Today, I cleared out the baby room.
We hadn’t been trying for children. We have children. They’re fab and amazing. I was 30 when I gave birth to the first one. I’m almost 40. I never said never again, mind you; we had baby stuff from the younget gathering dust in the attic; I hadn’t quite decided whether to get rid of it yet.
Having said that, it was still a bit of a shock to discover just before Christmas that I was pregnant. It took me a couple of weeks of worry and consideration before I actually started getting excited about it. We wouldn’t have told anyone until much later except that my dad was visiting – he lives a long way away and we don’t see him often. We considered for a while but realised it might be nicer to tell him in person, rather than wait until the ‘safe’ 12 week mark – where the chances of miscarriage drop dramatically; and then tell him over the phone. And of course, telling him meant having to tell other people, so word got around.
Of course, I tried not to get *too* excited until the 12 week mark. But we got some of the stuff down from the aattic. Well, we were up there anyway putting the Christmas decorartions away. We had baby stuff ‘donated’ to us immediately by family as soon as they found out. The magic 12-week mark came and went and all was fine. And the smallest bedroom – too small even for a single bed – became ‘the baby room’. Not neccessarily a nursery; just where we were putting all the baby stuff for now, as I went through it; checking if it was usable; cleaning stuff; preparing, as much as was possible. It wasn’t neccessarily a room for *this* baby. It was just a room to keep the baby stuff in; that we intended to fashion into some kind of nursery; when the time came.
Well, the time isn’t coming. At 17 weeks, I suffered what’s known as a ‘late miscarriage’. This is because it happened in the second trimester. Had she made it to the third trimester it would have been counted as stillbirth.
Either way, She won’t be joining our family.
When I was in hospital, hubby asked if there was anything he should do, like sort out the baby stuff and clear the room away. I said no.
It didn’t upset me at the time. I had other stuff upsetting me enough than random baby stuff.
Because that’s all it is. It didn’t upset me when I came home. And even since, going in to that room and seeing baby stuff is still not a trigger for me. Not like the small teddy they brought in with her when they’d cleaned her up for me to spend time with; or the tiny urn that now contains her ashes; or the rose bush in her name that some friends very thoughfully sent us.
It’s just a room with baby items in it. Crib, Cot, pram, clothes, toys, nappies (no, I didn’t ”stock up”…I use cloth one. They’ve been passed down from the others.)
It wasn’t ever ‘HER’ room….until the miscarriage we didn’t even know if she was a boy or a girl; so that made it hard to marry up the posessions with the coming baby. She never spent a night in it, so that didn’t make it ‘HER’ room, either.
It hasn’t been left untouched. The airing cupboard is in there, so I am in and out regularly getting clean towels and putting some away.
I’ve not been avoiding it. Sometimes I’ve gone in just to sit quietly in the rocking chair. And it doesn’t upset me. For one thing, they’re all items that we’ve used before for the other three. So nothing in there was bought exclusively for this baby anyway.
So when I went in there to clear away some space to use as storage space for some of the camping gear that’s coming out to hand ready for the summer; it was just like tidying any other room.
Now, the baby stuff is still there; but instead of laid out carefully organised, the cot and crib have been folded away and clothes and baby blankets folded up and stored, and the new tent is in there waiting for the summer camping trip.
Now, of course it would make more sense to put the baby things away completely – to put them back up in the attic or start giving them away or taking to second-hand shops and so on; but her surprise existence, although a shock initially, has got us into the expectation that there might actually be another addition to the family. We’d got used to the idea, purely because of her existence; when we hadn’t even been planning her or trying for her. So for now, they’re staying in the baby room. And we may pay a little more attention to trying.
At first, I was scared to say anything about trying again. It seemed to me that people would think another one would be a replacement for the one we lost. It’s not. She wasn’t planned, nor was she expected. But a new baby now would be her legacy. A new baby now wouldn’t have existed if she hadn’t forced her existence upon us.
So today, I’ve sorted out the baby room. The smallest room. I’ve not cleared it. It’s a store room. Full of things ready for when they’re needed.