Saturday, October 5, 2013
just in case
This always happens. I say I need a break and then I end up posting more than I expect because saying I can't do it takes the burden off somehow.
Last night I finally packed most of the hospital bag. I felt a lot better after, like a weight had been lifted. Having that bag doesn't change anything, but it makes me feel good to have a small stack at the foot of the dresser.
There is a small bag for when I am in labor, a slightly larger bag for after with clothes for me, J, the baby. And there is a bright red bag that holds a dress I bought when Bennett was tiny, a dress I just had to have because I hoped there was a future for it. There is a shiny black pair of dress shoes, a blue cardigan and a pink blanket folded around the dress. It's the just in case bag. The one we'll need if it all goes sideways again.
On top of the pile is a brown blanket I used for Bennett's birth. When I was pregnant with him my midwife suggested bringing something from home to comfort and ground me. After Charlotte died I was constantly wrapped in that blanket, an outward manifestation of the grief that engulfed me, so I chose to bring it. And I was amazed by how much it meant to me to have it during the birth and throughout Bennett's time in the NICU.
It's like a talisman, that pile of bags. It's reassuring to know there is a general birth plan, a list of names, nursing supplies and new pajamas within the pile. It reminds me that preparing for birth is something many go through and it is monumental no matter how one comes to it - whether through grief, or by accident, or with great planning and hope.
I always feel unsettled in these final weeks. On the cusp, holding my breath, waiting. The baby shower is tomorrow. I didn't want one with Bennett's pregnancy, it felt like a curse honestly, but I can see now that while life is essentially about cause and effect choosing to have a baby shower is not going to decide whether a baby lives or dies. So we're going to celebrate this little girl without a name. And when the nerves come, if they come, I can always think of that pile of hope with a little bit of sorrow at the foot of my dresser.