Thursday, July 16, 2009

Your questions answered

It's time to answer all the questions you had for me, but first I'd like to announce the winner of the Burt's Bees tin pack.

Congratulations to Ms. Sarah!

Enter a lower limit: 1
Enter an upper limit: 15
Random number: 13

Sarah, just email me to confirm and I'll get that sent out to you! Congrats on winning! (Don't forget about the Garden Giveaway that ends Friday!)

And now on to your questions...

Trisha Larson said...
My question is where did you get Carleigh's headstone? And...how did you decide what to write on it? At Nate's cemetery, we are only allowed to do a ground marker (nothing raised). I have so much that I want to say on it...but I want it to be simple at the same time. It's the last thing that I will do for him and I want it to be just right.

We ordered Carleigh's headstone through our funeral home. Our funeral home ordered it from some company in Georgia. We also had the choice of doing it through a monument company in town but just did it through the funeral home because it was easier for us. I knew that her name and birthdate would be on her stone. Those are a given. I wanted a nice inscription but I didn't know what I wanted so I searched on the Internet. I had a nice list of ones I liked and I kept narrowing it down until I finally picked "Ours for a little while, with Jesus forever". It seemed to fit best.


The Milams said...
I was wondering how you would handle the feeling of people seeming to forget Carleigh. For example: People will say to me, You look so great for having 3 kids! As if i have just 3. I have 4, you just can't see the oldest. How would you feel and handle this situation?

As much as I would like it to not happen, I know that as time goes on Carleigh's memory will become dimmer for many people. She will always be known in my heart and in my mind and that is what matters most. I struggle sometimes on whether to include Carleigh when people ask me how many children I have. It can make people feel awkward. It's easiest when complete strangers ask you because you know you don't have to go into great detail with them. So far, every time I've been asked I have included Carleigh.


Andi said...
I was wondering what your middle name is and if "McKenna" is a family name or just a name that you liked?

My middle name is Lynn. A pretty common middle name. Carleigh's middle name McKenna is not a family name but just one that was on our list of middle names we liked.


croleyc69 said...
Would like to ask how you decided on Carleigh's name?

I will get into this question a little more on this week's Walking With You but like her middle name, it was just one on the list of names that we liked. We just kept narrowing down our choices.


Nickel Pickle said...
Kyndra and my daughter Chloe are the same age (3 days difference). I could not imagine being pregnant & having to chase after Chloe too. Was it difficult on you to be pregnant while trying to take care of a one year old at the same time? I would have been so exhausted!

It really wasn't that bad at all! I didn't have a lot of pregnancy symptoms with Carleigh and that made things much easier for me. With Kyndra, I was dead tired the first trimester and I'm so glad I didn't experience that again. Anthony helped out a lot, especially as my tummy got bigger and it was harder to do things. (Like bend over to put on my shoes. lol)


Camille said...
In reading your blog (and others that have gone through what you have) I have found new insight in the preciousness of the lives of babies yet to be born. From your first child to Carleigh how has your views changed?

With my firsthand experience I've definitely been able to see how precious our babies' lives are. I guess I kinda took for granted the miraculousness of pregnancy itself. Sometimes things don't go right, whether it is with our own bodies or with our babies' bodies. We can't always control what happens but we do control how we choose to react to these situations. Carleigh has taught me to treasure things more and not take things for granted. My pregnancy with her was certainly more cherished than Kyndra's because I learned that each kick and each little hiccup is a miracle itself.


The McDaniel's said...
How was it on Kyndra when Carleigh went to heaven? Do you think she knew something was going on? How did she react to meeting her little sister? How did Anthony's oldest daughter, Hannah, handle the news of Carleigh?

I think by the end of my pregnancy Kyndra was starting to realize that something was going on with my tummy. She was 15 months when Carleigh was born. She did a funny imitation of me by trying to stick out her belly as far as she could. She mostly did it when we would take a bath together. So Kyndra didn't really grasp what was going on when Carleigh was born and had already left us. I do wonder though if she felt something was a little off because the days leading up to my induction she was super clingy and did not like for me to be out of her sight. Kyndra slept most of the time when we were with Carleigh. (She was born at 3:49 in the morning!) The times when she was awake and saw her she just kinda looked at her. I think she thought she was a baby doll. She poked at her a couple times and that was about it.

