Recently I showed you one of our guest rooms that we'd been working in to install crown molding. I mentioned that the room was intended to be our nursery when we bought our home. I was in the beginning of my first pregnancy then, and I had no idea what was around the corner for the next several years. Before we ever moved in, I miscarried.
With the next pregnancy I had a glimmer of hope that everything would be alright, but when it turned out so much like the first, we realized we may be dealing with a real problem. We began our search for answers and we had four more planned pregnancies over the next four years -- each one after tests and surgeries and medications that we hoped would make a difference. Each time, we hoped. We allowed ourselves to plan and to dream, if only a little bit. Each time that we got good test results or saw progress on an ultrasound, we let that hope take root and begin to grow.
Sometimes we would buy things. Things for our baby. We never bought a crib or a changing table or even a package of diapers, but occasionally we would see an outfit that was too cute to pass up. We picked up a few really cute and incredibly soft stuffed toys. I love children's books, so we have quite a little collection of some of my favorites. We were given a few things as gifts as well, from family members who hoped with us.
For a long time, I had the baby clothes hanging in the closet of that bedroom, on those cute little baby clothes hangers. After a few years and much grief and many tears, I finally folded them up and put them in boxes. The two boxes remain in the closet, up on the highest shelf. I also have a bag of maternity clothes passed down from my sister that I probably couldn't fit into right now in my non-pregnant state. Sometimes I wonder if the maternity clothes and even the baby clothes we bought, some as many as seven years ago, have gone out of style. Babies are probably wearing much cooler clothes these days. And I know that expectant mothers are. Even the young, hip, and stylish pregnant woman in jeans on the cover of the current edition of What to Expect When You're Expecting looks like she could run circles around the tired, house-dress-clad mom-to-be on the cover of my older copy.
Just last weekend I was doing a bit of reorganizing in that closet, as we do store other things in there besides baby stuff. I came across a shopping bag with two items in it that I think I purchased during or around our last pregnancy. Until I found the bag, I had pretty much forgotten about these little outfits, one for a boy and one for a girl, and very much a reflection of the two of us.
I feel like a lot has changed since I started trying to have a baby. I've changed, too. But in a basket of baby-name and breastfeeding books, I also found a list of names that I used to like for boys and for girls. I'd written them down during one of the pregnancies, in what was probably a very hopeful time. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they really hadn't changed. I still like those names, and I would still consider those same names if we had the chance to hope again.
But back it all went into the closet again, along with my hope, for how long I don't know.