Friday, March 04, 2011

Guilt and hurt feelings

Today I had someone at work ask me the dreaded question of how many children I had. When she asked it I just let out this big exasperated sigh. It's such a loaded question and I hate having to answer it sometimes and on this day I just didn't want to have to answer it. But I did and I left her out.

WHAT!? I left her out!? How could I do that!?

I admit I wasn't really thinking and after I left her out I immediately regretted it and just felt guilty. But is it so bad not wanting to get into it all? I know it's ok and she isn't upset about it but this was the first time I have ever left her out. Almost everyone in my department knows what happened because they were there through it all so I guess I just didn't feel like explaining it to someone who prolly wasn't gonna be around much longer.

Why must this question always leave me at a loss for words? I know what my heart wants to say but sometimes it can be so hard to speak the words.

Almost 2 years ago my daughter was born and almost a week later my milk came in. It was right before her visitations and service. I pumped and stored my milk for 3 weeks hoping to give it to someone who needed it and would use it. I ended up giving it to my cousin who had her baby around 2 months later. I was happy that she would be able to use it for her baby.

I had assumed all this time that she had given it to her baby. I found out today that after I gave it to her she threw the breast milk away. She may have used a little bit of it but SHE THREW IT AWAY!!! I am so upset over this. This really hurts me that she did this. If she didn't want the milk all she had to do was tell me and I would've donated it to a milk bank or gave it to someone else who wanted it. This was the milk my body made that was supposed to nourish my daughter but instead it was thrown in the trash. It makes me sick.

It feels like she has disrespected me and even worse, my daughter. I don't plan on bringing this up to her because I don't want to end up hurting her feelings despite that she has hurt mine. And normally I wouldn't post things like this that she could very well end up reading but I figure if she finds out I know this way I don't really care. I just needed to vent about it and this is my space to do so.

On a happier note, I remembered I never shared the lovely heart pin that Kristin sent me for Carleigh. It's such a lovely pin and it makes me happy that she thought of us. Thanks Kristin! The heart kinda reminds me of what my heart is like now-a joyful and mournful heart in one.


Caroline said...

I know I dislike that question and I always feel bad. I never go in to a lot of detail cause I'm always afraid of what that person might say and then I would feel worse.
I'm also sorry that happened with your cousin. Too bad she just couldn't tell you. {{{HUGS}}}
The heart is beautiful. I love it.
Take care

Trisha Larson said...

I'm so sorry Holly. I would feel the same way too. In fact I was bummed when the ICU threw out all of the milk that I had pumped for Nathan because they didn't have room to store it.

I know how much you wanted Carleighs life to bless someone else's. I imagine that the milk was symbolic to give her life purpose. But I have to tell you that you didn't need to use the milk to do that. She has changed the world by her pure existance. Her little footprint is forever stamped on this world.


New Year Mum said...

You didn't leave her out... she's in your heart forever. I still can't handle that question either xoxo

Tiffany said...

I hate that question too. I never have the perfect answer. Someone always either feels hurt or awkward. There is just no winning with that question. So sorry girl. And about the milk... O.M.G.... seriously?! I would have been FUMING! That is so hurtful and beyond insensitive. What an insult. I am so very sorry mama. I just have no words. ((HUGS))

Jill said...

You are right, it is a loaded question. I know what you mean about not wanting to leave her out, but also not wanting to get into it. Especially with someone who you may not see on a regular basis or may not see for much longer. It is hard not to feel guilty, but you said what was right for you in that moment.

Sorry about the milk :( It breaks my heart that it got throw away.

Melissa said...

Don't be to hard on yourself. I just had someone email that question to me on FB. So far I have been able to answer face to face, but for some reason I can't figure out how to reply to it in an email.

I am so sorry about the milk tossing! It is so much work to pump, I always felt like my milk was solid gold, as hard as I worked to pump, collect & store it. To bad she didn't just refuse it so you could give it to someone who could use it. :(

Mary said...