We told Hannah about Carleigh just a few days after we found out. It was the night before we left on our family trip to Hawaii and we were staying in a hotel near the airport. Anthony told her and I could tell she was sad. The next day when we were on the shuttle bus she asked me what was wrong with her and I told her that her head and her brain didn't grow right and because of that Carleigh wouldn't be able to live once she was born. She seemed to accept that. Hannah wasn't present for Carleigh's birth or funeral.


MommyIvy said...
Does Kyndra remember that their was a baby and does she ask (in her own way) about her?

Kyndra doesn't really know anything right now and doesn't ask at all. Occasionally I do show her photos of Carleigh and tell her that it is her sister. I'll continue to do that and I'll make sure that Kyndra knows all about Carleigh and how special she is. When I take her to the cemetery she just plays around in the grass and points at the flowers on the graves.


mommy_2_alexander said...
My question is what feature of both of your girls did you love the most?

The feature they share that I really love is their chubby cheeks. When we first saw Carleigh on her 3D ultrasound the first thing I noticed was those cheeks! I said they looked just like Kyndra's!


nikjarv said...
Do people ever say anything to you about your choice to have a vaginal delivery? I totally understand it.... very, very much so. But other families seem to choose surgery....

I have been asked a couple times why I made that choice. I made the choice that was right for me. I really did not want to have a c-section and I knew very well that having one would increase Carleigh's chances of being born alive. But Carleigh also had a good chance of being born alive vaginally, even when I chose to have my water broke. It just wasn't meant to be for us. I knew that Carleigh would not be our last child and I did not want to have repeat c-sections. My doctor does not do VBACs and I have no intention of switching doctors. I wanted an easier recovery to be able to take care of Kyndra without having to rely on Anthony a whole lot. Also, I knew that I could have Carleigh on my chest immediately after she was born and I really wanted that. I wanted to be the first to hold her.

stitchndeb said...
How old is Coalee (your dog) and how and when did you get him?

Coalee turned 9 years old June 23. He's getting to be an old man! :) Coalee was born in 2000 to my mom and dad's Rottweiler, Angel. He was actually not born alive and a friend of the family who has a lot of experience with breeding dogs revived him. Angel got mastitis not long after the pups were born and so we took over their care. We got up often to bottle feed them. Of the 4 pups that made it, we got rid of 2 of them. My sister kept one and I kept one. Coalee and Callie. When we all got married Coalee and Callie came to live with Anthony and me because we did not want to split them up. Callie passed away April 26, 2007 for reasons we still don't understand. We just came home from work and found her gone. I was a mess.

sherry treece said...
I have always wondered how the news about Carleigh affected your marriage? If it brought you closer or ??

I would say our journey with Carleigh has made our marriage stronger. Anthony supported my decision to carry her to term and honestly even if he wouldn't have I still would have carried her. When we got our 'second opinion' from the Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist Anthony really bought into the bullcrap that man was spewing and he wanted me to induce early. He didn't want me to go farther than 30 weeks. I told him no. I was carrying her all the way. I told him the real truth that the specialist seemed to ignore and it really helped to ease his fears and got him back on the same page as me.


Ms. Sarah said...
I wonder what you think your future looks like. Do you see more children? A Foundation for other families afflicted with the same disorder?

I definitely see more children in my future. I love being pregnant and I love being a mommy. Anthony says we're only having one more but would like more than one. We are still at odds on this but I know we'll work it out. I would definitely like to do something to spread awareness and help out. Something is already in the works too. When we had the bike run for Carleigh, the owner of Whiskey Venue (who has spina bifida) asked us about doing a bike run for neural tube defects in the area to help raise awareness and money for the cause. So we are in the process of getting that around for the fall and I believe we will begin having that as an annual event. We know it will start off small but are hoping that if we do indeed continue it every year that it will grow into something bigger.


