Sunday, December 30, 2007


Lately I have been frustrated that so many of my friends don't say Caroline's name, actually many don't say anything about her at all. I know there is fear of saying the wrong thing, so unfortunately many people say nothing at all about what happened.

I just recieved this email from a dear friend that reminded me that even though people may not be talking about it to me, they are still thinking of us and praying for us.

Days when the sun shines bright, how grand we hold a special friend, good to share with each other, for the friendship road has no end. Then the days become long and weary, many is touched with grief and fear, then the friendship becomes much stronger and we pray for each other and show how we care!
The burdens get much lighter while friends are lifting us up in prayer.
They tell God to hold our hand, for special friends always understand. Our world would not be very happy and the days would be long and dreary without the special bond of friendship that we all hold so dear. I talk to God for you each day. May you feel loved in every way!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Circle Analogy

"The circle analogy"
Draw a circle. This circle is your life.
Draw a slightly smaller circle inside of the first circle.
It's okay if the edges touch in some places. This circle is your grief.

Now you can see that your grief almost totally fills your life.
There isn't room for anything else. Your life and your grief are one.

Now draw another circle the same size as your grief circle.
This circle is still your grief.
Draw a larger circle around it. This is your life in the future.
Your grief is still there, still the same size, but now there is space around it for other aspects of your life. As time goes on, the circle of your life grows and includes many other things, but your grief remains. It doesn't
go away. It doesn't get smaller. But now there is room for other things and you are not always focused on the grief. You can laugh at a joke, go to a party, get a new job, maybe have living children, but your circle of grief is still there.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Jesus, Bring the Rain

I am so glad that our faith is not based on how we feel about God, but on who He really is. Believe me... there are days I don't feel like I want to believe, really there are days I just don't feel much at all.

I have never thought of myself as a very religious person. I mean, I grew up going to church and certainly believed in God, but I guess I never thought of myself as having a very strong faith.

I can now say that during this difficult time my faith has certainly been strengthened. That is not to say that it hasn't been questioned too, it has, but more importantly I feel that when everything else was stripped away, when I was in the depths of my pain, I was given a chance to analyze what really matters and for me the only choice I can continue to find is to draw closer to HIM. The song below expresses those thoughts better than I ever could.

Bring The Rain
by: Mercy Me

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

Sunday, December 23, 2007

2 months

So today marks 2 months since we said hello and goodbye to our sweet Caroline. No one could have ever prepared me for this and honestly if I could have known it would happen I am not sure I would have know how to 'prepare'. All I know (and I don't know much) is that I don't want to be angry anymore. I want so much to be grateful that I got to have any time with her at all. Even though she was inside of me, I still feel like I got to 'know' her, more than anyone else.

It sometimes feels like this all is a dream. I wonder when the day will come that I won't wake up with that jolt, that feeling that she is really gone, that I am really not pregnant anymore. I know one day it will start to hurt a little less, but for now I cover that broken heart of mine up with a smile and just keep breathing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


So many things I wish I could put into words, but cannot right now... so instead I share lyrics.

Angels in Heaven by Higher Faith<

It happened so fast everything was a blur
And everyone came by and said how sorry they were.

I knew that they meant well
So I tried to force a smile
And they said I should be thankful that I had him for a while

But now all my friends and my family have gone home.
I am just left here sitting with my memories all alone

I've always heard that God does everything right
I just wish My Angels weren’t in Heaven tonight

I know there are some things beyond our control
And some things only God can decide
That won’t stop this hurting that I feel in my soul
I just wish my angels weren’t in Heaven tonight

Oh I know there are some things beyond our control
Some things only God can decide.
Oh But that won’t stop this hurting that I feel in my soul
I just wish my Angels weren’t in Heaven tonight

God won’t you please Kiss my Angel Good Night

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Shopping Trip

I can really relate to this poem so I thought that I would share it.
I used to love shopping, but lately it is such a chore!!!
The Shopping Trip by:Linda Vicory
As I persue the aisles,of the local store,
I see things more differently,than I ever have before.
"Daddy's Little Angel",the embroidered bibs do read.
But, Daddy's angel is in Heaven,and bibs she does not need.
She does not need a bottle,a dress or a toy.
Of buying those things for her,we shall never know the joy.
There are tiny jars of baby food,that she will never eat,
And shiny shoes with buckles,that will never touch her feet.
As the bikes and trikes taunt me,from high up on the rack,
Tears will break free from my eyes,if I dare look back.
I run off to the restroom,to blow my nose and cry.
I wipe my eyes, swallow hard,and let out a sigh.
I must go face the paper,college and wide rule,
That my little angel,will never use in school.
I hurry past the greeting cards,that the people chose with care,
And I am reminded,of the holidays we shall not share.
In the checkout line I bow my head,and heavy is my heart,
For the family right in front of me,has a newborn in their cart.
Shopping in the local store,used to be mundane.
Now every aisle's full of items,which remind me of my pain.
So, quick as I can, I give the cashier,the money from my purse,
And hurry away from those who don't know my pain,
in this foreign happy universe.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

