This week, we are sharing the impact our loss(es) had on our marriage. (My original post can be viewed here.)
Losing Carleigh was not our first experience in losing a child. Before Anthony and I were married and not long after we got together I found out I was pregnant. We made a very poor and hasty decision to end the pregnancy. While most couples who choose abortion don’t stay together, we did. Over the years our grief over losing Jordan took its toll, mostly on myself. We worked through it and found forgiveness and healing.
Finding out Carleigh wouldn’t live was devastating for us. We never imagined having to deal with a fatal diagnosis for our unborn child. We didn’t talk a whole lot about the whole situation. I’ve never been much of a talker of feelings. I tend to be able to write things out much better. When our dr first gave us the options of what to do I didn’t even consult Anthony. I knew that I would carry to term and there was nobody, even my husband, who was going to change my mind. I think we both knew that I could never make the choice to end the life of my child after having done so with Jordan.
The night we got the diagnosis we went to sleep holding each other. Something we hadn’t done for a long time.
We had a MFM appointment just 2 days after finding out and it was at this appointment that Anthony asked me if I would induce early, perhaps around 30 weeks. I told him no. The dr that came in the ultrasound room spoke incorrectly about what would happen and I think it scared Anthony as he was fearful for my own life. Once I told him that the dr was incorrect (and he most certainly was!) he felt much better about carrying to term. I also think suggestions he heard from people who didn’t know anything about my daughter’s diagnosis weighed on his mind when he asked me. Sometimes it was easy for me to forget that Anthony didn’t know as much as I did about anencephaly and the medical field in general.
The rest of my pregnancy with Carleigh was a planning period for her arrival. Anthony let me make most of the decisions. I think he knew it was important to me. He never objected to the things I wanted to do to make memories. He supported me and would be my sounding board when I was unsure.
I’ve kept a lot of my grief inside of me and have used my blog as an outlet for my feelings. I know Anthony at times has wished I would be more open and talk to him about what I’m feeling but it’s not easy for me to do that.
I am grateful that Anthony has let me do what I feel led to do to honor Carleigh and remember her. I’m sure at times he has thought I was a little crazy but no matter what he supports what I do.
Carleigh’s 3rd birthday is just over a month away. These days we don’t talk about her a lot but I know we both still love her and miss her. For me, I still think of her every day. I know she’ll never be forgotten by us. I still have grief moments and I’m sure Anthony does too, though I don’t think quite often as me. I believe that since I am the one that carried Carleigh for so many months and knew her in a way that no one else could that there is going to be a level of grief that no one but myself can experience or understand, not even my husband.