Friday, December 16, 2011

Caroline's Birthday

Yesterday, December 15th, was Caroline's birthday. I was 28 weeks and 3 days pregnant.

I woke up on the 14th with some concerns about how I was feeling physically, and went in to the hospital to get checked out. When I got there, we found out I was having contractions every 2 minutes, but I wasn't feeling them yet. I was also 90% effaced and 1 cm dilated. My OB, who happened to be at the hospital when I got there, and the nurse we've been working with the whole time of Caroline's diagnosis, who also happened to be working when we got there, recommended that I go ahead and check in to the hospital and wait things out, because it was likely I would deliver sooner rather than later.

Cameron and I were slightly in shock. We were not expecting Caroline to come so soon, even though we knew it was a possibility. We immediately set into motion getting our support system informed. My mom booked a plane ticket on the soonest plane, and our local friends swept into motion to help us in whatever way they could.

I didn't progress very much throughout the day. I was slightly uncomfortable, but not enough for it to really phase me much. We had several friends stop by during the day to check on us, offer support, bring us food, pray for us, and anything else we needed. We are so blessed. My mom's flight came in on time in the afternoon, and some wonderful friends of ours brought her to the hospital from the airport. Once she was there, you can imagine the scene. Lots of hugs and tears and some "Thank you for not giving birth yet!," comments among laughter.

Later that evening, a bunch of people from our church came by to pray for us and offer their support. My room was full of people, and the love and prayers flowed freely. We are so incredibly blessed.

Around 7:45pm on the 14th, I was given a labor-enhancing drug to help me progress since I wasn't really progressing as expected. A couple hours later, I had dilated to 3 cm, and a couple hours after that I was at 5 cm. It didn't take long after that to get to the pushing stage. Cameron, as a first time dad, wasn't sure what to do with himself. He was so sweet and trying to do whatever he could to help. I felt like I was being mean to him telling him to stop doing things or demanding him to do other things, but he says I was being very nice, especially for a woman in labor. Haha.

Caroline Grace was born at 1:58am on December 15th. She came into the world with a smile on her face. I like to think that she saw Jesus come for her right before she came to us here on earth, and therefore came to us with that remnant on her face. We didn't get any time with her here on earth before she went to be with Jesus, but we know we'll love her just as much when we see her in Heaven. She was precious to us anyway, and we're grateful for the time we did have with her in my womb. I will never forget her or my time with her, or the time we got "with" her after she was born.

We were able to get some pictures of her and with her, and I will treasure them as a reminder of her and all she is. She is not just my daughter, but an inspiration for many, a witness of God's faithfulness and love, and the reason we have learned to love and trust the Lord more fully through this season of our life. I have had innumerable people tell me that our story has touched them, inspired them, or brought them closer to the Lord or back to Him. I say this as "all she IS" because she is an eternal being, just as we all are. She has left her temporary home and gone to her eternal one, but she still "is" our sweet Caroline.

I will never regret any of our decisions. I will never understand fully how much God has done for us. I cannot fathom how much more He will do in the days, months, and years to come, all because of little Caroline. I feel incredibly blessed to have been chosen to be her mother here on earth, and to know I will see her again in Heaven, waiting with her Heavenly Father for us, her earthly parents, to join her.

I know I will mourn her loss. I already am. I know I will miss her. I already do. I know I will wish she was here with me a little longer. I already do. But I also feel joy and peace in abundance. I am amazed at God’s grace and comfort once again. I am awed by His goodness in such a trying time. I know He is faithful and will continue to help us heal and grow as time goes on without our little baby girl.

I also know there are a lot of people mourning with us. I want you to know God’s grace and comfort as much as we do. God is amazingly good and gracious. Please let Him be that for you. Please don’t let this time with Caroline harden your heart, make you question God’s goodness or His plans for you or us. Caroline isn’t here with us on earth, but she’ll be waiting for us in Heaven. We don't mourn without hope, because as sad as our earthly loss is, our Heavenly gain is infinitely more than all we could hope for. I want you all to see her there. Make sure you’re going to be there too. Email me if you have questions about that.

God has provided so much during the past few days. He has worked things out I didn’t even know needed working out. He has orchestrated things to make them happen in the best way possible. I laughed a little bit when I realized my last blog post was entitled “I want the best.” God probably smiled a little bit when He saw me writing it. He knew what was coming and said, “I’m giving it to you.” I am so glad I serve such a kind and loving God. He knew what I needed, what I could handle, and who I needed around me. He gave me everything I needed.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us, loved us, and prayed for us during this whole process. I know we’ll still need it in the coming weeks and months, but I appreciate and treasure all of it so far as well. This blog is not done, either. I’m sure I will keep writing for a long time.