You didn't foget her...sometimes its just easier than having to least thats how I feel. Hugs to you Holly! Carleigh knows you love her!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I am so sorry that you have to deal with the questions and then the guilt. ((HUGS)) Can't believe that about your cousin and the milk. I know that must really hurt.
((MORE HUGS)) Love the heart pin you received.

TanaLee Davis said...

I too have avoided mentioning TanaLee when asked about being a mother or not. Its not that I don't want to tell people about her, its the sadness, awkwardness and the long story that wraps it all up. Its difficult to carry on that conversation because you are plunged into the loss again. The milk- that would upset me too. Our bodies work hard to produce that and for it to just be thrown away?! I'm sorry for that news. As far as posting about it..your 100% right. You can post anything on this blog and not be made to feel sorry for what you say. Its your grief and your place to talk about it. If they don't like what they see...its simple stop viewing. You are totally fine as far as your feelings and you shouldn't feel sorry for it. hugs-

Shandrea said...

"How many children?" yes it's still one of the hardest questions for me to answer. I still haven't found the right way. I thought i did once but then the question came up and it still didn't go as planned. As for your cousin, wow, i am so sorry that that happened. My feelings are hurt for you. I am glad though that you came here and let it out and i hope it gives you at least a little relief. I love the heart and I hope it made you smile. Sending you lots of love and hugs.

heather said...

It is ok to answer that question however you feel like it at the time. I hate that question, too, but I'm learning not to feel guilty if I don't feel like explaining.

I'm so sorry about the milk...that would upset me too. :(

Chrissy said...

I know how you feel...that dreaded question....I am pretty sure that we have all been there and done the same thing. It is so hard. Don't be too hard on yourself, Carleigh knows you love her. I am sorry about the breastmilk situation, I know it must hurt, sending you hugs!

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

I hate the question too. I've just recently...sometimes...began to include Faith, Grace, and Thomas. It has taken me this long...and I sometimes do not include them. I have guilt for that, too...even though I know they are not bothered. It is a mommy thing...whether our babies are here or not...we have mommy guilt, I guess. It is always hard to answer and we do the best we can in each situation.

I'm so sorry for the hurt feelings...and they are so understandable...=(
I absolutely love what Trisha said...and wholeheartedly agree.

Beautiful heart...just beautiful...

Jennifer Ross said...

I have had so much trouble with that question in the last 2.5 years, I decided to answer on how I was feeling, when asked. If I don't want to "go there," I say 4, when I'm feeling like talking about it, I say 5......... It sure doesn't work when Parker is with me though! He likes to answer for me, and tell about his baby that died. That's hard for me. To hear how hurt he still is, but I'm glad that he talks about it. It's his way of healing.

I can't imagine if someone threw something so special away, that represented Isaiah. I hope you feel better soon (emotionally), and I am so so sorry that this happened.

Stacy said...

Some days are just so hard... wish I could give you a hug.
love & hope,

Trennia said...

That is my most dreaded question from other's that do not know...(((HUGS)))
I wish your cousin had told you about the milk, that is sad,but maybe she didn't know how to say it without hurting you....may in her way she was trying to help who knows....just thinking of you right now sending (((HUGS))) your way.

Amy von Oven said...

I know how you feel. I always say I have four children, three on earth and one in Heaven, but I have to admit, I have simply said three just to not have to talk to people or see the look on their face when I say that, and then I feel so bad for leaving her out. Its times like that I remember that this pain will be with us forever, and at times it will never get easier...Ive been thinking of you because I know that 2 year mark is coming up and then mine is coming up right after,,,praying for you!

Lachlan's Mum said...

Oh my gosh, she shouldn't have thrown that milk away! That makes me so sad.

I also hate that question.

Sarita Boyette said...

I'm so sorry you got your feelings hurt about the milk. What a shame she didn't discuss it with you - maybe someone else could have used it.
I have left Meredith out before, too. Sometimes I just don't want to go into it. But my husband - he has never left her out, at least where I have been around to hear it. He always tells about Meredith.
I surely do wish I could join you for Carleigh's party. I will be there in spirit, though. You are all very special to me!

