for sure known the gender in just a week and 2 days.
Continued below ⬇️
Lily girl is leaving her mark over at @lovewhatmatters. I am honored to be sharing her story and to be a voice for us bereaved mothers (and fathers). The link is in my profile. 💗👼🏻🌸😌 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LilysLegacy #MyBeautifulGirl #LoveWhatMatters
Lily girl is leaving her mark over at @lovewhatmatters. I am honored to be sharing her story and to be a voice for us bereaved mothers (and fathers). The link is in my profile. 💗👼🏻🌸😌 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LilysLegacy #MyBeautifulGirl #LoveWhatMatters
A rainbow baby in the pregnancy and infant loss community is the baby born after the loss of another baby. ☔️🌈
The week of Lily’s March 16th birthday was rainbow baby week. The irony of that is not lost on me....
I marked the should-have-been 9th birthday in Heaven of my baby who was born too late or she might have been here to celebrate too. 
While I planned her birthday and relived those days leading up to her too-late birth, I was going through a miscarriage, of my first rainbow baby - my baby who was born too early the very week her big sister was born too late, or she might also still be here. All during rainbow baby week.
My sweet rainbow baby was due on October 5th, just four days past my first baby’s should-have-been due date, a decade apart. I thought this pregnancy and birth was to be healing. 🌈😞 #VioletAnne💜 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
A rainbow baby in the pregnancy and infant loss community is the baby born after the loss of another baby. ☔️🌈
The week of Lily’s March 16th birthday was rainbow baby week. The irony of that is not lost on me....
I marked the should-have-been 9th birthday in Heaven of my baby who was born too late or she might have been here to celebrate too.
While I planned her birthday and relived those days leading up to her too-late birth, I was going through a miscarriage, of my first rainbow baby - my baby who was born too early the very week her big sister was born too late, or she might also still be here. All during rainbow baby week.
My sweet rainbow baby was due on October 5th, just four days past my first baby’s should-have-been due date, a decade apart. I thought this pregnancy and birth was to be healing. 🌈😞 #VioletAnne💜 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
This is the letter to Lily that I wrote her and read aloud at her Celebration of Life Service in late March 2010:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dear Lily,
My little love. My constant companion. My precious flower. You whispered "goodbye" before I had a chance to say "hello." I'm left with a bruised heart and shaken dreams. Empty arms desperate to be filled with you. When I heard those words, those dreadful words, that your heart was no longer beating, it was like I was suffocating. I keep having to remind myself to breathe...Why is it so hard to breathe?!
I couldn't cry at first...I was just shocked. My world was shattered, crumbling around me. Somehow the physical pain didn't seem to matter much anymore. You went straight from my womb to the arms of Jesus. Why did you have to go? Doesn't He know I need you here? Doesn't He know that you're my world? And yet life goes on. I still hear laughter. The moon still rises and the sun still sets. But, I won't forget. Even when I smile, thoughts of you are always dancing in the back of my mind. Shouldn't the whole world just stop? Mine has. How does the wind still blow? Doesn't it know you aren't here?
Oh, the plans I had for your life. All the things I wanted to show you and teach you. I longed for the day you would finally fill all those clothes that are just for you. I waited and waited to see that beautiful, toothless smile I'd imagined so many times before. The way your eyes would sparkle. I would rock you for hours and softly sing sweet lullabies in your ear. I can't help thinking of all that could have been. All that was meant to be. You should be at home in your Moses basket now, not in that little white box.
What will life be like when what should have been your firsts come? Your first 'mama,' your first grin, your first giggle when you’d see me coming to get you out of your crib in the morning, your first tooth, the first time you'd crawl…and walk. Your first Christmas and how your eyes would light up with all the beautiful lights and decorations. Your first birthday and how you'd get cake all over your special birthday dress. Your first trip to the beach and mountains.
Continued ⬇️
This is the letter to Lily that I wrote her and read aloud at her Celebration of Life Service in late March 2010:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dear Lily,
My little love. My constant companion. My precious flower. You whispered "goodbye" before I had a chance to say "hello." I'm left with a bruised heart and shaken dreams. Empty arms desperate to be filled with you. When I heard those words, those dreadful words, that your heart was no longer beating, it was like I was suffocating. I keep having to remind myself to breathe...Why is it so hard to breathe?!
I couldn't cry at first...I was just shocked. My world was shattered, crumbling around me. Somehow the physical pain didn't seem to matter much anymore. You went straight from my womb to the arms of Jesus. Why did you have to go? Doesn't He know I need you here? Doesn't He know that you're my world? And yet life goes on. I still hear laughter. The moon still rises and the sun still sets. But, I won't forget. Even when I smile, thoughts of you are always dancing in the back of my mind. Shouldn't the whole world just stop? Mine has. How does the wind still blow? Doesn't it know you aren't here?
Oh, the plans I had for your life. All the things I wanted to show you and teach you. I longed for the day you would finally fill all those clothes that are just for you. I waited and waited to see that beautiful, toothless smile I'd imagined so many times before. The way your eyes would sparkle. I would rock you for hours and softly sing sweet lullabies in your ear. I can't help thinking of all that could have been. All that was meant to be. You should be at home in your Moses basket now, not in that little white box.
What will life be like when what should have been your firsts come? Your first 'mama,' your first grin, your first giggle when you’d see me coming to get you out of your crib in the morning, your first tooth, the first time you'd crawl…and walk. Your first Christmas and how your eyes would light up with all the beautiful lights and decorations. Your first birthday and how you'd get cake all over your special birthday dress. Your first trip to the beach and mountains.
Continued ⬇️
13 days separate these photos. 13 days and a lifetime of memories made. 13 days and yet changed so totally and completely.

One was taken the day before my due date, with Lily "in front" in my belly, and the other taken the day before her burial with her in front of me in her coffin. Anticipating her birth to anticipating her burial.

You know how people take the "before and after" photos, the first while pregnant and the second after the baby is born, wearing the same outfit? Well I realized that this is my version of that. 😢❤️
13 days separate these photos. 13 days and a lifetime of memories made. 13 days and yet changed so totally and completely.

One was taken the day before my due date, with Lily "in front" in my belly, and the other taken the day before her burial with her in front of me in her coffin. Anticipating her birth to anticipating her burial.

You know how people take the "before and after" photos, the first while pregnant and the second after the baby is born, wearing the same outfit? Well I realized that this is my version of that. 😢❤️
Days like today are the days nobody else remembers.
