Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Beginnings

Lindsay's Latest:

Before I begin, I want to apologize for not keeping up with this blog better.  For the last several months I've had lots of blog post ideas swirling in my head, but when I went to go write, I froze.  I don't know if it was the grief or something else, like fear.  Nonetheless, here I am determined to get a blog update written.

I also want to apologize if you have not gotten a written or even a spoken "Thank You" from us.  In all honesty, after Delaney's funeral, I became mentally exhausted after handwriting over 250 thank you notes, and had a hard time picking up the pen again.  Lame excuse I know...  What I do know is that  I cannot emphasize enough how much we appreciate the amount of support & love we have received before and after Delaney's passing.  Whether you made a meal, helped financially, leant a hand with chores, gave a listening ear, or simply prayed, we truly appreciate it with all our heart. 

It is difficult to think that it has been 8 months since Delaney passed away.  We think about her everyday, and some days are definitely more difficult than others.  I feel like those who say "it gets easier" are either trying to find something to say or don't know what they are talking about.  I would say our acceptance of her passing has gotten better & we have realized that this was the only way her painful life would ever find peace.  But I don't think the actual heartache that comes from the loss of a child is something that ever gets easier.  Time may heal our wounds, but we have been left with a deep scar that will never go away. 

My therapist asked me a couple weeks ago what I thought Heaven was like.  I told him that I thought it was a little different for everyone depending on what you love, enjoy doing, or what is important to you.  Then I added that I believe that those in Heaven do have the ability to visit loved ones on earth.  I said, "I know some people will argue this one with me.  But, I just find it hard to believe that God wouldn't let us visit those we love after we've passed".  My therapist said he felt the same way.  He then told me to keep in mind that, in a way, Delaney will now be able to enjoy and experience your family much better than she was able to on earth.  It is bittersweet to think about , but it does give me some comfort...

...Especially now that she is a big sister.

Yes :-).  For those of you that don't know, Delaney became a big sister this summer. On June 29th, we welcomed her little brother Finnian John into the world.  He weighed 8lbs and was 21.5 in long.  That was a very happy day indeed.

To get to that happy day I endured an emotionally difficult pregnancy.  I was watched closely by doctors.  I had several appointments and ultrasounds.  I felt elated to be pregnant one moment, then sad and guilty the next.  I constantly worried that something may go wrong, especially during those last few weeks of pregnancy.  Something as simple as putting D's clothes into boxes and into the basement left me shattered and crying.  And every time someone asked me "Is this your first baby?" I would cringe and stumble over what to say.  But together we dealt with it and stayed strong.  I was relieved to have such wonderful medical support.  It was so reassuring, especially after what we'd been through.  In the end we wound up with a happy, healthy baby who is truly a joy and a blessing.  And, for those of you wondering, Finn got a clean bill of health from Delaney's cardiologist Dr. Sommerfield.

I cannot emphasize enough how much we cherish every moment with this little boy.  We are so grateful he is healthy and happy---SO happy!  Every smile is such a priceless gift to us.  He was smiling, and even laughing in his sleep when he was less than 24 hours old.  He started genuinely smiling early on when he was just 2 weeks.  I about fell over and cried when he did.  He still smiles and laughs in his sleep.  It may sound a little cheesy, but I like to think it is Delaney visiting him, perhaps playing with him during those peaceful, sleepy-happy moments.

Having Finn has also been healing.  He does remind us of Delaney in his looks and mannerisms, but he, of course, will never replace her.  There is just so much normalcy we were missing out on that we are so grateful to have.  Even if it means sleep deprivation (which hasn't even been that bad!), constant breastfeeding, and not getting out of the house as much as we used to--we'll take it.  I laugh to myself when people ask me how things are going and then say, "Oh, don't worry, it will get easier...".  Well, that's nice, but I wasn't wasn't worried or complaining about how things were going.  Caring for him can be demanding, but it isn't difficult.  Trust me, after what we have been through, it is already easier.

So, where do we go from here?  Brian and I have talked at length of what we can do to honor Delaney's short but significant life.  We will continue to share her story and encourage others to do the same in hopes that it will educate and save lives.  We want to be there as support for others who may have lost a child or are dealing with a child with special needs.  The last thing is finding a generous use for the Delaney Rose Fund money and that is still a work in progress.  We have thought about using the fund money to periodically support charities related to CHDs and special needs such as the Katie Herb Foundation, and Emily Ann Griffin Foundation.  What we would especially like to do is use the fund money to create a scholarship for a student heading to college or trade school who has overcome a medical difficulty.  Like I said, it is still a work in progress.  If there is anyone out there who knows how to get something like this going, please feel free to shoot Brian or me an email.  We will definitely keep you posted on the happenings of this subject.

I think that is all for now.  Thank you again for your support and love as we continue on this journey.