Sarita Boyette said...

Forgot to mention - the heart pin is beautiful! Kristin was so sweet to send it to you. xoxo

Mary said...

je suis désolée. votre cousine ne voulait sans aucun doute pas vous blaisser. Il est dommage pour votre don, il est vrai qu'il aurait pu profiter à un prématuré. Je comprends votre colère.

brigette said...

Im so sorry. The loaded question is so hard!! It does hurt when we dont know what to say. Im also sorry about the milk that is a horrible thing to do after such a thoughtful thing to do on your part.. so sorry sending much love!!

CynthiaS said...

That is never an easy question to answer and I'm afraid the further we get from Olivia's birth, the more awkward it can be.
I am so sorry to know that the milk ended up in the trash and you had to find out about it. You gave it with a loving heart and giving spirit, that is what matters. I hoarded mine, after I initially thought I would donate it and the opportunity for another baby to benefit was never even there.

AKD said...

That would have hurt my heart terribly to hear that. :( I'm sending huge hugs to you, Holly.

<3 Carleigh!

The Blue Sparrow said...

I am at a loss for word Holly, I'm sorry that your cousin did that. I would have been hurt too. And that dreaded question, it gets us everytime doesn't it? I have a love hate relationship with that question. Some day's I am just busting at the seams for someone to ask me so I can talk about Bryston, and other day's those 6 little words can pull me so far down the pit I don't think I'll ever get out this time. I guess all we can do it take it day by day and if today's the cant wait to talk about Carleigh day then go for it. Otherwise it's nobody's business. (((HUGS)))

Mary said...

Holly I amso sorry you went through this.

First of all, sometimes I wonder why people need to know how many children anyone has. I understand it's just to make conversation but it is a personal question. It should be up there with never asking a woman her age.

Secondly, your cousin could have just said no thank you.

That heart is beautiful.

Monica said...

My feelings are hurt just reading about it. I'm so sorry she threw Carleigh's milk out. It was so generous of you to give it to her.

I hate the question too. I don't respond the same everytime. Sometimes I don't want to get into it, just depends on how I'm feeling and how safe a person I'm talking to. If only they knew how hard this question is. One time I sighed so hard when I was asked that they knew something was wrong and I had to tell them the whole story.

Betty said...

Isnt it so wonderful to have a place like this where we CAN vent? I really cant believe that your cousin did that. I can completely understand why it upsets you. That was something of Carleigh's that you entrusted to her. To have it just tossed away must hurt like the dickens.

I recently had that dreaded question asked of me too. I was actually going to do a post of it, but still havent got around to it. I understand about the guilt you felt after leaving Carleigh out. I'm very ashamed to say that on many occasions I have left Vanessa out. It's just much easier than dealing with their reactions or explaining. Still doesnt make it feel right though. Sending tons of hugs and prayers your way.

Anonymous said...

WOW!! I can't believe someone would just throw away milk like that. My heart is broken for you Holly *hugs*. I am so sorry.

I really hate the question asking me how many children I have and just sometimes I don't want to get into the details so I answer it the easiest way possible, but breaks my heart to do so.

Hannah Rose said...

I'm so sorry she was so insensitive! It's almost like it would have been better if she never even told you the truth, ya know? My milk coming in was definitely one of the hardest things to cope with. I was one of the mothers that actually wanted to breastfeed my baby, rather than do the whole formula thing.

elena said...

You're right that is definitely a loaded question. I feel as moms guilt is part of the equation even though we shouldn't feel guilty. Its hard to know how to answer any question or what to say at times even for us living the moments. This definitely is your space to vent and I am glad that you have that.

elena said...

Oops, I hit publish before I was finished, so here I am yet again. I would definitely react the same way about the breast milk. In fact I was shocked! You are completely validated in feeling as you do and I am sorry that she hurt you that way whether intentional or not.

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