To me, March 27th will always be the day I left my little girl's tiny and perfect-but-without-breath 7 pound 9 ounce 21 inch body behind in a grave in a cemetery in Virginia. To me, it will be the day I watched as her tiny white casket, inside her cozy Moses Basket, was covered with tears, rose and lily petals, and dirt. And I had to leave her there. I had to walk away, with a piece of myself in the ground. I was just barely out of my teens when I buried my baby.
“...life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no; Ain't even grey, but she buries her baby. The sharp knife of a short life." -The Band Perry 💕🌸
Days like today are the days nobody else remembers.
To me, March 27th will always be the day I left my little girl's tiny and perfect-but-without-breath 7 pound 9 ounce 21 inch body behind in a grave in a cemetery in Virginia. To me, it will be the day I watched as her tiny white casket, inside her cozy Moses Basket, was covered with tears, rose and lily petals, and dirt. And I had to leave her there. I had to walk away, with a piece of myself in the ground. I was just barely out of my teens when I buried my baby.
“...life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no; Ain't even grey, but she buries her baby. The sharp knife of a short life." -The Band Perry 💕🌸
👼🏻👼🏻👼🏻
💗Lily Katherine💗
💙Luke Shiloh💙
💜Violet Anne💜
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Even within the loss community, there is unfortunately a lot of comparison. Who has the deeper pain or more difficult circumstances and loss? 
Those who’ve had miscarriages resent that their losses can be undermined by those who’ve had later losses, while those who’ve had stillbirths resent having their loss called a miscarriage. Don’t even get me started on post-abortion grief. Those who’ve had losses not by choice think mothers who did make a choice forfeited their right to grieve.
As someone who has experienced all 3, I thought I’d weigh in on the subject.
My womb has held life 3 times. It has also held death 3 times. It has birthed life 0 times. In the last decade of my life, I have lost a baby through an agonizing full-term unexplained death shortly before birth at 40+ weeks in 2010 (Lily Katherine), a baby through a forever regretted abortion at 6 weeks in 2009 (Luke Shiloh), and a baby through the tragedy of miscarriage at just shy of 8 weeks in 2019 (Violet Anne). The conclusion I’ve drawn is this: There is NO easy way to lose a baby. It’s pointless and harmful to compare and to judge others for their grief. 
The thing is, I don’t think grief/loss can even be compared and I don’t think there are any winners. At the end of the day, when you lose a child, they are gone. You are left longing for more. The amount of time with them doesn’t alter a mother’s love. You don’t love your child more at 15 than you did at 10. There are factors of loss that are dependent upon the age of a child when they are lost and the way in which they were lost. 
We all have different stories and what is perceived as “worse” or “better” will always be pointless. Our stories are what they are.
To further explain... My grief over my abortion has regret surrounding it. That is a unique type of mourning in and of itself and mothers need to be given that space to feel what they will. A loss is a loss is a loss.
On the other hand, although I didn’t choose to lose Lily or Violet, my grief feels different with each of them.
Continued below ⬇️
👼🏻👼🏻👼🏻
💗Lily Katherine💗
💙Luke Shiloh💙
💜Violet Anne💜
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Even within the loss community, there is unfortunately a lot of comparison. Who has the deeper pain or more difficult circumstances and loss?
Those who’ve had miscarriages resent that their losses can be undermined by those who’ve had later losses, while those who’ve had stillbirths resent having their loss called a miscarriage. Don’t even get me started on post-abortion grief. Those who’ve had losses not by choice think mothers who did make a choice forfeited their right to grieve.
As someone who has experienced all 3, I thought I’d weigh in on the subject.
My womb has held life 3 times. It has also held death 3 times. It has birthed life 0 times. In the last decade of my life, I have lost a baby through an agonizing full-term unexplained death shortly before birth at 40+ weeks in 2010 (Lily Katherine), a baby through a forever regretted abortion at 6 weeks in 2009 (Luke Shiloh), and a baby through the tragedy of miscarriage at just shy of 8 weeks in 2019 (Violet Anne). The conclusion I’ve drawn is this: There is NO easy way to lose a baby. It’s pointless and harmful to compare and to judge others for their grief.
The thing is, I don’t think grief/loss can even be compared and I don’t think there are any winners. At the end of the day, when you lose a child, they are gone. You are left longing for more. The amount of time with them doesn’t alter a mother’s love. You don’t love your child more at 15 than you did at 10. There are factors of loss that are dependent upon the age of a child when they are lost and the way in which they were lost.
We all have different stories and what is perceived as “worse” or “better” will always be pointless. Our stories are what they are.
To further explain... My grief over my abortion has regret surrounding it. That is a unique type of mourning in and of itself and mothers need to be given that space to feel what they will. A loss is a loss is a loss.
On the other hand, although I didn’t choose to lose Lily or Violet, my grief feels different with each of them.
Continued below ⬇️
Lily was remembered her birthday week by Ashley in Kona, Hawaii! 😊💗🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #March16 #9thBirthday #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily was remembered her birthday week by Ashley in Kona, Hawaii! 😊💗🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #March16 #9thBirthday #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
I’ve been surrounded by beautiful + colorful flowers this week, from thoughtful friends and family. The first photo is the basket my mom had delivered to me at work, and the second photo shows all the flowers that have been brightening my days. 💕💐💜 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall #March16 #9thbirthday
I’ve been surrounded by beautiful + colorful flowers this week, from thoughtful friends and family. The first photo is the basket my mom had delivered to me at work, and the second photo shows all the flowers that have been brightening my days. 💕💐💜 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall #March16 #9thbirthday
Sweet Lily girl is ready for her 9th birthday. 🥰9️⃣ I put together the flower arrangement (with roses and lilies of course) and got the balloon and flag on Etsy. 💕❤️💐🎈🎉 #LilysSpecialSpot #LilyKatherinesBirthday #9thbirthday #March16 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Sweet Lily girl is ready for her 9th birthday. 🥰9️⃣ I put together the flower arrangement (with roses and lilies of course) and got the balloon and flag on Etsy. 💕❤️💐🎈🎉 #LilysSpecialSpot #LilyKatherinesBirthday #9thbirthday #March16 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
❤️💕🧁💕❤️
Red-velvet treats for Lily’s birthday, a favorite tradition started when I had red-velvet cake at my Valentine’s-themed baby shower. Monarch butterfly cupcakes and petit fours. 😊🎉🦋 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #RedVelvetforLily #ButterfliesforLily #March16 #9thbirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall
❤️💕🧁💕❤️
Red-velvet treats for Lily’s birthday, a favorite tradition started when I had red-velvet cake at my Valentine’s-themed baby shower. Monarch butterfly cupcakes and petit fours. 😊🎉🦋 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #RedVelvetforLily #ButterfliesforLily #March16 #9thbirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall
A beautiful baby girl that I carried, birthed, and love should be turning 9 today. It's my birthing-day.
