It’s funny what we spend our energy on when we’re preparing for the arrival of a baby. I spent all the extra minutes of my day making sure everything was just perfect for Sam when he arrived. Ted likes to joke that I started “nesting” the moment I found out we were pregnant. To a degree, he is probably right. At nine months pregnant, I made him spackle the walls in our office when tiny holes were left behind from the previous owners. And I mean tiny holes. And sure enough he spackled them!
One thing I spent a lot of time working on was my baby registry on Amazon. I haven’t been able to bring myself to look at it since Sam was born. Everything was picked out in detail and with Sam in mind. Every item had a specific color to his nursery, the best ratings, the safest toys, the cutest outfits. I would poll Facebook for advice on what products I couldn’t live without and what essentials I just had to have during our stay at the hospital. I started ‘pinning’ gift bag ideas for my labor and delivery nurses and drumming up ideas about what we could offer to them.
It’s interesting how looking back to the night we found out Sam’s heart was no longer beating that none of that really mattered anymore. Nothing was really essential to my giving birth to Sam. I’d spent hours picking out the perfect outfit for him to wear home, the most cuddly blanket to wrap him in, the sweetest hats handed down from his cousins, the tiniest diapers I’ve ever seen – all perfectly packed into one bag. A bag I completely forgot about when we left our house that Saturday night because I hadn’t felt him move that day. A bag I completely forgot about when Ted came home to grab our belongings the night we found out we would be staying and Sam wouldn’t be coming home. A bag I didn’t remember until a few weeks later when I could easily start walking around again after my C-Section.
It’s interesting how it doesn’t matter, and how it does.
Last night I told Ted that I thought maybe we should move the MamaRoo out of our living room. To be honest, his sister and my perfect niece and nephew are coming to town this weekend and I didn’t want to confuse them any more than they might already be about their sweet cousin, Sam. It was all my idea and something I thought I would be comfortable with.
I was told by my friend Jessica when I was pregnant that the MamaRoo was something I couldn’t live without. Her precious baby, Olive, just loved it. And that made me happy. I searched high and low for one at a good price and found a friend selling hers at a yard sale. I jumped on it immediately and bought it as soon as I could. I came home that day, cleaned it from head to toe, washed the fabric and placed it centrally located in our living room. For months I dreamt about sitting on my couch and seeing Sam sway in this perfect chair.
After brushing my teeth last night I came out to the living room to find that Ted had listened to my advice. The MamaRoo was gone. I hurried myself to the basement and found him playing with our puppies. I immediately bursted out, “Where’s the MamaRoo?!?” as if I didn’t know the answer. Ted responded, “It’s in the storage room.” I opened the door to the storage room and didn’t immediately see it. I gently closed the door and welcomed tears. Strong, powerful, overwhelming tears.
Ted greeted me with a hug and I left him in the basement. I pulled myself into bed and hid under the covers grasping my stuffed elephants. Alone. No more energy. I wailed like I did after giving birth. It wasn’t the MamaRoo that made me cry but my missing out on my answered dreams that the MamaRoo was going to peacefully rock during the day.
Like Sam, the MamaRoo was gone.
I reached out to my Mama friends who share in my grief. So many precious Mamas who have lost their babies this year. So many that I’m forever tied to through our love for our babies. Georgia’s Mama, Rachel, wrote me this and I share it with you. May it be insight to all of you who so desperately want to help our Mama hearts.
Abby, moving the MamaRoo–another small death. I have had so many moments like that. You aren’t crazy. Everything about this whole experience is tragic. Everything is a reminder. Everything is the exact opposite of what it’s supposed to be. Our babies clothes are clean and new still. Their mamaroos are being put in the basement. We kiss pictures of our babies instead of their cheeks. Nothing is right. And every time we put away one more thing, or do something that makes us feel like we are “moving on”, it feels like another small death we have to mourn. I am so sorry. But know Abby, that we are right there along side you. We are crying everyday over “the smallest things”…even though they’re mountains to us. We are mothers. We have one of the most powerful connections ever found in nature–the connection between mother and child. But the child is gone. It’s confusing, scary, sad, we are desperate, and lost. We have experienced a trauma that is indescribable. The world doesn’t seem to make sense, and it seems cruel. So, no, you’re not crazy. You are a mother who fiercely loves her child. It’s just that simple. we all stand with you on this Abby. We all feel crazy at times (most of the time) but when I turn to my mama friends, like you all, I find so much comfort in knowing I’m not alone in the slightest.