No Guarantees

We are so programmed in this life to think many things are certain. I have also come to find that this is a 'quick fix' society. For example, You want a new car? Sure.. you can buy one (might not be able to afford it, but.. they sure will give you a loan). You have a headache? No problem, take a pill (and there are quite a few out there!) Clothes don't fit? Oh, just buy new ones (God knows I do!) My pattern of thinking here is that many, many times, without thinking twice, with certainty in fact, we said, "We're having a baby girl!" or "My due date is January 29th." When really in truth, we found out that life is so uncertain and there was no 'quick fix'. We did have our baby but not on our due date... instead she was 14 weeks early and born silent and still, an angel. We wanted answers and luckily there were some, but there was no 'fixing' to be found. It is a blessing that we could actually see what caused Caroline to die, don't get me wrong.. I am grateful for that. And, yes it was reassuring to know that there was nothing genetically 'wrong' with her and to know what happened would be very unlikely to happen again. All of that does provide some comfort. I guess what I mean is for so many months you count down to a date that you believe is going to mean one thing- a healthy and beautiful baby. It turns out that there are no guarantees that is the case. I think what saddens me most is that I am not alone on this journey. If you google "babies born still" there are 658,000 results. It shocks me to the core that this happens so often and NO ONE talks about it! After my experience many people have shared with me that it happened to them too, but I don't think that they would have ever told me had we not had the common bond. For all our lost babies, I think it is important that we talk about it, remember them, and treasure whatever time we did have. As we live each day we have to remember that here are indeed no guarantees- treasure each moment.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Hidden Ocean

"She held her grief behind her eyes like an ocean & when she leaned forward into the day it spilled onto the floor & she wiped at it quickly with her foot & pretended no one had seen. "

This is a quote from Brian Andreas, the maker of "Story People".
Check out his quotes/stories at

When I was a teenager, my family and I went to Maine for a vacation. (I think this was our last family vacation before my parents got divorced, but that is another story...) My brother was probably 13 and I was about 17 at the time. I remember Zach and I walking around Boothbay Harbor going for ice cream and browsing some fancy shops. We couldn't afford anything in them but we came across the "Story People". These Story People ended up sort of following me around- wherever I went, I would find stores with them. I now have 7 prints hanging in my house (but that too is another story..) Anyway, my favorite quote I found that day when I was with my brother was:
"She said she usually cried at least once a day not because she was sad, but because the world was too beautiful and life was so short"

I loved that quote and never knew just how true it would become for me...I do cry everyday. Somedays it is just a few tears or those that unconsciously roll down my cheeks at just the thought of Caroline, but then there are days like today where the tears are much like the first quote- an ocean- they just keep coming. I know that the tears are God's gift to me and they help us all to heal. When they come, I accept them. Today I knew they were coming and I was at work and being a teacher, you can't just leave the room, sit down and have a cry. So I swallowed hard, waited until I dropped my kids off to Art, and then I had a real good cry. One of my coworkers cried with me and prayed with me and I of course gained composure in time to get the students and carry on with the day.

It amazes me, truly, how the past month has dragged on like it has been a year. Maybe that is a blessing... maybe that has given us more time to miss her, more time to let it ''sink in". Sometimes I really have to stop and think, "Did this really happen? Could this really happen? Is this all just a bad dream?" I think this is why I often replay scenes from the hospital over and over again in my mind. Somehow it makes it really sink in and feel like a reality. I am also so grateful to everyone who prayed for us, with us, and helped us to make the right decisions. I would so very much regret not seeing or holding my baby. I am so glad that we did.

Many days I also question why this had to happen and although there are no answers to satisfy me, as I was reading another blog written by a mother who has 4 boys and lost her only baby girl, I found her words were so touching that I must share them here-

... I felt like all my hopes and dreams were lost. But what I did not realize then, but know for sure now, is that Madeline would not be who she was intended by God to be if she had been exactly as I had planned her. It really is a blessing that we are not in control of our lives because I never would have written mine with this outcome. God knew how badly I wanted a little girl and He could not have given me a more perfect one than Madeline Grace Hopkins. And even though she is not the child I had planned or dreamed about, she is even better. I knew early on that Madeline would not be "normal" and that I probably would never parent her like I have our other children. I was able to grieve the loss of that dream and it is only recently that I knew that as badly as I missed her and wanted her here to share in our life, Madeline would not be herself if she were able to do that. She was exactly as God intended her and I would not trade her for a healthy daughter anyday because that would mean changing her. Madeline was perfect in all ways, in our eyes and God's.