9 years since I held that perfect-but-without-breath 7 pound 9 ounce and 21 inch body and saw my face in hers.
9 years of treasuring her life and mothering her legacy.
9 years of her name being written all over the world in the sand, snow, and everywhere in between.
9 years of writing and speaking about her.
9 years and the missing and love haven't changed.
Honestly, I am at a bit of a loss for words this year. I have been so busy with working full-time and taking Masters classes and just life in general that I've barely had time to process Lily's birthday and my memories and feelings surrounding it. Not only that, but I'm dealing with some difficult things right now, which compounds my grief with it being Lily's time of year.
Around her day each year, I like to go back and read my blog posts where I see how we've celebrated her on each of her past birthdays. This year, I honestly don't have much planned. It made me feel sad to see how many special things I've done in her honor in the past and guilty for not doing more this year.
As I was contemplating these feelings, I realized this is pressure I put on myself for no reason. Her birthday season might look different each year. Some years I might go to the beach or somewhere else different and fun, while other years (like this year), the plans may be more simple. Some years I might get a tattoo or deliver hospital comfort boxes, while other years I may celebrate in a quieter way. There is no need for any pressure because my love for Lily does not wane... despite what is going on or not going on or how many years have passed.
This year, I need things to be gentler and simpler. This year, I will cherish long-held traditions and the memory of her life within mine. This year, I will let go of the pressure or the need to do certain things or write certain words in order for her life to "count," in order for the great loss of her to mean something. She matters and nothing in all of the universe could ever change that. I love her and nothing will diminish my devotion as her mommy.
Continue reading ⬇️
A beautiful baby girl that I carried, birthed, and love should be turning 9 today. It's my birthing-day.
9 years since I held that perfect-but-without-breath 7 pound 9 ounce and 21 inch body and saw my face in hers.
9 years of treasuring her life and mothering her legacy.
9 years of her name being written all over the world in the sand, snow, and everywhere in between.
9 years of writing and speaking about her.
9 years and the missing and love haven't changed.
Honestly, I am at a bit of a loss for words this year. I have been so busy with working full-time and taking Masters classes and just life in general that I've barely had time to process Lily's birthday and my memories and feelings surrounding it. Not only that, but I'm dealing with some difficult things right now, which compounds my grief with it being Lily's time of year.
Around her day each year, I like to go back and read my blog posts where I see how we've celebrated her on each of her past birthdays. This year, I honestly don't have much planned. It made me feel sad to see how many special things I've done in her honor in the past and guilty for not doing more this year.
As I was contemplating these feelings, I realized this is pressure I put on myself for no reason. Her birthday season might look different each year. Some years I might go to the beach or somewhere else different and fun, while other years (like this year), the plans may be more simple. Some years I might get a tattoo or deliver hospital comfort boxes, while other years I may celebrate in a quieter way. There is no need for any pressure because my love for Lily does not wane... despite what is going on or not going on or how many years have passed.
This year, I need things to be gentler and simpler. This year, I will cherish long-held traditions and the memory of her life within mine. This year, I will let go of the pressure or the need to do certain things or write certain words in order for her life to "count," in order for the great loss of her to mean something. She matters and nothing in all of the universe could ever change that. I love her and nothing will diminish my devotion as her mommy.
Continue reading ⬇️
Read my post from yesterday before this one...
I’m not sure what compelled me to take this poor-quality picture, but I’m going to call it “self-portrait an hour after being told my baby’s heart had stopped beating.” 💔
It’s interesting how loss changes someone. Losing Lily made me a documenter of life, love, and yes, even loss, afraid of missing a moment gone by, a moment I can’t get back. I’m always thinking of how to capture these moments, feelings, and experiences. Because I know what it feels like to wish you had captured more and to not be able to change it.
So this is the honest face of a mother who is grieving the loss of the third baby inside of her. Her eyes are especially sad because this isn’t the first time she’s known the sting of death within....
My womb has held life three times. It has also held death three times. It has birthed life zero times. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around this heartbreaking reality. In the last decade of my life, I have lost a baby through an agonizing full-term unexplained death shortly before birth at 40+ weeks in 2010, a baby through a forever regretted abortion at 6 weeks in 2009, and a baby through the tragedy of miscarriage at almost 8 weeks in 2019. 
Although it’s utterly heart-wrenching to come to terms with, I believe with every part of my being that each life that God has allowed to grow in my womb has been for a beautiful purpose. And I am forever honored to be Lily Katherine, Luke Shiloh, and Violet Anne’s mother. We grieve deeply because we love deeply and because we value the sanctity of each individual and irreplaceable life created in the image of God. I plan on sharing more my feelings and thoughts on the differences and similarities between my losses, but one thing that is the same, is the LOVE I will forever hold for all my children. 👼🏻👼🏻👼🏻❤️❤️❤️ #VioletAnne💜 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LukeShiloh❤️
Read my post from yesterday before this one...
I’m not sure what compelled me to take this poor-quality picture, but I’m going to call it “self-portrait an hour after being told my baby’s heart had stopped beating.” 💔
It’s interesting how loss changes someone. Losing Lily made me a documenter of life, love, and yes, even loss, afraid of missing a moment gone by, a moment I can’t get back. I’m always thinking of how to capture these moments, feelings, and experiences. Because I know what it feels like to wish you had captured more and to not be able to change it.
So this is the honest face of a mother who is grieving the loss of the third baby inside of her. Her eyes are especially sad because this isn’t the first time she’s known the sting of death within....
My womb has held life three times. It has also held death three times. It has birthed life zero times. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around this heartbreaking reality. In the last decade of my life, I have lost a baby through an agonizing full-term unexplained death shortly before birth at 40+ weeks in 2010, a baby through a forever regretted abortion at 6 weeks in 2009, and a baby through the tragedy of miscarriage at almost 8 weeks in 2019.
