Preparing Again 

  

I’m 31 weeks pregnant now. Our plan is to deliver the baby by caesarean section at 37 weeks at the latest, earlier if there any signs of reduced growth or compromised blood flow. The doctor has also spoken about admitting me to hospital for monitoring at around 35 weeks just to be safe. This doesn’t leave a whole lot of time get organised for this little one’s arrival, maybe only 4 weeks until I am incapacitated! And yet I’m really struggling to want to do anything to prepare for having a baby. 

Our spare room/nursery became a dumping ground when Isobel died. All our baby purchases were shoved in a chest of drawers or under the bed, with bigger things being sent away to my parents house. The room is now full of random bits of paperwork, books, clothes, bedding and general clutter that doesn’t have a home! I know it needs to be tackled. But I’ve been here before. Around this time last year in fact. We cleared the spare room. We organised the baby things; the Bednest was waiting to go by our bed, the bouncer was waiting for a baby to lull to sleep, the baby bath was ready to be filled with warm water to clean a little body. The isofix base was installed, the car seat and coordinating pram ready for adventures. I washed and ironed the cutest clothes and softest blankets. I set out the changing mat making sure the nappies, wipes and creams were in reaching distance. I did all of this. And the baby never came home. 

Am I supposed to do these things again? To make my preparations, with the most horrible feeling of deja vu and yet hope for a different outcome? Or do I accept that preparing for this baby is too difficult and just face the disorganised chaos head on if all is well? I imagine that ‘nesting’ and getting a home ready for the baby is very much an integral part of preparing psychologically for the baby’s arrival. What am I communicating if I don’t ready a home for this baby? Will my bonding with the baby be affected if I don’t at least try to accept the possibility that he will arrive alive and come home with us? 

Even when I decide not to worry about getting organised and just deal with things when the baby comes, I know there are certain things we definitely need to do. I will need a hospital bag no matter what happens now. We will need at least one outfit for the baby. My mind can’t help but thinking of it as an outfit to bury the baby in. Of course, I hope we need many outfits, nappies, wipes and a car seat before we even get to the coming home stage but it’s hard to imagine that. I have no experience of that happy scenario. 

In my attempt to help the time pass, I have made plans for us pretty much every weekend. Today was the only Saturday until May that we were free to look at car seats and prams, so off we traipsed to a few baby shops. We had returned our previous travel system, purchased for Isobel and though we had loved it, we didn’t want to keep it after she died. Being in the stores felt surreal. Like we were acting the role of a normal couple having a baby, but the slightest questioning would reveal that we were frauds and it was all a fantasy, there would be no baby. After the first shop, I started to panic that I hadn’t felt the baby move since leaving home. As if the very act of looking at prams could have killed him. A pause in pram shopping, an orange juice in Cafe Nero and that worry at least temporarily, was shelved. Not so easy to shelve the fear that another pram will be carefully, pointlessly, chosen for a baby that doesn’t survive. That we are setting ourselves up for more heartbreak by even pretending to others that we will have a baby we take home. There’s also guilt that we could be hopefully preparing for this baby, that life is going on, and Isobel is being left behind – her pram returned and replaced by another, her room taken over and things that were meant for her being used for another baby. 

Surprisingly, we did find another pram we liked and although we need to think it over a little (as its more expensive than we would like), it’s nice to have an option and I anticipate we’ll probably go for it rather than face the shops again! Also surprisingly, of all the chipper shop assistants, only one asked if it was our first baby and I think she got the message not to ask anything further when we looked at each other and after a pause I just replied “no”. 

This time we won’t be taking the travel system home before the baby comes. Returning Isobel’s car seat and pram was heartbreaking. This time, we will just order it and leave it there for someone to pick up should we need it. With having a c-section, I’ll likely be in hospital for a few nights so there will be plenty of time for someone to pick up the car seat before we need it to go home. 

Isobel was only in our car in her little coffin for a few minutes’ journey between the ceremony room and her grave. 

This time has to be different. 

It has to be. 

Please let it be different. 

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22 thoughts on “Preparing Again 

  1. It just has to be. I’m right here hoping with you Mamma. Only do what you are able to do- I’m sure you’ll have plenty helpers to come and get things organised when the little man heralds his arrival with a scream xxx

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  2. I have to admit I’m a little bit jealous! I still have just over 10 weeks until my c-section! In some ways it can’t come soon enough but I’m also willing Pip to stay put until that day. We never packed anything away when Lentil died. It’s all still there, just waiting. I find myself wanting to get things ready but it’s all already done. People ask us if we’re prepared and I can only say that we’ve been ready since last June. The babybay is still in our bedroom, the nursery’s all set up, the pram is under the stairs. I haven’t packed my hospital bag yet but I really want to. I’m sort of saving it as a job to do because I feel like everything else is done already! The babybay is currently full of Lentil’s things, a bear, clothes and a blanket identical to those he has, his hand and foot prints, a lock of his hair, the t-shirt my husband wore that day because it smells of Lentil. We’re having a memory box specially made for them but putting them away is going to be the hardest thing. It is hard imagining Pip using all of the things that were meant for Lentil as I’m sure it’s hard for you to think of Isobel’s things being used by your little boy but it will be so wonderful when they are finally being used. Not long now and we’ll be holding our happy, healthy babies in our arms xxxx

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    1. A special memory box is a lovely idea, we have something similar as well as the SANDS one. There are some other things I want to do for Isobel like make a photo book of pregnancy etc. but I never get round to it. Not sure what that’s about!

      Not long now indeed, it’s all very surreal! I hope the time goes as quickly and uneventfully as possible for us both xx

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      1. We have a photo book that shows the pregnancy and has pictures of Lentil. I keep meaning to add photos to my pregnancy journal from when I was pregnant with Lentil but it’s just something I keep putting off. I think reading what I had written and the excitement I felt would just be too emotional right now. My hormones are just all over the place, some tv adverts make me too emotional at the moment, and not even ones about babies!! Xx

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  3. I remember how difficult it was when I began preparations for our son’s birth. I struggled with setting things up that were originally intended for Isabelle. I was scared if I got things ready too soon, somehow history might repeat itself. For me, I just kind of knew in my heart when I was ready to set up the nursery again. I like to think of Isabelle as looking down on her brother in a special way in that room.

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    1. That’s lovely, I’m sure she is. I know if Isobel were here we’d be reusing everything for her sibling anyway aside from a few special things that are just hers. The fears are so irrational aren’t they? It annoys me because I used to think I was a very rational thinker!!!! Not so much any more!

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    1. Yeah I think you’re right, I keep reminding myself that some people don’t organise anything and everyone will help out in that happy scenario! Hope all is going well with you and little Jay xx

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    1. Awww thank you! Had a wee look at your blog there, best of luck with the IUI. We had fertility treatment for our first pregnancy so I know a little of the agony of that too. Hoping for lots of baby dust for you xx

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