WOW, it really has been forever since I've posted here. This little one keeps me so busy! I love every second of it though. So much has happened, and lots has changed with Miss Elise. She turned 7 months old 2 days ago. She's growing so fast. You always hear people say that, but you don't realize it until you have children of your own. She learns to do something new everyday. Just last night she crawled for the first time! Now, it was more of a face plant and scoot forward type of thing, but I considered it a crawl nonetheless. She'll get there.
So much has happened lately!!
We had her baptized on Father's Day, which was so very special for Allen. Not only that, but it was the second to last Sunday that our dear Pastor Tom would be preaching before retiring to Florida. We will surely miss him. He was such an integral part of the loss of Caroline and the birth of Elise. He's truly a man of God! It was a great day. Elise didn't cry at all when the water was poured on her. She looked so beautiful in her white dress too. Such a proud Mommy moment! All of our friend's and family were there and everyone came to our house after for lunch.
We took our first beach trip to Carolina beach the last week of July. Guess who cut 2 teeth while we were there? That was interesting. Luckily we had lots of family around to distract her, so she wasn't too fussy. It was such a nice trip. As much as I hate waking up early, there was something so peaceful and wonderful about sitting outside on our balcony, with Elise in my lap, watching the sun rise over the ocean. It's moments like that, that make me feel God's love for us and make me feel so blessed. I'll never forget it.
On the food front... She's taking bottles again (sometimes, if the stars line up just right) and we're back to having dairy again! She's doing really good with solids too. Although, I admit that I mostly just give her store bought baby food (for shame!). Her favorite so far is peaches and banana yogurt, which seems so ironic since just a month ago there was absolutely no dairy to be had for her. You can't shovel it in her mouth fast enough! I'm so glad she's done okay with it. Just in time for Mommy to indulge in creamy pumpkin everything for fall and winter. I love this time of year.
Speaking of this time of year. The weather is getting cooler, and you can see the trees here in NC changing ever so slightly if you look for it. But with that bit of chill in the air, I'm reminded of two years ago with Caroline. How I was anticipating so much; only to be devastated so greatly. Seems like everyone on Facebook proclaims "October is my favorite month!". I wish I felt the same. But her second birthday, or angelversary as some call it, is creeping up on us. The day we had her was a perfect, picturesque fall day. After she died, I spent a lot of time just sitting in the rocking chair on my front porch. That beautiful fall weather helped me heal I believe. So, it's still my favorite season, even though it burns around the edges. I can't help but close my eyes and remember it all. I think I always will. I hope this year will be easier. I will hug Elise just a little tighter that day. She has healed me more than she'll ever know.
I've been reaching out to other loss moms lately. I'm now a Heartstring's "support parent" for another local mom who lost her son in labor a few months ago. I'm glad I can bring some comfort to another mom beginning her grief journey. I like to think of it as part of Caroline's legacy. Just this week I told Caroline's story at our county's Walk to Remember for Infant Mortality. I found out that our county (Forsyth) has the highest infant mortality rate in NC. That is shocking and unacceptable. So, I'm joining the Health Department's Coalition on Infant Mortality Reduction to do something about it. I welcome all suggestions and stories to bring to the table. I believe that ALL pregnancies should be considered high risk. If non-stress tests were part of routine prenatal care after 28 weeks, I believe that Caroline would still be here. But I know that's a health insurance issue that won't be easily changed. So that is my mission going forward. I know every situation is different. Especially dealing with medical malpractice, which is kept so hush hush. I know it's going to be an uphill battle and one that I probably won't win, but I've got to try. Lucky for me, my Sister is halfway through law school and can eventually help me along the way. Isn't that right Sarah? ;)
I sometimes wonder; is it possible to love on, kiss, and snuggle one's baby too much? If so, we've got a problem! I just love this little girl so much. I'm so amazed by her everyday. She will never know how much I love her and am so very thankful for her. Everything about her fills my heart with a joy I didn't know was possible. Although I have no idea what I'm doing sometimes, I think it's okay. I do my best. She's such a happy baby, but very opinionated already. You can really see her personality these days. I can't wait to see how she evolves as she grows. I pray that she never has to experience what we have in order to know how much I love her. She's truly my missing puzzle piece and a blessing to everyone who meets her. Sometimes we wonder if she really is as beautiful and as precious as our eyes see her? Is it because of all we went through? I don't know. But I do know that she's "my sunshine, my only sunshine" and being her Mother is truly my life's purpose.