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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Dear Caroline...

  Dear Caroline,

     It has been one whole year. One year, almost to the exact minute when I first found out. I cannot even explain why I decided to take a pregnancy test that cold November afternoon. But something inside just brought me to that moment. It was the first time in awhile that I was not scared while I waited those two minutes. Normally I would just stand there and watch, willing that test to be positive. But this time I went and washed the dishes, drank a glass of water, and changed the laundry. I was not worried. I was not anxious. I just felt such peace. I was at peace with whatever sign appeared on that pregnancy test screen.
     But Caroline, to your mommy's absolute shock, there it was. A very clear plus sign. I had to look once. I had to look twice. In fact, I walked back to check that test about fifty times. I kept expecting that I was wrong. That maybe I was just seeing things, and that it couldn't really be true. But there it was, and there it stayed. It was not faint, it was very clear. I was pregnant!
     My precious girl, I could not wait to tell your daddy. He just could not get home from work fast enough. I just paced through the house, my heart was absolutely racing. For so many months I had planned out the most amazing ways to share the news. I wanted to make it special. But in that moment, the only thing I could do was run outside, grab your daddy's hand, and lead him to the counter. I was speechless! That does not happen very often for your mommy. I always have something to say. But this time, I had no words. I just pointed to that test, and smiled. My heart was full, and I still could not believe my eyes. Your mommy and daddy were so beyond excited.
     Caroline, that night on November 8, it was the first time I talked to you. I knew that you were way too tiny to hear me. I knew that your ears had not even begun to develop yet. But I talked to you. I welcomed you into our family, and I told you over and over how much I already loved you, and how incredibly excited I was to know that you were growing inside of me. That moment I had already fallen in love with you. You were my baby, even though you were no bigger than a poppyseed.
     Your mommy has such vivid memories of that day. It was the first day that I allowed myself to dream, and to hope of a future with you in our lives. I dreamed of what it was going to be like to be pregnant. I dreamed of what it was going to be like to welcome you into the world. I dreamed of what you were going to look like. I dreamed of all of the things that we were going to do together. But most of all sweet girl, I dreamed of our growing family, and the bright future that was just beginning.    
     Today has been really hard Caroline. Your mommy misses you so deeply. I cannot even begin to tell you how much my heart hurts. When I think back to that day a whole year ago, I realize just how much can change in a year. In that moment, I never dreamed that anything bad could happen. After all, you were alive and growing. Everything should have been okay. All of those dreams should have come true. I should be holding your precious little body in my arms tonight, smiling happily at the memory of how far we have come since that day one year ago. Instead your mommy has aching arms tonight.  I miss you so much sweet girl.
     I remember so clearly, that night as we went to bed, your mommy and daddy prayed together. We thanked God for the joy in our hearts at the news we had just discovered. We prayed that God would hold you close, and help you grow strong and healthy in the coming months. We talked late into the night about how excited we were, and how our lives would be forever changed. But what we did not know Caroline, is what was to come. In that moment we were simply filled with happiness and excitement. There was no doubt in our minds that we would be holding you in our arms in only a few short months.
      Looking back at that day now, I know that nothing turned out as planned. There are so many hopes and dreams that will never be fulfilled. You were not born healthy like other babies. But my precious girl, you were strong. I know that God made you strong. Against all odds you fought each day of your life to meet us. You proved the doctors wrong every day that I carried you. We did get to hold you in our arms, even if it was only for a moment. We did get to tell you how much we love you, even if those 3 simple words have to last forever.
     You changed our lives forever Caroline. Our lives have been changed in such a different way than I ever expected. I always dreamed that I would be an exhausted, forgetful, and crazy mom, who does not always have it all together. I looked forward to those days with all of my heart. But instead I have been changed in such a different way. I am still an exhausted, forgetful, and crazy girl, who certainly does not have it all together. My life is completely unpredictable in every moment. But I am a stronger woman because of you my daughter.  You taught me how to be brave, how to trust, and most of all, you taught me how to love. I now know that it is completely possible to love, even when you know it is going to lead to heartbreak. I now know that it is completely worth it to love so fully and so deeply, even if there is no tangible way to express it. So Caroline, as I think about you tonight, as I miss you so deeply, as my heart pounds and my arms ache, I want you to know how much I love you. I love you more than I ever dreamed possible. I hope that somehow you know just how much I love you. It is a love that grows stronger with each beat of my heart.
     Thank you my princess, for teaching your mommy so much over this year. Even though my heart is broken and tears are streaming down my face, I am so thankful. I am thankful for you. I am thankful for the gift of time that God gave to us. I am thankful for the joy we experienced on that Friday night one year ago. I am thankful for those first words I spoke to your tiny body. I am thankful for the excitement that your daddy and I shared together. I am thankful for the blessing that you have been and continue to be in our lives. I love you my beautiful Caroline Joy. You will forever hold the deepest place in your mommy's heart. Until we meet again...


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