I walk into the room we plan to be the nursery if or when we become parents. Right now there sits a change table I was given when I was still pregnant, a bassinet we were given by my generous relatives when they found out we were adopting, and a few baby clothes, just waiting. I run my fingers over the few sleepers and onesies, I pull them off the hanger and marvel at how a tiny human could one day be wearing it. Every now and then I pull out each baby item we’ve purchased over the last 5 years and look it over, before carefully putting it back. I run my fingers over the ruffles on the bassinet and picture rocking it beside the bed in the middle of the night while trying to remember old lullabies, making up words when I forget. I imagine late nights rocking in James’ recliner with Netflix on mute with a baby who can’t sleep. I was a colicky baby so I’m being realistic, ha.
I know there are plenty of people who will say, “sure it sounds great until you’re almost sick with exhaustion at 4 am with a colicky baby and you’d sell your soul for sleep”. I know, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns, but that’s okay with us. I know it will be hard sometimes, sometimes a lot, more hard than I can probably imagine now. I remember when my niece was almost one years old and came down with RSV, which was terrifying. She was so pale with dark smudges under her eyes, her breath heavy and laboured. When she was released from the hospital we had to give nebulizer treatments on a schedule, even if she was sleeping. My sister was just shattered after so much worrying, and not having had slept in days. It was about 3 am and I sat on the floor of my sister’s bedroom, eyes half-open, my cheek resting against the crib bars as I held the machine that blew medicated air for my sleeping niece to breathe in.
That sleeping baby is now 18 and going off to university in the fall. I just did her make-up last week for prom, wondering how is it possible this much time has passed?! I used to joke that she would be old enough to babysit before we had children, not realizing that was actually going to be true.
Today would have been our daughter’s birthday, if everything had gone to plan (and if she had arrived on her due date). She would have been two.
Today is not as hard as it could be, though a distracting trip through Ikea really helped (I love Ikea). I even made it through the children’s section (and got a really adorable bat puppet). I think about her and who she would have grown up to be, if her eyes would have been blue, if she would have loved hockey like her daddy, if she would have loved to swim. Just like I think about the child who will join our family some day.
All days waiting to be a parent can be hard. If I could look into a crystal ball and someone said, without a doubt, “you will be parents” then it would be a lot easier. So maybe the waiting isn’t the hard part, but the not knowing if it will really happen(but I’m open to trying out someone’s crystal ball if they’re offering!).