There are a lot of names used to describe our babies. Many of these seem to cause us pain. But today we learn how words can never hurt us, unless we attach meaning to them. We don’t have to give our power away to things people say. We can choose how we want to feel intentionally, and it’s not as hard as you might think!
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Hello again. I am excited to be here on episode two. Happy to have gone through episode one, so thanks for hanging with me. I was a little nervous last episode, but I’m really excited to talk to you today and keep teaching you and having lots of fun together. I was up all night. There was a huge windstorm here and it’s definitely starting to feel like fall.
Have you guys seen all the pumpkin spice latte drama out there? I’ve seen a lot of people that are getting a little bit annoyed with the pumpkin spice. Um, I’ve actually never had a pumpkin spice latte. I do not drink coffee, but I am excited for the leaves to change and for things to get a little bit cooler.
And just sweater weather is kind of my jam. I definitely wear a sweater from about September until the end of May, and I kind of love it. First, we are going to talk about a little angel and his story, and I am going to. Talk about my baby. River River’s life was pretty brief, but the biggest thing I remember about being pregnant with him is we were moving, and it’s kind of a joke in our family that I’ve been pregnant every time we’ve moved, except for one time when I had a three week old.
So I was pretty pregnant while I was packing and building a house. Um, but I got to move with a newborn. So we were pregnant, we were moving to a new town, and I was incredibly sick. Um, I don’t actually throw up, I just feel nauseous like every waking minute of the day. So that was tough. I was not feeling well, and we hadn’t told anybody, and we hadn’t told our kids.
And I needed some help with moving because my husband was. Already working in the new place and it was really tough. I remember just feeling really overwhelmed and exhausted, but we just powered through it and got done what we could as best we can, and we got moved and we got to our new place and we had a little bit of craziness with our real estate, and so it was a really stressful time.
But again, just feeling sick kind of was a comfort because I thought that it meant everything would be okay. And we got set up right away with our doctor, and because I was already gonna be high risk because of my background, we were able to go get an ultrasound at just, I think we were just before 11 weeks.
And on that ultrasound river was bouncing away, waving, kicking. Total cute little gummy bear. If any of you guys have been able to have an ultrasound that early, it’s the sweetest thing. And we got pictures from that and I was just so grateful that we got that chance to see him alive and just happy. So that was really fun.
We told a few friends and then we ended up telling our kids. About the baby at around 12 weeks because my kids were older at this point, and I just didn’t think that I would be able to hide the pregnancy much longer. And I kind of didn’t want to because at that point I was mostly laying on the couch a lot and sipping ginger ale or limeade just to get through the day, and I thought, for sure they’re gonna figure it out.
But they actually did not. They were all really surprised and excited. Um, my second oldest went immediately and started crocheting a little blanket. She was into crocheting at the time and she started this little blue and white blanket for the baby, and everyone was just really excited. And so that was a really happy moment.
The next appointment that we had, we did find out that river no longer had a heartbeat, so, I won’t go into tons of detail with all the things we went through, but I will talk a little bit about what I learned from River. Um, we did not get to find out the gender of this baby, but I thought it was a boy and we just decided to pick a name that was girl or boy and a little bit nature inspired because we love being outdoors and we just wanted to name the baby and.
So I’m just gonna call him a boy, and if I’m wrong, I will find out someday and that’s okay. Uh, river taught me a lot about myself. Going through my second loss was hard in a different way from losing Lauren, and I had to, it was one of those times where I felt like we had so much going on in our lives and we had wanted this baby so badly to stay and.
When that didn’t work out, it just kind of broke down everything and I had to build myself back up and I had to work through my faith and my relationship with God, and that process took a long time. I’m not gonna lie, it was really hard, but. Going through that loss and the rebuilding process was something that was incredibly powerful for me.
And like if you would’ve asked me a couple of years ago if I could be where I am now, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. I would’ve hoped that I could be here. But it was a really difficult, and so I think I learned that I could find my own answers and that I could let go of. Really tough feelings and and actually become more in tune with myself through going through something that required so much of me.
And I do believe that part of the reason we’re here on Earth is to learn these lessons. And the way we learn best is through the tough stuff. I’m just really grateful for that lesson and I also learned to just cherish every moment. We didn’t get very long with River, but just to. I cherish the little things every minute that we get and I’m just so grateful.
Like I said, that we were able to have pictures and that I can keep that picture on my dresser and look at it every single day. And if we wouldn’t have gone through all the things we’d gone through, we probably wouldn’t have had that ultrasound so early and I’m just really grateful that we were able to do that.
Alright, so that’s just a little bit about River. I’m sure we’ll talk about him. At another time, and I would love it if you would like to share the story of your little angel and what they taught you. Please go to my website. There is a button where you can submit to the podcast and you just type out what you wanna say.
