Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Next Chapter...continued

After almost 3 years in the making, countless tears, and even more love...I humbly announce the arrival of With Just One Push: A New Mother's Journey of Love, Loss, and Survival to my online store. 
This life would not be what it is today had it not been for all of you. Thank you for your support and love,which has inspired these pages, and to my baby girl; who inspires my life. 

Please visit my author page/store at:

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Next Chapter...

I found my way back to these pages for the first time in, well a long time. I am humbled that so many have continued to read these entries. 
For those who have subscribed or who also find themselves among these words, I wanted to continue to be open and share a very special project with all of you. 

The past two and a half years have been a long, unexpected journey. A journey filled with heartache...filled with love. The support of all of you through that time and my ever growing love for Sofia, pulled me through the darkest of times. With her inspiration, she helped me to share our story. My goal is offer hope and to continue to spread the love that she ignited. 
With that...please gently regard..."With Just One Push: A New Mother's Journey of Love, Loss, and Survival" will be available for purchase this fall. May she continue to offer strength, comfort, hope, and most importantly love, to all who learn of her.♥ 

Baby girl, I hope this became what you wanted it to become. I hope that you are proud, feel celebrated, and continue to revel in the amazing gifts that you have left with us all. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

"The World's Valentine"

My sweet, sweet, beautiful girl; 
Happy Valentine's Day.
This day has been forever changed for me, because of you. Well, to be honest, I guess all of my days have been forever changed because of you, but today is particularly special.
Valentine's Day was always a day when as a child we would receive our very own heart shaped box of chocolate candies that I could greedily eat without having to share them with your Aunt Lisa. As I began to grow up, it became a day that usually resulted in unmet expectations as no boy could match up to your daddy, I just hadn't met him yet.
One of my favorite Valentine's Day was when I was in my 20's, and I spent it with your Uncle Pete and Aunt Beth, both of your Godparents, which I know looking back was no coincidence. That Valentine's Day was different because it was filled with laughter, joy, and a genuine love that we all had/have for each other.
But last year, Valentine's Day came to mean so much more.
A year ago tonight, was one of the most terrifying nights of my life. Reflecting back, I hate how I can actually still feel how hollow and fragile I felt in that very moment. It was the night before we would take you home. It was the last night that we spent with you in the nicu; the last night that I would fall asleep holding your warm, sweet skin against mine.
I still hoped with every fiber of my being that you would receive a miraculous healing, that when we got you home and removed that yucky tube that gave you breath; that somehow you would begin coughing and crying; but even as I hoped, I understood the unlikelihood of that request.
I have never felt more scared of anything in my entire life, I imagine I never will. 
I was afraid that you would die before we got you home, in the ambulance on the way, or right as we walked in; but you didn't, we had 14 beautiful hours with you in our loving home.
I feared that that you would appear to be in pain, suffering as you left this difficult world, but even though you weren't able to stay with us forever, even though as they told us that you were, "actively dying", you somehow looked more at peace than ever before.
 I feared the rest of our lives as we would have to learn to survive living with you as an angel, instead of watching you grow up.
But one of the most terrifying thoughts, was that I would get you home and change my mind. That I would shoo hospice out of our house, and try desperately to figure out a way to keep you alive forever, that we would keep you attached to that ventilator that gave you breath, but my heart knew that this was the only thing that your Daddy and I were able to do for you; to provide you with the gift of freedom from your struggles.
As we began the preparation towards your eventual homecoming, about the week before, it was difficult to "choose" what day we would go home; what day you would die. (I will forever thank you for the gift of not having us choose that at all, as you didn't leave this world until Feb 15th).
We decided on the Monday to give us one more weekend with you, not knowing the date in our fuzzy heads.
Finally a few days before, a nurse came to me and asked if I realized that we were taking you home on Valentine's Day, and then asked if we wanted to reconsider the day of bringing you home.
Your daddy and I, just looked at each other, and without any words exchanged between us, we agreed that Valentine's Day was the perfect day to bring you home.
This widely celebrated day of  Love, was the day that you would enter your home for the first time. This day would be the first day that you would enter your beautiful nursery, the first day that we would walk into our  home as a family of three, surrounded by the love of hundreds who were praying for, thinking of, and loving you.
I remember pulling onto our street in that giant mobile ICU, thinking that our house looked so different, after not seeing it for 21 days. It wasn't until I was inside with you, that things started to feel "right". 
You alone, Sofie, filled that house. You alone brought our house to life with the intense love that we have for you, and it was as if that love surrounded our very house that night. Our home felt warm that night, even as your skin grew cold. Our house felt as if it were filled with light, even though your room was dark as only the soft glow of blue, stars danced on your ceiling.
That night is the closest I believe, I will ever come to the purest form of Love until we meet again.
It was our love for you that gave us the strength to set you free... to say let you go.
The love that you ignited in our hearts has changed our world forever, along with the hearts of so many who have learned of you and from you.
You have challenged people all over the world to love differently, to love more intensely, to love without fear.
In one of your Christmas letters, a friend referred to you as, "The World's Valentine", and that you are sweet, baby girl.
You are love.
In church a few weeks ago, I noticed this quote printed in the bulletin, and was reminded with pride, of the power of your life. 

"Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides
and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of
love, and then, for a second time in the history of the
world, man will have discovered fire."~Pierre Teilhard de Chardi

Thank you, Sof, for helping me discover fire once again. Thank you for helping the world  discover one of the truest forms of love, faith, and hope. 
I said this to you the day of your sweet funeral, that as I prayed unceasingly in those 21 days for a miracle, your cousin Lizzy reminded me, that you sweet, Sofie ARE the miracle. Thank you for allowing me to witness the miracle of your life. 
I will forever smile on Valentine's Day, even through the tears,  I will forever feel that this day is filled with a love that I only wish everyone in the world had a chance to witness or understand.
In a time when people are scrambling to buy cards that may or may not have deep meaning, as people scour to find last minute delivery options to have flowers sent to a loved one, and as they quickly grab a big, heart shaped box of chocolates as they run through a store; I hope that those who know and love you stop for a moment to reflect on the truest meaning of this day.
 I hope that we all love a little deeper on Valentine's Day and every day, I hope that we can all harness for God the energies of the love that you have inspired, that we may once again discover fire.
Happy Valentine's Day, baby girl. You are my whole heart, and my heart is forever changed because of you.

***To all those who have read and supported me along this journey; this will be my final blog post.
While this journey is far from over, while the grief continues, so do the lessons and the love.
 Sofie remains an active part of my every day, I continue to talk with her, learn from her, and parent her the best way that I know how, however, I feel like this is a natural ending point to the public part of this intimate journey.
I thank you wholeheartedly for your love and support of my husband, myself, and most importantly of our beautiful, baby girl, Sofia. In one of of my posts I wrote about how it helps me to believe that Sofie chose this journey for herself, that she chose us to be her parents; I also believe that she chose all of you to be exactly where you are as you share in her life and love. I continue to learn from Sofie everyday, and I hope that you do as well. She chose life...she chose love...she chose all of you. 
Peace and love to you,
~Lori, Mike, and sweet Sofia 8i8

Thursday, January 26, 2012

525, 600 Minutes...

One year ago today, you my sweet girl, made your entry into this world and in doing so entered the hearts of hundreds. Your birthday certainly didn't turn out quite as expected. While we did expect to be somewhat overwhelmed as we learned to care for your needs, we never could have imagined that those needs wouldn't include changing your diapers, learning to feed you, or soothing your cries. We never expected those needs to include feeding tubes, ventilators, EEG's, and finally helping you to die. 
I would have expected your first year to be measured so differently; how many outfits did you outgrow? How many diapers did we go through? How many late night feedings? How many sleepless, beautiful nights? How many bedtime stories read, and bath time routines had? How many stolen glances of you sleeping on your daddy's chest?
But here we are, 525, 600 minutes later and no answers to the questions above. Today and every day from here on out, I will measure my days and my life so differently, because of you. 
You have changed my whole heart. I could never have expected to feel the intense love that I do for you. Because of you sweet Sof, I will measure every year, month, week, day, and moment... in love. 

The words in this song have always inspired me, but I hear them with such a different intensity today. Because of you; your birthday and your beautiful, powerful life; ever day is a Season of Love. 

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Moments so dear

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
How Do You Measure - Measure A Year?

In Daylights - In Sunsets
In Midnights - In Cups Of Coffee
In Inches - In Miles
In Laughter - In Strife

In - Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
How Do You Measure
A Year In The Life?

How About Love?
How About Love?
How About Love?
Measure In Love

Seasons of Love.
Seasons of Love.

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Journeys To Plan

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
How Do You Measure The Life
Of A Woman Or A Man

In Truth That She Learned
Or In Times That He Cried
In Bridges He Burned
Or The Way That She Died

It's Time Now - To Sing Out
Though The Story Never Ends
Let's Celebrate
Remember A Year In The Life Of Friends

Remember the Love
Remember the Love
Remember the Love
Measure In Love


Happy First Heavenly Birthday, Sweet Pea. I hope you are surrounded by the glory of Heaven today and everyday. I hope the choirs of angels sing you the most beautiful birthday song, and I hope that you feel the love that you have brought to your mama, reflected back to you.
 I would give anything to kiss you gently as I wish you a Happy 1st Birthday, to watch you tear into a piece of cake, to have you fall asleep against my skin. But today is your birthday, and though different than I could have imagined; it is time now, to sing out because your story doesn't  end.
So let's celebrate and  remember....Remember the Love.
I love you, baby girl, ttmabbg. 


