I have spent less time than I should have looking through Brock’s things. When I went to look through the chest of his belongings today, the top was dusty, and I immediately felt very guilty.
For the first couple of months, every time I looked through his stuff, I was guaranteed a good, long cry. Holding his urn was bittersweet, and I would hug it to my chest and cry, wondering why I had a box full of ashes instead of a soft, warm baby nuzzling my neck. (To be honest, I still wonder this.) The first time I dared to look at the clothes he wore, I was, somehow, totally shocked by the reality of clothing a deceased baby: his clothes were stained with his blood, and it hit me like a tonne of bricks. I put them back, cried, and, after that point, avoided looking at them again.
This afternoon, I spent some time carefully looking again at all of his memorabilia. I reread the sympathy cards and guestbook from his service. I looked at the tape he was measured with, and the (cut) wrist and ankle bands he was given after birth. I smelled his blankets, polished the front of his urn with a dry cloth, gave him a good long hug… I even found the nerve to look again at his clothes. It wasn’t until I realized that there were a few of his stray hairs on the inside of his cap that the waterworks started. They were good tears, though: I lamented not asking for some of his hair, and, somehow, knowing that I had some after all felt like a weight off my chest.
I think, when I spent time with Brock and his things today, I was looking for consultation. I still don’t know how I feel about being pregnant again, but I wanted to try and find some peace with it; I hoped to find it when I thought about him, and I did.
I found myself thinking about things that I felt I did “wrong” with my last pregnancy, and what I would change about it if I got the second chance (which I now have). It came down to two things: I would spend less time worrying, and more time enjoying it all. I realized that, even if this child ends in a miscarriage (or the unthinkable happens again, against all odds), all life is worth celebrating, and I have nothing to gain by being anxious about the possibility of a new child. I owe it to this new baby to cherish every moment I get with them, even if it does end up not being as long as I want. No matter of fretting or wishing will determine whether or not I get to meet this child, so all I can do, in the meantime, is love it unconditionally.
With that said, I’ve decided to be happy about the pregnancy. I use the term “decided” loosely, because I know it’s not going to be that simple. Does this mean I’m never going to worry about the outcome? No. Does it mean I’m not going to, on occasion, feel guilty about getting pregnant again so soon, and that I will miss my son less than I did before? Again, no. What it does mean is that I’m going to do my very damnedest to be sunny, and hope that, come October, I’ll get to welcome Brock’s younger brother or sister to the world. Worry typically does not help make a situation better, anyway. 🙂