B & L

P.S.  One last thing.  A website that has been particularly helpful in dealing with my grief is  There you will find a button that says "Helping a Friend Through Baby Loss". Kristine lost her baby girl unexpectedly five days after she was born to an undetected heart defect.  She is doing amazing things to help families who have lost babies and also in the detection of heart defects.  She is one of the reasons pulse ox testing is becoming common place before a newborn is released from the hospital.  Lives have already been saved because of it, and that is a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Reflections and Congenital Heart Defect Awareness

Be sure to remember that February is Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness Month, and that February 7th-14th is CHD Awareness Week.

Lindsay wanted to share her thoughts, so please enjoy her beautiful words!


Lindsay here, writing and my maiden voyage blogging. Brian & I decided it would be a bit of a waste for the blog to come to an end when it has had so much following and support, and knowing we could certainly use it to continue to raise awareness on congenital heart defects (CHDs) as well as using it as a therapeutic outlet as we continue to heal from our loss. We are also looking into ways to turn the Delaney Rose Fund into something proactive, like a scholarship fund. So, we will do our best to continue to post, with our sweet Delaney continuing to be the influence of our writings.

It is hard to believe it has been 3 weeks since Delaney passed. In some ways it feels so long ago, yet in other ways the wound is so fresh and our hearts ache so much and it can feel like just yesterday. We have our good days and bad. Sometimes the bad days sneak out of nowhere and take us down - hard. We miss her beyond words and we probably always will. After the emotions come out, we try to keep in mind that she is no longer suffering or in pain, and that does give us some peace. All we ever wanted for her was a life filled with love & happiness, and we know she is getting an infinite amount of that in heaven as we continue to love and remember her here on earth.

In honor of Delaney, I want to remind you that February is heart month, and Feb. 7-14th is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness week. One in 100 babies will be born with a CHD and 100,000 of these babies worldwide will not make it to see their 1st birthday. It is the #1 birth defect worldwide & the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths. Nearly twice as many children die from Congenital Heart Defects in the United States each year as from all forms of childhood cancers combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for Congenital Heart Defects. And sadly, there is a small amount of awareness about CHDs outside of the medical profession and the families affected (for more info, check out,, or So spread the word, support organizations that fund research and awareness (like the Katie Herb Foundation) and wear red in honor of the CHD warriors both here on earth and for those who fought hard & are now angels in heaven like Delaney.

I would also like to share with you the words I wrote for Delaney's funeral on January 19th. I had our pastor Randy read this for me, as that day was understandably difficult. I had many requests to post it to the blog, so here it is. Thank you, as always, for your continued love and support. B, L & {d}


So, I wanted to speak today, but I didn’t think I’d be able to do it without losing it at some point. So please allow Randy to be my voice today. Also please note that I’m not as eloquent a writer as Brian, so bear with me…

Brian and I never thought we’d be sitting in this place when we welcomed Delaney into our lives last March. It seemed as though everything we ever wanted was falling perfectly into place, and then we got hit with a ton of bricks. Our lives literally became a 24/7 medical whirlwind almost overnight. Our hearts ached, but we persevered because Delaney persevered and because as a parent its just what you do. Other parents kept telling me how strong I was, but honestly I didn’t feel that way. I was mad, and really angry at God for allowing this to happen. There were a lot of “why’s”, especially “why her” and “why us”. As a mom, it got especially difficult seeing other moms with their kids. I wanted to be happy for them, and deep down I was, but I had a really hard time with it.

Then came the constant feeling of guilt. I was told by many that I’m human and I had no reason to feel guilty, but keep in mind I was raised Catholic, so the guilt is pretty ingrained and unavoidable. I felt guilty for being mad at God, for being jealous of happy families with healthy kids, and for resenting our situation. After all our sweet baby survived! She was still here. I should be grateful, right? But I wasn’t. And I’ll admit, there were many days that I hoped and prayed that God would take her. So then I felt guilty for that, especially over the last few days now that she has really gone to be with God. But I know that all those feelings stemmed for the deep amount of Love both Brian and I had and still have for Delaney. In fact, we chose the song “More” by Matthew West to play for her slide show because it felt so appropriate. Matthew West wrote the song as God telling us how much he love us, but I also feel it describes a parent’s love for their child.

A friend of mine told me he shed a lot of tears over our situation, but when he found out that she had passed he felt that she had completed her mission and he felt at peace. He added “Hopefully if you don’t feel that way now, you will soon”. Right now my heart hurts an indescribable and unspeakable pain. I knew losing her would be hard, but I never imagined it would feel like this. However, if it means we have to go through this pain so Delaney can be in a better place, a place of no pain, suffering, of pure joy and happiness, then so be it. I’d do just about anything to take her suffering away, and as much as I miss her and as much as my heart aches, knowing she is happy, laughing, and having fun doing all the things she couldn’t do here on earth, it makes the pain a little more tolerable.

