Friday, May 01, 2009

Reading Group-Introduction

Alright, everyone! Thank you for joining me in reading I'll Hold You In Heaven. I hope we can all grow and gain more understanding through reading the book and discussing it. We'll discuss the book and answer questions through commenting. Feel free to comment as much as you want and in response to another person. All comments are moderated by me and will be posted after my approval.

The introduction is fairly short and familiarizes us with what this book is about and introduces us with the author and his ideas. We are also introduced with the different types of losses-miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, and early infant death.

So, on to the first question!!

1) Do you think one type of loss is worse than another or are they of equal suffering?

The book is supposed to help those who have suffered a loss get answers to the questions they may have in their hearts.

2) Have you suffered a loss? What type? If not, has someone close to you had a loss?

3) What are some of the questions you have in your heart?

In the introduction, the author takes a little more time to talk about abortion since this subject is of greater sensitivity.

4) What are your thoughts on abortion?

5) What is your attitude toward those who have made this choice?


Mom2Four said...

Holly, my loss if from losing Emmy's twin. I rember the ultrasound like it was yesterday, for some reason our baby stopped growing and only Emmy made it. This was almost 6 weeks in pregnancy. Upon leaving I was told to not tell anyone because they may not understand. And there is where the seed of shame was planted. I was conviced to not feel my pain or greif because my loss in others eyes was nothing compared to others. True maybe my pain and grief period wasn't but it was still there. Some hurtful things where said to me by my inlaws almost 2 years later that opened up the pain for me that I had kept shut away, I was told I had no idea what it felt like to lose a child. Theres where my questions began, do I know how it feels? My husband and I think we do. I believe the Lord will use what satan wants to use to harm us for our good. And He did with the cruel things that where said to us. I finally talk about my grief without the shame. I have always thought there where different griefs to one loss, that of losing a child, but until now I didn't know others supported how I felt, this morning I cry with relief to know my pain and grief is okay, I don't have to be ashamed of it at all. I truely hope you are given a jewel for your crown for all the ways you have touched my life through all you have done. I thought I was sure that people where selfish to have an abortion, but now I realize so many things in that area too. I hope telling the truth on that one doesn't make others angry, but I'm not going to learn anything until I admit everything. I think most who make the choice aren't told all the facts and I think they make it out of fear and despair. Maybe they listen so much to the world and others that they think they are making the right choice for their child and themseleves. As Christians we should reach out more with compassion then picket signs. I hope I haven't rambled and wrote too much. Thank you Holly,

Jennifer Doiron said...

1) Do you think one type of loss is worse than another or are they of equal suffering?

I believe that no one loss is more heartbreaking then another although to that person it might feels as if it is.

2) Have you suffered a loss? What type? If not, has someone close to you had a loss?

In 2006 I have 2 missed miscarriage. I was 18 weeks when I found out my little angels had died. Both where 8w3d old. Since then I have had one natural miscarrage in Oct 2008.

3) What are some of the questions you have in your heart?

Why? We never found out the reason I lost the first two and it hurts not knowing.

4) What are your thoughts on abortion?

Touchy subject. I don't believe anyone has the right to murder unborn life. I believe that situations are all different and sometimes for someone it might be the difference between life and death.

5) What is your attitude toward those who have made this choice?

Support them with what they will go through over the weeks and years to follow.

Holly said...

1) Do you think one type of loss is worse than another or are they of equal suffering?

I could easily say a loss is a loss and no matter what type the parents grieve. But I believe a loss by abortion can bring greater suffering. For those who regret their decision the emotions are especially hard. Not only have they lost a child, but now they must live with the reality that they decided to end their child's life and try to deal with it. It's definitely not easy.

2) Have you suffered a loss? What type? If not, has someone close to you had a loss?

I have suffered 2 losses. Surprising? For most it should be. Everyone knows of my loss of Carleigh but most do not know of the loss I suffered before her. When I was 19 I had an abortion. *gasp!* Yes, it is true. I thoroughly regret it and I know that God has forgiven me. Jordan is in Heaven with Carleigh. I now use my experience to help others contemplating abortion and to bring awareness.

