Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I can generally fight with strangers. I can stand up for what's right and true without quibbling. James laughs at how many free meals or watch repairs I've gotten in my life because if something's not right, I'm not too shy to speak up. But if have a disagreement with someone I love and trust, I generally get really, really quiet. I'm prone to giving the silent treatment, not out of malice, but out of necessary contemplation. When trust is on the line, it takes me a long time to think through a response and to draw myself back to the surface for a reply. Needless to say, arguments around here can take a really long time.

I've been very quiet lately not because of any argument with a person, but rather that continuing internal argument with why things are the way they are. This journey is one of ebbs and flows. I feel like I begin to make real progress, but life, as it is, comes with setbacks.

This week, I've been handling all of the baby things -- as in, the material things. We have so much baby stuff, and the time has come to let it all go. It's hard to truly move forward when you trip over a stroller every time you go to the freezer for some chicken. Already, I've given some away, thrown some out, and have plans for what is left.

What's insane is this stuff is just that -- stuff. This stuff is not my baby. Even more notable is the fact that this stuff was never worn or used by my baby. I remind myself of that, of the lack of a direct connection to baby, but still find myself burying my face the Dreft-scented pile of receiving blankets, remembering how excited I was and how deeply blessed I felt when I bought them, and washed them, and readied them for baby to come home.

I think the sadness in this process is less about the loss of the baby, and more about the loss of the plans and the dreams. I think it's about the fact that I'm at an age where some people are just beginning their families, and mine is complete without my consent.

The children are up and down with all the things strewn about the house. Overall, Bub seems to be fine emotionally, but wanted to know just how many babies all that stuff was for. "Just for Zachary," I said, but then reminded him that all the bins of pink things were there because the doctor told us our son was a daughter for a good many weeks filled with shopping. Bub was then so in tune to little boy things. He saw a commercial with two brothers and spent the evening making comments about what his little brother may have said to him.

Gracie, on the other hand, is not handling it as well. She's enjoying having all of the furniture and equipment out for her "babies" to use, but seeing all of the stuff again is bringing back the questions and the comments and the general neediness she exhibited with death was new. She insisted on reading books to me that had been packed away, such as "I'm a Big Sister" and "What to Expect when Mommy's Having a Baby." She needed all kinds of reassurances that I would let her hold/feed/rock our baby "if we ever got to have one". She's been extra whiny, and has needed lots of extra cuddle time and physical comfort. (That's actually better for me, because meeting her emotional needs in a physical way prevents me from quieting my own emotional turmoil with handfuls of chocolate.)

It's sad enough that I get this lesson, but it's so heartbreaking that they get it too. I guess I get why I have to do without, but I don't understand why they have to when having a baby is clearly so important to them. I mean, really, if I think about it, I get why they do without also -- perhaps it's better to learn early that things don't always turn out as they seem. It's just that their struggle in learning to do without makes this whole situation even that much more unfair.

Gracie and Bub, April 2007 --
both hoping she gets a baby kick in the face

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