Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Ripples Flow to Our Marriage

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 week, we are sharing the impact our loss(es) had on our marriage.

Losing Carleigh is the toughest thing our marriage has faced, but it isn't the toughest thing we have endured as a couple. Losing Jordan is the toughest by far. A few months after Anthony and I started dating I found out I was pregnant. We made a poor choice and a pregnancy resulted. I won't go into all the details in this post but we made a hasty decision to end my pregnancy. Most couples that go into an abortion together do not stay together, but we did. Perhaps my denial of the situation at the time had something to do with that. I'll never know what the outcome would've been had I realized then what I had done, but I am glad we stayed together.

We never really talked about Jordan until after Kyndra was born. It hit me very hard and I suffered greatly. I kept my suffering to myself mostly. Both Anthony and my best friend Lindsey knew I was hurting but they never knew the true extent of it. The day of my greatest despair I reached out to God before I went to bed. I pleaded with Him to take it all away. God answered my prayer. The very next morning I felt like a completely different person. I felt more like me than I had in the months since Kyndra's birth. I didn't deserve it but He is so loving and forgiving. I had told God that whether He chose to heal my heart or not that I would go to counseling. I kept my promise and made the call.

I don't think Anthony really understood why I wanted to go to counseling but he supported me in doing something I felt I needed to do. I shared some of my counseling with him but kept it mostly to myself. It may surprise you, but Anthony is better at talking about his feelings than I am. I don't like to talk about things. I would much rather write them. That I can do. Talking....yeah, I'm not good at it. We have definitely gotten better at communicating. Anthony's had to do quite a bit of coaxing with me though. That man deserves a cookie. He's already brought me out of my shell quite a bit since being together. I used to be very shy around people I didn't really know. Now I will actually attempt to talk to people!

I guess I take after my dad. He doesn't really talk a lot-just when he needs to. Less is more. lol Those of you who know my dad will probably be shaking your heads in agreement. But I don't really mind since I get my outlet by writing. Ok, I'm getting off topic...

Anthony and I really haven't talked a lot about our grief and our feelings surrounding Carleigh. And that's probably my fault. We both know we love her very much and miss her. That goes without saying.

When we first got Carleigh's diagnosis there were not a lot of words spoken. Just what was necessary. I think we were both trying to get over the shock of what we had just learned. I never gave Anthony the chance to give me his opinion on whether I should carry to term or not. I knew that I was going to carry Carleigh and nothing would stop me. Nobody, not Anthony or any doctor in the world, would've been able to convince me to terminate. I have walked the road of termination and I knew the pain it had caused me. I think that's why Anthony did not object the night we found out. He knew how much I regretted not keeping Jordan.

When we went to bed the night we found out we actually held each other. We hadn't done that for awhile. (He says my head hurts his shoulder. I must have a hard head or something.) We both needed that though. We needed to be close.

Just 2 days after we found out I had an appointment with the MFM specialist. After that man spewed his evil and left the room, Anthony asked me to induce. When I heard those words out of his mouth it made me angry and disappointed. How could he even say such a thing!? How could he just see our daughter on the ultrasound screen moving and trying to hide from us and then want to end it right then? But I realized that he didn't know as much as I did about medical things. Even knowing this though, it still hurt. I told him no and that the doctor wasn't being truthful. (I wish now I would've caught that doctor in his lies and made him eat his own words.)

The rest of my pregnancy with Carleigh we really didn't talk about what was to come. We planned together but that was really the extent of it. Even though there wasn't a lot of communication of our feelings we were always there for each other. It's hard to explain but a lot of times I feel that I don't really have to verbally express what I am feeling for Anthony to get me. We didn't share a lot of our feelings but I know that we drew closer together through our journey.

Anthony actually asked me about something one night (I can't remember exactly what it was) and I actually told him to go read my blog because I didn't want to talk about it. Nice, huh? He then told me that he shouldn't have to read my blog to find out things about his wife. I know, I know.....but I really hate talking! I didn't like it but I did talk to him a little about whatever it was. I've prayed that God could help me in this area. I know I need to be more open with my husband so we can have an even better relationship. I think I'm slowly making progress. Slowly being the key word.

I'm just so glad that he can be patient with me!


Mary Ellen said...

Thank you for sharing such a personal and emotional moment in your life and marriage. I think that your honesty will be used to help others that are walking the same walk.

Trisha Larson said...


I've seen Jordan referenced on your blogs before but never knew the story. Thank you for being honest and open about it. I'm thinking that it will help a lot of people that have walked that same walk.

