My Parents' Neighbours' Daughter (PND) is in her last few weeks of pregnancy. I still tend to think of her as an adorable toddler in a pink snowsuit sometimes, so it was a surreal moment when she and her gigantic belly came through the door of my parents' house while we were on vacation there recently. Harder still to believe that the next time we see her, at Christmas, she will have a baby of her own in tow. Maybe even in a pink snowsuit. ; ) (My secret hope.)(She doesn't know yet if it's pink or blue.)
Of course, both dh & I are nervous as all get out for her, & hoping beyond hope that all goes well. PND was 14 when I lost Katie, so she knows what happened -- but I'm not sure how much she has related our story to her own pregnancy. Not much, is my guess. She is bubbling over with chatter -- about her prenatal appointments, the great stuff she's picked up for the baby at garage sales, the colour she's painting the baby's room, the baby names they've chosen, about her friends' kids and pregnancies (she says she can count more than a dozen other girls she knows who are also expecting right now) -- just like any typical young 20-something mother-to-be.
Unlike most expectant mothers (even the non-infertile/non-bereaved variety), however, she played tag football (with other girls, but still...!) earlier in her pregnancy, and went golfing while we were there, on a day when the humidex reading was something like 47C (37C is about 97F, if that gives you any idea how hot & humid it was). Needless to say, dh & I (not to mention my mother!) had fits when we heard that. Part of me envies her that youthful innocence, the sure knowledge that pregnancy = baby, and that bad things only happen to other people. :(
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As I've written before (almost exactly two years ago, in fact!), my mother keeps a little wooden chest in her spare bedroom (where we stay when we're there), filled with the things she bought for Katie & gifts that her friends had given her for the baby. :( I've peeked in there, but I've never gone entirely through it all. I'd like Mom to do it with me, tell me what came from who -- but I know that would be a hugely emotional hour or so, & I just haven't had the strength to bring it up. :( I know from peeking in that there is a bunting bag, some Bunnykins baby china, & a few outfits -- including one knitted by Mom's neighbour, M -- who sadly passed away about 10 years ago now, but lived next door to PND & her family as PND grew up, and treated PND & her brothers like her own grandchildren.
While we were there, Mom asked me what I thought about giving M's outfit to PND for her baby, that it might be meaningful to her since M made it.
I couldn't speak for a moment -- and I think Mom sensed that I wasn't too keen on the idea.
Frankly, I'm not.
Honestly, if I gave any of my baby things to anyone, it would be to PND.
Call me selfish -- but because my pregnancy was so tentative for so long, I didn't buy a whole lot of baby stuff -- so I have very few outfits or other things that were Katie's, or supposed to be hers. I know they are just sitting there, collecting dust, while someone else could be making use of them -- but frankly, I don't want to share. ; )
I did mention to Mom that, totally aside from anything that I might feel (and while I don't think PND would ever say anything), some people might feel funny about using things that were intended for/associated with a dead baby. I don't think she had thought about it from that angle, and she let the subject drop after that.
That's one reason why I've never offered my maternity clothes or Katie's bedding set to anyone that I know. I'm not sure which would be worse -- to have someone look horrified by the thought, or to see someone walking around pregnant in MY clothes. :(
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Please send prayers & positive thoughts that all goes well for PND & her baby. If not for her sake, for mine & dh's. ; )