There were so many days that I would just break down, right there at my desk. I'd face the wall in hopes that no one would notice, but I'm sure people did. I'm sure they could even hear me sometimes. Grief is so heavy, and I struggled to carry it while pretending to be okay and able to handle the responsibilities of my job. Granted, the people I worked with and for were gracious and sweet...but it was still difficult for me.
Then we got pregnant with little Addalee. That was a bit of a shock...to everyone! Having her in our lives is an absolute blessing straight from God, I never want to discount that. But, the stress of a new pregnancy and trying to work...I was really struggling. I couldn't handle anything! I got choked up in meetings!!! It was not fun. Eventually, my pelvic condition landed me working from home most days, and that helped me out tremendously. But, the more we thought about the future, and tried to envision being parents to a baby at home with us, we realized how much it meant to us for me to stay home. So, they prayer and considerations began. There were days where I was gung-ho, and days that I was NEVER leaving my job...the financial security was a very big deal! Finally, I felt the gentle guidance of the Lord telling me that I needed to leave. And while I have peace about it, it's still so scary! I mean, leaving a job in this economy!
If I'm honest, part of my fear is that I'm somehow being presumptuous about Addalee's safe (and live) arrival. It's kind of like counting your chickens before they hatch. I realize that this probably makes me sound like a nutjob, and that's fine by me. I also feel that way about buying diapers, hanging her initials on the wall above her crib (the one bought and set up for her big sister, Caroline). I feel like I should wait for the other shoe to drop even as Addalee kicks me (HARD) as I type this. I feel like I shouldn't get too excited. I shouldn't feel too comfortable. I should expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised (if) when it doesn't happen. As a side note, I realize how crazy this sounds...I'm just being completely honest here. I know that it's not "normal" to feel this way about the upcoming (only 7 more weeks!) birth of your child. I truly do have hope, but I'm scared to get comfortable in it.
I wish I could face the world and say that I feel great, all the time about this pregnancy and its outcome. I wish I could say that my prayers for Addalee's arrival didn't include the word "alive" or that I don't ask God to give Caroline the message that we love her and miss her. But, I simply cannot. You see, losing Caroline has shaken me...to my very core. This whole thing has been a complete life changer. It has touched each area of my life in one way or another. Caroline affected me, and I'm so thankful for her. But the loss affected me too...and it left me timid, afraid...broken. Yes, I'm functioning. Yes, I am blessed. I realize this, and do not want to seem ungrateful. But, there will always be a part of me missing.
I was talking to Addie in my belly the other day, and absent-mindedly called her Caroline. I don't know why I'm sharing this, because it's somehow embarrassing to me. I guess I shouldn't be embarrassed because people with more than one living child get the names messed up occasionally...heck, I've even called my husband by the dog's name before!!! :) But I felt bad when I made this slip up. I felt more than bad. I felt guilty to each of the girls for different reasons. It felt like a betrayal to each of them.
I've been kind of hiding out because of all that's been going on in life. As I said, I don't handle stress very well these days, and it's kind of making me clam up - I know you can't tell by reading this rambling post...but it feels good to get some of this out there! But it's been 9 months now since we lost Caroline. And it's gotten easier to carry the grief, but it's still noticeably there, each and every day. I miss that girl. I miss her soft cheeks. I miss her long fingers. I miss her. We had a whole life planned with her, and now I have a whole life planned to remember her. I'm so excited that I do get to see her again...I can't imagine living without that sweet promise. Thank you, Lord!
So, little Caroline, we still think of you all the time. Me and your Daddy talk about you each and every day. I even still sleep with that little pink and white blanket of yours. You're always and forever our sweet girl. And we sure do miss you!