Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What I'd like to tell you.

 I remember reading posts like this from other mamas who have lost a child.  Now, here I am posting something similar.  Here is a collection of thoughts I've had for a while now and I wanted to share them with you.

  • I like to talk about Ella.  She is a very important part of my life.  I don't mind if you talk about her too. It's ok to ask me about her.  If I share something about her it's not because I am trying to make you uncomfortable, it's because she's part of my story now. When I share about the birth of my kids, there will be three stories.  When I talk, many things in our lives were "before Ella, when we had Ella, or after we had Ella".  
  • I like it when you do ask me about her.  Or how I am really doing.  Sometimes I am really good and feeling good and sometimes I am sad and missing her a lot. I may share with you, I may just tell you that I'm "good"  (and that is more often than not true!)
  • Ella was born.  She lived. She was born alive at 34 weeks.  She cried.  She opened her eyes.  She lived for two precious hours. If she would not have had Trisomy 13 there would have been all kinds of interventions and things done to make sure she was a healthy preemie.  She did not live long, but she did indeed live.
  • I did not have a miscarriage.  Ella was born alive and then went into the arms of Jesus two hours later.  I am not trying to trivialize anyone's pain with a miscarriage.  I have had miscarriages and have mourned greatly for those babies I never got to know. But I did not have a miscarriage.  I carried Ella for 34 weeks and felt her move and kick and hiccup.  I held her as she took her last breath here on earth.  She was here.  If she would have went to heaven before she was born, I still would not have had a miscarriage.  It would have been a stillbirth.  This is very important to me.  I would also venture to say that it's important to other mama's who have experienced the same loss.  If you are unsure of what to say or you don't want to say "when Ella died", you can use "when you lost Ella", or "when you had Ella", or "when Ella went to heaven."
  • Grace and Graham will always know they have a sister in Heaven.  We talk about her whenever the opportunity arises.  Gracie will proudly share that she has a "baby" and that her baby sister is in heaven. I am proud of her during those moments when she feels like sharing.  I want her be able to talk about Ella whenever she wants to.  Sometimes she doesn't talk about her for a while and then we'll talk about her quite a bit for a few days.  
  • I have three children.  Two are here and one is in heaven.  That "how many kids do you have" question will always be awkward for me from here on out.  I may say just two to simplify things, I may say I have three kids, or I may go into detail, but I will now always, always have to stop and think about that question.


Anonymous said...

Lots of love to you Shannon!
Thank you for giving advice on how to help you and talk about Ella.

Anonymous said...

Shannon, I have always felt that you have a great deal of courage. I only wish I had your strong resolve. As I read about Ella, I keep thinking that I wish that your grandmother had been willing to talk to me about my brothers and sister.
Love you Dad.