Sunday, July 31, 2011

More Stuff to Keep Me Busy!

So, time keeps on ticking (ticking, ticking...) and I'm still here!  Everything is actually going very well.  The anxiety is staying mostly in check.  I've only had a couple of rough patches/days.  We're making progress, and I'm thrilled about that.  I'm a little nervous, because we are getting to the end of this pregnancy, and I know that the end of pregnancy doesn't always mean you get a beautiful little baby to take home.  I don't want to sound morbid, because I do believe we are going to get to bring Caroline's little sister home, but it is still so scary that we're this close again.

So, one thing I try to do, as I've mentioned before, is keep myself occupied.  I love to make things.  So, I've been taking on some new projects here and there.  I've also been cleaning my house like a fool!  I don't know if this is nesting, or what, but I'm proud of how clean I've gotten it!  Now, if it would just STAY that way!

I have a sweet friend who just had a little boy.  I made her this diaper clutch, burp cloth, and pacifier clips.  I haven't gotten to give them to her yet, but I can't wait! 

This is a little burp cloth and pacifier clip set that I just made while I was working on the others.  I thought they were fun!

This is the wreath I made for my Granny for her birthday!  I hope she likes it! :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

I just wanted to take a quick minute to wish a happy anniversary to my best friend, partner, love of my life, soul mate, wonderful husband.  It's been seven years now, and they've taken us a long way...but I still get giddy when he comes home from work at the end of the day!  Seeing him smile lights up my day.  Knowing that I have him walking beside me through all that life brings sure does make the trip a little easier to face!

When we got married those years ago, I never dreamed that we'd come down this path, the path of losing a child.  Like most people when they're getting married, I expected the good, and didn't really ever think about the bad that could and undoubtedly would happen eventually, in some form or another.  There has been some pretty heavy "bad" in our seven years, but this man has stood beside me, and sometimes been the thing holding me up.  I'm so thankful that God allowed him to come into my life.  So thankful that God has given me a husband who truly does love and support me...even when I'm hard to love (like that would ever happen! ;) )  

So, happy anniversary, to my husband, Caroline's (and little Addalee's) Daddy.  Here's to many many more anniversaries, and facing what life brings us...together!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Retirement and 9 months

Yeah...so, I retired from my job.  Sounds silly, I know, but I did.  My dad and I are actually retiring together!  Crazy!!!!  It feels really strange to not have a job anymore.  I mean, you go to school, you get a job, and you work...until you're older.  (I don't mean like an elderly person, but older than 30, typically)  Basically, the situation of our lives led us to consider my retirement.  When I was pregnant with Caroline, there was no question that I was going back to work after she was born.  I was going to take a respectable 3 months off and begrudgingly go back to work.  Well, things didn't go according to plan.  I think I ended up having to take about a month off.  I don't know if I really had any business going back even then, but I figured I had to do something...make some kind of move.  And so I worked, but I never found my place again.  I felt like everyone was playing from a different sheet of music than I was.  I had lost my stride.  I lost my spark...I lost a part of my heart. 

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!