3) What are some of the questions you have in your heart?

Of course, "Why?" The BIG one. I wonder why my daughter had to have anencephaly when she was very much wanted. But also "what can I do to help others?", "what can I gain from this experience?", "how can God use me to impact others?" Some of these questions I'm beginning to understand.

4) What are your thoughts on abortion?

Abortion is a tragedy. Plain and simple. God hates it as it is snuffing out the lives of His innocent ones. I believe it is too accepted in our society, especially for those who become pregnant at a young age. When did ending the life of a baby ever become ok? I know in certain circumstances it is necessary and God understands that. He knows everyone's heart.

5) What is your attitude toward those who have made this choice?

Before my abortion I would've probably had a pretty judgmental attitude. But, boy, were my eyes opened wide. I found out first-hand how easily it is to be swept up into thinking abortion is your only choice. Fear takes a hold of you and you can't think straight and make logical decisions. A lot of clinics take advantage of that. I was made to believe my baby was not much more than just a mass of tissue. They never let me see the ultrasound. I had no idea what I was getting into. I want people to understand that a lot of women would've made a different choice had they actually been giving the information they should've. It's called informed consent and it isn't happening. Instead of judging women in the situation we should love them because they are already going through so much. The guilt, shame, and regret grab a hold of you and want to swallow you. Luckily, I cried out to God and He saved me. It was then I sought counseling and found healing. My experience changed me. I was no longer as judgmental as I previously was. I cannot know the heart of the post-abortive person. Only God can.

mbduke said...

Stopping by from Lynette's blog. You have a beautiful ministry of hope and faith with your blog. I know you will touch many lives.

Mom2Four said...

Hey Holly, sorry to post once again =) But Your points where real eye openers. Which I shared on CM with you about your choices. I also think an etopic pregnancy must be extermly hard because where the family wants the baby but must go in making such a hard decision to save the mothers life. Thats some things I've thought about this morning,
once again, Shonda

Holly said...

No, feel free to post as much as you want, Shonda! We can discuss through commenting. I'm glad I could bring something to the table. :) I agree, Shonda. An ectopic pregnancy has to be very hard. I know someone who went through that and lost of their tubes. So heartbreaking. They wanted the baby but couldn't keep it b/c they feared for her life.

Anonymous said...

I have read your story for sometime and I have posted once I belive though I am not going to link my blog of anyother info on myself not because Im ashamed of my opinon but because people can be not only cruel but crazy...

1. I have never suffered the loss of a child and I am glad not to be part of that club though I am also glad that if I were to ever happen upon that I know there are many others who have contunied on earth until GOD calls them home to there babies.

2.Holly I think it is beyond brave to share that you had a abortion I know a couple very close to people in my life who have made the same choice and I truly belive it is there decesion to make it is not a decesion to be taken lightly and it is not one that please's GOD but it is they who will have to answer to Christ someday they are the one's who live with there decesion. And I know that some regret there choice such as you but there are many others who do not have regret and live the rest of there lives knowing they made the right choice for themselves I support Obama 100% and would never want abortion to become illegal because I belive it will cause more deaths of it were illegal. That being said I was 18 when I got pregnant with my son and I was not a beliver at the time I faced the choice and I choose life I also came to Christ during that time in my life and belive GOD choice for me to get pregnant to become the person I am today I left the state moved 1000 miles away and started my life over I am now married with 2 more children, but my story is rare most who have children young dont get there lives together. I will stop rambling blessings to you

Holly said...

You are right, Megan. Everyone will have to answer for the choices they make in life but thank goodness we have a loving and forgiving God! You are also right in that there are those who do not regret their choice of abortion. We'll never know the true number of those who regret and those who don't but I'm sure the numbers are staggering.

I support Obama as our President and as our leader but I do not support some of his ideas and choices. I wholeheartedly believe abortion with no restrictions is very bad. Abortion has never really been illegal. Doctors have performed them in the past when needed. The only difference now is it is abortion on demand. You can pretty much get one no matter what the reason. And I'm not saying anybody's reasons aren't valid. That's not my business.

