so I can pretend someone is listening

Nineteen years ago…

…our first baby was born.  She was very beautiful, with thick, curly hair.  She was very sick.  We knew she would be sick before she was born. 

We named her Caitlin Mary, called her Caitie.  Caitie was born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), so her lungs were very small.  Too small.  After a great struggle to live, Caitie died when she was 10 days old.  I had never loved anything as much as her.  Only a mother can love that much.  My heart felt permanently broken.  I wanted to die, too. 

Then, I couldn’t have imagined that life could ever be good again.  But life is good.  We have been blessed with four more daughters.  The open wound on my heart left by Caitie’s death has pretty much healed over, but every year on her birthday I can’t help but try to imagine what life would have been like with her here.  And I cry.

I would have had five girls, someone older than Abby to boss her around.  Maybe she would have liked math like I do, maybe she would have played the piano like I wish I could.  Or maybe she would have been so sick all the time we wouldn’t have been able to have more kids.  Maybe life would have been a physical hell for her.

God knows why she was sick, why she had to live through that, why we have to live out our lives missing her.  I no longer feel like asking Him, “Why?”  It is the way it is.  And I know it’s OK to miss her on her birthday. 

Every year on her birthday, I listen to this song and wonder how in the world whoever wrote this got in my head and wrote down my thoughts.

Homesick by MercyMe

So Happy Birthday, Caitie-bug.  Today we will celebrate and remember the day a wee little girl was born, and the day we knew what it was to love our own child.  And we thank God for every minute you were here.  We love you.


April 23, 2010 - Posted by | Family, Kids, Remembering | ,


  1. Honey, that was the most beautiful thing I have ever read. I am so very proud of you and what you have done with your life. We will always miss Caitie very, very much. Love, Mom

    Comment by Claudia | April 23, 2010 | Reply

    • I love you Mom. Thanks for everything.

      Comment by iloveafarmer | April 23, 2010 | Reply

  2. You wrote this over a year ago, but google brought me to it. Thank you for writing it. I just lost my daughter to CDH, 3 weeks ago. She was 4 months old, and was not diagnosed until birth. I am having a very hard time working through this and Im glad to know that someday I might be able to feel something other than that open wound. Im sorry for your loss of Catie, maybe she and my Grace know each other:)

    Comment by Miranda | August 28, 2011 | Reply

    • Oh, Miranda, I’m so very sorry about your Grace. I remember being where you are now, it’s the worst thing ever. Life seemed so cruel. When people would tell me that “someday it will get better” I would get so mad at them, I didn’t want it to “get better”, I just wanted my Caitie back. Very dark days. I’m glad that this post could bring you some peace. Please know that I’ll be praying for you.

      Comment by iloveafarmer | August 28, 2011 | Reply

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