I am so grateful to have other mothers to share this journey with, but the sad reality is there shouldn't be so many of us....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Our 1st Anniversary

Well, one year ago we were filled with joy, excitement, and anticipation for "the big day". I was running around all week getting ‘ready’. I had my hair and nails done, got my massage, had the bridesmaid luncheon, and then we had the rehearsal at the church and dinner at Hella’s. I remember that I stayed up very late the night before the wedding with Jessica, Kelly, and mom drinking wine… we giggled and acted so silly taking pictures of one another in my mother’s wedding dress. I was so happy. I couldn’t wait to get to that church and get married!

I loved Nick so very much then and couldn’t imagine my heart being fuller than it was that day.

Our wedding and reception was perfect and so much fun. Who would have ever dreamed what would happen next- a baby!? We had only been married 6 months when we found out we were pregnant. (I still think people thought we were nuts.) I vividly remember the date we found out- May 20th. My graduation from grad school was the day before and I was not myself. I felt so grouchy and irritable that whole weekend (which I am sure Nick would attest to). We had just gotten in the door from getting groceries and I had to use the bathroom. I figured “Oh, what the heck?” I had already bought the tests so I thought I would just ‘double check’ to be sure I wasn’t pregant, but when it said I was, well, my eyes just welled with tears. Please know this was not because I was sad, but because I was shocked! We had just started ‘trying’ and I couldn’t believe it. They were the kind of tears that come involuntarily- they just poured out of my eyes- I couldn’t stand the excitement. I opened the door to show Nick that test and he really didn’t believe I was serious. I sent him to the store and that night we took 2 more tests and of course they both were positive!

Words can never describe how much I loved being pregnant and knowing that little life was growing inside of me. I remember the night we found out she was a girl- Nick was just as excited as I was even though I knew he really was hoping for a boy.

What happened next was nothing we could have ever planned for. Hearing that our baby girl had died was the worst possible news we could have ever received and news we never expected. I feel like a piece of me died with her, but through all of this tragedy I truly believe it caused our love for her to be even greater. I want everyone who reads this to know that the man that my husband has proven to be through all of this made me fall in love with him all over again. He was so wonderful and supportive that I really felt grateful and proud to call him my husband.

I know that I said that on our wedding day I couldn’t imagine my heart ever being fuller than it was that day. But now it is so very full, full of love for:
  • our daughter, Caroline

  • my husband, Nick

  • and for all those who have prayed for us and have been here to help us handle this tragedy. (Please do keep them coming!)

We have come through the greatest struggle we could have never dreamed of being put through and we have come through it together with our faith and love as a couple being even stronger in the end. Although today is not filled with the same type of joy and excitement that we had last year as we prepared for our marriage… I will say that the anticipation is quite similar. I am anxious for the day that we do have another baby. I anticipate all that the future holds for us and know that we have many many years of happy memories to come.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Glory Baby

These lyrics were sent to me after Caroline died and have brought me so much comfort. I love this song and believe it whole-heartedly.
A word about the couple who sings this song:
"The album features the song "Glory Baby," a reminiscence of the child Christy miscarried. The couple suffered a second miscarriage before the birth of their son Noah Luke in 2000. Christy speaks candidly, both musically and in interviews, of the pain she and Nathan endured and its effect on their faith. "We've experienced grief for the first time and learned about that process, but I think through grief, God just showed me some places in my life that I needed to surrender," she told the Christian Broadcasting Network's Lisa Ryan. "It was a really dark time, but at the same time it is strange because I look back on that and I remember that being a very spiritually enlightening, very bright, light time," Nathan recalled in the same interview. "I think it was because everything was stripped away, just like that, and there was nothing except for us and God." Christy feels it is important to share her tribulations with audiences: "A lot of brokenness and vulnerability comes through on our records and in our concerts. People can see that we're weak, we're not super Christians, and we don't have it all together but, thankfully, God uses us in spite of it."