It can be short, it can be longer, but I would just love to share with the rest of us. ’cause I think there’s so much power in sharing these stories and I love. Hearing about your babies and being able to speak their names for you. So speaking of names, that’s what we’re gonna talk about today. When I was creating this podcast and thinking about how I wanted to go about it, I really thought deeply about the words I wanted to use because I know that there are terms we use that some people don’t like and other ones that they do, and.
I want it to be really intentional, but I also know that I can’t control what other people think. So I’m just going to tell you the words I chose and go from there. So I’m going to use the term angel baby to reference any baby that no matter how many weeks along from as soon as someone found out they were pregnant until um, an infant, That has passed away All these, I’m gonna use the term angel baby, and I am religious.
I don’t necessarily believe that these babies are up on the clouds with halos and harps and wings, but, but the term I think is pretty universally understood, and that’s why I chose to use it. I am also gonna use the word rainbow baby to refer to any baby born after a loss. You know, there are lots of different names that people use depending on more than one baby after a loss or whatever.
But I’m just gonna refer to any baby born after a loss as a rainbow baby or a pregnancy after loss. Could be a pre a rainbow pregnancy. I’m also going to use the words. Lost a baby or baby passed away, or baby died. All of it kind of interchangeably. And I’m also gonna reference faith and Christian values.
I love and respect all belief systems, but that is just the belief system that I come from. So I am totally hopeful that we will have, be able to talk about all different belief systems here. Um, but that’s, I might use those terms. Um, just so you know. So let’s jump into our topic some more. We are gonna talk about the words that people use and how we can not let them affect us negatively, because I know there is a lot of pain.
Involved when people use certain words or say certain things, whether referring to our loss or just in general. Do you remember when you were a kid out on the playground and that rhyme sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. I actually think that that’s true. Names can’t hurt us.
Words can’t hurt us, and there are a lot of names that people use to describe our babies, like Angel Baby and Rainbow Baby. Miscarriage fetal demise, spontaneous abortion, termination for medical reasons, products of conception, chemical molar, ectopic tissue stillborn. I once read of a woman whose baby was called debris, so the list is extensive.
It goes out from there. We all know that there are terms to describe our bodies and what happens and all these different things, but the names that others call are babies can’t hurt us, not until we attach a meaning to them. The things your doctors or nurses or your mother-in-law or someone on the internet said, can’t make us feel anything.
And I know that it really seems like words can hurt, but the words are neutral. They are just there. They’re just words. They go in the circumstance line of our self-coaching model, which I will talk about more in future episodes, but you get to decide what you think about the words people use. So for example, if someone told you that your baby was a puppy, You would probably think that they were confused or you’d think maybe you need to call someone, but you’re pretty confident that your baby’s a human, so that is not going to hurt you.
Right? Because you know the truth. And so the words on the medical chart or the words that people use, It only hurt us because of what we make those words mean. So when I lost River, my doctor called him products of conception. A lot of times I wanna say a million times, that’s probably not accurate. It felt like a lot of times I did not like that.
It really bothered me. I made it mean that she thought he was just a pile of tissue. And I thought she was minimizing my baby. I actually make hats and blankets for 14 week babies, and so I knew approximately how big he would be. And so when she just kept referring to him as first trimester, because on the ultrasound that we had after we couldn’t find the heartbeat, they said he was 13 weeks and six.
Days. So she just kept saying he was first trimester and calling him products of conception and I hated it. I hated that he was being treated as less than, and those thoughts caused me a lot of pain at the time and for a long time after. But products of conception is probably the correct medical term.
Which is why she used it. All. The meaning I added myself was the problem. Okay? So I want you to think of the names that bother you the most when referring to your baby or anything else, and then write them down. Then ask yourself why are they a problem for you and what are you making those words mean?
And what feelings come up as you look at your thoughts? Okay. We live in a world that’s very politically correct and I think it’s wonderful that we try to be very aware of people and be kind as much as we can. And I, I’m all for that, but we can run into problems when we think that these words can hurt us.
And that other people need to change because I don’t know about you, but so far I haven’t been able to control all the words that all the people in the world use at all times, or even change the people around me to make sure they always say the right thing to me. Right? When we let our emotions be tied to what other people say, we give all our power away.
The only way that we get to feel better is if they change, but we live with a bunch of humans and they say a lot of words and that’s okay. Have you ever watched mean tweets where celebrities read horrible things people say about them? And we can kinda laugh about it in that context, like it’s just a little bit crazy the things that people say.
And I’m sure for those celebrities, they have to learn to have a pretty thick skin and brush off all the opinions that people have about them. And that’s what I wanna encourage you guys to do, is developing that thick skin. Really what we wanna do is learn to manage our mind and our thoughts about those words.
Okay, so I saw someone on Instagram recently who posted a picture of her angel baby, and someone messaged her that her baby was ugly. Many people would agree that those words are hurtful and it’s totally normal to not like those kind of words. But what I’m offering to you is a different way to frame it.
