Mothering Caroline Grace

learning how to be the mom of an angel

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Memory Monday

Last year on Valentine’s Day, I was celebrating the fact that Caroline was still with us.  My husband and I knew that she could pass away at any time, but a little over a month before her due date she was still safe and sound in my womb.  We cherished every day that we had with her.  We loved every kick and every hiccup.  We learned that she loved peanuts just like her dad.  We took her to sporting events, knowing that it was likely our only chance to share those moments with her.  We loved with a love that was too big for the fear of what was to come.  We knew it would be hard to say goodbye, but we knew every second with our sweet daughter was worth the pain.  We hoped and prayed that she would not suffer and that she would get the chance to meet her family.

My husband went out of his way on Valentine’s Day.  I came home from work to two bouquets of flowers in vases on the kitchen table.  One had a dozen red roses and a card sat in front of it with my name.  The other had a single pink rose and a card sat in front of it with her name.  Caroline.  I immediately began to cry.  It meant so much that he had included Caroline in what would likely be our only Valentine’s Day together.

We dried Caroline’s rose and saved it for her.  It now sits by her urn, with the ribbon the rose was tied in and the words “I Love You” in a cursive script decoration that came with the flower.  No words could be more true.  We love you Caroline!


Holiday Blues

We are getting to the point where we need to decide what we are doing for the holidays.  Going home to family is a plane ride away, and I want none of it.  We are getting to the point where we should book if we want to go before the prices rocket up, but my husband and I have decided that we don’t want to travel this year.  We wanted to go home for Christmas last year, but with Caroline’s condition we wanted to stay close to my OB.  So you would think that we’d be itching to go home this year… but we’re not.

The thought of watching nephews open presents without Caroline there to grab at the paper ties my stomach into knots.  The looks of pity, or worse, of “why aren’t they over it yet?” from family and friends would be too much to handle.  I’m not trying to say that my family is mean or that they would try to hurt me, but I know I would see it in their eyes.  I would feel like my grief was on display and know I’d be the gossip point of the month.  “How is Kristina doing?”  “She seems okay, I saw her laughing and smiling so it looks like she’s getting over it.”  “I don’t know, I saw her leave the room when the boys were opening presents and she didn’t come back for a while.”  “I heard her crying in the bathroom.”

Maybe it is the grief talking but a quiet Christmas at home with my husband and Caroline’s ashes is all that I feel I can handle this year.  Maybe if I went home I would find my family to be incredibly supportive and I’d have a great Christmas, but I don’t think I’m ready for that.  I need this season to miss my daughter and be permitted to feel what I need to feel.  If I want to cry all day, I want to be able to do that.

Hopefully I will feel up to going home for Christmas next year, but this first Christmas needs to be ours.  If anyone has suggestions for getting through that first holiday season, I’d love to hear them.

Missing you always, Miss Caroline.