Eva`s crib was also Samuel`s crib. Was also Vincent`s crib. Was also Theodore`s crib. We have not taken that crib down since our eldest son was a baby in it. There has been a baby in it until the day Eva died.
When Eva lived she shared a room with Little J. The room adjacent to ours. We had two cribs in there end to end. When Eva died we left her crib in there for quite a few months. Eventually I moved it to our room where I put her special things in it and remembered our girl. Away from the judging eyes of random visitors. And when we reversed our permanent decision to not have any more children the crib became a symbol of hope for new life. After months and months of dissapointment I was just about to take it down (who am I kidding...it would have taken me more months again) when we got two lines on a strip telling us that we had Hope. Hope. The crib stayed. We would use it again. We hope.
6 days ago we packed up Eva's stuff from the crib. Samuel, Vincent, Mike and I. At quiet time. While Theodore and Little J napped.
I had bought a huge rubbermaid bin over a month ago that has been waiting in our room since then. It's larger than the coffins we looked at, at the funeral home.
We packed up her blankets. We packed up some photos people had given us. We packed up her stuffies and teddies. We packed up the butterfly memory box with hospital bracelets etc in it. We packed up the book I read to her over and over again in PICU 'Won't you be my kissaroo'. We packed up her hopeful yellow dress. We packed up the shirt I was wearing when I ran screaming down the stairs of RMH with her in my arms...the shirt I was wearing when I held her in my arms as she took her dying gasps. We packed up our hopes. We packed up our dreams. We packed up our desires. We packed up our memories. And underneath it all was the pink sheet she had slept on last. The pink sheet that still had her drool on it.
I can't begin to explain to you all that we packed up 6 days ago. We packed up our baby's baby things and didn't get her 2 year old stuff out. We packed up her cuddle blanket that she should have been using to nap with at that very moment. It felt like we were burying her, again.
As I put the lid on her stuff Vincent asked if he could have one of her bears. I told him yes but it would be very special. I'd rather my kids have a bear of hers and love on it like she should have been doing than have it packed away. I also kept her bunny. The bunny whose soft head reminds me of the softest hair snuggled under my chin as Eva slept on my chest.
Every day I looked at that crib and knew that our little rainbow baby would never come until we packed up that crib. My body would not release him or her until I had done this. And now it's done. And I've washed some gender neutral baby things. I've packed a hospital bag and Eva's carseat is sitting in our room ready to go. There are some new things waiting for our rainbow in the crib but I haven't really gotten it ready. It's more like a storage bin now and that's okay. I know Mike will sidecar the crib after s/he's born and it will be okay. It doesn't need to happen right away. It doesn`t need to be perfect. It may not happen at all. There are no guarantees in life.
But it does feel like a weight off my shoulders. Something BIG that really needed to be done before baby came. Something I would probably have done months ago if that crib had not symbolized our hope for new life as well as our love for Eva.
I really hope that crib soon holds the baby that`s kicking me now. I hope to exhaustedly nurse a newborn and watch our little one grow. Although, I know I will not really breathe at all until we cross the ten month threshold. But even then I know that anything could happen, at any time. And so I hope with unquenchable hope.
And I am looking forward to holding our little rainbow baby. One day soon. Less than a month. Almost here. We`re waiting for you. The crib is waiting for you too.