I am so glad that you chose life and became a believer in Christ! How wonderful!

Jake and Stephanie Perrin said...

I just got home from Salt Lake and i havent had a chance to read this chapter so I will be backt o comment :)

Celia said...

1) Do you think one type of loss is worse than another or are they of equal suffering?

Well, that is tough. A loss is a loss and the impact is huge. However, that being said, the loss through abortion is particularly tough because you yourself made the choice to end that child's life. It did not happen by accident. That choice can weigh very heavily on someone and wrack them with guilt so oppressive.

2) Have you suffered a loss? What type? If not, has someone close to you had a loss?

I also have suffered 2 losses though would not have considered my 1st a true loss until recently. I am currently pregnant with my son, Noah, who has anencephaly like Holly's Carleigh. Also like Holly, I had an abortion when I was 18 (almost 19 years ago now). I remember how devastated I felt afterwards and honestly the feelings were very similar to how I feel now knowing that I will lose Noah. I grieved for quite a long time. However, I tend not to think about unpleasant things and therefore it is not something I think about too often - until recently that is. I will always remember that baby regardless of the fact that I chose to end his life rather than God.

3) What are some of the questions you have in your heart?

Obviously with Noah the biggest question is why....Why is this happening, why can't he live, why can't God just heal him? I may never have all the answers to my questions but I feel as though God put me on this path for a reason.

4) What are your thoughts on abortion?

While I would never again consider this option, I would fully 'EMOTIONALLY' support any who had made that choice. It is not something I condone by any means. And if I met someone considering it but had not yet made that choice I would strongly recommend against it and share my story. However, once the choice is made, it is not up to me to judge them one way or the other but to love them the way that Christ would have us love them - as he would love them. No judgments, no ill thoughts...only love.

5) What is your attitude toward those who have made this choice?

I believe I answered this already above. I don't condemn them or judge them. I choose to love them. It's how I would want to be treated due to my decision.

Holly said...

Shonda, I'm sorry to hear about Emmy's twin. That had to be a terrible moment for you finding out that you lost one of your babies. Was it the doctor that told you not to tell anyone or someone close to you? How sad that you felt you could not grieve for the one you lost. I'm so sorry for the hurtful comment you received from your inlaws. Talk about a blow to the chest. I believe you know how it feels too. I definitely agree with you on "the Lord will use what satan wants to use to harm us for our good."

stitchndeb said...

1) Is one loss worse than another: My opinion, I fell that losing a baby that has been born alive would be the hardest because you've known, seen, touched, and interacted with them. But all losses hurt.

2) Have I suffered a loss: Yes, abortion on 1-15-85.

3) Questions I have in my heart: If it was the right thing to do, why do I still feel like a criminal? Why wasn't there anyone who could give me strong genuine hope that I *could* have the baby? Mostly I just worry - is my baby mad at me? :'(

4) What are my thoughts on abortion: It's a big con. There is a little voice of love and hope inside a woman (the baby) that gets drowned out by outsiders telling the woman she's too young, not healthy enough, not married, not financially stable enough, not ready to deal with a handicapped child, too old, etc., and she makes this "choice," and then when she regrets the decision, all the outsiders get eerily silent! Can you tell I'm bitter? :"(

5) What is my attitude towards those who have made this choice: Even before I had one, I always felt sorry for them because when it comes right down to it their baby was taken away. Some jerk in my Sunday school class was mentioning last week that Bea Arthur died, and in her TV show "Maude," Maude had an abortion and supposedly referred to that experience as "losing the baby." That man sneered that she shouldn't call it something nice like that, that women who have abortions must have no feelings for their babies if they have them killed. I think every woman loves her baby the instant she finds out she's pregnant, but really loud people drown out the little voice of the baby telling their mom that they love them back. :(

Holly said...

Jennifer, "I believe that no one loss is more heartbreaking then another although to that person it might feel as if it is." -this is a really good point and I hadn't thought about it that way before. Thank you for that!! I am sorry you have been through 3 miscarriages. :( How did they find out about your first 2? Was it just a routine US?

jordan wood said...

