Mom to Lily Rose Lambert
Stillborn yet still born, April 22, 2011
Lily Rose Lambert, stillborn yet still born, April 22, 2011. This date marks perhaps the most tender moment of my life, a stillbirth I was certain wouldn’t happen, not if Lily’s fighting spirit were anything like mine. And boy did she give a good fight! My name is Angela and I’m 41 years old, mother to Lily Rose. Her sister, Elle Alexandra, was born in 2007, the pregnancy so exciting and sweet, no complications to speak of. It is perhaps for this latter reason I didn’t get my first prenatal checkup with Lily Rose until I moved into my 2nd trimester, my first ultrasound soon after that. I should have known something was wrong by what I saw on the screen, or lack thereof, but nobody was saying anything so I just dismissed my inner voice. Later I received the call from my midwife, the call that would change my life forever… “There is something wrong with your baby’s heart. We need to send you to Denver for more testing.” My husband and I departed the very next morning, cloaks of fear wrapping themselves tight around us. Further testing revealed that a) we were having a baby girl (God loves me!), b) yes, she has a heart defect that will require surgery at about 6 months of age (Okay, that’s fixable, God will heal her!) and c) she has Down Syndrome (Oh God, please not me!).
Needless to say, this began a period of extreme stress for my husband and me. The cloak of abortion reared it’s ugliness, but I refused to wear it. Instead, I began pouring myself into the research, befriending other moms with special needs children, reaching out to organizations to do volunteer work so I could interact with special needs children. The subject matter was so very foreign to me, I had to get prepared!
As I moved into my 3rd trimester, the cloak of dread made itself known. Lily wasn’t growing due to a placental flow issue, death a harsh reality. It was at this moment that I made a silent pact with Lily… “Let’s not believe what the doctors are saying, it’s just you and me kid. You survive this and I’ll be your everything, that special mother God chose for you. You are absolutely perfect for me!”
7 ½ months into my pregnancy and the cloak of loss found us. Never before has my heart felt so empty, so cheated. And I still had to birth this baby? My pity party had begun! Fortunately for me, this party didn’t last long. Lily’s birth on April 22nd, though bittersweet, gave me such purpose, a divine vision, hope for the future! The cloaks of darkness were not going to consume me after all!
It’s been exactly four months, I’m breathing again, inspired by Lily to see goodness in all people, to keep my faith when faced with adversity, to find a way to inspire others. In honor of Lily Rose, I am putting together a book of poetry and daily affirmations written by parents like me, those who find solace in writing and sharing, those who are healing one day at a time. Together we’re going to find joy through the tribulation!
I imagine a heart with you in it,Beating, smiling, yearning… joy.
I imagine a womb with you in it,Breathing, growing, dancing… life.
I imagine a family with you in it,Daughter, sister, friend… love.
I imagine a world with you in it,Kindness, laughter, beauty… acceptance.
I imagine a Heaven with you in it,Sunlight, cartwheels, lilies… peace.
Angela blogs at http://buddedtobloom.
You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org