Happy-ish Birthday to Me!

It’s my birthday week! Yay! 🎂 and boo 😒 !
I say that because…
1. I ❤️ birthdays so much. I love my family and their birthdays. And, I’ve always loved my birthday. Last year’s birthday was the best…multiple celebrations with forever friends and the most amazing family. My favorite part, sharing the news of expecting Mary-Linda and revealing her gender to our kids and the world on my birthday. It was THE BEST DAY ever…
2. I say “boo”😥 because less than three weeks later, my happy, perfect world would come crashing completely down when we discovered that Mary-Linda’s precious little heart had stopped beating in her tiny chest at just 4.5 months gestation. Some time in the weeks/days before that, she began to lose blood- for no reason. No explanation.We were told that it just happens sometimes. Sometimes there’s an accident or a blow to the mom that causes this. And sometimes it happens for no apparent reason. Which is what happened with us. It’s called Fetal Maternal Hemorrhage. She lost too much blood and her heart finally stopped.
Perhaps one day, I’ll be able to separate these times. But, this year, this time I’m thinking about how big we celebrated last year and how big we celebrated Mary-Linda’s life. I am beyond grateful for that. I would never change that.
So, for my birthday, I invite you to make difference in someone’s life. Be the joy. Be the light in their darkness. Be the hope of Jesus to a neighbor, to a friend, to a loved one.
I want to share with you a few organizations that serve families who are experiencing or have experienced the loss of an infant. These organizations have shown the love of God to our family during our grieving and journey of healing over this past year. If you feel led to give, please do and please let me know. I’d love to know how our daughter’s life is bringing hope, joy and love to others.
Bridget’s Cradles provided us with a beautiful hand crocheted cradle that was the perfect size for our little girl. Our older children were all able to hold their baby sister in her beautiful cradle. This fulfilled a promise we made to them when we told them we were expecting.
Molly Bears provided us with a “Mary-Linda” bear. Weighing the same as Mary-Linda did on her “born-sleeping” day, with her name and a cross stitched on the bear. We love holding her and thinking of our baby girl.
M.E.N.D. Greater Houston, TX (Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death) has given us support and care throughout this past year. We participated in the “Walk to Remember” in October, honoring many babies in the Houston area. And, the support group has been extremely helpful for me to think through tough situations before they happen.
We’ve also been loved on in the most amazing way by our church family, Apostles Houston. We are forever grateful for the way they stepped in to love us in the hospital and in the weeks and months after we lost Mary-Linda. 
It’s hard to know how to properly show thanks for all the beautiful love we’ve received. So, we will just say, “we love you and are very grateful for the way you have loved us and walked through this valley with us.”
thank you for your consideration and much love to you and yours
El Momma
A Psalm of David.
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

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