I know I'm not reading the book but I just wanted to lightly mention something on the topic of abortion. I am 18 yrs old and have a 5 month old baby boy. I got pregnant when I was still 17. When I was pregnant I was greatly pressured into having an abortion. But I chose life. And let me tell you Jayden is the best thing that has ever happened to me!!! I just wish more young scared mothers out there, like Holly said, were better informed. There is so much help out there for unplanned pregnancies that doesn't have to end in aborting.I just want people to know that young mothers can raise a child just as well as an older married mother.It may be a little harder but it's definitely doable.I am a real life example of this. I believe abortions may be appropriate in certain cases and it is not up to me decide. I just wish people out there knew that unplanned pregnancies don't always have to be a bad thing.

Holly said...

stitchndeb--I really appreciate your perspective. It's so very sad no one was there to give you any support. It makes me sad to think of those who currently aren't getting support too. I can assure you that your baby is not mad at you. Your baby is happy! Your baby is in a safe place where there is no pain, no suffering-only joy.

I nodded my head in agreement with you when you noted all the "outsiders" giving their reasons why one shouldn't have a baby. These people pushing towards a certain direction don't have to live with the choice that is made. Will they be there to pick up the pieces in the aftermath? You are right-we should have compassion as they have lost a baby too. I have come across quite a few that have the same viewpoint as that man. It's not a good Christian attitude at all.

"I think every woman loves her baby the instant she finds out she's pregnant, but really loud people drown out the little voice of the baby telling their mom that they love them back." --this statement really spoke to me. Wow.

Holly said...

Thank you for sharing Jordan!!

Holly said...

Celia--you see things very similar me. You're so right-no judgments, only love.

September said...

Posting from Lynnette's featured blogger. I have read your blog before, and I am so happy that Lynnette featured you- for I believe that you have a testimony to share with the world. I am truly sorry for the loss of your sweet baby girl. Cherish those memories, and keep working on that scrapbook. Your book study is a great idea. I was given the same book when I lost my baby girl after birth, and it ws healing. You sharing this idea with others is super! ( do people still use this
Keep looking up Holly!

Andi Soergel said...

1)I don't think I could ever say that one person's suffering is more than another's. Each person has their own perspective on their pain and, although you might feel yours HAS to be worse than what someone else is feeling, the fact is we're all hurting.
2) Our beautiful boy, Haven William, died at 32 weeks into our pregnancy. We knew something was wrong when we had an ultrasound at 9 weeks, but no one told us what they thought the problem was. They sent us to Akron, to a specialist at 12 weeks and he gave us the definite diagnosis of anencephaly. I knew what it was because I had read about it briefly in one of my pregnancy books. He was born via c-section 3 days after he died, on Feb. 13, 2004.
I was also pregnant and miscarried right before I became pregnant with Haven. That was very hard, but our older son, Owen, was only 9 months old at the time and his being so young helped me deal with that loss. That was a long answer!
3) The question that is of greatest importance to me is now that we have had this incredible baby, what does God want us to do-how does He want us to use Haven's life to glorify Him? My prayer all throughout my pregnancy was that God would help me to glean all that I could from the experience. I didn't want any lesson to be missed or any part of it to be wasted.
4) I believe abortion is murder. I believe a life begins at conception and no one has the right to distinguish that life. It makes me so very sad to think about those babies. I have a friend who is adopted and we also have friends who have adopted 3 little boys and I just think of the families that long for a baby.
5) My attitude toward someone who has had an abortion is to feel bad that they were in a position of feeling like that was the best choice they could make. I also feel that I am sinner covered by the Grace of God and I have done many things that I needed God's mercy and forgiveness for. I don't know anyone personally who has had an abortion, but if I did, I would be there for her, as I am for anyone else who is hurting.
I'm sorry my answers are so "long-winded"!

MommyIvy said...

1. I think that every woman thanks their loss was worse than someone elses. Honestly, I think that I agree with you. Abortion is probably the hardest.