Although it’s utterly heart-wrenching to come to terms with, I believe with every part of my being that each life that God has allowed to grow in my womb has been for a beautiful purpose. And I am forever honored to be Lily Katherine, Luke Shiloh, and Violet Anne’s mother. We grieve deeply because we love deeply and because we value the sanctity of each individual and irreplaceable life created in the image of God. I plan on sharing more my feelings and thoughts on the differences and similarities between my losses, but one thing that is the same, is the LOVE I will forever hold for all my children. 👼🏻👼🏻👼🏻❤️❤️❤️ #VioletAnne💜 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LukeShiloh❤️
Today is the day I think about how if Lily were born on this date in 2010, she would be alive. We'd have the birthday girl here to celebrate and I'd be able to share photos from her party on a blog about her life, rather than a blog about her death too. It makes me terribly sad to think this is the last full day she lived on Earth. Why couldn't my body have gone into labor before it did, before she died?
If she'd been born today, if today were her birthday, she'd most likely be alive. That's a hard truth to grapple with. I missed meeting her alive and having her here with me (hopefully for the rest of my life) by just a few short days. 
More on the blog ~ link temporarily in profile ❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Today is the day I think about how if Lily were born on this date in 2010, she would be alive. We'd have the birthday girl here to celebrate and I'd be able to share photos from her party on a blog about her life, rather than a blog about her death too. It makes me terribly sad to think this is the last full day she lived on Earth. Why couldn't my body have gone into labor before it did, before she died?
If she'd been born today, if today were her birthday, she'd most likely be alive. That's a hard truth to grapple with. I missed meeting her alive and having her here with me (hopefully for the rest of my life) by just a few short days.
More on the blog ~ link temporarily in profile ❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Another getting close to Lily’s birthday March message that moved, humbled, and encouraged my heart right when I needed it:
“I have followed your blog posts for years. I stumbled across your website when I was searching if there were support groups or forums for people who ever had an abortion. I was feeling huge regret and sadness and your blog posts helped me get through it. It’s still not something I openly talk about. I have a living child now. And I still struggle some days asking myself how I even deserve this beautiful, smart little one. I felt so much sadness reading about Lily. And I love that you have shared your story and continue to share her story as well. I pray that you too get your rainbow baby someday. ❤️ I wanted to reach out to you to let you know that your story is beautiful and I look forward to all the posts and emails.” 👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #March16 #9thbirthday #LukeShiloh❤️
Another getting close to Lily’s birthday March message that moved, humbled, and encouraged my heart right when I needed it:
“I have followed your blog posts for years. I stumbled across your website when I was searching if there were support groups or forums for people who ever had an abortion. I was feeling huge regret and sadness and your blog posts helped me get through it. It’s still not something I openly talk about. I have a living child now. And I still struggle some days asking myself how I even deserve this beautiful, smart little one. I felt so much sadness reading about Lily. And I love that you have shared your story and continue to share her story as well. I pray that you too get your rainbow baby someday. ❤️ I wanted to reach out to you to let you know that your story is beautiful and I look forward to all the posts and emails.” 👼🏻 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #March16 #9thbirthday #LukeShiloh❤️
From my blog post, “What March Means To Me.” 💕
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In her book "Shades of Blue," Karen Kingsbury describes a character, who was grieving a baby she lost a decade earlier, in such a way that it felt like she was writing about me:
"Her life had moved on, and she tried her best to live in the moment. But their baby remained in the shadows, a constant presence, there in Emma's mind the way the date or day of the week was there. She didn't go through the hours reminding herself constantly that this was Friday. It simply was Friday. And that fact stayed subtly with her, coloring the background of everything else about the day. It was like that with their baby."
Losing Lily and loving Lily colors every moment of my every day. Though I don't think of her nonstop, she is always there, in the back of my mind, in the midst of everything. March makes it even easier to remember and miss her. My mom said just as her four living children are always in her thoughts, it is only natural for me as a mother to have my child in my thoughts. Just because she isn't here doesn't change that mother's love.
Read more on my blog ~ temporarily linked in profile. 🌸 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall #March16 #9thbirthday
From my blog post, “What March Means To Me.” 💕
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In her book "Shades of Blue," Karen Kingsbury describes a character, who was grieving a baby she lost a decade earlier, in such a way that it felt like she was writing about me:
"Her life had moved on, and she tried her best to live in the moment. But their baby remained in the shadows, a constant presence, there in Emma's mind the way the date or day of the week was there. She didn't go through the hours reminding herself constantly that this was Friday. It simply was Friday. And that fact stayed subtly with her, coloring the background of everything else about the day. It was like that with their baby."
Losing Lily and loving Lily colors every moment of my every day. Though I don't think of her nonstop, she is always there, in the back of my mind, in the midst of everything. March makes it even easier to remember and miss her. My mom said just as her four living children are always in her thoughts, it is only natural for me as a mother to have my child in my thoughts. Just because she isn't here doesn't change that mother's love.
Read more on my blog ~ temporarily linked in profile. 🌸 #LilyKatherinesBirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall #March16 #9thbirthday
A follower of Lily’s story sent me a message today that my sweet birthday girly visited her dream.
She wrote: “I had a dream the other night and I just have to share. It was so weird and so random because I hardly ever have dreams like this. Anyways, I was dreaming that my kids were playing and one of them asked me about S. I was explaining how she lived in Heaven and was being taken care of, when my daughter said "Oh, like Rose and Her Lily?" I was like what, what made you say that? She said, “I don't know, but I just had to say it.” I woke up totally surprised and I told myself I was going to obviously share this with you and as soon as I opened up Facebook, your post was the first to show on my News Feed. It could just be a coincidence, but I would like to believe she is trying to tell you “hello.” It is her month too. 💕”
It never ceases to amaze me that special Lily happenings occur every March. She somehow finds a way to let me know she’s okay. I believe it’s a gift from God, reminding me that Rose and Her Lily are still being held and cared for, no matter how many Marches come and go. There’s something oh so sacred about a dream visit. 🌸 #9thbirthday #March16 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LilyKatherinesBirthday
A follower of Lily’s story sent me a message today that my sweet birthday girly visited her dream.