The words cannot affect you unless you let them. Here are a few other options for what you could think and feel when someone says something like your baby’s ugly. Maybe instead of feeling hurt, you choose to feel compassion. You might wonder. What pain has this person had in her life that would cause her to lash out to a stranger on the internet who is obviously going through a tough time, or you could feel confident knowing that your baby is beautiful and just letting the words bounce.
You don’t give those haters any of your energy. What other people say, the words they use, it really tells you about them. And it doesn’t have to mean anything about you. So our takeaway today is this, the words people say cannot affect us until we have thoughts about them. I want you to pay attention to the meaning you are attaching to the words and what emotions they create.
The first step is getting some awareness around these words that really bother you. And the things that people say. And just notice the thoughts that come up and notice the meanings you’re attaching and notice the feelings. And once you’ve gotten awareness around that, if you don’t like those feelings, you can drop any of those thoughts you want to and choose ones that serve you better.
I really like to choose thoughts that create confidence and love when I think about my babies. Right, because I know how much they matter and I know how much they’re loved and I know their names. And so if my doctor wants to say products of conception, I know the truth, and that creates a lot of peace for me.
When other people use words, I know that they aren’t about me or my baby and they can’t affect me, and they don’t have to affect you either. And why is this so important? I think it’s just gonna take you to the next level in your life when you can see that the words people say out are outside of you.
And you choose with intention how you wanna feel about it. Because when we allow these words to mean something and we create a lot of thoughts that create negative emotions for us, we’re not gonna show up as our best self and we’re not gonna be able to make a lot of change from that place. And we’re also the ones that are gonna feel miserable and feel all those negative emotions.
The people that use those words, they don’t actually feel our emotions. We do. And today I chose to focus a little bit more on the words surrounding the loss of our babies, but this extends to everything that everyone says. And people do say a lot of things when we can. Make this shift in our mind of really letting go of attaching meanings and thinking we know what people are saying.
Another way to look at this is to think about a text like, have you ever sent a text to someone and you can’t attach a tone of voice and you type something, and they totally. Took it the wrong way. Um, the other night I sent a text to my husband saying, what do you want me to do in a certain situation?
And that’s actually what I meant was, what do you want me to do? Like, I want to help. But he kind of interpreted it as well, what do you want me to do? And so that was just a little bit of a misunderstanding. I’m sure we all have many times in our lives with technology or an email where we just, or maybe we got a text and we totally added meaning to it.
That was just way off. So that’s how it is for everything. We just need to be aware. That it’s up to us what meaning we want to attach and that those meanings are gonna create our feelings. And if we don’t wanna feel the negative emotions, we just either need to let go of some of those meanings, or we need to choose meanings that help us create those emotions.
So I really love this concept. It’s made a huge difference in my life when I learned it to just let. What other people say and what other people think be their business and just stay out of it entirely. It’s so freeing and it’s so powerful, and it’s just the best feeling to let go of that. So I hope you guys will try it this week.
Just be a little more aware of what’s going on in your mind and write a few things down. ’cause it’s really powerful to put pen to paper, but you don’t have to. Like I said, I might give you little assignments here and there, but you totally don’t have to do them. That’s okay. And I still love you. I’m really excited for October and pregnancy and infant loss awareness month.
I think there are some amazing things going on. Amazing walks where we can get together with other families who have lost babies and amazing. Fundraisers and charities and things going on. I am very involved with a group called Teeny Tears, and we sew little tiny diapers and blankets and little hats and other things to donate to hospitals for babies.
About 14 to 32 weeks. That would just be too small to wear any commercial clothing for babies who are stillborn or pass away in the nicu. Um, just to have those things on hand. So what we are doing is selling some super cute t-shirts. Um, they have a beautiful kind of heart on them. And the words, no matter how small, which is part of a quote by Dr.
Seuss, which is A person’s a person, no matter how small. And so this shirt is just to help declare how much we love our babies, no matter how long they’re with us. So if you are interested in getting one of these shirts, you should totally check it out. It is bonfire.com. Show your love for angel babies, or you can check out my Instagram, which is at amy dot Smooth Stones Coaching to see pictures, and there should be a link there in my bio.
To go ahead and get one of these shirts and all the profits are gonna go to helping this charity. Their biggest cost is really shipping. If you guys have mailed anything lately, you know how much shipping costs, so check it out. They’re really cute shirts. They’re great quality. We did another order of these in the spring, and so I can totally vouch for the quality of the shirts and how cute they are.
So, Check that out, and I will talk to you again soon. Have a great day, and if you are not having a great day today, just know that I love you and I promise there are better days to come. If you liked what you learned today, but you wanna know more, sign up for a free mini session on my website, smooth stones coaching.com.
I would love to talk with you and just help you with anything that’s challenging for you right now. And we’ll talk to you next time.
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