Friday, March 11, 2011

Honoring Caroline

Lately my heart and mind have been filled with how and when I should honor our sweet Caroline Elizabeth. I have know since almost the day that she was born (give or take a week or two) that I wanted to do something to celebrate her short little life.

Bobby and I felt that we did all that we could while she was here (earthly of course) to honor her baby rights. Caroline had the right to be named, held, photographed, and then buried. (And I totally understand how its not always possible for all parents to complete all of these depending on gestation, birthing method etc.) I still felt like something was missing. I wanted her little life to have meaning and not just to her family. I wanted her to have the chance to spread goodness and love and support and any other positive thing she could in her name.

My first inclination was to sew little dresses for the Labor and Delivery Floor at the hospital that she was born at. I have talked about this before but after she was born the nurse asked if we wanted hospital pictures taken of her. We said that of course we did and they offered us about 4 choices of little homemade dresses that they could put on her. It might have been all the drugs that I was on at the time or the lateness of the hour (around midnight) but I remember staring in horror at what there was to choose from. I am beyond the farthest thing from being any kind of clothes snob but these dresses were aweful!! With no choice I picked the one that was the least offending and then let it go. Its absolutly nothing that I dwell on but I thought to myself soon after I could do that and offer grieving mothers in my situations something other than what was found at the top of some nurse's dusty closet dating back to 1973!

As I sit here a type out this post I have to admit something to you. I started writing this post and then got up and pulled down the box that held this little dress from the hospital. It was the first time that I had opened it since leaving the hospital. I admit something else... I cried just at the prospect of knowing that I needed to open the box. I cried while pulling the top off and I sobbed as I pulled the little hat a dress out. I was finally touching something that had touched my daughter. It was the most surreal experience ever. I touch my little boys everyday. Hugs, kisses, during hiney wipes and nose wipes and I feel like I've taken it all for granted.  But for that moment I was with my daughter again even if it was just her leftover cells on her dress that was touching my hands. I'll take what I can get.

And I'll admit another thing... the dress was not as horrible as I remember. Just the situation I was in while picking it out was. I was simply rebelling at the first crappy choice I was given in a situation where I had zero choice. And don't get me wrong, I would love to still be able to pressent the hospital with little bundles to hand out to grieving mothers and fathers but now I'm not so sure what will go in them. I do have one idea though. I would love to include this book for them. I was only handed a list of funeral homes and mental heath facilities for "if I needed it".

Empty Arms: Hope and Support for Those Who Have Suffered a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Tubal Pregnancy

I received this in the mail yesterday from one of Bobby's Aunts. She had lost a grown child several years ago and knew what I was going through. This was some mighty Devine Intervention! I had been avoiding certain types of grief recovery for fear of the extra pain that I knew they would bring.

 I have been writing this post in my head for about a week now thinking that just by posting it would help but I know I need more at this point. I think that now this book is on my night stand I will delve in. I am proud to say that I read Chapter One last night and it didn't kill me!

Sorry this post has been a total mish-mash of everything that been rolling around in my head lately. Its lots of things that I've wanted to talk about and get off my chest and I feel better now! If anyone else has any ideas of what you think might be good please don't hesitate to let me know.

Happy Friday and I promise there are happier post to come!


Tristan said...

I can't even imagine having to make a choice like that.
You are so wonderful to provide such a DARLIGN dress.

I pray for you all the time.

Have you read Angie Smith's book??

I just had to tell you that my best friend has a daughter named Elizabeth and is expecting one named Caroline in May.
Everytime I say Caroline to her I think of you and your sweet baby girl...your always on my mind it seems.

New Year Mum said...

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement on my blog... means so much to me. What a lovely idea... we had a choice of gorgeous little outfits lovingly knitted by volunteers - and it is so special to still have them with us. That would be such a great idea to make little outfits for the hospital... you are an inspiration :) I could never do something that artisitic xoxo

Katie said...

Hillary ~

Thank you for sharing your heart. What we feel and have been through no parent ever should. Just the other day I smelled Colson's closet to see if I could still smell Reese.

That dress is beautiful, and I know Caroline was so precious in it.

I'm also so proud of you for starting that book. I was given several grief books from friends and family after Reese went to Heaven, and I haven't been able to open them yet. Hopefully one day.

Thinking of you.

Amy said...

Very sweet... love you!

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