She wrote: “I had a dream the other night and I just have to share. It was so weird and so random because I hardly ever have dreams like this. Anyways, I was dreaming that my kids were playing and one of them asked me about S. I was explaining how she lived in Heaven and was being taken care of, when my daughter said "Oh, like Rose and Her Lily?" I was like what, what made you say that? She said, “I don't know, but I just had to say it.” I woke up totally surprised and I told myself I was going to obviously share this with you and as soon as I opened up Facebook, your post was the first to show on my News Feed. It could just be a coincidence, but I would like to believe she is trying to tell you “hello.” It is her month too. 💕”
It never ceases to amaze me that special Lily happenings occur every March. She somehow finds a way to let me know she’s okay. I believe it’s a gift from God, reminding me that Rose and Her Lily are still being held and cared for, no matter how many Marches come and go. There’s something oh so sacred about a dream visit. 🌸 #9thbirthday #March16 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #LilyKatherinesBirthday
A picture with my girl that I’ve not shared before, 9 Marches ago. 💕 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #pregnancymemories #sacredpregnancy
A picture with my girl that I’ve not shared before, 9 Marches ago. 💕 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #pregnancymemories #sacredpregnancy
9 years ago tonight when Lily was jammin' out in my belly at the Copeland concert in Chapel Hill. 🤓😋 I was 11 days away from my due date and 13 days away from Lily's birthday. #pregnancymemories #shehadthemoves #AdventureswithLilyKat❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall
9 years ago tonight when Lily was jammin' out in my belly at the Copeland concert in Chapel Hill. 🤓😋 I was 11 days away from my due date and 13 days away from Lily's birthday. #pregnancymemories #shehadthemoves #AdventureswithLilyKat❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall
It’s my sweetheart’s birthday month and though I think of her all the time all year, I especially think of her this month. Would you join me in celebrating her 9th birthday on March 16th by writing her name in some unique way wherever you are in the world? In the sand, in the snow, with flower petals, anything. 💕🌸👼🏻9️⃣🎈🌎 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherinesBirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall
It’s my sweetheart’s birthday month and though I think of her all the time all year, I especially think of her this month. Would you join me in celebrating her 9th birthday on March 16th by writing her name in some unique way wherever you are in the world? In the sand, in the snow, with flower petals, anything. 💕🌸👼🏻9️⃣🎈🌎 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherinesBirthday #LilyKatherineAllenBall
In the pregnancy and infant loss community, a rainbow baby is a baby who is born after the “storm” of the loss of a baby. When Lily passed so unexpectedly, my entire family was heartbroken. So although I don’t have my own rainbow baby yet, I was thinking today how my almost-3-year-old niece Harvest is my family’s rainbow baby. Because isn’t every baby born after the loss of a baby the rainbow of the entire family? You are the sunshine and the rainbow, pretty girl. And that is not to say that Lily is the storm. Lily taught the preciousness of life and how to love deeper. Two irreplaceable beautiful girls with two beautiful purposes, who both bring rich color to our lives. Every life is a gift. The sweetest of cousins. 🌈💕 #rainbowbaby #LilyKatsCousin #LilyKatherineAllenBall
In the pregnancy and infant loss community, a rainbow baby is a baby who is born after the “storm” of the loss of a baby. When Lily passed so unexpectedly, my entire family was heartbroken. So although I don’t have my own rainbow baby yet, I was thinking today how my almost-3-year-old niece Harvest is my family’s rainbow baby. Because isn’t every baby born after the loss of a baby the rainbow of the entire family? You are the sunshine and the rainbow, pretty girl. And that is not to say that Lily is the storm. Lily taught the preciousness of life and how to love deeper. Two irreplaceable beautiful girls with two beautiful purposes, who both bring rich color to our lives. Every life is a gift. The sweetest of cousins. 🌈💕 #rainbowbaby #LilyKatsCousin #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily was remembered by Maria at Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii. 😃❤️🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily was remembered by Maria at Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii. 😃❤️🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
From April, taken down by the river where she lives in Canada 😊❤️ #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
From April, taken down by the river where she lives in Canada 😊❤️ #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily’s auntie and uncle... already thinking of her upcoming March 16th birthday... wanting to remember her... caring about my heart... not knowing I was already hoping they’d come and was going to ask them to. 😌🎈❤️ #LilyKatherinesBirthday #9thbirthday #March16 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily’s auntie and uncle... already thinking of her upcoming March 16th birthday... wanting to remember her... caring about my heart... not knowing I was already hoping they’d come and was going to ask them to. 😌🎈❤️ #LilyKatherinesBirthday #9thbirthday #March16 #LilyKatherineAllenBall
This right here. 😢
This right here. 😢
According to my Facebook Memories, on this date in 2010, I shared that I was "getting more and more tired and uncomfortable with every week." I was 32 weeks gestation.
My friend Bex commented on that post and said, "when you finally hold Lily in your arms you will forget all the discomfort. 😊❤️”
I responded and told her I was sure I would and how excited I was. I told her I had an appointment that morning and that everything was going well.
Along the same lines, I remember my mom telling me while I was laboring through the night, hours before arriving at the hospital, that I should picture Lily's face through the contractions... the sweet face I'd imagined countless times before. She said that would help me get through the pain, focusing on the beauty to come after the pain of labor and birth. 
And it did help. All the physical pain was suddenly erased when my daughter came into this world and I gasped with awe over her beauty and the perfection of every detail of her.
In birthing her, I was able to do something tangible as her mommy, and that is a gift. The emotional pain of what I was facing for the rest of my life far outweighed the temporary physical pain.
When I finally saw and kissed her sweet face, it was all worth it... all the months of morning sickness, the aches and pains, the stretch marks, and the labor.
When anticipating birth and holding her for the first time, I never could have imagined what that would entail or that her heart would have ceased. I never imagined those little eyes would never gaze back. 
When you’re pregnant, you often hear things along the same lines of “it’ll all be worth it when you go home with your precious new baby.” But not all of us do. You don't envision as a mother with a healthy baby and pregnancy that the months of nurturing them in the womb and laboring for them to be birthed will result in a tiny coffin and leaving the hospital with less than you came. 
Yet that was my reality and as painful as it was and is... Seeing her face was worth it. Holding her was worth it. Visiting a headstone all these years has been worth it. Choosing life is worth it. Loving her is worth it. 💗
According to my Facebook Memories, on this date in 2010, I shared that I was "getting more and more tired and uncomfortable with every week." I was 32 weeks gestation.
My friend Bex commented on that post and said, "when you finally hold Lily in your arms you will forget all the discomfort. 😊❤️”
I responded and told her I was sure I would and how excited I was. I told her I had an appointment that morning and that everything was going well.
Along the same lines, I remember my mom telling me while I was laboring through the night, hours before arriving at the hospital, that I should picture Lily's face through the contractions... the sweet face I'd imagined countless times before. She said that would help me get through the pain, focusing on the beauty to come after the pain of labor and birth.
And it did help. All the physical pain was suddenly erased when my daughter came into this world and I gasped with awe over her beauty and the perfection of every detail of her.
In birthing her, I was able to do something tangible as her mommy, and that is a gift. The emotional pain of what I was facing for the rest of my life far outweighed the temporary physical pain.
