Wednesday, June 8, 2011

An interesting conversation

I spent some time with my mother yesterday. We talked about various things pertaining to the family. Somehow the conversation took a turn to pregnancy loss, and no, I was not the one who brought it up, my mom was the one. 

She mentioned that my brother's wife's sister had a miscarriage a LONG time ago... probably about 10 years or so. I had already heard about it quite some time ago. My brother and his wife's family would talk about it from time to time. It's not what you think though. The reason they bring it up is because my sister-in-law's sister kept the baby. She put it in a baby food jar with alcohol and kept it in there. I believe she still has it. I know we all deal with these things differently so I'm trying really hard not to judge. I certainly don't want others to judge me for my decisions so I try very hard not to do that to others. But if I'm being honest it does strike me as... oh what's the word. Maybe, different. Maybe even slightly odd. But if it works for her than who cares what others think. My mom mentioned this and I shared my feelings and she said that me keeping Genesis ashes was the same thing. Um no, it is not the same thing. The same thing would be if I kept her body in a jar filled with alcohol to preserve it. And that would be freaky, strange, morbid, maybe even illegal... and the list goes on. Plus its common for people to keep their loved ones ashes. Heck there is a very profitable business in selling urns. But how many people do you know that keep their loved ones in a jar? She was making me feel that I was in the wrong for keeping her ashes. {that's not to say its wrong what my sister-in-law's sister did, but it's something she is obviously judged and mocked for by her family} My mom was saying I was judged for this too by my family in Fresno. Which is fine by me. I could care less. But the reason I bring this up is I would like to know your opinion about keeping a miscarried baby in a jar preserved like that. Ive heard of burring it in a special spot and visiting that spot from time to time. Maybe even putting it in a flower pot and having this most special plant. But aside from my sister-in-law's sister, I have never heard of anyone doing this. Have you?

Since my conversation with my mom did bring up Genesis we talked about her briefly. My mom said "I like to remember her alive." And while I think that is a lovely sentiment, Genesis was never alive outside of me. I have no memories of her alive after she was born because she wasn't alive. All the memories I have is what was given to me. I dream of her being alive but it's simply something that never happened. Id like my mom to not only dream of the possibilities of what could of been, but more importantly Id like for her to remember Genesis for what she was. Changing any part of that is changing who she was and is. My mom insists that Genesis moved after she was born. She said she saw her head move. I didn't see it, as a matter of fact I closed my eyes the whole time I was birthing her as I didn't want to see her at that moment. {Ive explained why in many other posts but in case you are a new reader, the reason was that I had done research on the internet about babies with her condition and the photo I saw scared me. I didn't want to remember her like that. I wanted to remember her perfect as she was in my dreams. After she was born I was told that she looked nothing like the photos and I went to go see her at the mortuary.} I was told that there were nurses observing Genesis when she was born. All medical records indicate that she was stillborn, and that is what I believe. She didn't take a breath and according to the observations, she didn't make any movements on her own. Sigh.

Anyway, then our conversation shifted once again where she said "I know its too late now but like Ive told you before... you shouldn't have had another baby.... isn't 2 kids harder than 1?" I don't get why she keeps bringing this up. At least this time it was brought up in a calm manner. I replied in a calm manner as well and said the following: "Deciding to have G was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Period. Having kids in general has it's challenges but I welcome them all. Having 2 kids is different than having 1. As for being harder... I think that living life without a living daughter was torture and beyond hard. Not that G replaces Genesis, because no one could ever replace her... but she has brought me comfort and some healing in that regard. Personally I think it would have been harder living the rest of my life without a living daughter." I left it at that and she didn't say another word.


michelle hs said...

i think the jar is very strange & not at all like keeping ashes.

The Anglin Family said...

That's weird to me. I had a mc in 2009. I was at the hospital when it happened and the baby came out in the sac. They never offered me any options, I think some hospitals will do ashes of a miscarriage. They just took it, and it traumatized me. I think about that a lot. When Ryan was born a year later, I had plans on cremating her so I could keep her with me but then decided to bury her bc the funeral home did the service for free. I can't imagine keeping a miscarried baby in a jar. That's bizarre. And nothing like keeping Genesis' ashes.
I'm just sorry your mom treats you like this, it just seems like emotional torture. As if you could regret having your gorgeous daughter..
I have also had family tell me I have too many kids, which annoys me bc I have no help from them in anyway. It bothers me.

Deanna said...

I am sorry your mother said those things. It can be very hard to handle when things such as these are said. A miscarried baby in a jar is a little strange. Ashes of a loved one is not... I wonder how your mother would feel of me visiting the cemetary every day to take care of River's headstone? Is that "normal?"

I am reading Saving Graces by Elizabeth Edwards and this quote is fitting: "We were, undoubtedly, different people before our children died, and we are different yet, with different ways of reaching for some measure of acceptance of this." (this was regarding her visiting Wade's grave almost daily and others not visiting the cemetary at all)

I am sorry your mother refers to your 3rd child as too much trouble. NO child is trouble, and I guess we know that better than anyone else as we try to parent children no longer on Earth.


Holly said...

I get your last statement about having a living daughter. I think it was very healing for me to have another daughter after Carleigh. I wanted another daughter so badly. Not to replace, like you said, but it was what my heart needed.

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