Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jumping Hurdles

So, it’s time again for a little update. I survived Thanksgiving…with a lot of help from my family and grace from God. There were many tears, but it was nice to spend time with family. I have a great big hole in my life, yet I do still have very much to be thankful for. Despite the pain I’m going through, I have been, and continue to be very blessed.

Things have been pretty eventful since my last post. We picked out her headstone, visited her grave for the first time since the funeral, and had the 6 week checkup. So, I’ll begin with the headstone. I have to admit, it was something that I was dreading, and dreading badly. I’ve never picked out a headstone before, or even been with someone else who was picking one out. I’ve experienced deaths of family members, but have always missed out on that part of the process. I felt absolutely sick when we pulled into the parking lot. I think I might have lightly cried the entire way there…and it was a 45 minute drive. I managed to hold myself together while we were in the monument place. Thankfully, my mother and father-in-law joined us there and offered their opinions and support. Overall, I think we picked out a nice stone…if there really is such a thing. (If you want my honest opinion, there wasn’t one that would have been “good enough” for her. I wanted her to have so much, I had such big plans for her life, that it felt like it wasn’t enough just to pick out a headstone.)

From the monument place, we went to the cemetery. I’m pretty certain I cried the whole way there, and then I bawled when we got there. Just seeing that teeny tiny grave, the fresh ground, the beautiful flowers (thanks to our family), it was all so real. So final. So painful. So sad. So unfair. So scary. It’s not that I didn’t want to visit her grave and honor her, it just was something that was very hard to do for me. I know that she isn’t really there, only her body is, but I know that I still want to “mother” her. I want to put flowers (and a wind chime, because it sounds pretty and I wanted her to have the music of them), and make sure her headstone is just so…I mean, I still have her nursery all set up. I don’t have the heart to take it down. And to be completely honest, I don’t see any reason to try to take it all down. If for no other reason, than I like it that way. But I digress, we visited the grave, we cried together, we held each other, and I think we both did a little more healing. We’re just trying to take on the hurdles that are in front of us. Looking back, I can see that we’ve crossed many, and still have SO MANY more to go.

I have also had my 6 week checkup. Everything went well. It was definitely tough to go back to that office (directly across the street, I might add, from the hospital) and be met head on with all of those memories. But it was good to be able to sit down with the doctor, whom I love dearly, and ask my list of questions, and talk about everything. I asked what felt like a million different things…”Was there something I could have done?” “Was there something I missed that I should have been watching out for?” “Was there something I did wrong?” “What is the likelihood of this happening again?” Dr. V was very comforting and told me that there was nothing that I could have done. He told me that I did everything I could do for her, and that this was just a tragic accident. That is both comforting and unsettling. I’m definitely glad that I didn’t fail her in some way, but at the same time, I would love to be able to have the assurance that I will be able to avoid a situation like this in the future. We did find out though, that her cord was on the “short side of normal.” This combined with all the loops around her neck, body, and leg was the problem. So, with answers to my questions and a clean bill of health, that hurdle was behind us too.

We also got our pictures from the delivery…I am SO THANKFUL that we were offered that service. The pictures were hard to look at, simply because of all the emotions attached, but I am SO GLAD we have them. I have to admit, I definitely got a sense of peace when I looked at them. It was like part of her had come home. It was nice.

So, life is hurdling forward at an alarming rate. Most people have been completely unaffected by the loss of Caroline. I didn’t expect the world to stop. But mine did. Caroline changed my life. She taught me more in her 39 weeks and 2 days than I’ve learned over the course of many of these 28 years. My world stopped spinning when I was told that her heart stopped beating. I won’t lie; I wanted mine to stop too. I didn’t want to live in a world that didn’t have Caroline in it. I wanted to lie down and cover up my head and just let everything pass me by. There are a few reasons I didn’t do that…and those reasons are for another day, but while I didn’t stop living, I have lived a different normal. For one thing, I haven’t been back to work yet. And that’s staring me right in the face now. I’m going to have to go back to the “real world.” I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know what to do. When I go back to work, and sit at that desk, where I last sat, being kicked like crazy by my sweet girl, how do I go back to “normal”?

One. Step. At. A. Time.

That’s all I can do.

My sweet girl:

Thoughts and prayers,


  1. Caroline is beautiful! Sounds like you are doing a great job hanging in there and getting past some very painful hurdles. You are tough! You're going to make it through this to happier times ahead!

  2. Nicole, I feel so blessed to have met you in our time of sorrow. I was given the Cherry On Top Blog Award, and want to pass it along to you. Check out my latest post when you get a chance and spread the love xo

  3. Dearest Nicole, you are absolutely right- it is one step at a time, one moment, one breath. Be gentle with yourself and know that you have all the support in the world from fellow bereaved like myself who know the darkness and grief that lines this path all too well. We are all looking for light... thinking of you and thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog today. Thinking of your precious Caroline....
    Much grace- Leslie

  4. Also wanted to let you know that I have passed you some blog love.. hop over to mine to see....
    Grace- Leslie

  5. Hi Nicole, my name is Tonya and I found my way to your blog by seeing it on the facebook group "Stillborn by True Knots and/or Nuchal Cords" I too am a member of that group. My sweet little girl Ava Brooke was born sleeping on July 12 of this year due to a true knot. Thank you so much for your words on here. I feel as though EVERY single one could be my own. Especially what you said about not being "angry" with god but feeling hurt. I feel so betrayed, I don't know how many times I've asked "how could you let this happen to me?" I know he has a plan and he has gotten me this far, I just wish his plan didn't include this heartache. I mean couldn't he have accomplished his will some other way? Well i want to say thank you again. I read Caroline's story as well as every one of your posts since then (crying at my desk the whole time) and I want to encourage you by saying they have brought me much comfort. Just knowing that what I am feeling is so normal helps me that much more, and although i would much rather them be here with us atleast I know my Ava has lots of sweet angel friends in heaven. I just can't wait to meet them! Thanks again, you are a wonderful display of God's strength and love.

  6. Annie, Angie and Leslie...thank you so much for all of the support!

    Tonya, I'm so glad that you found me. I'm also so glad that God was able to use me to help you in some way. If you'd like to add me as a friend on Facebook, that'd be great. Also, you can email me at babycarolinesfamily@gmail.com.