When I finally saw and kissed her sweet face, it was all worth it... all the months of morning sickness, the aches and pains, the stretch marks, and the labor.
When anticipating birth and holding her for the first time, I never could have imagined what that would entail or that her heart would have ceased. I never imagined those little eyes would never gaze back.
When you’re pregnant, you often hear things along the same lines of “it’ll all be worth it when you go home with your precious new baby.” But not all of us do. You don't envision as a mother with a healthy baby and pregnancy that the months of nurturing them in the womb and laboring for them to be birthed will result in a tiny coffin and leaving the hospital with less than you came.
Yet that was my reality and as painful as it was and is... Seeing her face was worth it. Holding her was worth it. Visiting a headstone all these years has been worth it. Choosing life is worth it. Loving her is worth it. 💗
I read an article that really touched my heart. It is written by someone whose sister was born still many decades ago.
{I’ll temporarily link the article in my profile}...
I relate to so much of what this writer said. For one, she wrote, "My mother said she would have given anything, anything at all, to have had her baby live even for one short moment after birth, to have touched her warm face and stroke her tiny hand, to pour a lifetime of love into that fleeting minute. But it wasn't to be. The loss of that time haunted her. It broke her heart."
I get this completely. How many times I have wished that Lily had been born alive, even if just for a moment, so I could have seen her eyes. That is something I feel will haunt me for the rest of my days.
The writer of this post said of her mother, "In those days there were no grief counsellors, no dedicated support to help you through the shock. You were just expected to get over it... Mam didn’t talk much about that, about how Máire’s death had affected her. Even when we occasionally broached the subject, it was as if the grief still choked her, even though one, then two, and then three decades had passed. I realize now that it was simply too hard. The shock of losing her child was so overwhelming and so profound, that it was almost unbearable, and the longer it was left unexpressed the more it became impossible to articulate without spasms of grief. It was a sorrow that mothers of her time carried deep inside, and did not share."
Losing a baby is something you never, ever "get over." This mother was deeply affected by the loss of her precious daughter, from the time she lost her, all through the decades of living without her. Honestly, reading things like this brings me comfort and validation that I am not strange to love and miss Lily so much, even almost nine years later. And it would not be healthy for me to suppress my feelings.
[Continued below ⬇️]
I read an article that really touched my heart. It is written by someone whose sister was born still many decades ago.
{I’ll temporarily link the article in my profile}...
I relate to so much of what this writer said. For one, she wrote, "My mother said she would have given anything, anything at all, to have had her baby live even for one short moment after birth, to have touched her warm face and stroke her tiny hand, to pour a lifetime of love into that fleeting minute. But it wasn't to be. The loss of that time haunted her. It broke her heart."
I get this completely. How many times I have wished that Lily had been born alive, even if just for a moment, so I could have seen her eyes. That is something I feel will haunt me for the rest of my days.
The writer of this post said of her mother, "In those days there were no grief counsellors, no dedicated support to help you through the shock. You were just expected to get over it... Mam didn’t talk much about that, about how Máire’s death had affected her. Even when we occasionally broached the subject, it was as if the grief still choked her, even though one, then two, and then three decades had passed. I realize now that it was simply too hard. The shock of losing her child was so overwhelming and so profound, that it was almost unbearable, and the longer it was left unexpressed the more it became impossible to articulate without spasms of grief. It was a sorrow that mothers of her time carried deep inside, and did not share."
Losing a baby is something you never, ever "get over." This mother was deeply affected by the loss of her precious daughter, from the time she lost her, all through the decades of living without her. Honestly, reading things like this brings me comfort and validation that I am not strange to love and miss Lily so much, even almost nine years later. And it would not be healthy for me to suppress my feelings.
[Continued below ⬇️]
At times I get the impression from people that they are curious as to why I love and miss Lily as much as I do since she never lived outside the womb. 
Can a mother's love be comprehended or explained? Is Lily's value found in her days that were numbered few?
No, I don't love her because of anything she did and she doesn't have value for living a long life or for accomplishing something remarkable in the eyes of the world. I love her for simply being who God created her to be. He created her to live her days in the safety of my womb. She lived no more days than she was purposed to and no less days. She is valuable simply because she is HIS. She was crafted by His hand, in His very image. She's a masterpiece, His masterpiece!
A little girl who never opened her eyes to see this world has opened my eyes and heart to see what's truly important in this world. God has taught me more about selfless love, grace, the redemption of Christ, and the sanctity of human life through a little girl who never spoke a word or took a breath than anything else in this world. Lily changed my entire life, my heart, and my future. Her life is sacred because she was created by God and He has given her life great purpose! No striving on my part to get others to recognize her value will make her any more valuable. Simply by existing, she matters. And I can rest in knowing her value doesn't change depending on what others think of her. My love is no less real even if people don't understand.
It was a gift the Lord gave me when He opened up my heart to love her as much as I do. And because of how much I love her, I miss her with that same great measure. The grief, in turn, is also a gift, for even that points to the sanctity of her life and each life, no matter how brief.
I pray Lily's life is a reminder to us all that nothing we do or have makes us valuable. The car we drive, the house we live in, the job we have, all these things are temporal. Our value comes in being children of God. Each of us has been valuable from the moment of our conception and nothing in this world can add to or take away from that intrinsic value. 💕
At times I get the impression from people that they are curious as to why I love and miss Lily as much as I do since she never lived outside the womb.
Can a mother's love be comprehended or explained? Is Lily's value found in her days that were numbered few?
No, I don't love her because of anything she did and she doesn't have value for living a long life or for accomplishing something remarkable in the eyes of the world. I love her for simply being who God created her to be. He created her to live her days in the safety of my womb. She lived no more days than she was purposed to and no less days. She is valuable simply because she is HIS. She was crafted by His hand, in His very image. She's a masterpiece, His masterpiece!
A little girl who never opened her eyes to see this world has opened my eyes and heart to see what's truly important in this world. God has taught me more about selfless love, grace, the redemption of Christ, and the sanctity of human life through a little girl who never spoke a word or took a breath than anything else in this world. Lily changed my entire life, my heart, and my future. Her life is sacred because she was created by God and He has given her life great purpose! No striving on my part to get others to recognize her value will make her any more valuable. Simply by existing, she matters. And I can rest in knowing her value doesn't change depending on what others think of her. My love is no less real even if people don't understand.
It was a gift the Lord gave me when He opened up my heart to love her as much as I do. And because of how much I love her, I miss her with that same great measure. The grief, in turn, is also a gift, for even that points to the sanctity of her life and each life, no matter how brief.
