Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Encounter from yesterday

I love talking about Carleigh. She is such a big light in my life that I never want to hide her or keep her secret (just like Jesus!). If that makes people uncomfortable, then I guess that's just too bad. They'll just have to deal with it.

People aren't too comfortable when you talk about your dead baby. It's like it's taboo. Anybody else notice that? Because of this I've kinda watched where I've stepped when I speak of Carleigh. I don't enjoy making people uncomfortable but I also don't think I should have to avoid talking about my daughter.

Yesterday at work we had a nurse in our area because of a particular scan we were doing on a patient. She was sitting in our control room and I was chatting with her. She noticed both mine and Lindsey's pictures hanging up so she started looking at them. She saw mine of Carleigh and asked if that was my daughter and I told her it was. Then she asked, "How is she doing?" I'm thinking, "Crap, what do I say?" I told her, "Well, she was born still." I don't remember what she said next but she must've asked about it a little more because I told that Carleigh had anencephaly. She didn't ask about it further so I assumed that she knew what it was, but maybe she didn't.

I added, "Yeah, we wish we could've gotten to spend some time with her but it didn't happen that way." You know what she said to me? "Well, you did get to have some time with her," implying the time before she was born. I didn't answer immediately because I was so amazed she had even said that. Usually, when you tell people your baby died they say a quick sorry and then try to avoid it with a lot of awkwardness. She didn't do that at all! And it was refreshing to say the least!

When I finally did answer her I said, "Yes, we got to spend 9 months with her." Our conversation made me think. I should be thankful for those 9 months and not dwell on not having met her alive. So many people don't even get the time I had with Carleigh. So many babies slip away before they even have a chance to be known.

So from now on I won't hesitate in wondering what I should say to people when they ask. I will tell them that those 9 months were some of the best in my life. If it makes it awkward for them then it's all on them because I have a beautiful daughter who I should never be afraid to share with anyone.

Not sure if any of this makes sense but I just wanted to get some thoughts out.


mommy_2_alexander said...

Thank you for your words. I am glad that you encountered a true person. someone who is not hiding from you. I am so happy you love talking about Carleigh. I love reading about!

Rikki said...

It makes alot of sence. She is gorgeous and you definantly shouldnt be afraid to share her with anyone. I have also noticed the taboo thing about talking about them but thankfully it is only people that i dont know very well. The time in pregnancy is so special and everyone that gets to experience it is so lucky. xxx

April said...

You are making perfect sense. You had a full pregnancy to enjoy your baby's kicks and squirms. You knew a head of time that you may lose Carleigh, so I believe you probably cherished your pregnancy much more than other woman who are just waiting for the birth and the pregnancy to be over. You knew every moment counted, so you took advantage of every moment you had. That thoughts should make you smile.

Emily said...

Maybe it's a nurse thing. Whenever Anita, the OB nurse who took Leila's pictures, stops by, I manage to unload all those pent-up conversations. And she really knows how to listen. Is it possible they teach them that in school?

And, on the flipside, there was the girl who waxes my eyebrows for me. I was pregnant last time I went, and we were chatting about it. I went this time, and she asked how I was doing. I told her. You would have thought I had some communicable disease. She couldn't get done with me fast enough. Lovely.

It makes us appreciate those who understand all the more....

stitchndeb said...

Wow! That's really cool that you were able to talk about Carleigh in a positive way with someone who didn't know about her. Being brave and sharing blesses them more than you keeping her a secret. ~Debbie

Lauren said...

It makes perfect sence. The time we were given with our babies wasn't nearly long enough, but every minute was a blessing. :)

Mindy said...

I am glad that you came to that conclusion Holly! Satan tries to steal our joy and wants us to focus on the negative. That is a beautiful way of telling ppl and hopefully it will put them at ease talking about it since you are talking about the wonderful time you had with her.

My best friend was killed in a car accident at 17. His parents were so glad there were a few of us that would talk about him because they were so afraid that ppl would forget about him.

Praise Jesus for showing you the joy and happiness you experienced with Carleigh!!


Brooks said...

makes perfect sense. Carleigh is a gift.

Celia said...

Holly, how sweet that someone would have that perspective and not shy away from speaking to you about Carleigh. I have yet to encounter anyone that has more than a morbid curiosity in Noah. They want to hear about his defect and they want to hear how he passed. I never get the questions of what our time with him was like. It's one of the reasons I am so frustrated with my IRL friends and family at the moment. I only have 2 people outside of my husband & kids who treat me normally and yet willingly sit and listen when I want to talk about Noah. They only ask questions pertaining to what I'm talking about and never offer anything other than their ears and hearts. I LOVE that! I wish more people would understand that that is really all we need.

Trisha Larson said...


I just had that conversation on Sunday. I always feel bad for people when they ask "how many kids I have" or "where the new one is". I know that when I tell them that he's in heaven they will struggle for words. I know that they will feel bad that they asked. I really do feel sorry for them. But this is my life. Nate is my son. I want to talk about him. He counts!

I hate that it's thought of as taboo to talk about your dead baby. It's your baby whether they are here or in heaven. I hope that by us talking about our babies it will teach others that it's okay -- they don't have to ignore us because our baby died.


