This is a day that I don’t think I even knew I was dreading.I hadn’t really given this new anniversary much thought.Then suddenly, it hit me.6 months.Six months.About 180 days.It’s hard enough to pass an anniversary; one thing that’s kind of made it slightly more difficult for me is that this one just happens to be the date and the day.Caroline passed away late in the evening of October 19th, a Tuesday.We rushed to the hospital, they confirmed our worst nightmares, and induced me early on Wednesday, October 20.I labored through the day, and had her at 7:27 pm.I met my beautiful little girl, and I was never more in love, never more proud, never more broken.And that brokenness has stayed around.I am still broken.I am still breaking.
As I’m sure it happens with anyone else who has ever experienced a loss, it comes in waves.There are good days and bad days.There are happier days and sadder days.And, I’ll be honest; I haven’t learned how to ride the waves very efficiently yet.I’m still wiped out on the sad days.And my happy days have shades of sadness to them.But at least there are happy days.When I had to say goodbye to that precious girl, I truly didn’t believe that there could be any happiness – ever again.
We are learning to live again.I think this is going to be a process that takes us a very long time.But we’re so hopeful for the future.Despite losing our sweet girl, we are incredibly blessed.I’m so excited to be carrying Caroline’s little sister in my big ol’ belly as I type.I’m starting to feel this little lady kick and move, and I feel like each flutter is a blessing from God.I also feel like our baby Caroline is a little guardian angel watching her little sister.So, in some small ways, Caroline is here with us still.
You can't even dream how much I love you and how much I miss you. My heart aches as I think of continuing life without you here. Our family is not going to be whole until we're all up there in Heaven with you. We know that you're up there being loved on by your grandfathers, your big cousin Brian, don't let him aggravate you too much! We are so proud of you and all that your little life has meant to so many people.
Well, friends...it's been 6 months today since our little Caroline passed away. In honor of her 6 month Angelversary, I'm going to do a little giveaway. I've seen other ladies do this on their blog, and I've always thought that it was a great idea. I mean, who doesn't love to win something? Who doesn't appreciate the little pick-me-up that it brings?
So, I'm going to give away a little handkerchief. My Grandmother taught me to embroider, and it's something that is so very therapeutic for me. I've started embroidering little handkerchiefs with the names of little precious babies gone too soon. I think it's a nice little keepsake, and way to honor their memory. They feature little purple flowers (they symbolize remembrance), and your sweet baby's name. I could do an initial too, it's up to you. Here's an idea of what they look like:
So, if you'd like to enter to win, please leave me a comment. I'll do the random number thingy and select a winner on Friday.
Yes, that's right world, Caroline has a little sister! And let me just say, her Daddy and I are thrilled!
This journey of carrying a new baby while longing for the one gone too soon is...well...what can you really call it? It's scary, so incredibly scary. It's hopeful. It's sad. It's happy. It's a connection to my baby Caroline. It's a reminder that she's gone. Some days it makes me feel closer to Caroline, and others it hits me how much further away I really am. Please don't misunderstand me; I am beyond thrilled to be carrying Caroline's little sister. I couldn't be happier that we're parents to a second child. But, and this is something that all of us who've lost children say, there is no replacement for our babies. And some would think that since we're having a girl, we are getting a type of "replacement." This couldn't be further from the truth. Yes, there will (Lord willing) be a little girl living in our house, even in Caroline's room, but it is never going to take away the missing of her that we do. Caroline is a part of our daily lives. She is included. She is a member of our family, and just because she didn't give to stay here with us, doesn't discount her life at all. This little one will know that she is not our first child, that she has a BEAUTIFUL big sister who lives in Heaven. She will know that her parents love that beautiful girl who isn't here.
I (almost) wish that I could say that all of this news really makes me feel completely better. But that simply isn't true. I do feel a hope and a joy that I didn't know I would ever be able to feel again, but there's still a bitter pain there too. I long for Caroline. I ache to hold her and smell her. I miss her so badly that my body hurts sometimes. And because of our experience with losing her, I don't have that blissful ignorance of pregnancy that I had with her...and I miss that too.
I also am struggling with accomplishing things in "normal" life. I don't know if it's a depression/grief thing, or if I'm just at a stalled out place. I guess I just feel like I'm not making any progress. I don't feel like I ever really accomplish anything. And scarily enough, I'm not really even that bothered by not accomplishing much. I think I'd honestly be okay to hold up in my house, or my back yard on the pretty days, and not have to face much in the way of responsibility. I'm finding that I'm wasting so much time now. It's not that I'm sitting around watching TV or anything...but time goes by, and I'm not really sure where it went. I have to literally push myself to get my chores done. And it's painful to actually face work each day. It's intimidating, this thing called life. I used to feel like I could handle most anything that came my way. But now, all my energies are spent on actually surviving. I'm terrified that something "big" can happen, and I'll just crumble under the pressure. I guess, I'm finding it more true than ever: Life is hard. There are many great things about life, but it is still so hard.
On a happier note, I wanted to share our "Baby Carolines" and her little sister's booties. These little flowers were given as bulbs at Caroline's shower. It's been so precious, because the people who planted them are calling them their Baby Carolines. So I've gotten emails and texts saying that their Baby Carolines are blooming, and it makes me smile each and every time!