Thursday, September 20, 2012


I can’t believe it’s almost been 2 years.  Actually, 23 months today, to be exact. 

I wish I could say that Caroline’s looming birthday wasn’t weighing heavy on my heart, but it is.  I’ve been finding myself crying more than I had been, talking about her even more than normal, and missing her so badly it keeps me up in the night.  I daydream about what she would be like, how tall she would be, if she’d like broccoli, if she’d like music, if she’d like me.

This week, Addalee took her first steps.  It was so sweet.  Her little chubby feet, placed clumsily one in front of the other, while we cheered for her.  She only took a few steps because she had to stop and cheer for herself!  All the while, I was crying like a baby. Bittersweet.

I wasn’t really a weepy, highly emotional person until we lost Caroline.  Now, I cry when I’m happy.  I cry when I’m sad.  I cry when I’m mad.  And sometimes, I just cry.  It’s not something that I love.  But I do love that I feel things and appreciate the life I have, and the life I get to have with my child(ren). 

While I love getting to see Addalee grow up, it always strikes me when she hits milestones that I missed every.single.one. of them with her big sister.  We missed everything from her first cry, to those sweet first steps.  And I still think of all of those new experiences that we didn’t have, almost 2 years later.

I met a woman when Addalee and I were out shopping today.  She had to stop and tell me that Addalee was pretty (Thank you, we certainly think she is!).  Her daughter-in-law is expecting their first grandbaby, she’s 14 weeks along and they’re so excited.  I know that story. I lived that story, until it stopped.  I was pleasant; I talked about how exciting it is to find out the gender, I shared about shopping for a much anticipated baby, and some of the baby items that we appreciated.  Somehow, she came up.  Somehow, and I don’t even remember how, I told her of my Caroline.  Her face dropped and she took a step back from me.  With a horrified face, she told me how sorry she was, and then said, “What did you do?  I mean, did you have a funeral?  For your baby, how…I mean, how do you do that?”  Honestly, I’ve gotten fairly comfortable talking about Caroline and our experiences surrounding my pregnancy with her, delivery, funeral, etc.  But I was honestly a little surprised that this is where our conversation had taken this turn.  I really thought I’d heard about all there was to hear from people who are blindsided by my sad story.  Guess not.  Maybe we’ll just stay in tomorrow!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Family Outing

We took a family visit to our old stomping grounds this weekend.  Is that even something that’s still a saying?!  Arthur and I met when I was in college.  A friend and I went to see his band play.  I had a thing for the tall guitar player, and he didn’t care that I existed! :)  My my, how far we’ve come!

I really feel like we’ve been around the world and back since we started dating those years ago, in that cute little town.  We’ve both graduated, got married, moved to a new city, got new jobs, got pregnant with our first and very much wanted baby girl, moved back to our home city, lost that beautiful girl, were blessed with a little sister for Caroline, are expecting another sweet baby who will, Lord willing, be making his or her debut in February.  Writing it out like that makes it seem so neat and easy. Of course, there’ve been lots of lots of wonderful and beautiful memories made, and some almost impossible times survived in these 9 years.

When we began planning our trip, I didn’t think for a second that there would be a swell of emotion associated with going back.  On the way there, I fought tears for a long while.  Partly because of how far we really have come, and we’ve lived to tell about it, partly because it felt so good to be going back to a place that holds so many great memories for our little family.  But part of our family wasn’t going back to visit.  Part of our family is missing.  And that hurts.  It still stings.  It still brings tears to my eyes when I least expect it. 

Despite the sadness that is right under the surface most of the time, we had a great day.  Addalee was a bit fussy.  She’s in the process of cutting some more teeth, and that has to be uncomfortable.  But she was a trooper. 

Getting ready to explore campus.  Of course, I've got my Larry the Cucumber book!

Waving and sun squinting with Daddy!

Sun squinting with Mama!

We were much happier about the goofy family picture than Addalee was! Ha!

Can you spot the little surprise in this picture?

Pretty flowers, leaves, and dirt...oh my!

All worn out after her big day

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Survey Participation Opportunity

I saw on Facebook earlier that the Star Legacy Foundation is conducting a "confidential online survey to collect information from stillbirth mothers and those who delivered living children to identify differences in their prenatal experiences and observations."  They're hoping to be able to identify stillbirth risk factors and help in future stillbirth prevention research.

I just completed the survey and it took me about 15 -20 minutes.  I don't always participate in things like this, but felt like I would do this one.  I mean, if we can get more information about what really goes on in pregnancy and get ahead of even one stillbirth cause and save some babies, I'm all in.

I just thought I'd pass it along!

From their website:

The Star Legacy Foundation announces the launch of a confidential online research study designed to collect information from stillbirth mothers and those who delivered living children to identify differences in their prenatal experiences and observations. It is hoped this information can be used to identify stillbirth risk factors and direct future stillbirth prevention research.

The death of an unborn child is a devastating event which occurs over 26,000 times a year in the US and over 4.5 million times each year around the world. Approximately half of these deaths are after 28 weeks gestation (late stillbirth). In most high-resource countries, the rate of stillbirth has not decreased in recent years and very little research is being conducted to identify the risk factors associated with stillbirth in order to develop prevention strategies.

While acknowledging the pain of any pregnancy loss, this study will focus on late stillbirth (28 weeks or more gestation).

The study is seeking participation by mothers of infants, both stillborn and live-born or soon to be born in this confidential survey. For more information or to participate in the study, go to:www.starlegacyfoundation.org/

The Star Legacy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Eden Prairie, MN, dedicated to stillbirth research, education and prevention.
University of Michigan # HUM63655.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Addalee's First Birthday!

It’s not been quite a month yet, but there was quite a bit of recuperating after Addalee’s first birthday blowout.  We were super shocked by all the amazing friends and family that came and shared in the special day with us.  I also learned a few lessons: 1) Our house is not quite big enough for the amount of people we crammed in here 2) My mom is super woman - for throwing me awesome birthday parties as a kid.  And helping me pull this one off! 3) We’re so amazingly blessed 4) Her second birthday party won’t be quite as big!

So, a few weeks later, I’m going to share some pictures.  I didn’t hire a professional photographer, nor am I an expert photoshopper, so these are just for fun!  The pictures don’t actually do the day justice though, it was really pretty awesome!

The front of our house, with the tissue paper balls for a pop of happy color

The birthday girl’s outfit

The birthday girl and her happy mama as she was waking up from her nap just before the festivities began.

Happy girl playing with her balloons

Birthday girl high chair (with handmade (by me!) cover and tutu)

Favors - bubbles for the big kids and board books for the little ones

Polka dot cakes!

1 year banner

Not so happy to be getting strapped into her highchair!

Not too sure about the cake (or the fire on top!)

“Thanks, Mom.  That tastes pretty good!”

“Actually, it tastes good enough to clap!” :)

“Can I really touch it?”

“Oh okay, I think I like this whole birthday cake thing!”

“I REALLY like this birthday cake thing!!”


Pretty pretty cake (baked by my amazing friend Amanda).  It tasted even better than it looked!

“That was FUN!”

Playing with her sweet friend, Briella.

Opening presents!

Birthday girl is getting tired.  But it was an amazing day!