Mothering Caroline Grace

learning how to be the mom of an angel


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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

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.


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Memory Monday

Caroline played with her hands.  When we came home from the hospital, we’d first wrap her up like a little burrito, which she loved.  Soon enough, she began exploring her limbs and wanted to be more free.

My husband would lie on the couch with Caroline on his chest, and she would use her hands to prop up her head in a sweet, sleepy in class kind of way.  She discovered them and explored them.  Although her hands were clenched shut most of the time, when she was very relaxed her palms would open.  It always made me smile to see her hands so relaxed, because I knew how happy and relaxed she was for them to be that way.

Once, Caroline found a finger and sucked on it.  We took a video of her doing it – she was always amazing us.  It was so adorable – the fact that she had 6 fingers made it look like she was sucking on air, but she got that index finger in her mouth and did something that so many babies do.  It made her so happy.

At about six weeks old, we had to start putting mittens on Caroline’s hands to keep them warm.  Her hands were cold because of her poor circulation.  I was sad to take her beautiful, six-fingered hands away from her but knew that she needed her mittens.

Caroline received the sacrament of Annointing of the Sick.  Part of the sacrament involves blessed oil on the palm of the hand.  I smile when I remember our priest trying to open Caroline’s hand, and having to tell him that they don’t open on command – he would have to improvise.

I held those beautiful hands the night that Caroline went to heaven.

For hours I held her hand.

Emotionally I will never let go.