From the moment I saw the positive line on the pregnancy test, I was a bundle of nerves. I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt that I had pushed my husband into something he wasn't ready for. (Of course, this wasn't really new territory for me, because our wedding was actually postponed once due to his
When the pregnancy ended in miscarriage, I was devastated. I had begun bleeding one day, while at school. I finished teaching and called my doctor. After a quick exam, I had an ultrasound and was able to see the tiny heartbeat of my first baby. The doctor informed me that he was heading out of town the next day for a ski trip, but that I should give him a call if the bleeding increased at all.
Sadly, I ended up in the ER later that November night and my doctor performed a D and C. The pregnancy, from beginning to end, had been quite traumatic and I second guessed so many things (not bundling up enough and catching bronchitis, carrying a heavy box, the doctor's desire to "merely take care of things" before heading out for a ski trip, etc.). My grief was overwhelming.
Several books I read, suggested that the intangible aspect of miscarriage heightens the difficulty of grieving. Others find it difficult to recognize your loss as significant because they have never really seen your child. Many individuals who experience miscarriage find it easier to grieve when they have something to look at as a reminder of the child's existence (even if that existence remained unseen, in the womb). So, to ease the pain of my empty arms and heart, I purchased this memorial music box:
It seemed perfect because it is a small boy building a snowman and it plays "Silent Night," with that perfect line of "sleep in heavenly peace." I also gave my miscarried baby a name, calling him Colin James. I cross-stitched a memorial piece for him as well, but I lost it (if I had been blogging back then, I would have surely snapped a photo the moment I finished the piece).
Less than two years later, in May of 1996, I used this cherished memory box as my focal point when I went into labor with my ES. Of course, ES knows all about Colin and his music box. I purchased a special music box for ES, as well. ES's music box was knocked over and broken a time or two, but we still have it (a Noah's ark theme). Then, when ES entered his train-fixation-phase, I found an adorable train music box for him.
I suppose, I really should be on the lookout for a music box for MS. I have one for Colin. One for ES. The train one could actually be for YS now, since he loves trains. Any suggestions on what I should look for? a Spiderman music box? a puppy music box? an artist music box?
Thankfully, Colin's music box has turned out to be as resilient as ES's music box. Earlier this week, MS and YS had been sent to their room. All of the music boxes are in there (am I nuts, or what?) up on tall cabinets. Colin's music box was on top of a chifferobe next to MS's twin bed. Somehow, they managed to knock the music box off the top and break it. I glued it back together this afternoon and snapped my photo.
I have moved Colin's music box to the living room (still not safe from my destructive boys, but, like the tea pot, I want to be able to look at it). At least now, I will know that I have a picture of it. It remains one of my favorite things and it did indeed help me through the grieving process.
My sister, Dawn, also had an intuitive understanding of what might be helpful for me during that sad time. Within days of the miscarriage, she sent me a large package. It contained a highly-huggable stuffed monkey (I have collected monkeys ever since I was seven), a book and three videos (to divert my mind).
We ended up both being pregnant with our first-borns at the same time. I may be on the cusp of having a teenage son, but she is now on the cusp of having a teenage DAUGHTER! Perhaps, I should send her a care package now. What would YOU put in a care package for a woman whose daughter is about to enter the teenage hormone zone?