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Here I am, Lord....

Pretty, pretty girl,
Last week in church, I was touched when a familiar song was being sung by the choir. I always get excited when they sing a song that I know from my youth choir days back home, and I always look at your daddy and proudly exclaim, "I know this one!" 
As the words to, "Here I am, Lord" began, I was surprised by my reaction. I felt that all too familiar feeling of tears welling up in my eyes; as I began to think about a conversation that I had with someone several months ago. 
There are a variety of things that people say to someone who has just suffered a tragedy, or in my case, the loss of you, my sweet girl. Some of those things are kind, gentle, all are well intended...but man do some of those things just make me crazy. 
Even just the other day, when hearing about you, a gentleman with kids of his own said, "Don't worry it gets better." And then continued by asking me if we would "just" have more kids, and how many we "wanted". He was kind, and I fully understand his uncertainty with what to say to me. I refrained from answering what was screaming in my head, "It doesn't get "better" and I "Want" my daughter in addition to any other children we may be blessed with. If it was just up to what your daddy and I "wanted", well these days would surely be different. 
One of the other comments that I have always struggled with, and has especially angered me this past year is the old, "Everything happens for a reason." God, I hate that saying. Or I should say, I hated that saying. 
That is until one day, when I was blessed to connect with a very spiritual woman who has also endured the loss of her own sweet baby girl, approximately 15 years ago. She is way ahead of me in growth from her loss and I appreciate her insights profoundly. She has a beautiful sense about her and a unique ability to offer various spiritual perspectives. 
Because I hold her in high regard as a sort of spiritual counselor for me, I groaned inside when she uttered those very words that I hate. "You know, everything happens for a reason."
She picked up on my snarling as she spoke, and I explained that I don't know how I feel about that statement. I still struggle so much with the idea that a loving God, would choose to, albeit spread such love, but through such pain. 
She offered me a unique perspective that I have come to cherish. 
As we reflected on her daughter and you, baby girl, and the love that you brought to me and so many others; she challenged me. 
I often tell you, sweet Sof, that I don't know how it works, meaning things beyond death. Sure I have faith, I believe in heaven and in a soul's journey....but I have no idea how it works. 
This woman offered; "What if in Heaven, these souls all got together? What if God was discussing the need to awaken a sense love and restore a sense of faith in this world that we live in, where we are often too busy to make time, to pay attention, to truly love? What if God didn't choose this for Sofie at all? What if, as God was explaining what was needed, that it wouldn't be easy, and in fact it would be a short, difficult life but that it would bring great love...what if Sofie's soul stepped forward and said, "Send me. I'll do it. Please, send me." And what if further if she looked in the very eyes of God and said, "and I choose them to be my parents, to share in this journey with me." 
As she paused, I wiped tears from eyes and said, "Well if that is how it works, if this was her choice, well then how I could be anything but proud of her." 
If my sweet baby girl was the one to choose, to be born into the life that she was; for a greater purpose, well then that fills me with a mother's pride. I can live with that. 
I understand that in this lifetime, I will never know "how it works", but this perspective brings me peace. 
This perspective helps me to heal my relationship with a loving God, that didn't choose this fate for my daughter, but was equally proud of her for her bravery when her sweet soul stepped forward to fulfill her journey. 
As I listened to the words of this beautiful hymn, I couldn't help but feel overcome with pride and love for you, Sof. 
I choose to believe that this is how it works. I choose to believe that you chose love over a long life, that you chose to awaken faith, and that you chose us. 
I have been filled with pride for you since the day I found out about you, but this is a feeling of pride unlike any other. You sweet girl, continue to teach and remind your mama how to look at at, love, and live life differently. 
You are brave and beautiful. I love you, Sweet Pea, to the big Heavenly moon and back. 
Well done, Sweet Pea, well done. We are so proud of you. 

..."I who made the stars and night
I will make the darkness bright
Who will bear my light to them
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord
If you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart."....


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Stocking Full of Love...

Growing up in our house, opening our Christmas stockings were almost as much fun as opening the gifts under our tree. As we got older, we would find that our stockings were always filled with items that we needed...things that we used every day.
It was comforting this year, to find that Sofie's stocking was filled with much of the same...things that we need and that we use every day. A stocking full of love, hope, and celebration of life.

