Thursday, June 25, 2009


Walking With You was created by Kelly of Sufficient Grace Ministries to help support those who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words, prayer requests, and more. To join in on Walking With You please visit Kelly's blog.

This 2nd week we are to share our experience after we heard the news that changed our lives.

The few days after her diagnosis were the hardest. This is when I cried the most. I poured myself over articles about anencephaly, stories of parents who carried to term, poems, and songs.

Just a couple days after found out that Carleigh had anencephaly we left for our family vacation to Hawaii. It was my parents, my sister and her family, and us. We had been planning this trip for 3 years. I was actually glad we were going because it would be the only vacation where Carleigh was with us (or in me!). We had a great time on our trip. I just let myself forget about the present worries and enjoy our time there. I felt much better and cried less after our trip. I think it was very good for me.

Not long after we were back I decided to start calling funeral homes to begin making pre-arrangements. I ended up deciding on the first one I called because they were so nice. The second one wasn't very friendly over the phone. A date was set to meet and begin. We met with them again later to go over more things and then one final time before her birth. The most difficult meeting was the first one when I looked through a catalog of tiny baby caskets. I cried a little then. I was able to do ok the rest of the planning.

One of the things I also did not long after we got back was start a blog. I originally started it to keep family and friends updated so I wouldn't have to post updates on several different sites. It was much more convenient for me! Then I realized that writing down my whole journey could help others who faced the same or a similar situation. I know reading stories certainly helped me a lot. It was always nice to know when someone was following our journey with Carleigh. It showed me that they cared how we were doing.

I wanted to do things to remember Carleigh so I got Maternity pics done by a NILMDTS photographer, I got a 3D/4D ultrasound, my pastor's wife threw me a prayer shower, and I had a belly casting party. These were so wonderful and I enjoyed each one!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Carleigh. I cherished every little thing she did. Every movement, every hiccup. After her diagnosis, I looked at my pregnancy in a totally different way. I quit complaining about the little things. The road wasn't always easy. I had days where I was sad. I didn't want to lose my baby girl. But I tried to focus more on being happy for her. I just felt she would know if I was sad all the time. I didn't want her to feel my sadness.


One of the first sites I went to after Carleigh's diagnosis was the Carrying to Term Pages. It helped me out a lot, especially with getting ideas for Carleigh's birth plan. Two other websites gave me a lot of information about anencephaly-Anencephaly Net and Anencephaly-info.


My prayer request is for moms and families that are finding out that their child will or may not live. I pray that they can find the support and guidance they need through these rough waters and that the Lord be with them.


Shannon said...

I am glad you have those beautiful memories. I wish I had thought to do some of those things. But I got pictures taken of her, feet and handprints, among some other things. It will have to do.


MommyIvy said...

I'm glad you got to do those things. Mine was gone before I had the chance.

Kate said...

You are pretty much amazing!

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

I love that you cherished Carleigh's life and enjoyed your time with her. It so encourages and inspires me. There were moments when I was able to do that...but I wish so much that I had done more! And that we would have been able to have the beautiful photos and to feel supported on our journey. Your faith, hope, and joy are beautiful...and God's grace just shines through you, Holly. Thanks for joining us again. I loved looking at your beautiful maternity photos...they are gorgeous! I am definitely sharing in your desire to pray for the mothers facing this.

Love you...

Jennifer Ross said...

No matter how many times I read about other women loosing their children, it never gets any "easier" to read. I like how you did a bunch of things to remember your sweet Carleigh. I bet she looks down and smiles at you all of the time. She knows how much her mommy loves her!

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