I’d like to share some pictures of our dear sweet Caroline, and of her with us. I hope you can treasure them as much as I do.


  1. In the orthodox church, it is customary to say "May her memory be eternal" when someone leaves us for the Heavenly kingdom. I know that Caroline's memory will be eternal for you, your family, and the many many people your story has touched. You are full of grace and it is evidently clear to me that the holy spirit is within you! May God bless you and Cameron and be with you during this time.


  2. Thank you so much for sharing these precious pictures! Mike and I have enjoyed looking at these and the ones that Cameron has on his blog!!! I have looked at them many times today! Thank you for sharing your lives with us! She is absolutely precious!!!! I am so glad that you have these great pictures to treasure always! We love you!
    Mike, Alissa, Katie and Parker

  3. Thank you both for your inspirational faith. Your continual reliance on God serves as a beacon for all of us. Caroline Grace is indeed eternal, and you will have eternity to spend with her. Wendy and I will continue to pray for you both.
    Love, Dave Leaumont

  4. Although, I do not know you personally, Wendy Leaumont shared your blog with me. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story of unwavering faith and reliance in our Lord. Your journey with your precious blessing has been uplifting and inspiring. Thank you for opening your lives and hearts for others to see, and as a result, many have been able to see the love and grace of our Lord. My heartfelt prayers and thoughts are with you as you celebrate the perfect life that Caroline now has within the arms of our Savior.

    God bless,
    Stephanie, Jonathan, Caroline, and Kenley Ard

  5. Jesus said,
    "Let the little children come to me"!
    Matthew 19:14

    This was our comfort (and still is) when 2 of our babies miscarried. I picture them snuggled up on Jesus' lap now awaiting OUR arrival rather than us, theirs!

    Your heavenly Father must be bursting with pride over you guys!

    Love and prayers,
    Jen & Carlos

  6. I am so glad that you have shared your story! What a testimony of faith for the world to see. You guys are an inspiration for us and for many others. I was never surprised by your choice to continue your pregnancy and let things progress at the hand of God. Do know that our family is praying for your family and we will continue to pray God to comfort your family. Love to all of you!

    Angel & Harry Womack

  7. Although my heart aches for your earthly loss of little Caroline, I too rejoice in the excitement in seeing our loved ones again...whole and wholly in God's presence! Thank you for sharing Caroline Grace with us and for the opportunity to pray for you. May God continue to bring you His perfect peace.

  8. Dearest Emily,
    I know that you spoke with my friend Marcy, who also lost a child to anencephaly. Caroline's birthday was also Peter's birthday 14 years ago. That day Marcy shared with me a beautiful photo album of his birthday and I wept, for her and for you. As I went through the album I came across a poem that I wanted to share...

    "We cried tears when we learned that a child would be-that your God had allowed you to quicken in me. We cried tears with our loved ones as they shared our joy-and we thought about names for a girl or a boy. I cried tears as I thought of the things that we would do-all the things that your Daddy would pass on to you. And I cried as I thought of each inch you had grown-as I pondered the day you'd make your self known. Then-to think of the world you must enter brought fears. Once again-little loved one-your Mother cried tears.
    Then something was wrong-once again I cried tears-and I'll not get the chance of your love through the years. Oh the ache and the sorrow and all of the pain- and again-yes again-my tears fell like rain. Then His peace comes to me as I think of you there-gently rocking with FATHER in His favorite chair. Your sweet little fingers clenched tight in His palm and His son softly singing to help keep you calm. Our FATHER knew your days before they came to be- and He knew-little one-you would not stay with me. So-I cry but I know that when this life is done-I will greet and embrace you my sweet little one. There's a time to be born and a time to die-and the joy and the sorrow both makes me cry." -Conni Johnson

    In His sweet son's name I pray for your comfort.

  9. Oh, Caroline is absolutely beautiful. Thinking of you....

  10. I am in awe of your outlook on this. You are right, Caroline was a gift to you - even if that gift only lasted a moment. I hope that when God calls Andrew home and my arms, too, are left empty that I can remember how sweetly you accepted God's choice to bring Caroline to His side and follow your example. Love and peace to your family. I've been praying for you since you first told us at TBD about her.

  11. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos. Thinking of you.

  12. Thank you, everyone. Thank you very much. Your kind words are so encouraging in a time of difficulty. God bless you all.

  13. What a little angel! She is perfect. Thinking of you.

  14. thank you for sharing yr beautiful baby with us. my mum's first baby was full term but had anencephaly and died very soon after her birth. she was called caroline too :( xxx much love to 2 carolines flying high :) xx


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