Mothering Caroline Grace

learning how to be the mom of an angel


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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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Memory Monday

I loved Caroline’s hands.  

Caroline had an extra pinky on each hand.  When our maternal fetal medicine doctor saw the extra fingers on ultrasound and pointed them out, I was shocked and scared of how her hands would look.  I didn’t know how beautiful six fingers could be.

Caroline’s right hand had the classic trisomy clenched fist.  Her left hand was different; her fingers were always curled but never clenched, and her fingers did not overlap on that side.

My favorite view of Caroline’s perfect hands was when she reached towards me.  I’d then pick her up and those beautiful hands would soon relax, opening from their usual position.  Oh how she loved being in mommy and daddy’s arms!


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Memory Monday

I have a rocking chair that we got when it became clear that Caroline was coming home.  My parents picked it up for us while we were still in the hospital.

I spent many hours rocking her to sleep in that chair.  She loved to feel the movement.

The rocking chair had a footstool that rocked along with the chair.  I would often put my feet up.  One of our cats, Nelson, would often sit on my shins while I rocked Caroline.  He always wanted to be close to me and Caroline, and tolerated the back-and-forth motion to cuddle with his mommy and little sister.


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Memory Monday

We were so excited to show her off!  

It was my birthday and Caroline was still with us, doing well!  It was also the day of my scheduled postpartum visit to the OB.  We didn’t know if Caroline would make it to that appointment.  The odds told us she would not.  But here she was, so sweet and very much alive.

My family of 3 came to the appointment.  My OB was running behind as usual.  I never minded because he always gave attention as if you were the only patient on his schedule, and if that meant waiting, it was fine with me.  We sat in the waiting room, with Caroline in her car seat until she was ready to be held instead.  

Other patients asked how old Caroline was and said she was beautiful.   I got to feel like a normal mom for a little while.  I didn’t mind overhearing one woman telling her husband that “that baby has a cleft lip.”  Caroline had the opportunity to show people how beautiful and happy she was.  The cleft lip never held her back.

Finally we were called to an exam room.  Mike proudly held Caroline in his arms, and my OB was so happy to see her!  I think he was amazed at how well she was doing.  We took a chalkboard picture of Caroline and the man who delivered her.  She was 40 days old that day!

We returned home after my appointment and celebrated the day with some orange creamsicle cake.  It was a sweet end to a sweet day.


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Memory Monday

One of the first questions we received after Caroline was born was, “Who does she look like?”

At first I didn’t know.  Because of her syndrome, it was hard to compare Caroline’s features to those of her parents.  All I knew was that she was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.

As Caroline grew, it became clear that she looked more like her daddy.  She had his blue eyes, and when she slept near her sleeping dad, it was obvious that they were closely related.  

Caroline had the most beautiful locks of blonde curly hair that the nurses at the hospital pointed out as rare for a newborn.  Her curly hair was from her grandmother.

One feature that Caroline inherited from me was a gift of long eyelashes.  She had naturally curled, dark eyelashes like her momma.

It was fun to see who we saw in Caroline, but it didn’t matter to us who she looked like.  She was her own person, our sweet, strong daughter who fought to spend time with her family.


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Memory Monday

Caroline loved playing with her hands.  On ultrasound she always had her hands near her face, preventing us from getting a 3D image of her beautiful profile.  When Caroline was born nothing changed – she continued to keep her hands up by her face and they were always so interesting to her.

One day, Caroline truly discovered her hands in that she found a way to get one of those precious fingers in her mouth.  It looked like she was just resting her hands in the usual position because five fingers remained outside, but she managed to get an index finger in her mouth and was sucking away.  It was truly one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.  She was so content, sucking on a finger and loving life.  As a baby should get to do.