I pray Lily's life is a reminder to us all that nothing we do or have makes us valuable. The car we drive, the house we live in, the job we have, all these things are temporal. Our value comes in being children of God. Each of us has been valuable from the moment of our conception and nothing in this world can add to or take away from that intrinsic value. 💕
Today a friend of mine asked me some difficult questions about Lily. I always want people to feel free to ask me about her/to talk about her, especially when it comes from a place of genuine care. So for the record, know that I LOVE opening up and sharing about all things Lily related. Anyways, my friend asked me if I birthed Lily. I thought I’d address her question because I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about what exactly stillbirth is. It is not the same as miscarriage (I’m not saying miscarriage doesn’t matter, it’s just different). When a baby is stillborn, he/she passes, but they don’t disappear or exit the mother’s body unseen. Lily was birthed just as any other living child. And she was loved just as much too. I explained to my friend that Lily was born 2 days past her due date and was a healthy 7 pounds 9 ounces and 21 inches... just without breath for no known reason. I labored and birthed her. She had adorable eyelashes, eyebrows, and fingernails. She looked just like me! I cuddled her and cherished her for those few sacred hours. I have the heart and body of a mother... it’s just my child was made for a different land. She also asked if I think it would be harder to have been deprived knowing Lily outside the womb or to have gotten that time and then lost her... and to that I can only answer from my own experience. I don’t think grief/loss can be compared and I don’t think there are any winners. At the end of the day, when you lose a child, they are gone. The amount of time with them doesn’t alter a mother’s love. You don’t love your child more at 15 than you did at 10. There are factors of loss that are dependent upon the age of a child when they are lost. I wish with everything in me I had been able to gaze into Lily’s eyes and could have made some memories. We all have different stories and what is perceived as “worse” or “better” will always be pointless. Our stories are what they are. Though I cannot speak for anyone else, I know that my love for Lily will never lessen or be less than my love for any other potential child. There’s enough room in a mother’s heart to expand and grow for as many children that occupy it. 💖
Today a friend of mine asked me some difficult questions about Lily. I always want people to feel free to ask me about her/to talk about her, especially when it comes from a place of genuine care. So for the record, know that I LOVE opening up and sharing about all things Lily related. Anyways, my friend asked me if I birthed Lily. I thought I’d address her question because I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about what exactly stillbirth is. It is not the same as miscarriage (I’m not saying miscarriage doesn’t matter, it’s just different). When a baby is stillborn, he/she passes, but they don’t disappear or exit the mother’s body unseen. Lily was birthed just as any other living child. And she was loved just as much too. I explained to my friend that Lily was born 2 days past her due date and was a healthy 7 pounds 9 ounces and 21 inches... just without breath for no known reason. I labored and birthed her. She had adorable eyelashes, eyebrows, and fingernails. She looked just like me! I cuddled her and cherished her for those few sacred hours. I have the heart and body of a mother... it’s just my child was made for a different land. She also asked if I think it would be harder to have been deprived knowing Lily outside the womb or to have gotten that time and then lost her... and to that I can only answer from my own experience. I don’t think grief/loss can be compared and I don’t think there are any winners. At the end of the day, when you lose a child, they are gone. The amount of time with them doesn’t alter a mother’s love. You don’t love your child more at 15 than you did at 10. There are factors of loss that are dependent upon the age of a child when they are lost. I wish with everything in me I had been able to gaze into Lily’s eyes and could have made some memories. We all have different stories and what is perceived as “worse” or “better” will always be pointless. Our stories are what they are. Though I cannot speak for anyone else, I know that my love for Lily will never lessen or be less than my love for any other potential child. There’s enough room in a mother’s heart to expand and grow for as many children that occupy it. 💖
Spent 1 blissful Christmas carrying you and now 9 without you... Wonder how your eyes would’ve sparkled looking at the tree or what gifts I may have gotten you. What games/activities would you be into? What would you look like? Who would you be? ❤️🎄❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall #HonoringLilyatChristmas
Spent 1 blissful Christmas carrying you and now 9 without you... Wonder how your eyes would’ve sparkled looking at the tree or what gifts I may have gotten you. What games/activities would you be into? What would you look like? Who would you be? ❤️🎄❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall #HonoringLilyatChristmas
Lily has been remembered and loved all over the world in 2018! From multiple states to across oceans - in Virginia, Uruguay, St. Marteen, the Canary Islands, North Carolina, South Carolina, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Kenya, Maine, Florida, Italy, the Philippines, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Canada, California, and Bermuda! 🥰🌎🇺🇸🇺🇾🇮🇨🇯🇲🇩🇴🇹🇭🇰🇪🇲🇽🇳🇿🇨🇦🇧🇲🌊🐚☀️🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢❄️☃️❤️ #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatsNameintheSnow #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily has been remembered and loved all over the world in 2018! From multiple states to across oceans - in Virginia, Uruguay, St. Marteen, the Canary Islands, North Carolina, South Carolina, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Kenya, Maine, Florida, Italy, the Philippines, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Canada, California, and Bermuda! 🥰🌎🇺🇸🇺🇾🇮🇨🇯🇲🇩🇴🇹🇭🇰🇪🇲🇽🇳🇿🇨🇦🇧🇲🌊🐚☀️🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢❄️☃️❤️ #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatsNameintheSnow #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
I’m so touched that Everlee’s mama included Lily in this beautiful project she does in Everlee’s garden in Minneapolis, Minnesota for Christmas! She has ornaments for all of Everlee’s Heaven-friends in her garden. Here is Lily’s ornament and some photos Sarah shared of the garden blanketed in pristine white snow! ❄️☃️❤️😌🥰✨⭐️🎄 #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #EverleesGarden #HonoringLilyatChristmas
I’m so touched that Everlee’s mama included Lily in this beautiful project she does in Everlee’s garden in Minneapolis, Minnesota for Christmas! She has ornaments for all of Everlee’s Heaven-friends in her garden. Here is Lily’s ornament and some photos Sarah shared of the garden blanketed in pristine white snow! ❄️☃️❤️😌🥰✨⭐️🎄 #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall #EverleesGarden #HonoringLilyatChristmas
From Kristen, who thought of Lily in Newport News, Virginia! 🥰💗 #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
From Kristen, who thought of Lily in Newport News, Virginia! 🥰💗 #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily was remembered by Chloé on Waikanae Beach in Wellington, New Zealand! 🇳🇿🥰🌊🐚☀️🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Lily was remembered by Chloé on Waikanae Beach in Wellington, New Zealand! 🇳🇿🥰🌊🐚☀️🐳🐬🐟🐠🐢 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #LilyKatherineAllenBall
As a follow-up to my last post:
My mom found this darling little Betsy Ross doll at GoodWill last week. I got it for Lily’s memory chest because we visited the Betsy Ross House when Lily went to Philly in December 2009! Swipe to see a photo of me+Lily🤰🏼 in front of the house, plus a photo of the little socks 🧦 we got Lily at the Betsy Ross House. They are now in her scrapbook. 😌 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #AdventureswithLilyKat❤️ #RoadTrip #FamilyVacation #LilyinPhilly #PregnancyMemories #SacredPregnancy #BetsyRoss #BetsyRossHouse
As a follow-up to my last post:
My mom found this darling little Betsy Ross doll at GoodWill last week. I got it for Lily’s memory chest because we visited the Betsy Ross House when Lily went to Philly in December 2009! Swipe to see a photo of me+Lily🤰🏼 in front of the house, plus a photo of the little socks 🧦 we got Lily at the Betsy Ross House. They are now in her scrapbook. 😌 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #AdventureswithLilyKat❤️ #RoadTrip #FamilyVacation #LilyinPhilly #PregnancyMemories #SacredPregnancy #BetsyRoss #BetsyRossHouse
These pics popped up in my Memories. When Lily went to Philly between Christmas and New Year’s 9 years ago. 🎄🎉
I was 29 weeks. She was growing big and strong and I couldn’t button up my coat 🧥 anymore (see photo #2). 😂
Such wonderful memories of adventures with Lily! 
