I found myself thinking, "I can't believe Caroline's 1st birthday is coming up." Then it hit me. This will be her 2nd birthday.
In some ways, it feels like two years have passed since she was born. At the same time, it feels like it was last week. It doesn't make sense. The days leading up to her birth are a blur. But the day she was born... If I close my eyes, I am taken back to that place. It feels like I am there
Initially, in the room next to the operating room; her still with me. I blink, and find myself in the operating room. She was coming so fast. The pain was the most intense I have ever felt in my life. I will never forget. I remember the sense of calm I felt once the epidural was placed. I laid there, staring up at the white ceiling, bright lights shining down on me. I do what I am told because I am completely numb. Physically. Mentally. The next thing I know, she is before me. My flesh and blood. She makes a tiny peep for us and is quickly rushed away to my left. I gaze back up to the ceiling and the bright lights, in a daze Why did it not occur to me to pray for her in that moment? Why did I need a reminder? I will never know. I can see Dr. Rojas approaching to tell us it was over. Despite their best attempts, she never stabilized. We agreed no further resuscitation should be performed. He brought her to our side. Said she was a beauty. She was. I remember asking him to take care of her. I could not be there to bath and dress her. She would be with someone else in the last moments of her life. She would take her last breath in the arms of someone else. I would not see her again until I was back in that room. The one next to the operating room. The room where I spent days trying to keep her safely inside. But this time, she was not with me.
I am blessed to know who held her when I could not be there. I am blessed to have a letter describing the last moments of my daughters life. I am blessed to know she was prayed over. I am blessed to know the sign of the cross was etched on her forehead. She was held. She was rocked. She was loved until she was placed back into my arms. How bittersweet it was to hold her in my arms, knowing it would be my first and last time to do so. If only time could stop...
Our time with Caroline was too short. Letting her go was one of the most difficult days of my life. But now, 2 years later, I can smile when I talk about her. My tears are few and far between. I think of her daily. But I am no longer paralyzed with anxiety and sorrow. I am happy. As hard as it is to confess, I can already see that good has come out of her death. And the death of her big sister.
My girls. They made an impact. If on no one else, they made an impact on their mother. For it is through their deaths that I have been changed forever. I will never be the same person again. Praise the Lord. I am a work in progress. God is slowly, but surely working on me. He used them to do so.
Happy Birthday to my second born child. My daughter. Sweet Caroline. You are ALWAYS in my heart. Thank you for blessing me with your life. A life that is helping truly save mine...