2. I have had 2 miscarriages. One in July of 06 around 7weeks and another in May of 08 after Eli was born.

3. Of course there is the why? Also was it something I did?(Esp with the first one b/c I had got a contusion and was taking meds for the pain before I found out I was pregnant).

4. I do not believe in abortion. I think that its is only Gods choice to take a child. There are some instances when I can see where it would be a choice, but I honestly would never do it.

5. Only God can judge peopl. I am here to support the ones who have done it through their suffering.

croleyc69 said...

I think that any loss is hard but at the same time to be able to hold your child may make it more diffcult. If that makes any sense. I have had 2 miscarriages 1 in Feb 2006 & 1 in Nov 2007. It hurts still today & somehow it will always be there I know. Wondering why me??? What did I do ? Also I have had people tell me well you already had 3 kids. Well that doesn't make it any easier just because I had children already. My heart hurts sometimes because the one I lost in 2006 was a boy & I wanted another boy so bad. I know from being raised in a christian home that someday I will see them but so many times the questions are there. I have even had people tell me there wasn't much there anyway but it was life from the tiny little dot it was when it started. I believe that there are sometimes abortion is looked at as ok in the case of rape as there was a girl recently from a small town in Ohio that I am from. She was only 11. There were alot of things to be considered but as far as over all there is alot of info out there for young mothers & safe haven laws. I don't judge people for things they have done that is for the Lord. I know I wouldn't want to be judged by others, I look at them & love them no one really knows they could have been pushed in to it. God loves all of us. Also Holly I'm sorry I never got back with you about the book but I recently gave birth this past Wed nite to my daughter & things have been a little nuts at home. But I'm so glad I'm doing this maybe it will help me answer some of my questions. Take care Caroline HUGS !!!!!!

Karen said...

I found you through Lynette's Blog. I am so sorry for your loss, but I know that God can sustain us. I lost baby Faith who was Still Born at 37 weeks.I have also had 2 miscarriages, so i have 3 waiting for me in Heaven. Your blog is beautiful and I have enjoyed reading it.


Mom2Four said...

Hi Holly, Yes the doctor who came in to do the first ultrasound is the one who told me to not say anything, that people wouldn't understand losing one and not the other. We went back a week late and thats when we knew for sure. Barely before we knew it our baby was gone. For a long time I seprated myself from my baby by refering to it as Emmy's twin. What started things with the inlaws was the fact that one sil and I have never got along, she lost her baby 5months into pregnancy and really took her grief and anger out upon me, its been a roller coaster that I've tried to make right but becase of all of so many other things we have had to seprate ourselves from them. Its a broken relationship that only God can heal. But it goes back to one loss being worse than another and this book has made me realize its not the loss thats worse, but the grief and length of it, although I've seen moms who have miscarried that have never really stopped grieving. But also like I said the way the doctor treated us and my inlaws really opened some doors for me to see how I really feel. Thanks for hearing me.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Love that you're doing this, Holly...great discussions. I love this book so much...such a comfort and full of truth!

Holly said...

Andi~ I certainly don't think your answer was long-winded! ;)

Your answer to question 1 is similar to Jennifer's and both of your answers gave me a new perspective. Although, I must admit I don't feel like my losses are the worst. Maybe that's because I know I have God helping me to get through it all.

Do they have any idea why Haven passed at only 32 weeks or did they say it was from the anencephaly? Did you have poly? That had to be so hard knowing for 3 days that he was gone. I definitely think Kyndra has helped with the loss of Carleigh. She keeps me occupied (busy!).

Your question is so great! I love how you worded it and I so agree.

Holly said...

Ivy~ Your statement is like Jennifer's and Andi's too. :) The reason I think abortion is prolly a little harder is like I said the extra feelings of guilt, shame, regret. (And I know not every person feels that way after having an abortion.) Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS) is real. I can definitely see the question "was it something I did?" coming into play with a miscarriage. I've also asked that question myself. Did I do something that caused Carleigh's anencephaly?

Holly said...

