As Cameron and I walk through this challenging time, we are trying to live with a good perspective. It's not always easy, but we think it's worth it.
I also have an amazing mother who is one of the most wonderful supporters I have ever had. She has been invaluable to me during this whole process. I'm not sure how I would have gotten through the past couple weeks without her love and listening ear. She was able to fly in from halfway across the country to be with me this week, and it was such a great time.
Before she came, she shared with me that in some of her reading about families dealing with anencephaly, she came across the idea of making memories with the baby before they were born, since most can't survive long enough to make many memories after their born. As an aside, my mom is an amazing mom. She has always been a great mom, and a fun mom. She has one grandchild so far besides Caroline, my sister's little girl, and she is an awesome grandmother too. Her grandma name is "Honey." Honey is one of my niece's favorite people. She's fun and loving and makes time spent with her great.
My mom loves doting on her kids and grandkid. So she wanted to spread the love to little Caroline, doing all the things she would want to do with her if we get our miracle and she is able to do things with us later in life. If this is our only chance, then we're just going to share all the fun stuff with her now, even if she can't really do any of it. We're going to make the memories with her now anyway, even if it's just so that when she's gone we can say we did things with her. It will be a comfort to us if we don't get our earthly miracle.
My mom came with a list. Haha. She was a woman on a mission, and it was so much fun. We didn't get to everything on the list, but hopefully next time I see her we can do some more stuff with Caroline and finish her list out. I'm sure she'll come up with other things too. Haha.
We went outside and blew bubbles (it was so windy, and so cold, but so worth it).
That's something she and I would both definitely do with Caroline if we get to keep her here on earth.
We drew with sidewalk chalk on our driveway. Caroline couldn't make her own pictures yet, but we made some for her, of stuff we think she'd want to draw if she gets to stay here for a while. We also wrote messages to people she loves, and from people who love her.
We wanted to play with sparklers (you know those sticks of sparking light you get at the 4th of July and New years?), but it's not really the time of year for them. They were really hard to find, and we weren't able to get any, so we improvised and got glow-in-the-dark wands instead.
We laughed so hard. Cameron was being totally goofy, as I'm sure he would be with Caroline, making her laugh and want to "play" too. We wrote her name in the air in light and prayed for our miracle, so we could do this with her some day.
A big thing in my family is banana pudding. It's one of my dad's favorite desserts, so we've all made it with my mom at some point in time. I'm sure if Caroline gets to stay with us, "Honey" will help her make it someday so "Pi" (my dad's grandpa name, pronounced pie...don't ask) can have some, made with love from his little Caroline. Mom decided we could put her initials on top with the vanilla wafers to commemorate her "first" banana pudding adventure.
I hope she enjoyed her first taste of pudding, even if it did come through me first. Haha.
Some of the other things Honey wanted to do with Caroline was to share some of the things no little girl should live without. So we got chocolate ice cream and popsicles so she could know what a treat they are, and get to enjoy them (at least through me). If she gets to stay here with us, I'm sure she'll have fun experiencing those for the first time, whenever that time comes.
We got pumpkins to carve, but weren't able to get them carved before Honey left to go home, so Cameron and I will just have to show her how that's done later. Carving pumpkins is too neat not to share with her.
One of the last things we did while my mom was here was go shopping. Obviously, Honey would take Caroline shopping if she gets to stay with us, so we had to show her what it's like in case she can't stay. Cameron went with us and was such a good sport. Haha. I'm sure he would be with Caroline too.
We bought Caroline her first Christmas ornaments, in case this is the only one she gets to spend with us. There is a Christmas store at our mall, so we were able to find some cute ones. We also got her a really pretty dress to wear. If she's only with us a short time, or gets to stay for a while, it will be her first photo shoot dress. Either way, I'm sure she'll be beautiful in it, and it's one thing we'll get to do after she's born. We looked around for quite a while to find just the right outfit, and I think we found the perfect one.
Doing all of this was such a blessing. I know it meant a lot to my mom to be able to spend time with her grandbaby, and I know she wishes she could do more with us. It was a wonderful time for me, too, to have my mom here with me, doing "normal" things we would do with Caroline. It still hurts everyday to think I won't get to do any of that with her after she's born, unless God gives us our earthly miracle, but doing it with her right now makes it just a little easier. My mom was such a comfort to me while she was here, just as she has been and will be at a distance.
I will admit that doing all of this was painful at times. I cried a few times while we were shopping. I really want her to be able to do all of this when she's old enough to remember, when we can have pictures of all her firsts, make memories with her, not for her. It hurts, a lot, to think we might not get that opportunity.
But just as in everything, God is good. He gave us joy with the pain, peace with the uncertainty, comfort with the tears. I will continue praying for grace, peace, and comfort as we go through this, all the while asking for our miracle.
Thank you Jesus for giving me such a great Mama, and for giving Caroline such a great Honey. And thank you, Mom, for being here for me, even as you suffer with me. I love you.