Joye said...
I was wondering how much Kyndra knows about her sister? Or how much you think she knows? What did you tell her about Carleigh?

Similar to the question above, Kyndra doesn't really know that much. While I was pregnant we told her all the time that mommy had a baby in her belly and it was her sister Carleigh. She couldn't really grasp it but near the end I think she knew something was different about me. (Must've been that big (small) belly! lol) As she gets older we definitely want her, and any other children we have, to know about their sister.


Mindy said...
You have admirable and addicting faith. Where and when did you find Jesus and how did it change your life? Do you feel closer to him now that you have gone through this?

I have went to church since I was little and always loved going to Sunday School, children's church, VBS, and later being a part of our church's youth group. I was 12 years old when I accepted Jesus as my Saviour. It was at church camp during the summer during our worship service one evening. It felt so good! Throughout my life I've had times when I've wandered off the Lord's path for me (sometimes waaaay off) but He always welcomed my back into His loving arms. I was baptized when I was in college and my relationship has grown since then. I definitely feel so much closer to Him through this chapter in our lives.


Dawn said...
I was wondering about your faith and relationship with God. How have you developed that and how do you maintain that relationship? I grew up in the church but got away from it as an adult and would like to rebuild my relationship with God. You seem to be one of the most spiritual people I know.

Thank you! It hasn't always been easy, believe me! I've made plenty of mistakes and continue to make them as a born again Christian. After Anthony and I got married I started focusing more on my relationship with God and praying for my husband. I honestly don't spend as much time reading my Bible and praying and just spending time with Him as I'd like to. Life tends to gets so busy and the moments get away from us, but I'm working on that and He's being patient with me!

I keep a Bible beside my bed and I recently put there a small journal also. In the journal I have tucked in paper with prayer requests to pray for and I plan to start writing down prayer requests in this journal. Some nights I'm so tired that I don't even open it but I know that when it is in the book God knows those requests. Prayer is so vital in keeping a close relationship with God. I like to call my prayers 'conversations with God'. Often times I don't bow my head or fold my hands. I just talk to Him like you would talk to a person standing right in front of you.

I have a lot of trust in God. I know He can do anything and I trust Him with every aspect of my life. It hasn't always been like that though. Carleigh has brought me tremendously closer to Him. One thing I have really wanted to start and have never done before is devotionals. Can you believe I've never done those before!? Right now I'm trying to find one I want to start. (I'd love suggestions!) So I am still a work in progress, but aren't we all?

8 comments:

croleyc69 said...

Wow I feel like I know you a whole lot better. Thanx 4 sharing parts of your life w/ others. :)
Caroline

HappyascanB said...

Great questions and beautiful answers! You always have a way of writing beautifully!!

Ms. Sarah said...

thanks for sharing with us Holly :) emaill will be there

Jessica said...

Holly, your story is difficult to read but so inspirational. Your faith and trust in God's plan is beautiful, and I so respect that you have held strongly to Him during all that you have been through. Thank you for your honesty in sharing this journey with us. Many blessings on your and your family.

Andi said...

That was neat! Thanks for doing it! I love to hear people's stories!

Mommies-Miracles said...

Thank you so much for sharing. It is awesome to be able to know you and your family better.

Tanya (lexi.mommy @ cafemom) said...

I found your blog on cafemom and have followed your journey since March. I remember the day Carleigh was born. It was cold and wet (I'm in Dayton, OH, just down the road). I checked your blog almost every hour that weekend. I prayed and I cried, lots! I want you to know that I will never forget Carleigh. I continue to pray for you and your entire family daily.

lost--for--words said...

Hi Holly. Do you remember me? My name is Holly too, and we were both in the same DDC at Diaperswappers. I lost my daughter to T-18 fifteen days after her birth. I've been thinking about you alot, just thought I'd stop in and see how things are going with you. I found a really wonderful group of supportive women who have been through loss, and I was inspired to start a blog. It's been very healing. You know, it's funny - my middle name is Lynn too!!

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