Livi Hannah-Joy was born to heaven at 7:20 p.m. on July 10, 2008. She weighed 7.5 ounces and was 9.5 inches long.
We called the photographer from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. She was wonderful! She spoke to Livi so gently, “Sweet little girl, I’m going to take pictures of you.” She took many photos, some of which are very tasteful that we should be able to use at the memorial service, such as her hand grasping my finger, her foot inside my wedding band, etc.
The nurse got us an absolutely beautiful set of handprints and footprints. They are so little but so perfect!
Parker really wanted to see Livi. We tried to discourage it because of the edema, but he was insistent. Amanda Martin brought him to the hospital, and while we could tell he was shocked, at first, he quickly adjusted and wanted to touch her arm, her foot, etc. Skylar didn’t want to see all of her, but we covered her completely and just showed him her amazing, tiny, but very perfect foot. Sklyar said, “Awww. Look at that!” He was amazed and reached out and touched the bottom of it with such tenderness. My boys are good big brothers!
My dear friend Amanda, who lost her twins last year, also took a good look at a Livi. I had warned her that she would be difficult to look at but Amanda exclaimed, “I don’t think she’s hard to look at at all, Amy! She is precious!” Then, she spoke to Livi in such a loving voice, the voice of one who has experienced deep loss and has been forever changed by it. How blessed I am to have a friend like this!
MO state law requires that all stillborn babies past 20 weeks be taken to a funeral home for cremation or burial. Amanda recommended one that I will call in the morning. We have said our goodbyes, and Livi is now downstairs in the morgue. Just writing that statement has me in tears. The fact that we are now apart after these many weeks together has me heartbroken.
We have already begun receiving many testimonies from people who have been forever changed by Livi, who will never be the same due to the events of the last 5 days. Here is an example:
“While saddened Livi is not with us here on Earth, I rejoice in her life before the Father in Heaven! I am so deeply touched and forever changed by standing with you in prayer for Livi…. The fullness of what the Father has done through all this is yet to be discovered, but I KNOW IT WILL IMPACT MILLIONS!”
Of course, we ourselves have been eternally changed by Livi’s short life, and I will never regret our decision to contend for her these last 5 days. The masses prayed for her over God.tv, the IHOP webstream, at the Lakeland Outpouring and in many other places.
It only took Livi 21 weeks to do what most people are unable to do in a lifetime. She literally touched the hearts of a million people. Most importantly, she touched the heart of this mother. Goodbye my sweet little girl, until we meet again….