Caroline~ (BTW finally good to know your name! I'm assuming that is it since it was on your comment. Correct me if I'm wrong! ;))

"I think that any loss is hard but at the same time to be able to hold your child may make it more difficult."
What you says makes sense. Would any moms who have been able to hold one child and not another like to comment on this?

I'm sorry people told you those things. Obviously they didn't really understand. Having children already doesn't make a loss any easier. It still hurts. Even as Christians we still question and that is ok. You're right, it's a life from the start. In the Bible it says God knew us before we were even formed.

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart for my holy purpose. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.

Psalm 139:15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

Isaiah 49:1 Listen to Me, O islands, And pay attention, you peoples from afar. The LORD called Me from the womb; From the body of My mother He named Me.

Isaiah 49:5 And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the LORD, And My God is My strength)

Congratulations on the birth of Carly!! I bet she is just beautiful!

Queen Of Skiens said...

I'm running a tad bit behind, I'm so Sorry Holly! My grandma died Monday, and the rest of the week has been a blur. I just ordered my book, and will join in on the discussion once I get the book. Again, I'm sorry I'm behind!

Holly said...

Ashley~ I'm sorry about your Grandma. :( Totally ok, don't worry about it! We'll be here when you get the book. Just join on in!!

Sara said...

1) Do you think one type of loss is worse than another or are they of equal suffering?

I think it may different for everyone, but I believe that my losses that I have been through were of equal suffering.

2) Have you suffered a loss? What type? If not, has someone close to you had a loss?

I lost my son, William Jason, at 32-1/2 weeks - he also had anencephaly (stillborn). He was born almost exactly 7 months after his daddy, Jason, passed away (motorcycle accident). Both passings were hard for me, but were kinda different since I have memories of my husband & things we did as a family with my daughter. With William I have memories, but I just wish I could have had gotten to know him - what kind of personality would he have had, what kind of things would he like to do. It was very hard meeting him after he had already passed.

3) What are some of the questions you have in your heart?

What is God's plan for me? Why did he let all of this happen to me & my family? What am I supposed to learn from this? How can I help others cope with their loss(es)?

4) What are your thoughts on abortion?

Personally, I don't think I could do it.

5) What is your attitude toward those who have made this choice?

I don't look down on anyone that has done it or will do it. That is their choice and I respect that everyone has their right to choose.

Holly said...

Sara~ It is so hard to imagine losing 2 people you love very much so close together and yet you have lived it and continue to do so. Thanks for sharing the difference in the losses such as having the memories of your husband but not having that with your son. I bet your husband and son are so proud of you.

becky said...

1. You can never compare one person's loss to another. We all suffer grief and pain that is our own. They all hurt and we all react different.

2. I have had 3 nephew's and 1 niece pass away and my father. I cannot imagine the grief of losing a child, I know how I felt with my father and the young children. I cannot imagine burying my own child. It has to be a grief beyond grief.

3. You always ask why the young babies or children must be taken. What is God's purpose? It is not ours to question the why's. There will come a day when we will be given the answers. But I like so many of you want to know WHY?

4. My thoughts on abortion run all over the table. When the mother's life is in danger I can see the possibilities . I just so wish we as a society would give a young mother all the options, let her see the child she is about to abort, let them know there is support out there. I believe many young girls would change there minds if they knew that the baby growing inside of them was ,YES, indeed a human. IF ONLY? It is just so sad to think of all the love lost

5. You love them. We all have made choices where we wish we could have a do-over or a rewind. None of us our so perfect that we have a right to judge another.

Queen Of Skiens said...

1) No, I think all losses are of equal suffering.

2) I have suffered two miscarriages. One of which, I didnt fully know I was pregnant unti after the fact, and one where I knew from about the moment of conception that I was expecting.

3) Why? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Could I ave done anything to save my child? How did my child die?

4) I don't agree on abortions at all, but I understand everyone is entitled to a choice as well as everyone may have different circumstances. I don't look down on people wo have had one, though. It's not my place to judge them or condone them either.

5) Hmm .. I think I answered this above .. haha. I don't look down uon those who have made this choice. Afterall, they have suffered a loss just as I have, just in a different sense. They are just like me, we both suffered a loss.

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