Lucy and Ethel said...

Yes, it makes sense, and I agree - it's not always comfortable for others to hear about babies who have died.

I'm sure I've blabbed much more than others have cared to hear on several occasions :)


Just Breathe said...

I'm happy you had a pleasant experience.

croleyc69 said...

Thanx for sharing that, I'm glad that you can share her & I really enjoy hearing things like that. Glad you met someone that understood.

Karen said...

Oh Holly,

Yes it makes complete sense. Thanks for the reminder how I need to be Thankful for the 9 months I had with Faith.

I am so glad that the nurse recognized the time that you had with Carleigh. I too like to talk about Faith but can tell it makes some people uncomfortable.


Mrs Banjo said...

after my sister was still borne everyone acted like she never existed, nobody wanted 2 talk to my parents about her to me and my sisters about her. she was just gone. we all talked about her we still do and its been 14 years but everyone else got uncomfortable when we did. i dont think its right that peopel do that, there were still here even if it was for 9 months.

Jodi Lansink said...

I agree-----each day that she was with you, in your tummy, was such a blessing! You got to enjoy each kick and hiccup! Some moms dont' get to experience that. You had a beautiful little girl, and I am with you on the "ask be about my baby, don't act like it didnt' happen!!" I guess for me I would rather talk about it with people, than to sweep it under the rug----these are our babies!!!!!! But I know it makes others uncomfortable----oh well! I am glad you had a "good conversation" and not another awkward moment!

Hope you are having a good day :)

Linda said...

Holly, I find the same thing happens to me as a Grandma who has lost 3 grandchildren.

People just don't know what to say. But I LOVE to talk about them and how much we all loved them, and what blessings God brought into our lives through them. We are forever changed because of them. How can we not want to talk about them???

I started following your mom's blog today. I gave her my email address in case she wants to chat with me through email.

I told her we have so much in common. She's Linda, I'm Linda. Her husband is John, husband is John. We are both Christians. We both love our daughters, and we have both lost grandchildren, so we know that kind of great sorrow, and the sorrow of watching our girls hurt.

I told her that I admire you so much and how you love the Lord and how you want to help others who are facing trials.

Who knows,...maybe God wants us to be good friends? ((smile))

Love, Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

HappyascanB said...

I totally understand where you're coming from. While I've got no clue of your hearache, I did lose my Dad to suicide almost 15 years ago. I love love love to talk about him. But I realize it's uncomfortable to others sometimes because they just don't know what to say or not say. So they clam up. I'm so thankful, too, that that nurse saw the 9 months Carleigh was in you as a special, irreplaceable time! So true!

Tina said...

This makes perfect sense to me and good fou you for having the courage to speak about your sweet Carleigh.

My Very Own Angel said...

That is wonderful, how she made such a very true point to you. I love when people let me talk about Vayden and don't feel like they have to keep quiet to spare my feelings. Don't you just wish that everyone would know how much we love our angels, why should we forget them, or worst not bring them up.

luv ya

Danielle said...

How very true. I wouldn't have traded the time I got with Wyatt for anything in the world... inside or outside of me!

People get uncomfortable when I talk about Wyatt as well... However, I am uncomfortable NOT mentioning him when I am asked about my family. I would much rather make someone uncomfortable and honor my son by including him in our family, then biting my tongue out of fear for the way a person will react.

I am so glad you had a good encounter with the nurse... The good reactions are deeply cherished in our household, as I am sure they are in yours as well.

Veronica said...

Holly, what you said makes perfect sense. I'm glad you had a better experience when you talked with the nurse at work. You know, I was kinda wondering about something, and maybe you can help me. For those who have never experience the loss of a child, it's hard to fully understand what that's like. Do you have any suggestions for things that would be the right thing to do? I know that might sound like a stupid question but after reading this post and some of Trisha's I think maybe I don't really know how I could be helpful if I ever met anyone IRL who lost a child. What is the "right" way to be there for someone?

Lea said...

So true - 9 beautiful, happy months. We do have something to be grateful for.

Love to you, Holly.


Nickel Pickle said...

I know I am amazed when every now and then I will get someone who is actually interested in talking with me about Logan. Sadly it just doesnt happen all that often...

People really dont want to talk about our dead babies... :( I learned that the hard way.

I know sometimes when talking about Logan I want to say he was with me "9 months & 33 hours". :)

Betty said...

So glad you found someone you could talk a bit to! She is right, you had 9 wonderful months of her kicking, hiccuping, and moving around inside of you! Cherish those I know you do.

Tiffany said...

Wow, I have a lot of the same feelings. Love talking about Emma but I don't want to purposely make anyone feel uncomfortable. Anyways, the other night I was praying with my husband and thanking Heavenly Father for our two boys, the baby in my stomach, and I thanked Him for the time that we got to spend with Emma. It really was and continues to be a huge blessing in my life, despite the fact that she was born still.

Mom Putnam said...

this is exactly what I was talking about-I love hearing you talk about Carleigh but around me you dont that much it is usually to other people and I went through it with you Honey and she is my granddaughter and I wont ever forget her either so dont be afraid to talk about her with me.

MommyIvy said...

I think it makes perfect since Holly

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