Saturday, August 29, 2009

August Meeting

Welcome everyone. If this is your first time here at The Secret Garden Meeting we hope that you find this place comforting. If you would like to take part in the meeting all you have to do is copy and paste the questions onto your own blog, answer them and then come back in here and leave a link to your Secret Garden post in the Mr Linky below. We would encourage you to visit other people who have left their links as that is the main purpose of this writing exercise to share and send your love and support with those who understand.

Please check out the post below here to see all the wonderful ladies who were nominated for our Secret Garden Blogger Award and read about the post we chose.

This month we are talking about our babies bedrooms and their belongings. There are a few questions all with in the same topic and because all of our stories differ some questions may not apply to you. If you would like you can just write about your experience or you can answer the questions individually. Of course you do not have to answer them all they are just simply there for you to share your experience so please just answer what you feel comfortable with.

Here they are:

If you created a bedroom for your baby tell us what it was like.
Did you have it ready for them before they were born?
If so how did you cope coming home to it without your baby?
Did you pack it all away?
What is your baby's room now?
If you lost your baby after they had come home what is it like going into there room now?
If you are trying to conceive again, or are pregnant again how do you feel about setting up another room before your baby is born?

Please feel welcome to share photo's if you would like too.


We didn't have a bedroom ready for Christian. I am a terribly disorganized type of girl and at that time of my life when Christian died I think being disorganized really was a blessing. I did not have to come home to a bedroom full of baby things only to have to pack it all away. I had a few things out here and there like his bassinet and some little newborn nappies but other than that there was nothing.

When I fell pregnant after loosing Christian I created a room for River. I wanted this experience to be different. I wanted her to know that we were ready for her. We were never ready for Christian. Her bedroom ended up being the room that we had planned for her older brother. This time I feel differently. I am paranoid about actually bringing home a healthy live baby as I have done it once since I lost Christian and I guess I feel like something bad will happen this time because I had my turn last time. Silly really. At the moment there is no room in our house for a new baby and that is such an uneasy feeling. The girls share a bedroom. We have a play room and what should be this new baby's room is a room full of junk. I am going to make an effort to clean it out in the coming weeks as I want this baby to know that she has a place in our home. She is already such a big part of our family.

We will buy a new single bed for her room so that I can sleep in there and be close to her while she is so little. All of her things will be from her sisters. She will sleep in the same cot, with the same blankets. I will feed her in the same chair. We will buy her a few little things of her own. But only when she comes home. And she will come home with us.


For Jordan's room we had a white tallboy, a second hand change table, an unpainted bookshelf and Caelan's old cot. I hadn't really decorated it yet before she came. Things had been really busy with Christmas coming and we were going to do this stuff after that. Jordan arrived early though on Christmas morning and from that point on our focus was on her well-being, getting a diagnosis... just riding that NICU wave of unknowns. At three and a half months Jordan was going to come home. I had much to do. We were being trained how to cope with her condition (she has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy... of the worst kind) and when we weren't at the hospital we were madly painting her furniture and shopping for those extras for her room. I nearly killed myself painting the change table and the bookshelf white to match her tallboy. We put beautiful pink curtains in her room... covered in butterflies... All the gifts that people bought us, the teddies and what not, lined her bookshelves. Her clothes filled the tallboy. She had dragonfly sheets in her cot. I bought Jordan a pink little stereo so that I could play her music therapy tapes on it and I also bought her a pink lamp. It was a real girly room... fairies hung from the ceiling... Little white bears in pink ballerina tutus and slippers danced from a mobile about her cot... We also bought a single bed to keep in her room, thinking that there would be definite nights when one of us would be staying with her.

Then after two weeks of sweet calmness she was suddenly back in the hospital after having had a seizure and then aspirating. We were on the ICU roller coaster this time... And then the paeds one. From paeds she went to palliative care. She never came home again.

That room sat empty for some time. Just sitting there. The same. Now and then I would go and sit in there and think about her. Sometimes I would look through her clothes and just hold them. Mostly I would just feel robbed. I wanted to pack it up. I wanted to put it away. The emptiness of that room was just awful. I wanted to put her things away or bring them out into the house and transform that room into something else. I couldn't do it on my own though. No one else wanted to help me. After many months my sister was made redundant at her work. She didn't know how long it would take her to find another job and thus was fearful of paying her rent. (I wasn't. I knew she'd get another job easily.) Anyway we offered her the room. My husband and I have lived with Tania off and on for the last eight years. We saw each other all the time anyway so it seemed easier all round. We were trying to conceive again at this point so we could see the benefit of some extra income. Private cover was killing us. On the weekend that she moved in we found out I was pregnant with Spark. Timing hey?

Anyway, so Jordan's room became Tania's again. She'd lived in this room before on at least two occasions. I felt better. She filled that void up in there completely. Only Jordan's curtains remain, and a butterfly mobile that Tania had made her when she was in NICU. I like that Tania is still in this room and that I haven't been tempted to set it up like a nursery again. My practical nature would have insisted eventually, but I don't really want to do any of that yet.

The other week we brought the change table in because we needed the room in our garage. Soon I will take Jordan's bookshelf, which was being used in Caelan's room, out and put it in my room or living room somewhere. I will place Spark's gifts on this. Spark will be sleeping with us in our room in the cradle we bought for Jordan. His change table will be out in the lounge room. I will no doubt have an expressing machine on the shelves underneath it to use as well.

When I first brought the change table out it was difficult and I did, after fighting it for a few minutes, dissolve into copious tears and sobs. I planned on repainting it... Changing it... I covered it with an old sheet for the time being... Caelan has since pulled the cover off and has been using it to put his Thomas the Tank Engine train tracks on. I have gotten used to its presence and I wont be painting it now... I will just buy a nice new mat cover. A blue one maybe. Something different.

