Wednesday, April 28, 2010

To share or not to share?

One of the increasingly difficult situations that I have had to come across has been when and where it's appropriate to share that I have another daughter, Grayson.

I get asked many times a week "So is this your second?"  Many times I just say yes, or sometimes I am adamant that Grayson gets mentioned, because she is a part of our family. Today was Addison's kindergarten orientation. Talked with a lot of people, one who asked this very question. Matt and I always have this hesitation and then look between us before we answer, not knowing what the other is feeling. This must be weird to most people, this is a factual answer, there should be no pause.  We both confirmed that it was our second, not wanting to create any awkwardness.  As I walked away I could kick myself because Grayson deserves to be recognized.

When my friends share stories from their children's birth, I want to add Grayson's story to it, these are my friends and I have her pregnancy and birth story, just like Addison's. I craved fruit with Grayson, I didn't gain as much weight as I did with Addie and being pregnant over the summer is just NOT fun. I have a completely different birth story to share as we do with all of our children, when my water broke, how long I was in labor, when contractions started. This is all etched in my history along with Addison's pregnancy and entrance. But there is no joyful, happy ending here and again I hesitate to bring the group down.

Yesterday, we went to the doctor, it was great news, so great. This baby is perfect in every way. The ultrasound tech told me that she has hair. I remember when they told me that Grayson had hair, I called my dad on the way home to share the news, Addie was so...bald.

The emotions from losing Grayson are RIGHT HERE, so fresh and raw, right in front of my face again. I thought that I had neatly tucked her away in my head, to bring out when I wanted to.  Not the case.  I don't get to decide when to grieve for her, it just happens.

This is my third child.  I have three daughters, one named Addie who will be 5 in July, one named Grayson who would turn two this October and one to be born very soon.

Thanks for letting me share.


  1. Amy, I love reading your very real post. I cryed with everyone else that "knows" you and Matt when you lost Grayson. You are rigth she deserves to be including in your family stories. I am so happy for you, Matt, and Addison for this new addition. I know she can't and won't take Grayson place, but it is a great way to heal the pain. God Bless you and your family.

  2. Oh my, how I understand how you feel. When is it appropriate to share? Will there ever be a time when it is not just a bit awkward or make others uncomfortable? I wish I knew. I too struggle with these situations. Some days I can speak of Noah with such joy and even a smile on my face and other times I struggle through with tears shining in my eyes.

    The grief will always be there but as time goes on it gets much easier to deal with. And no....we don't get to decide when it will overtake us. It just happens, usually without much warning.

  3. My sister in law lost her oldest son in a car accident several years ago. She has a much younger son that is involved in school & sports so she is often asked if he is an only child. Her response to people may apply to your situation. She tells them that she has 2 sons, Austin who is 11 and Zachary that is in heaven and would be 19. The responses she receives are always supportive and very rarely awkward.

  4. Amy, I have been following your bedrest blog for a while now, have listened to M&R for years, and cried when Matt came back to work after Grayson's passing and told everyone what happened. I think you are an amazing person, an amazing mother, wife, everything! And you need to express your grief whenever and however best fits your personality. All those "steps" and "grief work" are just ideas about what 'might be typical.' Two of my best friends have lost children; one was a miscarriage in 2nd trimester, and one was at 18 yrs. old. And they both grieve at special times during the year, and also at moments they didn't expect that pop up.
    My heart just goes out to you. And I know little Grayson will never be forgotten!

  5. No matter whether you say it out loud or not is up to your comfort level not anyone else's. Either way she exsisted. She made her mark in the world and nothing can ever take that away. This post certainly tells the story of your emotions right now and frustration too. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Thank you for your honesty. I know we don't know one another but I have had you in my thoughts. You do have 3 beautiful of whom gets to watch you all from the lap of Jesus. Bless you!

  7. What you are feeling is what ever mother who has lost a baby feels. It's OK to say that you have two daughters here and a daughter that lives in your heart. If the person is of any caliber they won't ask any more questions unless you volunteer more information.

  8. I lost my first child at birth and when I was pregnant with my "2nd", I went throught the exact same thing as you. It was difficult to explain to people and I felt myself trying to make others feel confortable when they asked. Congratulations and I hope all goes well this time!!

  9. You look great!

    Let your happiness outweigh your sorrow.

  10. thank you for sharing. your story gives others strength! keeping you guys in my prayers!

  11. Amy, I have never comment on a blog, but this one hit very close to home. I lost my son Josh, at age 24 after a five year battle with Leukemia.
    My younger son Andrew, was 22 and is now 25.
    When I mention Andrew to anyone in passing, I aways hold my breathe for the questions.
    "How many children do you have?" or "Is he your only son?".
    I generally tell them about Josh and that he passed away, but that always make the person who ask feel horrible and I end up comforting them and trying to make it okay.
    Josh is with me everyday and I would never deny his life, but I agree it's a difficult question and sometimes it's just easier to say, "Andrew is the child I have."

