Thursday, January 6, 2011

Love and Loss

I told you I had a blog brewing.... I was thinking of all kinds of eloquent ways to slit my heart open and spill it on your computer screen, but really.... There is no way to do that gracefully.

Anna was about 7 months old when we evaluated our family, and how much Carol and Anna love each other.

As a family we hopefully opened our hearts and home in prayers for a new life. Now, with our girls we were open to life no more than a month before I was expecting. It took about 3 months before we got a positive pregnancy test. Just 3 short days later I started my cycle. I was sad and confused, but we moved on in our hope. At the end of October I went to the Dr. for a toe issue and before prescribing any meds he took a pregnancy test. With a total shock it was positive. We went into Anna's first birthday expecting another sibling by her second. After just a few weeks and urging from family members I called my favorite nurse Maria, to be sure I was on the right track. She said "There IS no such thing as a false positive", we had had a miscarriage a few months ago and I should come in right away to make sure things were going well with this pregnancy. (We named him Able, and in my heart he is Able Benjamin) After an ultra sound we knew there was baby and she was 6 weeks along. "Come back next week, so we can stay on top of it."
The next week the ultrasound was quiet. Baby was dead.

As Catholics we believe that Life begins at conception, so, we had lost our 4Th Child. Carol our first, Anna our Second and now our second miscarriage.

This was the day before Thanksgiving, and the Dr. would see me back on Monday to make some decisions about my health and my baby's body. It was a beautiful holiday with family and friends, but all the while, in the back of my head..... I had a dead baby in my belly.
During this time Dave and I talked about a name for our baby. I knew in my heart she was a girl, and I wanted so badly to name her Lilly. (In my heart she is Lilly Anne)
Monday Dr. Leonard met with us to discus our options. Because baby was so small I chose a DNC at the hospital that night.
Mercy Gilbert Kept our babies body, so we could bury her if we so choose.
Queen of Heave Mortuary has a beautiful ministry with the Knights of Columbus, where they will bury unborn babies for free. They gave us a beautiful coffin with a baby blanket lining the inside. The arrangements were made to bury our little Lilly just a few days before Christmas.

We spent the weekend preparing our coffin, but mostly our hearts for this sad day. We bought a beautiful rosary, in cased in a porcelain image of a infant sleeping. (The Rosary is in the coffin, and the Infant sleeping is on my night table.) Dave went to the store that weekend to choose a little toy to leave in the ground. Its a heartbreaking experience to buy a toy to bury with your child. We both wrote love notes to our Lilly.

The Wednesday before Christmas we gathered at the Cemetery with family and friend. Fr. Charlie (Our Parrish Priest) came too, to lead us in a small service. Lilly in the casket, and flowers near buy we morned the life that wouldn't be. Dave and I cried the whole time, thinking of what the world would miss out on. Our Nieces and Nephews mourned for lost cousins. After prayers and blessings Dave Carried our gift in his arms, for the first time, and laid her in the ground. We dropped roses on her coffin, one for Lilly, one for Able and one for Beth, my sister, lost to miscarriage. It was a sad day, and It was beautiful. To morn lost life, to be thankful for life, and to see what a blessing life is, as my two living children run and jump and sing, in the cemetery. Little Carol even stood at the grave looking in, she dropped a flower and ran off, she put her hand behind her and said, "Bye bye Lilly".


  1. Thank you for sharing Erin. I know it is the hardest thing ever and sadly- nothing anyone can do can make it better.

    Hopefully, having the funeral, sharing your story and hearing from others will comfort you. I know that hearing from friends who had gone through the same thing helped me a great deal.

  2. Thanks for sharing.
    Love Billie

  3. As you share your broken heart Erin, it breaks a little piece of each mother's hearat reading this.... whether they've lost a baby or rejoice in a birth. May the opening of your broken heart be the same opening where our Lord's healing enters in. Love, Fran