Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sweet Baby Girl

It's Sunday, and our sweet baby girl was born early Thursday morning. We came home on Thursday evening, after much too short a time holding our Caroline Grace. Handing her over to the nurse for the last time is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I knew it wasn't really "her" anymore, but it was all I had of her here on earth. Oh, it was so hard.

It's been a few days now. My family has gone home for a little while, although they'll be back soon. Cameron and I have a lot of decisions to make and a lot of plans to plan. The next few weeks will probably be some of the hardest of my entire life. I don't want to have to think about these things. I don't want to be making final preparations for my baby girl. I don't want her to be gone.

I've cried a lot theses last few days. I've been so sad that she's gone. I've missed her so much. And yet in the middle of all of it, God is gracious. He has given me peace beyond understanding. He has given me grace to withstand the strain. Even in my saddest moments, I am not overcome. I can't explain it except to say that God is holding me in the palm of His hand. He's really and truly taking care of me. He's giving my husband the ability to be sensitive and kind, even as he's mourning along with me. He's giving me the ability to be kind and loving toward Cameron, even as I don't know what to do.

And that's the thing. I don't know what to do. In all of my talking to my mom, dad, sister, and Cameron the last few days, I've realized that I had managed to figure out how to function with Caroline inside me. I had learned to deal with the strain of hope versus "reality." I had learned to live in limbo. I had learned to love Caroline while she was "with" us in my womb.

I am now in an entirely new place.

I'm no longer in limbo. I'm no longer able to hope for a healing miracle for Caroline. God has answered that question for us. He gave us our answer gently, but He did give us our answer. She came in a surprise way at a surprise time. She came just how God planned for her to. And I am so glad God was in control. He gave us everything we needed. I would never have done it the way He did it, but it was perfect. And His grace and mercy in the midst of it has been absolutely incredible. If I've ever been overwhelmed, I have been overwhelmed in the last few days by God's grace and goodness. I have felt absolutely amazed by His provision and love. Oh my word, He has provided so much. I am so grateful and feel so unworthy of it all.

But even in all of this, I am in a new place, and I don't really know how to handle it yet. Like before, God is getting me through it and showing me each step, but I no longer have any idea what I'm doing. I'm learning to trust God all over again, with a different set of circumstances. I'm learning how to live in a new life, without the earthly presence of my sweet baby girl. I'm learning to rely on God for strength to get through the hard times. Things were hard before, and they're hard now, just in a different way. God is still faithful to give me what I need, as I need it, exactly how I need it.

There are a lot of things coming in the next few weeks and months that I am really not looking forward to. A lot of it is going to hurt so, so much. And I am slightly afraid and slightly unsure of how things are going to go. I am begging God to help me, a lot, these days. Sometimes, I just sit still and cry and lift up a pitiful, "Please help me, Lord." He knows what I mean, even if I can't find words. And He knows I'm trying, however fallibly, to trust Him and His goodness for the future. He knows I'm human, that I have crazy emotions, and that I need His supernatural help to get through these things.

I am so glad He is who He is. I am so glad He can handle all of this. Cause I know I sure can't.

In all of this, I'm trying to maintain my eternal perspective. This mourning is a lot easier if I can remember that it is temporary. When I get to my eternal home in Heaven, my life here on earth is going to seem like a blink, and my time in the presence of my Lord, and my sweet daughter, will be forever. Forever. Like, for all time. Where years won't matter. I don't even know if years will exist.

In some ways, I'm so grateful that Caroline came during the Christmas season. It's going to be a constant reminder that her birthday was near Jesus' birthday (or at least the time we celebrate it corporately). It's going to help me remember that I'm going to see her again because another tiny baby came 2000 years ago. I won't be able to forget it. It will help me keep my focus on what it should be on. Even in that aspect, God is good. He wants the best for me, and He's making it easier for me to remember what I need to remember.

I know I have a lot of difficult days coming. I know I'm going to have some struggles. I know I'm going to be sad, and cry a lot. But I also know God is going to be with me. That He's going to help me. And because of that, I have peace. I don't understand it, but it's true. I am so grateful. So, so grateful. To God be the glory.

Here's some more pictures...


  1. Your faith is inspiring. You are going to be rewarded in heaven for your obedience and your willingness to rely completely on God. For what it is worth, your devotion to God, your family, and your sweet little angel is changing my life. You are making such an impact on people and how they think about everything in their life. I am thankful for you sharing your story and being such a powerful example of what God has called us to be.
    Love and Prayers,
    Tia McAlister

  2. Emily, remember that you don't need to understand the entire plan or path that you will take, God knows and all you need to think about is one step at a time. Jeremiah 29:11-12 is my life verse.
    It's ok to grieve,God understands your tears. We continue to life you and Cameron up daily. So glad to see you comforted and held in His palm. You and Cameron have witnessed to many people by sharing your faith and hurts. Caroline's life had a purpose. God used her in a mighty way. Love you guys, Aunt Sherie

  3. Hi Emily,

    I was recently introduced to your journey with Caroline Grace by your husband on Twitter. She is a beautiful, precious miracle! My heart goes out to you both. I've read both your blogs from the beginning. Your words are so beautifully written and heart felt. Thank you for sharing with us.

    My daughter's son, Brayden Michael, is due in February. He has anencephaly too. We are also Christians and fully trust that He can heal Brayden if He chooses. And like you, we know if healing is not part of His perfect plan He will heal our hearts enough to see us through.

    Your daughter has helped my daughter, Kara. Kara has been a bit afriad to look at pictures because she said it will become too much of a reality for her and she was unsure how the babies might look. I shared with her about Caroline Grace and she looked through your pictures. Immediately she said, "Awwwww!" Sounds just like us women, huh? And she continued by saying, "She is so cute and tiny. I don't know why I was afraid."

    I'm certain that many more lives will be touched and changed by your sweet baby girl. Thank you again, Emily, for sharing.

    Praying for you,
    Amy Stribling

  4. Thank you Tia and Sherie. :)

    Amy, please let Kara know she can email me anytime. My email is under the contact tab here on my blog. I had similar fears and can definitely relate. The pictures online can be scary, but are not always accurate. I'm glad she found comfort in pictures of our sweet Caroline.


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