  12. What a sweet post. I agree, you have 3 kids. We had triplets, and one died before birth. I am a father of 4. My 3 sons, and a child I didn't get to meet.
    I have felt the guilt as well when saying "I have 3 kids."
    God bless you!

  13. God Bless you Amy!

  14. My dear, sweet niece Amy. (Had to fix that -- the first time I spelled it "nice." And you are, but that wasn't my point.)

    I have a friend who has four daughters, and the oldest was killed in a car accident at the age of 18. Ever since, whenever someone asks her how many daughters she has, my friend answers "Four: three here with me, and one in heaven." I think that is a wonderful answer, because Lisa is still very much her daughteer; she just isn't here on earth anymore.

    I sure don't think Grayson ceased to exist when she left you; she is waiting for you and I bet her Grandma Carnahan is sure taking good care of her in the meantime. So I do agree: you have three little girls. Two are with you -- and one is in heaven. And frankly, I can't wait to meet that sweet little girl myself. After all, everyone needs a Great Aunt Polly. :-)

    I love you!

  15. Oh, Amy. You brought me to tears. Absolutely, you have three girls... thank you for sharing her with us. I love you to pieces.

  16. Thanks for sharing your story. And I love all your pregnancy photos, you look wonderful in all of them.

  17. I have commented before about how strong you and Matt are. I have never had to go through what you have, but I think you have to do what feels right at the time. I tell people I know about you and your experiences and talk about you and Matt, Addison and even Grayson like I actually know you all. You are an inspiration for expecting parents and parents who have lost children, whatever the case may be. God Bless You all and please keep sharing.

  18. Oh, Amy I remember when little Grayson came into the world and how hard it was on you and Matt to of lost your little darling. I have been listen to Matt and Ramona's show off and on for about 8 years now and you all feel like family to me.
    I agree with you that you that little Grayson should be counted...she has her own voice and needs to be have many fond memories of the time you did get to spend with her.
    I know this new pregnancy has to be nerve racking for daughter was put on bed rest for 5 months after going through Hurricane Katrina while was living hell let me tell you for those of us who had to live with her. LOL The Dr allowed her to go out to the store and she had to ride in an electric cart and we took her out to eat every time we went out. But those small moments we took her out after Dr appointments was a god send! I just now found your blog today so I will be back tracking to read them all from the beginning. Good luck with your new little one...and I will wing a prayer to heaven for you and yours.

    Love to you all

  19. I admire both yours and Matt's attitude and strength. I lost one in between my 2 girls as well. I think it's hard to explain to someone who hasn't been there and they don't know what to say or how to act when they find out, it's like everyone looks at you differently after they know. I am so excited for you both....I have kept up with your story and your bedrest blog but don't usually comment....I wanted to share another blog with you that you may already know of, but I think you might like it and should go way back to older posts and read forward

    can't wait to see pictures of your newest joy! Good luck and good health to you all!

  20. Glad I found your blog - Congratulations on another girl! I'm glad you're doing so well.

    When the doctor told me he could feel hair on our baby (this was during labor) I was shocked and pretty weirded out, but still very excited. 18 days old now and it's been amazing!

    Best of luck in the coming weeks...


  21. I agree with what Polly said about the daughter in heaven. Grayson is your 2nd daughter, you just have her kept in your heart. I think I understand the awkward pause, you don't want people to be brought down from your loss. I suffered a miscarriage before I got married & in my mind it was "swept under the rug" because I was married to the father yet, but that didn't make the pain be any easier to bear, only harder to deal with, because it was in private.
    I still say a prayer for you & your soon-to-be-met daughter. She will be the most beautiful angel with a full head of hair!

  22. Amy,

    It has been interesting to read your blog. Congrats on baby Avery. I recall the sadness I felt in hearing of the loss of Grayson. I think it is very appropriate to say, I/we, have 3 daughters, one left us too soon, or, Grayson is in heaven.

  23. Amy, your story is almost a parallel to mine. I lost my baby girl suddenly after she was born at 32 weeks. I have two older girls who didn't understand why baby sister wasn't coming home. It was such a difficult time for us as a family. Not long after her death I became pregnant again, this time with a little boy. The pregnancy was filled with doctors appointments and trips to the hospital as well and after 8 weeks of bed rest he was born 3lbs 4 oz. After 8 weeks in the ICN he came home. Every day I think of Lauren as I look at him. I know he is truly a gift from God and his big sister. I too don't know how to answer the question and will probably never come to terms with a good answer, but I know she understands that in my heart she's always with us. My healthy little boy now a year old will never know how lucky he is. Congratulations on your third child!