I also think of all the things she taught Brian, me and so many others. She showed us how to be strong, even when things are tough and not going your way, the importance of patience, perseverance, and to never take anything, especially your health for granted. I’ve been told by many who have heard our story that they can never look at their kids in the same light. I know I haven’t been able to look at any child in the same way, and I know Brian and I will hold tight our future children and appreciate their every breath, smile, laugh and blink of their eyes. I think we will even appreciate their cries and tantrums…okay, maybe not their tantrums ;-), but my point is that a healthy child is truly a gift that we will never take for granted...ever

Most importantly she taught us about the importance of unconditional Love. For those of you who know Brian and I well, you know we are very loving, caring and affectionate people. Delaney definitely inherited that wonderful loving spirit. Anyone who met her immediately fell in love and despite her disabilities she could show her love undoubtedly with such ease & without even saying a word. Sometimes it was just the way she snuggled into your chest, sometimes it was her contented sighs, her sweet coos or that glimmer in her eyes. I know that is what we will miss the most is that sweet snuggly unconditional love. It makes my heart melt just thinking about it.

We may never know why this tragedy happened to her or us, but I've always believed that everything, good or bad, happens for a reason. Delaney taught us so many wonderful life lessons and touched so many lives in the short amount of time she was here on earth. Not many people can accomplish what she accomplished in 9months. What an amazing child we were blessed with.

A friend of the family shared this with me a couple days ago. She lost her son Eric 8 ½ years ago, and I know she feels our immense pain. Anyway, I thought this was quite appropriate and wanted to share this with you.

"These are my footprints,
so perfect and so small.
These tiny footprints
never touched the ground at all.
Not one tiny footprint,
for now I have wings.
These tiny footprints were meant
for other things.
You will hear my tiny footprints,
in the patter of the rain.
Gentle drops like angel's tears,
of joy and not from pain.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in each butterflies' lazy dance.
I'll let you know I'm with you,
if you just give me the chance.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in the rustle of the leaves.
I will whisper names into the wind,
and call each one that grieves.
Most of all, these tiny footprints,
are found on Mommy and Daddy's hearts.
'Cause even though I'm gone now,
We'll never truly part."

Sweet Delaney, we love you and miss you more than you can imagine. Shine on sweet baby girl and fly high, I know we will see you again some day…. Love, Mommy & Daddy

Monday, January 16, 2012

Celebrating Delaney Rose

Celebrating the Life of Delaney Rose

I am sorry to tell you that our precious little girl passed away on Sunday. We held her peacefully as she took her last breaths on this earth. Even right up to the end she was the fighter that we have come to expect. Our Tenacious D wasn't going to let go easily. Just as we have seen her hold those little hands so tight for comfort she held on to her mom and dad with all of her might. We now look to all those who have gone before us to embrace her and give her the joy that she struggled to find here on earth.

It had been a difficult few days last week as we noticed some signs that indicated Delaney was having trouble. However, she had been down that road so many times over the past 9-10 months that we expected her to fight on, to rally. Unfortunately, this was out of all of our hands. We woke up Suday morning and her breathing wasn't normal and a few other cues that gave us a sick feeling. As the hours wore on it was becoming clear that she wasn't going to make it. We could do nothing but offer her medications to ease the
pain and keep her calm. More than anything we held on for dear life, it was the hardest thing that we've ever had to do, and we thought we experienced that already before.

There are so many emotions that come into play at this point. We won't miss the challenges of medical care, of the constant worry about her breathing and state of mind. What we will miss is that glimmer in her eye that told you "I'm here Dad, and I love you" or "Mom, don't's gonna be alright". We won't miss the pain in her eyes when things weren't going well and she just wanted us to make it all better, and there was nothing we could do. I will miss how she settled into my chest when I held her at night, those little sighs of comfort. There were times when one of us couldn't console her but then we were trade off and it was if she said, "all I wanted was mommy"...or "I just want Daddy to hold me" and she would quickly relax. It's how we knew she was really "there".

Even though we often saw those glimmers, I think Delaney was frustrated a lot. I do think she was present in this broken shell that failed her, but she so badly wanted to move in a certain way and she just couldn't get it to work. It's probably a big part of why she would get so fussy and agitated at times. Who can say for sure, but we knew what our experience was. When I think back to what the neurologists first told us about her brain injury and that she was "gone", I knew they were wrong in my heart and in so many ways she proved them wrong. I only wish she could have overcome even further, she certainly had the strength of will, her body just couldn't respond the way she wanted.

We know that she will always be in our hearts and looking over us, following our family as it grows in the future, cheering on her parents for joy and happiness in every way. Her spirit is strong and will live on in everything that we do, forever!

There is so much that we haven't had control of over the past ten months but what we will have control over is how we celebrate her life. Please feel free to help us honor, memorialize, and celebrate her life. We have made arrangements with Lynch & Sons Funeral Home. The public viewing will be set for this Wednesday from 3:00-8:00pm. The funeral service will be held at Lutheran Redeemer in Birmingham on Maple. It will be an 11:00am service on Thursday with a Luncheon to follow.

Flowers are welcome, donations welcome but are encouraged to be sent to the Katie Herb Foundation in the memory of Delaney Rose Flatter.

Location of the funeral home:
Lynch & Sons

For those wanting to learn more about our story, please direct them to, we will still accept donations as we are determining the future of where those funds will be allocated. Please feel free to honor Delaney in your own way. Prayers of support are valued and appreciated.

Brian & Lindsay, and our Sweet Angel Delaney