Here is a link to view the song on youtube:

Glory baby you slipped away as fast as we could say baby…baby..
You were growing, what happened dear? You disappeared on us baby…baby..
Heaven will hold you before we do Heaven will keep you safe until we’re home with you…
Until we’re home with you…
Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s aday when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day when we will see you
We will see you But baby let sweet
Jesus hold you‘till mom and dad can hold you…
You’ll just have heaven before we do You’ll just have heaven before we do
Sweet little babies, it’s hard tounderstand it ‘cause we’re hurting
We are hurting
But there is healing
And we know we’re stronger people through the growing
And in knowing- That all things work together for our good And God works His purposes just like He said He would…
Just like He said He would…
I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies and what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know…all you’ll ever know…

Sunday, November 18, 2007


The reason I picked the title "Emerging from the Cocoon" for my 'blog'...

During my hospital stay, the staff placed a butterfly sticker on my hospital room door as a symbol for all nurses, staff, etc. who entered to be aware that I had a still birth.
I later was given a beautiful "remembrance bracelet" which had a butterfly charm on it and butterfly lapel pins to give to family/ friends.
The nurse explained to us why the butterfly is used. Her explanation was much like this one:
"In the grief process, the bereaved person must learn how to deal with the loss, or significant change. Many people may hide away from the rest of the world much like being in a cocoon while trying to heal. This cocoon phase is one of transformation and often introspection and reflection. The process ends as the person emerges from their cocoon, metamorphosed into a different person. Thus the transformation of the grieving process is much like the story of the butterfly."

The nurse explained to us that just like the butterfly can never go back to being a caterpillar we will never be the same, as Caroline's presence in our life-although short, changed us forever.

When I was in college student teaching, we raised monarch butterflies in the classroom. The children (and I) loved watching them grow from little larva to big, fat caterpillars. Then suddenly they would be inside of their chrysalis (cocoon)- usually they did this overnight so the students would come into to school and be surprised and shocked by the change. Then there was so much anticipation for when they would emerge. When they finally did, we had to release them and I remember the children being somewhat sad to see them go as they had 'raised' them and watch them be 'born'. This is exactly how I feel now. I loved watching my belly grow and had such great anticipation for the day my baby girl would come out. Unfortunately, just like my students and their butterflies, I had to let her go. The butterfly is a gentle reminder of how beautiful, and fragile life can be. I think that one of my students said it best,"You should not take life for granted, as some of us never even get the chance to live it."


Grief, when you are the one going through it, is unlike you ever imagined it would feel. You know all those times you have seen someone else you love grieiving, or in pain, you think to yourself "I wish I could take the pain away for you." When you are the one in pain you almost don't want it to go away because then it feels like it is over- like you are moving on- like in a way you might 'forget'. People have commented about how I don't cry or how I 'seem' to be doing so 'well'. This doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. Surely on the outside I may not cry, possibly because I have no more tears left. (Seriously, I sometimes wish I could have a great big cry fest and 'get it all out' but the tears just won't come.) But trust me I hurt, in a way I truly couldn't have imagined.. my arms are empty and my heart is broken. There are days I feel like I am completely useless and just want to go get in the bed and stay there forever. Knowing this is not a choice... you have to put on your big girl panties and you say to yourself "I can do this. I am strong enough to make it through today."

Tiny Footprints on a Mother's Heart

This poem was sent to me with a necklace that has baby footprints on a heart. The poem is so true and Caroline's time with us, although short, truly has touched all of our hearts forever.

Tiny Footprints on a Mother's Heart

When a baby arrives,be it for a day, a month, a year or more,

or perhaps only a sweet flickering moment-

the fragile spark of a tender soul

the secret swell of a new pregnancy

the goldfish flutter known to only you-

you are unmistakeningly changed...

the tiny footprints left behind on your heart

bespeak your name as Mother

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Caroline McKenzie Klug was 1 lb and 6 ounces.She was 12 inches long. She
looked so much like her daddy. She had big ears and big feet! She had
Nick's mouth too. She would have probably been 8 lbs or more if she had
made it full term. She was really a beautiful little girl and we got to be
with her for about two hours. She was dressed in a little crocheted dress
and hat given to us by the hospital with the symbolic butterfly on it.

The doctors found that Caroline died of a cord accident. Her cord was twisted many times very close to where it was connected to her body. (The best analogy is to think of a kink in a hose.)One nurse who has practiced for 37 years says that she had never seen anything like this twisting of the cord and said that Caroline must have been doing spinning gymnastics to cause this. Every one of the nurses were wonderful and so compassionate to us. Our reverend, Rick Gray, who married us last year, baptized Caroline.

Although it is so very hard to understand why this happened when Caroline
was so perfect, the presence of God was with us every step of the way and I
truly accept his decision. We are doing fine and just ask that you say many
prayers for us and for our family during this time. We were all given God's
strength to cherish and love this special child for the small amount of time
she was with us. We know He will help us through the weeks and months to