The amount of letters that poured into to fill Sofie's stocking leaves me humbled, and we shared a beautiful day as we read each one together. The words were so touching and simply perfect, that I decided that it is only right that this blog entry be comprised of your words to Sofie.
Here is a compilation of love letters to Sofie... Merry Christmas, baby girl. You are so loved.

Dearest Sofie,

About a year ago I watched as my good friend from high school was expecting her first child, a baby girl. I watched how excited your mom was with your arrival and I thought to myself, "this little girl will do amazing things."  Sofia, you are a beautiful angel, but I must brag and say that I was right, you continue to do amazing things. Little angel, you have changed my life.
You are amazing and have given me so many gifts. From the day your mommy told me that she was pregnant, I loved you.  I feel honored to have gotten to know you so early on,  I remember looking over to talk to your mommy and seeing a large kick or punch from you from across the office...we would laugh and giggle. I will always treasure these moments.
You are such a loved little girl. We talk about you every day!! Your mom and dad are so proud of you, we moms and dads are like that, you know. 
Although you are not able to be here physically, rest assured that you are in our hearts always. You have made so many lives "complete." You continue to inspire so many people. 
This time of year, many of us speak of wishes for peace on earth, that is one thing that you have brought to many. Your tiny beautiful spirit is doing so much. It is....showing us love, giving us hope, opening our eyes, rekindling compassion, bonding hundreds in a common understanding. Thank you, Sofie. 
The gift of your love continues to inspire others and bring smiles to the faces of children/parents through such a simple gift of a blanket...simple and beautiful much like yourself. 
Your life and love are the best gifts that I have ever been given, because they can never be lost and the value only increases!
You are pure radiance, you are light...filling the hearts of so many. And while I wish I could see you crawl around the Christmas Tree, playing with bows and getting into everything, I know that your Christmas will be nothing less than glorious. 
We wish for you sweet angel, on this day, that you feel the love and warmth that surround you on this your first Christmas Day!
I am sure that Heaven is drowning in pink up there. I believe that you make God smile every day. 
I bet you are excited as you attend the most special birthday party of the year! I bet great-grandma Angie is making her special Christmas cookies...please don't give too many to that chubby little dog who I know is following you around! 
Sofie, You are probably the most cutest and the most special angel I have ever known, I know my mommy loves you and your mama and daddy so much, because we ask God to watch over all of you each night. 
I think of you a lot, especially when we read "Guess How Much I love You", or I see a butterfly, or a beautiful sunset, or a particularly beautiful moon and now think, TTMABBG.
I'm glad that we are friends, even though it is in Heaven and not on Earth where our mommies and daddies want us to be, make sure to let your Mommy and Daddy know that we will be celebrating with Jesus this year so that we will not be alone. (ps. I hope you like this pink paper, I picked it out just for you!)
Sofie, you touched my heart. You are an amazing reminder that true love can be a comfort that helps people move forward.  Move forward with, and through their loved ones, their memories, and their gifts.
You have touched my life in a way that I can't explain. YOU Miss Sofia have forever changed my life. You are beautiful! Keep sending those butterflies!
I love you and miss you.

Thank you all for writing this Christmas Letter to our sweet, sweet girl. 
~ Sofie's Mama

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Christmas Wish...

Pretty, pretty girl, 
My heart doesn't have many words today; but as I listened to one of my favorite Christmas songs yesterday, I realized that it captures how I feel completely.While I would give anything to see you in your perfect Christmas dress tonight as we get ready for church, I understand that cannot be. 

So here is my new Christmas wish as we face the festivities that lay ahead, with a heavy heart that longs to watch you tear into wrapping paper, all while stealing the show with your beautiful self.  Instead today...
"I pray on ChristmasThat the Lord will see me throughI pray on christmasHe'll show me what to do
I pray on ChristmasHe'll help me understandAnd I pray on ChristmasHe'll take me by the hand...
I pray on ChristmasThat God will lead the wayAnd I pray on christmasHe'll get me through another day
I pray on christmas...He'll get me through another day
I pray on ChristmasAll our problems gonna be worked outI pray on ChristmasGod'll show us what love's about
I pray on ChristmasTo do your will each dayAnd I pray on ChristmasThat I'll be with you in Heaven some day...
I pray on ChristmasThat God will lead the wayAnd I pray I really pray on ChristmasHe'll get me through another day..." ~Harry Connick Jr. 

One more day closer until I can "be with you in Heaven some day". Merry Christmas baby girl. ~Mama