At the moment I am 29 weeks pregnant. Things are moving both incredibly fast and tremendously slow. I want things readied and prepared for this baby and yet I am scared to do it as well. I need to believe all will be well but at the same time it is hard letting go of what happened to Jordan. I need to bring this baby home. Now. I'm not fussed on him having his own room just yet. He wont need it for some time. Hell even Jordan didn't use that room for anything other than storage and nappy changing... Next year sometime will be soon enough. I am only focused on him coming home. The room itself isn't all that important to me now. Just That is all I ask. Playing with the room can come later... Replacing Jordan's curtains can come later.

Today I have been sorting clothes. It is amazing now when I look back on all that has happened in the last year or so... Amazing that I have come this far. I have no idea how I did it.


If you created a bedroom for your baby tell us what it was like.

Our room for Hope was completely ready. Second hand white cot and change table, brand new white toy box, lovingly painted by us and a beautiful, brand new cane rocker, where I imagined spending hours feeding my baby. There was no theme as such. We didn't paint the walls or do anything like that, but to offset the white, we filled it with as many bright things as possible. She was going to light up our lives.

Did you have it ready for them before they were born?

It was all ready to go. Cot made with fresh smelling linen. Cloth nappies washed. Clothes washed and put away. Wipes and lotions at the ready. Blankets and and wraps all within reach.

If so how did you cope coming home to it without your baby?

It was horrifying, really. We didn't go in there right away. I feel tormented by it. And like a complete idiot. I felt like the Universe was laughing at me. Why would I be so smug to assume my baby was coming home with us?

Did you pack it all away?

We left the nursery as is, but a day or two after we got home, Simon and I walked around the house and got all the other baby related things, put them in there, and shut the door. We folded up the pram and carseat and crammed them in to the wardrobe. We took baby and pregnancy books off the bookshelf, and put them where we could no longer see them. Eventually though, I was able to go in there. And I spent a lot of time lying on the floor in there crying, and a lot more time sitting in the rocker just rocking with my tears. I have since tucked a few bears and other precious mementos in to her cot.

What is your baby's room now?

The baby's room is still pretty much the same. I have collected a few more things along the way, both before I got pregnant again and after and placed them in the room, to add to the brightness. This includes some prayer flags and a new wall hanging. There is also a pile of baby boy clothes that I have been brave enough to buy. I figure I can't really jinx myself. I'm just being silly. Whether I buy clothes or not, or continue to decorate the room or not has no bearing on whether this boy will actually come home with us.

If you are trying to conceive again, or are pregnant again how do you feel about setting up another room before your baby is born?

We are happy to leave the room as is. The room is non-gender specific and always would have been used like it was for the first baby we bought home. We would probably never have had two babies in this house, as it is so small with only two bedrooms, but Hope and her sibling would have always shared things. I just want to use the room. Use all the things. Put a baby to sleep in there. Have a live child in my house to parent.


Once A Mother said...

Thank you for creating this month's topic. I have felt so conflicted about what to do, how to act and feel, when it comes to my Peyton's room, and it helps so much to read your stories, and those of the other momma's who link here. Thank you

Anonymous said...

I don't have a blog so I hope you don't mind if I share my story here. It’s ironic that this is the topic of this month's meeting, for this weekend I’m faced with the next step of cleaning out Joey's room. Joey's is our first and only child and was stillborn last Oct at 30 weeks. The weekend before I delivered him we received a call that the new furniture for his room was in. We had special ordered a nice crib and matching dresser from a small local retailer in town. I had ordered fabric and was planning to make the bedding and drapes on my own. There were 3 different patterns in bright primary colors that I had planned to mix and match. We didn't know the sex of our baby so I found this great Dick & Jane themed fabric that had reproductive images from the old story books. We had slowly started to clean out the room once I discovered I was pregnant. The room use to function as my studio but since getting a lap top I really hadn't been spending much time in there, except for the occasionally small sewing project. At week 30 a computer and desk still remain in the room with random office supplies. Then everything happened the weekend of Oct 4th and after that the room just kind of froze in time. Instead of a baby we brought home a box; filled with memorial items from the hospital. I took the month of Oct off of work and throughout the month slowly collected the rest of the baby related items that were throughout the house and put them into Joey's room. Since the furniture was special ordered it had already been paid for so we weren’t able to return it. But when we called the store to tell them the news they were so kind and understanding that they agreed to our items in their storage room for as long as we'd like. Hopefully we'll be able to use it soon.
Since then we've gone in there from time to time but I haven't really done anything more. The only piece of new furniture that did make it into the room was an antique rocker. It was passed to us by my husband's cousin and we had it refinished to use in baby's room. I've spent many moments in that rocker crying; going through the box while dreaming of what should have been. Sometimes I plan the moment and other times it just sneaks up on me. It's almost been a year now and it's taken us both some time to grieve and heal. Just this past week, my husband finally finished messing with the old computer in that room and donated it to good will. This was something I had asked him to do about this time last year. I was trying my best to pace ourselves so the room would be ready in time for the baby. And now it's my turn to finish cleaning out the room and it's something that already makes my stomach quiver. The plan is to continue to clean the room out and then hopefully someday soon fill it with a healthy baby just like we originally planned. And when the time comes that Joey's little brother or little sister does come home with us, he or she will know the story of their big brother and know that we all have a special angel waiting for us in heaven.

Karen said...

This is just such a beautiful idea. I can't thank you enough. I can't get to the Compassionate Friends meetings here and don't have my old support network because we've moved. The Secret Garden and all the bereaved mum bloggers are such a blessing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Carly Nicole Elliotte My Micro Preemie said...

I will pot this on my blog tomorrow. This blog is wonderful. Thanks for starting it! :)