There is an 80% divorce rate among couples that lose a child. Our counselor tells us to "keep talking". He wants us to talk about everything. He says that will help keep our marriage together. So, my friend, keep talking!!!

Mindy said...

Good for you for sharing that. My husband has a hard time comunicating to me and this helps me understand him a little better. I just want to encourage you to talk to him and share with him ever once in a while to let him know what is going on inside you. It means alot to the person who cares so much for you. Praise the Lord that he healed you from your torment. He forgives you, it is just hard to forgive ourselves.

croleyc69 said...

I can relate to the not talking real well. When I have a problem & I wanta say what I really feel, I sometimes leave a e-mail for him. We talk but somethings I have a tough time with. It shouldn't be like that but he puts up with me & still loves me. Sounds like you & Anthony are a great couple & have been though alot together. That was a great post.

Mom Putnam said...

you said it right and i hope your father and I have set the example for you girls. Communication is a big thing and it will draw you closer to each other. All you have is each other when the kids are grown (like you are) then it comes back to being just the 2 of you again. Draw close to each other and never give up on anything

Celia said...

Holly, you sound so much like me. My mom used to say I was going to blow up one day cuz I internalize EVERYTHING! I have never been good about talking about my feelings and usually by the time I'm ready to share I'm such an emotional wreck that you never know what you are going to get....lots of crying, screaming, huffing and puffing and ignoring (that's my specialty btw).....With Noah, I have been more able to let my feelings out....but mostly because they are out of my control at the moment anyway. Once I gain control of them again, it will be hard to let them out again...that is, if I ever get control of them again. If anything, I have learned to enjoy the freedom I feel in being able to "let it all out". I don't always like it because they tend to hit when I don't want them to (like out in public or in front of people) but I"m getting used to it.

I'm glad that your hubby can "drag" it out of you or coax you to share. Mine is the opposite and even though I don't like to share I find myself trying to "coax" him as well. If I hold everything in, well, he must be like Fort Knox with his feelings. It makes things difficult sometimes but we manage.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Holly...thank you for sharing this so honestly and transparently. I know that your marriage has endured so much...and God's grace is so evident as He has carried you through. You are right...and I agree that words don't have to always be spoken for a husband and wife to "get" each other. I feel like that in a lot of ways too. We walked there together...we don't have to talk about every detail of it. We just know. I am such a it makes me smile that you told your husband to go read your blog so you wouldn't have to talk! =) Thank you for this post.

Love you, girl...

Brooks said...

Anthony is such a good guy. (That's why my friend had such a crush on him in high school) I know that if it was Dustin, he would have been thinking more about me than the baby where I would only be thinking about the baby (like you.) I'm so grateful Heavenly Father gave us such great guys. It's nice to not have to talk sometimes. But even though I don't always feel like it, but I'm usually grateful when he makes me talk.

My Very Own Angel said...

Thank you for sharing Holly. When I saw this weeks topic I thought I so badly want to write about it, but being that I had to tell the truth I was afraid. I didn't want people to think poorly of Van. It's nice to understand that not being a talker is not just a man issue. Women deal with that also. I'm glad that you are slowly working on talking to your husband.

luv ya


Khanh said...

Thank you for sharing one of your most personal moment.

My Forever Child said...

Thank you for sharing a story of Jordan and your marriage so openly and honestly. Termination of a pregnancy can cause long term emotional damage, and I'm glad you sought counseling and spiritual guidance. It's incredibly hard to forgive ourselves at times.
I also have a difficult time speaking. It's like I have thoughts swirling in my head, but they come out all jumbled from my mouth. I can write my thoughts and feeling much better. Perhaps you don't want to open up to Anthony so much because you want to spare him from the depths of your feelings. I had been hiding negative thoughts and feelings from my husband regarding the loss of our son, but once I truly opened up (on paper) about them, I was releived and he saw a different perspective about me. I believe it brought us closer together. (((Hugs)))

My Forever Child said...

Just wanted to share a new book by Sherokee Isle about Couple's Communication after the loss of a child. You can see it here:

Also, my husband and I attended a 6 week and then a monthly bereavement support group together, after the loss of our son. I was glad that there were other couples there as well. We both opened up so much and became much closer together (in addition to making lasting friendships). It was the hardest, yet closest time in our marriage.

We've been married almost 14 years, and I just started reading some marriage books. I wish I had earlier, as they've opened my eyes to the ways I've been drifting away from my husband and making some not-so-great choices. We are now working together to rekindle the closeness, openness and honesty we used to have, and I'm happier than I have been in a long time!

You may have heard of it already, but I highly recommend The Love Dare book for both of you to do:

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