Sometimes, I Talk to Her

November 3, 2014

I talked to her tonight. My sweet little baby girl, who was taken too soon last May. After my son, Ricky, fell asleep on the couch and I tucked him in, I ran to the grocery store while my husband waited at home.

As I was driving, I heard something jingling in my purse. It wasn’t a sound I normally hear. And, as with most things out of the ordinary – a unique butterfly, particularly beautiful day or pretty little noise that seems to come out of the blue, it makes me think of her. Like she’s there, next to me, totally aware of what’s going on in our world.

I told her that I love her – more than the moon and the stars – the same thing I tell my little guy when I put him to bed at night. The jingle sounded again, “I know. I’ve been a little hormonal today. You’re right.”

Another jingle. “I love you too. So much.” And then I was there – at the grocery store.

I walked in, picked up something sweet, and started driving home. No more jingling. She was gone.

Losing a baby makes you feel a little crazy sometimes. And while it gets easier to hide your pain, or that everything still affects you, it’s still there. It comes out more in the quiet moments of life. Or maybe she just reaches me better when it’s quiet. I guess I don’t really know.

For most people, especially those who haven’t been through this, I probably sound like a crazy person. If someone would’ve told me five years ago that they talked to their lost child while driving to the grocery store, I probably would’ve they were crazy. But to me, these things are very real. And I really believe that it’s her, just showing me that she’s there.

And now, we’re pregnant again. Due in April with baby number three. And while we are so elated to be having another baby, I can’t help but feel like it’s this different kind of elation – a more cautious optimism than anything else.

As much as I try to make things normal – take this like I would any other pregnancy had we not lost her – we all know that’s impossible. The constant fear that the pregnancy won’t carry to term, that there won’t be a living, breathing child at the end of this road, it’s enough to really make me feel like I’m losing it some days.

So instead of sitting around, counting down the hours until I can mark off ‘another day pregnant,’ I do everything in my power to stay busy. I work every day until I can’t look at the computer anymore. I find new toddler activities and things to do and forts to build to keep my toddler entertained from morning til night. I try to be crafty. I even picked up knitting, which is pretty amazing for keeping my mind busy.

The grief – well, it’s not as easy to control as the anxiety. The funny thing about grief, even months upon months later, is that it comes out in strange places based on triggers I can’t predict. So I’ve learned to roll with it, the best I can.

Part of rolling with it means wrapping it up into my life. Hearing something jingle in my purse reminds me to tell her that I love her. Seeing the same little butterfly in my garden all summer makes me feel like she stopped by to say she’s there.

And I think that’s just part of this life after losing a baby – positive or negative, you grieve how it’s right for you. You move on in a way that’s right for your family. Moving forward doesn’t mean completely forgetting the past. To me, ‘moving on’ is more about holding her forever in my heart  – because I don’t think it’s something I can ever get past.

 

Cortney Galster owns The Mommyhood Project, where she blogs about life with her husband and two year old son, losing her daughter to stillbirth and being pregnant for the third time around.

 

5 Comments

  • Jerad M Hucke

    December 4, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Lost my son almost a year ago (31st of December 2013) he was 2 weeks old. He was premature but not in bad condition what so ever, his twin sister Daisy was 1 kilo and we were really worried about her. He died because a nurse punctured his bowel during a enema, a very common procedure. The hospital then worded the "investigation" to "freak accident" so no one was to blame for my child being killed. Can't fight it either because of astronomical lawyer fees. – Anyways, We have a shrine or sitting place for him in our living room, with shelves all glass and some lights we installed on every level. His urn is in there along with pictures and other remembering things, every so often the lights will just start to blink randomly tho all the other lights in the house are normal. It sounds crazy to even think it could be him, but I like to think it sometimes….it helps..some..

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  • Justamom

    November 3, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    It doesn’t sound crazy. Not at all.

    My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. A very early miscarriage, which I’ve never compared to losing a later term pregnancy or child after birth, but it was still a difficult experience. I often wondered if a pregnancy lost that soon resulted in a soul who would wait for me in the hereafter. I always thought the idea was a little nuts, until I read “Heaven is For Real” and the boy talked about an older sister…the baby his mother had lost in an early miscarriage.

    I prayed that somehow, God would show me if I did have a child waiting for me somewhere.

    The next morning, I awoke to one of the kids calling me. “Moooommy!” I opened my eyes and blearily called out “What is it sweet pea?” No answer. I closed them again and waited for her to call again. Soon after, she did. “Mommy? Moooomy?!” I called out again, and still she didn’t answer. I figured she couldn’t hear me from across the house, and dozed back off, assuming she’d come get me like she normally did. Just as I was about to drift back off, I heard a shuffling next to my bed, and felt a presence there. My daughter had a habit of hiding down there and jumping out to ‘scare” me in the mornings, so this seemed normal to me. I smiled and said “I know you’re there…” I bent over the bed quickly to surprise her first, but was surprised to see that she wasn’t there. I got up, checked all around the bed, and nobody was in the room aside from my sleeping toddler. I checked the kids’ bedroom and was even more surprised to see that both of my other children were still out like lights.

    I went back to bed and the warmest, most loving feeling descended over me.

    So I am crazy too.

  • Shannon

    November 3, 2014 at 9:22 am

    This is absolutely beautiful and so, so right on. It’s been 9 1/2 years since I lost my baby girl, my second child, and I still miss her and think about her every day, multiple times a day. Lady bugs are my special sign from her so anytime I see one, I know she is there checking in on us, saying hi, reminding me to tell her I love her and miss her. So you see, you are not crazy at all!

    I am so sorry for your loss and wish you peace and strength with this pregnancy. My third child is now 8 years old, but I remember being pregnant with him and all the mixed feelings that brought. You are doing great – just keep rolling with it.

  • Donna

    November 3, 2014 at 8:07 am

    I’ve never lost a baby, and I want you to know that you don’t sound crazy. Not even a little. Your conversation with your sweet girl is precious. I will lift you up in my prayers today.

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