One of the photos I’ve shared is of us at Christ Church, where George Washington, Betsy Ross, and others attended. ⛪️
❤️❄️🌆🌃🚙☕️🏈🇺🇸😄 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #AdventureswithLilyKat❤️ #RoadTrip #FamilyVacation #LilyinPhilly #CityofBrotherlyLove #PregnancyMemories #SacredPregnancy
These pics popped up in my Memories. When Lily went to Philly between Christmas and New Year’s 9 years ago. 🎄🎉
I was 29 weeks. She was growing big and strong and I couldn’t button up my coat 🧥 anymore (see photo #2). 😂
Such wonderful memories of adventures with Lily!
One of the photos I’ve shared is of us at Christ Church, where George Washington, Betsy Ross, and others attended. ⛪️
❤️❄️🌆🌃🚙☕️🏈🇺🇸😄 #LilyKatherineAllenBall #AdventureswithLilyKat❤️ #RoadTrip #FamilyVacation #LilyinPhilly #CityofBrotherlyLove #PregnancyMemories #SacredPregnancy
A Christmas Day visit to her cousin 🎁🎄🥰❤️
My family was talking about Lily and Harvest kept calling out, “Lily, where are youuu?!” We realized she was looking for one of her little best friends, who happens to be named Lily. It stings anytime I hear someone with that name because it is sacred and it is hers... but it especially pricks my heart knowing my niece doesn’t think of her cousin when she hears it, but instead her friend. 💔 I know that as Harvest grows up, she will better understand about Lily Katherine and her older cousin who lives with God. 👼🏻 For now it makes me smile that Harvest likes visiting Lily’s spot and especially likes her lamb. ☺️ #LilyKatsCousin #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilysSpecialSpot #LilyKatherineAllenBall
A Christmas Day visit to her cousin 🎁🎄🥰❤️
My family was talking about Lily and Harvest kept calling out, “Lily, where are youuu?!” We realized she was looking for one of her little best friends, who happens to be named Lily. It stings anytime I hear someone with that name because it is sacred and it is hers... but it especially pricks my heart knowing my niece doesn’t think of her cousin when she hears it, but instead her friend. 💔 I know that as Harvest grows up, she will better understand about Lily Katherine and her older cousin who lives with God. 👼🏻 For now it makes me smile that Harvest likes visiting Lily’s spot and especially likes her lamb. ☺️ #LilyKatsCousin #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilysSpecialSpot #LilyKatherineAllenBall
One of my Christmas gifts 🥰💜💙💗🦋🎁🎄 #ButterfliesforLily #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilyKatherineAllenBall
One of my Christmas gifts 🥰💜💙💗🦋🎁🎄 #ButterfliesforLily #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Merry Christmas from our little family to yours 💗👼🏻🎄🐱 #MyVersionOfAChristmasCard #KittyNotPictured #StillAMother #LilysSpecialSpot #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilyKatherineAllenBall
Merry Christmas from our little family to yours 💗👼🏻🎄🐱 #MyVersionOfAChristmasCard #KittyNotPictured #StillAMother #LilysSpecialSpot #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilyKatherineAllenBall
I posted this picture and these words 4 years ago today... definitely worth sharing again as it still holds true:
“My grandmother, sister-in-love, and I visited Lily's spot today to decorate it for Christmas. Before we left, I spent some time just lost in my own thoughts of how much my beautiful girl means to me. Kala and Bumma went to the car to give me space. I had no idea my thoughtful sister-in-law was taking this candid photo for me. It is so symbolic - me standing before her grave, missing and loving her always, yet the sun on the horizon, as a reminder of the hope I have in Christ, that I will one day see her again. This is my now, but she and Him are my future. The bright sun is what overwhelms the picture with beauty, even in a cold and lonely cemetery in December. On this first day of winter, I trust that spring is coming. This photo is completely unedited.” ❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall #firstdayofwinter #LilysSpecialSpot #wintersolstice #springiscoming
I posted this picture and these words 4 years ago today... definitely worth sharing again as it still holds true:
“My grandmother, sister-in-love, and I visited Lily's spot today to decorate it for Christmas. Before we left, I spent some time just lost in my own thoughts of how much my beautiful girl means to me. Kala and Bumma went to the car to give me space. I had no idea my thoughtful sister-in-law was taking this candid photo for me. It is so symbolic - me standing before her grave, missing and loving her always, yet the sun on the horizon, as a reminder of the hope I have in Christ, that I will one day see her again. This is my now, but she and Him are my future. The bright sun is what overwhelms the picture with beauty, even in a cold and lonely cemetery in December. On this first day of winter, I trust that spring is coming. This photo is completely unedited.” ❤️ #LilyKatherineAllenBall #firstdayofwinter #LilysSpecialSpot #wintersolstice #springiscoming
❤️🧡💛💚 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe #Australia #HonoringLilyatChristmas #LilyKatherineAllenBall

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