Mothering Caroline Grace

learning how to be the mom of an angel


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Difficult Parenting

There are some aspects of parenting that are difficult and unique to teenage daughters.  

My husband and I have been binge-watching Friday Night Lights and these parenting situations come up often on the show.  In one scene, the father walks in on his 17-year-old daughter in bed with her boyfriend.  The parents then have to talk to her about her feelings for this boy, that she is under no obligation to continue to have sex if she no longer wants to, and the use of protection.  It is a difficult conversation for both parties but one they had to have.  On the show they do a good job of showing the struggles of parenting a daughter at that age.

After we watched the episode, my husband said that he’s sad that he won’t have these conversations with Caroline, but also glad because they are so difficult.

I feel so sad that he may never parent a teenage girl.

Men in his family generally have boys.  He is one of 3 boys, and his brothers have 3 boys between their two families.  Caroline was the first girl in the family in a long time.  What if we don’t have any more girls?  

Infant loss is so much more than that.  We may have lost our opportunity to shape a young woman, and that is a loss too.


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Remembering Her Sweet Soul

Caroline had a sweet demeanor.  She was such a content baby, never fussing as she was passed from person to person.  She loved to be cuddled and warm.  She loved snuggling with mommy and daddy.

As she grew, she became more alert and we got to know her beautiful blue-gray eyes.  She explored the world around her with those eyes, and loved taking in the sights when we moved from room to room.  We took pictures at home that captured Caroline’s alert moments in a way that no one else could.  However, our amateur photos had lighting and color issues that could use a professional’s touch.

We decided to have a photographer professionally edit our favorite photos taken at home.  She went beyond our expectations by removing Caroline’s feeding tube from some of her pictures.  Caroline hated that feeding tube.  The edited pictures now capture Caroline’s free spirit in a way that you could not see with that plastic tube taped to her cheek or her chin.

 
I am very protective of my pictures of Caroline.  Second to my memories, they are the firmest link to my time with the sweetest baby in the world.  I find myself looking at this picture often every day, still amazed at the beautiful miracle I was blessed to meet.  Through this photograph I can feel the love in her eyes and remember how it felt to stroke her hair and kiss her forehead.

Every day apart is impossibly hard, but I am so honored to be Caroline’s mom and wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Her sweet soul inspires me every moment of every day.


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Year 2

I have entered year 2 post-loss.  I thought it would get easier but it hasn’t.  In fact, lately grief has taken a firm hold.

I haven’t been sleeping well and the past few days I’ve been very low.  Struggle-to-get-out-of-bed, achy-heart, nothing-is-very-funny kind of low.  It’s scary to have come this far and still have days where the pain is so fresh.  Last evening I felt like I couldn’t breathe and needed to get out of the house.  I went shopping and bought myself a pair of jeans.  I was down another size, which normally would have been very exciting for me, but it still wasn’t enough to make me smile.

My husband and I have been so bored in the evenings lately.  I know that if Caroline were still with us, our evenings would be anything but boring.  That hurts, the way our plans were ripped away from us.  We were so ready to start filling our house with children.  When Caroline was with us, our home was so busy and noisy and perfect.  I miss that.

I miss Caroline so deeply.  She is still, and possibly always will be, at the forefront of every thought.  I feel her presence in the sunshine that she loved.  I ache to hold her in my arms. I yearn to see her play and grow up. I love her with every ounce of my being.

I have heard that year 2 can be harder than year 1, since the permanence of it all starts to really sink in.  It is still too early to judge but I can see how that could be true.  For those of you further along this journey, has this been the case for you?